All the News That's Fit to be Tied

I have an axe to grind, but unlike the New York Times, I freely admit it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Glendon Rejects Laetere Medal

Harvard professor Mary Ann Glendon turned down the 2009 Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics by Notre Dame because the President was chosen to give the commencement address. A former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican and ardently pro-life she bristled at the idea her speech would serve to balance out Obama’s viewpoint. For Mary Ann rewriting here speech was not really enough. Her outright refusal to speak and accept the award showed the kind of courage too many of us lack these days. She is to be congratulated.

What if Obama Gave a Press Conference...

…and nobody came. Except the thirteen reporters whose questions were selected in advance. What a lousy excuse for a press conference. The White House Press Corp sitting quietly in their seats like the good listeners they are. Even David Gregory, whose verbal assaults on Bush 42 were legendary, sat rapt at the feet of Obama. Like the rest of his journalist classmates he waited to be selected to ask the questions they submitted in advance that may make Obama smile upon them. That he will approve and even recognize their brilliance in asking such perceptive, insightful and enchanting questions such as those by the NY Times reporter who deserves permanent anonymity after his series of questions. The members of the White House Press Corp must be truly embarrassed at their performance during this prime time Obama speech made to look like a press conference. When they play it back so they can watch themselves, it should make them feel truly humiliated to see how docile they where. It was a farce and they knew it. They're like people who think wrestling is real. In wrestling there is the “real,” which is the physical action and the “unreal,” which is the attitudes and story played out by the wrestlers. There was no real at this charade. Maybe the next time, unless TV Station executives decide not to provide prime-time air time to the President, the reporters may protest by not submitting or asking any questions or just not show up. Well, maybe not. The Press Corp probably doesn’t have that much backbone left. They had to hand it in when they got their new press credientials.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Waterboardng was no Surprise to Congress

It’s pretty clear at this point that the Congress was completely in the know about the interrogation techniques used by the CIA when trying to break particular terrorists. Those techniques, whether you agree or disagree, were effective in getting information, preventing terrorist plots from going forward, and keeping the country safe until now. Whether you read the New York Times or the Washington Times, watch CNN or Fox News Channel the truth is out for all to see. And try as they might to make you think otherwise those that were responsible for oversight did not object at the time. That list includes many of the same people that now want to call those techniques torture. One can only think the Obama administration must have been very disappointed when Spain said it would not try members of the Bush Administration for war crimes. It forced Obama to change the position stated by Rahm Emmanuel on Sunday by saying it was up to Eric Holder to determine whether or not to prosecute. Until water boarding came along I always thought that torture was like pulling your fingernails out or putting you on the Medieval rack. I always thought that having someone drawn and quartered or peeling off their skin would qualify. I just didn’t think that pouring water on someone’s head to make then think they were going to drown, even thought they couldn’t, would be considered torture. Thanks to a former President the political left relies on to be its whipping boy our country has so far avoided a repeat of 9/11. It was in part achieved with techniques that are mild compared to having your head severed from your body, being burned alive and hung from a bridge, or having your wife and children raped while you are forced to watch. Next to these things water boarding is child’s play. The men who were water boarded were killers. They would have happily killed you, your family, your friends and anyone else they could reach. What’s more they provided information that was used to foil planned attacks. They were lucky that water boarding was the worst they got. Any country with sensible leaders would execute such an enemy without remorse.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lessons from the Stovetop

Despite the many rejections President Obama has received from world leaders for his openness to oppressive regimes and his willingness to brutally criticize America not one beneficial event has occurred; if fact, things have gotten worse. In response to his overtures to North Korea the PRK has thrown out the UN inspectors, cancelled the six-party talks and has confirmed its intent to develop nuclear weapons. His deference to the King of Saudi a Arabia, Bashar al-Assad and the King of Jordan and his apparent acceptance of the Arab League solution to the Israel/Palestinian has once again put our ally Israel in an untenable position. His effort to mend ties with Cuba by permitting travel and more remittances have resulted in a direct slap from Fidel Castro who said his brother Raul’s conciliatory words had been misinterpreted. In addition, Daniel Ortega’s condemnation of America did not generate a single response from the President and the showboating of Chavez was met with a smile. In case Mr. Obama has forgotten there was an America before he was President. There was a foreign policy before he moved into the White House. The President gets to protect and defend the nation, not use it as a prop for his own aggrandizement. He seems more concerned with pleasing his friends, who in general appear to dislike America, rather than to act in the country’s best interest. A child only needs to put its hand on a hot stove once to learn its lesson. How many times will Obama have to berate his own country, befriend its enemies and concede to the world’s tyrants before he learns his lesson?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pirates and Landlubbers

The Somali pirates were surprised by the resolve of America when three shots to the head on a moonless night in the Indian Ocean dashed their dreams of wealth and the landlubbers in Washington were surprised by the resolve of Americans to show their marksmanship when it comes to targeting blame for our current cultural and economic ship of state.
Hundreds of thousands showed up at large and small rallies throughout the country from coast to coast and border to border. Working guys, moms, dads, kids, and pets. They carried signs and flags. They talked with their friends, neighbors and strangers too. There were no armed fanatics, just people who know the government is not acting in their interest and all their efforts at getting the message across have already failed. More than 200,000 people showed up at more than 800 rallies around the country.
These are the same people that the Dept of Homeland Security, under the direction of Janet Napolitano, considers to be more dangerous than Muslim terrorists, Somali pirates and radical left wing groups like the American Socialist Party, Code Pink and Green Peace, all of whom have resorted to violence when their demands have not been met. That the report was "mysteriously" leaked the day before the April 15th Tea Party rallies was not a mistake, as claimed by DHS. The next rally will be May 16th and there is likely to be another on July 4th. If you love America don't let these moments pass you by. Get out there. Be counted. Good Bless America.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I Spy, You Die

Somehow the Iranian government acquired “lawful intercept technology” and it’s nobody’s fault. This country whose treatment of dissidents is notorious and includes jail and torture got this technology from firms we know well, namely Siemens and Nokia. This sophisticated electronic equipment permits the Iranian government to tap phones, read e-mails and surveil electronic data on communications networks. Just recently an Iranian lawyer, a Ms. Mazaheri, had one of her clients arrested because of instant messaging between her and the client, according to an article in the Washington Times. The individual in question was interrogated and given printed copies of instant message chats between his lawyer and himself and summarily sent to prison. There are two issues here. Despite Germany’s public position of endorsing stricter sanctions on Iran its companies continue to export sensitive technology to the country. Siemen’s also does almost a billion in business with the U.S. and employs 70,000 people here and still provides this technology to Iran with no response by our own government. The other firm, Nokia of Finland, is one of the largest providers of handsets in the U.S. market and also traffics in this surveillance technology to Iran. The company, which is called Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is a joint venture between the two firms and delivered the monitoring center to Iran. Just recently NSN sold is portion of the business to a private holding company called Perusa Partners Fund LLP. A Siemens spokeswoman said the company only retains a non-controlling interest in NSN, while Nokia runs the day-to-day operation of the firm. So there you go. Companies we know well and support have provided the Iranian government with technology that will be used to curtail civil liberties we take for granted in the U.S. Neither our parochial Congress nor the flaccid State Department will do anything about it. Despite their incessant calls for restrictions on such activity under President George Bush, they do nothing when the technology is sold to governments far worse than ours when it comes to the treatment of dissidents. Siemens and Nokia should both be investigated.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Don't Cry for Me, Barack Obama

I could have posted a blog every night of the Obama's Euro Asia trip, but instead I felt compelled to wait until it was over so I could assess the damage with a more discerning eye. How could we have selected such an amateur to be President of the United States? Let's see. First he gave the Queen of England an Ipod filled with his speeches as if she were one of his fans. Then he asked the French and the Germans to stimulate their economies like he was doing with the Brit's, and if possible would they send some fighters to Afghanistan to assist American troops. Both requests were rejected and in his vengeful boyish manner he rejected the French President's suggestion that they visit Normandy. Every President since WWII has visited Normandy during his Presidency except for this fool. After his public relations success and his political disaster in Europe he moved on to Turkey and Saudi a Arabia. There he ingratiated himself to the Turks and the Saudi's by bad mouthing his own country and all but laying himself prostrate before the Saudi King. Then he sat by and through the Somali pirate takeover of a U.S.-flagged merchant ship eating Chicago pizza and planning the next White House party night. The crew gained control of the ship but lost the captain to the pirates. The captain tried to escape but was recaptured, while one of our Aegis-class destroyers sat a mile away and did nothing. Obviously they did not want to risk the captain's life or offend the President by attacking Somali Muslims. After all he had recently claimed we are a Muslim country with some inconvenient Christians and Jews. So far Obama has been able to blame George Bush for everything and his fawning press corp has obliged. When will the blood begin to stain his hands? Don't cry for me Mr. President. I do not think we are a selfish, arrogant and derisive nation. We provide more aid and assistance to developed and emerging nations than any other country in the world. All of Europe combined provides less aid to Africa and South America than the U.S. We are more open to other countries than any country has ever proved to be open to us. Our country has little, if anything, to apologize for. It's unfortunate this President does not share that view. Don't cry for me Obama, because I cry for you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ted Steven's Won't Be The First

To ask "Where do I go to get my reputation back? The Justice Department dropped its corruption case against the former U.S. Senator from Alaska citing prosecutorial misconduct. He was the subject of a corruption probe and was convicted just before the 2008 election. The political ramifications were obvious. He lost his bid for re-election to Democrat Mark Begich. Steven's one vote could have a significant impact in the current Congress. Unfortunately the election cannot be undone, but it is now clear that the fix was in and heads should roll. Some career zealots at Justice should be fired.