November 18, 2009

A Message From The 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team

Except for short blurb type articles, I almost never duplicate an entire article or column that appears in the press. I’m making an exception here, because this is a message from one of America’s finest on the ever of his unit’s deployment to the field of operation in Iraq.

Guard unit from Houston is ready for duty in Iraq
By COL. MARK N. CAMPSEY

The 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) stands ready for duty in Iraq. Over the past two months, we've been in the New Mexico desert preparing for the situation in country.

During our time there, soldiers from the Houston area trained in detainee, convoy and urban operations. The training was some of the most realistic that soldiers in the 72nd IBCT have ever encountered stateside.

Throughout many training lanes, actual Iraqi civilians role-played and mock weapons systems simulated the environment in Iraq. The realism made it easy for our soldiers to stay battle-focused.

Very soon we'll be taking a plane ride into Kuwait. While there, we'll consolidate our personnel and equipment and perform precombat checks and inspections before we go into Iraq.

During the next year, the 72nd brigade headquarters will operate as the Joint Area Support Group-Central (JASG-C) with responsibility for supporting the government of Iraq with administration and security of the International Zone in Baghdad.

The 21 units, to include the 1-141st and 3-141st infantry battalion headquarters, which fall under the 72nd IBCT headquarters, will perform various roles in Baghdad and throughout Iraq, such as security force, detainee, combat and convoy operations. And we're prepared for that.

The assignment extends basic military training. And our soldiers are uniquely qualified for what's ahead due to the combination of their military training and civilian jobs.

In Iraq, our soldiers will be in roles similar to their regular Houston jobs, such as accountants, project managers, engineers, lawyers, contractors, real estate managers, carpenters, law enforcement, city administrators, marketing directors and logistics officers, to name a few.

This range of careers is crucial for success in stability operations. It's the reason why the president specifically called on our citizen soldiers in the Texas Army National Guard.

With the upcoming elections in January, our soldiers will be on the ground during a historic time in Iraq. Currently, 280 political parties have registered to run. For my team, this proves that Iraqis are interested in representative government.

As for the security situation, attacks have slowed down dramatically, but they haven't stopped. In Baghdad, where the 72nd IBCT headquarters will be located, attacks are consistent with February 2004 lows, representing a decrease of more than 95 percent since the surge operations began in June 2007.

An added benefit we have is that our families, the Houston community and surrounding areas continue to give us extraordinary support. As an example, during our deployment ceremony in October the Wal-Mart Corporation presented a large donation to support our soldiers' travel home on their final pass over the Thanksgiving holiday.

It was an exceptionally generous gift. It not only reduced a potential financial burden for some families, it ensured a safe mode of transport for participating soldiers. But the support didn't stop there. Countless other Houston businesses, community organizations and individual citizens have supported us in so many ways.

We are truly grateful to live in such a military-friendly city. That hasn't always been the case for soldiers. However, on behalf of the 72nd IBCT's soldiers and officers brigade, I want to thank you all very much.

I take comfort in the fact that the 72nd IBCT soldiers have the best training, equipment and support by the finest people — their loved ones and the great people of Houston, Texas.

We're ready.

Campsey is commander of the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, based in Houston, Texas.

The thoughts and prayers of this community and a grateful nation with you and the rest of the 72nd, sir.

This is especially true for my wife and I, as one of your officers is numbered among our loved ones – a young man who we first met on one of his first dates with one of my younger colleagues. It has been our privilege to watch as he has become a loving husband, devoted father and exemplary military officer. It will be our privilege to offer support to his family until you return – a privilege that we are proud to share with so many others in this community, and in this nation.

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A Pity He Backed Off From The Comment

I’m disappointed that a member of Congress would back away from a true statement at the behest of apologists for Islamist terrorism.

U.S. Rep. Donald Manzullo told WREX-TV in Rockford, Ill., that alleged terrorists imprisoned at the Navy base are "really really mean people whose job it is to kill people, driven by some savage religion."

The Republican lawmaker confirmed Tuesday those words were his. He said he never specified Islam and apologized for any misunderstanding.

However, the terrorist shills from CAIR leaped to the fore, claiming that Manzullo’s statement was defamatory of Islam. They appear less worried, however, about the claims of terrorists that they act in the name of Islam.

Remember – it is the terrorists themselves who make a claim that their acts of murder and mayhem are based upon religious imperatives. If that does not support the claim that they are practitioners of a savage religion, I don’t know what does.

Oh, that's right.

They commit acts of unspeakable barbarism in the name of the Religion of Peace -- and don't you suggest anything different about that religion or they will cut your head off.

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How Serious Is This Country About Illegal Immigration?

Not very – as exemplified by this catch-and-release story.

A federal judge in Pittsburgh on Tuesday sentenced an illegal immigrant to time served in jail for his 10th illegal entry into the country.

Uziel Jesus Lopez-Jiminez, 28, of Mexico has been deported nine other times between 1998 and 2007, prosecutors said. He was last deported in March, re-entered the country in May or June and was arrested in Beaver County on Aug. 16.

This is one of the folks that Obama wants to legalize – probably with an eye to granting citizenship and Democrat voter registration by 2012.

Just breaking the laws that Americans want enforced.

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November 17, 2009

What Would Have Happened?

To a Christian in the military who made such statements to his superiors?

Captain [Naomi] Surman, [Hassan’s supervisor in the Department of Psychiatry], who was scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan with Hasan on Nov. 2 told investigators that Hasan had both social and academic issues in his medical training. She said that on one occasion, Hasan told her she was an infidel who would be “ripped to shreds” and “burn in hell” because she was not Muslim.

Would the individual in question have been counseled to change their attitude and behavior?

Would they have faced disciplinary actions?

Would their career have been ended “for the good of the service”?

I think we can all make a reasonable guess – but Hasan was coddled and kept on, even scheduled to deploy in Iraq where he would be a likely fifth columnist for his fellow Islamists, because it would have been politically incorrect to take any action against a “good Muslim”.

The result was13 dead – 14 if one counts the unborn child of one of the soldiers Hasan gunned down.

H/T Malkin

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A Question I’ve Been Raising

Ever since Khalid Sheik Muhammad and his fellow terrorists have been granted a civilian trial in a civilian court, I’ve been asking one very straight-forward question – what happens if one or more of the defendants is found not guilty, or if the charges are dismissed (in my opinion, quite possible on grounds of failure to provide a speedy trial)? Does the Obama Administration release these terrorists? Or does Obama order their continued detention, creating a constitutional crisis in the process by rejecting the authority of the federal courts?

Well, there appears to be an answer coming from Obama’s Democrat allies – and the answer is somewhat akin to the arguments of Third World despots.

According to Democratic Senator Jack Reed, “under basic principles of international law, as long as these individuals pose a threat, they can be detained, and they will.” Come again? You mean if KSM is acquitted he will still be detained? Yes indeed, according to Senator Reed. He will not be released, “because under the principle of preventive detention, which is recognized during hostilities,” we can continue to hold KSM.

Well, now. It seems to me as though President Obama and Attorney General Holder need to be asked whether they agree with Senator Reed. If not — if they believe that the proud, self-confessed mastermind of the deadliest attack in history on the American homeland should be able to walk free if acquitted in this trial — then Obama and Holder should certainly say so. If KSM were acquitted, the president and his attorney general should proclaim from the rooftops that Mohammed is a free man, found innocent in a civilian court of law, and then allow voters to render a judgment on their decision.

If, on the other hand, Obama and Holder agree with Senator Reed, they should state that as well.

The problem is that it does not matter a whit what international law says in the scenario laid out by Reed – taking such actions would unambiguously violate the US Constitution. What’s more, in such a situation we would see established the principle that the mere acquittal of a defendant or dismissal of charges with prejudice is insufficient to guarantee that the Executive Branch will not continue to deprive an individual of their liberty after they have been adjudicated to be innocent. Quite bluntly, the Obama Regime cannot have it both ways – claiming that terrorism is a criminal matter best left to the criminal justice system while at the same time declaring it to be a military/national security matter subject to unreviewable executive discretion when the courts prove inadequate to the task.

Indeed, the only way that Reed’s argument based upon international law works is if one recognizes that the War on Terrorism is, in fact, a war and that combatants (both lawful and unlawful) may legitimately be held without trial or access to civilian courts for the duration of the conflict. It is impossible to argue for some sort of hybrid classification and system that allows for the continued detention of the legally innocent without making their trials nothing more than a sham and a show.

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Watcher's Council Results

Council Submissions

Non-Council Submissions

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November 16, 2009

Obama Attempts To Interfere With Legislative Branch Prerogatives

Such as conducting oversight investigations into Executive Branch agencies and departments.

President Barack Obama on Saturday urged Congress to hold off on any investigation of the Fort Hood rampage until federal law enforcement and military authorities have completed their probes into the shootings at the Texas Army post, which left 13 people dead.

On an eight-day Asia trip, Obama turned his attention home and pleaded for lawmakers to “resist the temptation to turn this tragic event into the political theater.” He said those who died on the nation’s largest Army post deserve justice, not political stagecraft.

“The stakes are far too high,” Obama said in a video and Internet address released by the White House while the president he was flying from Tokyo to Singapore, where Pacific Rim countries were meeting.

Given the fundamentally unserious response of President Obama and his minions to this jihadi assault upon American military personnel on US soil – combined with the unserious response of the president to a jihadi assault upon military personnel on US soil last summer – it seems to me that Congress needs to seriously examine the operation of law enforcement and the military regarding the jihadi threat on our own soil.

But I do have to ask a question – wouldn’t we be hearing shrieks of outrage from Democrats and the media if such obstructionism were engaged in by a president named Bush instead of a Obama? Or does the standard once again differ when now that the unicorn-riding demigod is king, even if that means doing away with checks and balances and separation of powers?

H/T Hot Air

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On Judicial Confirmations

During the latter part of the Bush years, I complained about the pace of judicial confirmations. Sadly, the GOP in the Senate is now paying back the Democrats in spades for their obstruction of well-qualified Republican nominees by obstructing Democrat nominees. This is in addition to the delays caused by the failure of the Obama Administration to make timely nominations to fill many judicial vacancies and the focus on other legislative priorities by the Democrat leaders of the Senate.

Despite a solid Democratic majority in the Senate, President Obama is on pace to set a record for the fewest judges confirmed during a president's first year in the White House.

So far, only six of Obama's nominees to the lower federal courts have won approval. By comparison, President George W. Bush had 28 judges confirmed in his first year in office, even though Democrats held a narrow majority for much of the year. President Clinton put 27 new judges on the bench in his first year.

The slow pace of approving judges has gotten little attention while Democrats and Republicans have fought over healthcare, the budget and the economic stimulus bill. In mid-summer, Obama and the Democrats also won confirmation for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

* * *

Nationwide, there are 98 vacancies on the federal bench. Obama has 19 nominees who are awaiting votes in the Senate.

Obama's pace of nominating judges is also slower than previous presidents'.

Still, the obstructionism needs to cease. And so I am back to making a proposal that I made a couple of years ago – an amendment to the Constitution that places a time limit on the Senate’s advice and consent function so as to bring judicial nominees to an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor within a reasonable time period. Such an amendment might read something like this one that I cobbled together as a proposal.

PROPOSED JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION AMENDMENT

Section 1 The power to nominate judges to the Supreme Court and all inferior federal courts shall be vested in the President of the United States.

Section 2 Upon the formal submission of the name of a nominee to a judgeship of any federal court to the United States Senate by the President, the Senate shall vote to confirm or not confirm the nominee within 180 days..

Section 3 The Senate may, with a three-fifths vote, extend the time for confirmation by 90 days in order to allow additional inquiry into the fitness of the candidate or in order to permit the Senate to deal with other legislative concerns. Such an extension shall be permitted only one time.

Section 4 The consent of the Senate shall deemed to be given if the Senate fails to reject the nominee within the 180 days mandated under Section 2 of this Article, or within 270 days in the event of an extension of the deadline under Section 3 of this Article.

This is not a Republican issue. This is not a Democrat issue. This is an issue of ensuring the proper administration of justice and the filling of judicial vacancies necessary for that purpose.

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The Best Case Against Public Employee Unions

Comes from the mouth of a union thug himself.

In pursuit of an Eagle Scout badge, Kevin Anderson, 17, has toiled for more than 200 hours hours over several weeks to clear a walking path in an east Allentown park.

Little did the do-gooder know that his altruistic act would put him in the cross hairs of the city’s largest municipal union.

Nick Balzano, president of the local Service Employees International Union, told Allentown City Council Tuesday that the union is considering filing a grievance against the city for allowing Anderson to clear a 1,000-foot walking and biking path at Kimmets Lock Park.

”We’ll be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails,” Balzano told the council.

Balzano said Saturday he isn’t targeting Boy Scouts. But given the city’s decision in July to lay off 39 SEIU members, Balzano said ”there’s to be no volunteers.” No one except union members may pick up a hoe or shovel, plant a flower or clear a walking path.

Do you see the arrogance literally dripping from Balzano’s words? Citizens have no right to contribute to their community – they merely have the right to pay ever higher taxes in order to make sure the corrupt union bosses like Balzano get their cut from the bloated paychecks of union members.

The time has come for the people of this nation to rise up and insist that there be no more public employee unions, because they clearly are not operating in the public interest. That a union thug like Balzano thinks there will be no consequences to his making such statements is proof of that.

H/T Malkin

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November 15, 2009

Neither Will His Murdered Victims

So I really don’t give a damn if this jihadi pig ever walks again.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the accused Fort Hood gunman, is paralyzed from the waist down, his lawyer said Friday.

"It appears he won't be able to walk in the future," said Hasan's civilian attorney, retired Army Col. John Galligan.

Hasan also has severe pain in his hands, the attorney said.

Here’s hoping that they lubricate his wheelchair with bacon grease, and that we eventually solve his medical problems via lethal injection. The we can see if his false Allah will cure him when he joins his false prophet in Hell.

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TSA Policy Change

I don’t usually like it when events involving politicians and their staffers results in a change of rules by law enforcement. However, this is a rule change that is long overdue, and which tells the TSA that they have no legitimate grounds to quiz travelers about legal activities.

An angry aide to Rep. Ron Paul, an iPhone and $4,700 in cash have forced the Transportation Security Administration to quietly issue two new rules telling its airport screeners they can only conduct searches related to airplane safety.

* * *

The new rules, issued in September and October, tell officers "screening may not be conducted to detect evidence of crimes unrelated to transportation security" and that large amounts of cash don't qualify as suspicious for purposes of safety.

"We had been hearing of so many reports of TSA screeners engaging in wide-ranging fishing expeditions for illegal activities," said Ben Wizner, a staff lawyer for the ACLU, pointing to reports of officers scanning pill-bottle labels to see whether the passenger was the person who obtained the prescription as one example.

He said screeners get a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches, strictly to keep weapons and explosives off planes, not to help police enforce other laws.

Steve Bierfeldt, the Ron Paul aide in question, was transporting a metal strong box with cash as a part of his duties as head of a Paul-affiliated political group. No illegal activity was alleged, and the only basis for suspicion was that he was carrying the cash. Clearly nothing untoward was going on, but Bierfeldt was still detained and subjected to threats of arrest because he would not explain why he was engaging in the legal activity of carrying the cash.

Frankly, this is in keeping with the experience that I detailed a last spring when my wife and I traveled to visit her dying mother. My mother-in-law gave my wife some old coins, jewelry, and other keepsakes she had accumulated over the years during the visit. While passing through security, my wife and I were extensively quizzed as to why we were carrying the collector coins. In addition, the screener (who had already assaulted my wife in her wheelchair) demanded to know the diagnoses for which my wife had been prescribed certain medications by her neurologist. I’m glad to see these petty goose-steppers reigned in by the government so as to ensure that they do not exceed their lawful mandate.

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Most Americans Disapprove Of Risky Democrat Health Care Scheme: Gallup Poll

Well, you’ve got to hand it to Obama and his Democrat minions – they have managed to forge a new consensus on government run health care. And that consensus is NO, WE DON’T WANT IT!

The current poll results indicate that, with the renewed healthcare debate since Obama took office, Americans have become less convinced that it is an appropriate goal for the federal government to take on the responsibility of ensuring that all Americans have healthcare coverage. It is possible that the current debate has increased the average American's awareness as to the nuances of the various roles the government could play in the healthcare system, helping make the generic "make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage" sound less appealing. Plus, the current debate may have produced more skepticism among Americans that the government's role in healthcare could or should be this broad.

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The meaning of these results is very clear – the American people don’t want what Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are selling. And even to the degree that Americans want to ensure that there is some safety net for their fellow citizens in need of medical care that is beyond their means, we are more and more convinced that the proposals coming out of the Democrats fail to address the issue in a manner consistent with our values and wishes.

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November 12, 2009

Big GOP Gains In House In 2010?

Could be, according to some numbers crunched by Red State's Moe Lane regarding the House seats seen as competitive next year.












































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































TX-17Chet Edwards R+20
ID-1 Walter Minnick R+18
AL-2 Bobby BrightR+16
MO-4 Ike Skelton R+14
IN-3 Mark Souder R+14
KS-4 OPEN (Tiahrt) R+14
MS-1 Travis Childers R+14
TN-6 Bart Gordon R+13
OH-2 Jean Schmidt R+13
AK-AL Don Young R+13
TN-3 OPEN (Wamp) R+13
MD-1Frank Kratovil R+13
LA-3 OPEN (Melancon) R+12
AL-5 Parker GriffithR+12
VA-9 Rick Boucher R+11
GA-8 Jim Marshall R+10
ND-AL Earl Pomeroy R+10
SC-1 Henry Brown R+10
TX-10 Michael McCaul R+10
KY-6 Ben Chandler R+9
SD-AL Stephanie Herseth Sandlin R+9
SC-2 Joe Wilson R+9
AR-1Marion Berry R+8
IN-8 Brad Ellsworth R+8
PA-10 Chris CarneyR+8
MN-6 Michele Bachmann R+7
OH-18 Zack Space R+7
SC-5 John Spratt R+7
AZ-1 Ann Kirkpatrick R+6
FL-2 Allen Boyd R+6
NC-11 Heath Shuler R+6
PA-4 Jason Altmire R+6
CA-3 Dan Lungren R+6
CA-44Ken Calvert R+6
NE-2 Lee Terry R+6
FL-12 OPEN (Putnam)R+6
CO-4 Betsy Markey R+6
NM-2 Harry Teague R+6
IN-9 Baron Hill R+6
TN-8 John Tanner R+6
CO-3 John Salazar R+5
FL-16 Tom Rooney R+5
VA-5 Tom Perriello R+5
AZ-5 Harry Mitchell R+5
AR-2Vic Snyder R+5
NY-29 Eric Massa R+5
VA-2 Glenn NyeR+5
AZ-8 Gabrielle Giffords R+4
NY-13 Mike McMahon R+4
TX-23 Ciro Rodriguez R+4
FL-24 Suzanne Kosmas R+4
OH-16 John Boccieri R+4
KS-3 Dennis Moore R+3
PA-3 Kathy Dahlkemper R+3
CA-45 Mary Bono Mack R+3
NY-19John Hall R+3
IN-2 Joe Donnelly R+2
NY-20 Scott MurphyR+2
VA-10 Frank Wolf R+2
FL-8 Alan Grayson R+2
MI-7 Mark Schauer R+2
NY-24 Michael Arcuri R+2
NC-8 Larry Kissell R+2
WI-8 Steve Kagen R+2
IL-8 Melissa Bean R+1
IL-11 Debbie Halvorson R+1
NJ-3John Adler R+1
PA-12 John Murtha R+1
FL-10 C. W. Bill YoungR+1
IL-13 Judy Biggert R+1
CA-11 Jerry McNerney R+1
IL-14 Bill Foster R+1
NY-23 Bill Owens R+1
MI-11 Thad McCotter R+0
MN-3 Erik Paulsen R+0
NH-1 Carol Shea-Porter R+0
NY-1 Tim Bishop R+0
WA-3Brian Baird D+0
FL-22 Ron Klein D+1
GA-12 John BarrowD+1
IA-3 Leonard Boswell D+1
OR-5 Kurt Schrader D+1
OH-12 Patrick Tiberi D+1
OH-1 Steve Driehaus D+1
OH-15 Mary Jo Kilroy D+1
MI-9 Gary Peters D+2
OR-4 Peter DeFazio D+2
VA-11 Gerald Connolly D+2
PA-15Charlie Dent D+2
NV-3 Dina Titus D+2
NY-25 Dan MaffeiD+3
WA-8 Dave Reichert D+3
NH-2 OPEN (Hodes) D+3
PA-7 OPEN (Sestak) D+3
CA-18 Dennis Cardoza D+4
CA-47 Loretta Sánchez D+4
CO-7 Ed Perlmutter D+4
PA-11 Paul Kanjorski D+4
WI-3 Ron Kind D+4
PA-6OPEN (Gerlach) D+4
CA-20 Jim Costa D+5
CT-4 Jim HimesD+5
IA-1 Bruce Braley* D+5
NM-1 Martin Heinrich D+5
IL-10 OPEN (Kirk) D+6
DE-AL OPEN (Castle) D+7
HI-1 OPEN (Abercrombie) D+11
LA-2 Joseph Cao D+25


And Lane's analysis of this data? Big GOP gains.

As you can see, there are a lot of Democratic incumbents in districts that typically vote Republican in Presidential elections, and almost no Republican incumbents in districts that vote Democratic. For that matter, something like 72% of the total competitive races are in Republican districts… which would sound like bad news for the GOP, except that Democratic-held seats make up 75% of both the total and particularly competitive races surveyed by Cook. The midpoint for that list is at R+3; below that point there are 14 GOP districts held by Democrats, and only 7 Democratic ones held by Republicans.

What does that mean, in terms of the 2010 elections? Well, if you assume that every district held by Democrats that’s at R+4 and above gets flipped, every incumbent between R+3 and D+0 keeps his or her seat, and that every Republican in a Democratic district loses his or her seat… the Democrats lose 31 seats next year. Assume that an incumbent needs to at least break even (i.e., has at least a R or D+0), and the number goes up to 48 seats lost by the Democrats.

As a practical matter, the balance of power would change sharply. With the 31 seat change, we would see the partisan split change from 258 Democrats and 177 Republicans to 227 Democrats and 208 Republicans, which would give Republicans significantly more clout in the House. And if the change goes to the more extreme possibility suggested by Lane, the split nearly reverses, with Republicans holding a 225-210 edge over the Democrats, potentially giving the country a repeat of the 1994 election.

Of course, there is a lot that could happen in the next 12 months, and those events could turn the tables dramatically. But assuming there is not radical shift between now and the 2010 elections, the United States will have a radically different Congress during the second half of Obama's first (and hopefully only) term.

UPDATE: Don Surber points to the possibility of a 6 or 7 seat gain for the GOP in the Senate as well -- not enough for a majority, but certainly enough o allow fo the filibuster of the Obama Agenda.

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Remember When This Was Patriotic

You know -- the people's right to know, dissent is the highest form of patriotism, etc.

Guess it isn't patriotic any more -- at least now that a man who has no understanding of or appreciation for the military is in the Oval Office.

The Obama administration is increasingly exasperated by leaks of national-security-related information and is planning a major effort to root out and punish those responsible, top officials said Thursday.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he is “appalled” by a series of leaks surrounding the president’s deliberations about the way forward in Afghanistan and the investigation into last week’s massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.

How long until we see prosecutions and persecutions? And will we see the media turning over names at the demand of the demigod Obama and his minions?

And the Affirmative Action Presidency continues.

H/T Red State

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Who Could Possibly Object

Yeah, illegal immigrants would be covered under this proposal -- a sticking point for conservatives regarding the various incarnations of ObamaCare but a demand for most liberals -- but at least their care would be funded appropriately.

A Democrat congressman from Ohio has introduced innovative legislation that would require foreign countries to reimburse American taxpayers for the exorbitant medical expenses of illegal immigrants.

Appropriately titled, PAYBACK Act (Preventing All Your Bucks from Aiding non-Citizens is Key), the measure would save the U.S. government billions of dollars annually and ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to fund health care services for illegal immigrants, according to its author, U.S. Representative Zack Space.

Medical bills for illegal aliens would be passed along to their country of origin, according to the proposed law, which was introduced in the House this month. The government would mostly collect by deducting the cost of illegal immigrants’ healthcare from the foreign aid their home countries would normally get from the U.S.

If the U.S. does not offer foreign assistance the country would get billed for 110% of the medical costs. In the case where illegal immigrants are from nation’s to whom the U.S. owes money, the cost of medically treating their citizens would be reduced from the debt. The money would be applied to strengthening border security. “It is fundamentally unfair and outrageous to foot the bill for immigrants unlawfully in the United States,” said Space, who has represented Ohio’s 18th congressional district since 2007.

Sounds good to me -- send the bill to their country of origin, and require that they pay for the medical care of their citizens who are violating American sovereignty and lw by their mere presence in this country.

Now if they would only add an automatic deportation provision to the plan, it would be perfect. I'm just shocked it is coming from a Democrat.

H/T Don Surber

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A Number To Consider

111,000

That is the number of criminal aliens identified by the federal government by checking data on arrestees in 95 jurisdictions around the country.

Got that -- ONLY 95 JURISDICTIONS

Immigration officials announced today that a fingerprint-based system that screens for suspected illegal immigrants in local jails resulted in the identification of more than 111,000 people classified as “criminal aliens” in its first year.

The Secure Communities program, first launched in October 2008 at the Harris County Jail, uses biometric technology to automatically check the immigration history of all suspects booked into local lockups. The system is now in place in 95 jurisdictions, including Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Jefferson, and Montgomery counties.

The Houston Police Department plans to have the system working in the city jails by the end of the year, city officials said.

Of those, 11,000 were guilty of serious offenses.

And that is just in 95 jurisdictions.

Imagine what will happen when it goes nationwide.

Seems to me that we need to get the machinery of deportation warmed up and in operation -- we need to get rid of an awful lot of those aliens who are simply committing the crimes that Americans won't commit.

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November 10, 2009

Lefty Anchor From Lefty Network Demands Republicans Denounce/Distance themselves From Protest By Democrat Family

In 1988, cult leader Fred Phelps was a delegate to the Democrat convention for candidate (later vice president) Al Gore. Over the years, perennial Democrat candidate Phelps has engaged in ever more vile activity in support of his twisted theology. No Republican, and no conservative, has ever embraced him as far as I can tell -- indeed, I can find only condemnation of the Phelps and his family.

So now that the Phred Phlelps Phreaks from his "Westboro Baptist Church" (really a cult composed almost exclusively of his family members) has appeared in front of the ritzy private school attended by the Obama girls and other children of privilege outside of Washington, DC, why are there calls from an anchor from MSNBC for conservatives and Republicans to denounce the protests?

The Westboro Baptist Church is telling the Obama daughters that God is their "enemy."

The Kansas-based far-right church known for its outrageous choices of protest venues picketed outside the private school attended by first daughters Sasha and Malia Obama on Monday morning, and in the process got embroiled in an angry war of words with an MSNBC anchor.

* * *

MSNBC anchor David Shuster described Monday's Westboro church protest as "beyond the pale."

"Hopefully, some of the more rational conservatives/Republicans will condemn this stuff today," he wrote on his Twitter account.

Good grief, even the hacks at Raw Story recognize that these folks are not considered acceptable by those of us on the right -- why can't a supposedly responsible journalist like Shuster?

And, of course, moonbats on the Left have jumped on the Shuster bandwagon.

But interestingly enough, there was silence from the Left when mainstream anti-war liberals engaged in precisely such tactics directed against the children of US military personnel invited to the White House. But then again, Code Pink has been doing such things for years without condemnation from liberals, so why should we expect outrage now at the targeting of children by this mainstream liberal group? Why should we expect an Obama shill like David Shuster to condemn such vile protests, even though he expects conservatives and Republicans to condemn the Westboro cult even after years of such condemnations?

And by the way -- I have long condemned Fred Phelps and his wicked anti-Christ family. Nothing has changed since the last time, except, perhaps, that my revulsion for the group continues to deepen.

Posted by: Greg at 12:27 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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November 09, 2009

Just A Reminder – Hasan Not The First

As pointed out by retired Col. Alan West, Nidal Hasan is only the latest home-grown jihadi to attack American troops.

We have seen this before in 2003 when a SGT Hasan of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) threw hand grenades and opened fire into his Commanding Officer’s tent in Kuwait. We have seen the foiled attempt of Albanian Muslims who sought to attack Ft Dix, NJ. Recently we saw a young convert to Islam named Carlos Bledsoe travel to Yemen, receive terrorist training, and return to gun down two US Soldiers at a Little Rock, Arkansas Army recruiting station. We thwarted another Islamic terrorist plot in North Carolina which had US Marine Corps Base, Quantico as a target.
What have we done with all these prevalent trends? Nothing.

And, of course, we could add a great many other terrorist incidents involving Muslims in this country. It wasn’t that long ago that I cataloged several stories that had appeared in the space of 24 hours about newly-convicted jihadis in various parts of the country. A recent investigation spanned the continent from Colorado to New York City, with charges brought against multiple participants. Indeed, we can expect multiple stories each month about would-be terrorists within our country seeking to aid the Islamist cause. Yet somehow, every time, there is a collective expression of shock every time such a story appears, with pious intonations of the P.C. mantra that such individuals are not representative of Islam as a whole and that we must not ask if there is something malignant in Islam that accounts for these cases – even when the perpetrators themselves clearly state that their motivation is their Islamic faith.

Am I saying that all Muslims are terrorists? No, I am not. Am I saying there are no odd ducks in the Christian (or Jewish or Buddhist or . . .) community that act violently and claim a religious justification for their misdeeds? Again, I am not.

But the reality is that there appears to be a higher proportion of such individuals among Muslims, and their propensity towards religiously motivated violence seems to be drawn from the same passages of the Qu’ran and oriented towards the same goal of establishing Islamic supremacy. Doesn’t prudence require that we acknowledge that reality and that our government look more closely at Muslim institutions – whether charities, political organizations, or houses of worship – in attempting to prevent such acts of terror from occurring on our own soil? And does it not require that we investigate more closely those in the Muslim community who have expressed some sympathy with the cause of jihad and those who engage in such religiously motivated violence?

It is now common knowledge that Major Nidal Malik Hasan, like so many of radical Muslims, publicly professed belief in acts of violence against those who Islam defines as infidels. We know that Hasan, like so many radical Muslims, expressed the view that the war on terrorism is in fact a war on Islam. We know that the FBI was aware that Hasan was trying to connect with al-Qaeda. Indeed, there were plenty of signs that Major Hasan was going to “go Muslim” (or, more accurately, “go jihadi”) against his fellow Americans. And yet even now, after the fact, it seems that too many folks in positions of authority would prefer to gloss over that fact and instead express concern for members of the Muslim community rather than the victims of this latest attack and the potential victims of future attacks by radicalised Muslims.

Again, this is not an attack on Muslims as a group. Most are loyal, and the contributions of Muslims in the military and law enforcement are often exemplary. But respect for good Muslims and a desire to embrace the full diversity of our society cannot outweigh the need to provide for security of all. We cannot look away from the problem out of fear of failing to appear “sensitive” enough to a minority religion in our midst. Any other response is nuts.

Posted by: Greg at 12:17 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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When Special Laws Create Unequal Protection Of The Law

No one favors abuse of the elderly. But when the clear purpose of a statute is twisted to provide special protection that would be unavailable for all, we have a serious constitutional issue.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A judge has ordered animal-rights activists to keep their distance from a 75-year-old furrier because state law protects the businessman from elder abuse by shouting profanities.

Horst Grimm, the owner of Nicholas Ungar Furs, won an order Wednesday requiring four anti-fur activists to stay at least 50 feet away from Grimm and 15 feet away from his downtown Portland store.

Attorneys in the case believe it was the first time state laws to protect the elderly have been used to limit free speech.

Clackamas County Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Jones said both sides presented reasonable arguments. But he said the level of profanity that protesters directed at Grimm clearly violated state law.

The Oregon elder-abuse law prohibits using derogatory names, harassment, coercion, threats, cursing, or intimidation that threatens significant physical or emotional harm to elderly or disabled people.

But wait – aren’t such laws designed to protect the elderly from abuse related to their age and dependency? If so, then this law is clearly being misused here to stop social/political protest that is otherwise protected by the First Amendment – and in doing so does violence not only to the free speech provision of the Constitution, but to the very concept of equal protection of the law as well. After all, younger furriers would not be able to avail themselves of protection from similar abusive treatment by protesters out to destroy their businesses.

That is not to say that I side with the harassers. Surely there are other laws that could be applied here – laws against disorderly conduct, stalking, and harassment that are laws of general application. And if there are not, then it is the province of the Oregon legislature to pass such laws, not of the courts to create novel interpretations of existing statutes to solve a problem that those laws were not designed to address.

Posted by: Greg at 12:02 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Chiefs Cut Johnson

Over anti-gay slurs.

The Chiefs released running back Larry Johnson on Monday, his first day back from a two-week suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.
Johnson called out coach Todd Haley two weeks ago in a Twitter post before using a pair of gay slurs on his Twitter profile and, a day later, to a group of reporters. He missed Sunday’s game at Jacksonville, and the suspension cost him about $330,000. He also ended his Chiefs career 74 yards short of the franchise rushing record, set by Priest Holmes.

Now there is plenty of room to argue about whether or not this is the right move for the Kansas City Chiefs organization to make. After all, there are PR and other considerations that go into such a decision, in addition to the on-field issues.

But I’m still mighty disturbed by the decision.

After all, the team and the league were willing to keep him on the payroll when he had earlier issues involving his conduct.

Johnson has been arrested four times since 2003 on various assault charges against women. In 2003, he was arrested for felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor domestic battery for waving a gun at his then-girlfriend, during an argument at his home. The charges were dropped when Johnson agreed to participate in a domestic violence diversion program. In 2005, he was again arrested for assault when a woman accused Johnson of pushing her to the ground, but the case was dropped after the alleged victim failed to appear in court for three different hearings.

His third arrest for assault came on February 24, 2008, after allegedly pushing a woman's head at a nightclub on February 24. On October 10, 2008, Johnson was arrested for the fourth time and charged with one count of non-aggravated assault for allegedly spitting a drink in a woman's face at a Kansas City nightclub on Oct. 11. The woman involved, Ashley Stewart, has since filed a civil suit against Johnson, accusing him of negligence, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

In other words, it is acceptable in the NFL for a player to engage in repeated physical assaults against women – acts which are criminal in nature. On the other hand, the uttering (or typing) of the wrong word will end your career if it offends the wrong political pressure group.

But then again, we already knew that – just ask Rush Limbaugh.

I guess it is all just a matter of priorities.

Posted by: Greg at 11:35 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Just Previewing Paradise?

Some see a contradiction between this report on Ft. Hood murderer Major Nidal Hasan and the picture of the man as a devout Muslim.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan came into the Starz strip club not far from the base at least three times in the past month, the club's general manager, Matthew Jones, told FoxNews.com. Army investigators building their case against Hasan plan to interview Jones soon.

* * *

Hasan's presence at the club paints a starkly different portrait of the alleged killer from that offered by his imam and family members, who have described him as a devout Muslim, and one who had difficulty finding a wife who would wear a head scarf and would pray five times a day.

But is that really at odds with what we know about other devout Muslims who have engaged in acts of jihad against America? I don’t think so. After all, the 9/11 hijackers had a taste for strip clubs and strippers as well.

Call it getting a preview of the promised 72 virgins.

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The Most Recent Watcher's Council Winners

Council Submissions



Non-Council Submissions



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Last Week's Watcher's Council Winners

Winning Council Submissions



Winning Council Submissions



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November 08, 2009

Well, I'm Back

Sometimes one just needs to get away from the grind. This absence wasn't one of those.

Sometimes personal considerations just pile up and take priority. To a degree, that was the case here.

And sometimes you are just too sick to do anything other than the minimum needed to get through one's daily life. That was the major issue here.

After a long fight against a nasty sinus infection whole trying to work, run an election, and deal with my personal life, I finally feel up to sitting in front of a computer and posting something on the internet. So expect some commentary on recent events to trickle out over the next few hours and days as I get my strength back.

Posted by: Greg at 03:44 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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October 29, 2009

Obama Spokesman Gibbs Is Offensively Stupid

Any individual who could make this statement is too stupid to hold any position of responsibility in government.

"I've never seen anything like it," Gibbs said. "I think you get a real sense of gravity when you see the faces of those that are grieving loved ones."

He added: "You can see the genuine anguish in their faces. It's hard not to be overwhelmed by what you're seeing."

Imagine that -- families who have lost their loved ones in an instant are feeling genuine anguish! Now there's a news flash from the white house press flak. And that it took that for Gibbs to get a real sense of the gravity of the issues of life and death that come with committing troops to war is appalling.

I'll tell you what. I've often said that Joe Biden was the biggest proof of Obama's unreadiness for the presidency. I was wrong -- the biggest proof of his incompetence is that Robert Gibbs is still on the White House payroll.

Posted by: Greg at 12:32 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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An Endorsement I’m Glad To See

Cheney backs Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, a longtime acquaintance and supporter of U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, will be in Houston on Nov. 17 to formally endorse her in the race for governor against fellow Republican Gov. Rick Perry.

Hutchison spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said details for the events still are being determined. But she said there will be one public campaign event with Cheney and a closed fundraiser.

I was already a Hutchison backer before this endorsement, but having Vice President Cheney make this endorsement confirms for me that I am supporting the right candidate. We need a serious, thoughtful governor – and Kay will be that for us.

Now if we can only get Cheney elected president in 2012.

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A Hero Returns

Killed in action in 1944.

Returned to his family in 2009.

For two decades after her son's bomber went down in the Pacific Ocean during World War II, Vella Stinson faithfully wrote the U.S. government twice a month to ask if his body had been found — or if anyone was looking.

The mother of six strapping boys went to her grave without the answer that has finally reached her two surviving sons 65 years later: the remains of Sgt. Robert Stinson are coming home.

Military divers recovered two pieces of leg bone from the wreckage of a B-24J Liberator bomber found at the bottom of the ocean off the coast of the island nation of Palau. DNA testing showed the femur fragments belonged to the 24-year-old flight engineer who died in combat on Sept. 1, 1944.

Stinson's remains arrived under U.S. Air Force escort Wednesday and will be buried Friday at Riverside National Cemetery with full military honors. In between, the body will be kept at a mortuary less than 100 yards from the home where Stinson grew up with his brothers.

May Stinson and his fellow crew members rest in peace. A grateful nation honors your sacrifice.

Posted by: Greg at 12:11 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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And Folks Wonder Why Some of Us See Islam As A Problem

Yes, I know that most Muslims are good people. I’ve said that a million times around here. But I can’t help but be struck by the constant appearance of stories like this one that indicate that there is a serious problem with religious/political violence against the civilized world coming out of the religion of Islam FROM WITHIN THE UNITED STATES.

After all, in the last 24 hours I’ve seen the following stories.

It seems like not a week goes by that we don’t have a series of such stories about jihadis among us, ready to do us harm in the name of Islam. And yet some among us still don’t even want to name the source of the problem for fear of hurting feelings or stigmatizing minorities.

But the reality is that that make me wonder – can we afford to allow Islam to continue grow unmolested in our nation? In light of the clear strain of violence and supremacism that has infected too many Muslim communities in America, can we treat Islam like any other religious faith in this country? And in the scariest part of my musings, I fearfully consider at this means for the future of the First Amendment in America and if stopping the jihadis among us in this “sweet land of liberty” will ultimately destroy the very freedoms that they want eradicated.

Posted by: Greg at 12:06 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Will The Left Turn Down The Rhetoric?

After all, they’ve been complaining that conservatives have been fostering a climate of violence with their harsh words about Obama and the Democrats. But it isn’t liberal politicians who are literally under fire – it is a conservative broadcaster and his family who have been the targets of gunfire.

A gunshot was fired at the New Jersey home of CNN's Lou Dobbs after a series of threatening phone calls earlier this month, the host told listeners on his nationally syndicated radio show.

Dobbs, a fervent proponent of U.S. border enforcement, told listeners of "The Lou Dobbs Show" on Monday that the incident is part of an ongoing assault against anyone who opposes amnesty or leniency toward illegal immigrants .

"They've created an atmosphere and they've been unrelenting in their propaganda," Dobbs said in reference to pro-immigration groups like the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the National Council of La Raza and America's Voice. "Three weeks ago this morning, a shot was fired at my house where I live. My wife was standing out and that followed weeks and weeks of threatening phone calls."

Dobbs continued, "But this shot was fired with my wife not, I don't know, 15 feet away, and we had threatening phone calls that I decided not to report because I get threatening phone calls."

Personally, I blame hatemongers on the Left who have spent years demonizing any American who wants secure borders and a coherent immigration policy. Isn’t it time that we haul in Gerry Riviera/Geraldo Rivera for questioning on this? Shouldn’t we hold that hate-speaking faux-journalist morally culpable for the attempted murder of Mrs. Dobbs? The same with all the other folks and groups who have sought to delegitimize honest policy differences on an important political issue, too.

Posted by: Greg at 11:27 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Let’s See Them Try This With Muhammad

There would be riots, fatwas and murder attempts for everyone involved – assuming the show were even allowed to air.

Comedian Larry David is under attack from critics who say he pushed the mocking of religion and Christian belief in miracles over the edge in the latest episode of his HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm," which the cable network defended as "playful."

On the show's most recent installment, which aired Sunday, David urinates on a painting of Jesus Christ, causing a woman to believe the painting depicts Jesus crying.

I suppose there is a bit of humor in the story line, but not much. Indeed, most decent people should be appalled by this attention-grabbing stunt. But let’s be honest about it – there isn’t much chance of David and the rest of those involved facing any consequences for their mocking of Christianity. We don’t riot in response to such things – we might complain, but then we turn the other cheek.

Why not be really edgy, Larry? Wipe your but with a page from the Qu’ran and see what happens. Not only would it be equally edgy and disrespectful of the feelings of religious believers, but it would also present the opportunity for some of us to set up a “Larry David death pool” so we can place wagers on how long it might take offended Muslims to hunt you down and kill you – or whether you might be able to survive for a few years under heavy guard like Salman Rusdie.

Posted by: Greg at 11:16 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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About That Shepard Smith Story

Much has been made about Shepard Smith making an ass of himself with his on-air apology for a report he deemed insufficiently balanced. And I certainly agree that the context shows him to be an ass – and think that Fox ought to suspend or fire him for undeniably unprofessional conduct.

Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith apologized for a "lack of balance" following a political report where the Republican candidate for New Jersey governor was interviewed and the Democratic incumbent wasn't.

Fox correspondent Shannon Bream had wrapped up a live interview with GOP candidate Chris Christie on Smith's afternoon news show Tuesday when the anchor asked, "When will you be interviewing Jon Corzine?"

Bream replied that despite "multiple requests," Corzine hadn't made himself available for an interview.

"I didn't know that was about to happen," Smith then said. "My apologies for the lack of balance there. If I had control, it wouldn't have happened.

Now wait – Bream had done everything a professional reporter is expected to do in that situation. The problem was that one of the candidates couldn’t be bothered to even respond to requests for interviews. That doesn’t mean that you do not do an interview with the candidate who agrees to an interview – the balanced thing to do is to acknowledge that the opponent is dodging interview requests. The only unprofessional conduct I see here is on the part of Shepard Smith.

But I wonder if this might have something to do with the situation – and the failure of the Corzine campaign to respond to interview requests.

One of President Barack Obama’s key political advisers has become the central strategist in New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine’s bruising campaign for re-election, a race the White House desperately wants to win to avert the consequences for its own agenda of a Republican winning in a traditionally Democratic state.

The White House was so concerned about Corzine's chances during the summer that Corzine's aides feared the first-term governor was being pressured to step aside for a stronger candidate. Those fears turned out to be groundless, but were part of the reason Corzine hired Joel Benenson, who has helped impose discipline on a struggling campaign and crystallize Corzine’s aggressive attacks on the character of his Republican opponent, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.

Hmmmmmm….

Let’s see here.

Corzine hires an Obama insider to run his campaign.

Obama and his handlers declared war on Fox News, refused to appear on its programs, and otherwise attempted to delegitimize America’s biggest cable news channel.

The Obama-controlled Corzine ignored interview requests from Fox.

Am I alone here in thinking that these three things might just be connected?

Posted by: Greg at 11:09 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Two More Reasons For US To Quit, Expel, UN

Set aside the fact that the body frequently tries to impose international restrictions on rights protected by the US Constitution – rights like freedom of speech and the right to keep and bear arms.

Set aside the regular anti-Semitism of the organization in its approach to peace in the Middle East and Islamic terrorism.

No, now the UN is investigating housing prices and mortgage foreclosures in the US.

[The UN Human Rights Council] sent its "special rapporteur on adequate housing," Raquel Rolnik, on a whirlwind tour to sniff out these "violations" -- not to say, crimes -- against humanity.

Rolnik launched her US visit last week in the city and is also traveling to places like Chicago, New Orleans and South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
At issue: whether adequate housing is too hard to come by amid the economic downturn.

Set aside the fact that this issue is entirely an internal matter of the US (something the UN supposedly cannot meddle with, according to its charter), this is a body filled with nations ruled by tin-pot dictatorships and others that are impoverished hell-holes. Where do they get off coming here over this? It would be laughable if it were not so offensive.

But then there is this utterly insane perversion of the laws of war and customary international law that is now being directed at the US.

US drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan could be breaking international laws against summary executions, the UN's top investigator of such crimes said.

"The problem with the United States is that it is making an increased use of drones/Predators (which are) particularly prominently used now in relation to Pakistan and Afghanistan," UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions Philip Alston told a press conference.

"My concern is that drones/Predators are being operated in a framework which may well violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law," he said.

It is a long-established part of warfare to target civilian and military leaders. Is this moron really arguing that doing so constitutes an execution, and that the near-surgical precision of American methods constitutes a violation of international law? Perhaps he would prefer, and have his conscience salved by, having the US resort to WWII-style bombing raids like those carried out at Dresden. Or maybe the use of more less precise weapons, perhaps of the variety unleashed against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While my moral sense finds our current methods preferable, I won’t lose any sleep if we return to the days of “kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out” in order to please the UN weenies – after all, we are finding that way too many folks in certain parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan are in sympathy with al-Qaeda and the Taliban to the point of lending them aid and comfort, so I consider them to be legitimate targets (a principle that also applies to Hollywood as well).

As an American, I’m offended by the UN’s involvement in both of these matters, and I think it is high time to spend the money that pays for 25% of the UN’s annual budget and apply it here at home – and give the organization 72 hours to vacate the country.

Posted by: Greg at 11:05 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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October 27, 2009

And Now A Word From The Greatest President Of My Lifetime


H/T RedState/Erick Erickson

I was less than two years old when one man, an actor, gave a speech that galvanized a political movement which was about to go down to electoral defeat. Just two years later, that man would be elected governor of one of our largest states -- a startling outcome that would eventually propel Ronald Reagan into the White House.

On a personal note, Ronald Reagan inspired my early involvement in politics -- and his passing was the direct inspiration for my first blog post. This hero of my youth remains the hero of my mature years.

Remember these words.

This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism…

The whole speech is below the fold. more...

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Good News On Evelyn Meador Library!

Word has reached me that funding for the Evelyn Meador Library here in Seabrook has bee approved.

Three weeks after Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Sylvia Garcia had to tell a disappointed Seabrook crowd that their new library was on hold due to lack of county funds, she had good news for Seabrook readers.

Harris County commissioners Tuesday approved $4.96 million to go toward construction of the new library.

“This action ensures that the estimated $4.96 million needed for construction of the new structure will be in place once the city of Seabrook-funded design portion of the project is completed and approved by the county’s Public Infrastructure Department,’’ Garcia said in a press release announcing that she had succeeded in securing the funding.

Seabrook Mayor Gary Renola said city officials are “ecstatic” about the news.

“This has been a high priority for myself, city council, and the entire community, especially after the library was closed because of Ike,’’ Renola said.

“We are pleased that our persistence for funding paid off. The commissioner has promised us to keep the project on a fast track and provide a schedule for completion,’’ he said. “We look forward to continue to work with the county staff to bring the project to a successful completion.”

Architectural plans for the new, state-of-the-art 20,000-square foot library are 99 percent complete.

The city has already spent $500,000 on the design for the new 20,000-square-foot building, and has another $800,000 in bond money to contribute to the project.

Compliments, of course, to Commissioner Garcia for her work on this project. In addition, I'd like to extend my deepest thanks to County Judge Ed Emmett, who I know has been taking a personal interest in this matter since I helped bring it to his attention recently, and who has been keeping me up to date as the effort to find the funds to rebuild the library has progressed.

Believe it or not, I'm rather at a loss for words at this moment to express my joy. The Evelyn Meador Library is an institution that has been one of the focal points of our community. Its staff have become friends to many of us in town, and its proximity to the local elementary and middle schools has made it a home-away-from-home to so many of our community's children. I've conducted elections in the old building since I first became election judge, and look forward to doing so in the new facility. Indeed, I don't know anyone in town who will not be gratified to see construction begin and the facility open in the near future -- and something that has been sorely missed will have been restored to us on that day.

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A Return To The Gilded Age?

While a natural disaster occurred back in January, Barack Obma held a big Super Bowl party at which his guests feasted on the finest Kobe beef.

Now, as the economy continues to tank, Barack Obama decided to treat his pampered pooch to a birthday meal beyond the means of many of the poorest Americans. According to Michelle Obama,



“We had a really sweet celebration – [Bo] got a doghouse cake made out of veal stuff and he had his brother Cappy come over and we had party hats."

At least she didn’t decide to let them eat cake. But then again, maybe cake wasn’t good enough for the First Four-Legged Friend.

Posted by: Greg at 09:53 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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Barney Frank Says A Mouthful

“Trying on every front to increase the role of government.”

How long will we stand for it?

How long until the American people stand up and demand a return to the limited government prescribed by the Constitution?

Posted by: Greg at 09:34 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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How Much Of A Problem Is It?

Here’s a statistic for you.

Every 10 minutes, a teenager in Texas is getting pregnant, and with the nation's third-highest teen birth rate, Texas stakeholders have announced a "teen pregnancy crisis."

I guess it is no wonder that I started the school year with three mothers among my 60 ninth grade girls, and one more pregnant to the point of bursting. I’m sure that there will be several more pregnancies before the year ends. And the sad thing is that I’ve reached the point where I’m not even surprised by the extent to which teen pregnancy happens among my students.

Posted by: Greg at 09:31 AM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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October 26, 2009

Watcher's Council Results

Here are the most recent winners selected by the Watcher's Council!

Winning Council Submissions



Winning Non-Council Submissions


Project Valour-IT -- TEAM NAVY

I've worked with the annual Soldiers' Angel Project Valour-IT for the last several years, always signing on with Team Navy in honor of my fattehr,a retired Navy officer. This year is no exception, and I'm urging all of you to donate to this worthy cause.

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For those of you unfamiliar with the program, let me share some information about this program:

Every cent raised for Project Valour-IT goes directly to the purchase and shipment of laptops and other technology for severely wounded service members. As of October 2009, Valour-IT has distributed over 4100 laptops to severely wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines across the country, and is now expanding its mission to include other technology that supports physical and psychological recovery.




Valour-IT accepts donations in any amount to support our mission, but also offers a sponsorship option for laptops.  An individual or organization may sponsor a wounded soldier by completely funding the cost of a laptop and continuing to provide that soldier with personal support and encouragement throughout recovery. This has proved to be an excellent project for churches, groups of coworkers or friends, and members of community organizations such Boy Scouts.



Originally Valour-IT provided the voice-controlled software that accompanies the laptops, but now works closely with the Department of Defense Computer/electronic Accommodations Program (CAP): CAP supplies the adaptive software and Valour-IT provides the laptop.  In addition, DoD caseworkers serve as Valour-IT’s “eyes and ears” at several medical centers, identifying patients in need of laptops and other technological support for their recovery.  Wounded military personnel can also directly request a laptop through the sign-up form or through the Valour-IT/Soldiers' Angels representatives at the following medical centers, and other veterans health care facilities across the country:

* Balboa Naval Hospital


* Brooke Army Medical Center


* Madigan Regional Medical Center


* National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda Naval Hospital)


* Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton


* Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital (29 Palms)


* Walter Reed Army Medical Center



For the love of the heroes who have spilled their blood for us, give as best you are able.

Posted by: Greg at 04:58 PM | Comments (14) | Add Comment
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And To Think The Average Income Of American Families Dropped By 3.6%

Meaning that the average American has to make due with less.

But the average federal bureaucrat sure won't.

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Got that, DISCRETIONARY spending is INCREASING by more than twice the rate that your income is falling. And that does not include the required increases in entitlement programs (read that money you've earned that Congress has decided someone other than you is automatically entitled to), which will be going up between 10% and 25%, depending upon the program. Add in "stimulus" funding and the average federal agency saw a 57% increase in funding while your wages dropped. And that doesn't even include the new health care boondoggle that will see the Democrats grabbing for even more of your hard-earned dollars.

Maybe you should HOPE that Obama lets you keep a little bit of spare CHANGE by the time he and his followers are done sacking the economy like the barbarians sacked Rome.

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Posted by: Greg at 04:48 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
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