November 24, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 11/24/2008

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Secretary of Bailouts - Barack Obama's widely leaked selection of Timothy Geithner as his Treasury Secretary is certainly a sign of the financial times: About Mr. Geithner's views on taxes and economics, the world knows very little. His specialty at the Clinton Treasury and as President of the New York Federal Reserve has been negotiating bailouts and otherwise navigating through financial panics. (READ MORE)

Jindal's Medicine - Bobby Jindal, Louisiana's prodigy Governor, has been arguing lately that only policy innovators will break a path out of the GOP's political wilderness -- and he is leading by example. Mr. Jindal recently announced a major renovation of the way his state provides health coverage to the poor and uninsured, thus taking up a topic for which most Republicans require a shot of epinephrine just to pay attention. (READ MORE)

The Sidwell Choice - Michelle and Barack Obama have settled on a Washington, D.C., school for their daughters, and you will not be surprised to learn it is not a public institution. Malia, age 10, and seven-year-old Sasha will attend the Sidwell Friends School, the private academy that educates the children of much of Washington's elite. (READ MORE)

Clinton campaign continued after backing Obama - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's team has told the Federal Election Commission that she continued her campaign even after endorsing Democratic presidential rival Barack Obama on June 7, a claim that lets her transfer millions of dollars from her presidential bid to her Senate campaign. (READ MORE)

U.S. auto industry closing great divide in quality, wages - U.S. automakers have made major progress in recent years closing both the labor-cost gap and the quality gap with foreign companies manufacturing autos in the United States. (READ MORE)

U.S. takes N. Korea's word on nuclear pact - Current and former U.S. officials say the Bush administration has put unprecedented trust in North Korea's regime - a charter member of its "axis of evil" - and accepted verbal agreements that Pyongyang now disputes, with potentially unsettling implications for arms control. (READ MORE)

Military rift with Pakistan hurts war - Two senior U.S. military officials say the U.S.-led war on terror is facing challenges in part because Pakistan's young military officers don't have the same relationship with their U.S. counterparts that their predecessors had. (READ MORE)

Obama to announce economic team - President-elect Barack Obama will announce Monday his economic team and formally name Tim Geithner as his Treasury Secretary, and a top adviser Sunday outlined the Democrat's philosophy for working with the Cabinet. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Christopher Wood: The Fed Is Out of Ammunition - With an estimated $4 trillion in housing wealth and $9 trillion in stock-market wealth destroyed so far in the United States, there is little doubt that we are witnessing a classic debt-deflation bust at work, characterized by falling prices, frozen credit markets and plummeting asset values. Those who want to understand the mechanism might ponder Irving Fisher's comment in 1933: When it comes to booms gone bust, "over-investment and over-speculation are often important; but they would have far less serious results were they not conducted with borrowed money." The growing risk of falling prices raises a challenge for one of the conventional wisdoms of the modern economics profession, and indeed modern central banking: the belief that it is impossible to have deflation in a fiat paper-money system. Yet U.S. core CPI fell by 0.1% month-on-month in October, the first such decline since December 1982. (READ MORE)

Mary Anastasia O'Grady: Election Fraud in Nicaragua - Every crisis presents opportunity. That seems to be the thinking of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who is trying to steal an election while much of the world is focused on the financial upheaval threatening the global economy. On Nov. 9, Nicaragua held municipal elections in 146 cities and towns. For such a tiny country these races are big, because mayors have a great deal of autonomy and can act as a check on central government power. But this round of balloting was even more important than usual. Consolidating Marxist power in Nicaragua is a prime goal of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Mr. Ortega is supposed to carry out the plan. If he fails it will be another setback for the hard-left's 30-year dream of establishing a communist foothold in Central America. Mr. Ortega ruled the country from 1979-1990 as a Sandinista dictator. (READ MORE)

L. Gordon Crovitz: When Even Good News Worsens a Panic - From the start of the credit crisis, panic has been caused by what we didn't know. What happens if a Lehman Brothers is allowed to fail? What happens if toxic mortgage-backed securities are bought through a government bailout? Then, what happens if the Treasury decides not to bail the banks out of these bad debts? So it should have been reassuring that one of the most nerve-racking of the unknowns turned out to be benign. We now know that we should not have feared huge losses in the multitrillion-dollar, unregulated market for esoteric instruments called credit default swaps. Transactions in this market have been orderly, and the losses have been modest. Instead of cheering this happy news and reassuring investors, Washington last week pilloried these swaps and set out to regulate or even ban them. Bankers know this puts at risk one of the few remaining smoothly functioning parts of the credit market. (READ MORE)

Brian T. Kennedy: What a Single Nuclear Warhead Could Do - As severe as the global financial crisis now is, it does not pose an existential threat to the U.S. Through fits and starts we will sort out the best way to revive the country's economic engine. Mistakes can be tolerated, however painful. The same may not be true with matters of national security. Although President George W. Bush has accomplished more in the way of missile defense than his predecessors -- including Ronald Reagan -- he will leave office with only a rudimentary system designed to stop a handful of North Korean missiles launched at our West Coast. Barack Obama will become commander in chief of a country essentially undefended against Russian, Chinese, Iranian or ship-launched terrorist missiles. This is not acceptable. The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have proven how vulnerable we are. On that day, Islamic terrorists flew planes into our buildings. It is not unreasonable to believe that if they obtain nuclear weapons: (READ MORE)

Terry M. Moe: Change Our Public Schools Need - Can Barack Obama bring change to American education? The answer is: Yes he can. The question, however, is whether he actually will. Our president-elect has the potential to be an extraordinary leader, and that's why I've supported him since the beginning of his campaign. But on public education, he and the Democrats are faced with a dilemma that has boxed in the party for decades. Democrats are fervent supporters of public education, and the party genuinely wants to help disadvantaged kids stuck in bad schools. But it resists bold action. It is immobilized. Impotent. The explanation lies in its longstanding alliance with the teachers' unions -- which, with more than three million members, tons of money and legions of activists, are among the most powerful groups in American politics. The Democrats benefit enormously from all this firepower, and they know what they need to do to keep it. They need to stay inside the box. (READ MORE)

Kenneth Roe: Bush Does the Right Thing for Darfur - Human Rights Watch rarely lauds the Bush administration. But when it comes to supporting international efforts to prosecute Sudanese leaders for their slaughter in Darfur, the administration so far has it right. The International Criminal Court's prosecutor is seeking an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for the atrocities he allegedly directed in Darfur. Sudan's government is trying to convince the United Nations Security Council to suspend the prosecution. On the one hand, Khartoum has launched a charm offensive, announcing on Nov. 12 yet another cease-fire and peace initiative. On the other hand, it is subtly threatening violence against civilians, peacekeepers and humanitarian workers should prosecution proceed. Backing Sudan are Libya and China, as well as South Africa -- whose concept of African solidarity tends to favor African persecutors over their African victims. (READ MORE)

Burt Prelutsky: Thank You, Andrew Carnegie - I was about 11 years old when I first fell love with a public library. Up until then, I had certainly been aware that they existed, even apart from the small one at my school, but they had nothing to do with me. At that tender age, however, I happened to read John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” and that literally changed my life. From that point on, I was never to see one of those little brick buildings without experiencing a sense of wonder and amazement. Say what you will about the human race, any species that can come up with something as magnificent as the library isn’t totally worthless. There are very few things, and none that come readily to mind, that compare to them. Artichokes are pretty good, but they’re a heck of a lot of work. Sunsets are nice, but they’re unreliable. Puppies are cute, but they make a mess. But, where public libraries are concerned, there’s simply no downside. (READ MORE)

William Rusher: Beware of the 'Fairness Doctrine' - There are ominous signs that certain forces on the left are gearing up for a new attempt to impose a "fairness doctrine" on American television and radio commentary. Incredible as it may sound in retrospect, there actually was a so-called "Fairness Doctrine" in force in the United States from 1949 to 1987. Its ostensible purpose was to compel radio and TV stations to broadcast statements of opinion that "balanced" those being expressed voluntarily. Since a substantial majority of the statements being broadcast voluntarily were more or less conservative, the effect was to force broadcasters to air comparable programs expressing liberal sentiments. If that strikes you as a violation of the First Amendment, go to the head of the class. It is, of course, exactly that -- as Congress recognized in 1987, when it eliminated it. (READ MORE)

Dinesh D'Souza: When Science Points To God - Contemporary atheism marches behind the banner of science. It is perhaps no surprise that several leading atheists—from biologist Richard Dawkins to cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker to physicist Victor Stenger—are also leading scientists. The central argument of these scientific atheists is that modern science has refuted traditional religious conceptions of a divine creator. But of late atheism seems to be losing its scientific confidence. One sign of this is the public advertisements that are appearing in billboards from London to Washington DC. Dawkins helped pay for a London campaign to put signs on city buses saying, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Humanist groups in America have launched a similar campaign in the nation’s capital. “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness sake.” And in Colorado atheists are sporting billboards apparently inspired by John Lennon: “Imagine…no religion.” (READ MORE)

John Andrews: Thanks, America - We are the grateful Americans. We counted our blessings today, some of us in church or in prayer, some on the job or war patrol or a golf course, even some hospitalized or serving time, others just at home with the paper. Or we tried to; the list is long. Sure, we have our share of troubles, some obvious and others carried secretly. But we don’t take today for granted. Remembering those who will never see another sunrise, who gave or lost or wore out their lives to make ours possible, we live in the attitude of gratitude. To us it’s an obligation. We are the grateful Americans. We’re not showy about it; that’s not our way. We’ll dive in on the three F’s of Thanksgiving Day, family, feasting, and football, with the best of them. But the meaning of this season of thanks will be on our minds. The only “made in America” sacred day of the year won’t be lost on us. (READ MORE)

Mike S. Adams: Benton Out of Shape on Proposition Eight - Pepperdine University President Andrew Benton recently interjected himself into a controversy concerning a commercial in support of California Proposition 8. His ostensible purpose in doing so was to quell a wave of outrage from radical gay activists in California. If anything, his actions will embolden those who prefer intellectual terrorism over civil political discourse as a means of shaping public policy. His actions will also further diminish the reputation of Pepperdine as a conservative Christian university. The controversy began when Law Professor Richard Peterson appeared in the following television ad: President Benton responded with the following: (READ MORE)

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann: Hillary Nomination Would Be An Obama-Nation - It is still hard to believe but, if Hillary Clinton's "confidantes" are to be trusted, Barack Obama is about to appoint her secretary of state and she is about to accept. This appointment represents the capstone of betrayal of Obama's promise to be the "change we can believe in." Having upended the Democratic Party, largely over his different views on foreign policy and the war in Iraq, he now turns to the leader of the ancient regime he ousted, derided, mocked and criticized to take over the top international-affairs position in his administration. No longer, apparently, does he distrust Hillary's "judgment," as he did during the debates when he denounced her vote on the Iraq War resolution. Now, all is forgiven. After all, Obama's election, the only change he apparently truly believed in, is a fait accompli. (READ MORE)

George Will: On a Rare '08 Conservative Victory - WASHINGTON -- Of conservatives' few victories this year, the most cherished came when the Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller, held for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms. Now, however, a distinguished conservative jurist argues that the court's ruling was mistaken and had the principal flaws of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 abortion ruling that conservatives execrate as judicial overreaching. Both rulings, says J. Harvie Wilkinson, suddenly recognized a judicially enforceable right grounded in "an ambiguous constitutional text." Writing for the Virginia Law Review, Judge Wilkinson of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says Heller, like Roe, was disrespectful of legislative judgments, has hurled courts into a political thicket of fine-tuning policy in interminable litigation, and traduced federalism. (READ MORE)

Ken Connor: But Regulation IS a Good Thing - "Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:31 NIV) Henry Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury and Chief Architect of the Wall Street Bailout, is dazed and confused. At least, that's the conclusion one can't help but arrive at after reading the recent two part story on him run by the Washington Post. The Post portrays Paulson as flip-flopping on his previous economic beliefs and making it up as he goes, all while aggregating an immense amount of power. Apparently many of Paulson's former colleagues are shocked by his quick reversal from a hard-nosed advocate of deregulation to a proponent of massive government intervention. One hedge fund manager mused, "What happened to the Hank Paulson we knew?" What will be the outcome of Paulson's efforts to inject massive governmental involvement in the financial markets? Even he doesn't claim to know. But one thing is clear: (READ MORE)

Steve Chapman: 'Socialism' Is Not the Problem - Something about Barack Obama has a way of driving some conservatives completely batty. John McCain detected something "a lot like socialism" in his tax plan. Veteran conservative media critic L. Brent Bozell has no doubt the new president will "deliver socialism." But the prize goes to Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., who says "we've elected a Marxist" who may create an American Gestapo. In the radioactive atmosphere of modern partisan politics, no one puts much value on verbal precision. So it's safe to say that over the next four years, the 44th president will come to think his name is Socialist Obama, as critics on the right abandon analysis in favor of invective. That is a mistake -- as McCain's losing campaign confirms. Accusing Obama of socialism is unwise for three reasons: 1) It's not true, and 2) it makes the accuser sound like an idiot, and 3) it distracts from Obama's true inclinations, which are worrisome enough. (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Wounded Heros Reunite After 18 Long Years - His parents had divorced when he was young and over the years he had lost touch with his father, Emanuel “Manny” Herrera. I introduced our readers to SSG. Emanual “Manny” Herrera, when I shared his story back in June of this year. I had met Manny in San Antonio and felt that he had a very compelling story that our readers would like to know about. On Tuesday, SPC Herrera finally to realize his dream of finding his father and making up for lost time, when they exchanged their Purple Hearts in a very rare and very personal ceremony. The ceremony was their way of reconnecting and preserving that special bond between fathers and son. A bond that they swear will never be broken again. It was a start for them to be able to make up for all the special times over the past 18 years that they have missed. (READ MORE)

American Ranger: Remembering John F. Kennedy - On November 22, 1963, I was in a ninth grade English class at Robert E. Lee Junior High School in Orlando, Florida. Suddenly, the principal came over the loudspeaker to announce that President John F. Kennedy had been shot. The school broadcast live news reports over the intercom until the fateful words were announced that our president had died. Students and teachers cried while some of us wondered if this had been a Soviet conspiracy and whether or not war was in the offing. We left our classrooms and gathered by the old Civil War cannon next to the school flagpole while the principal tried to calm a bunch of distraught kids. I can’t remember what he said, only that he was re-assuring to a generation of children who had become enchanted by JFK and his family. (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Go West, Young Man - I don't believe anybody has yet noted that President-Erect Barack H. Obama, by choosing (as it now seems clear) Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as his Secretary of Homeland Security (!) and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as his Secretary of Commerce, has opened the door a crack for Republicans in those states. Both governors are very popular... and both states are up for grabs. It's not like selecting Joe Biden as running mate; there was never any danger that Biden's Senate seat would end up being filled by a Republican. But both Arizona and New Mexico are battleground states, up for grabs in the 2012 presidential election. Arizona voted for John S. McCain in the election, of course; but that's hardly surprising, with a favorite son running. However, it was a disturbingly close: 52.5% for McCain to 45.1% for Obama, a margin of 7.4%. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: To be or not to be - Question: what do Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Barack Obama and Osama Bin Laden have in common? Answer: Pakistan. Hillary Clinton is rumored to be a top contender for the next Secretary of State. Chris Cilliza at the Fix rounds up the rumors. A New York Times story suggesting that she has decided to accept the offer and cryptic non-denials from the Obama camp are fueling the fire. As Secretary of State, one of Hillary Clinton’s top priorities will be what to do with Pakistan, which Barack Obama characterized, along with Afghanistan, as being “the central front of terrorism”. One proxy indicator for Hillary’s thinking on Pakistan are the views of Madeleine Albright who gets a headache just contemplating it. Albright recently expostulated, “Pakistan. Pakistan has everything that gives you an international migraine." (READ MORE)

Blue Star Chronicles: Obama Votes “Present” on Auto Industry Bailout - Even though he is the President-elect, Barack Obama has remained silent on the issue of government bailouts. He has particularly not had much to say about the auto industry bailout. As we all know, Barack Obama generally has voted the non-committal ‘present’ for votes he has had to make in the positions in the Illinois and the United States Senates. We had thought that as President, he would not be able to vote ‘present’ as being President does require one to make a decision periodically, even if the decision is controversial. Now various American industries going to the government with their hats in their hands asking for tax payer money to bail them out of their financial troubles. You probably remember that during the presidential campaign, when financial institutions threatened to collapse without a bailout from the government, McCain went to his job as a Senator and got right in the middle of the mess. Obama avoided it like the plague and only went to Washington when President Bush called him personally and told him that he really needed to participate in the talks. (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: Mitch McConnell - Another Clueless Tool in the GOP - I am so sick and tired of these "long-term" GOP Congressmen who shaft the party and then point fingers at everyone else when the election losses mount. Seems Sen Mitch McConnell didn't learn a damn thing from this recent election.... “‘Our members, in one way, are kind of relieved by the departure of an administration that became unpopular and made it very difficult for us to compete,’ Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill.” No Mitch - what made it difficult for "you" to compete was your obvious lack of spine and your falling on your knees to kiss the asses of the other party. Where were your outraged statements when your fellow congress critters across the aisle took a dump on the President? (READ MORE)

Bill Whittle: TRAINING DAY - In which a lunatic has an aneurism over apparently nothing. Next April, I’m going to turn fifty. I’ll be fifty years old. Good lord. Somehow, I’ve managed to get this far without working in a large corporate office. So today I got my first taste of a world that most of you are already much more familiar with than I am: the world of modern American big business. So what lit me up like a Fourth of July skyrocket was something that seemed to mean nothing at all to the other 23 people in the room, because today, for the first time, I had to attend a mandatory sexual harassment training course. Now, before I get up a really good head of steam and a decent running start, let me say a few things. First of all, I work for a great company, full of creative and terrific people, and, by some miracle of chance, not a one of them are stupid, boorish, authoritarian or in any way less than smart, well-meaning people. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Still in bed with Barack - Note how the New York Times glosses over the mismanagement of 2 public housing projects by a key member of President Obama’s team. If anyone thought that the press’ glossing over of the Friends of Barack ended once the election was over, think again. From the people who passed over the race-baiting, anti-American sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who dismissed Bill Ayers as an old hippie and who ignored the trial of Tony Rezko comes Clean Up on Aisle Obama II, comes a profile of another slumlord FOB. Today’s episode centers on the puff piece the New York Times published on Valerie Jarrett, the money man for Obama. She headed Habitat Co. The New York Times version: (READ MORE)

Hamilton, Madison, and Jay: "Reasonable regulation" of speech on the Internet? So says Eric Holder - According to a video uncovered recently, it appears that yet another member (prospective member) of the incoming Obama administration is ignorant when it comes to the law, especially the Constitution. From Newsbusters: In April 1999, the Columbine High School massacre happened. The shooters, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, reportedly learned how to construct sophisticated bombs through their Internet activity. This discovery caused then deputy attorney general Eric Holder to say the following (audio uploaded at The court has really struck down every government effort to try to regulate it. We tried with regard to pornography. It is gonna be a difficult thing, but it seems to me that if we can come up with reasonable restrictions, reasonable regulations in how people interact on the Internet, that is something that the Supreme Court and the courts ought to favorably look at. - May 28, 1999 NPR Morning Edition (READ MORE)

Heading Right: Will Obama Pursue A Centrist Agenda? - The fear that many conservatives had that a Barack Obama presidency might result in an extreme tilt to the left in this country may have been temporarily assuaged by conditions on the ground. The landscape of this nation has changed greatly over the last several months as an economic meltdown has crippled Wall Street and threatened to throw us into a malaise that has not been seen since the 1930s. It’s amazing that one can campaign on an agenda so sweeping that the very fabric of a country might be forever changed by it, then be forced to completely overhaul that ideology based on reality. It’s happened before. When President George W. Bush took office, he went in with a domestic agenda that included tax cuts, improving education by requiring accountability, and Social Security and Medicare reform. That all changed on September 11, 2001, when our nation was attacked and Bush was forced to become a wartime president. (READ MORE)

Quid Nimis: Put your tongue back in, David - "Believe me, I’m trying not to join in the vast, heaving O-phoria now sweeping the coastal haute bourgeoisie. But the personnel decisions have been superb. The events of the past two weeks should be reassuring to anybody who feared that Obama would veer to the left or would suffer self-inflicted wounds because of his inexperience. He’s off to a start that nearly justifies the hype." That was the end paragraph of a very breathless column by David Brooks. One would normally have to stand in line for the midnight opening of "Twilight" to get this kind of deep, reasoned assessment of the Obama transition team. I can't believe he wrote, like it's a good thing, this: "Most of all, they are picking Washington insiders. Or to be more precise, they are picking the best of the Washington insiders. Obama seems to have dispensed with the romantic and failed notion that you need inexperienced 'fresh faces' to change things." (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Here comes the WPA - Yesterday, Barack Obama’s surrogates fanned out across the talking-head shows to promote Barack Obama’s new jobs program. Obama promises to create 2.5 million jobs in the next two years through government stimulus packages and heavy reliance on public-works programs. Many, like the Washington Post, compare his vision to that of FDR — without pointing out that FDR’s programs failed: “The campaign did not release an estimate of the number of jobs that his latest proposal would create. But congressional aides who have been involved in developing stimulus proposals said that any plan to create 2.5 million jobs is likely to be significantly larger — probably well over $200 billion, or between 1 and 2 percent of the gross domestic product. Such a plan would be bold by historic standards. President Bill Clinton, facing a weak economy when he took office in 1993, proposed a $16 billion stimulus package, which was blocked in the Senate. Obama’s proposal would be an order of magnitude larger, even when adjusted for the larger size of today’s economy.” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Hard Times For Lefty Peaceniks - Tragic irony alert. They hated Hill because she hearted the invasion of Iraq, and only turned against it in a naked bid to become president. They even bared their venerable breasts at her in their rage. They loved Obama because he was pure. He always hated the Iraq war, even before anyone cared what he thought. It was going to be a shining city on a hill, where AmeriKKKa would be Goddamned and humiliated in the world. Surrenderpalooza. But the standard bearer of change … has changed. How long now before the Change-Hoper is confronted with the breasts of wrath? UK Telegraph reads the lefty blogs so we don’t have to: “Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos site, the in-house talking shop for the anti-war Left, warned that Democrats risk sounding ‘tone deaf’ to the views of ‘the American electorate that voted in overwhelming numbers for change from the discredited Bush policies.’” (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: NBC’s failed sweeps stunt: The snowjob of Kilimanjaro - Let’s start your Monday morning off with a triple-snort. It was ratings sweeps week last week and NBC’s Today Show decided to dispatch its celebrity journalists to all the corners of the Earth to show us that the planet’s melting and it’s all our fault. Ann Curry must have drawn the short straw because NBC decided to send the 52-year-old Today Show anchor — an inexperienced climber with less than three weeks to prepare — to race to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in time for a dramatic, end-of-the-week ascent. Why Kilimanjaro? It’s the pet cause of Al Gore and his alarmist acolytes who blame humans for purportedly retreating snow caps there. The inconvenient truth is, as University of Washington climate scientist Philip Mote, put it: “Kilimanjaro is a grossly overused mis-example of the effects of climate change.” But that wouldn’t have reeled in sensationalism-seeking viewers for sweeps week. (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: Missions, and that - In time of armed conflict, the mission of the infantry is to close with the enemy by means of fire and maneuver in order to destroy, capture, or repel their assault by fire, close combat, and counterattack. Armor seeks to close with and destroy the enemy using fire, maneuver, and shock effect. Army aviation is designed to find, fix, and destroy the enemy through fire and maneuver; and to provide combat, combat service and combat service support in coordinated operations as an integral member of the combined arms team. Artillery seeks to destroy, neutralize or suppress the enemy by cannon, rocket and missile fire, ensuring the integration of all supporting fires in combined arms operations. All at the behest of our political masters, who - in theory at least - derive their power from the consent of the governed. But after the combined arms work is done, someone has to pick up the pieces and put them back together in a rational way. Breaking stuff is relatively easy. Re-assembing it is hard. (READ MORE)

The Redhunter: Creeping Sharia Update - Time for another update on how we're slowly losing our civilization to the jihad. Losing? To the jihad? Impossible, you say? Yes, we can lose. Let us not think that what we have will or can last forever. Our bombs and bullets are important, and surely we must win in Iraq and Afghanistan. But let's all be clear that our Muslim extremist enemies aren't simplistic enough to just come at us with their own bombs and bullets. Strykers with cage armor will help us win on foreign battlefields, but here at home we must open our eyes to what is going on around us, be strong enough to withstand the forces of political correctness when they try and denigrate us. On with it, then. (READ MORE)

ROFASix: Stopping the Somalian Pirates - We can all sleep better in our beds at night now that the UN Security Council has unanimously adopted resolution 1844 aimed at the the Somalian pirates who have been seizing ships around the Horn of Africa. However, the sailors who travel that section of the seas can't sleep any better. They know, as do the pirates, what a joke this is. It is just one more example of what a pitifully useless organization the UN has become. How does one stop the pirates? Well, if you are a typical politically correct leftist government in the West I suspect you are going to want to talk to them first. It will only take a short while to realize that in the disorder of the present Somalian anarchy you have to speak to every clan and tribe - there is no one voice. So next, you start paying them all off to not seize ships flying your flag. (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: The Fruits of Hatred - In today's New York Times appears a lengthy article which attempts to matter-of-factly describe life in Lebanon for the followers of Hezbollah. The author cannot help using a positive tone to describe what Hezbollah has accomplished in Lebanon: “Hezbollah Seeks to Marshal the Piety of the Young - At a time of religious revival across the Islamic world, intense piety among the young is nothing unusual. But in Lebanon, Hezbollah — the name means the party of God — has marshaled these ambient energies for a highly political project: educating a younger generation to continue its military struggle against Israel. Hezbollah’s battlefield resilience has made it a model for other militant groups across the Middle East, including Hamas. And that success is due, in no small measure, to the party’s extraordinarily comprehensive array of religion-themed youth and recruitment programs.” You must dig deep into Hezbollah's theology to understand that their "military struggle against Israel" should be more properly described as an entire religion organized around a paranoid delusional system. (READ MORE)

UrbanGrounds: Liberalism — Where Nobody Has the Right to Succeed. Or to Fail. - Michelle Malkin reports that our government has decided to spend even more of OUR money (remember, the government doesn’t have any money of it’s own…ALL of their money comes out of our pockets) to bail out another failed business. This time it’s Citicorp. A bailout to the tune of somewhere in the neighborhood of ~$325 billion. It’s a really nice neighborhood… I’ve made the point before — but the goal of the current brand of liberal/progressive anti-free market economics that is gripping our country and our economy is to ensure that nobody has the right to succeed. Or to fail. And frankly, some businesses — no matter how big or how long they’ve been around — deserve to fail. Like the Big 3 automakers. If anybody had earned the right to fail, they have. If you believe that bad businesses should be allowed to fail (so that better businesses can fill their void), don’t just sit there: (READ MORE)

DJ Drummond: Setting the Bar - For the last seven plus years, democrats have refused to give President Bush credit for any of his work. Keep the nation safe from a follow-up to 9-11? Coincidence. Establish a democracy in the heart of the Middle East, and in so doing place a physical check to the aggression of Iran's Islamic radicals and take out one of the more disgusting dictators of our time? Blame him for every death as if War is normally fought without cost or pain, and ignore the clear evidence and decisions which authorized the war. Democrats have blamed Bush for things he might have done better, along with things he could never have done better and for which no prior President was blamed, and yet they consistently refuse to grant credit for any of the many accomplishments during Bush's terms. Democrats have paid no attention to Bush's unprecedented work in fighting AIDS and Malaria, and in developing African countries' infrastructure. (READ MORE)

Information Dissemination: It Has Been Suggested They Are Expendable - In one of several Q&A periods with Cmdr. Don Gabrielson of USS Freedom (LCS 1), Cmdr. Gabrielson mentioned that one of the first things he intends to do when he gets to Norfolk is to open up the ship so that the fleet can come aboard and see the new ship. I thought this was very smart, it reminded me of several stories I heard regarding the USCGC Bertholf (WMSL 750) when it came up to the northeast and visited Baltimore, among other ports, and allowed Congress to get a good look inside that ship. It was noteworthy how many Congressman bit their upper lip and swallowed their tongues regarding criticism of the cutter after visiting the ship. The reason is simple, when one has a lot of questions and opinions, seeing for yourself is important. The phrase is "Seeing is Believing" or something similar. I don't believe every critic of LCS who takes a tour will stop being a critic, but I do think that the ship will soften anyone who does visit the ship. (READ MORE)

The Tygrrrr Express: The stock market will be fine - The stock market will be fine. Say that to yourself one million times until you believe it. Believe it because it is the truth. The stock market has gotten rocked in the last few weeks, and yes, we have recently experienced the “Obama crash.” Now I know people will point out that since Obama has not been sworn in yet, he bears zero responsibility for recent downturns. This is false. For the sake of full disclosure, I have been buying stocks as aggressively as possible with the disposable income I have. I believe the fire sale prices are a bargain hunter’s dream. Before getting into the future, I want to offer a very cynical and destructive argument that I personally do not believe in. Let me reemphasize that point so those on the enraged left do not think I am accusing the President Elect of treason. (READ MORE)

J. D. Pendry: The evolution of liberalism… - I just returned from a two-week trip to Korea. My jets are still lagging, which might explain why I was wide-awake at 0300. If my jet lag runs its typical course, I should be sleeping soundly somewhere mid-sermon. Korea is an interesting place and an interesting lesson. My history there goes back to 1972 when I was an Army Private in I Corps stationed at Camp Red Cloud in Uijongbu, Korea. Uijongbu is just down the road a piece from communist North Korea and the world’s most heavily fortified and defended border along the 38th latitudinal parallel north, which if your curious about such things also passes through Wild Wonderful West Virginia where I sit this early Sunday morning. Although today’s average public school product probably could not tell you this, the Korean War never ended officially. There exists only a cease-fire. (READ MORE)

Victor Davis Hanson: Ten Random, Politically Incorrect Thoughts - 1. Four years of high-school Latin would dramatically arrest the decline in American education. In particular, such instruction would do more for minority youths than all the ‘role model’ diversity sermons on Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, Montezuma, and Caesar Chavez put together. Nothing so enriches the vocabulary, so instructs about English grammar and syntax, so creates a discipline of the mind, an elegance of expression, and serves as a gateway to the thinking and values of Western civilization as mastery of a page of Virgil or Livy (except perhaps Sophocles’s Antigone in Greek or Thucydides’ dialogue at Melos). After some 20 years of teaching mostly minority youth Greek, Latin, and ancient history and literature in translation (1984-2004), I came to the unfortunate conclusion that ethnic studies, women studies—indeed, anything “studies”— were perhaps the fruits of some evil plot dreamed up by illiberal white separatists to ensure that poor minority students in the public schools and universities were offered only a third-rate education. (READ MORE)

Classical Values: The Government IS The Devil - I'm having a conversation with one of my social conservative friends about marriage and child welfare. This is what I had to say: The government IS the Devil. Not metaphorically. Really. Everything you get from government will have a price much larger than the value of the object gained. Some times the price will not be extracted from you. Sometimes it will be from your children, your grand children, or ten generations hence. But the full price the government wants will be extracted at compound interest. We are still paying the price for trying to be a free people while holding slaves. My great great grand parents lived on another continent when all that went on. And yet the price is being extracted from me. (READ MORE)

Have an interesting post or know of a "must read?" Then send a trackback here and let us all know about it. Or you can send me an email with a link to the post and I'll update the Recon.

No comments: