June 3, 2009

Web Reconnaissance for 06/03/2009

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

Blackfive: Private William Long's Father in Interview with Little Rock's KATV - This is difficult to watch, but you should listen to Daris Long, former Marine and father of Private William Long who was killed taking a break outside of a Little Rock recruiting center. It's important. It's about our family. From KATV in Little Rock: If the private's father is any indication, young William was probably one helluva soldier already. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Long family, and with the family of wounded soldier Private Quinton Ezeagwula. Godspeed, Private William Long. (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: The Fighter Gap - Not getting better: “The Navy’s top officer defended the service’s request to reduce this year’s planned buy of F/A-18 Super Hornet strike fighters as a budgeting decision, and proclaimed his support for the plane’s successor.[...]The service’s decision to ask for nine fewer F/A-18s than called for last year was a result of multiple requirements. ‘We are stretched in our obligations to meet our demands,’ Roughead said.” The “fighter gap” refers to a deficiency in total fighter end-strength as legacy FA-18 Hornets reach the end of their service lives, and before the F-35 Lightning II can be deployed in reasonable numbers. With 11 carriers and a shortfall of up to a hundred strike fighters (or more), Navy could end up with either much fewer than the current load-out of 44 strikers per carrier, or - and this must seem an intriguing option for the cash-strapped service - fewer carriers to employ a diminished pool of assets. (READ MORE)

Guy Kawasaki: 24 Hours at Sea on the USS Nimitz - On Friday, May 29, 2009, fourteen bloggers and “distinguished visitors” served a twenty-four hour tour of duty on the USS Nimitz. The following 140 or so pictures and videos document this visit. This is a very long blog posts as blog posts go, and I know there are ways to create slideshows or other forms of clickable displays. I’ve done it this way for three reasons: A carrier is a very complex beast, and we saw a lot of stuff. Clicking through slideshows is a pain in the butt for readers and putting captions on pictures is a pain in the butt for me. Most importantly, sailors on the Nimitz are making huge sacrifices and risking their lives—the least you can do is scroll. (READ MORE)

Chicago Ray: Savage Wins British Ban Round 1.."Jacqui Smith to resign as Home Secretary at reshuffle" - This is welcome news most certainly to Michael Savage and his contingent of millions of listeners, including this blogger, hearing this morning that British Labor party member and Obama tool over in Great Britain is being forced out of her job today or soon hereafter. A politician who's not only embarrassed herself but the entire nation with her ridiculous ban of Savage reported here and all over the net is now being shiite canned and kicked to the curb for her ignorant decision here along with many many others that's likely cost the country millions of tourism dollars already. Savage actually predicted this outcome also saying it would have nothing to even do with poor decision at the outset of this scandal, and appears to have been quite correct.....no surprise here. (READ MORE)

GayPatriotWest: Gay Marriage Activists Who Prefer Intimidation to Education - Once again, gay marriage activists show they’d rather intimidate their opponents than address their arguments. Just as in Maine, gay groups plan to “out” citizens in Washington State who sign a petition to put a referendum on the ballot in order to overturn the recent expansion of the state’s same-sex partnerships. (In the Evergreen State, the legislation in question merely expands the states domestic partner law to “give partners the same state rights as married couples,” but does not call them marriages as did the legislature in the Pine Tree State.) Instead of publishing the names with an eye to intimidate, why don’t they just prepare to debate the issue in public fora should this referendum make the ballot? Given the demographics of Washington State, I think those who favor such a referendum going to have a tough time overturning the law. (READ MORE)

Un-Liberaled Woman: Explain Why We’re Paying the Bill - T-T-T-T-Today, Junior! - The World’s Worst Press Secretary in the Wooooooooorld is at it again. Cue the circus music! (via HotAir) Here’s Gibb’s lame attempt at trying to excuse his boss’ double standards when it came to his big night on Broadway - $73,000 of taxpayer money to be exact. I mean doesn’t this guy make $400k/year. Can’t he pay for his own stinking dates and vacations??? I make like 1/8 of that and just paid for my own trip to NYC with the husband. Now we have to pay for Obama’s too. Ummm, cheapass! Not that the president isn’t allowed to have date nights, but I thought we were in the worst recession since the Great Depression. If so, take your ball and chain out to Applebee’s with just the Secret Service. Don’t invite the entire WH press corps and pay for their travel with taxpayer funds when most of the press corps. has affiliates already in NYC that could cover the big night out. (READ MORE)

Lonewolf Diaries: Obama is North Korea’s Little Punk - We all know that Kim John-il is “buy-yourself-a-handgun” crazy. It’s pretty much a given. That begs the question however: why is anybody (particularly our president) even considering trying to tiptoe around this shady, marionette-looking character? Am I the only one who feels that something serious needs to be done here? Any man who’s ever spent time in a schoolyard understands exactly what North Korea is trying to pull. They’re shoving us. They are flicking the jab outside by the monkey bars trying to see what we’re made of. It’s the age-old “alpha male” ritual that every man has come to experience at some point in his life. The peculiar thing is that North Korea isn’t even big or strong enough to be the schoolyard bully. North Korea is really just the kid who decided he’d be “all out crazy” hoping people would be scared off by the tirades and avoid stepping up to the plate. The sad thing is it’s been working. (READ MORE)

Home on the Range: A letter from a daughter - This is something I've written of before. But with current things in the news, I felt it appropriate to tell it again. The story I tell is as old as time, and something I only found the courage to tell in the last couple of years, as "pro choice" seemed to be the banner of so many politicians. And I tell it at the urging of a fearless, teddy bear loving young redhead who looks just like me and who I proudly call my daughter. She sent me a poem called "two hearts", and urged me to tell my story. I was a teen, still in school when I found out I was pregnant. I remember hanging up the phone in shock and just opening up a book I was reading. Was it raining? Was the sun out? I don't remember, but the day was ordinary. It usually is when your life changes. Most people aren't really doing anything noteworthy when the carefully guarded and fragile pieces of their life shatter with something they never expect. (READ MORE)

Michael S. Rulle Jr.: The ‘Magic Latina’ - Once again, life imitates art as farce. And irony prevails. The Sonia Sotomayor candidacy for Supreme Court Justice is beginning to heat up. There is much to admire about her personal story and success. But she should not be confirmed as a Justice. Most commentaries discuss the optimal way for Republicans to lose the debate. Of course she will be confirmed, all agree. Democrats happily dare Republicans to attack her Hispanic–or is it Latina?–heritage. (As an aside, my wife, who is a Cuban born emigre, has been confounded many times as to which “box to check” on various forms we all confront from time to time.) Republicans shiver in their boots as they debate the question of whether to attack Sonia Sotomayor for her “wise Latina women are wiser than white males” quote, or for her “the Appeals Court makes public policy” quote. All Republicans are warned vociferously–and they agree just as vociferously–to not make “personal attacks.” (READ MORE)

Michael Mandaville: The Power of Language - In the 1930’s, when world audiences were asked to name the capital of the U.S.A., one answer was high on the list: “Hollywood.” That was the location listed at the end of every amazing movie: “Made In Hollywood.” How could such magic not come from America’s capital? Such is the power of a single word. That power has not diminished but only increased with an ADD, multi-channel, hyperactive media-centric world. The silver screen has long given us immortal dialogue which now blends so deeply into the culture that people may not know their origin, but we know the meaning. A wise man I know said, “Image creates perception, perception creates reality.” It couldn’t be more true in the film business. In a media-centric world, from motion pictures to internet to phones, we are pounded with images, forming our perceptions and then creating our reality. (READ MORE)

AJStrata: Man Made Global Warming Is A Man Made Hoax - When someone claims “the end of the Earth is near” and demands tens of trillions of dollars to correct it, people should be a lot more skeptical than they have been. First, there better be proof of the end of the world coming. And whatever proof there is better be able to stand up to public and scientific scrutiny. In the age of electronic hucksters and snake oil salesmen it is always prudent to question the need to hand anyone $100 dollars, let alone tens of trillions of dollars. It turns out that the man made global warming cries from the UNIPCC, Al Gore and James Hansen are not standing up to scrutiny. Not even the global climate is cooperating, hitting a decade long cooling period as CO2 levels have been rising at historic rates. But worse than being in error, it now could be argued that the data used by these “End of the Earthers” was cooked to make normal variations appear to be driven by man made CO2 production. (READ MORE)

Chicago Boyz: Royal Family 1: Politicians 0 - My first reaction to the news that the Prince of Wales will be going to the D-Day celebrations after discreet negotiations and a “change of heart” on the part of Presidents Sarkozy and Obama was that he should not have given in but treated that bunch of self-publicists with the scorn they deserve. I was wrong and the Prince was right. The three narcissists have already shown themselves to be puny and contemptible and the day is not about them but the veterans who will be glad to have the Prince there to represent the Royal Family. It is good to be generous and to place emphasis where it belongs. Once again, Royal Family 1: Politicians 0. And that is how it should be. (READ MORE)

In From The Cold: Two Shootings, Different Priorities - After an anti-abortion extremist killed Kansas physician George Tiller on Sunday, the Obama Justice Department swung into action. Just hours after the shooting, Attorney General Eric Holder announced added security for selected abortion providers and the clinics where they work. A spokesman for the U.S. Marshal's Service has confirmed that federal agents would be guarding abortion doctors and medical offices in the coming days, though the scope of the security operation remains unclear. Readers will note that Mr. Holder offered no public reaction just 24 hours later, when two U.S. Army soldiers were gunned down outside a recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas. Privates William Long and Quinton Ezeagwula were shot by 23-year-old Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Muslim convert who spent time in Yemen. (READ MORE)

White Rose at A Soldier's Perspective: "Taking Chance" A review - A black screen….. The sound of radio chatter….. "We have suspicious vehicle on the right moving pretty fast"…….. "It's slowing!"…. An explosion… Then gun fire…. Switch to two Marines in dress uniform getting out of a car at 0200 in front of the Phelps house. This is the first visual you get. The tears started with the opening scene and they didn't stop through the entire movie and the extras. For those that have been to Iraq or been in combat, the opening scene will undoubtedly cause a catch in your throat and force your mind back to a memory of a battle or ambush you went through. For those that have not "been there and done that" your first thought will be "Oh my God!" (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Why Bernie Madoff should have run the Fed - Peter Schiff makes the case before the Austrian Scholars Conference, Ludwig von Mises Institute, 13 March 2009. It’s an hour and sixteen minute YouTube video about the compulsion to chase fantasy. And while the Madoff suggestion is tongue in cheek, his discussion is entertaining in a serious sort of way. The indictment is that the system unwinds bubbles with yet more bubbles. One question I mentally had was whether this was true of politics also. The alacrity with which cultural and political institutions have submitted themselves to the wrecking ball will fascinate historians for generations to come. A recent article in the Weekly Standard has attempted to answer the question of how American capitalism died without putting up a fight. The answer, according to Andrew Stuttaford, was from within. He describes how one group of rich people decided to bring down another group of rich people with the aid of the merely prosperous. (READ MORE)

Jammie Wearing Fool: Great News! Obama Now Wants to Tax Your Health Benefits - Hmm, I distinctly recall him excoriating John McCain during the campaign over such a suggestion. “‘For the first time in American history, he wants to tax your health benefits,’ Obama said in September. ‘Apparently, Senator McCain doesn't think it's enough that your health premiums have doubled. He thinks you should have to pay taxes on them, too.’” Well, now that he basically raped our economy and nationalized a good chunk of the auto industry while we've lost well over a million jobs, he wants to tax your health benefits. Change! “President Barack Obama is leaving the door open to taxing health care benefits, something he campaigned hard against while running for president, according to senators who met with him Tuesday.” (READ MORE)

Van Helsing: Private William Long Versus Tiller the Baby Killer - Carlos Bledsoe discovered the Religion of Peace, changed his name to Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, traveled to Yemen, studied jihad with an Islamic scholar, and finally opened fire on a recruiting office in Little Rock, killing Private William Long and wounding Private Quinton Ezeagwula. Interviews with the killer unsurprisingly revealed that he "probably had political and religious motives." So did the mentally ill Scott Roeder, who handed liberals a propaganda bonanza by shooting infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller. The latter incident has been regarded as far more serious, resulting in a statement by the president. Tiller's work continues, with his infant abattoir under federal protection, as moonbats hold candlelight vigils and praise the butcher as "compassionate and courageous." From the point of view of our progressive ruling class, only innocent life is expendable. (READ MORE)

This Ain't Hell: Was the Little Rock recruiter office the only target? - Usually, I have Megyn Kelly on the TV with the volume turned down, but somehow I forgot the mute today so luckily I heard her mention that the Arkansas jihadist Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad Bledsoe might have had other targets besides the recruiter office (Fox News link); “A senior U.S. official tells FOX News that more targets were found on the computer of a man charged in the fatal shooting at a military recruiting center in Arkansas — suggesting the accused gunman may have been part of a larger plot to attack military targets and may not have been acting alone. It wasn’t immediately clear how extensive the potential plot might have been or what evidence authorities have suggesting more suspects were involved. The source’s information contradicted a local police official’s denial earlier Tuesday that the shooting was part of a larger conspiracy.” Now that’s kind of important, isn’t it? Shouldn’t someone besides Fox News tell us to keep an eye out for suspicious activities? (READ MORE)

HughS: Are Buchenwald and Dresden The Next Stops On The Apology Tour? - As President Obama heads to the Middle East there is perhaps reason for greater concern about another imminent Presidential destination: Dresden and Buchenwald. Having displayed appalling judgment, as I mentioned today, by apologizing to everyone, everywhere, every time he has gone abroad, John Hinderaker comments on some Obama observations last night by Charles Krauthammer: “Krauthammer thought the [trip to both Dresden and Buchenwald] showed unspeakably bad judgment, as everyone in Germany, and most in Europe, will see an implication of parity between the concentration camp and the city that was fire-bombed by the Allies. He said this would occur even if Obama doesn't mention the fire-bombing when he speaks in Dresden.” Similar comments have been offered up by Ted Bromund: (READ MORE)

Michael Laprarie: Arkansas recruitment center shooting reveals the moral shallowness of the Left - Yesterday, one day after the murder of the notorious abortion doctor George Tiller by a crazed gunman, another targeted killing took place, this time at a US Army recruiting office in Little Rock. The suspect is yet another unhinged lone gunman, Abdu Hhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a 24 year old African American formerly known as Carlos Bledsoe, and a recent convert to Islam. After his arrest, police released a statement that Muhammad "probably had political and religious motives for the attack," and that he had deliberately targeted members of the US military. One soldier, Pvt. William Long, was killed, while another, Pvt. Quentin Ezeagwula, was seriously wounded. Here are a few interesting contrasts between the killing of William Long by a crazed anti-military fanatic, and the killing of George Tiller by a crazed anti-abortion fanatic: (READ MORE)

Warner Todd Huston: Obama: Nuclear Power OK For Enemies but Not For US? - Nuclear power is the most environmentally friendly power of all, low on emissions, does not require destructive mining or drilling efforts to feed it, and is also one that creates a lot of jobs both in initial construction as well as to sustain its ongoing operation. Nuclear power is also a mainstay power source for such countries as France. It’s clean, safe, and extremely desirable. Its only drawback is what to do with its waste. But to the U.S. enviro-racket, nuclear power is a bugabear that needs to be deep sixed forever and Barack Obama is a chief bugger of that bugabear. Unless, that is, you happen to be an enemy of the USA. If you are, say, Iran, why, nuclear power is a vital national interest that he is willing to stand behind in principle. (READ MORE)

Melanie Phillips: An Ode to Joy this is not - As we all know, in two days’ time Obama is to make a speech of cosmic significance in Cairo. The run-up to this speech has been characterised by some epic spinning from shadowy American and Israeli ‘sources’ which has been creating a powerful bow-wave of feverish speculation and alarm. The Israelis are apparently shocked and appalled by Obama’s demand – transmitted through Hillary Clinton, no less – that not only should Israel build no new settlements but must not allow the current ones to expand through natural growth. In other words, a thinly disguised requirement for ethnic cleansing through a policy of slow strangulation. If Israel’s government really is shocked and appalled by this, I would regard that as the most shocking and appalling thing of all: (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: What Do the Arabs Want? - In 1967, the Arab's issued their infamous Three Nos: The Khartoum Resolution of 1967 - 1. NO peace with Israel 2. NO recognition of Israel 3. NO negotiations with Israel There is no evidence that the current iteration of the Palestinian Authority has actually moved beyond the Three NOs. Fatah's primary current goal is an agreement with Hamas, which offers a truce (in order to re-arm and prepare for the next phase of the war) but NoPeace. Abbas will not agree to call Israel a Jewsih state, ie NO recognition, and has decided he will eschew negotiations (which no one expects to actually resolve anything) until he gets whatever he wants, ie NO negotiations. And he is the moderate Palestinian! The West keeps trying to see moderation in Arab intransigence in the absence of any concrete moves toward reconciliation from the Arabs, while at the same time having no trouble discerning an Israeli hard line even in the presence of a demonstrated willingness to give up land for nothing more than unkept promises. (READ MORE)

Paul Mirengoff: No joking matter - Over the weekend, Paul Krugman attempted to explain away Sonia Sotomayor's "wise Latina" statement by claiming that it was a joke. Krugman said that the line was delivered during a speech in which Sotomayor "was trying to be entertaining." Meanwhile, the Democrats are serving up a different spin. Echoing President Obama, Senator Leahy said today that what Sotomayor meant is that people have different backgrounds but "there is only one law," and "ultimately and completely" she would follow the law. Krugman's spin is slightly more plausible than that of Obama and Leahy: the latter are saying, in effect, that night means day. Krugman effectively is saying, without any basis, that Sotomayor was joking when she said it was night during the day time. (READ MORE)

Patterico's Pontifications: DOJ Rejects Georgia Voter ID System - The Obama Justice Department has rejected Georgia’s voter ID system that requires voters provide Social Security numbers and driver’s license data in order to vote. The rejection letter cites the law’s disproportionate impact on “African-American, Asian and/or Hispanic voters” that burdens their right to vote. The rejection resulted from a requirement that Georgia obtain “preclearance” of voting changes under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Georgia and 16 predominantly Southern states, including Texas, are required to get “federal approval before changing election rules because of a history of discriminatory Jim Crow-era voting practices.” Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires that the local government prove to federal authorities that the voting change is not discriminatory and will not adversely affect minorities. (READ MORE)

neo-neocon: The illogic of affirmative action - The Sotomayor debate has brought the controversy about what is known as “reverse racism” to the fore. I don’t much like that term—I’m of the opinion that racism is racism is racism. But the term “reverse racism” does acknowledge the fact that racism in the name of redressing previous discrimination practiced towards a minority by a dominant majority does have a different flavor and purpose than the original. That doesn’t make it right, however. This piece by Victor Davis Hanson is an excellent exploration of how muddled and illogical “reverse racism” and its proponents have become. I have a few things to add, as well: Reverse racism is not about fairness to the individual. It’s about the perception of fairness to categories of people in order to even out statistics that indicate differences of outcome between groups. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: How serious was the GPO leak of nuclear facilities? - Eli Lake reports today on the leak of a 268-page draft declaration to the IAEA that includes all sites of nuclear weapons related facilities. The Government Printing Office (GPO) published the dossier on its Web site by mistake last month, and although it was removed yesterday, the extent of its dissemination is unknown. Senator Kit Bond calls it a “treasure map for terrorists,” but did it contain anything not already known? “The document, which was removed from the Web on Tuesday, is a draft declaration of facilities to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear watchdog, required under agreements that the United States signed in 2004. It is considered highly sensitive though technically not classified. The vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Christopher S. Bond, Missouri Republican, said the disclosure revealed ‘a virtual treasure map for terrorists.’” (READ MORE)

Dr. Sanity: LIKE HIS GRANDMOTHER, PERHAPS ? - I don't happen to think Sotomayor is necessarily aracist, but clearly some of her statements (and possibly her jurisprudence) are tinged with the casual kind of racism that is so prevalent on the left. By virtue of being a member of the left's victimhood groups (two actually), Sotomayor is likely of the opinion that she--BY DEFINITION--is not capable of being a racist. In the weakened minds of the left, disabled as they are by the slow cognitive deterioration that accompanies postmodernism, abstraction and universals are too abstract for them. Like many of the champions of victimhood, she reserves the word to describe those who happen to disagree with her so that she can feel superior to them. If you want to understand how that leftist tactic has penetrated deeply into the culture, let me tell you a personal story. Recently, I was involved in an animated discussion with my daughter about her schoolwork. (READ MORE)

Walid Phares: ARKANSAS' LONE JIHADIST: HOW ALONE IS HE? - In an armed attack outside the Army-Navy Career Center which handles recruiting, in Little Rock, AR, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, 23, killed one soldier wounded another. Muhammad, an American citizen who is a convert to Islam and previously known as Carlos Bledsoe, already had been under investigation by the FBI at the time of the shootings. He had traveled to Yemen, received indoctrination from radical clerics, according to a watch group, and possessed a false Somali passport. He was charged in the death of Pvt. William Long, 23, while a prosecutor said Muhammad admitted shooting Long and another soldier "because of what they had done to Muslims in the past." Here we have a new case of an individual U.S. citizen who committed an act of terror in the name of his ideology (Government officials have called it inaccurately a "political and religious motive") against U.S. military targets. Do we see a pattern here? Are we witnessing a repeat and copycats? (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: Most Brilliant President Evah Declares United States is a Muslim Country - Jake Tapper has discovered that the Administration is now comfortable referencing President Obama's Muslim roots. I count myself as an Obama critic for many reasons, but I've consistently defended the President's school record even as he attempted to minimize the public's view of his exposure to Islam. He felt—accurately—that there are a lot of religious bigots in this country that would not vote for a Muslim for President, and I'd be shocked if his own internal polling during the election didn't reflect across the board including minority voters as well, especially African-American Baptist congregations in the South and heavily Catholic Latino communities around the country. Quite frankly, if Barack Obama had not made strong efforts to quash his early ties to Islam as much as possible, there is little reason to suspect that a post-9/11 America would have elected him President. (READ MORE)

Dave Ross: What We Learn in School - “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” -- Ecclesiastes 9:11 - As the time approaches for the annual rite of passage known as high school graduation, I find myself thoughtful about some of the lessons that we learn in school. One thing I have come to appreciate over the years is that many of the things that the schools (all public schools, everywhere) attempt to instill in our children are not necessarily survival skills for the real world, and are certainly not lessons that people who hope to become good citizens should necessarily take to heart. One thing that we have to accept is that the institution of public education is resentful of, and somewhat afraid of, the truly exceptional child. (READ MORE)

Baldilocks: To the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces - Mr. President, We, the American People, await your comment regarding the domestic targeting of those who have volunteered to serve under you. You saw fit to comment about the murder of the late-term abortion doctor, George Tiller and that was well and good. Of course, the president of the United States should discourage the...ahem...lawless resolution of issues using violence. It would also be well and good, however, if you were to comment on the murder of Private William Long and the injury of Private Quinton Ezeagwula--both were contained in a single act of terror perpetrated on American soil by the Islamist and avowed foe of the U.S. Military, Carlos Bledsoe aka Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammed. Bledsoe/Muhammed considers the two young soldiers his enemies. And you are the leader of those soldiers. (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: When It's Convenient - The Obama Administration and President Barack Obama are nothing if not calculating. The media avoided asking questions before the election. Obama purposefully lied and obfuscated the truth to get elected by minimizing his Muslim heritage. The Administration is now suddenly inflating or proffering the fact that he's got Muslim roots. This stinks to high heaven, and the media failed the American people in a big way. This is going to give all those birth certificate conspiracy nuts and others who question Obama's legitimacy as President more kindling for their theories. And the Administration is willingly pushing this because they're now trying to appear more friendly to the Middle East regimes. (READ MORE)

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