Archive for July, 2010

Bucks for F**ks

Freemiddleeast.com rightly observes that the issue is not Palestinians versus Israelis—it’s Palestinians versus everyone else:

I wouldn’t have included the widow Arafat, however.

I don’t care in which smuggling tunnels he preferred to hide his Qassam, she had to appear with him more often than my stomach could take.


What’s the name of that cologne, darling, Road Kill or Low Tide?

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Zionist Hottie

It’s not news that some of the soldiers in the IDF are hardened killers. Look for yourself:

But this colonialist cutie makes news for other reasons:

“Look at the beret,” says Elinor, smiling from ear to ear, showing off the bright green beret that she earned after completing the trek which is part of her combat training in the Karakal Battalion. Her excitement is accompanied by a new historical precedent, since Elinor is the first Arab female combat soldier in IDF history.

Cpl. Elinor Joseph was born and raised in an integrated neighborhood of Jews and Arabs in Haifa, but attended a school in which all her classmates were Arab. She later moved to Wadi Nisnas, an Arab neighborhood where she currently lives. Despite the fact that she would always wear her father’s IDF dog-tag around her neck from when he served in the Paratrooper’s Unit, she never thought she would enlist. “I wanted to go abroad to study medicine and never come back,” she said. To her father it was clear that she would enlist in the IDF, as most citizens in Israel do. This was something that worried her very much. “I was scared to lose my friends because they objected to it. They told me they wouldn’t speak to me. I was left alone.”

Despite their opposition, she decided to move forward and enlist. She explained her motive: “I decided to go head-to-head, to check who my true friends are, to do something in life that I have never done before. I understood that it was most important to defend my friends, family, and country. I was born here.” At the end of the day, she says she realized it was the right thing to do, “With time, when you do things from the heart, you begin to understand their importance.”

Elsewhere:

She identifies herself as “Arab, Christian, and Israeli.”

“I was born here. The people I love live here – my parents, my friends. This is a Jewish state? True. But it’s also my country. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

“I believe that everyone should enlist. You live here? Go defend your country. So what if I’m Arab?”

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Barack’s Blow Up Doll Blows Up

President Obama’s habit for arranging human props like potted plants or living room recliners is, well, annoying, to say the least.

But whether they are homely docs with borrowed lab coats, freeloading Henrietta Hughes, or coked-up Julio Ocegueda, they usually fail a close inspection.

But out and out frauds? (I thought they already worked in Treasury.)

“We need to extend unemployment compensation benefits for women like Leslie Macko, who lost her job at a fitness center last year, and has been looking for work ever since. Because she’s eligible for only a few more weeks of unemployment, she’s doing what she never thought she’d have to do. Not at this point, anyway. She’s turning to her father for financial support,” Obama said in his speech.

Leslie Macko was once employed at ACAC in the Albemarle Square Shopping Center. In 2009, Macko was convicted of prescription drug fraud, at which point she lost her job as an esthetician in the spa at ACAC.

However, on July 19, Macko was seen standing next to President Barack Obama as his example of the needs to extend jobless benefits.

Standing next to her? He’s either making a move on her or slipping her some oxy.

I wish her well, but she wouldn’t be my first choice of role model for extending the dole up to two years’ duration. If we had a genuine Fourth Estate, instead of the Ministry of Propaganda that we do have, he might not be able to get away with lying to us so often.

But these a-holes wouldn’t know a plastic turkey if they saw one in the mirror.

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We’re All Gonna Die!

Or, as Emily Letilla used to say, “Never Mind”

By JOHN CAREY, environmental writer

Where is all the oil? Nearly two weeks after BP finally capped the biggest oil spill in U.S. history, the oil slicks that once spread across thousands of miles of the Gulf of Mexico have largely disappeared. Nor has much oil washed up on the sandy beaches and marshes along the Louisiana coast. And the small cleanup army in the Gulf has only managed to skim up a tiny fraction of the millions of gallons of oil spilled in the 100 days since the Deepwater Horizon rig went up in flames.

So where did the oil go? “Some of the oil evaporates,” explains Edward Bouwer, professor of environmental engineering at Johns Hopkins University. That’s especially true for the more toxic components of oil, which tend to be very volatile, he says. Jeffrey W. Short, a scientist with the environmental group Oceana, told the New York Times that as much as 40 percent of the oil might have evaporated when it reached the surface. High winds from two recent storms may have speeded the evaporation process.

Although there were more than 4,000 boats involved in the skimming operations, those cleanup crews may have only picked up a small percentage of the oil so far. That’s not unusual; in previous oil spills, crews could only scoop up a small amount of oil. “It’s very unusual to get more than 1 or 2 percent,” says Cornell University ecologist Richard Howarth, who worked on the Exxon Valdez spill. Skimming operations will continue in the Gulf for several weeks.

Some of the oil has sunk into the sediments on the ocean floor. Researchers say that’s where the spill could do the most damage. But according to a report in Wednesday’s New York Times, “federal scientists [have determined] the oil [is] primarily sitting in the water column and not on the sea floor.”

Perhaps the most important cause of the oil’s disappearance, some researchers suspect, is that the oil has been devoured by microbes. The lesson from past spills is that the lion’s share of the cleanup work is done by nature in the form of oil-eating bacteria and fungi. The microbes break down the hydrocarbons in oil to use as fuel to grow and reproduce. A bit of oil in the water is like a feeding frenzy, causing microbial populations to grow exponentially.

Are you trying to tell me that Mother Nature knows more about this stuff than Al Gore, Barack Obama and Keither Olberman combined? Get out.

I wanted to give you the famous Emily Litella skit about Save The Species, but couldn’t find it. This will have to do.

I can’t show you the other one, but here’s the text:

Emily Litella: What’s all this FUSS I keep hearing… about endangered feces? Now, that’s outrageous!! Why — why are FECES endangered?! How can you POSSIBLY run out of such a thing?! Why — why, just look around you, you can see it ALL OVER the place!! Besides, who wants to SAVE THAT, anyway?! My goodness, where would we KEEP it?! It’s DANGEROUS, especially in the Summer!! Then — then, it could REALLY hit the fan!!

- Aggie

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More On The Wikileaks Bastards

They outed Afghans who are trying to take their country back from the Taliban

Julian Assange, the editor of the WikiLeaks website that on Monday released some 92,000 classified military documents, has told the German newsweekly Der Spiegel that he “loved crushing bastards.” We wonder if the “bastards” he has in mind include the dozens of Afghan civilians named in the document dump as U.S. military informants. Their lives, as well as those of their entire families, are now at terrible risk of Taliban reprisal.

The past decade has seen more than its share of debates about the government’s right to secrecy, the public’s right to disclosure, and where the line between them should be drawn: Think warrantless wiretaps, Swift bank codes and terror financing, Valerie Plame, Judy Miller. We’ve had our say on all of these issues.

But the WikiLeaks story is a new and troubling event. Our initial reaction was that the documents expose no big lies about the war and, judging from what we’ve seen so far, no small ones either. They reveal nothing that wasn’t already widely known about Iranian and Pakistani support for the Taliban. In other words, their value in terms of the public’s right to know is de minimis.

But the closer we and others have looked at the documents, it’s clear that the WikiLeaks dump does reveal a great deal about the military’s methods, sources, tactics and protocols of communication. Such details are of little interest to the public at large, and they are unlikely to change many minds about the conduct, or wisdom, of the war. But they are of considerable interest to America’s avowed enemies and strategic competitors such as Russia and China.

“If I had gotten this trove on the Taliban or al Qaeda, I would have called this priceless,” says former CIA director Michael Hayden. “If I’m head of the Russian intelligence, I’m getting my best English speakers and saying: ‘Read every document, and I want you to tell me, how good are these guys? What are their approaches, their strengths, their weaknesses and their blind spots?’”

In his defense, Mr. Assange dismisses concerns about harm to U.S. national security, calling it ridiculous. That may be his right as an Australian national, although Australia deploys some 1,500 troops to Afghanistan and has lost more than two dozen men in combat. But Mr. Assange also says he takes threats to individual safety seriously, and he boasts that he has withheld or edited thousands of documents as a precaution against potential harm.

If so, he hasn’t done a very good job of it. Yesterday, the Times of London noted that “in just two hours of searching the WikiLeaks archive, The Times found the names of dozens of Afghans credited with providing detailed intelligence to U.S. forces. Their villages are given for identification and also, in many cases, their fathers’ names.”

We said it yesterday, but it is worth repeating: Mr. Assange is responsible for the deaths of those Afghans who are killed as a result of his leak.

As to those that say that Afghanistan is and has always been a primitive society, I can only report that I have seen photographs of Afghanistan in the 1970′s. Kabul was filled with Afghan women in western dress, men looking like men in Chicago in the 1970′s, stores selling normal stuff. Men and women attending college and working in various professions.

afghanistan-1.jpg
Record Store

afghanistan-2.jpg
Biology Class, Kabul, 1960′s

If you flip through the photos at the link, you’ll see factories, recording studios, movie theatres, store displays, playgrounds, night life. The early captions indicated pride in their accomplishments. By the way, I searched for these images because I recall seeing others, a little later, taken in color, of the same stuff. They lost all of this when the Taliban came into power.

- Aggie

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Flaccid Muscle Car

I can’t wait to buy me one of them Chevy Volts from Government Motors. Forty miles on one battery charge! Whoo!

Get your motor… silent
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way

Born to be mild!

Lets do some math:

Chevy Volt: $41,000 (True Cost)
Honda Civic: $20,000 (Average build)
Difference: $21,000

Gas: $2.45/gal (in Oklahoma City)
The difference in price would buy 8,571.43 gallons of gas. The Civic gets an average of 29 miles to the gallon. That’s 248,581.47 miles on the price difference.

Assuming the average driver drives 12,000 miles a year, AND you only drive the Volt on the 40 mile range of it’s battery, using no gas, you’d have to own the Volt for 20.7 years to justify the price difference in gas savings. How long’s that warranty again?

Batteries are heavy, right? Yet fuel efficiency requires the least weight possible. So this car carries who knows how many pounds of batteries and a gas powered generator?

Where do they cut the weight? No, don’t tell me. I don’t have the stomach.

PS: No crash test ratings yet.

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Does it Have an Underwater Garage?

Sorry, underground.

A White elephant next to the ocean: how fitting.

Designs unveiled yesterday for a $60 million institute named for the late senator Edward M. Kennedy show a simple, angular building that will sit in the shadow of its iconic neighbor and big brother, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

The presidential library has stood since 1979 as a nine-story beacon on the shore, a blend of stark white concrete and a soaring glass pavilion looking out on Dorchester Bay.

The renderings for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate sketch a largely single-story structure with a much lower profile.

They really needn’t be so modest about Ted’s profile:

Construction is expected to begin this fall on the 40,000-square-foot structure, which will be part of the University of Massachusetts Boston, and not an extension of the presidential library.

The institute, scheduled to open in 2013, will be funded by private donations and federal money, which has sparked some criticism. Backers argue that the institute will not serve as a memorial or museum for Kennedy, but rather an educational facility and research center for students, academics, and elected officials.

“It will not be, as some have cynically suggested, a static library or a shrine, either to my husband or even to the United States Senate,’’ said the senator’s widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, when she spoke at UMass Boston’s commencement in the spring. “Rather, it will be a dynamic center of learning and engagement that takes advantage of 21st-century technology to provide each visitor with a unique and information-rich, personalized experience that literally will bring history alive.’’

Including this episode of history?

Harbor-front property appropriated, and an obscene shrine built, with public funds: that says Kennedy to me.

But thanks for the “loan”, America! We’ll gladly repay you next Tuesday. Ha-ha! Suckers!

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Sic ‘em

Well, well—lookie here:

Nearly one third of the Republican congressmen in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced a resolution that would support Israel’s right to use “all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by Iran”, including military force.

The resolution was introduced by Rep. Louie Gohmert [R-Texas] and 46 co-sponsors.

House Resolution 1553 “condemns the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for its threats of ‘annihilating’ the United States and the State of Israel, for its continued support of international terrorism, and for its incitement of genocide of the Israeli people.”

It “supports using all means of persuading the Government of Iran to stop building and acquiring nuclear weapons” and pledges that the U.S. will ensure that Israel “continues to receive critical economic and military assistance, including missile defense capabilities, needed to address the threat of Iran.”

In addition, it “expresses support for Israel’s right to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by Iran, defend Israeli sovereignty, and protect the lives and safety of the Israeli people, including the use of military force if no other peaceful solution can be found within a reasonable time.”

I don’t necessarily approve of Congress making foreign policy—that’s the president’s job. And the effing Democrats undermined George Bush every chance they got. But Congress proposes resolutions like this all the time—so good for them, I say!

Needless to say, somebody wasn’t happy:

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a pro-Iranian lobby group, is up in arms over the proposed resolution.

“Obviously we are reaching silly season in Washington with the elections in November,” NIAC’s founder-president Trita Parsi told RN, a news venue that focuses on Russian issues. He added that “there have already been some signs that Israel is going to be a major element that some Republicans will use to get both voters as well as finance, donations to campaigns, away from the Democrats.”

However, Parsi said, “even silly season has real repercussions on the real world.” The resolution would send “a dangerous signal” to Israel, that some in congress would welcome military action by it against Iran, while the White House and U.S. military oppose such a strike, he argued.

NIAC warned that an attack on Iran would ignite a regional war that would put the lives of “innocent Americans, Iranians, and Israelis” in harm’s way, as well as risking the pro-democracy movement in Iran, U.S. national security and the stability of Iraq and Afghanistan and the global economy, which relies on oil from the Persian Gulf.

Your empty threats are noted, Parsley.

I wonder why no Democrats signed. Were they not asked? Or were they asked to sign on to a resolution encouraging Israel to defend itself—and simply declined?

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Mullah My Dreams

Aggie’s got the story below about how Wikileaks has put the lives of Afghanis at risk.

Lest you have any doubt:

[Mullah] Omar reportedly issued his latest order in June. NATO announced that it had recovered a copy of the directive in July. Since then, Afghan press outlets have published a translation of Omar’s five-point order.

The Long War Journal has received a translation of Omar’s order, as it appeared in the Afghan press, from US intelligence sources. Senior US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal say the order is most likely genuine.

According to the translation, Mullah Omar’s five-point directive reads:

2. Capture and kill any Afghan who is supporting and/or working for coalition forces or the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

3. Capture and kill any Afghan women who are helping or providing information to coalition forces.

I love a free press as much as the next person, but there’s a reason national security is not DIY. These asshats just took a major wikileak all over the safety and security of countless Americans, Afghanis, and NATO forces.

BTW, ‘member how the Democrats used to crow that President Bush still hadn’t found Osama? I don’t want to play the same stupid game, but I don’t recall his discovery any time in the last year and a half, do you? Ditto Omar.

And he doesn’t exactly blend into a crowd, does he?

Unless they all look like that over there.

By now he’s probably had more plastic surgery than Cher and Chastity Bono combined.

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How Wikileaks Will Kill Hundreds Of Afghans

They published the names of individual Afghans who worked with the US military in secret

Hundreds of Afghan civilians who worked as informants for the US military were put on the Wikileaks list that also included 90,000 classified military intelligence reports, according to the New York Times.

Wikileaks owner Julian Assange has claimed that all sensitive material has been removed; however, the names of the civilian informants still remain, leaving the individuals who helped the American cause at extreme risk.

“The leaks certainly have put in real risk and danger the lives and integrity of many Afghans,” stated an anonymous senior official at the Afghan foreign ministry. “The U.S. is both morally and legally responsible for any harm that the leaks might cause to the individuals, particularly those who have been named. It will further limit the U.S./international access to the uncensored views of Afghans.”

Actually, Julian Assange is responsible for the tortures and deaths that will surely follow.

- Aggie

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Huh?

I admit I don’t get identity politics.

But even so, wassup with this?

The Congressional Black Caucus held a briefing Tuesday to register impatience with the pace of rebuilding efforts in Haiti — and then mostly voted in opposition to a war spending bill that includes nearly $3 billion in aid for the earthquake rattled country.

The “no” votes included Florida’s Alcee Hastings and Jacksonville’s Corrine Brown. Kendrick Meek, who was campaigning in South Florida for the Senate, missed the vote. The “yes” votes included Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart.

CBC chairwoman Barbara Lee said the caucus largely opposed the bill because it was stripped of spending on domestic spending measures, including $10 billion to avoid teacher layoffs.

So protecting the fat, lazy teachers unions is more important than rebuilding Haiti. Hey, they’re probably right. I’m not a congressman and I’m not black (and I’m not a teacher), so I can’t really opine. I just want to understand. Thanks.

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Hating on the Hispanics

Advocates for amnesty for illegal aliens argue that you can’t deport them all.

Barack “Buford Pusser” Obama begs to differ:

In a bid to remake the enforcement of federal immigration laws, the Obama administration is deporting record numbers of illegal immigrants and auditing hundreds of businesses that blithely hire undocumented workers.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, nearly 10 percent above the Bush administration’s 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007. The pace of company audits has roughly quadrupled since President George W. Bush’s final year in office.

The effort is part of President Obama’s larger project “to make our national laws actually work,” as he put it in a speech this month at American University. Partly designed to entice Republicans to support comprehensive immigration reform, the mission is proving difficult and politically perilous.

Obama is drawing flak from those who contend the administration is weak on border security and from those who are disappointed he has not done more to fulfill his campaign promise to help the country’s estimated 11 million illegal residents. Trying to thread a needle, the president contends enforcement — including the deployment of fresh troops to the Mexico border — is a necessary but insufficient solution.

We had to deport the criminal aliens in order to legalize them, in other words. Or something.

I won’t bash the president for doing something I support, but I do question his motive. Democrats would just as soon hand out green cards and DNC membership cards at the same time.

I believe Republicans have an opportunity. By arguing for increased legal immigration, by putting forward a vision of low taxes and high reward for initiative and hard work—all Republican ideals, supposedly—they could sew up the next generation of immigrant voters.

Amnesty advocates insist that illegals just want to work hard and make a life for themselves and their families. For many, maybe most, that’s probably true—after they’ve broken laws relating to border security, identity fraud, tax evasion, etc. Opponents of amnesty don’t say there’s no place for them in the country. We just say that there has to be some fairness in the reckoning. There are millions of people around the world who would welcome the opportunity to come here, live here, remain here—legally. The United States of America is still the land of opportunity—just not the land of opportunism.

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