Vox Pol

The cops have had their say (see below); what about the politicians?

The mayor’s office later issued a statement responding to the PBA, saying, “It’s unfortunate that in a time of great tragedy, some would resort to irresponsible, overheated rhetoric that angers and divides people. Mayor de Blasio understands this is the time when we must come together to support the families and friends of those brave officers New York City lost tonight – and the entire NYPD community.”

De Blasio had the chance to be the bigger man—and punted it like Ray Guy on steroids.

Anyone else? Of course:

“I have instructed our attorneys last night, I have began receiving threatening phone calls and hate. I’ll play one because I’m turning this over to the FBI,” Sharpton said at a press conference with Garner’s widow and mother in the aftermath of the execution-style murders of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu by Ismaaiyl Brinsley.

“The language is ‘hey N-word, stop killing innocent people, I’m going to get you,’ and I have several like this,” Sharpton said. “So we are now under intense threat.”

With respect, Reverend, while I condemn and such hate-speech, this isn’t about you. Rather it is about what you said, and how your mob of followers interpreted it. At least have the decency to own it. Same goes for the mayor.

PS: I wondered earlier in the day about Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley’s background:

Brinsley was Muslim and also went by Isaiah and Moses, Romero said, describing him as “a god-fearing person.”

That would be open to question.

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#i’lllietoyou

We were among many who reported on the big-hearted, soft-headed response to Muslim terrorism in Sydney, Australia, under the hashtag illridewithyou.

As with “hands up, don’t shoot” and “I can’t breathe”, it either didn’t happen at all, or not as portrayed:

As news of the siege unfolded, I scrolled through updates on my phone, searching for the latest information. My brother works in the city of Sydney. My husband’s office is a government building near Martin Place. I knew all were safe and sound, but I wanted to know more.

At this point I saw a woman on the train start to fiddle with her headscarf.

Confession time. In my Facebook status, I editorialised. She wasn’t sitting next to me. She was a bit away, towards the other end of the carriage. Like most people she had been looking at her phone, then slowly started to unpin her scarf.

Tears sprang to my eyes and I was struck by feelings of anger, sadness and bitterness. It was in this mindset that I punched the first status update into my phone, hoping my friends would take a moment to think about the victims of the siege who were not in the cafe.

I spent the rest of the journey staring – rudely – at the back of her uncovered head. I wanted to talk to her, but had no idea what to say. Anything that came to mind seemed tokenistic and patronising. She might not even be Muslim or she could have just been warm! Besides, I was in the “quiet carriage” where even conversation is banned.

By sheer fluke, we got off at the same station, and some part of me decided saying something would be a good thing. Rather than quiz her about her choice of clothing, I thought if I simply offered to walk her to her destination, it might help.

It’s hard to describe the moment when humans, and complete strangers, have a conversation with no words. I wanted to tell her I was sorry for so many things – for overstepping the mark, for making assumptions about a complete stranger and for belonging to a culture where racism was part of her everyday experience.

But none of those words came out, and our near silent encounter was over in a moment.

My second status was written as a heartbreaking postscript to my first. While the woman appeared to appreciate my gesture, we had both left defeated and deflated. What good is one small action against an avalanche of ignorance?

What ignorance? She just finished telling us that she barely spoke to the woman, and didn’t even know if she was Muslim. She made everything up.

I wanted to tell her I was sorry for so many things – for overstepping the mark, for making assumptions about a complete stranger and for belonging to a culture where racism was part of her everyday experience.

WTF? Fellow Australians were being held hostage, some ultimately to die, and she’s apologizing (wordlessly) to a woman who might have been Hispanic, South Asian, Buddhist, or just cold, for a “culture where racism was part of her everyday experience”? Had I been that anonymous woman, I might have let her walk with me, but only out of fear what such a psycho would do if I refused.

Lesson No. 6,348 that liberalism is based on unreality and lies.

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Vox Cop [UPDATED][AGAIN]

I’ve been alluding to this in earlier posts, but let’s hear from some of New York’s finest after their cold-blooded execution of two of their own.

Former commissioner, Bernie Kerik:

With the exception of September 11th this takes me back to 1988, we had two officers killed on October 18th, this reminds me of the days back in the ’60s and ’70s when we faced executions of New York City cops. In this circumstance I believe, I personally feel, that Mayor de Blasio, [Al] Sharpton and others like them, they actually have blood on their hands. They encouraged this behavior. They encouraged protests. These so-called peaceful protests that, where people are standing out there saying “kill the cops,” well, I hope they’re happy, because they got what they wanted.

JUDGE JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS: And what you’re referring to, of course, last Saturday’s protest on the Brooklyn Bridge. The so-called peaceful protest where the protestors yelled, “What do we want? dead cops. When do we want it? Now.”

KERIK: We want them now.

PIRRO: And then two New York City police lieutenants assaulted, mayor de blasio comes out and says they were allegedly assaulted. They weren’t allegedly assaulted; they were assaulted.

KERIK: They were assaulted, they were beaten, their radios were taken. It — you know, I’m numb. I am numb, and you have to question whether this man, Mayor de Blasio, can actually lead this city. You have to question that. You have to wonder, how can he lead the city?

Good question:

On FOX News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine, former NYPD detective Bo Dietl called on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to resign after two NYPD officers were shot dead execution style in Brooklyn as they were sitting inside a patrol car.

“If you look online last week gangs were posting on websites about killing cops,” Dietl said to FOX News host Jeanine Pirro. “But this Gardner thing started this whole atmosphere. First of all, the Gardner incident was not a racist thing. There was a black sergeant on the scene. I don’t want to debate that now, but for them to take it and make it a racial thing, that this mayor, and I call the mayor Big Bird de Blasio because that’s exactly what he is.”

“I was at a promotion ceremony yesterday at One Police Plaza and he got two people clapping for him. This guy is a disgrace. He’s divided this country and this punk Sharpton here marching around last week with those demonstrations. ‘What do we want, dead cops?’ Well, they got two dead cops. And you now what? This guy went to Cuba in 1994. He should take his wife, de Blasio and go back to Cuba and live there,” Dietl also said.

Dietl was referring to the honeymoon de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray took in 1994 to Cuba, which violated a U.S. travel ban.

“He should resign tomorrow because he can not do the job and my officers are out there. My cops — I went by the [Rockefeller Plaza Christmas] tree. I went by the tree before. These guys are incensed. They’re saying, ‘Bo, keep speaking, please, we freed [sic] a voice. We need a voice,'” Dietl said.

Here’s another voice:

PAT LYNCH, NYC PATROLMEN’S BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT: Today, this police department, this city and our country is in shock and mourning. Starting today, there’s two families of hero police officers that became part of the NYPD family. Every police officer that lined these streets today with sadness in their eyes to show respect as we carried two hero police officers out of this hospital. We will shoulder the burden for these families each and every day for the rest of their lives. Generations of police officers will know their names and hold them close to their hearts and educate our children about the sacrifice they made.

There’s blood on many hands tonight. Those that incited violence on the street under the guise of protests, that tried to tear down what New York City police officers did every day. We tried to warn, it must not go on, it cannot be tolerated. That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor.

Starting today, we started the mourning for our brother police officers. They’re heroes, they’re fathers, they’re brothers, they’re children. That’s the men we lost today. So, starting in the next couple of hours and going for a number of days, New York City police officers, through their sadness, will straighten their shoulders, stiffen their backs and mourn for these families. We’ll mourn for our city, and we’ll mourn for our brothers. When these funerals are over, those responsible will be called on the carpet and held accountable. We ask every person in the city to bow their heads tonight and pray for our families, the families of our lost police officers, their families and the family of every police officer on patrol today who’s in danger.

This was a cold-blooded assassination like we haven’t seen before. So, as I said, we’ll straighten our shoulders, we’ll stiffen our backs, and we’ll wipe our tears. But when these funerals are over, we’ll raise our heads, and those that allowed this to go on will be held accountable.

Sometimes, the obvious occurs only after the fact. Cops may be armed and trained, but they are sitting ducks. They wear uniforms and ID badges, they drive in marked cars, they face investigations up the wazoo if they should ever have to draw their gun and fire.

As Ismaaiyl Brinsley demonstrated, you can execute them at your leisure.

Order his t-shirt now!

UPDATE:
Another voice heard, another finger pointed:

Former New York Gov. George Pataki pegged the shootings of two Brooklyn police officers today on the “divisive, anti-cop rhetoric” of Attorney General Eric Holder and New York City mayor Bill DiBlasio.

Pataki, a Republican who is considering a run for president, tweeted:

Sickened by these barbaric acts, which sadly are a predictable outcome of divisive anti-cop rhetoric of #ericholder & #mayordeblasio. #NYPD.

By blaming Holder, Pataki would appear to be stopping just short of pointing the finger at President Obama.

I think we can read between the hashtags.

UPDATE:
America’s mayor:

“We’ve had four months of propaganda starting with the president that everybody should hate the police,” Giuliani said during an appearance on Fox News early Sunday. “The protests are being embraced, the protests are being encouraged. The protests, even the ones that don’t lead to violence, a lot of them lead to violence, all of them lead to a conclusion: The police are bad, the police are racist. That is completely wrong.”

“I think it goes to far to blame the mayor for the murder or to ask for the mayor’s resignation,” Giuliani said.

“I feel bad the mayor,” Giuliani continued. “He must be heartbroken over the loss of two police officers. I can’t believe this is what he wanted. I don’t he’s a bad man in any way.”

But, Giuliani said, de Blasio is “pursuing the wrong policies” and should not have given protesters demonstrating against the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown as much leeway.

“I don’t think it goes too far to say the mayor did not properly police the protests,” Giuliani said. “He allowed the protesters to take over the streets. He allowed them to hurt police officers, to commit crimes, and he didn’t arrest them. And when you do that, similar to what happened in Crown Heights, you create a great riot. He should have known better. For that he has to take accountability.”

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Good Luck, What’s-Your-Name

The Grand Duchy of Bloodthirstan wishes to join the throngs, the multitudes, lining the streets to wish Stephen Colbert well.

Maybe we’ll finally watch him for once:

Stephen Colbert’s ratings might have been half those of late-night cable reruns of the “The Family Guy,” but he was adored by our objective, unbiased, not-at-all-liberal media for being a leftist who protected Central Government and savaged anyone who disagreed. And now the media is in universal mourning over the loss of one of their most powerful weapons.

After nine years of protecting The State, the final episode of “The Colbert Report” aired last night, and it should come as no surprise that the media coverage has not only been excessive but a sad spectacle of monolithic gushing.

Time Magazine: The Colbert Report Is Dead. Long Live Stephen Colbert!

Washington Post: The show was so good and so meticulously performed that you could, in fact, not watch it.

Time Magazine (again): Stephen Colbert: A Great Talk-Show Host? No, the Greatest!

You get the idea.

Despite the fact that fewer than 1% of the American people ever watched “The Colbert Report,” because he made himself a useful tool against the political right, the mainstream media artificially inflated his influence (Jon Stewart, Lena Dunham, and Tina Fey are fellow travelers in this regard), and in turn used his clips during “objective” newscasts to undermine the GOP with ridicule.

Not “despite the fact”—due to the fact. Who wrote this, Fox Butterfield?

For not only did Colbert finish behind re-runs of The Family Guy, he finished behind four different re-runs of The Big Bang Theory. Scads more people know Sheldon Cooper than know Stephen Colbert, to the relief of a great republic.

I would also point out that in total numbers (not just 18-49 yos), Robot Chicken, iCarly, Sponge Bob (3 episodes), something called Down East Dickering, and WWE’s Tribute to the Troops all kicked Colbert’s bony ass—the last by about a 50% margin.

I missed the Washington Post’s tribute to Down East Dickering.

The next time we watch Colbert will be the first, so we are no expert. But his shtick reminds us of a typical SNL skit: clever in concept; shaky in execution; clueless on how and when to end. His appeal ran the gamut from A to B: if you hated George Bush and Dick Cheney, you loved Stephen Colbert. We’re sorry for your loss.

PS: It should be noted that he picked up his game as he left it:

“The Colbert Report” signed off on Comedy Central with series-high ratings on Thursday night, roughly doubling its recent averages.

According to Nielsen estimates, the half-hour finale of the long-running fake-news program averaged 2.48 million viewers overall and a 1.0 rating in adults 18-49 — building on its “Daily Show With Jon Stewart” lead-in (2.03 million, 0.8) by more than 20% in both categories.

The only cable program to rate higher than “Colbert Report” on Thursday was an NFL game on NFL Network.

Of course, that NFL game was an epic battle between two 2-11 teams, Tennessee and Jacksonville. And in total numbers, Pawn Stars beat Colbert Thursday night—twice.

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They Can’t Breathe (Anymore) [UPDATED] [AGAIN]

The head of the NYPD union suggested Mayor Bill De Blasio would not be welcome at any police funerals after his remarks critical of the force.

Here’s his chance:

A blue wall of silently seething police officers turned their backs on Mayor de Blasio Saturday night — literally.

As the mayor and his entourage snaked through a jammed third-floor corridor at Woodhull Hospital, where two officers had been pronounced dead just hours earlier, scores of grieving cops faced the walls — and away from the leader they believe has failed them.

Earlier, de Blasio approached a cluster of cops at the Brooklyn Hospital and offered, “We’re all in this together.”

“No we’re not,” an officer replied tersely, according to a cop who witnessed the icy scene.

The rank-and-file’s anger at the mayor was palpable citywide.

“It’s f–king open season on us right now,” one officer said. “When is he going to step up?”

Speaking moments after the bodies of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were driven away, as hundreds of cops stood at somber attention, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said, “There’s blood on many hands tonight.”

“That blood…starts on the steps of City Hall, in the Office of the Mayor,” he said.

Many cops said they blame deBlasio for helping to create a climate of distrust in cops that has turned them into targets.

They pointed to Hizzoner just last week calling an assault by Brooklyn Bridge protesters on two NYPD lieutenants an ­“alleged” assault, even as dramatic video of the attack emerged.

De Blasio revealed in an ABC News interview earlier this month that he and First Lady Chirlane McCray had instructed their biracial son, Dante, about the “dangers” that police pose.

New Yorkers have learned perhaps a little later than the rest of us that elections have consequences. Your sicko mayor made no secret of who he was, and still you elected him. May you choke on the consequences.

Speaking of choking:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s oldest son Zach was the victim of a strong-arm robbery near the family’s North Side Chicago home Friday night. According to a police report obtained by the Chicago Tribune, the robbery took place around 10 p.m., when two men approached the 17-year-old

Emanuel as he was walking down the street.

One of the robbers then:

“…placed his arm around the victim’s neck in a rear chokehold,” and the second one struck the teen with a fist, knocking him to the ground. The robbers took the teen’s cellphone and patted him down, the police report said.

“The offenders then asked the victim, ‘What else you got?’ (and) forced the victim to enter his security code to unlock the phone,” the police report said.

The robbers then ran away. The teen was treated for cuts and bruises on his face by a personal physician at his home, according to the report.

It was not reported whether young Zach could breathe.

PS: Fear not. The President is on the case:

President Barack Obama was briefed on the ambush killing of two NYPD cops while on the golf course in Hawaii this afternoon, according to the White House press pool report.

“The President has been briefed on the Brooklyn police shooting. White House officials continue to monitor the situation,” reported Wall Street Journal’s Carol Lee.

Obama endured harsh criticism for golfing minutes after issuing a statement on the beheading of James Foley at the hands of Muslim militants in September.

“You know, it is always a challenge when you’re supposed to be on vacation because you’re followed everywhere. There’s always going to be some tough news somewhere,” Obama said. “I should have anticipated the optics.”

Optics? What optics?

UPDATE:
Miraculously, this guy can still breathe:

A third cop narrowly escaped with his life Saturday night when a suspect pointed a gun directly at the officer’s head and pulled the trigger in The Bronx — not realizing it was empty.

Cops went to East 140th Street in Mott Haven at 9 p.m. on reports of a man shooting out windows with a.357 caliber revolver. They spotted the suspect, identified as Raymond Leonardo, 18, and ordered him to drop the gun. Instead, he took point blank aim at one of the officers, officials said.

When the gun didn’t work, he put it in his pocket and ran. Cops tackled him a few blocks away. “It looks like he used up all of his bullets’’ firing at the windows, a law-enforcement source said.

Note that, with their characteristic professionalism, the cops handled the deadly suspect with retraint [sic], merely tackling him after he tried to shoot at them.

Meanwhile, police sources told the newspaper about the continuing threats they are getting, including tweets like this one, posted after the assassination-style murders of Officers Wenjian Lu and Rafael Ramos by Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley: “Kill em all i’m on the way to NY now #shootthepolice 2 more going down tomorrow.”

I’m asking only out of curiosity, not insinuation, but were any Allahu Akbars shouted at the time of the shootings?

AGAIN:
Misery loves company:

A Florida police officer was killed in a shooting early on Sunday, and a suspect was in custody, according to a sheriff’s office and local media reports.

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As Ye Sow

So shall ye also reap:

Two New York City police officers were shot and killed ambush-style Saturday as they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn, according to two law enforcement sources.

Both officers were shot in the head, one of the sources said. Few other details were available.

They had been rushed to a hospital in critical condition, said police spokesman Sgt. Lee Jones.

The families of the fallen officers arrived at Woodhull Medical Center on Saturday afternoon, as dozens of police officers gathered in a show of support.

The alleged shooter was found dead in a nearby subway station from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a law enforcement official.

He got off too easy. I’ve heard of “suicide by cop”, in which the victim deliberately provokes the cops to kill him. But he’s not necessarily supposed to take anyone with him. In a less civilized society—were we ISIS, say—we would hang his corpse on a lamppost for the crows to pick at as a warning to others. Thank God we are who we are.

I was angry enough to ask rhetorically under my breath if Al Sharpton could be reached for comment.

He could:

I have spoken to the Garner family and we are outraged by the early reports of the police killed in Brooklyn today. Any use of the names of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, in connection with any violence or killing of police, is reprehensible and against the pursuit of justice in both cases.

We have stressed at every rally and march that anyone engaged in any violence is an enemy to the pursuit of justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown. We have been criticized at National Action Network for not allowing rhetoric or chanting of violence and would abruptly denounce it at all of our gatherings. The Garner family and I have always stressed that we do not believe that all police are bad, in fact we have stressed that most police are not bad.

We plan to hold a press conference in the morning to express our outraged and our condolences to the families and the police department. Details to follow.

He further tweeted:

I am outraged at the killing of 2 police officers in Brooklyn. That is why we stress non violence as the only way to fight for justice.

I do not hang on the Reverend’s every word, so I cannot refute his repeated assurances of absolute belief in nonviolence.

It would make a nice change.

PS: I suppose some could interpret the title of this post to apply to the police. If by sowing, one means the police in Ferguson and Staten Island responding to calls from civilians threatened enough to seek protection, only to find themselves called upon to use escalating—even fatal—force, yes, the police sowed what they later reaped. My intent was rather different. People like the Reverend Al, if perhaps not Al himself, loaded the gun used to execute these two cops, and handed it to their killer.

PPS: Thank God Obama is in Hawaii. I’d hate for this to ruin his vacation.

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¿Cuba Libre?

You tell me:

Here is what the U.S. Agency for International Development, which takes its foreign policy guidance from the White House and the State Department, has to say about Cuba:

Cuba is a totalitarian state which relies on repressive methods to maintain control. Criticism of national leaders or the political system can lead to imprisonment. Members of the security forces harass and physically assault human rights and pro-democracy advocates, dissidents, detainees, and prisoners. The Cuban Government does not allow independent monitoring of prison conditions by international or national human rights groups and continues to refuse access to detainees by international humanitarian organizations (U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011).…

The Cuban Government routinely denies its citizens freedom of association and does not recognize independent associations. The Cuban Constitution prohibits any political organization that is not officially recognized. As a result, grassroots community efforts which operate in a democratic manner are extremely limited (U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011)….

The Cuban Government owns and the Communist Party controls all print and broadcast media outlets. News and information programming is nearly uniform across all outlets, and the law prohibits distribution of printed material from foreign sources considered “counterrevolutionary” or critical of the government. Foreign newspapers or magazines are generally unavailable, and distribution of material with political content, interpreted broadly to include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is not allowed and can result in harassment and even detention.

The Cuban Government controls nearly all internet access, with the exception of extremely limited facilities, where foreigners and citizens are allowed to buy Internet access cards for use at hotel business centers, where the price of Internet access is beyond the means of most citizens. Authorities review the browsing history of authorized users, review and censor e-mail, employ Internet search filters, and block access to Web sites considered objectionable (U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011).

Under the arrangement Obama has crafted, Cuba is required to do not a damn thing about reforming any of this. In “exchange,” the United States of America gives Cuba full diplomatic recognition. Plus, Obama tells the world’s other despots that a windfall from Uncle Sam could be awaiting them, too, if they abduct American citizens and hold them for ransom.

It’s true that we have diplomatic relations with just about everybody—North Korea being the only notable exception. But Havana doesn’t sound a whole hell of a lot freer. Pyonyang with an extra ration of fried plantains. Beijing with palm trees.

Cuba’s current sugardaddy, Venezuela, is in its own circle of Hell. If there was ever a time to squeeze Cuba for human rights concessions, this was that time. I guess human rights are just another first-world, colonial imposition on the indigenous proletariat of the world, and Obama says [bleep] that noise. Besides, Major League Baseball could do with a few more power pitchers and right-handed bats.

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Lying Cuz He Feels Like It

President Obama thinks Sony “acted stupidly” in pulling The Interview from distribution.

Wonder where they got the idea?

[Sony Pictures CEO Michael] Lynton reacted to Obama’s comment that he wished Sony had reached out to them. “We definitely spoke to a senior advisor in the White House to talk about the situation. The fact is, did we talk to the president himself? … The White House was certainly aware of the situation.”

A simple misunderstanding, I’m sure. Perhaps a follow-up question to clear things up, Mr. President?

Sir?

Sir?!!

Vacationing in Hawaii, where the president was born and spent much of his childhood, has been a tradition every year that Obama has been in the White House. This year, the trip comes as Obama closes out a chaotic sixth year in office on something of a high note.

Lofty aspirations to overhaul immigration laws, early childhood education and U.S. wages were scuttled by stubborn opposition to Obama’s agenda in Congress, and on his watch, Democrats took a drubbing in the midterm elections that will relegate them to the minority in Congress for Obama’s last two years. Crises erupted in Ukraine, the Middle East and West Africa, diverting Obama’s attention time and again.

Yet as Obama packed his bags for Hawaii, he appeared buoyed by what he had managed to accomplish on other fronts, including the resumption of relations with Cuba last week after a half-century of antagonism. In his year-end news conference Friday, Obama said he felt energized, citing signs of major progress in the economic recovery and his recent executive actions on immigration and climate change.

A high note? An unlawful amnesty and a fraudulent “climate” “treaty” are hardly high notes. Discordant more like. A pity about those pesky crises diverting Obama’s attention time and again. You try sinking a six-foot, right-to-left breaking putt with the Crimea under the Russian boot.

As for Cuba, I’m pleased Alan Gross is a free man, but at the cost of several prisoners of our own and diplomatic recognition, just don’t tell me we don’t negotiate with terrorists when we just did. And lost the deal.

That would just be another in a long, long, long line of lies from this most corrupt of administrations (see above).

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King Hussein

As the affronts and outrages pile up, it’s hard to remember which affront is the most outrageous.

This one is:

JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW PROFESSOR: There is an issue whether the judge reached a bit too far from the case at hand. This really wasn’t a direct challenge to the immigration action taken by the president but it is scathing and the judge is touching on many complaints that have been raised in other lawsuits that do directly challenge these actions.

What’s a serious question here is the president’s decision to go it alone, not just in this area but other areas. We don’t have a license to go it alone in the United States. The scope of this type of action is legislative. It’s huge. It affects millions. But more importantly, it requires both the federal and state government to spend a great deal of money to support something that didn’t go through the legislative branch. And what people miss, and I think what this judge is trying to establish, is that that process of legislation is the very touch stone of our system, it’s what brings stability to our system. We have to agree, we have to compromise with legislation. When a president does it unilaterally, it takes that whole system off line. And that could be a dangerous thing.

I highlighted the main point. The Constitution assigns powers, not the president. Obama does not have the power to execute what he has so far merely spoken (but which is being executed nevertheless). How does that happen?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Congress may try legislative fixes and fiscal blockades, but the very act(s) itself is invalid. It does not carry the weight of law because it is not law. He has appropriated what does not belong to him, only unlike looters taking flat screen TVs or 12-packs of Miller, he has made off with powers assigned to the legislative branch of the government. And no one is lifting a finger to stop him.

TURLEY: The key to a Madisonian system is that nobody has enough power to go it alone, that was the genius of James Madison. But we’re seeing the rise of a new model of presidency and I believe that supporters of President Obama will rue the day when they stay silent in the face of this kind of concentration of power. This is the very danger that the constitution was designed to prevent, the concentration of power in one person’s hands or one branch…

Correction, Professor Turley. Supporters of President Obama will never “rue the day when they stay[ed] silent in the face of this kind of concentration of power”. If some day the tables are turned (as with the filibuster in the Senate), they will rue nothing. They will shout, declaim, cry, and caterwaul for “fairness” and “justice” until they get their way.

They believe in winning—even more, they believe in the other fellow losing. I thought the Constitution protected us against people like that, but I guess that’s where I was wrong.

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Cover Blown

While the European Union considers Hamass as harmless as the Elks or the Webelos, Hamass considers its options:

According to the reports, Hamas has acknowledged the limited efficacy of its mid- and longer-range rockets, many of which were shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system during the war, inflicting very limited civilian casualties. Meanwhile, Hamas has recognized the deadliness of mortar shells, which fall short of Iron Dome’s range.

One new approach that Hamas has been considering in an effort to extend its effective range is to launch large volleys of rockets that would challenge Iron Dome’s ability to fire interceptors in rapid succession, the reports said. It has also been conducting tests, lobbing dozens of rockets into the Mediterranean Sea in recent weeks, according to Ynet, which cited Palestinian Gaza sources in its report.

Is that how a crushed people in a devastated territory behave? Why would the international community reward an Islamofascist entity that starts wars, targets civilians (its own as well as Israeli), and earns the loathing of its big brother, Egypt?

Egyptian military troops have started to inform residents in Rafah that they must evacuate another 500 meters from the border with Gaza, indicting the beginning of the second phase in creating a buffer zone between Egypt and Gaza.

Residents of Rafah have begun to look for alternative housing in el Arish and Sheikh Zuwayed,

An earlier decision ordered residents to clear 500 meters from the border, following this order, the total area to be evacuated will reach 1 kilometer.

The government hopes the buffer zone will isolate the militants who say they attack the security forces in retaliation for the government crackdown on Morsi supporters in which at least 1,400 people have been killed in street clashes.

The authorities also hope that the buffer zone will neutralize hundreds of illegal underground tunnels connecting the Egyptian side of Rafah with Gaza.

Such tunnels are often used for smuggling weapons and militants, and the army says it has already destroyed more than 1,600 of them.

My only disappointment is that Egypt is using its own territory to build a moat around Gaza. I had previously congratulated them on seizing Gaza’s own land for that purpose.

And just for the sake of completeness:

A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip exploded in open territory near the Eshkol Regional Council on Friday around noon, the IDF confirmed.

But when I asked above “why would the international community reward an Islamofascist entity”, I was being rhetorical:

Two months after donors pledged $5.4 billion to help rebuild Gaza after the war between Israel and Hamas, Palestinian, UN and other officials say barely two percent of the money has been transferred.

The conference in Cairo had been hailed as a success, with Qatar promising $1 billion, Saudi Arabia $500 million and the United States and the European Union a combined $780 million in various forms of assistance.

Half was expected to go to rebuilding houses and infrastructure in Gaza destroyed during seven weeks of fighting, and the rest to support the Palestinian budget.

But of the total, only $100 million or so has been received, according to UN and other officials. While the EU and the United States have accelerated some funding that was already in the pipeline, very few new pledges have come to fruition.

So, the Arab states welsh on their pledges, made at a lavish, pointless conference, leaving the US and EU to pick up the tab—with some, most, or all of the money going toward rearming a group even Egypt treats as rabid, as the EU seeks to delist them as a terrorist organization.

And you say I’m cynical.

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Apartheid State Update

Not the apartheid state you were expecting….

But then, it never is:

The deputy speaker of the Swedish parliament caused an outrage by suggesting that Jews living in Sweden should ditch their identity if they wish to be considered Swedes.

The claim by Bjorn Soder, of the Sweden Democrats party, was made in an interview with a Swedish newspaper, according to the International Business Times.

In the interview, Soder said that “most Jewish people in Sweden left behind” their racial identity in order to assimilate.

He further said that it would be a problem if there were too many people in Sweden “who belong to other nations” and had non-Swedish identities. Paying immigrants to go home would also help to avoid “foreign enclaves” and instead “create a society with a common identity”, he said, according to remarks quoted by The Guardian.

Those of us familiar with the, ahem, social unrest, in Malmo might not disagree with him. Except he’s got the wrong Great World Religion. Estimates of 500,000 Muslims in Sweden date from 2009.

More recent counts (given the refugees from Islam’s many uncivil wars) put the number at 700,000.

There are 20,000 Jews.

That’s 2.8% the number of Muslims, 0.2% of the Swedish population overall.

And Jews are Sweden’s problem.

The leader of Sweden’s Jewish community condemned the remarks as “good old rightwing anti-Semitism”, saying that the comments conveyed a message that Jews were untrustworthy and could not be considered real Swedes, “exactly like in 1930s Germany” from which her grandfather had fled.

Lena Posner Körösi, president of the Official Council of Jewish Communities in Sweden, was quoted by The Guardian as having said the remarks showed “the mask is slipping” from the face of Sweden Democrats to reveal the essence of what they stand for.

“I am appalled that Sweden’s third largest party can express itself in this way about Jews and other minorities,” she said. “We have to take them really seriously. This not a small group of fanatics you can dismiss.”

Soder claimed in response the remarks were taken out of context.

Fair enough. Perhaps we should be more understanding. Look how his mother dresses him:

As people who believe in Israel as a Jewish state, we don’t object to Sweden as a Swedish state. But we would ask Sweden to be a little more discriminating (if that’s the word) toward whomever it is that threatens their Swedosity. In the Swedish body politic Jews are an earlobe or an eye brow. They’re not your problem. They never are.

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Global Warming Update

Interesting:

Here’s another Scottish mystery to file alongside the Loch Ness Monster and Mel Gibson’s accent in “Braveheart.”

These strange frozen saucers were found during a recent cold snap near the River Dee — a salmon-filled waterway that passes by the British Queen’s summer residence, Balmoral Castle, before heading eastwards to the coastal city of Aberdeen.

The trust said it was initially unsure what caused the pancakes, but supects they’re caused by a rare phenomenon in which foam freezes in a swirling eddy.

The Trust said it’s the first time the pancakes, more commonly found in the Antarctic or the Baltic Sea, have been seen on the River Dee.

More common in the Antarctic, huh? And the Baltic Sea?

Interesting.

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