July 2009 Archives

Professor Wisse was one of the few female defenders of President Larry Summers who was drummed out of the presidency by militant feminists who couldn't abide his speculation that perhaps, just perhaps, genetics had something to do with female excellence in the social sciences and lack of it in most scientific and mathematic endeavors. They also couldn't stand his support for the military and showing up at graduation ceremonies for graduating ROTC students.

Hopefully, her good advice will be taken to heart by Professor Gates.

Opinion in the Harvard Crimson

A Colleague's Concerns

Published On 7/30/2009 9:58:21 PM

By RUTH R. WISSE

Dear Skip,

My first thought on hearing of your arrest was for your welfare, so I was relieved to learn that the case against you had been dropped and you were off to join your family on Martha's Vineyard. From what I can piece together, you must have been exhausted after a long flight, exasperated to have your front door jammed, and then dumbfounded to find yourself suspected of breaking and entering your own home. To that point, you have my sympathy.

But thereafter your case becomes disturbing, and while the president's unwise comments turned a local episode into a national referendum, it's the local issue that troubles me. Like you, I live in Cambridge, commonly known as the "People's Republic of Cambridge" for its left-leaning political correctness. Our congressional district has not sent a Republican to Washington since 1955. Not surprisingly, the officers who came to your door--a rainbow of black, Hispanic, and white--were led by a man hand-picked to provide training on the avoidance of bias in policing. To accuse the Cambridge police of racial profiling, as you did, is about as credible as charging Barack Obama with favoring Republicans.

What puzzles me most in the report of your actions--or reactions--on July 16 is why you would have chosen, as I've heard you put it elsewhere, to "talk Black" to Officer Crowley instead of "talking White" as you so eloquently and regularly do? These are distinctions I've heard you expound--how educated African Americans switch their register of speech depending on what part of themselves they want to get across. Many of us do something similar inside and outside our particular communities, but you make it sound like a sport that is also for African Americans a tool of survival. So why didn't you address the policemen as fellow Cantabrigians? What was that "yo' mama" talk instead of saying simply, in the same register your interlocutor was using, "Look, officer, I'm sorry for your trouble. Thanks for checking on my house when you thought I was being burgled, but this is my home, and if you give me a minute, I'll find the piece of mail or license that proves it to you." It seems it wasn't the policeman doing the profiling, it was you. You played him for a racist cop and treated him disrespectfully. Had you truly feared bias, you would surely have behaved in a more controlled, rather than a less controlled, way.

Do you really think anyone in this country has reached adulthood without having undergone the humiliation of self-justification to police? As it happens, a few days prior to your arrest, I was pulled over on the highway near Saranac Lake, New York. My husband and I had driven into town for dinner and were on our way back to our camp in the Adirondacks. When I saw that I was being stopped, I said, "I don't get it. I'm going under 55 mph." Nonetheless, when the officer approached the car, I quickly rolled down the window, reached for my driver's license as my husband got the registration out of the glove compartment, and said to the officer as gently as I could, "Excuse me officer, have I done anything wrong?" (I had not noticed that one of our headlights was out: We were told to repair it at the next gas station.) It would not have occurred to this gray-haired Caucasian female to count on a policeman's sympathy; the last time I tried joking with a policeman, some 40 years ago, my quip cost me an extra $15 on my fine.

Rather than taking offense at being racially profiled, weren't you instead insulted that someone as prominent as you was being subjected to a regular police routine? A Harvard professor and public figure--should you have to be treated like an ordinary citizen? But that's the greatness of this country: Enforcers of the law are expected to treat all alike, to protect the house of a black man no less carefully than that of white neighbors. You and I entrust our protection to these police, and we also entrust to them the protection of Harvard students. These are the police who were called in on May 18 to deal with the shooting of Justin Cosby, 21, inside one of the Harvard dorms by suspects who, like him, were African Americans. Has any case ever been dealt with more discreetly--likely at least in part because it involved African Americans? Should we not be encouraging all students to live within the law and to consider ourselves on the side of the law unless clearly and manifestly demonstrated otherwise? Is it not for faculty to set an example of politeness, civility, responsibility, and cool temper?

The ironies of progress can hardly be lost on you. When I came to Harvard in 1993, you had just published in the New York Times an op-ed urging black intellectuals to face up to their own racist attitudes. Invoking the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr., you wrote, "While anti-Semitism is generally on the wane in this country, it has been on the rise among black Americans. A recent survey finds not only that blacks are twice as likely as whites to hold anti-Semitic views but--significantly--that it is among younger and more educated blacks that anti-Semitism is most pronounced." You argued then that owning up to such internal racism was the key to self-respect. Now that America has a black president, Massachusetts a black governor, and Cambridge a black mayor, you appear to have adopted the posture of racial victim. Are you trying to keep alive the politically potent appeal to liberal guilt?

I'm concerned for you, but would not like to see the authority of our police diminished, their effectiveness reduced, or their reputation unfairly tarnished. Since, inadvertently I assume, you have made the work of our police force more difficult than it already is, I wish that you would help set the record straight. You are the man to do it.


Ruth R. Wisse is the Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature, and Professor of Comparative Literature, at Harvard.


Charges have gone back and forth about the racism of Henry Louis Gates and Barack Obama. Are they racists? A new word has sprung up: racialism. Is that different?

Was Obama's ill-advised (but pre-planned) comment on police department "stupidity" (before "knowing all the facts") a mistake anyone could make when a friend is involved or is it reflective of deep-seated animosity towards the white world in which he was brought up and lives?

His mentor in high school, a black member of the American Communist party Frank Marshall Davis, exposed him early to Marxist Socialism, but also reportedly offered advice for a lifetime: Never trust whitey. The same message was heard for 20 years as Jeremiah Wright denounced "white man's greed."

But there's much more as Omnia21 has reported on a number of occasions, such as here and here.

From Obama's own book and words, one can decide how ingrained Obama's racism is.


The disaster for America that is Obama.

Professor Thomas Sowell of Stanford's Hoover Institution has explored who Obama is over many, many months. His conclusion is sobering or frightening, depeneding on how fully you agree with Professor Sowell's assessment.


Our New President: Disaster In The Making?

By THOMAS SOWELL | Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2009 4:20 PM PT

SowellHead.jpg

After many a disappointment with someone, and especially after a disaster, we may be able to look back at numerous clues that should have warned us that the person we trusted did not deserve our trust.

When that person is the president of the United States, the potential for disaster is virtually unlimited.

Many people are rightly worried about what this administration's reckless spending will do to the economy in our time and to our children and grandchildren, to whom a staggering national debt will be passed on. But if the worst that Barack Obama does is ruin the economy, I will breathe a sigh of relief.

He is heading this country toward disaster on many fronts, including a nuclear Iran, which has every prospect of being an irretrievable disaster of almost unimaginable magnitude. We cannot put that genie back in the bottle -- and neither can generations yet unborn. They may yet curse us all for leaving them hostages to nuclear terror.

Conceivably, Israel can spare us that fate by taking out the Iranian nuclear facilities, instead of relying on Obama's ability to talk the Iranians out of going nuclear.

What the Israelis cannot spare us, however, are our own internal problems, of which the current flap over President Obama's injecting himself into a local police issue is just a small sign of a very big danger.

Nothing has torn more countries apart from inside like racial and ethnic polarization. Just this year, a decades-long civil war, filled with unspeakable atrocities, has finally ended in Sri Lanka. The painful irony is that, when the British colony of Ceylon became the independent nation of Sri Lanka in 1948, its people were considered to be a shining example for the world of good relations between a majority (the Sinhalese) and a minority (the Tamils).

That all changed when politicians decided to "solve" the "problem" that the Tamil minority was much more economically successful than the Sinhalese majority. Group identity politics led to group preferences and quotas that escalated into polarization, mob violence and ultimately civil war.

Group identity politics has poisoned many other countries, including at various times Kenya, Czechoslovakia, Fiji, Guyana, Canada, Nigeria, India and Rwanda. In some countries the polarization has gone as far as mass expulsions or civil war.

The desire of many Americans for a "post-racial" society is well-founded, though the belief that Barack Obama would move in that direction was extremely ill-advised, given the history of his actions and associations.

This is a president on a mission to remake American society in every aspect, by whatever means are necessary and available. That requires taking all kinds of decisions out of the hands of ordinary Americans and transferring them to Washington elites -- and ultimately the No. 1 elite, Barack Obama himself.

Like so many before him who have ruined countries around the world, Obama has a greatly inflated idea of his own capabilities and the prospects of what can be accomplished by rhetoric or even by political power.

Often this has been accompanied by an ignorance of history, including the history of how many people before him have tried similar things with disastrous results.

During a recent TV interview, when President Obama was asked about the prospects of victory in Afghanistan, he replied that it would not be victory like in World War II, with "Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur."

In reality, it was not Emperor Hirohito who surrendered on the battleship Missouri. American troops were already occupying Japan before Hirohito met Gen. Douglas MacArthur for the first time.

This is not the first betrayal of his ignorance by Obama, nor the first overlooked by the media. Moreover, ignorance by itself is not nearly as bad as charging full steam ahead, pretending to know. Barack Obama is doing that on a lot of issues, not just history or a local police incident in Massachusetts.

While the mainstream media in America will never call him on this, these repeated demonstrations of his amateurism and immaturity will not go unnoticed by this country's enemies around the world. And it is the American people who will pay the price.

OBAMA -- GENOCIDAL SUICIDE?

As we have often noted, Obama is the most pro-abortion public official in the United States and with the power of the presidency is instituting American policies that will lead to the death of millions if not tens of millions of innocent lives.

Jeff Jacoby traces the lineage of abortion supporters back to the Nazi eugenics movement and the American Margaret Sanger, who wanted to purify the human race by eliminating the undesirables. He found a startling "echo" of that desire in a recent statement by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg quoted in The New York Times:

"Reproductive choice has to be straightened out,'' she said in a recent New York Times interview. She was referring to the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of Medicaid funds for abortions - a law the Supreme Court upheld in Harris v. McRae in 1980. "Frankly, I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. . . But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way.''

Populations that we don't want to have too many of - who would those be, exactly? Minorities? The poor? The handicapped?

Jacoby then notes:

[A]s Jonah Goldberg points out in his 2008 bestseller "Liberal Fascism,'' abortion today "ends more black lives than heart disease, cancer, accidents, AIDS, and violent crime combined.'' More than half of all black pregnancies in America end in abortion. Surely that wasn't what Justice Ginsburg meant by "populations that we don't want to have too many of.'' Or was it?

Clearly, Obama is following in the footsteps of those eugenicists. But, by so doing, he is engaging in a form of genocidal suicide, eliminating the lives of untold millions of black people that he so ardently identifies with in every one of his anti-white diatribes.

Based on their own sad experience, the British are sizing up Obama a bit more quickly than many Americans:

If he is not careful, Barack Obama may end up as one of the least popular presidents in American history. His dream of re-making the world's greatest power into a large-scale version of modern-day Germany - with high taxation, dominant trade unions, overbearing government bureaucracy, stifling employment regulations, low defence spending, de-nuclearisation, a naive emphasis on soft power, and a constant desire to apologise for the past - is a nightmarish vision that fortunately is opposed by a growing majority of Americans.

Read it all.

Nile Gardiner is a Washington-based foreign affairs analyst and political commentator. He appears frequently on American and British television and radio, including Fox News Channel, CNN, BBC, Sky News, and NPR.

The Obama dream turns into nightmare

By Nile Gardiner July 24th, 2009 The Telegraph, London


Today's Rasmussen Presidential Tracking survey will have hit the poll-obsessed Obama White House like a bullet train at full speed. For the first time, Barack Obama's approval rating has fallen below 50 per cent among likely voters. 51 per cent of Americans now disapprove of the president, with 38 per cent strongly disapproving. The poll also reveals that 53 per cent oppose the president's hugely controversial congressional health care reform package, and a mere 31 per cent believe America as a country is heading in the right direction under Obama's leadership.

Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina was absolutely right when he pointed out this week that the Obama socialized health care plan could end up being Obama's Waterloo, though arguably the initial outlook for Napoleon at the start of his own battle was slightly less grim. Even Democrats on Capitol Hill have balked at the huge costs of the $1 trillion Obama proposal, and the Senate has delayed a vote until after the August recess.

To add to Obama's woes, unemployment in America now stands at a staggering 9.5 percent and rising (the same level as the Euro area), compared to 7.2 per cent in the UK and 5.2 per cent in Japan, with the U.S. economy continuing to shed hundreds of thousands of jobs every month. According to figures cited by The New York Times, over 3.3 million jobs have been lost since January of this year. Apart from an unexpected rise in profits for prestige investment banks, there is little sign the $787 billion stimulus package is actually working (of which only $100 billion has actually been spent), and the size of America's debt has reached staggering proportions - about $11 trillion.

As recent Gallup surveys have shown, the United States remains a largely conservative nation, and Obama's brand of high spending, high taxing neo-socialism is increasingly rejected by the American public. While much of Europe, including Britain, is moving rightwards, America is the only major country in the Western world whose leadership is dramatically moving to the left. Although he ran for the presidency largely as a centrist, Obama's government is without doubt the most left-wing administration in American history.

Even with liberals dominating the Executive Branch and both Houses of Congress, as well as about 80 per cent of America's print and television media, the Obama team has so far spectacularly failed to win over the American people to a radical big government agenda that seeks to significantly enhance the power of the state over the individual.

If he is not careful, Barack Obama may end up as one of the least popular presidents in American history. His dream of re-making the world's greatest power into a large-scale version of modern-day Germany - with high taxation, dominant trade unions, overbearing government bureaucracy, stifling employment regulations, low defence spending, de-nuclearisation, a naive emphasis on soft power, and a constant desire to apologise for the past - is a nightmarish vision that fortunately is opposed by a growing majority of Americans. The spirit of individual liberty and free enterprise remains the most powerful force in the United States today, and any government that goes against it is bound to fail in imposing its agenda.

RACIST PROFESSOR, RACIST PRESIDENT

Who says it better than Mark Steyn?


Friday, July 24, 2009
Mark Steyn: Obama knows 'stupidly' when he doesn't see it
Encounter between cops and black professor suggests grievance-mongering will always be with us.
Mark Steyn
Syndicated columnist in the Orange County Register


By common consent, the most memorable moment of Barack Obama's otherwise listless press conference on "health care" were his robust remarks on the "racist" incident involving professor Henry Louis Gates and the Cambridge police. The latter "acted stupidly," pronounced the chief of state. The president of the United States may be reluctant to condemn Ayatollah Khamenei or Hugo Chávez or that guy in Honduras without examining all the nuances and footnotes, but sometimes there are outrages so heinous that even the famously nuanced must step up to the plate and speak truth to power. And thank God the leader of the free world had the guts to stand up and speak truth to municipal police Sgt. James Crowley.

For everyone other than the president, what happened at professor Gates' house is not entirely clear. The Harvard prof returned home without his keys and, as Obama put it, "jimmied his way into the house." A neighbor, witnessing the "break-in," called the cops, and things, ah, escalated from there. Professor Gates is now saying that, if Sgt. Crowley publicly apologizes for his racism, the prof will graciously agree to "educate him about the history of racism in America." Which is a helluva deal. I mean, Ivy League parents remortgage their homes to pay Gates for the privilege of lecturing their kids, and here he is offering to hector it away to some no-name lunkhead for free.

As to the differences between the professor's and the cops' version of events, I confess I've been wary of taking Henry Louis Gates at his word ever since, almost two decades back, the literary scholar compared the lyrics of the rap group 2 Live Crew to those of the Bard of Avon. "It's like Shakespeare's 'My love is like a red, red rose,'" he declared, authoritatively, to a court in Fort Lauderdale.

As it happens, "My luv's like a red, red rose" was written by Robbie Burns, a couple of centuries after Shakespeare. Oh, well. 16th century English playwright, 18th century Scottish poet: What's the diff? Evidently being within the same quarter-millennium and right general patch of the North-East Atlantic is close enough for a professor of English and Afro-American Studies appearing as an expert witness in a court case. Certainly no journalist reporting Gates' testimony was boorish enough to point out the misattribution.

I hasten to add I have nothing against the great man. He's always struck me as one of those faintly absurd figures in which the American academy appears to specialize, but relatively harmless by overall standards. And I certainly sympathize with the general proposition that not all encounters with the constabulary go as agreeably as one might wish. Last year I had a minor interaction with a Vermont state trooper, and, 60 seconds into the conversation, he called me a "liar." I considered my options:

Option a): I could get hot under the collar, yell at him, get tasered into submission and possibly shot while "resisting arrest";


Option b): I could politely tell the trooper I object to his characterization, and then write a letter to the commander of his barracks the following morning suggesting that such language is not appropriate to routine encounters with members of the public and betrays a profoundly defective understanding of the relationship between law enforcement officials and the citizenry in civilized societies.

I chose the latter course, and received a letter back offering partial satisfaction and explaining that the trooper would be receiving "supervisory performance-related issue-counseling," which, with any luck, is even more ghastly than it sounds and hopefully is still ongoing.

Professor Gates chose option a), which is just plain stupid. For one thing, these days they have dash-cams and two-way radios and a GPS gizmo in the sharp end of the billy club, so an awful lot of this stuff winds up being preserved on tape, and, if you're the one a-hootin' an' a-hollerin', it's not going to help. In the Sixties, the great English satirist Peter Simple invented the Prejudometer, which simply by being pointed at any individual could calculate degrees of racism to the nearest prejudon, "the internationally recognized scientific unit of racial prejudice." Professor Gates seems to go around with his Prejudometer permanently cranked up to 11: When Sgt. Crowley announced through the glass-paneled front door that he was here to investigate a break-in, Gates opened it up and roared back: "Why? Because I'm a black man in America?"

Gates then told him, "I'll speak with your mama outside." Outside, Sgt. Crowley's mama failed to show. But among his colleagues were a black officer and a Hispanic officer. Which is an odd kind of posse for what the Rev. Al Sharpton calls, inevitably, "the highest example of racial profiling I have seen." But what of our post-racial president? After noting that "'Skip' Gates is a friend" of his, President Obama said that "there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately." But, if they're being "disproportionately" stopped by African American and Latino cops, does that really fall under the category of systemic racism? Short of dispatching one of those Uighur Muslims from China recently liberated from Gitmo by Obama to frolic and gambol on the beaches of Bermuda, the assembled officers were a veritable rainbow coalition. The photograph of the arrest shows a bullet-headed black cop - Sgt. Leon Lashley, I believe - standing in front of the porch while behind him a handcuffed Gates yells accusations of racism. This is the pitiful state the Bull Connors of the 21st century are reduced to, forced to take along a squad recruited from the nearest Benetton ad when they go out to whup some uppity Negro boy.

As professor Gates jeered at the officers, "You don't know who you're messin' with." Did Sgt. Crowley have to arrest him? Probably not. Did he allow himself to be provoked by an obnoxious buffoon? Maybe. I dunno. I wasn't there. Neither was the president of the United States, or the governor of Massachusetts or the mayor of Cambridge. All of whom have declared themselves firmly on the side of the Ivy League bigshot. And all of whom, as it happens, are African American. A black president, a black governor and a black mayor all agree with a black Harvard professor that he was racially profiled by a white-Latino-black police team, headed by a cop who teaches courses in how to avoid racial profiling. The boundless elasticity of such endemic racism suggests that the "post-racial America" will be living with blowhard grievance-mongers like professor Gates unto the end of time.

In a fairly typical "he said/VIP said" incident, the VIP was the author of his own misfortune but, with characteristic arrogance, chose to ascribe it to systemic racism, Jim Crow, lynchings, the Klan, slavery, Jefferson impregnating Sally Hemmings, etc. And so it goes, now and forever. My advice to professor Gates for future incidents would be to establish his authority early.

Quote Shakespeare, from his early days with Hallmark:

"Roses are red
Violets are blue
Victims are black
Like 2 Live Crew."

BARBARISM, SHIITE STYLE

Wafa Sultan, brought up in Islamic Syria and trained as a physician, was lucky enough with her husband to emigrate to the United States and settled in the Los Angeles area. She appeared on al Jazeera TV and said that there wasn't a war of civilizations going on, it was a war between civilization and the barbarism of Islam. She has enraged the leading TV personality on al Jazeera, Shiekh Yousef al-Quaradawi, who opined that any Muslim would be blessed for causing her death. In America, Sultan with her husband are in hiding.

Well, is there barbarism? Isn't this an exaggeration? This story out of Iran makes one think not. Those who rule Iran not only had the military and the Revolutionary Guards, they also had their equivalent of the National Guard without uniforms -- recruits in plain clothes ready to do whatever for the regime for a paycheck. Neda, a music student watching the protests in Iran who has become a symbol of the revolution, was gunned down by a Basiji. There was worse evil.

So a Basiji admits to its barbarism. Because under Islam women who are virgins cannot be executed, prison guards rape them the night before.

WHAT ISLAMIC INVASION OF EUROPE?

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The mainstream media, left wing that it is, acts as the left wing in Europe does, siding with Muslims as wonderful new neighbors in Europe. The reality is very different, as this article from Brussels Journal discloses. The Muslim invasion is gaining strength and only courageous people like Geert Wilders of the Netherlands is standing up to say, "STOP." But their numbers are expanding. The message is simple: "Become one of us or leave. We will not abandon our civilization for yours."

While the Obama administration is rushing the country headlong towards economic doom, other world leaders are waking up to the fact that a growing economy trumps phony environmentalism every times.

At least that's what Mark Steyn thinks.

When your unemployment rate is 17 percent (as in Spain), "unsustainable growth" is no longer your most pressing problem. The environmental cult is itself a product of what the prince calls the "Age of Convenience": It's what you worry about it when you don't have to worry about jobs or falling house prices or collapsed retirement accounts. Today, as European prime ministers are beginning to figure out, a strategic goal of making things worse when they're already worse is a much tougher sell.

Read it all.

July 11, 2009

Gaia's Right
Environmentalism seeks to return us to the age of kings.

By Mark Steyn


According to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, we only have 96 months left to save the planet.

I'm impressed. 96 months. Not 95. Not 97. July 2017. Put it in your diary. Usually the warm-mongers stick to the same old drone that we only have ten years left to save the planet. Nice round number. Al Gore said we only have ten years left three-and-a-half years ago, which makes him technically more of a pessimist than the Prince of Wales. Al's betting that Armageddon kicks in sometime in January 2016 -- unless he's just peddling glib generalities. And, alas, even a prophet of the ecopalypse as precise as His Royal Highness is sometimes prone to this airy-fairy ten-year shtick: In April, Prince Charles predicted that the red squirrel would be extinct "within ten years," which suggests that, while it may be curtains for man and all his wretched works come summer of 2017, the poor doomed red squirrel will have the best part of two years to frolic and gambol on a ruined landscape.

More . . .

Obama has exploded federal spending to expand government control of the economy and make millions more dependent on government handouts, but promised he wouldn't raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000. Remaking the U.S. into the European model will doom America to mediocrity, as it is doing Europe, because of its unsustainable welcome progams that even incredibly high taxes can't support.

Europeans, notorious for tax evasion, cannot escape the so-called VAT tax, which imposes a tax on the value added at every step in the process of producing goods or services. To the delight of politicians, it's an indirect or hidden tax, but a very big money maker.

Here's a tax that will hit everyone (even those who pay no income tax) and it is being quietly discussed inside the Obama administration as the fuel it needs. (What's another broken promise, particularly if it can be hidden and disguised?) The money isn't wanted to reduce the huge Obama deficits, but to keep government growing even more. What's another broken promise?

Lawrence Summers, the witty economist now advising the Obama leadership, foresaw the possibility of the VAT tax being embraced even by the left wing in the U.S.:

Liberals oppose a VAT because it is regressive and conservatives oppose it because it is a money machine, but a VAT might come when liberals realize it is a money machine and conservatives realize it is regressive.

George Will looks ahead to where investors will want to put their money:

Will a person or institution looking for a place to invest $1 billion seek opportunities in the United States, where policy decisions are deliberately increasing taxes, debt, regulations and the cost of energy, and soon will increase the cost of borrowing and hiring? Or will the investor look at, say, India. It is the least urbanized major country -- 70 percent of Indians live in rural areas, 50 percent on farms -- so the modernizing and productivity-enhancing movement from the countryside to the city is in its infancy. This nation of 1.2 billion people has a savings rate of 25 percent to 30 percent, and fewer than 20 million credit cards. Which nation, India or the United States, is apt to have the higher economic growth over the next decade?

Democrats control all the levers of national power and there is nothing to stop their "tax and spend" rampage.

Economic destruction lies ahead. The incompetence and bureaucratic bungling of government will hold more and more sway over the operations of the economic sector. At the moment, there is no escape in sight.

If Obama wants to destroy the American economy, he's doing a great job.

Higher Taxes, Anyone?
George Will
Sunday, July 12, 2009

WASHINGTON -- Economic policy, which became startling when Washington began buying automobile companies, has become surreal now that disappointment with the results of the second stimulus is stirring talk about the need for a ... second stimulus. Elsewhere, it requires centuries to bleach mankind's memory; in Washington, 17 months suffice: In February 2008, President George W. Bush and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who normally were at daggers drawn, agreed that a $168 billion stimulus -- this was Stimulus I -- would be the "booster shot" the economy needed. Unemployment then was 4.8 percent.

In January, the administration, shiny as a new dime and bursting with brains, said that unless another stimulus -- Stimulus II wound up involving $787 billion -- was passed immediately, unemployment, which then was 7.6 percent, would reach 9 percent by 2010. But halfway through 2009, the rate is 9.5. For the first time since the now 16-nation Eurozone was established in 1999, the unemployment rate in America is as high as it is in that region, which Americans once considered a cautionary lesson in the wages of sin, understood as excessive taxation and regulation.

"Everyone guessed wrong" about the economy's weakness, says the vice president, explaining why Stimulus II has not yielded anticipated benefits. Joe Biden is beguiling when unfiltered by calculation, as he often is and as he was when he spoke about guessing ("Meet the Press," June 14) and how everyone "misread" the economy ("This Week," July 5). To be fair, economics is a science of single instances, which means it is hardly a science. And it is least like one when we most crave certainty from it -- when there is a huge and unprecedented event and educated guessing is the best anyone can do.

But before embarking on Stimulus III, note that only about 10 percent of Stimulus II has yet been injected into the economy in 2009. This is not the administration's fault, the administration's defenders say, because government is cumbersome, sluggish and inefficient. But this sunburst of insight comes as the administration toils to enlarge governmental control of health care, energy, finance, education, etc. The administration guesses that these government projects will do better than the Postal Service (its second-quarter loss, $1.9 billion, was 68 percent of its losses for all of 2008) and the government's railroad (Amtrak has had 38 money-losing years and this year's losses are on pace to set a record).

Let's guess: Will a person or institution looking for a place to invest $1 billion seek opportunities in the United States, where policy decisions are deliberately increasing taxes, debt, regulations and the cost of energy, and soon will increase the cost of borrowing and hiring? Or will the investor look at, say, India. It is the least urbanized major country -- 70 percent of Indians live in rural areas, 50 percent on farms -- so the modernizing and productivity-enhancing movement from the countryside to the city is in its infancy. This nation of 1.2 billion people has a savings rate of 25 percent to 30 percent, and fewer than 20 million credit cards. Which nation, India or the United States, is apt to have the higher economic growth over the next decade?

Yet while government diminishes America's comparative advantages, liberals are clamoring for ... higher taxes. Partly because of changes endorsed by presidents from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, approximately 60 percent of taxpayers now pay either no income tax (43 percent) or less than 5 percent of their income. Because one cannot raise significant money by that tax without nicking the middle class, or without bringing millions of people back onto the income tax rolls, attention is turning to a value-added tax.

A VAT is levied at every stage of production. Like the cap-and-trade regime being constructed, a VAT is a liberal politician's delight: It taxes everything, but opaquely.

Before he became an economic adviser in the Obama White House, where wit can be dangerous, Larry Summers said: Liberals oppose a VAT because it is regressive and conservatives oppose it because it is a money machine, but a VAT might come when liberals realize it is a money machine and conservatives realize it is regressive.

At the June 29 White House briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked, with reference to health care legislation, if the president's pledge not to raise taxes on couples making less than $250,000 is "still active." Gibbs answered: "We are going to let the process work its way through." What is your guess?

GLOBAL WARMING SUPPORT COOLING

Those who have built a money parade out of their global warming myth are ramping up the hysteria as evidence mounts that their theory is just, well, hot air.

A counter-consensus of the sensible is forming that is disproving in a variety of ways the suppositions the world is being commanded to take as facts.

Sadly, our sheep-like leaders have fallen in behind the myth makers and are making sweeping pledges to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The only certainty is that such reductions will devastate the world economy. There is no solid evidence that the climate will be affected one way or the other. Those who have argued for years that the action of the sun and the shifting of ocean currents have more to do with the cycles of climate change than anything man does are finally being heard by more and more people.

But the myth makers are adamant about shutting down dissent where they can. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suppressed and disowned a 90-page study by one of its senior scientists debunking the flow of misinformation from the UN climate change agency.

At the recent meeting of the world's leading nations (the G-20) India and China made it very clear they would do nothing to halt or slow the growth of their economies, largely fued by coal, which is needed to lift hundreds of millions out of poverty. Even if the developed world were able to achieve its suicidal goal in pursuit of phony science, the increasing output of greenhouse gases from these two giant economies would render their efforts meaningless.

Interestingly enough, the next political battleground will not be the December Copenhagen conference on climate change, but a crucial vote in the Australian Senate.

Christopher Booker recounts the state of battle.


Climate change: The sun and the oceans do not lie
Even a compromised agreement to reduce emissions could devastate the economy - and all for a theory shot full of holes, says Christopher Booker.

By Christopher Booker
Published: 6:10PM BST 11 Jul 2009

Comments 132 | Comment on this article

The sun controls our climate Photo: AP
The moves now being made by the world's political establishment to lock us into December's Copenhagen treaty to halt global warming are as alarming as anything that has happened in our lifetimes. Last week in Italy, the various branches of our emerging world government, G8 and G20, agreed in principle that the world must by 2050 cut its CO2 emissions in half. Britain and the US are already committed to cutting their use of fossil fuels by more than 80 per cent. Short of an unimaginable technological revolution, this could only be achieved by closing down virtually all our economic activity: no electricity, no transport, no industry. All this is being egged on by a gigantic publicity machine, by the UN, by serried ranks of government-funded scientists, by cheerleaders such as Al Gore, last week comparing the fight against global warming to that against Hitler's Nazis, and by politicians who have no idea what they are setting in train.

What makes this even odder is that the runaway warming predicted by their computer models simply isn't happening. Last week one of the four official sources of temperature measurement, compiled from satellite data by the University of Huntsville, Alabama, showed that temperatures have now fallen to their average level since satellite data began 30 years ago.

Faced with a "consensus" view which looks increasingly implausible, a fast-growing body of reputable scientists from many countries has been coming up with a ''counter-consensus'', which holds that their fellow scientists have been looking in wholly the wrong direction to explain what is happening to the world's climate. The two factors which most plausibly explain what temperatures are actually doing are fluctuations in the radiation of the sun and the related shifting of ocean currents.

Two episodes highlight the establishment's alarm at the growing influence of this ''counter consensus''. In March, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has a key role in President Obama's plans to curb CO2 emissions, asked one of its senior policy analysts, Alan Carlin, to report on the science used to justify its policy. His 90-page paper recommended that the EPA carry out an independent review of the science, because the CO2 theory was looking indefensible, while the "counter consensus'' view - solar radiation and ocean currents - seemed to fit the data much better. Provoking a considerable stir, Carlin's report was stopped dead, on the grounds that it was too late to raise objections to what was now the EPA's official policy.

Meanwhile a remarkable drama has been unfolding in Australia, where the new Labor government has belatedly joined the "consensus'' bandwagon by introducing a bill for an emissions-curbing "cap and trade'' scheme, which would devastate Australia's economy, it being 80 per cent dependent on coal. The bill still has to pass the Senate, which is so precisely divided that the decisive vote next month may be cast by an independent Senator, Stephen Fielding. So crucial is his vote that the climate change minister, Penny Wong, agreed to see him with his four advisers, all leading Australian scientists.

Fielding put to the minister three questions. How, since temperatures have been dropping, can CO2 be blamed for them rising? What, if CO2 was the cause of recent warming, was the cause of temperatures rising higher in the past? Why, since the official computer models have been proved wrong, should we rely on them for future projections?

The written answers produced by the minister's own scientific advisers proved so woolly and full of elementary errors that Fielding's team have now published a 50-page, fully-referenced "Due Diligence'' paper tearing them apart. In light of the inadequacy of the Government's reply, the Senator has announced that he will be voting against the bill.

The wider significance of this episode is that it is the first time a Western government has allowed itself to be drawn into debating the science behind the global warming scare with expert scientists representing the "counter consensus" - and the "consensus" lost hands down.

We still have a long way to go before that Copenhagen treaty is agreed in December, and with China, India and 128 other countries still demanding trillions of dollars as the price of their co-operation, the prospect of anything but a hopelessly fudged agreement looks slim. But even a compromise could inflict devastating damage on our own economic future - all for a theory now shot so full of holes that its supporters are having to suppress free speech to defend it.

What Obama is doing by negotiating with terrorists is a shocking break with decades-old American policy that can only cause harm to our forces at war.

Andrew McCarthy details this "shameful policy" of Obama's.

[W]hen it comes to Iran, it has become increasingly apparent that President Obama wants the mullahs to win. What you need to know is that Barack Obama is a wolf in "pragmatist" clothing: Beneath the easy smile and above-it-all manner -- the "neutral" doing his best to weigh competing claims -- is a radical leftist wedded to a Manichean vision that depicts American imperialism as the primary evil in the world.


Obama Frees Iranian Terror Masters

The release of the Irbil Five is a continuation of a shameful policy.

By Andrew C. McCarthy
National Review Online
July 11, 2009, 7:00 a.m.

There are a few things you need to know about President Obama's shameful release on Thursday of the "Irbil Five" -- Quds Force commanders from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) who were coordinating terrorist attacks in Iraq that have killed hundreds -- yes, hundreds -- of American soldiers and Marines.

First, of the 4,322 Americans killed in combat in Iraq since 2003, 10 percent of them (i.e., more than 400) have been murdered by a single type of weapon alone, a weapon that is supplied by Iran for the singular purpose of murdering Americans. As Steve Schippert explains at NRO's military blog, the Tank, the weapon is "the EFP (Explosively Formed Penetrator), designed by Iran's IRGC specifically to penetrate the armor of the M1 Abrams main battle tank and, consequently, everything else deployed in the field." Understand: This does not mean Iran has killed only 400 Americans in Iraq. The number killed and wounded at the mullahs' direction is far higher than that -- likely multiples of that -- when factoring in the IRGC's other tactics, such as the mustering of Hezbollah-style Shiite terror cells.

Second, President Bush and our armed forces steadfastly refused demands by Iran and Iraq's Maliki government for the release of the Irbil Five because Iran was continuing to coordinate terrorist operations against American forces in Iraq (and to aid Taliban operations against American forces in Afghanistan). Freeing the Quds operatives obviously would return the most effective, dedicated terrorist trainers to their grisly business.

Third, Obama's decision to release the five terror-masters comes while the Iranian regime (a) is still conducting operations against Americans in Iraq, even as we are in the process of withdrawing, and (b) is clearly working to replicate its Lebanon model in Iraq: establishing a Shiite terror network, loyal to Iran, as added pressure on the pliant Maliki to understand who is boss once the Americans leave. As the New York Times reports, Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, put it this way less than two weeks ago:

Iran is still supporting, funding, training surrogates who operate inside of Iraq -- flat out. . . . They have not stopped. And I don't think they will stop. I think they will continue to do that because they are also concerned, in my opinion, [about] where Iraq is headed. They want to try to gain influence here, and they will continue to do that. I think many of the attacks in Baghdad are from individuals that have been, in fact, funded or trained by the Iranians.

Fourth, President Obama's release of the Quds terrorists is a natural continuation of his administration's stunningly irresponsible policy of bartering terrorist prisoners for hostages. As I detailed here on June 24, Obama has already released a leader of the Iran-backed Asaib al-Haq terror network in Iraq, a jihadist who is among those responsible for the 2007 murders of five American troops in Karbala. While the release was ludicrously portrayed as an effort to further "Iraqi reconciliation" (as if that would be a valid reason to spring a terrorist who had killed Americans), it was in actuality a naïve attempt to secure the reciprocal release of five British hostages -- and a predictably disastrous one: The terror network released only the corpses of two of the hostages, threatening to kill the remaining three (and who knows whether they still are alive?) unless other terror leaders were released.

Michael Ledeen has reported that the release of the Irbil Five is part of the price Iran has demanded for its release in May of the freelance journalist Roxana Saberi. Again, that's only part of the price: Iran also has demanded the release of hundreds of its other terror facilitators in our custody. Expect to see Obama accommodate this demand, too, in the weeks ahead.

Finally, when it comes to Iran, it has become increasingly apparent that President Obama wants the mullahs to win. What you need to know is that Barack Obama is a wolf in "pragmatist" clothing: Beneath the easy smile and above-it-all manner -- the "neutral" doing his best to weigh competing claims -- is a radical leftist wedded to a Manichean vision that depicts American imperialism as the primary evil in the world.

You may not have wanted to addle your brain over his tutelage in Hawaii by the Communist Frank Marshall Davis, nor his tracing of Davis's career steps to Chicago, where he seamlessly eased into the orbit of Arafat apologist Rashid Khalidi, anti-American terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, and Maoist "educator" Michael Klonsky -- all while imbibing 20 years' worth of Jeremiah Wright's Marxist "black liberation theology." But this neo-Communist well from which Obama drew holds that the world order is a maze of injustice, racism, and repression. Its unified theory for navigating the maze is: "United States = culprit." Its default position is that tyrants are preferable as long as they are anti-American, and that while terrorist methods may be regrettable, their root cause is always American provocation -- that is, the terrorists have a point.

In Iran, it is no longer enough for a rickety regime, whose anti-American vitriol is its only vital sign, to rig the "democratic" process. This time, blatant electoral fraud was also required to mulct victory for the mullahs' candidate. The chicanery ignited a popular revolt. But the brutal regime guessed right: The new American president would be supportive. So sympathetic is Obama to the mullahs' grievances -- so hostile to what he, like the regime, sees as America's arrogant militarism -- that he could be depended on to go as far as politics allowed to help the regime ride out the storm.

And so he has. Right now, politics will allow quite a lot: With unemployment creeping toward 10 percent, the auto industry nationalized, the stimulus revealed as history's biggest redistribution racket (so far), and Democrats bent on heaping ruinous carbon taxes and socialized medicine atop an economy already crushed by tens of trillions in unfunded welfare-state liabilities, Iran is barely on anyone's radar screen.

So Obama is pouring it on while his trusty media idles. When they are not looking the other way from the carnage in Iran's streets, they are dutifully reporting -- as the AP did -- that the Irbil Five are mere "diplomats." Obama frees a terrorist with the blood of American troops on his hands, and the press yawns. Senators Jeff Sessions and Jon Kyl press for answers about the release of the terrorist and Obama's abandonment of a decades-old American policy against trading terrorists for hostages, and the silence is deafening.

Except in Tehran, where the mullahs are hearing exactly what they've banked on hearing.


-- National Review's Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and the author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (Encounter Books, 2008).

A distinguished American lawyer born in Honduras shows how wrong the Obama policy of seeking to return ousted president Zelaya to power is. The Constitution of Hondurus is much different from ours for very good reason. All parties to the removal of the president n Hondurus acted in accordance with the Consitution -- the Supreme Court, the Congress and the military. Again,why is Obama lining up with dictators such as Chavez and Castro?


Honduras' non-coup

Under the country's Constitution, the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya was legal.
By Miguel A. Estrada in the Los Angeles Times

July 10, 2009

Honduras, the tiny Central American nation, had a change of leaders on June 28. The country's military arrested President Manuel Zelaya -- in his pajamas, he says -- and put him on a plane bound for Costa Rica. A new president, Roberto Micheletti, was appointed. Led by Cuba and Venezuela (Sudan and North Korea were not immediately available), the international community swiftly condemned this "coup."

Something clearly has gone awry with the rule of law in Honduras -- but it is not necessarily what you think. Begin with Zelaya's arrest. The Supreme Court of Honduras, as it turns out, had ordered the military to arrest Zelaya two days earlier. A second order (issued on the same day) authorized the military to enter Zelaya's home to execute the arrest. These orders were issued at the urgent request of the country's attorney general. All the relevant legal documents can be accessed (in Spanish) on the Supreme Court's website. They make for interesting reading.

What you'll learn is that the Honduran Constitution may be amended in any way except three. No amendment can ever change (1) the country's borders, (2) the rules that limit a president to a single four-year term and (3) the requirement that presidential administrations must "succeed one another" in a "republican form of government."

In addition, Article 239 specifically states that any president who so much as proposes the permissibility of reelection "shall cease forthwith" in his duties, and Article 4 provides that any "infraction" of the succession rules constitutes treason. The rules are so tight because these are terribly serious issues for Honduras, which lived under decades of military rule.

As detailed in the attorney general's complaint, Zelaya is the type of leader who could cause a country to wish for a Richard Nixon. Earlier this year, with only a few months left in his term, he ordered a referendum on whether a new constitutional convention should convene to write a wholly new constitution. Because the only conceivable motive for such a convention would be to amend the un-amendable parts of the existing constitution, it was easy to conclude -- as virtually everyone in Honduras did -- that this was nothing but a backdoor effort to change the rules governing presidential succession. Not unlike what Zelaya's close ally, Hugo Chavez, had done in Venezuela.

It is also worth noting that only referendums approved by a two-thirds vote of the Honduran Congress may be put to the voters. Far from approving Zelaya's proposal, Congress voted that it was illegal.

The attorney general filed suit and secured a court order halting the referendum. Zelaya then announced that the voting would go forward just the same, but it would be called an "opinion survey." The courts again ruled this illegal. Undeterred, Zelaya directed the head of the armed forces, Gen. Romeo Vasquez, to proceed with the "survey" -- and "fired" him when he declined. The Supreme Court ruled the firing illegal and ordered Vasquez reinstated.

Zelaya had the ballots printed in Venezuela, but these were impounded by customs when they were brought back to Honduras. On June 25 -- three days before he was ousted -- Zelaya personally gathered a group of "supporters" and led it to seize the ballots, restating his intent to conduct the "survey" on June 28. That was the breaking point for the attorney general, who immediately sought a warrant from the Supreme Court for Zelaya's arrest on charges of treason, abuse of authority and other crimes. In response, the court ordered Zelaya's arrest by the country's army, which under Article 272 must enforce compliance with the Constitution, particularly with respect to presidential succession. The military executed the court's order on the morning of the proposed survey.

It would seem from this that Zelaya's arrest by the military was legal, and rather well justified to boot. But, unfortunately, the tale did not end there. Rather than taking Zelaya to jail and then to court to face charges, the military shipped him off to Costa Rica. No one has yet explained persuasively why summarily sending Zelaya into exile in this manner was legal, and it most likely wasn't.

This illegality may entitle Zelaya to return to Honduras. But does it require that he be returned to power?

No. As noted, Article 239 states clearly that one who behaves as Zelaya did in attempting to change presidential succession ceases immediately to be president. If there were any doubt on that score, the Congress removed it by convening immediately after Zelaya's arrest, condemning his illegal conduct and overwhelmingly voting (122 to 6) to remove him from office. The Congress is led by Zelaya's own Liberal Party (although it is true that Zelaya and his party have grown apart as he has moved left). Because Zelaya's vice president had earlier quit to run in the November elections, the next person in the line of succession was Micheletti, the Liberal leader of Congress. He was named to complete the remaining months of Zelaya's term.

It cannot be right to call this a "coup." Micheletti was lawfully made president by the country's elected Congress. The president is a civilian. The Honduran Congress and courts continue to function as before. The armed forces are under civilian control. The elections scheduled for November are still scheduled for November. Indeed, after reviewing the Constitution and consulting with the Supreme Court, the Congress and the electoral tribunal, respected Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga recently stated that the only possible conclusion is that Zelaya had lawfully been ousted under Article 239 before he was arrested, and that democracy in Honduras continues fully to operate in accordance with law. All Honduran bishops joined Rodriguez in this pronouncement.

True, Zelaya should not have been arbitrarily exiled from his homeland. That, however, does not mean he must be reinstalled as president of Honduras. It merely makes him an indicted private citizen with a meritorious immigration beef against his country.

--Miguel A. Estrada is a partner at the Washington office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. A native of Honduras, he was a member of the official U.S. delegation to President Zelaya's 2006 inauguration.

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer delivers a stinging indictment of President Obama for jeopardizing American and European security for a worthless diplomatic "success" with Russia. While Krauthammer has been critical of Obama in the past, particularly of his penchant for "apologizing" for America's past, this critique is contemptuously harsh.

Excerpts:

The signing ceremony in Moscow was a grand affair. For Barack Obama, foreign policy neophyte and "reset" man, the arms reduction agreement had a Kissingerian air. A fine feather in his cap. And our president likes his plumage.


Unfortunately for the United States, the country Obama represents, the prospective treaty is useless at best, detrimental at worst.

Obama says that his START will be a great boon, setting an example to enable us to better pressure North Korea and Iran to give up their nuclear programs. That a man of Obama's intelligence can believe such nonsense is beyond comprehension.
The very notion that Kim Jong Il or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will suddenly abjure nukes because of yet another U.S.-Russian treaty is comical.
The pursuit of such an offensive weapons treaty could nonetheless be detrimental to us. Why? Because Obama's hunger for a diplomatic success, such as it is, allowed the Russians to exact a price: linkage between offensive and defensive nuclear weapons.
[S]ince defensive weaponry will be the decisive strategic factor of the 21st century, Russia has striven mightily for a quarter-century to halt its development. Gorbachev tried to swindle Reagan out of the Strategic Defense Initiative at Reykjavik in 1986. Reagan refused. As did his successors -- Bush I, Clinton, Bush II.

Yet Obama's budget cuts spending on defensive missile development and he has now placed the East European defensive missile shield subject to extensive negotiations with the Russians.

This is precisely the kind of compromised sovereignty that Russia wants to impose on its ex-Soviet colonies -- and that U.S. presidents of both parties for the last 20 years have resisted.

But not Obama.

A reader of the Krauthammer analysis made this observation:

Charles still does not quite get it...

Charles has come a long way, but I think he still doesn't get it-- Obama hates this country, and has all his life. Read his "Dreams from My Father" and feel the anger, the grudge keeping, the unexamined hostility, the pleasure he takes when he learns that he can "fool white people" with a smile that conceals his racial rage. It's all in there. Plain as day. In case you are wondering about those "Dreams" he got from his father... Dad's dreams were that the Soviet Union win the Cold War, the U.S. lose it, and that he help found a pan-African socialist state aligned with the Soviet Union. It's going to a be a lovely next 3.5 years. It is not that Obama is stupid, it is that he is not on our side. Truth is indeed stranger, and more dangerous, than fiction.

See what you think. Read the analysis in full below.

Plumage - But At a Price

Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post
Friday, July 10, 2009

WASHINGTON -- The signing ceremony in Moscow was a grand affair. For Barack Obama, foreign policy neophyte and "reset" man, the arms reduction agreement had a Kissingerian air. A fine feather in his cap. And our president likes his plumage.

Unfortunately for the United States, the country Obama represents, the prospective treaty is useless at best, detrimental at worst.

Useless because the level of offensive nuclear weaponry, the subject of the U.S.-Russia "Joint Understanding," is an irrelevance. We could today terminate all such negotiations, invite the Russians to build as many warheads as they want, and profitably watch them spend themselves into penury, as did their Soviet predecessors, stockpiling weapons that do nothing more than, as Churchill put it, make the rubble bounce.

Obama says that his START will be a great boon, setting an example to enable us to better pressure North Korea and Iran to give up their nuclear programs. That a man of Obama's intelligence can believe such nonsense is beyond comprehension. There is not a shred of evidence that cuts by the great powers -- the INF treaty, START I, the Treaty of Moscow (2002) -- induced the curtailment of anyone's programs. Moammar Gaddafi gave up his nukes the week we pulled Saddam Hussein out of his spider hole. No treaty involved. The very notion that Kim Jong Il or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will suddenly abjure nukes because of yet another U.S.-Russian treaty is comical.

The pursuit of such an offensive weapons treaty could nonetheless be detrimental to us. Why? Because Obama's hunger for a diplomatic success, such as it is, allowed the Russians to exact a price: linkage between offensive and defensive nuclear weapons.

This is important for Russia because of the huge American technological advantage in defensive weaponry. We can reliably shoot down an intercontinental ballistic missile. They cannot. And since defensive weaponry will be the decisive strategic factor of the 21st century, Russia has striven mightily for a quarter-century to halt its development. Gorbachev tried to swindle Reagan out of the Strategic Defense Initiative at Reykjavik in 1986. Reagan refused. As did his successors -- Bush I, Clinton, Bush II.

Obama, who seeks to banish nuclear weapons entirely, has little use for such prosaic contrivances. First, the Obama budget actually cuts spending on missile defense, at a time when federal spending is a riot of extravagance and trillion-dollar deficits. Then comes the "pause" (as Russia's president appreciatively noted) in the planned establishment of a missile shield in Eastern Europe. And now the "Joint Understanding" commits us to a new treaty that includes "a provision on the interrelationship of strategic offensive and strategic defensive arms." Obama further said that the East European missile shield "will be the subject of extensive negotiations" between the United States and Russia.

Obama doesn't even seem to understand the ramifications of this concession. Poland and the Czech Republic thought they were regaining their independence when they joined NATO under the protection of the United States. They now see that the shield negotiated with us and subsequently ratified by all of NATO is in limbo. Russia and America will first have to "come to terms" on the issue, explained President Dmitry Medvedev. This is precisely the kind of compromised sovereignty that Russia wants to impose on its ex-Soviet colonies -- and that U.S. presidents of both parties for the last 20 years have resisted.

Resistance, however, is not part of Obama's repertoire. Hence his eagerness for arcane negotiations over MIRV'd missiles, the perfect distraction from the major issue between the two countries: Vladimir Putin's unapologetic and relentless drive to restore Moscow's hegemony over the sovereign states that used to be Soviet satrapies.

That -- not nukes -- is the chief cause of the friction between the U.S. and Russia. You wouldn't know it to hear Obama in Moscow pledging to halt the "drift" in U.S.-Russian relations. Drift? The decline in relations came from Putin's desire to undo what he considers "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the 20th century -- the collapse of the Soviet empire. Hence his squeezing Ukraine's energy supplies. His overt threats against Poland and the Czech Republic for daring to make sovereign agreements with the United States. And finally, less than a year ago, his invading a small neighbor, detaching and then effectively annexing two of Georgia's provinces to Mother Russia.

That's the cause of the collapse of our relations. Not drift, but aggression. Or, as the reset man referred to it with such delicacy in his Kremlin news conference: "our disagreements on Georgia's borders."


One reader of the Krauthammer criticism commented:

Charles still does not quite get it...

Charles has come a long way, but I think he still doesn't get it-- Obama hates this country, and has all his life. Read his "Dreams from My Father" and feel the anger, the grudge keeping, the unexamined hostility, the pleasure he takes when he learns that he can "fool white people" with a smile that conceals his racial rage. It's all in there. Plain as day. In case you are wondering about those "Dreams" he got from his father... Dad's dreams were that the Soviet Union win the Cold War, the U.S. lose it, and that he help found a pan-African socialist state aligned with the Soviet Union. It's going to a be a lovely next 3.5 years. It is not that Obama is stupid, it is that he is not on our side. Truth is indeed stranger, and more dangerous, than fiction.

TODAY (THURSDAY, JULY 9TH) IN TEHRAN

MY, MY, HOW TRUE


"Columnist to the world" Mark Steyn has seen more than most and sizes up Obama on July 4th as the "uncool," the "square." He's living in the past and marching in the wrong direction, leading the country over the cliff.

Excerpts:
President Obama was supposed to be "cool." But he isn't. He's square. Not just mildly so, but embarrassingly square. He's squaresville squared. It's like you're having a party with your friends and he's the cringe-making middle-aged parent who wants to show he digs where the young people are at by grooving around in the middle of the dance floor all night long.


How do I know? I've been there and I've been square. By "there," I mean I've been in places that have tried all the cool Obama dance moves and eventually wised up to what utter clunkers they are

[M]ost of the developed world has already gone down the paved road of good intentions and is now frantically trying to pedal up out of it. New Zealand was one of the few western nations to sign on to Kyoto and then attempt to abide by it -- until they realized they could only do so by destroying their economy. They introduced a Dem-style cap-and-trade regime -- and last year they suspended it. In Australia, the Labor government postponed implementation of its emissions-reduction program until 2011, and the Aussie Senate may scuttle it entirely.
While the U.S. is going full throttle for Scandinavia-a-go-go, the Continentals have begun to discern to the limits of Europeanization. In 2007, government spending in Europe averaged 46.2 percent of GDP; in America it was 37.4 percent, of which 20 percent was federal. A mere two years later, federal spending is up to 28.5 percent, so, even if state and local spending stand still, we're at 46 percent: the European average. But, as Randall Hoven points out, the real story is that we're at 46 percent and climbing, the Continentals are at 46 percent and heading down.

And the New York Times thinks it's all so wonderful.

Read all of what Mark has to say -- and weep.


Behind the Times

There's nothing cool about Obama.
July 4, 2009
Mark Steyn

Canadian David Warren philosophizes in the Ottawa Sun and often sees the United States America more clearly than many who live and write within our borders.

He is pessimistic about the revolution that is unfolding under Obama's direction and foresees the emerging of a new America that can't be stopped with full Democratic control of Congress and the White House.

In the middle of this economic mess, the U.S. politicians are debating not one, but two new programs of unprecedented size, without the slightest understanding of the economic consequences. One is a vast new "health care" plan, to be sold almost entirely on emotion, with President Obama's snake-oil skills. The only thing clear about it, is the intention of the people behind it: to effectively nationalize the U.S. medical system, by making every part of it report to government bureaucracies. This is what we did in Canada in the 1960s, and we've spent the decades since trying to persuade ourselves that waiting rooms are natural.

The other is the "cap and trade" legislation. At a time when it has become all but obvious that the "global warming" scare was an imposture, the U.S. government is going to war against carbon fuels, through a program that can only kill jobs, both directly and through outsourcing of American economic activity to places with lower environmental standards; while igniting protectionist trade wars over the latter.

Can it be stopped?

I don't think they can. For not only has the Democrat party - committed in the main to the "second American revolution" I began to sketch above - control of the White House and both Houses. The Republican party is pulling itself apart. Only half of it is willing to fight: the other half thinks the only way back to power is to accommodate this revolution.

He sees no solution, only disaster ahead.

July 5, 2009

The New America

By David Warren

The Dow has been tanking again, and new figures show the U.S. economy shedding jobs at an accelerating rate. One might criticize the U.S. government for the first trillion or two of "stimulus" spending, by observing that it hasn't worked. But that would be too easy.

Yes, it was crazy, in the middle of a crisis created by debt, to see how far they could run up debt. It was crazy to shore up nearly worthless assets, in the face of irresistible market forces. At a time when the entire investment system desperately needs to be de-leveraged, it was crazy to oil the gears.

Continue reading...

THE OBAMA APOLOGY TOURS

For those who can't keep track of all the times that Obama has apologized for the United States since becoming president, here's a "starter list." Add to it as you see fit. How did you feel when he in effect accused the U.S. of torture in his speech to "Muslims of the world" in his speech at Cairo?

We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.

Careful legal analysis was done by the Justice Department to define the limits of aggressive interrogation and has been upheld by the courts. As for Guantanamo, there was an ill-considered promise. The U.S. needs a place to hold Islamic terrorists who will return to terror if released, as a number have already. Even to resettled those considered capable of reform, the U.S. has, for example, already paid out more than $200 million in bribes to small nations to resettle a handful of Chinese Muslims.

Top 10 Obama Apologies


Excerpted from article by Niles Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation.

1. Apology to Europe: Speech in Strasbourg, France, April 3. "In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive."

2. Apology to the Muslim world: Interview with Al Arabiya, January 27. "My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect."

3. Apology to the Summit of the Americas: Address to the Summit of the Americas, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, April 17. "While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms."

4. Apology at the G-20 Summit of World Leaders: News conference in London, April 2. "I just think in a world that is as complex as it is, that it is very important for us to be able to forge partnerships as opposed to simply dictating solutions."

5. Apology for the War on Terror: Speech in Washington, D.C., May 21. "Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions. I believe that many of these decisions were motivated by a sincere desire to protect the American people. But I also believe that all too often our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight, that all too often our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions."

6. Apology for Guantanamo in France: Speech in Strasbourg, France, April 3. "In dealing with terrorism, we can't lose sight of our values and who we are. That's why I closed Guantanamo. That's why I made very clear that we will not engage in certain interrogation practices. I don't believe that there is a contradiction between our security and our values. And when you start sacrificing your values, when you lose yourself, then over the long term that will make you less secure."

7. Apology for America before the Turkish Parliament: Speech to the Turkish Parliament, Ankara, Turkey, April 6. "The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history. Facing the Washington Monument that I spoke of is a memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed those who were enslaved even after Washington led our Revolution. Our country still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans."

8. Apology for U.S. Policy toward the Americas: Editorial "Choosing a Better Future in the Americas," April 16. "Too often, the United States has not pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors. We have been too easily distracted by other priorities, and have failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas."

9. Apology for the Mistakes of the CIA: Remarks to CIA employees at Langley, Va., April 29. "Don't be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we've made some mistakes."

10. Apology for Guantanamo: Speech in Washington, D.C., May 21. "There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America's strongest currency in the world."

"OBAMA IS ALREADY OVER." DON'T WE WISH.

Powerline notes how depressed Roger Simon is this Independence Day:

I don't think I've ever seen my country so divided and depressed on the Fourth of July in my lifetime....The current situation is grim.


Obama is already over. In six short months the now-spattered bumper stickers with "Hope and Change" seem like pathetic remnants from the days of "23 Skidoo," the echoes of "Yes, we can" more nauseating than ever in their cliché-ridden evasiveness. Although they may pretend otherwise, even Obama's choir in the mainstream media seems to know he's finished, their defenses of his wildly over-priced medical and cap-and-trade schemes perfunctory at best.

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

On this weekend of America's birthday, our freedoms are being threatened from within and outside our nation. Remembering the spirit that put us on this path of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all wll help instill in us the courage and determination to resist tyranny and fight to defend our freedoms to which our forefathers pledged their "sacred honor."

To hear a recitation of the Declaration, download this file.

Declaration.mp3


The full text of the Declaration is set forth below.


THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE


IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

-- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

-- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

-- Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to...
... compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare,

That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

-- And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

-- John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

SARAH PALIN PUTS FAMILY FIRST

Kingmaker Palin
Posted by: Jonathan Garthwaite at 5:15 PM July 3, 2009

Other than Rush Limbaugh, who doesn't fly from state to state doing campaign events, is there a more popular conservative Republican than Sarah Palin? Nobody draws bigger crowds, raises more money and energizes activist more than Palin.

If she's really done as a candidate, we may find out she ends up having a greater impact as an activist, prolific speaker and fundraiser for conservative causes than she would have had as a candidate.

She's stepped aside for now for the good of her family. Let the kids grow up in a hopefully normal world free of the vicious attacks from the likes of David Letterman and the crazed left wing nuts who will without hesitation destroy her family to destroy her.

One day the kids will be older and Sarah Palin will still be young and vigorous and perhaps ready to reenter the presidential sweepstakes.

Good mother. Right move.

UPDATE: Mark Steyn agrees, but makes a broader philosophical observation that may well be correct though depressing:

Cutting bait


With respect to many of the Palinologists below, I think they're getting way too hepatomantic over the entrails.

As a political move for anything other than the 2010 Senate race, today's announcement is a disaster. And I'm not sure it's a plus for the Senate - and, even if it were, the manner and timing suggest it was not a professionally planned event and therefore is unlikely to have any grand strategy behind it.

So Occam's Razor leaves us with: Who needs this?

In states far from the national spotlight, politics still attracts normal people. You're a mayor or a state senator or even the governor, but you lead a normal life. The local media are tough on you, but they know you, they live where you live, they're tough on the real you, not on some caricature cooked up by a malign alliance of late-night comics who'd never heard of you a week earlier and media grandees supposedly on your own side who pronounce you a "cancer".

Then suddenly you get the call from Washington. You know it'll mean Secret Service, and speechwriters, and minders vetting your wardrobe. But nobody said it would mean a mainstream network comedy host doing statutory rape gags about your 14-year old daughter. You've got a special-needs kid and a son in Iraq and a daughter who's given you your first grandchild in less than ideal circumstances. That would be enough for most of us. But the special-needs kid and the daughter and most everyone else you love are a national joke, and the PC enforcers are entirely cool with it.

Most of those who sneer at Sarah Palin have no desire to live her life. But why not try to - what's the word? - "empathize"? If you like Wasilla and hunting and snowmachining and moose stew and politics, is the last worth giving up everything else in the hopes that one day David Letterman and Maureen Dowd might decide Trig and Bristol and the rest are sufficiently non-risible to enable you to prosper in their world? And, putting aside the odds, would you really like to be the person you'd have to turn into under that scenario?

National office will dwindle down to the unhealthily singleminded (Clinton, Obama), the timeserving emirs of Incumbistan (Biden, McCain) and dynastic heirs (Bush). Our loss.


One of the winning plaintiffs in the Supreme Court decision in the Ricci case throwing out Judge Sonia Sotomayor's "whitey must lose" appeals court decision was a Hispanic Lt. Ben Vargas. At a press conference earlier today, he had this to say:

Gesturing toward his three young sons, Lieutenant Vargas explained why he had no regrets. "I want them to have a fair shake, to get a job on their merits and not because they're Hispanic or they fill a quota," he said. "What a lousy way to live."

Via Powerline

Here's a man who understandS what America means, the freedom to succeed on your merits.

Vargas recognized this: "I am so grateful for the opportunity only the United States can give."

MOTORING IN 2012

Congressional Motors is hard at work on the 2012 edition.


How is that President Obama gets so many things wrong? In just the past few weeks, he brushes over the evil legacy of Islam, he attacks the legitmacy and rights of Israel, he finds the revolution in Iran an irritation and now he condemns the constitutionality of Supreme Court-authorized proceedings in Hondurus. He's not stupid, he is ignorant and ill-informed, but maybe he's just opposed to American values.

A 'coup' in Honduras? Nonsense.

Don't believe the myth. The arrest of President Zelaya represents the triumph of the rule of law.
By Octavio Sánchez Christian Science Monitor July 3, 2009

Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Sometimes, the whole world prefers a lie to the truth. The White House, the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and much of the media have condemned the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya this past weekend as a coup d'état.

That is nonsense.

In fact, what happened here is nothing short of the triumph of the rule of law.

To understand recent events, you have to know a bit about Honduras's constitutional history. In 1982, my country adopted a new Constitution that enabled our orderly return to democracy after years of military rule. After more than a dozen previous constitutions, the current Constitution, at 27 years old, has endured the longest.

It has endured because it responds and adapts to changing political conditions: Of its original 379 articles, seven have been completely or partially repealed, 18 have been interpreted, and 121 have been reformed.

It also includes seven articles that cannot be repealed or amended because they address issues that are critical for us. Those unchangeable articles include the form of government; the extent of our borders; the number of years of the presidential term; two prohibitions - one with respect to reelection of presidents, the other concerning eligibility for the presidency; and one article that penalizes the abrogation of the Constitution.

During these 27 years, Honduras has dealt with its problems within the rule of law. Every successful democratic country has lived through similar periods of trial and error until they were able to forge legal frameworks that adapt to their reality. France crafted more than a dozen constitutions between 1789 and the adoption of the current one in 1958. The US Constitution has been amended 27 times since 1789. And the British - pragmatic as they are - in 900 years have made so many changes that they have never bothered to compile their Constitution into a single body of law.

Under our Constitution, what happened in Honduras this past Sunday? Soldiers arrested and sent out of the country a Honduran citizen who, the day before, through his own actions had stripped himself of the presidency.

These are the facts: On June 26, President Zelaya issued a decree ordering all government employees to take part in the "Public Opinion Poll to convene a National Constitutional Assembly." In doing so, Zelaya triggered a constitutional provision that automatically removed him from office.

Constitutional assemblies are convened to write new constitutions. When Zelaya published that decree to initiate an "opinion poll" about the possibility of convening a national assembly, he contravened the unchangeable articles of the Constitution that deal with the prohibition of reelecting a president and of extending his term. His actions showed intent.

Our Constitution takes such intent seriously. According to Article 239: "No citizen who has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President. Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform [emphasis added], as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years."

Notice that the article speaks about intent and that it also says "immediately" - as in "instant," as in "no trial required," as in "no impeachment needed."

Continuismo - the tendency of heads of state to extend their rule indefinitely - has been the lifeblood of Latin America's authoritarian tradition. The Constitution's provision of instant sanction might sound draconian, but every Latin American democrat knows how much of a threat to our fragile democracies continuismo presents. In Latin America, chiefs of state have often been above the law. The instant sanction of the supreme law has successfully prevented the possibility of a new Honduran continuismo.

The Supreme Court and the attorney general ordered Zelaya's arrest for disobeying several court orders compelling him to obey the Constitution. He was detained and taken to Costa Rica. Why? Congress needed time to convene and remove him from office. With him inside the country that would have been impossible. This decision was taken by the 123 (of the 128) members of Congress present that day.

Don't believe the coup myth. The Honduran military acted entirely within the bounds of the Constitution. The military gained nothing but the respect of the nation by its actions.

I am extremely proud of my compatriots. Finally, we have decided to stand up and become a country of laws, not men. From now on, here in Honduras, no one will be above the law.

--Octavio Sánchez, a lawyer, is a former presidential adviser (2002-05) and minister of culture (2005-06) of the Republic of Honduras.


"In Congress, July Fourth, one thousand seven hundred and seventy six. A declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. When in the course of human events..."

Sound somewhat familiar? It's very close to the words Thomas Jefferson used to begin the Declaration of Independence.

After more than 200 years these words hidden among Jefferson's papers became known.

American ingenuity cracked open this two centuries-old secret.

To learn how, click here.

To be the land of the free, it must also be the home of the brave.

On this birthday of America, remember those who defend our country.

The mainstream media's total abdication of its responsibility to report fairly and accurately the Obama administration's plan to sacrifice the American capitalist economy to the false god of manmade climate change is shocking.

The House of Representatives disgraced itself rushing a bill off to the Senate that had not even been assembled into a single thousand-page plus document -- let alone not having been read by anyone -- so Members could go party for Fourth of July.

At least Michael Ramirez is paying attention.

CapeTradetoon070209big.gif

Click to enlarge.

Skepticism about the religion of global warming is growing. Australia has put a hold on its cap & trade effort, as has New Zealand. The Wall Street Journal followed up on an important report that appeared online. See our most recent prior report on the myth.

The Wise Latina will not stop talking even though nine justices of the Supreme Court rejected her "reasoning" in the Ricci case in which she agreed that since blacks failed to qualify in a certifiedly objective test whites should not win promotion. She tried to hide this outrageous decision in a dismissive paragraph affirming the court below,but somehow it took the Supreme Court 93 pages to wrestle with the Constitutional questions involved.

No wonder Obama likes her. She believes in subverting the Constitution (equal justice under law) as he does.

For her it was a simple case. Whitey loses.

Corruption.gif

Is he violating his oath to uphold the Constitution? Or did he cross his fingers?

In the world Obama wants to see the whites will always lose. This is why he nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. By, hopefully, a good turn of fate, her support of such a view as Obama holds, was nakedly exposed in the Ricci case decided by the Supreme Court, in which her "whitey must lose" action was rejected by all nine justices.

Universally respected political analyst Michael Barone provides the sordid details and describes what message Sotomayor was sending to the the black firefighters, the supposed intended beneficiaries of her "empathy."

[Left wing Yale professor] Bazelon and Judge Sotomayor, who voted to uphold the city's decertification of the promotion test, are typical of liberal elites who are ready to ratify squalid political deals -- and blatant racial discrimination -- in return for the political support and the votes that can be rallied by the likes of Kimber. You supply the numbers on Election Day, and we'll supply the verbiage to put a pretty label on your shenanigans.


Usually the people who are hurt by this are not as sympathetic as Frank Ricci, the dyslexic firefighter who paid a friend $1,000 to read the training manuals and studied hard enough to get the highest score on the test.

But I think we ought to reserve some of our sympathy for the purported beneficiaries of this wretched discrimination, the black firefighters. Their champions -- Kimber and DeStefano, Bazelon and Judge Sotomayor -- are telling them that their way up in life should not be determined by the content of their character or by mastery of their worthy craft, but by the color of their skin. Not by a fair and unbiased test, but by dishonest wire pulling and threats of political retaliation.

The Constitution is deformed when empathy is substituted for rule of law.

UPDATE: The public is noticing; Sotomayor's view that skin color trumps all isn't selling.

Firefighter case shows seamy side of racial politics

By: Michael Barone in the Washington Examiner
Senior Political Analyst
July 1, 2009

RicchiBarone-Firefighters.jpg

Frank Ricci, left, lead plaintiff in the the "New Haven 20" firefighter reverse discrimination case speaks to the media outside of Federal Court in New Haven, Conn. The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that white firefighters in New Haven were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge. (Jessica Hill/AP)

The Supreme Court's decision in Ricci v. DeStefano, the case of the New Haven, Conn., firefighters, was a ringing endorsement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964's ban on racial discrimination and a repudiation of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's decision in the Second Circuit Appeals Court. While five justices flatly rejected Sotomayor's ruling, even the four dissenters wouldn't have let stand her ruling allowing the results of a promotion exam to be set aside because no black firefighter had a top score.

Ricci is also something else: a riveting lesson in political sociology, thanks to the concurring opinion by Justice Samuel Alito. It shows how a combination of vote-hungry politicians and local political agitators -- you might call them community organizers -- worked with the approval of elite legal professionals like Judge Sotomayor to employ racial quotas and preferences in defiance of the words of the Civil Rights Act.

American columnist Diana West makes an excellent point: We are playing into Islam's hands in its war of world conquest by refusing, because of fear of offending Muslims or the corrosive habit of political correctness (and perhaps fear of violence), to speak of "the gross incompatibility of Islamic ideology with Western liberty."

Fudging with words and terms such as "Islamist" and "Islamofascism" and "radical Islam" is to confuse Americans who need to know the truth about Islam's true nature and why it must be tamed or turned back. The problem with Islam is its core ideology as contained in the Koran and proclaimed and acted out by Mohammad. Our problem is not with fringe groups who have hijacked Islam. Mohammad's Islam is a religion of war, not of peace, and it has been so for 1400 years. Jihad until Islam rules the world is the duty of every true believer Muslim.

But we must not say that.

Muslim organizations are working on "hate-crime" legislation in the UN and in various countries, including the United States, to make it a punishable offense to criticize Islam. The Attorney General of the United States under the leadership of President Obama is currently advocating expanded coverage of hate-crime legislation. (Dutch pro-freedom parliamentarian Geert Wilders and American Islam expert Robert Spencer both support all hate-crime laws.)

We may have the First Amendment and free speech in the United States, but, it we stifle ourselves from telling the truth about Islam, it is as if free speech doesn't exist.

There is an Islamic network of organizations active in the United States today working on their program of subverting the country from within with the goal that one day Sharia, Islamic law, will replace the U.S. Constitution.

Fanciful, you say? Islam has been engaged in this war of conquest against the rest of the world since it was begun by Mohammad. Today, with trillions in oil wealth and more than a billion followers, Islam may be in the best position at any time in its history to press forward with its war.

Strategies of conquest are tailored to the situation in each country. War in Afghanistan, terrror in Nigeria, aggressive immigration, high birth rates and intimidation in Europe, quiet subversion and random terrorism in the United States and building allies for control over human rights and other policies at the UN.

Ms. West delivered her timely warning against pre-emptive surrender to Islam at the free speech conference of the International Free Press Society held in Denmark's parliament on June 17th.

The Impact of Islam on Free Speech in America

Americans are proud, and rightly so, of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights, which, among other things, protects speech from government control. The Amendment says in part: "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press."

Increasingly, however, Americans seem content to regard the First Amendment not as the fundamental working tool of democracy, but as a national heirloom, a kind of antique to admire rather than put to use. I don't think many of my countrymen perceive how profoundly their attitude toward free speech has changed. But there is a difference between having freedom of speech and exercising freedom of speech, one that has become glaringly and distressingly obvious to me since September 11, 2001. So, while it is true that the US government is not Constitutionally empowered to make laws that censor Americans, it is also true, I believe, that Americans have come to censor themselves. But why?

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