Thursday, April 30, 2009

Winston Churchill, Harry Truman; War Criminals

Tom McGuire follows up on Ben Smith's question to President Obama about torture.

It's seems the president is under the misapprehension that the British under Churchill didn't "torture" anyone during WWII. Whoops!

In the meantime, Jon Stewart claims that Harry Truman committed a "war crime" by nuking Hiroshima.

Maybe, he was just keeeeeeeding.

Profile in Courage... NOT!

David Broder on Specter the Defector.

"I Have A Gift Today"

Martin Luther King had a dream.

Barack Obama "has a gift." And it's for making every one he speaks to believe he agrees with them.

It is the sort of gift every politician craves. But, as Dan Henninger points out, when the gods give you a gift, it can also be a curse.

Read the whole thing.

The New Culture War

Arthur Brooks writes about the "new culture war." It's capitalism vs. redistribution."

Money Q:
... the tea parties are not based on the cold wonkery of budget data. They are based on an "ethical populism." The protesters are homeowners who didn't walk away from their mortgages, small business owners who don't want corporate welfare and bankers who kept their heads during the frenzy and don't need bailouts. They were the people who were doing the important things right -- and who are now watching elected politicians reward those who did the important things wrong.

Brooks is persona non grata in progressive ranks because he wrote a book "Who Really Gives?" that proved conservatives donate more of their own time and money to charities than liberals, who are, of course, more generous with other people's money.
In this new culture war, whose side are you on?

Obama Fact-Checked

His words don't match his deeds? How is that possible?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Obama Express

Under My Bus... it's getting pretty crowded. (And pretty funny.)

The Solopsist

The film, "The Soloist" based on the book of the same name by former Inquirer columnist Steve Lopez, is now out and in theaters.

It's the true story of his friendship with a mentally ill black man who had been a gifted cellist and violinist before he became psychotic.

I heard Lopez talking about the movie on NPR not too long ago and it gave me the creeps. Of course, I'm just jealous. I'm just a hack stuck at a little newspaper and he's big time, gone on to write books and become famous. But listening to him talk about his relationship with this poor, mental case, was cringe inducing. It was a little too much "All About Him" if you know what I mean.

I haven't seen the film, but the reviews are generally good. Portions of a couple of them, however, amused me to no end.

Roger Ebert, our own film critic, says the movie is a "uplifting drama, except for the uplift." He couldn't figure out what it makers wanted him to "feel."

But this was the line that I got such a kick out of... Ebert going from movie reviewer to social critic. He does this a lot.

After telling us that the movie does a "very effective job" showing us Skid Row he informs us:
"Indifference about adequate care for our homeless population was one of the priorities of the Selfish Generation."

How about that? "Indifference" as "a priority." That darn Selfish Generation.

But what age group is that SG again? 20 to 40? 40 to 60? What a minute, doesn't he really just mean "Republicans?"

Anyway, Ebert put me in mind of the best line spoken in a movie this year, maybe the greatest of the decade.

From the film (and play) "Doubt"

Suspected pedophile Father Flynn: "Where is your compassion?"

Sister Aloysius: "Nowhere you can get to it."

Sister Aloysius should be head of the NSA.

The second review comes from Lopez' own paper, the L.A. Times, which interestingly pans the film.

In so doing, Kenneth Turan reveals a couple of the movie's distortions of the truth and makes clear the willingness of filmmakers to bend the truth so that it fits a narrative more to their liking.

Turan mentions a scene that shows an arthritic old lady donating a cello to the Jaimie Foxx character, when it real life, the cello was donated by a corporate chief executive.

But who would believe that? Who could believe in this day and age that a CEO would do anything that nice? No sense alarming the audience with such a confusing truth.

Oh well. As they say, That's Entertainment!

If You Build It, They Will Come... And Take It

The Penn Delco School Board last night voted to cancel a 50-year lease that allows the Aston Valley Baseball League to most of the control the field it built behind Sun Valley High School.

According to Board President Anthony "K-9" Ruggieri the lease was being canceled on the advice of the board solicitor Mike Levin in order to allow the district to have more control of the field's use.

I haven't seen the lease yet but I am told by league officials that it allows the district to cancel it with three months notice. I am also told the lease, if canceled, entitles the league to recoup costs and expenses for its building and maintaining the field. They claim those costs are in the range of $300,000 to $350,000.

If school district officials and politicians want more control of the field are they willing to pay that kind of dough to get it? If not, why not.

It can be safely said that the League officials and parents are furious about the board's decision.

Ruggieri and other board members say the league will continue to be allowed to use the field but without the lease that guarantees it, who knows.

I'll look into this some more. Maybe the district has a legitimate and sound reason to cancel the lease. But once again, the school board finds itself with a public relations problem.

For some reason, this board isn't very good at explaining its actions to the satisfaction of the public at public meetings. But then K-9 Tony will never be favorably compared to Barack Obama when it comes to explaining things. Or even spinning them.

More later.

The Specter Chronicles

"Delco Politicians "Shocked" by Specter" says the headline of Alex Rose's excellent story.

This headline would have been better: "Delco Politicians "Shocked, SHOCKED" by Specter" ala Captain Renault in the movie "Casa Blanca."

As in "We are shocked, SHOCKED! to find out Arlen Specter is a craven politician interested in nothing more than his own political survival."

Let's go through the story a paragraph at a time.

Delaware County Republican Chairman Tom Judge Sr. probably best summed up the announcement Tuesday from longtime Republican U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter that he would become a Democrat.

“It’s a shocker,” said Judge. “I didn’t have any indication that he was going to switch.”

What's this? Specter didn't check in with Delaware County GOP figurehead Tommy Judge about such a momentous decision? Not even a courtesy call? What is the political world coming to?

Judge said he had not discussed the move with Specter by Tuesday afternoon, but expected the 29-year senator would maintain his individuality on Capitol Hill, Republican or not.

Change "individuality" to Specter's prickly, self-importance and arrogance and that probably is close to the truth.

Delaware County Democratic Party Chairman Cliff Wilson said Specter might now be a Democrat in Washington, D.C., but what that means for Pennsylvania remains to be seen.

“There’s the question of how he votes the rest of this year,” said Wilson. “I think to have solid Democratic Party support next year, he needs to be a supporter of (President Barack Obama’s) administration...

Would that have to be "lock step" support, Cliff? Afterall he already crossed Republicans by voting for the Democratic pork-o-podamous spending bill. Does he also need to come out for prosecuting Bush Administration officials for their rough interrogation of terrorists memos? Or will Democrats give him a pass on that one?

... and, frankly, I think it’s fine for him to say the Republican Party has left him, he hasn’t left it...

Frankly, that's a bald-faced lie, but it should be fine with any Democrat for Arlen Specter to lie about his actions. The Republican Party establishment has done everything it could to protect Specter and his seat, supporting him with money and endorsements over upstart principled conservatives. Lot of good it did the GOP. It's the party rank and file, the conservative voters who got sick of Specter's double dealing and double talk. He knew the GOP establishment could no longer protect him from their own base. So off he went to Obamaland. If that's not "leaving the party" what is?

... but I’d also like to hear him say, ‘I agree with this Obama administration.’”

Don't worry, he will. At least enough. As long as it doesn't compromise the phony image he has of himself as an independent and brave statesman.

“I don’t believe for a minute this had anything to do with party,” said state Rep. Tom Killion, R-168, of Middletown. “If it did, he would (not) have done this … in the midst of a heated primary race.”


Had Specter switched parties last year to align himself with Obama, said Killion, he wouldn’t have a problem with it.

“But this I don’t respect and I don’t admire, because it’s just political self-survival and it has nothing to do with political ideology and everything to do with winning a primary election,” said Killion.

Bingo again. As Specter himself noted a few years back the way to do this with integrity is to resign your seat and run in the next election cycle. That's what Phil Gramm did when he became a Republican in Texas. Apparently such integrity is no longer hip in Washington. Not that Specter ever showed he had much of that stuff.

“(Specter) is smart enough to see that when his own party does not appreciate his years of service … then he has to do what he has to do to ensure his political survival,” said state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, D-159, of Chester. "I don't see anything wrong with that."

Oh Specter is smart alright. But what he's smart about has nothing to do with his party not sufficiently appreciating his "years of service." He is smart like a rat, another creature who has excellent survival instincts. Of course, Kirkland "doesn't see anything wrong with that." Though, you have to wonder if he might say the same thing about a Democrat who switched parties to give Republicans a fillibuster-proof majority. I'm guessing not.

U.S. Rep. Joseph Sestak, D-7, of Edgmont, said the move might be politically advantageous for Specter, but questions remain about “his commitment to accountable leadership” and the principles of his campaign.

Ha! No Welcome Wagon from the Admiral. No "Glad to have you aboard, Arlen." No wonder. The Admiral just got demoted again, this time by his own party. He was making noises about running for Specter's senate seat. He was counting on Pat Toomey to knock Arlen off in the primary and then beating Toomey in the general. It would have been soooo perfect. But now THIS!

“After 31 years in the military, I learned that you run for something, not against someone,” said Sestak. “Arlen has made a decision to leave a race because he could not win against someone. What needs to be known is what he is running for.”

What's he running for? Why, the greater glory of Arlen Specter. Or as your partymate, Thad Kirkland, put it, "political survival." But what a cruel turn of events for a man who feels the need to constantly remind us of his "31 years of military service." Hey Joe, just remember, Ed Rendell giveth and Ed Rendell taketh away. Get used to it.

The Era of Gigantic Government Begins

The WSJ calls this moment in American political history, "The Liberal Hour."

After giving Obama props for lifting the mood of the country, the journal looks at his domestic agenda... and blanches.

Money Q:
Mr. Obama is more popular than his policies, and sooner or later the twain shall meet. For now, we are living in another era of unchecked liberal government. The reckoning will come when Americans discover how much it costs.

Some Americans already get it. Hundreds of thousands of them have attended Tea Party protests. More either will, or will be influenced by them and eventually they will vote accordingly. But not before trillions of dollars are wasted and a generation of younger Americans are strapped with a debt that they will find hard to pay down.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Warning in Spanish: Go Green At Your Peril

A new study from Spain warns:
Every “green job” created with government money in Spain over the last eight years came at the cost of 2.2 regular jobs, and only one in 10 of the newly created green jobs became a permanent job.

Hmmm. That doesn't sound like a very good deal, does it?

Arlen Specter: Hilarious Hypocrite

Ramesh Ponnuru provides a transcript of Specter's remarks after Sen. Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party to caucus with Democrats.

Money Q:
When I first ran in 1980, Congressman Bud Shuster sponsored a fundraiser for me in Altoona where Congressman Jack Kemp was the principal speaker. When some questions were raised as to my political philosophy, Congressman Shuster said my most important vote would be the organizational vote. From that day to this, I have believed that the organizational vote belonged to the party which supported my election.

When the Democrats urged me to switch parties some time ago, I gave them a flat ``no.'' I have been asked in the last several days if I intended to switch parties. I have said absolutely not.

Read the whole thing.

To Chait's "unprincipled hack" add "hilariously hypocritical, unprincipled hack."

Specter Hacks to the Left

Under the headline "Unprincipled Hack (D-PA)," Jonathan "I Hate George Bush" Chait writes for The New Republic:
When a politician switches parties, it’s customary for the party he’s abandoned to denounce him as an unprincipled hack, and the party he’s joined to praise him as a brave convert who’s genuinely seen the light. But I think it’s pretty clear that Specter is an unprincipled hack. If his best odds of keeping his Senate seat lay in joining the Communist party, he’d probably do that.

We'd say "takes one to know one" but that wouldn't be fair, or accurate. Chait is a principled hack. God bless him.

Man Overboard! Oh Wait, It Was Just Sen. Specter Jumping Ship

So Arlen Specter is quitting the Republican Party to run for re-election as a Democrat.

He's says the Republican party has been taken over by the un-centrist, "right wing."

He has no such complaints about the un-centrist agenda of the Obama administration and the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate. No doubt he'll feel quite quite comfortable voting for the wealth-killing/ redistributionist agenda of the Democratic majority. He already has.

Funny, Specter claims to be a centrist, but he didn't switch parties under Bill Clinton who did govern from the political center. But then his own party was ascendent back then, under the leadership of the notably, conservative Newt Gingrich.

Today, the perks of voting with the majority and the hassle of having to run against a tough opponent in a GOP primary made Specter's self-serving decision quite easy.

A friend of mine active in Democratic politics told me a long time ago that Specter is universally disliked on Capitol Hill for his arrogance and self-promoting style. He's a Democrat now. And their problem.

Of course, Specter's decision screws Rep. Joe Sestak, who'll now have to wait several more years for a Senate seat. Tough luck, Joe. That's the way the political cookie crumbles.

The likelihood of Specter losing to a Republican like Pat Toomey in a general election seems, at this point, remote. But a year and half is a lifetime in politics and the world could be a very different place come November 2010.

The Tortured Argument of Richard Cohen

WaPo's Richard Cohen inadvertently provides insight into the confused thinking of the liberal establishment when it comes to the "torture" question.

He admits, as many lefties don't, that "torture" sometimes works to get valuable information from terrorists to prevent attacks against the innocent. He says the renewed "moral authority" the Obama administration claims to have achieved by releasing the interrogation memos is an "awfully thin reed upon which to construct a foreign policy." But then, he pronounces himself "glad that we are no longer torturing anyone." (How he knows this, he doesn't say.)

Then he offers this:
America should repudiate torture not because it is always ineffective -- nothing is always anything -- or because others loathe it, but because it degrades us and runs counter to our national values. It is a statement of principle, somewhat similar to why we do not tap all phones or stop and frisk everyone under the age of 28. Those measures would certainly reduce crime, but they are abhorrent to us.

Is Cohen serious? Does he really think that tapping ALL phones and frisking EVERYONE under the age of 28 would "certainly reduce crime?" Because it wouldn't.

Just imagine the law enforcement manpower such a program would entail. Imagine the cost of such a stupid program. There are more than 300 million people in this country. At least 100 million of have to be under the age of 28. Keeping surveilance on such a number would be as impractical as it would be stupid and offensive.

But the fact is, we DO tap the phones of some members of the under-28 crowd. People reasonably suspected of being involved in criminal activity. And we do so with legal and judicial authority.

As for our enemies captured on the foreign battlefields, we do not and did not use
our harshest interrogation tactics against ALL of them. We used such tactics against a very select few, high-up al Qaeda fanatics who provided information that helped us prevent terror attacks and save American lives.

It would, of course, be preferable that such rough techniques never had to be used to protect anyone but welcome to the world in which we live.

After admitting that "that nothing Obama did this month about torture made America safer," Cohen goes on to compare the Bush administration to - you guessed it - the Nazis.

He says he knows it is "offensive" to do this, but it appears his own "moral authority" allows him the leeway to be offensive.

He goes on to call the interrogation memos, "the squalid efforts of legal toadies to justify the unjustifiable."

Of course, just paragraphs before he admits that "torture" sometimes works to get valuable information that can, does, and has saved innocent lives. So by "unjustifiable" he must mean, something more like aethestically displeasing to his own sensibilities.

Fine. If that's what he means - and I think that is a fair reading of his piece - he should say just so. Torture is unjustified, not because it doesn't work, or because it undermines' our nation's "moral authority" but because it is "abhorrent to us."

Well, so is war. But occasionally we are forced to fight them.

Cohen closes with a flourish:
"Before you can torture anyone, you must first torture the law."

No you don't. What "squalid" memos were written by "legal toadies" that allowed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to saw off the head of Daniel Pearl? That was done, not to save innocent lives, but out of hatred of Jews and the West, to terrorize, and to put us on notice that they would stop at nothing to see America lie in smoldering ruin.

Cohen obviously understands the enemy we face, certainly better than most of his compatriots on the left. He just can't bring himself to admit George Bush, Dick Cheney, et al. acted in good faith and with the belief that they were protecting the country. They certainly did so effectively. The proof? Not a single successful attack on American soil after 9/11.

Cohen blames - and has nothing but contempt for - the lawyers who helped lay out the parameters of how far interrogators could go before crossing the torture line. He doesn't even mention the CIA interrogators who inflicted the pain on the likes of KSM to get him to talk.

But it is interesting to learn that upon his capture, KSM at first refused to talk until he spoke to an attorney. Apparently he believed that he would be treated the same way the first guys who attempted to blow up the World Trade Center were treated. He wasn't. He was interrogated, harshly, roughly even brutally. And American lives were saved. (Even Dennis Blair, Obama's top intelligence officer, admits as much.

If KSM had been treated with the kid gloves he expected and the left is now demanding, if he had been defended by ACLU lawyers who no doubt would have counseled him not to talk, who knows how many more Americans might have suffered and died in another wave of attacks.

In the meantime, "abhorrent" is a good word for the partisan slanders being heaped on good men stuck with the sometimes dirty job of fighting our enemies and trying to keep America safe.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A History Lesson for the Angry Left

Victor Davis Hanson gives goofball liberals bent on seeing Bush Administration officials prosecuted a history lesson on what other presidents didn't do.
Dwight Eisenhower did not open hearings to pave the way for indictment of federal officials of the Roosevelt administration or California lawyers working for Gov. Earl Warren, who in concert planned and carried out the forced internment of American citizens into camps. Much less did he bring Truman & Co. up on charges of using nuclear weapons to incinerate Japanese civilians.

Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge did not seek indictment of Woodrow Wilson’s Justice Department, which did everything from strengthening segregation to jailing war critics and helping foster the odious vigilantes of the American Protective League. No subsequent administration tried to arrest Lincoln’s Cabinet members for signing off on the suspension of habeas corpus after Fort Sumter — unconstitutional decrees that eventually would mean some 15,000 Americans were held without charges for indeterminate length.

If only Will "Moral Clarity" Bunch had been advising presidents back then what a wonderful world it would be.

Torture: Safe, Legal and Rare II

James Taranto compares and contrasts enhanced interrogations with partial-birth abortions. (You have to scroll down to find it.)

First, he notes how the New York Times decided to call the interrogation techniques "brutal" but in describing partial birth abortion, the Times offers no such judgement. Instead the paper states that opponents of abortion call the partial-birth procedure "brutal and uncivilized." Not the Times though.

Taranto also cites a recent poll that shows most American believe that "torture" is sometimes justified if it is used to prevent an imminent terror attack.

Taranto cleverly writes:
There is a sensible middle position here, one that is neither pro-torture nor pro-terrorism: Let's keep enhanced interrogation safe, legal and rare.

Spencerblog said something very similar more than a year ago.

We're Here, We're Queer and We're Hypocrites!

Andrew Breitbart has his own take on the Miss California/Perez Hilton controversy.

Money Q:
On display at the Miss USA event was the activist left's pageant of selective bullying, a concerted strategy to go after low-hanging fruit like Mormons. But the left leaves off its hit list members in good standing of its normal coalition - its "rainbow" coalition. In California, one of the gayest places on the map, blacks and Hispanics - who disproportionately disapprove of same-sex marriage - get a stunning pass from outraged proponents of gay marriage.

A Bunch of Hooey on "Torture"

Will Bunch shows his Attytood about "torture." He's against it. And he thinks Bush Administration officials should be prosecuted for engaging in it.

Writes Bunch:
For what it matters, Obama has been very consistent on this topic from Day One, and I know, because I was the very first reporter to ask him about the notion of prosecuting Bush White House officials -- inspired specifically by the torture issue -- when the then-candidate visited the Daily News 12 months ago.

Well, bully for Bunch. He was the first "reporter" to float the prosecution balloon for our future president. And who is in a better position to lecture the President of the United States about his duties than, you know, a reporter.

And yet, according to Bunch, his fellow journalists have not only let him down, we have let down the entire country. We were co-conspirators when it came to Bush's war. And now some of us are co-conspirators in attempts to block these criminals from being brought justice.

Almost every flaw of our craft has been on display in the last week or two -- the pleading for a middle-of-the-road answer to a problem where there is no middle ground, the phony "he said, she said" journalism that gives a 50 percent voice to the advocates of American-bred torture, the use of unnecessary anonymous quotes to defend the indefensible, the need for an elite inside-the-Beltway clique to circle the wagons, to insist that aggressive prosecution is only for the crimes that "regular people" commit.

Bunch is very ashamed of his peers.
What a shame. Although it is tragic that we must be talking about something like torture in the United States of America in 2009, this issue does offer modern journalism a chance to do something we have not done in at least a generation -- and that is to provide this nation, our readers and viewers, with moral clarity and leadership.

Ah yes. What would the country do without the "moral clarity and leadership" of a bunch of Will Bunches? Pretty much lapse into the darkness that was the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and the first decade of the new millenium. Now that Barack Obama is president it is time for the moral media majority to stand up and be heard. To help their new leader to see the path to righteousness. And if you're a journalist, who's got a different opinion about the use of harsh interrogation techniques to prevent terror attacks, you can just sit down and shut up.

Hearing from the other side in the "torture" debate and reporting it is, to Bunch's mind, contemptible. As he mockingly writes:
I don't know any journalist who thinks there are two sides to freedom of the press, so why should freedom from torture be any different?

Excuse me there, Will, but there ARE very often two sides to "freedom of the press" issues in this country. Why does you think we have libel laws? Why do some journalists go to jail to protect their sources? Media members are not free to withhold information from authorities when a crime has been committed any more than any other citizen is. Journalists who try to hide behind their press credentials can find themselves hauled into court. Sometimes the freedoms enjoyed by the press have to be balanced against the responsibility of governments to protect state secrets.

But I suppose, if one is imbued with the kind of "moral clarity" that Will Bunch and his ilk enjoy, life is so much easier. The rest of us should just shut up and allow them to lead us into the light. They have the torches to do it. Pitch forks too.

Miss California vs. The Intoleranti

Miss California, who (Horrors!) expressed the personal belief that marriage should be limited to one man and one woman - and probably lost the title of Miss USA because of it - is sticking to her guns.

What did she say that was so horrific?
"I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage," she said. "And you know what? I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."

The next day, Miss USA judge (and celebrity blogger) Perez Hilton threw a hissy fit and called her a bunch of unattractive names.

Granted, Carrie Prejean did not muster a single argument as to why she believes what she believes. She simply cites her upbringing. But then, the Miss USA pageant is probably not the best place to indulge this particular argument.

There are thoughtful people on either side of the gay marriage issue, neither Carrie Prejean nor Perez Hilton are among them.

But she, at least, is nice. He isn't.

Mr. "Hilton" has made himself a minor celebrity by insulting bigger celebrities on his web-site. One of his more grown-up gimmicks is to draw large cartoon penises on photographs of movie stars like Jennifer Aniston. Very high-brow stuff. That he would be selected to "judge" the Miss USA pageant is a gimmick in and of itself, courtesy of celebrity mogul Donald Trump.

Other contestants had to answer questions about whether "they would speak out against domestic violence," and such like. Not exactly the political minefield, Prejean was invited to step into. It was only by the (bad) luck of the draw she got the Perez question. She did the best she could with it but more importantly she maintained true to her beliefs, exuded real tolerance, and kept her personal integrity intact in the process.

The same can not be said for the pageant, its judges or its owner.

Bailout Nuts Go To ACORN

The DC Examiner says that ACORN, the left-wing community activist group that is getting millions from bailed-out banks, and it shouldn't be.

Why are taxpayer funds quietly going to left-wing political groups? Could it have anything to with the Community Activist in Chief's past association with ACORN? Nah.

Homeland Security vs. Our Veterans?

Steve Barrar speaks up for war veterans who were insulted by the report from Homeland Security that said they were prone to being recruited by "right-wing extremists" for terror purposes against the U.S.

The head of DH, Janet Napolitano, has apologized to veterans groups, as well she should have.

The report offers no evidence that such a "right-wing" threat exists and looks more like Napolitano has allowed her department to be politicized by left-wing conspiracy theorists.

Have They Got a Deal for You!

Unfortunately, it's a bad deal.

Robert Samuelson on the greenies playing make-believe.

Money Q:
The selling of the green economy involves much economic make-believe. Environmentalists not only maximize the dangers of global warming -- from rising sea levels to advancing tropical diseases. They also minimize the costs of dealing with it. Actually, no one involved in this debate really knows what the consequences or costs might be. All are inferred from models of uncertain reliability. Great schemes of economic and social engineering are proposed on shaky foundations of knowledge. Candor and common sense are in scarce supply.

Meet the Intoleranti

Juvenile gay activist, Perez Hilton, gives the Prez a pass on gay marriage.

It's not so much about the issue. It's about feeling superior to your political opponents.

Training, Not "Torture"

Former sharpshooter and prosecutor William McSwain explains why prosecuting our toughest interrogators and their bosses would be a fool's errand.

Money Q:
I have personally been waterboarded, put into stress positions, sleep deprived, slapped in the face. While none of this was enjoyable, I am none the worse for wear.

While such techniques are used in U.S. military training, some apparently consider them too brutal, too abusive, too inhumane -- in short, too much like "torture" -- to be used on fanatics like KSM who are bent on the mass murder of innocent American civilians. And if legal advisers such as Steven G. Bradbury, Jay S. Bybee and John Yoo are to be prosecuted for having sanctioned their use under careful controls, who's next? Every commander who ever implemented a SERE course?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nails Is So Money

Need Mo' Money? Just Ask Nails. My print column is up.

Good Faith, Abortion and Terrorists

Progressive columnist Tim Rutten defends HHS nominee Kathleen Sebelius on her questionable decisions to fight restrictions on late-term abortions.

His column contains this interesting quote from Sebelius explaining her veto.
A physician acting in good faith to save a pregnant woman's life, and using his or her best medical judgment, should not be subject to later criminal prosecution."

Sebelius claims to be personally opposed to abortion but believes it is unconstitutional to restrict late-term abortions in the manner proposed by the Kansas state legislature. (That at least is what her advisors tell her, as Rutten notes, Sebelius is no lawyer.)

There is certainly no telling how a divided U.S. Supreme Court would rule on such a law.

But what jumped out at me was the assertion that an abortionist "acting in good faith to save a woman's life... should not be subject to later criminal prosecution."

Substitute "A CIA operative" or "Bush Adminisration official... acting in good faith to save American lives... should not be subject to later criminal prosecution" for using harsh interrogation tactics against known terrorists to extract information that prevents future lethal attacks.

The proposed law in Kansas would not retroactively allow prosecutors to bring abortionists to trial for having performed late-term abortions in the past. There is quite a difference between that and what many on the left are demanding be done to men who acted in good faith to protect this nation.

The Kansas law makes clear to abortionists that they would be subject to the criminal sanctions if and when they violate the new law.

So if the Democratic majority in Congress wants to legally define certain harsh interrogation techniques as "torture" and outlaw them, they have the power to do so. But defining them as torture and illegal after the fact and then prosecuting individuals for what they did years ago when there was no such clear-cut law, is simply and obviously wrong.

What the Obama administration did when it came to the issue is further confuse and polarize it. By releasing the legal memos that defined how far interrogators could go the new administration told our enemies just what and how much they will have to endure when it comes to giving up information when and if they are captured. That is not smart.

What is not fair or right is threatening the prosecution of lawyers and other U.S. officials who were engaged in "good faith" efforts to set the parameters within which information could be gleaned in the hope of protecting innocent American lives.

It is doubly ironic that the same "good faith" argument would be used by the abortion lobby when it is about the business of taking the lives of innocent human beings.

Granted, a 7-month-old fetus is not legally a human being, given that WE haven't democratically CHOSEN to define him as such. But legally defined or not, such a human life surely deserves some protection from those who wish to do it harm.

Fully grown human terrorists also deserve some protections from abuse. And they've got them, as the legal memos themselves prove.

But how telling is it that progressives are more concerned with the rights and freedoms of abortionists to ply their trade, than they are with the responsibilities of government officials to protect this country from our enemies.

In the meantime, Rutten is fretfully concerned about the power of the Catholic church to intimidate Democratic politicians who happen to be Catholic. He needn't worry so much. It is quite obvious that Catholics like John Kerry, Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy and the rest fear the abortion lobby more than they fear any old bishop. They'd much rather be ex-communicated from their church than from their political party.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hillary: Trust Us!

In light of new violence, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promises Iraqis: We will not abandon you.

We're sure the word of a Clinton will put their minds at ease.

Don't Mess with the Cheneys

Liz Cheney drinks Nora O'Donnell's milkshake on the interrogation issue. All poor Nora is left with is the noisy stuff at the bottom of the glass.

Click and watch.

Hat tip: Patterico

To Tell the Truth

Noemie Emery: Let the hearings begin.

Money Q:
Some Democrats, from the White House on down, are pushing the idea of a "truth commission," à la South Africa, to deal with the "harsh measures" used by the Bush administration in interrogating al Qaeda detainees. Good. Let's have lots of truthtelling. Please bring it on.

Let's tell the truth about Bush's conduct of the war on terror, which is that it's been a success. His ultimate legacy hasn't been written--Iraq is improved, but not out of danger--but the one thing that can be said without reservation is that the country was kept safe. He delivered on the main charge of his office in time of emergency, in a crisis without guidelines or precedent. Attacks took place in Spain, and in London, in Indonesia and India, but not on American soil, which was the obvious target of choice. Bush couldn't say this before he left office, for obvious reasons, and after he left, attention switched to the new president. This little fact dropped down the memory hole, but with all this discussion, it will rise to the surface. Let the hearings begin!

Meanwhile, according to a recent PEW poll, only one in four Americans think "torture" is "never" justified.

Taylor Made Thoughts on Torture

The ever thoughtful and reasonable Stuart Taylor on the harsh interrogations and the fumbling/pandering of the Obama Administration.

And from Porter Goss his recollection of what Democrats knew and when they knew it.

Happy Earth Day: We're All Going to Die!

One in three kids between 6 and 11 believes the world will come to an end in their lifetime.

Al Gore and his band of environmental propagandists, which include most public school teachers, have won the day with your children.

Mark Steyn has a few thoughts on the subject.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Compassionate Liberalism

George Will is never better then when he is defending minority school kids from Democrats who are controlled by teachers unions.

Money Q:
As the president and his party's legislators are forcing minority children back into public schools, the doors of which would never be darkened by the president's or legislators' children, remember this: We have seen a version of this shabby act before. One reason conservatism came to power in the 1980s was that in the 1970s liberals advertised their hypocrisy by supporting forced busing of other people's children to schools the liberals' children did not attend

Climate Hearing Nazi: No Mike For You!

Henry Waxman wanted to hear from Global Warming alarmist Al Gore. Not so much from Lord Christopher Monckton, a former science advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and something of a climate change skeptic.

Hasn't Lord Monckton heard: The debate is over! All liberal Democrats want to hear is from the choir. Blue Dog Dems, however, may rain all over this legislative circus. (See Strassel's piece below.)

Again, I say: Spaceships! We need more spaceships!

Dems About to Get Waxed

Kim Strassel on Global Warming overreach."

With partisan ideologues like Waxman and Pelosi, it was bound to happen.

UPDATE: Al Gore went to Capitol Hill to proclaim the passing of Waxman's bill to be a "moral imperative" and one of the most important bills ever to be introduced in Congress.

And yet the proposed bill only modestly cuts (but a great cost) the so-called greenhouse emissions that will doom this planet. Given that reality and the dire straights Al Gore say we're in, we wonder why he isn't pushing for the building of a fleet of rockets ships to take the earth's population to say, colonize the moon. If not everyone, at least, a few thousand volunteers to make sure the human race survives. You know, like in Dr. Strangelove.

You would think the man who invented the internet could come up with an earth evacuation plan. What do you say, Dr. Strangegore?

He's a Real Nowhere (Congress) Man

Remember the Bridge to Nowhere? Well, welcome to the Airport for Nobody, also known as The John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport.

He's no longer Congressman Abscam. He's Congressman Airscam!

Here's a better link to the video

Nails? In His Coffin, Maybe

ESPN's Mike Fish does the ultimate hit job on the incredibly shrinking "mogul" Lenny Dykstra.

Money Q:
Last month, though, on March 23, Dykstra picked up the phone and woke up his mother with a call at around 6 in the morning, according to Kevin Dykstra, his younger brother. Lenny was stranded in Cleveland. He wanted to charter a jet so he could get to a business meeting on the West Coast, and his credit cards were maxed out. He needed nearly $23,000 and asked his mother for it, Kevin says.
His mother agreed to let him use her credit card.
Kevin Dykstra says she has yet to be repaid.
"He had no money," says Lenny's brother. "He is on the phone, crying to my mom, saying he has got to get home and he is in Cleveland, Ohio. He asked my mom to put up her credit card for 23 grand. That is just sick, dude.
"The whole family is mad and she is all sad, saying he caught her off guard. She was asleep. He was crying to her, man."

It gets worse than that. A lot worse.

Amazing. But not surprising. Read the whole thing.

The Stink at PSU Brandywine Continues

More shabby treatment proffered by PSU-B administrators and a letter from a very disappointed alum - all in my print column. It's up.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What Did Nancy Know and When Did She Know It?

Nancy Pelosi is advocating a "truth" commission to investigate allegations that Bush Administration and CIA officials engaged in the "torture" of terror suspects to glean information to prevent future attacks.

Fine. Let her be the first one to testify UNDER OATH about what she was briefed on back in 2002.

According to this 2007 story in the Washington Post, Pelosi and other congressional leaders got a "virtual tour of
overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk."

Money Q:
Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

Pelosi is now denying any knowledge that waterboarding was being used against terror suspects.

So let her deny it UNDER OATH. If she did not object to what she and other Democrats are now declaring was "torture," why didn't she? And if she lies about what she heard at the briefing, she should be prosecuted for perjury.

You know, or not.

The angry left remains furious that the Obama Administration is dragging its feet on prosecuting Bush era officials for attempting to protect the country.

Obviously, Pelosi is trying to placate these lunatics, but she won't succeed. And she certainly won't put herself in legal jeopardy by agreeing to testify about what she knew and when she knew it under oath.

She's gotten herself into something of a pickle. And it couldn't happen to a more deserving and conniving politician.

UPDATE: And she won't be the only one to regret this dangerous foolishness.

UPDATE II: I see others have noticed the same Washington Post story, I did. One of the writers, Joby Warrick, started at the Daily Times. Nice job, Jobe.

David Diano and Me

Havertown's very own angry left-wing activist David Diano writes in to the Daily Times to accuse me of being a "bigot" (ho-hum, yawn) based on a column I recently wrote about my 16-year-old daughter being asked to take a "homophobia quiz" in her high school health class.

Mr. Diano's letter can be found here.

The column can be found here. Readers can judge for themselves whether Diano fairly characterizes the tone and arguments of the column.

That said, this should be too.

Diano is a regular and avid reader of this blog and we used to post his comments quite frequently. But when his remarks became too intemperate and insulting for my taste his posting privileges were revoked.

That, however, hasn't stopped him from attempting to post anonymously, under phony names and identities and under the names of other regular posters.

He has vowed, under his own name, in numerous e-mails to "crush" or otherwise drive this blog from cyberspace and he has even mentioned that he has a secret plan to get me fired.

If calling me names and mischaracterizing my work is part of this grand strategy, well then (yawn) I'm not too worried.

But Diano's obsessive interest in me is starting to border on the creepy. (It definitely creeps out my wife.)

He's starting to remind me of the Glenn Close character in Fatal Attraction ("I'm not gonna' be IGNORED, Dan!")

And we never even dated.

Maybe his success in getting a Letter to the Editor published will help him "move on" to more productive pursuits.

Somehow though, I doubt it.

Chant With Me: CELL NO, WE WON'T GO!

Yakking while driving is still allowed for now

The Poor Ignoramus That Is Sean Penn

At Huff-Po, Sean Penn explains the "nature of Americanism and language" to the confused and "simple-minded media."

As far as I can tell, Penn's understanding of "Americanism" requires...

1. The locking up of former American President George W. Bush for crimes against humanity and...

2. Smiling and embracing the "warm and friendly" current president of Venezuela.

Penn calls those who criticized Barack Obama's friendly treatment of Hugo Chavez America-hating "smirking spitters" and "among the greatest cowards in American history."

Penn claims to know Chavez (a committed Marxist) "well" and says he is a man "with a robust sense of humor."

"With a friend, or an enemy," Penn counsels, "our president will gain greater strategic position with a smile."

Makes you wonder how Sean Penn has avoided appointment to the U.S. State Department all these years.

Meanwhile, in "related" Huff-Po news, Chavez calls Obama "a poor ignoramus."

That Chavez, what a card!

At least we can all look forward to Sean Penn's next post on the misunderstood - but hilariously funny - Kim Jong Il, and why George W. Bush should be hanged for the mass starvation of the North Korean people.

A New Stop for the Apology Tour

Obama's head of Homeland Security blames Canada for terrorists easy access to the U.S. mainland.

Time to go to Canada, Mr. President, and apologize for America's insults and crimes against the Great White North.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tough Talk from the Left on War Crimes

Shannon Love on left-wing complaints concerning American war crimes:

Money Q:
So, Obama is thinking about prosecuting lawyers for war crimes.
Frankly, I doubt that Obama will actually go through with it. Leftists like to talk big about how horrible and murderous America’s military and intelligence services are, but history has shown that they are just hypocritical cowards when it comes to acting on their hysterical rhetoric. John Kerry started his political career with this statement made under oath before congress in 1971:

Read the rest here.

Tragedy at Freddie Mac

The CFO of Freddie Mac kills himself.

He got one of those retention bonuses, Washington politicians made such a big deal about when they went out to AIG executives.

Republican senator Chuck Grassley said the people who took such bonuses should consider suicide.

He said he was just keeeeding. It wasn't funny. Even less so now.

Driver Beware!

The Nanny party in Harrisburg is looking to ban hand-held cell phones while driving.

Just because a few uncoordinated nincompoops can't talk and chew gum at the same time is no reason to punish the rest of us multi-taskers.

As for texting, I don't know how anyone does it while driving. I can't even do it while walking. Spencerblog daughter, however, could do it on the Ed Sullivan Show while keeping seven plates spinning on sticks.

The Sex Nazi: No Sex For You!

In the case against the 41-year-old Linwood woman who allegedly had "unprotected sex" with all those boys (13 to 16):

Defense attorney Mark Much says the boys' testimony is unreliable because all three that have testified thus far have recanted their statements at least once.

Sure they did. She probably threatened to cut them off unless they recanted.

BTW: Would it have been OK if it had been "protected" sex?

Just askin'

Obama the Muddler

Politico says: "Obama muddles torture message."

Of course he does. He muddles just about every message he puts out there. Some people are finally catching on.

Love, American Style

As the old joke goes... Why are divorces so expensive? Because they're worth it.

Not to some people, though. My print column is up.

Obama's Apology Tour

Obama blames America first. Including Harry Truman for ending a war and saving the lives of thousands of American servicemen.

Obama is now loved more than ever in Europe. So he has that going for him, which is nice.

Card Check R.I.P.

Thomas Frank is in mourning. Card Check is dead. He blames double-dealing Democrats. But when even guys like George McGovern see the anti-democratic nature of a bill, it's in trouble.

Card Check ended the secret ballot process in the voting to form a union.

Members of private sector unions have shrunk down to 7 percent of union membership. Public employee unions have the great advantage of negotiating with middle men. Men and women whose own money is never on the line. Governments and school districts never go out of business. They just raise taxes.

Those of us in unions in the private sector have to consider the effect of our "demands" on the overall health of our employers for there is always the chance of them going out of business. Public employee union members don't have such worries. Lucky them.

Card Check was good for union leaders and organizers. Not so much for workers and the private economy.

Dems Scared of Tea Parties

U.S. News: Democrats have become "hysterical" over the "Tea Party" movement.

Why? They feel threatened.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tea Parties Explained

Freedomworks Matt Kibbe explains to Nick Gillespie of Reason the Tea Party movement.

Just click, listen and learn something. I did.

Shiver Me Timbers

Lone surviving Somali pirate brought to New York for trial.

Check out this photo. He looks like one happy pirate.

Cheap, Abundant Energy is Within Our Grasp

Halbert Fischel does the math on green energy.

Forget wind. Forget solar. Way too expensive.

But there is a proven way to get cheap, abundant (non-fossil fuel burning) electricity to fuel electric cars.

Read the whole thing.

A Shock to the Conscience and National Security

Andrew McCarthy explains why its the release of the (how not to) "torture memos" that should shock the conscience.

It helps our enemies.

Money Q:
The revelations will make al-Qaeda a more efficient killing machine: better able to resist our efforts to thwart its attacks. Worse, they will paralyze our intelligence community, which now knows that even a presidential assurance complemented by Justice Department guidance and congressional encouragement will not protect agents from second-guessing and possible legal jeopardy a few months or years from now, when vigilance is no longer in fashion and political power has changed hands.

Read the whole thing.

Pro-Choice, Pro-Perjury

News Release: Student Undercover Video Shows Tennessee Planned Parenthood Coaching 14-Year-Old To Lie About Age of 'Boyfriend'
MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A counselor at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Memphis, TN was caught on hidden camera coaching a 14-year-old girl to lie to a judge so he would not find out about her reportedly 31-year-old boyfriend. This is the sixth Planned Parenthood clinic implicated in a developing multi-state child abuse scandal involving the deliberate suppression of evidence of statutory rape.

Don't these crazy pro-lifers know that it is OK for liberals to lie in the cause of civil rights? Geez, it's not as if the counselor didn't ask the "14-year-old" not to tell anyone.

Karon Burton Busted

This is just sad. Criminal too. But mostly sad.

It's the Ergonomy, Stupid!

In Nether Prov, a resident complains about the cutting of a kids' recreation program and points out the 5 percent pay raises for administrative staff and spending $3,300 to get them healthier chairs.

Board President Lin Floyd explains the township's insurance company made them get the chairs for "ergonomic" reasons.

What a hoot!

Senator Sestak? Congressman Williams?

So Joe Sestak is considering a run for the U.S. Senate against Arlen Specter or whoever the Republican candidate might be.

I always said he wouldn't be satisfied being one of 435 members of Congress. He's a very ambitious guy.

County Dem chairman Cliff Wilson says: “I think if he ran, he would win, and I think if it’s something he decides to do, that decision needs to be made in the next few months.”

Wilson also points out that statewide seats require a lot of campaigning especially for a sophomore congressman already trying to work out of both his district office and in Washington, D.C.

“If there’s anyone who can do those three things at the same time, I think it’s Joe Sestak.”

I tend to agree. But Sestak has his shortcomings. He's still a lousy speaker and he has an off-putting personality. That could hurt him against other Democratic hopefuls.

That said, having a prickly personality hasn't prevented Arlen Specter from get elected and re-elected for decades.

Specter could lose a primary challenge to conservative Pat Toomey. But he won't if too many others get in and stay in the race for the GOP nod.

Sestak would have a much better chance running against any other GOP nominee than Specter.

On the upside for Sestak, the state is and has trended Democrat for years. Sestak's military background and resume would get him a leg up against any of his opponents.

Sestak's trial baloon probably sounds good to Craig Williams, the Republican he beat in last year's congressional race. In the 7th District the Dems have no bench. If Williams were to run again against any non-Sestak candidate in 2010, he might very well win.

Cheney: Release More Memos

Former VP Dick Cheney calls for the declassification of more CIA memos on the harsh interrogation techniques used on terrorists during the Bush Administration. Specifically, Cheney would like Americans to know how successful the techniques were in gleaning information that saved American lives.

Money Q:
"I've now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was."

Is he bluffing. Maybe. But we'd like to see Obama call his bet.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Torturing the "Torture" Memos for Partisan Advantage

Rivkin and Casey defend the "Torture" Memos..

Money Q:
All of these interrogation methods have been adapted from the U.S. military's own Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (or SERE) training program, and have been used for years on thousands of American service members with the full knowledge of Congress. This has created a large body of information about the effect of these techniques, on which the CIA was able to draw in assessing the likely impact on the detainees and ensuring that no severe pain or long term psychological impact would result.

Moreover, the waterboarding of just three top al Qaida operatives, led to information being provided that SAVED AMERICAN LIVES.

While Democrats and others on the left have attempted to paint members of the Bush Administration as gleeful torturers, the facts reveal something else; serious men trying to protect innocent Americans from another devastating attack.

Admittedly, the interrogation tactics were harsh but torture? No.

Obviously, the American public is conflicted on the subject. Yet, we know instinctively when such harsh tactics are justified when we see them portrayed on film. And we see them a lot.

NYPD Blues' Andy Sipowitz used to get harsh with skels all the time. Viewers understood and approved.

When Clint "Dirty Harry" Eastwood "tortured" a mass murderer to get him to reveal where his kidnap victim was, viewers understood and approved.

When Harrison Ford shot a British double agent in the knee cap, successfully getting him to talk in "Patriot Games," viewers understood and approved.

When Jack Bauer routinely engages in acts of "torture" to glean information to prevent terrorist attacks, viewers understand and approve.

Which is to say, context and motive matters when it comes to judging these acts, almost as much as the physical acts themselves.

UPDATE: Frank J. has a different opinion.

The EPA Regulates, Therefore YOU Are a Polluter!

Obama's EPA declares carbon dioxide a pollutant, subject to EPA regulation.

Robert Bryce points out the partisan idiocy on the subject. Mostly it comes from the left.

Money Q:
Pardon my sarcasm, but the EPA’s plan to equate carbon dioxide, the substance that we emit every minute of every day of our lives, with pollution—a term I equate with noxious substances like benzene, dioxin, and PCBs—seems like something out of a bad science fiction novel.

Read the whole thing.

BTW, at the end, Bryce paraphrases Rene Descartes: "I emit carbon, therefore I am." (Or in other words, "I breathe, therefore I am... a polluter.")

Descartes' most famous bit of philosophizing is "I think, therefore I am." Actually, he carried it one step further to "I doubt, therefore I am."

No doubting allowed about the deadly threat of climate change. And it justifies any lie environmentalists and their handmaidens in Congress care to utter.

Sixer Steal One

Woke up thinking about Andre Iguodala hitting that jumper with 2.2 seconds to go after his two missed free throws.

He's the Sundance Kid.

"Can I move? I'm better when I move."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blood, Sweet and Tears

My print column on tattoos, tears, and Harry is up.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Not So Free Speech on Campus

My friend David Horowitz recalls the boorish behavior of campus leftists and the necessity for armed security guards at a recent appearance.

Funny this never seems to happen to leftist speakers.

Money Q:
I don't know of a single leftist speaker among the thousands who visit campuses every term who has been obstructed or attacked by conservative students, who are too decent and too tolerant to do that.

Friday, April 17, 2009

E-Mail of the Week

Responding to my print column on Paul Begala's rant against Tea Partiers, Brian Gillen writes:

It's nice to know there are, though, some people who make Paul Begala look almost sane.
-- such as Janeane Garofalo, who patiently explained that every single person who attended a Tea Party event is a racist:

As low as the bar of expectation was for her, she somehow managed to do the limbo right under it.

Sideshow Bobby and Company

The Congressional Black Caucus makes itself is as irrevelvant as ever

Those Awful Protestors

An Illinois congresswoman declares tax protests "shameful and despicable."

Meanwhile, Swampie finds some behavior on the part of the congresswoman's husband to truly shameful and despicable.

UPDATE: Estimates of protestors climbs to over 500,000.

Obama the Timid

On the interrogation of terrorists, a "cycle of timidity and aggression."

Money Q:
The effect of this disclosure on the morale and effectiveness of many in the intelligence community is not hard to predict. Those charged with the responsibility of gathering potentially lifesaving information from unwilling captives are now told essentially that any legal opinion they get as to the lawfulness of their activity is only as durable as political fashion permits.

Begala-ing the Question

Of taxes, tea parties, and patriotism, my print column is up.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Parties Draw 200,000

Some 200,000 tax protesters turned out "tea parties" across the country to voice their concerns about the federal budget and looming deficits.

Some media members don't make the media look very good by arguing with them, instead of just covering the story.

If they bother to cover the story.

Pranksterism vs. Fascism: Which is Worse?

So it was a handful of Villanova University students who broke into the Linc and attempted to steal a seat and a sign.

Sounds like fraternity prank.

The university is "deeply disappointed" in their behavior and "poor judgement."

Fine. Meanwhile at the University of North Carolina another group of students managed to shout down an appearance by former congressman Tom Tancredo because they don't like his position on illegal immigration.

The behavior of the students led to campus police shutting down the event and dispersing the crowd. According to University spokesmen, students could be brought up on charges in the school's Honor Court.

Which student action was worse? I'll give you a hint. What happened at UNC is completely antithetical to what universities are supposed to stand for, the free exchange of ideas and inquiry. Denying an invited speaker the right to say his piece, especially to a group of students interested in hearing it and debating it, is a violation of one of core principals and reasons for the existence of universities.

Any student or professor who would engage in such behavior is an enemy of free speech, free inquiry and the concept of learning itself. Such people can rightly be called fascists.

All universities should adopt codes that severely punish such acts. The penalty for which should be immediate expulsion. Period.

As for the other, it's pranksterism pure and simple and deserves a slap on the wrist.

Sue Sue Sudio

More on the "Pay to Sue" scheme being practiced right here in Pennsylvania, starring Gov. Ed Rendell and big campaign donor attorney Ken Bailey.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Big Tent

Gay, conservative and proud of it.

Something wrong with that?

Free Speech For Me, Not For Ye

Liberal Fascism is alive and well on campuses like UNC. Don't like what someone has to say? Shout them down, break a window.

Student fascists and their faculty enablers need to be exposed for what they are. So click on the video and watch these disgusting little Eichman's at work. It's very educational.

CORRECTION: The students fascists in question were at UNC Chapel Hill not Charlotte, since corrected.

Wild About Harry; Arlen and PSU, Not So Much

My print column "ruminating" on Arlen Specter's "generosity," Penn State Brandywine's loathsomeness, and the passing of Harry Kalas, is up.

One Hundred Percent Viable

Albert Silveri, the state trooper who allegedly solicited sex with minors on the Internet, is going with a non-jury trial.


Money Q:
Defense attorney Steven Pacillio said his client is innocent of the charges.
“We have a viable defense under the statute.”

Not exactly "My client is completely, totally, 100 percent not guilty." But probably closer to the truth.

Yahooism in Yeadon

This sounds like reasonable resolution to this fracas.

But since when is choking someone at a public meeting considered "harassment" and not assault?

And since when is assault considered a "hanging" offense?

Tea Party Like It's 1999

Do you think you pay too much money to the federal government for the services you get back?

Do you think the federal government borrows and spends too much?

Celebrate Tax Day with a Tea Party. Look for one in your area.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rescue Me

And the big question... is the First Family's new puppy a rescue?

Sure, if you think of it this way, they rescued the dog from Ted Kennedy.

And how fitting that Kennedy has nothing but Chappaqui..., I mean, Portuguese water dogs. It's good that all his dogs are good swimmers. You know, for their own sake.

Obama: Champion of Gender Equity

Barack Obama believes that what's been good for women's basketball will be good for nuclear physics.

And what's been good for women's basketball is Title IX, the law that demands equal rights for women in education.

But what's been "good" for women's basketball has not been so good for men's swimming, wrestling, gymnastics and a host of other varsity sports. That's because gender equity activists aren't about providing equal opportunities for girls and women to participate in scholastic sports. They are about demanding equal outcomes. In a word, parity. They are about having the SAME NUMBER of girls and boys playing sports, even if girls, as a group, aren't as interested in playing those sports.

And so if a school can't interest enough girls to play, it can be punished - that is, sued - for having too many more boys playing them. To prevent that from happening high schools and colleges simply dump men's sports programs to achieve parity with the number of varsity female athletes.

This is, of course, hurtful to the young men who enjoy the camradarie and competition of such participation. But the gender equity activists don't care. They don't care that more men would like to participate in athletics than women. For them, what people want is beside the point. They have a vision for America and it shared by our new president.

Given the supposed "success" of Title IX, Obama and his fellow progressives want to expand it to include parity in the hard sciences, like physics and math. Fewer women choose to go into these fields than men. According to Obama's vison for America, shared by groups like the American Association of University Women, that must change.

But consider this.

While basketball has done a lot for women, women have not done a lot for basketball. They certainly have not raised the level at which the game is played. They can't compete with men on the same court. A decent high school boys team would beat any professional women's team.

Is this what Obama and his fellow gender acitivists have in mind for physics? A separate league in which women can compete against one another?

Let's hope not. But what they might do is use Title IX as a cudgel to hammer universities to provide more scholarships for females and fewer for males. That is the approach they have used for athletics. Why not physics?

It is one thing to encourage girls to go into the harder sciences. It is quite something else bring to bear a law that has been twisted by liberal lawyers and bureaucrats to require gender parity in any particular field. But funny, how there's never a question of having too few male grade school teachers, even when they are vastly outnumbered by the female kind.

Anyone who tells you girls are being denied educational opportunities because of prejudice and bias is lying to you. Girls now make up close to 60 percent of number undergraduates in college. They can study whatever they want and they do. That more choose to go into the humanities and softer sciences reflects their OWN choices and maybe something about the innate differences between boys and girls.

When my daughter was in middle school she played basketball, and she was a pretty good little player too. But when she got to high school she suddenly decided she wanted to go out for cheerleading. And she did. I would have preferred watching her play basketball but her choice was HER choice. Not mine. And not a bunch of Department of Education bureaucrats in Washington who have rather peculiar ideas of what a just society looks like.

UPDATE: Read Christina Hoff Sommers take on this here in the Washington Post. You may need to register but it only takes a few seconds and its worth it.

A Likely Story

Lawyers Tony and John List claim that Chester Township police chief Booker Wilson will be completely vindicated of charges that he used a worker's comp check stolen from an inmate at the Minsec halfway house in Chester to buy a Cadillac Escalade in Chester County.

They don't seem to be disputing that the Wilson gave the check to a car dealer friend to purchase the car. Their defense is that Wilson was just "helping out" the inmate, Vaughn Moore, by having Moore endorse the check over to him and cashing it.

Wilson then used the check to buy the SUV. The car dealer, Wilson's friend, testified Wilson told him he cashed the check for "one of his guys." He also said there was nothing "unusual" about accepting third-party checks to buy cars.

Moore, who is now back in prison, claims he never got the check, which was mailed to him at MinSec by the state.

While attempting to paint Moore a liar, the defense also claims Wilson may have been "duped" by another inmate who stole the check and pretended to be Moore.

The check is in the amount of $6,657.

A reasonable question is does Wilson often carry that kind of cash on his part-time job at Minsec so that he can cash checks for convicted criminals?

It would also seem Wilson ought to be able to produce a bank statement that shows a withdrawl of some amount close to $6,000 that he used to pay Moore (or his imposter) for the check.

If not, Booker Wilson's vindication might be a long-time coming.

Monday, April 13, 2009

He's Outta' Here

Terrible news. Harry Kalas is dead.
Fittingly, the voice of the Phillies died at the ballpark in the broadcast booth.

What a loss!

Credit, Where Credit is Due

A devoted reader writes in to chastise us and to demand that we give Joe Sestak his due for correctly predicting the safe release of Capt. Phillips.

We'd be happy to do so, only Sestak didn't correctly predict the "safe resolution" of the kidnapping.

From the story:
Sestak was confident special FBI negotiators brought in to deal with the kidnapping of Capt. Richard Phillips earlier this week would bring the situation to a safe conclusion.

“At the end of the day, we want the … outcome where they see they have no alternative and they give up the man and their arms for incarceration,” he said. “This is one (situation) where a safe, deliberate approach is going to be needed. The important thing is the life of that individual.”

It wasn't FBI negotiators who brought this event to an end. It was U.S. Navy Seal sharp shooters. The kidnappers/terrorists didn't release the man and give up their arms for incarceration. They were shot to death.

We have already given President Obama credit for authorizing force.

If the "Safe and Deliberate" Sestak had been in charge of the operation, Phillips might still be in the hands of his captors.

Welcome to The Community?

George Will asks, Community of Nations? What Community of Nations?

Money Q:
During Barack Obama's trip abroad, during which he praised himself by disparaging his predecessor and deploring America's shortcomings, he took pandering to a comic peak, combining criticism of America with flattery of Europe, when he deplored America's "failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world." Actually, as the crisis of aggression and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans demonstrated a decade ago, Europe plays almost no leadership role, even in Europe, which remains a geographical rather than a political denotation.

Spend More, Get Less

Robert Samuelson on Obama's wealth-killing economic plan.

Money Q:
What Obama proposes is a "post-material economy." He would de-emphasize the production of ever-more private goods and services, harnessing the economy to achieve broad social goals. In the process, he sets aside the standard logic of economic progress.

Since the dawn of the Industrial Age, this has been simple: produce more with less. ("Productivity," in economic jargon.) Mass markets developed for clothes, cars, computers and much more because declining costs expanded production. Living standards rose. By contrast, the logic of the "post-material economy" is just the opposite: spend more and get less.

Read the whole thing.

GWOT Becomes OCOs

Joe Queenan has fun with Obama-Speak, the administration's redesignation of the
"War on Terror" as "overseas contingency operations."

Whatever they're called, we'd like to see more like Easter Sunday's rescue of Capt. Phillips from Somali pirates.

All such operations won't have happy endings like this one, but standing up to terrorists is the only way to discourage such brazenly, criminal acts in the future.

U.S. 3, Pirates 0

Saving Captain Phillips.

Obama permits the use of deadly force.


U.S. Navy Seals show their competence and fearlessness. European fecklessness and capitulation has made the pirate problem worse.

Easter Sunday was a good day for Captain Phillips, the U.S. Navy, the Obama Administration and the rule of law.

More here

Sunday, April 12, 2009


My column on a bit of bad business at PSU Brandywine is up

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Joe Knows Pirates and Why They're Pirates

Congressman Joe Sestak blames big business for the uptick in international piracy.

Money Q:
Sestak said the number of pirates and pirate attacks around Somalia has risen dramatically of late, in part due to the international fishing industry putting many local fishermen out of work over the past decade or so.

Be sure to check the comments. Some people ain't buyin' it, Joe.

Obama's Distraction

Mark Steyn sees civilization walking the plank.

Money Q:
When all the world's a "distraction," maybe you're not the main event after all. Most wealthy nations lack the means to defend themselves. Those few that do, lack the will. Meanwhile, basket-case jurisdictions send out ever bolder freelance marauders to prey on the civilized world with impunity. Don't be surprised if "the civilized world" shrivels and retreats in the face of state-of-the-art reprimitivization. From piracy to nukes to the limp response of the hyperpower, this is not a "distraction" but a portent of the future.

The Smear Merchants

Rowan Scarborough explains the Great Left Smear Machine.

Stumped by Somali Pirates

This can't be what Joe Biden was talking about he said Obama would be tested early in his administration by an international incident. But it doesn't necessarily bode well.

Kerrey, Not Kerry

Former Democratic senator, presidential candidate and current president of the NYU's New School Bob Kerrey sounds off about the "protesters" against his administration.

Money Q:
The band of hooligans who launched an ill-fated bid to take over the New School are a bumbling brood of terrorists that deserve to be locked up, the university's embattled president said today.

"They put on black masks and wander around New York City? We still remember 9/11 around here," Bob Kerrey told The Post, as the 22 students were paraded in front of a Manhattan arraignment judge on a laundry list of charges.

Friday, April 10, 2009

High School Busybodyism

My print column on high school homophobia tests is up.


Would I let a gay person babysit my kids? Sure. I know several gay people who I would trust with my children's lives.

Is it any business of any public school district to ask this question of teenagers? I say "No" and I say why.

(Read more about this on Spencerblog post "The Tyranny of Liberalism I and II." And check the comments section for react. Welcome to the culture war. The left is winning it.)

UPDATE: At least some left-leaning Democrats get it. As this e-mail proves.
Subject: Attitudes on gays

It's the left-leaning centrist democrat from Secane again. You'd think this stuff would be common sense. It is not the school's job to teach the kids their attitudes toward someone who's different, just that being mean to them because of it is wrong. Your exposure to a gay person or lack thereof, is a personal choice. This is something that is exclusively the parents right to teach, and responsibility for that matter. I really don't need a teacher being the thought police for my kids. I encourage them to think for themselves, and I would like them to continue to do so without fear of reprisal. I don't think that people should make those kind of decisions based on someone else's subjective standard. Maybe you could tell your daughter and her teacher that their mind-reading skills aren't as good as they think, and these people have valid reasons for their feelings. Valid or not, they have a right to them.

UPDATE II: And this from reader Minky Phillippe
Mr. Spencer:
What has always surprised me is the nonchalant attitude the
media has had for political correctness.
Political correctness is nothing more than, selective censorship
brought about through coercion.
One would think that those who have an investment in free speech,
would defend it vigorously but the media has instead adopted political correctness.
What has happened to our guardians who are protected by the very
amendment they choose to ignore and/or

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Joe Biden's Pants are on Fire

Karl Rove calls Joe Biden on his bizarre claims of privately and heroically scolding President Bush in hours of private meetings.

Biden is living in a fantasy world, Rove says. Or there is another explanation: Biden lies, often and promiscuously.

Money Q:
"Joe Biden was never alone with the president for more than few moments," Rove said. "There was staff in the room the whole time."

Rove was equally appalled by Biden's claims of having given Bush his comeuppance.

"If you notice, all of these incidents have the same structure: Joe Biden courageously raises the impudent question; the president befuddles the answer; and Joe Biden drives home the dramatic response."

Read the whole story and decide for yourself.

The Warden at the Department of Education

Obama's Secretary of Eduation (and basketball playing buddy) Arne Duncan helps kill a scholarship program that helps poor black kids escape failing schools in Washington D.C. and then lies about it.

Phils Win in Spectacular Comeback...

... and I stopped watching in the top of the 7th. That'll teach me.

Another Secretary Busted

Another trusted female secretary accused of stealing.

Add them all together and they've stolen 1/49.999999 billionth of what Bernie Madoff stole.

But still. Female white collar crime appears to be on the uptick.

UPDATE: A devoted reader writes in to point out that the above (hyperbolic) figure is wrong; off by a factor of 234,354. Hyperbole aside, he is both right and wrong.

In his figuring, he left out the amounts stolen by the other local women accused in the recent past. We estimated the amount stolen by all these women to be around $1 million. The amount stolen by Bernie Madoff is estimated at $50 billion. That would make the amount the women as a group stole about 1/50,000th of Madoff's haul.

The point, however, remains the same.

Regrets? More Than a Few

Just found this. It's old but it's good.


Where Have We Seen That Headline Before?

What explains nearly identical headlines in some 200 MSM outlets?

Welcome to our herd of independent minds.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Calling Ted Mack

On the president's world tour, Ralph Peters sees Obamatuer Hour.

GM Stinks But...

....this is pretty cool.

Our Shameless Governor

Check out Ed Rendell's sweetheart deal with lawyer fatcat Ken Bailey.

Why They Serve

Ridley Park's Mel Luce suggested we reprint this column by a U.S. Marine Sarah Albrycht.

We do so gladly and gratefully.

Read the whole thing.

Gun Control and Political Suicide

Support for banning handguns is at an all time low, despite liberal media efforts to demonize gun owners.

Keep it up boys and gun ownership will hit an all-time high.

Viva La Revolucion

Fidel Castro asks the Congressional Black Caucus, "How can we help President Obama?"

How about accepting a boatlift of American business executives from Miami to the workers paradise?

Shhh: Sex Offender Back at School

My print column on a teen sex offender going back to school is up.

Should parents have the right to know that an admitted sex offender is walking the same halls as their children?

The school and law enforcement establishment say no. One mother says yes.

First Degree Prosecutorial Zealousness

The DA's office has re-arrested Maribel Rodriguez and charged her with First Degree Murder in the killing of her daugther during an argument over her staying out late.

Her lawyer Mike Malloy is "stunned."

The DAs office says the facts of the case warrant the First Degree charges. They may have "facts" they haven't shared with the public yet.

Rodriguez's claim that her daughter lunged into the knife is hard to believe. But at first look, First Degree looks like an awfully big stretch.

DJ Ed Gannon threw out the initial First Degree charges. The DAs office will try again with a different judge.

Where's Judge Roy Bean when you need him.

What We Need Is An Underground Railroad

Star Parker watches as President Obama drags more and more Americans back to the plantation.

Money Q:
Instead of poor America on socialism becoming more like rich American on capitalism, rich America on capitalism is becoming like poor America on socialism.

Uncle Sam has welcomed our banks onto the plantation and they have said, "Thank you, Suh."

Now, instead of thinking about what creative things need to be done to serve customers, they are thinking about what they have to tell Massah in order to get their cash.

There is some kind of irony that this is all happening under our first black president on the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.

Worse, socialism seems to be the element of our new young president. And maybe even more troubling, our corporate executives seem happy to move onto the plantation.

Read the whole thing.

Liberal Scapegoating

Gaypatriot on the angry left's penchant for scapegoating conservatives for the violence of nutjobs.

What conservative commentators defended Matthew Shepherd's murderers? None.

Compare that to the left's adoption of Mumia Abu Jamal as a cause celebre.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The God That Failed

The de-Christianing of America. Some people, secular liberals especially, will take this as a good sign seeing as how they think organized religion is what's the matter with America and the world.

What they fail to understand is the civilizing effect religion - and Christianity especially - has on societies. Don't like organized religion? Try living in a society without it.

Power Hungry, Liar, Whore-Beater; Other Than That a Great Guy

It appears Roger Stone is no fan of Eliot Spitzer's.


Welcome to Hooverville

Is the president determined to repeat every disastrous mistake of the 1930s, Tom Sowell seems to think so.

Beauty and the Beast

Obama as leader of the torch and pitch-fork crowd against bankers.

Downright Stalinesque, according to Oleg. More like Gaston and the mob, I say.

Mumia's Date with Destiny

Abu Jamal denied retrial. So when's the execution set for?

I know I said back during the Billy Smithson murder trial that I would no longer root for death sentences to be imposed. So I am not rooting. I'm just asking.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Tyranny of Liberalism II

The film "Milk" is another hot example of liberal agenda pushing and social engineering. I saw it the other night. It is an impressive film. Sean Penn as Harvey Milk was terrific and so was the rest of the cast. As drama, it was only OK. But as an example of liberal/gay agenda pushing to change societal attitudes, it is near perfect.

Anyone who knows a little bit about recent American history knows that Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man elected to public office in San Francisco and was assassinated by a deranged colleague. Milk, the movie is about Milk's evolution from New York homosexual trolling the subways for one-night stands to a West Coast civil rights leader to martyred politician.

As it happens, the most powerful part of the film takes place before Penn is ever seen on screen. It comes right at the beginning of the movie through archival footage that shows gay men being rounded up out of bars and arrested for nothing more than the crime of being gay.

As the movie unwinds, Milk takes on not only benighted traditionalists like Anita Bryant but the squeamish San Francisco homosexual establishment whose leaders, fearing a backlash, don't want him to demand too much, too fast.

But the violence directed at gays at that time was reprehensible and Milk was an effective spokesman and activist against it.

Ultimately, he triumphs both politically and morally only to be cruelly murdered by the pathetic Dan White, both a Catholic and a conservative.

The film's release, after Election Day, annoyed many in the gay community because they were hoping the film might help defeat Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage law in California.

This is after all, the next great step in the minds of gay activists to full and complete societal acceptance of homosexuality.

In the film, Milk and other good liberals battled another proposition at the time, Prop. 6, whose goal was to ban gay teachers from classrooms. But liberals were joined by more than a few conservatives (Ronald Reagan to name one) who also spoke out against the attempted law. It was poorly written and even included a ban on straight teachers who supported gay rights.

But are Prop 6 and Prop 8 comparable? Gay activists and their liberal brethern would have you think they are. Moreover, they would have you think that if you don't support the rights of gays to be legally married to one another you are a bigot and a homophobe.

There is, they say, no justifiable reason to oppose gay marriage. If two people claim to love one another and want to get married why should society stand in their way? Well, David Blankenhorn, a self-described liberal Democrat, tried to answer that question not too long ago in the LA Times. You can read it here. But don't miss some of the comments. Especially, this one:
Shame on LA Times for printing this bigoted essay. Yes, if you're against gay marriage, you're a bigot plain and simple because your position claims that gays are not equal to heteros in the realm of relationships. Fortunately Prop 8 is not going to pass and all the bigots will see that the institution of family didn't collapse and that kids with gay parents grow up as healthy or healthier than their straight peers.
Submitted by: Tony in L.A.

Well, Tony was wrong. It did pass. But whether it did or not the fight will continue. How such issues are discussed matters. The terms of the debate matter. And so far, its liberals who setting those terms and turning them to their advantage. If you disagree with them, you're a monster. Welcome to the debate.

UPDATE: For a perfect example of all this, check out this e-mail: It comes from a regular reader of this blog and it ends:
Spencer, I'm really starting to wonder if you might actually be a gay
man dealing with decades of denial, and now lashing out to express some
deep self-loathing. Or you could just be an ignorant bigot.

It has become a standard tactic of liberal and homosexual zealots to accuse critics of the gay agenda of being secretly gay themselves. Such ad hominem accusations are made in an attempt to shut down debate and silence critics on the theory that they are so frightened of being thought of as gay they will shut up and keep their opinions to themselves. Such is demented thinking of some leftists and gay activists.