April 23, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 04/23/2007

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
FDA Was Aware of Dangers To Food - The Food and Drug Administration has known for years about contamination problems at a Georgia peanut butter plant and on California spinach farms that led to disease outbreaks that killed three people, sickened hundreds, and forced one of the biggest product recalls in U.S. history... (READ MORE)

Hedge-Fund Ties Help Edwards Campaign - Two years ago, former senator John Edwards of North Carolina, gearing up for his second run at the Democratic presidential nomination, gave a speech decrying the "two different economies in this country: one for wealthy insiders and then one for everybody else." (READ MORE)

'Gated Communities' For the War-Ravaged - The U.S. military is walling off at least 10 of Baghdad's most violent neighborhoods and using biometric technology to track some of their residents, creating what officers call "gated communities" in an attempt to carve out oases of safety in this war-ravaged city. (READ MORE)

Few Specifics Evident As Padilla Trial Nears - The trial of Jose Padilla, the "dirty bomber" whose alleged plotting was used to justify extraordinary presidential power, will get underway next month, and the prosecution's case is rich in atmospherics. (READ MORE)

Agents: No confidence in border chief - The leaders of the U.S. Border Patrol's rank-and-file agents have unanimously voted a no-confidence resolution against Chief David V. Aguilar, citing, among other things, his willingness to believe the "perjured allegations" of criminal aliens over his own agents. (READ MORE)

United on immigration, Democrats divide voters - In New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina, the questions about immigration arise repeatedly -- and Democratic presidential candidates say they know they are alienating some of their strongest supporters by calling for legalization of illegal aliens. (READ MORE)

Economists warn of perils of expiring tax cuts - Congress will have to steer carefully to avoid a shock to the economy as it strives to balance the budget by allowing tax cuts to expire in the next few years, economists say. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
GWOTdotUS: That Reflection Post “Dear Afghan Citizens, It is with a greater respect and better understanding of your culture that leads me to write to you on this day. You and your fellow citizens of this war-torn nation have endured, and on many accounts have overcome, the perils which have been brought upon you since your nation’s inception. During these past few years in which your nation has been occupied by the armies of many other nations, it has been easy for many to see the aspects that you value most in your daily lives.” (READ MORE)

IraqPundit: Dear Senator Reid “You say, ‘[T]his war is lost.’ As if that weren't problematic enough, you attribute the belief to others, without evidence or justification. You say, ‘I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and - you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows – [know] this war is lost …’ I can play rhetorical games like that, too. ‘I believe myself that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid thinks the Iraq war debate is an opportunity to damage the administration, and cares about nothing else. I believe myself that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is totally indifferent to the effect of his words on American troops, the Iraqi people, the jihadis in Iraq, the Middle East at large, or anyone else as long as the administration is weakened or damaged.’” (READ MORE)

Mohammed: End the war: Right message sent to the wrong address. “What did the last wave of terror attacks and the many crimes committed against our people all this time reveal? If we look at how the media handles the situation we'll find something like this almost everywhere; Dozens killed, scores wounded in attacks suggest failure of security measures… It's as if the speaker here wants to only emphasize the defect in security measures in a way that honestly angers and disgusts me. When shall they realize, if ever, that we are dealing with brutal crimes against humanity, a genocide against the people of Iraq? Why don't people talk about the cruelty of the crimes and expose the obvious goals of the terrorists behind the crimes?” (READ MORE)

Tully Mars: Another Ramp Ceremony “Today is Sunday, a day off for me, a day to attend church in the morning and relax. I was up early however to pay my respects to another fallen warrior. This morning at 4am local we placed the casket of another warrior onto a C-17 for his final flight to Dover AFB.” (READ MORE)

Afghanistan JAG: Humanitarian Mission Recon: “Today we reconned a village for our next humanitarian mission. As usual, the kids were great. There was a pretty strong dust storm this afternoon. Either that's to blame for the fuzzy pictures or my camera is on its last leg. Probably the latter. It's been through a lot. A smart soldier brought along some candy. The kids loved scrambling for it.” (READ MORE)

Michael Fumento: Stick in the Mud “Today we were supposed to go out on a mechanized patrol of the area, including the riverbed. And then, I thought, we were to go into town to meet with officials. The patrols go out four days out of five to check for Taliban and possibly draw a fight (In fact, a patrol was ambushed recently where we went today), but there's just not the manpower here to get really aggressive with them. First we stopped by an Afghan National Police station inside our wire, a series of mud huts.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Jonathan Kellerman: Bedlam Revisited “Why the Virginia Tech shooter was not committed. I was in graduate school, studying clinical psychology when they began shutting down the asylums. The place was California, the time was the early 1970s, and ‘they’ were an unprecedented confederation of progressives, libertarians and fiscal conservatives. From the left marched battalions of self-styled mental health ‘liberation activists’ steeped in the writings of Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing. Though he denied being opposed to his own profession, Laing's notion that madness could be a reasonable reaction to an unjust society, or even a vehicle for spiritual transformation, helped fuel the anti-psychiatry movement of the post Love-In era.” (READ MORE)

Armstrong Williams: It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp... “The rap group Three-6 Mafia recently won an Oscar for its dubious lament, "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp." But what their song failed to underscore is that if you happen to be pimping the pathologies of American ghetto sub-culture for material gain, things couldn't look any better. For better or worse, this fact was brilliantly illuminated by the backlash over Don Imus' despicable comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team. Now that CBS has decided to terminate Don Imus's appearances on its network and not simulcast his syndicated radio show, many in the black community feel they have been vindicated. But in truth the exploitation never even skipped a beat.” (READ MORE)

Donald Lambro: The lesson of Virginia Tech “The question that cries out for answers in the Virginia Tech massacre is, why didn't anyone pull together all of the psychopathic clues about Cho Seung-Hui before he went on his killing rampage?” (READ MORE)

Burt Prelutsky: Picking a fight with pacifism “The main problem with pacifism is that it doesn’t work in all situations. The main problem with pacifists is that they’re convinced it does.” (READ MORE)

Harry R. Jackson, Jr.: The Massacre of the Pulpit “The massacre I am referring to deals with the surreptitious attempt by the Congress and Senate to strip the nation of religious freedom and the ability to preach the gospel from our church pulpits.” (READ MORE)

Mark M. Alexander: Are gun-free nations or "zones" safer? “History records the consequences of disarming people, both in terms of protection, in their person and property, from tyrannical governments and from criminals. Regarding the latter, ‘If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.’” (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Strength Through Adversity… “According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, strength can be defined as the quality or state of being strong, the capacity for exertion or endurance. The power to resist force. The power of resisting attack. A legal, logical, or moral force. One regarded as embodying or affording force or firmness. Our warriors display these attributes each and every day, as they go about their daily missions.” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrisey: The Culture Of Corruption In High Gear “Maybe we misunderstood the Democrats in the midterm elections last year. When Nancy Pelosi talked about the ‘culture of corruption’, we assumed she meant that the Democrats opposed it. It turns out that they wanted a chance to benefit from it, as their first-quarter fundraising numbers show, as Ken Silverstein at Harper's reports (via Memeorandum):” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: John Edwards, hedge fund phony “John Solomon and Alec MacGillis of the Washington Post lay out the hypocrisy of being John Edwards this morning in a piece looking at his work on Wall Street: ‘Two years ago, former senator John Edwards of North Carolina, gearing up for his second run at the Democratic presidential nomination, gave a speech decrying the “two different economies in this country: one for wealthy insiders and then one for everybody else.” Four months later, he began working for the kind of firm that to many Wall Street critics embodies the economy of wealthy insiders — a hedge fund’” (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: So Much For Democracy “When I was at the meeting in Copenhagen, there was much discussion about the attempts of the Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna) to find a venue for their annual meeting. Although the political party is completely legal in Sweden, it has been unable to find a location in Sweden to host its meeting. The hotels and conference centers cited ‘ecurity concerns’and would not rent to the Sweden Democrats. The issue, of course, is that Sweden Democrats’ positions on immigration and other issues are considered beyond the pale. They are outside the realm of civilized discourse. Thus, although the Swedish government would defend to the death the rights of the Greens or the Communists to gather in peace, Sverigedemokraterna is without recourse.” (READ MORE)

Fjordman: Is Islam Compatible With Democracy? “Occasionally I get annoyed over the fact that I am compelled to spend significant amounts of my time refuting Islam, an ideology that is flawed to the core and should be totally irrelevant in the 21st century. But then I try to see it from a positive angle: The good part about our confrontation with Islam is that it forces us to deal with flaws in our own civilization. It has already exposed a massive failure in our education system and our media, both filled with anti-Western sentiments and ideological nonsense. These legacies from the Western Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 70s have left us unable to recognize the Islamic threat for what it is. Thus, when we are confronted now with the question of whether or not Islam is compatible with democracy, we also have to ask under what conditions a democratic system is able to function.” (READ MORE)

Gribbit: Vermont Liberals Prove that They Need Glass Belly-Buttons “Vermont legislators have voted for a non-binding resolution calling for the impeachment of President Bush on the grounds of ‘serious questions of constitutionality.’ What?!? I would like to know what specifically they mean by that. As someone who has an affection for our founding document ever since I was a senior in high school, I can say with a reasonable level of authority that there has been no ‘questions of constitutionality’ in the Bush Presidency. Before elected officials start throwing terms like that around, they should first understand what the language that they are playing hot potato with means.” (READ MORE)

Rhymes with Right: Pennsylvania Imam: "Kill The Apostate" “And yet this same imam no doubt demands the full protection of the First Amendment for his loathsome belief system. However, he insists that author and human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali must die for rejecting such barbarism. ‘Imam Fouad ElBayly, president of the Johnstown Islamic Center, was among those who objected to Hirsi Ali’s appearance. “She has been identified as one who has defamed the faith. If you come into the faith, you must abide by the laws, and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death,” said ElBayly, who came to the U.S. from Egypt in 1976.’” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: An Inconvenient Nuisance “Laurie David is shocked that she can’t just go over to Our Dark Lord Rove’s table, start lecturing him over his rubber chicken about her Academy Award-winning pseudo-science, and find him not only uncowed, but unspeakably rude! That’s how Laurie and Sheryl Crow are telling it.” (READ MORE)

Kobayashi Maru: The Misattribution of Evil “Yesterday I posted about a local lecture given by the master of moral equivalence, Noam Chomsky. That got me thinking about the misattribution of the notion of evil in the world. Which in turn got me playing with Google News. Here's what I found: "Virginia Tech" + Cho + evil = 1,031 articles: Iran + Ahmadinejad + evil = 360 articles: Bush + Iraq + evil = 2,621 articles:” (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: (Video) Jeff Foxworthy tells it like it is “I’m not much of a country music fan, but Jeff Foxworthy makes the case that I ought to be one. Click to head over to the CMT page, scroll down to video #11. It’s one of those must sees, especially a minute or two in.” (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: A Textbook Example of Media Bias “I read this report from the notoriously anti-War media outlet McClatchy Company three times before I realized that the scare headline – ‘Training Iraqi troops no longer driving force in U.S. policy’ – and false lede had little to do with the guts of the dispatch. First, the misleading lede to the story: ‘Military planners have abandoned the idea that standing up Iraqi troops will enable American soldiers to start coming home soon and now believe that U.S. troops will have to defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces.’” (READ MORE)

Greyhawk: Strange Days "Most Democratic lawmakers will admit the Iraq and Afghanistan funding Bill will eventually be re-written and passed: 'The troops will get the money they need when all is said and done," predicted Sen. Carl Levin (D) of Michigan, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, in a conference call with reporters on Friday. There's a lot of Republicans who are very concerned about where we are [regarding progress in Iraq], and I think we can pick up some support on a veto override. which, even if we don't override, would show continuing momentum.' The current version, as I believe I might have mentioned before, is a political ploy. But That doesn't sit well with many of the staunchest 'anti-war' voters - who want the troops home yesterday:" (READ MORE)

Have an interesting post or know of a "must read?" Then send a trackback here and let us all know about it. Or you can send me an email with a link to the post and I'll update the Recon.

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