February 27, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 02/27/2008

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Obama's 'Patriot' Act - No, we're not talking about Barack Obama's opposition to the post-9/11 antiterror law. We're referring to the Senator's support for something called the Patriot Employer Act, which deserves more attention as an indicator of his economic agenda. (READ MORE)

Russian Retribution - Lev Ponomarev is a well-known Russian human-rights activist. So you can guess where this story is going. On Friday, Mr. Ponomarev, a former aide to Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov and a colleague of opposition leader Garry Kasparov, was charged with criminally "slandering" General Yuri Kalinin, who runs Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service. (READ MORE)

Florida Footnote - No one can forget the roar that routinely pours out of Florida over faulty voting machines. No surprise, then, that nary a peep has been heard about the 2006 challenge to machines in Sarasota. On losing the race for the state's 13th district Congressional seat to Republican Vern Buchanan by 369 votes, Democrat Christine Jennings charged that the electronic machines malfunctioned and hadn't counted all votes (READ MORE)

Breast Cancer Reprieve - In a surprise decision, the Food and Drug Administration played against type and gave approval for Avastin as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer. It was the right option for terminally ill women, who will gain another weapon against a disease that kills about 40,000 every year. (READ MORE)

Obama takes hits from all sides - Democratic presidential front-runner Sen. Barack Obama weathered some "glancing blows" as his rival and moderators challenged his experience in last night's debate, but he emerged relatively unscathed. (READ MORE)

U.S. paid $42.4 million to Iraqis - The Pentagon has paid more than $40 million to Iraqis whose family members were accidentally killed or their property destroyed by coalition military action since the beginning of 2005, according to interviews and documents that provide a glimpse into the extent of continuing civilian casualties in the conflict. (READ MORE)

Rice tries new tactic on N. Korea - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States should consider future cultural exchanges with North Korea, even if last year's deal to end the North's nuclear programs falls through. (READ MORE)

Baghdad tells Turkey to pull troops - The Iraqi government demanded for the first time that Turkey immediately withdraw from northern Iraq, warning yesterday it feared an ongoing incursion could lead to clashes with the official forces of the semiautonomous Kurdish region. (READ MORE)

Palestinians mull a majority - New population data have some Palestinians contemplating an unorthodox formula for Middle East peace — a single democratic nation of Arabs and Jews, in which Palestinians would be the majority. (READ MORE)

Rice offers 'regrets' to Japan - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today offered her “deep” regrets to Japan over the arrest of a U.S. Marine on suspicion of raping a 14-year-old Japanese girl and expressed hope that the incident will not damage the alliance between Washington and Tokyo. (READ MORE)

O'Malley lobbies for bill to aid banks - Gov. Martin O'Malley has made himself the consumer's champion in the home-foreclosure crisis by publicly questioning mortgage lenders about their practices, but has less publicly been lobbying for a bill to allow Maryland-chartered banks to charge borrowers pre-payment "penalties." (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Lawhawk: Mugh the Thug's Role in Lebanon War - I'm torn between calling this breaking news and stating the obvious, but AP says that Hizbullah sources have revealed that Imad Mughniyeh, far from being on the sidelines for the past decade, was right in the thick of the terrorist group's planning and operational efforts during the Hizbullah war with Israel in 2006. “Now Hezbollah officials and associates are describing a previously unknown role for Mughniyeh: Far from being too busy fleeing enemies, he was a key commander for Hezbollah in its 2006 war with Israel.” (READ MORE)

Matt Sanchez: The Race - The multi-ethnic American unity that resulted from the “melting pot” of the 19th and early 20th Centuries has long-since cooled into the fuzzy landscape of identity politics. The racial middleman, the Hispanic-American, has been more likely to identify with white Americans than blacks. Like the categories for a national census, the 2008 race for the White House has become a demand to be counted by color. The rivarly between somewhat "black" and sometimes "brown" is a political contest that may stereotype the future of American politics. There is a pride among Hispanics that causes tension between them and blacks. It is politically correct to deny that this tension exists. But it is real nevertheless. (READ MORE)

Gabriel Malor @ Ace of Spades HQ: Good for Kay Bailey Hutchison - The Left Blogosphere and Democrats on the Hill are aflutter over a statement from Senator Hutchison that is much more true than false: “Speaking about a Democratic proposal to force Iraq troop withdrawal within 120 days, Hutchison said Tuesday that such a proposal would ‘put a bullet right in the hearts of our troops who are there.’ Hutchison had joined fellow Republican leaders to question the political motivations behind the 35th Iraq related vote in the Senate over the past year, and was trying to make the point that mandatory withdrawal on the heels of recent military success would undermine the troops.” (READ MORE)

Deebow @ Blackfive: A surrender monkey says what??? - I am not certain who is advising the Senator Obama campaign, but he should have kept this this particular set of ideas to himself. Let's forget about pictures in man-jammies and turbans and all his BS about "Change" and "Hope" and the neo-socialism that promises to "tax the rich" so that I can have a new Corvette, just like all the other CEO's. Let's talk about our opposition to this and how we are trying to ensure the "so this Nation shall not perish from the Earth" part gets heard. FFS, this has got to be a joke.... But, in the interest of discussion, let's take these points one by one. (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Military Worried About Obama - Many members of the military and defense circles are worried about Barack Obama as an unknown quantity. They are worried about his lack of experience and inability to see the dangers of a blanket pull out from Iraq. There is also concern that Obama will, as he has stated many times, cut the military budget. We went thorough this with Clinton and it is why our military was not as strong as it needed to be when we went to war. Obama would like to cut the military budget in order to fund social programs, unlike Clinton who cut the military to the bone so he could claim a balanced budget (which was not really balanced). (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: A wink and a nod - Jonah Goldberg wonders at how anyone like William Ayers could be so proud about what he did. “‘Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon.’ This excerpt from William Ayers' memoir appeared in the New York Times on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 -- a few hours before Al Qaeda terrorists crashed hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Ayers, once a leader in the Weather Underground -- the group that declared ‘war’ on the U.S. government in 1970 -- told the Times, ‘I don't regret setting bombs’ and ‘I feel we didn't do enough.’ Ayers recently reappeared in the news because Politico.com reported Friday that Barack Obama has loose ties to him. ... I don't think Obama supports domestic terrorism, and I'm sure he can offer eloquent explanations for why he shouldn't suffer any guilt by association.” (READ MORE)

Baldilocks: Who Are Our Enemies? - Did you know that we’ve been at war for fifteen years today? Andrew McCarthy reminds us of this fact. “On the morning of February 26, 1993, Islamic militants steered a nondescript Ryder van through the winding darkness of the parking garage under the World Trade Center. They had spent years planning this moment in secret meetings at mosques and jailhouses, in rural outposts that served as paramilitary camps, and in safehouses where explosive compounds were mixed in makeshift labs. Loaded into the van’s rear compartment was a 1,400-pound chemical bomb.” As we know, Islamists had wanted to do then what they finally succeeded in doing eight and a half years later—topple two symbols of American success. (READ MORE)

Augean Stables: Khaled Abu Toameh at Boston University - Khaled Abu Toameh is an Israeli-Arab journalist who currently writes for the Jerusalem Post and the U.S. News and World Report. An Arab-Muslim, he has been extremely critical of Hamas and the PLO, and has spoken his mind on the threat of extremist Islam. Abu Toameh spoke today at Boston University. He said that both parties leading the Palestinians, Hamas and Fatah, are ‘bad guys’, contrary to Condoleeza Rice’s assertion that it is a struggle between good guys (Fatah) and bad guys (Hamas). He highlighted the fact that the Palestinians have gotten rid of Fatah in elections, and therefore, Abbas does not have any mandate to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians. (READ MORE)

Veteran's Talk: Combat Veterans - I am seeing a common trend in both myself, and my fellow servicemen and women who are returning from combat tours overseas. This trend that I see is denial. I don't mean denial in the fact that they never went overseas or never did anything, but denial in the fact that some of the things that they have seen or done didn't quite sit right deep down, yet they 'drive on' throughout their day to day lives pretending like it was no big deal. Every single one of us has heard sometime in our lives, that everyone is unique. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: McCain's Sister Souljah Moment? - Apparently, John McCain doesn't like the asinine emphasis on Barack Obama's middle name any more than Obama himself. After talk-radio host Bill Cunningham introduced McCain at a Cincinnati rally, the presumptive Republican nominee apologized for the disrespectful tone taken by his emcee: “McCain wasn't on stage nor in the building when Cunningham made the comments, but he quickly distanced himself from them and the talk show host after finishing his speech. McCain spoke to a couple hundred people at Memorial Hall in downtown Cincinnati. ‘I apologize for it,’ McCain told reporters, addressing the issue before they had a chance to ask the Arizona senator about Cunningham's comments.” (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: Fisking the Claims of Mike Hoffman - co-founder IVAW - As part of the gear up for IVAW's Winter Soldier II, several bloggers are profiling some of the more infamous members of IVAW. Today, my friend TSO over at The Sniper took on the claims of Mike Hoffman. Hoffman is a co-founder of IVAW and is also a Veteran Advisor for the heinous "Traveling Soldier/GI Special" that includes Iraqi Resistance Reports (you know the ones where they claim things like "Martyrs have killed 100 US and Iraqi puppet soldiers"). TSO had so much to debunk that it required two posts. Here's one of my favorite parts of Post #1 (READ MORE)

Roderick Jones: UK terrorist recruiter convicted - The trial of Mohammed Hamid one of the leading organizers of terrorism in the UK has ended. Hamid along with three of his followers has been convicted using new legislation introduced in 2006, which criminalizes attendance at a place used for terrorist training. There was no evidence presented in this trial of weapons or explosives, simply the covert video tape of Mohammed Hamid and his followers performing what was described as ‘military training’, over a two-year period. The police investigation (Operation Overamp) relied on skilled technical surveillance and the undoubted bravery of an undercover officer. (READ MORE)

David Axe: Army Strategy Manual Gets It Right - Bravo, U.S. Army. Crunching lessons from more than 15 years of post-Cold War instability, the service's top thinkers have prepared a revised manual for basic land warfare doctrine. Lieutenant General William Caldwell and a team at Fort Leavenworth were responsible for updating the 2001 edition (big pdf!) of FM 3-0 to reflect the Army's experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans and many smaller conflicts. Caldwell gave reporters a preview of the forthcoming manual yesterday. The major change? “It recognizes that military means alone are not sufficient to resolve these conflicts and that landpower, while critical, is only one element of a broader campaign that represents the application of all the elements of national power.” (READ MORE)

Democracy Project: Another Kerry Big Lie Punctured - One of the core charges that John Kerry’s media-aided campaign made in 2004 and since to delegitimize the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is that its leader John O’Neill, who had opposed Kerry in 1971, was a creation of Richard Nixon’s White House. I was there, and know better. Until now, the central purported prop for the charge went unrebutted. Charles “Chuck” Colson has now spoken up. It’s time for reputable media, and even Kerry’s advocates if they have any integrity, to cease this charge. Like a dime-novel legend, based on little, this charge has been frequently repeated and embellished by Swiftee critics. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Just ask me - Question: How can the incestuous state government of West Virginia complain about an upcoming movie’s portrayal of the state as a bastion of inbred monsters? Answer: Beats me. Maybe you should ask the president of the community college in Logan whose husband is the state Senate president and whose mother-in-law gets a 6 figure stipend from the state every year for providing dogs for the local racetrack. Or maybe you should ask one of those Goodwins who have been providing spokespersons and the like for Democratic administration after Democratic administration. Just remember that Joe Bob is now federal Judge Joseph Robert Goodwin. (READ MORE)

The Foxhole: Aniversary of the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing - Fifteen years ago today, Islamofascist swine attacked the World Trade Center in the first attempt to bring it, and the thousands in it, down. After that, America rolled over and went back to sleep until Al-Qaeda struck again in 2001. What follows are excerpts from a column by Joseph Daniels, the president of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center. “Fifteen years ago today, at 12:18pm, Islamic terrorists detonated 1,500 pounds of explosives in a rental van in the parking garage of the World Trade Center, blasting a crater five stories deep and half-a-football-field wide. The terrorists fled after lighting the bomb’s fuse, killing six people, including a pregnant woman, and injuring one thousand others. The families of the victims will never forget what happened on February 26, 1993, but this date becomes increasingly forgotten as time passes. Should it?” (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: The Motoons Will Always Be There - If the Motoons didn’t exist, Muslims would have to invent them. That’s the only conclusion one can draw when reading about the latest frenzy of Islamic offendedness. Muslims just can’t wait to be offended. The very existence of infidels offends them. If it weren’t the Motoons, it would be something else — a billboard showing a piggybank, an uncovered woman, a man walking his dog… But fortunately the Motoons are there to be exploited on every possible occasion. (READ MORE)

GayPatriotWest: Is Gun Control Bad for Gay People? - Until recently, among the issues which formed the core of modern American conservatism, as articulated by Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan and their ideoligical heirs, I found myself most at odds with my philosophical confrères on the issue of guns. Here, it didn’t seem that freedom would work. I used to believe that the proliferation of guns fostered increased violence in our society. But, then, I started listening to the various arguments for gun control. I found that those with whom I once agreed refrained from argument and indulged in innuendo, while writing off the argument that guns could be used for self-defense. Opponents of gun control made better arguments, noting increased crime rates in jurisdictions with the toughest gun control laws and demonstrating how law-abiding citizens used firearms for self-defense. (READ MORE)

See-Dubya: Record, film industry still backing antiwar horse (or, maybe just beating its corpse) - Several anti-war musicians and moviemakers are getting together to try and squeeze one last dollar out of the anti-war movement before we win. This time, Der Gut tells us, they’re collaborating on a big antiwar CD which will serve as the soundtrack to the next big antiwar film. Of course! All those other anti-war films did so well. I see a fundamental fallacy here: the notion that there is a huge market for antiwar sentiment that just hasn’t been tapped yet. But who knows? I’m no recording executive. (READ MORE)

Jihad Watch: Pentagon Islamic law expert fired after all? - On February 5, we were informed that Stephen Coughlin, the sole expert on Islamic law in the Pentagon, was not going to be fired after all, after it looked as if he was going to be at the behest of Hesham Islam, an aide to Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England. And not long after that it looked as if Islam himself would be out, under a cloud of accusations of ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the forbear of Hamas and Al-Qaeda. But now, in "The Coughlin Affair," Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. says that the bad news is all back on: Coughlin is out, Islam is in. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Go Ahead - Make my Iraq War debate. GOP senators advance withdrawal bill. AP: “WASHINGTON (AP) — In an about-face, Senate Republicans on Tuesday agreed with Democrats to advance an anti-war bill because they said the debate would give them time to hail progress in Iraq. The change of heart came after months of blocking similar measures. But unlike most of last year, security conditions in Iraq have improved, and Republicans say they now feel they have the upper hand on the debate.” (READ MORE)

Michael Young: Another Israel-Hezbollah war? - Another round of fighting between Israel and Hezbollah is certainly likely, but I don’t consider it inevitable, particularly in the short term. There are several reasons for this. The first is that we have to understand the importance of Hezbollah in Iranian strategy at present. The party is not there to get caught up in repeated conflicts with Israel, let alone a new Lebanese civil war. It is mainly there to act as an Iranian deterrent against an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, and more generally as a valuable lever in the Levant to use against Israel and the United States. In that context, war poses risks. With every conflict, the party loses some of its deterrence capability; at the same time, a conflict may impose unbearable human costs on the Shiite community, in such a way that Hezbollah’s ability to fight is further eroded. (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: Another FISA failure - What a way to mark the 15th anniversary of the WTC bombing yesterday, huh? Via CQ Politics: “House Republicans tried again Tuesday to force a floor vote on Senate-passed legislation to overhaul the nation’s electronic surveillance law. But Democrats stood fast, insisting that negotiations continue between the House and Senate on a compromise version of the legislation. By 212-198, the House quashed the Republican effort on a procedural vote.” (READ MORE)

Little Green Footballs: ABC News Stages 'Islamophobia' Event - ABC News does their best to set up the “dumb American bigots” at a roadside Texas bakery, with one actor wearing misogynistic radical Muslim garb and provoking the yokels as another actor pretends to be a Muslim-hater, as a crew films with a hidden camera, all designed and staged to show how “Islamophobic” Americans are: Islamophobia: ‘She Wasn’t Dressed Right’. This whole ridiculous shell game appears to have been staged at the behest of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Saudi-funded radical Islamic front group listed as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas funding case: (READ MORE)

Scott Johnson: The Kosovo exception - With Kosovo's declaration of indepence this week, one wonders whether it is wise to establish a breakaway Islamic state over in the corner of Europe that lit the match for World War I. Several European states that have declined to recognize Kosovo's independence are obviously concerned about the threat represented by the Kosovo precedent. In her statement regarding the American decision to recognize Kosovo, Condoleezza Rice emphasized that Kosovo represents an exception to the rule: “The unusual combination of factors found in the Kosovo situation -- including the context of Yugoslavia's breakup, the history of ethnic cleansing and crimes against civilians in Kosovo, and the extended period of UN administration -- are not found elsewhere and therefore make Kosovo a special case. Kosovo cannot be seen as a precedent for any other situation in the world today.” (READ MORE)

Political Vindication: Obama Supporters Threaten Black Clinton Supporters - The hysteria propelling the Barrack Obama campaign is beginning to turn in on itself, and it promises an embarrassing scene for all involved. Over at The American Thinker this morning is an article by Marc Sheppard about the threats against Tavis Smiley, Black Entertainment Television host, by Obama supporters who aren’t seeing the kind of loyalty they expect from a black man for the Messiah: “For nine years running, Smiley has hosted the annual symposium of black college professors, politicians, activists, and entertainers during Black History Month discussing matters of concern to those whose heritage the month honors. This year, Barack Obama declined an invitation — accepted by Clinton — to address the panel of black dignitaries in New Orleans.” (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: Rubbish - John Podesta, Bill Clinton’ s fourth (and final) White House chief-of-staff has joined hands with Iranian-American scholar (and Keith Olbermann look-alike) Ray Tayekh along with talk show personality/author Lawrence Korb, a gentleman who spent the first four years of the Reagan administration at the cutting edge of national security policy as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs, Installations and Logistics. Together the three wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post intended to stiffen the spines of any presidential candidates - they know who they are - now running on an anti-war platform, but who might be toying with the notion of going all wobbly and governing responsibly once in office. (READ MORE)

John Hinderaker: Are We Underestimating Obama? - Scott's observations on Obamanations are a good introduction to this provocative piece by our friend Steve Hayes in today's Wall Street Journal. Steve's thesis is that the commonplace criticism of Obama, that he is all generalities and no substance, misses the mark. In fact, he compares Obama to Ronald Reagan, against whom similar criticisms were leveled. Steve includes our references to Obama as "Chance the Gardener," the character played by Peter Sellers in Being There, in his litany of conservative underestimation of Obama. Steve argues that Obama is more than that: “The assumption behind much of this criticism is that because Mr. Obama gives a good speech he cannot do substance. This is wrong. Mr. Obama has done well in most of the Democratic debates because he has consistently shown himself able to think on his feet.” (READ MORE)

McQ: Leon Panetta: Clinton Campaign had no plan - Dale and I have mentioned it on podcasts, you’ve seen it in articles and now Leon Panetta, a respected former Clinton White House chief of staff has confirmed it: the Clinton campaign expected a cake-walk nomination process which would be over by Super Tuesday. Beyond that, apparently, they had no plan. Now Panetta gives various reasons why this is so (chief among them, in Panetta’s opinion, being Mark Penn, Clinton’s top campaign strategist), but in essence it comes down to a simple word - arrogance. This is a campaign that expected to win and win early simply because of the political heft their candidate brought to the race. It was assumed that Hillary Clinton, wife of the beloved Bill Clinton, the president all Democrats have pined for over these past horrible 8 years, would be a shoo-in. (READ MORE)

The Shield of Achilles: Noam Chomsky, Iraq, and Panama - Noam Chomsky, an oft-quoted professor at MIT, has written a lot of books on foreign policy and occasionally gives interviews. Thing is, his field of study is actually linguistics. Yet, a look at his bibliography shows that he writes far more about foreign policy, particularly in regard to the United States, with which he is more critical than any other nation (while simultaneously enjoying its benefits, of course). Anyway, he recently brought up a point to which, for one fleeting moment, I thought I might actually agree with him. He said: “Not very long ago, as you all recall, it was taken for granted that the Iraq war would be the central issue in the 2008 election, as it was in the midterm election two years ago. However, it’s virtually disappeared off the radar screen, which has solicited some puzzlement among the punditry.” (READ MORE)

Sister Toldjah: Barack Obama: The rhetoric versus the reality - Hillary Clinton really blew it last night. Barack Obama got away with quite a few whoppers and trademark misleading statements, which she - nor moderator Tim Russert - called him on. The post-debate show had Obama apologist Keith Olbermann carrying his water with another whopper, which I will also correct. It’s the morning after in America, and I will do what all of them failed to do: fact check Senator Obama. Here’s a link to the transcript, which I will be quoting from in this post. (READ MORE)

Melanie Phillips: World saved! (Again) - As we all know, the world is about to end because of global warming. Temperatures are soaring, ice is melting, glaciers are retreating, seas are rising, and we’re all gonna fry. Pretty damn terrifying. We’re all up to here with worry about it. The Royal Society says there’s no longer any room for scientific doubt about it. Britain’s Chief Scientist says it’s a bigger threat than global terrorism. Every global warming sceptic is denounced as clinically insane. Every developed nation wags its finger at every other (well, ok then, at America) and tells it to Emit Less. Every politician and B-list celebrity now anxiously measures his or her carbon footprint. Every British schoolchild is now drilled to believe that man-made global warming is a Fact along with poverty and the existence of Belgium. It’s a wonder any of us has any incentive to get up in the morning. (READ MORE)

Steve Schippert: Resolve and the War of Ideas - We are losing the greater War of Ideas. It’s not because we have no ideas or ideals. Nor is it because we do not know how to convey them in a compelling manner. (Are you watching the crush for the latest Air Jordan sneakers from Nike? It’s not because there is gold bullion in every 100th pair.) We’ve plenty of ideas as important today as nearly 250 years ago, and we’ve mastered the art of communication. No, the problem is greater than either of those potential obstacles. To begin to demonstrate, consider some important paragraphs below from a Jerusalem Post analysis titled Nasrallah’s existential dilemmas. (READ MORE)

Ilya Somin: The Case Against Government Subsidies for College Tuition - The supposedly unbearable cost of college tuition is a hot issue in this year's presidential election. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton include it in their stump speeches, as did some of the Republican candidates. Politicians are outbidding each other in proposing to increase various government subsidies for tuition payment. If government doesn't act, they claim, the middle class and the poor won't be able to afford to send their kids to college. In reality, college is getting more affordable, not less, once you take into account the rapidly increasing income gains from getting a college degree. Far from being an essential way of helping the poor, government subsidies for college tuition are likely to harm them for the benefit of the relatively affluent. (READ MORE)

Ron Winter: How Do You Fight Obama? Just Like Anyone Else Unless You're A Racist! - Rush Limbaugh has been talking about the Republican National Committee's uncertainty over how to take a fight for the presidency to Barack Hussein Obama's doorstep without being labeled racists. For the record, Barack Hussein Obama, running for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States, was born of a white mother and dark-skinned father, and he has dark skin, although some have said he actually is a dark-skinned Asian or Arabian man, not a dark-skinned African man. Either way I could not care less, and neither do most Americans who reside outside a 25-mile radius of Washington, D.C. Is there something inside the DC beltway that deteriorates the brain cells if you stay there too long? (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: One Score And Nine Years Ago... - When one thinks about the Powerline blog, run by three lawyers, one normally doesn't think about them as cutting-edge vidbloggers. But they have two videos up right now that have fired up my imagination and blogging instincts. (The second video I'll discuss later.) Thanks to their article, I read the full story at Pajamas Media -- and it gave me chills. I've often said that the Iranian government is performing one of the most delicate balancing acts I've ver seen -- one that puts "riding a tiger" to shame. They exist between two tremendous pressure forces, pushing in opposite directions, and they need to keep them as close to equal to prevent either exploding or imploding. (READ MORE)

The Midnight Sun: Europe Must Submit to Sharia Blasphemy Law - This is the penalty for blasphemy (carried out in this pic by a 12-year-old). From American Thinker, here are some excerpts of an excellent essay about the impending danger of the imposition of Islam’s draconian blasphemy laws upon Europe. The stunning boldness with which key Muslim speakers are now talking about the take over of Europe might just shock you. The Danish cartoonists have sparked off a tsunami of rage in the Islamic world which continues to reverberate. One of the cartoonists (now homeless) believes he will pay for the rest of his life: (READ MORE)

The Monkey Tennis Centre: It's official: global warming isn’t happening - Someone get Al Gore on the phone, and tell him that debate he keeps saying is settled has just been blown wide open again. There’s been a steady stream of evidence that global temperatures have been falling over the past year or so, capped by reports from around the globe of record cold temperatures and snowfall over the past couple of months. And now data released by the four major temperature monitoring centres is showing that global temperatures fell by an unprecedented amount – more than half a degree Celsius – over the past 12 months. Online science magazine Daily Tech reports: (READ MORE)

Blonde Sagacity: U.S. Mosques Preaching Anti-Western Ideals - I think many Americans are lulled into thinking radical Islam is limited to other countries and that once Muslims here taste what the West has to offer, they embrace it. It's easier to think that way. Easier to believe these are a few rogue ideologues who want us dead. Easier to believe that the Muslims here despise that way of thinking as much as we do. it's not in out makeup to be suspect of an entire religion. We don't want to be biased. I got over that a few years ago. Unlike Europe (where they are now doing away with piggy banks lest Muslims be offended), I will not err on the side of political correctness... I am okay with the fact that I will no longer take my kids to the Philadelphia Zoo because it's morphed into a burqa-fest. (READ MORE)

Ryan Cole: Is McCain Too Old? - John McCain will turn 72 in August. If he goes on to win the presidency in November he will be the oldest American to enter that high office. Though his opponents have only nibbled around the corners of the issue, Mr. McCain's age will certainly emerge as the presidential sweepstakes unfold. Indeed, it is likely to be a prime target of his would-be Democratic opponent in the general election. This will especially be the case if he is pitted against the 46-year-old Barack Obama. (READ MORE)

Matthew Kaminski: That Other Presidential Campaign - Ahead of another foreordained election this Sunday, Vladimir Putin exudes confidence about his political future. Yet his actions betray an insecurity that must come naturally to a man with KGB-honed analytical skills. By the looks of this dull presidential campaign, "Putinism" is settling in for a Thousand Years. Dmitry Medvedev, the 42-year-old aide tapped by President Putin, is so sure of victory that he rarely bothers to hit the hustings. In any case, most Russians believe that Mr. Putin will stay top dog. (READ MORE)

Scott Gottlied: Cops and Doctors - The death of actor Heath Ledger from an accidental overdose of six pain and anxiety medicines -- including the narcotics OxyContin and Vicodin -- has prompted warnings about misuse of prescription drugs, which ranks as one of the fastest growing segments of drug abuse. Nobody disputes the problem. But the strategies for tackling it aren't changing the trends, they are just hobbling doctors and patients, and may retard the development of new medications. (READ MORE)

David Ranson: Inflation May Be Worse Than We Think - Amid Wall Street's recession panic, the latest official inflation news has received less attention than usual. The "headline" consumer price index (CPI) for the year ending in January was up 4.3%, the third consecutive monthly reading above 4%. This has been easy to attribute to rising energy costs, for which the blame is often misplaced on foreigners and oil companies. But as I've argued on this page in the past, the real problem is the sick dollar. (READ MORE)

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