April 14, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 04/14/2008

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)
Dollar Alarm - Awakening from their long slumber, the G-7 finance ministers have finally admitted that a global run on the dollar is a bad idea. The currency markets will no doubt begin testing immediately to see if they mean it. At their weekend meetings in Washington, the G-7 ministers dropped their long neglect of the dollar and noted that "Since our last meeting, there have been at times sharp fluctuations in major currencies, and we are concerned about their possible implications for economic and financial stability..." (READ MORE)

New Jersey on the Chesapeake - There was good news in Maryland last week, where the state legislature voted to repeal a widely loathed tax on computer services. Much less appealing is the way they did it: In place of the tech tax, legislators pushed through a late-night income tax rate surcharge on Marylanders making more than $1 million a year to 6.25% for three years. (READ MORE)

The Other Obama - This has been a long Presidential campaign, but often usefully so. The Democratic Party fight is helping us learn that there's more to Barack Obama than the eloquent, post-partisan, disciplined purveyor of "hope" that he typically projects. (READ MORE)

Child Rape Tests Limits Of Death Penalty - Ever since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty more than 30 years ago, justices have been finding ways to limit it. (READ MORE)

For Obama, Unexpected Support - As strong and consistent abortion foes, Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. and former congressman Timothy J. Roemer are anomalies in a Democratic Party that has overwhelmingly advocated abortion rights. Yet both are backing Sen. Barack Obama, whom one conservative blogger dubbed "the most pro-abortion... (READ MORE)

World Bank Chief Calls for Immediate Action on Deepening Global Food Crisis - The president of the World Bank yesterday urged immediate action to deal with sharply rising food prices, which have caused hunger and violence in several countries. Robert B. Zoellick said the international community has to "put our money where our mouth is" now to help hungry people. (READ MORE)

Iraq Fires Policemen, Soldiers - BAGHDAD, April 13 -- The Iraqi government said Sunday it had dismissed 1,300 soldiers and policemen for refusing to fight during an offensive last month in the southern port city of Basra. (READ MORE)

An Iraqi View of the War - While Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker were on Capitol Hill last week updating the situation in Iraq from the American point of view, Iraq's ambassador to the United States, Sameer Shaker Sumaidaie, was giving his somewhat different -- also upbeat -- view at a think tank in downtown Washington. (READ MORE)

Clinton, Obama spar on 'bitter' comments regarding voters - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, at a televised forum on faith and politics last night, said Sen. Barack Obama's remark about "bitter" small-town voters clinging to religion and guns raised legitimate concerns about his character and that it was an appropriate campaign issue. (READ MORE)

Bush prepares global warming initiative - President Bush is poised to change course and announce as early as this week that he wants Congress to pass a bill to combat global warming, and will lay out principles for what that should include. (READ MORE)

McCain keeps his faith out of politics - Don't expect any public testimonies of faith from presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, who is not demonstrative about his religion but who embraces a Baptist faith that is based on salvation. (READ MORE)

Doctors advance against cancer - Over the past few decades, the medical field has experienced several advancements in the fight against cancer. Today, new drugs and treatment plans are available, and new methods are used to care for cancer patients. (READ MORE)

Carter Visits Battered Israel Town - SDEROT, Israel (AP) -- Former President Jimmy Carter deplored Palestinian militant attacks on Israel as a "despicable crime" as he toured a rocket-battered town on Monday. Carter met with police officials and with the mayor of Sderot, a southern town a mile from the Gaza Strip border. He was shown a house badly damaged by a rocket strike, and rusting piles of projectiles that had hit the town. (READ MORE)

Users Fight to Save Windows XP - SEATTLE (AP) -- Microsoft Corp.'s operating systems run most personal computers around the globe and are a cash cow for the world's largest software maker. But you'd never confuse a Windows user with the passionate fans of Mac OS X or even the free Linux operating system. Unless it's someone running Windows XP, a version Microsoft wants to retire. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Burt Prelutsky: Visitors from a Weird Planet - When I tell liberals that I can’t figure them out, they tend to assume I’m owning up to my own intellectual shortcomings. They figure their thinking is so profound that it’s simply beyond the scope of little old me. Well, let them enjoy their fantasies. The truth is, I can’t fathom their belief system because it seems so divorced from reality that if we discovered tomorrow that, like the pods in the movie, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” liberals only look like human beings, but are actually from outer space, I’d be the one saying, “Aha, now it all makes perfect sense.” (READ MORE)

Robert D. Novak: Hillary's Strategist - WASHINGTON -- Immediately after Mark Penn resigned as Hillary Clinton's chief strategist a week ago, he was on the phone with at least two prominent Democrats to assure them that nothing had changed. He said that -- though lacking a title now -- he still was polling and crafting her message, adding that he had just participated in a top-level conference call. De facto retention of Penn signified a desire to defeat Barack Obama at any cost. One day later, word was spread in Democratic circles that Geoff Garin, hired as a pollster by Sen. Clinton last month, had supplanted Penn as chief strategist. (READ MORE)

Ken Blackwell: Searching for Truth - Religion in American culture and politics returns to the news this week in a big way with the visit of Pope Benedict XVI. Since Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger became pope, he has launched an unapologetic global campaign to reinforce Catholic doctrine and teaching on moral issues. Ultimately, he declares, there is more to being a Catholic than simply calling yourself one — a message he is coming here to teach. Some of Pope Benedict’s comments have not been widely discussed. Encouraging the Mass to be said in Latin is not likely to make political waves one way or the other in America. It is not what you consider headlining fare for network news. (READ MORE)

Jason Mattera: Catholics, Blacks, and Transgenders at the University of St. Thomas - Campus liberals are unaccustomed to hearing conservative ideas in their echo chambers, so it’s not uncommon for them to become discomforted when hearing alternative opinions. Take Jane Canney, the vice president of student affairs at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, as an example. This administrator is depriving students the ability to hear Star Parker, a prominent conservative black speaker, because Canney was bothered by what another conservative had said at St. Thomas more than two years ago. (READ MORE)

Dan Gainor: Gore Campaigns to Win Over 'Tiny, Tiny Minority' - Pity poor Al Gore. The former presidential candidate has a trophy room Tiger Woods would envy. He’s got the Nobel Peace Prize, an Emmy, even an Oscar. But much like his failed presidential campaign, Gore can’t win the big game. Gore’s big game is climate change. He’s been trying to force America to embrace his apocalyptic vision for years and Americans still don’t agree. His failure is almost stunning – like Woods losing at miniature golf. He’s been completely set up for an easy victory: The mainstream media long ago fully embraced everything he says about global warming. (READ MORE)

Dinesh D'Souza: Atheism Masquerading As Science - The problem with evolution is not that it is unscientific but that it is routinely taught in textbooks and in the classroom in an atheist way. Textbooks frequently go beyond the scientific evidence to make metaphysical claims about how evolution renders the idea of a Creator superfluous. Here are some examples that are drawn from my recent bestseller What’s So Great About Christianity. Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson writes in his widely-assigned book On Human Nature: "If humankind evolved by Darwinian natural selection, genetic chance and environmental necessity, not God, made the species." (READ MORE)

Star Parker: Profiles in education courage - Two recent studies show the complexity in assessing educational progress in our nation. One, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the nation's education "report card," reported improvement in writing skills of eighth- and 12th-graders by statistically significant amounts over scores the last time these skills were examined, in 2002. More sobering was a report on high-school graduation rates, sponsored jointly by America's Promise Alliance -- founded by Colin Powell and chaired by his wife, Alma -- and the Gates Foundation. According to this study, 70 percent of high-school students nationwide are graduating on time. (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: Carter's Latest Middle East Mess - Former President Carter continues to push towards his trip to the Middle East, complete with a visit to Damascus, Syria to meet with none other than Khalid Meshaal, leader of Hamas. The State Department doesn't want him to meet with Meshaal, Secretary of State Condi Rice expressed her displeasure, and the Israelis have made it known they don't want Carter to meet with Hamas either. In fact, Prime Minister Olmert has said he would not meet with Carter though one has to wonder if that's just a facade since Israel has been engaging in backchannel negotiations of its own with the terrorist group to secure the release of Gilad Shalit. Perhaps they see Carter's trip as undermining their own efforts. (READ MORE)

Donald Douglas: Who Wants to Be the Last to Die for al-Maliki? - I recommend for readers to go back and read Jules Crittenden's outstanding essay on Iraq published last month, "Five Years On: The War for Iraq and Its Lessons." Crittenden, as well as a few other commentators (like Victor Davis Hanson), have been unflinching in the support for the deployment, while ever attentive to the heavy price Americans and Iraqis have paid for the pursuit of freedom in post-2003 Iraq. I've even had my doubts - back in 2006 and early-2007, when things seemed to keep getting worse, and analysts argued persuasively for consideration of "the drawdown option" and the for unstoppability of "the Iraqi civil war" - but I've yet to call for retreat, and I won't be starting any time soon. (READ MORE)

Laura W @ Ace of Spades: Engineers Tend To Become Radicals? - Mark Devlin at Industrial Equipment News easily disembowels a 90-page paper written by a couple of Oxford academics. “The authors suppose an interesting direction: engineers radicalize. On the other hand, I don’t see the authors trying to prove the reverse: that it’s handy and serves many of their purposes for radicals to become engineers. The following is just incredible (Page 19 if you’re following along). Here, I thought I’ve made some leaps of thought in my time… Before attempting to explain what’s ‘wrong’ with engineers, we must consider the further question of whether they are overrepresented also among a different group of violent Islamic extremists from the ones we considered in the first sample, namely those born in or residents of Western countries who became active in recent times, mostly after 9/11.” (READ MORE)

The Anchoress: Another thought on Obama’s bitter gaffe - I like this ironic photo essay using Obama’s “bitter” words. But it also reminds me that what Obama said wasn’t that far off from Bill Clinton’s trying to turn the Oklahoma City bombing into a narrative about middle Americans, incapable of thinking for themselves, being urged on to hate America by the likes of Rush Limbaugh. Both, in their way, were implying that middle-class Middle America is populated with easily-swayed, unintelligent rubes. Slightly O/T, after the OKC bombing Bill Clinton used the words “evil” and “cowards” to describe the bombers/terrorists. And he didn’t get any of the flack for it that Bush did after 9/11. (READ MORE)

The Armorer: Now I remember why I get the HuffPo digest email every day - So I can get these gems... like this bit of reportage from Mayhill Fowler. She gives Kat and Ry a run for their money on being... verbose. Some of which, I suspect, is her wanting to show us how educated and observant she is. Heh. Not like I don't suffer from that, now and again. Anyway - Ms. Fowler is reflecting on following the Obama campaign through Pennsylvania, and more specifically, Senator Obama's fundraiser speech to rich Californians where he lays out what's wrong with Pennsylvania. (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Democrats Try to Sue Their Way Into the White House. Again. - Back in 2000, after Al Gore lost the presidential race to George W. Bush, he did something unprecedented: He ordered his crack legal team to file lawsuits to overturn the election and declare himself the winner. Gore didn't just sue for recounts; he also tried to suppress many overseas votes by servicemen. And in a scheme as stunning in its audacity as it was represensible in its aim, the Gore team sued in Martin and Seminole counties to suppress the entire absentee vote -- thus trying to disenfranchise fully 25,000 voters, Democrat as well as Republican. (Why would they do that? Because those two counties went heavily for Bush, and the absentee ballots alone accounted for a net of nearly eight thousand extra votes for the Republican. Since Bush only won by 537 votes, a loss of 8,000 disenfranchised voters would have meant that Al Gore would have won by 7,500.) (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Hillary Does not Understand the Military - Once again the Socialist part of Hillary Clinton has reared its ugly head. Clinton was speaking at a transmission plant in Indianapolis when she started discussing Pentagon contracts. Ms. Clinton told the workers that the Pentagon would have to look at how a contract affected jobs in America during the award process. Hillary must have missed my article about the Pentagon NOT being a social welfare department. “Speaking at a plant here that builds transmissions for military vehicles, Clinton said she would limit the Defense Department’s ability to buy foreign-made products, in part by making the agency consider the impact on U.S. jobs when it awards contracts. WBAL" Clinton is obviously pandering to people working on a defense project. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Disaggregation - The word Grim used in a post to refer to the process of Shi'ite militias cleaning house was "disaggregation" and he argued that was good news because it got rid of the loose cannons who could not be controlled in a political deal. Today the NYT reports that the Iraqi government "dismissed 1,300 soldiers and policemen for refusing to fight or performing badly during last month’s offensive against Shiite militias in the southern city of Basra." Now remember that despite this and the poor performance of other units the Iraqi Army still forced Sadr to pull in his men and continues to operate against the militias to the present. (READ MORE)

Bear Creek Ledger: Sgt Christian DeJohn (PA ANG) Discrimination Lawsuit Update - Here’s a review of the original case from March 2006: “Sgt Christian M. DeJohn (PA NG) - Discrimination at Temple University, PA - The crass and blatent discrimination displayed by Temple University against Christian DeJohn is beyond belief. The amazing component about this story is that DeJohn wasn’t deployed to Iraq he was deployed to Bosnia. While serving in Bosnia DeJohn would receive emails from the History Department inviting him to anti war events, sit ins and demonstrations. In a weekly email from the Alliance Defense Fund I was made aware of this case which is going to trial. ADF is handling DeJohns case and has filed the complaint.” (READ MORE)

Baldilocks: The Peanut Gallery Can't Help It - And it happens again! This time it's veteran talker Dick Cavett who laments the lack of humor displayed by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker during their appearances before the Senate Armed Forces and Foreign Relations Committees. Additionally, the two used too many words which were outside of Mr. Cavett's vocabulary. But of course, Mr. Cavett couldn't resist take a shot at the general's rack. “I can’t look at Petraeus — his uniform ornamented like a Christmas tree with honors, medals and ribbons — without thinking of the great Mort Sahl at the peak of his brilliance. He talked about meeting General Westmoreland in the Vietnam days. Mort, in a virtuoso display of his uncanny detailed knowledge — and memory — of such things…” (READ MORE)

Deebow @ Blackfive: The "Feel Good" Movie of the year... - In direct contravention to the HollyWeird types, and the usual fair that they call "acting," there is a movie out there that premiered not long ago in Los Angeles that might put a positive spin on what kind of sacrifices were made in the War in Iraq. So, presenting from Lucky Forward Films is This is War: Memories of Iraq. This movie is about the men of the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry and their time fighting in OIF in Najaf and Fallujah in 2004 to 2005. And they are not some high speed, low drag crack unit out of the SOCOM. They are National Guardsmen, who serve not only their state, but their nation as well. (READ MORE)

The Captains' Journal: Marines Mired in NATO Red Tape in Afghanistan - Introduction and Background: Several months ago upon following our commentary on the Afghanistan campaign, a field grade officer, and someone who is definitely in a position to know, contacted The Captain’s Journal and recommended that we focus our attention on the ongoing lethargy of the campaign due to NATO incompetence and inability to formulate a coherent and sensible strategy. Soon after this we published NATO Intransigence in Afghanistan and The Marines, Afghanistan and Strategic Malaise. We have also pointed out that however bad a shadow NATO casts over the campaign in Afghanistan, the Taliban and al Qaeda have no such incoherence, and have settled on a comprehensive approach to both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Now from the Baltimore Sun, we learn just how bad the strategic malaise is and how prescient were our warnings. (READ MORE)

bRight & Early: The Leftourettes™ Campaign - I’ve written about Leftourettes Syndrome™ on several occasions. I even have a separate category for it. It can be generally described as that condition, so prevalent on the left, that causes them to open their mouths and say the stupidest things, revealing much more about themselves than they ever intended. The 2008 primary season has put this malady in the spotlight. Chang and Eng Clintbama, and their supporters, are trying to outdo one another for saying the stupidest things. If I were a high-paid campaign consultant, instead of a lowly blogger fighting to reach 100,000 visits, I would have some advice for John McCain. I guess I’ll just give it away for free: Say Nothing. Let the two of them spend all their time and money saying things that are so outrageous that come November the last twin standing will do good to match Walter Mondale’s 13 electoral votes from ‘84. (READ MORE)

Michael Kraft: Carter’s Comfort for Hamas - Former President Jimmy Carter’s plans to meet with a major Hamas leader do not technically violate U.S. policy against negotiating with terrorists, but they counter the principle and may well undermine his professed desire to support Middle East Peace efforts. It is long standing U.S policy not to negotiate with terrorists. There are nuances to the policy; it does not preclude contacts and talks. But the bottom line has been that terrorists should not be rewarded for their criminal actions, such as taking hostages. True, the policy was violated by the Reagan Administration when NSC staffer Ollie North spear-headed the secretive effort to trade TOW anti-tank missiles for Americans kidnapped by Lebanese terrorists during the 1980’s. (READ MORE)

Crazy Politico: Not So Saintly - St. Barack has put his foot in it, yet again, with his comments that folks in Pennsylvania cling to "god and guns" because of the states economy. While he was at it he should have said "rural Pennsylvania is why they call it a TOOTH brush". Of course that line wasn't supposed to get out, it was at a media free fundraiser, and the conspiracy theorist figure it was a Clinton supporter who leaked what he said. Who cares, he said it. The more he back tracks, and tries to apologize, the more Obama sounds like what I've been calling him for months, a politicians, not some new fangled "agent of change". (READ MORE)

The Daily Ramble: Bad Bad Basra - After recent claims of vacuuming (and in an ironically funny way - because they truly SUCK), the Basra battle may have indeed been the IRRGC's attempt to snag an oil rich (shia) provincial capital, landlock Iraq in a sea of Shia pockets and begin regional realization RE: the infamous crescent from Persia to the Med. Basra has always been a fave of the Mullahs. Iran had besieged Basra for nearly 6 years during the horrible Iran Iraq war with nothing to show for it but metric tonnes of martyrs. 100's of K's of casualities and failed assaults (many times using kids ducktaped together armed with plastic keys to the gates of Paradise) against fixed machine gun and blister agent kill zones. These teenage voltiguers (Besijis in Persian) were horrifically exploited for 'Karbala' Offensives essentially for naught. Despite being Shia heavy - Basra never really swung the Ayatollah way back in the day and resisted the Iranians. (READ MORE)

Democracy Project: Struggle Si, Surrender No! - The leading article in the latest issue of The Patriot Returns was one of the funniest pieces I’ve read in a long time. The faculty union of the City University of New York (CUNY), the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) is at it once again, and TPR satirizes the revolutionary zeal of the leadership and their myriad political crusades, this time standing in solidarity with the Mexican teachers on strike in Oaxaca. This current issue demonstrates that the TPR newsletter hasn’t lost its satirical cutting edge. Since last September the Editor, Dr. Sharad Karkhanis has been fighting a $2 million defamation lawsuit filed against him for daring to express disapproval of PSC-CUNY union official Susan O’Malley’s attempts to find teaching jobs for convicted terrorists within the CUNY system. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Gun rights - Smart guns, dumb legislators. Mark DeSaulnier, a Democratic California state legislator, wants to require guns to have biometric technology that doesn’t exist before they guns can fire. Sam Paredes of Gun Owners of California scoffed. “This is anti-gunners dreaming that ‘Star Trek’ is right around the corner,” Paredes told Jim Sanders of the Sacramento Bee. “You’re infringing on people’s ability to get guns, and use guns, by requiring these goofy contraptions,” Paredes said. Sanders immediately followed those remarks with this paragraph: “Gun legislation typically sparks big fights in California, where accidental shootings cause about 60 deaths and 650 hospitalizations each year.” Well, why not follow that with DUI deaths in California: 1,300 DUI deaths a year? (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Iraqis aren’t stupid — and they’re watching us - Last month, Vets for Freedom visited the Twin Cities to talk about their experience in Iraq — and got rewarded by being booted from a local high school. Michael Honeycutt and I, along with hundreds of people from our community, attended their evening appearance at Fort Snelling Officers Club that same day to hear heroes like David Bellavia and Pete Hegseth explain what’s happening in Iraq and the importance of completing the mission successfully. Michael — better known to Ed Morrissey Show chatizens as Sgt_H — served sixteen months in Iraq and understands the need well. He writes in today’s Star Tribune that Iraqis understand it, too, and wonder whether we’ll betray them like we did in 1991: (READ MORE)

Chuck Z: Ping! - We are at a critical juncture in the war on terror. After seven years that we've been actively, and overtly fighting (the other side has been for the last fifty, in one form or another) the sweaty-eyed bringers of jihad, the winners (that's us, so far) are ready for a break. An unconcerned nation is "ready for change." I have said many times that we are a military at war, but not a nation at war. Want proof? Helicopters are made from titanium. (well, certain parts are, anyway.) I remember some helicopters being shot down in the initial stages of the invasion of Iraq, back in 2003. Before that, we'd lost some aircraft in Afghanistan, either through direct action or just from the age, wear, and stress on the airframe. Anyone care to venture a guess on how many helicopters have been built to replace the ones lost? Remember, helicopters are pacing items in divisions--their operational readiness and maintenance is the top logistical priority within the division. So how many have been built? Not one. (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: The Feith Connection - Douglas Feith has been much maligned by Iraq war opponents. In advance of his book release last Tuesday, 60 Minutes ran an interview with Feith, one of the architects of the Iraq War, last Sunday. I was at a weekend festival and missed it; but thanks to the wonders of the internet as well as CBS 60 Minutes now making their video archives embeddable, here is the interview: This is the only time that I can recall 60 Minutes conducting a book-release interview that was not by an anti-Administration author or by someone who appears to be a Bush critic. I certainly don’t believe, however, that 60 Minutes conducted the interview to allow Feith to “set the record straight” and dispel media myths. It’s more like, “let’s watch the hawkish neocon hang himself as he tries to rationalize away the debacle that is the Iraq invasion and occupation”. (READ MORE)

Connie Fournier: The Battle for the Blogosphere - Over the past few years it has become increasingly apparent to Canadian Christians that our freedom is under attack. The airwaves are under the tight control of the CRTC, our major television network is operated by the government, and the mainstream media tends to ignore us when they are not displaying open hostility toward our worldview. When it was announced last week that the government is planning to pull financial aid (tax credits) for any film or television show that it deems offensive or not in the public’s best interest, I couldn’t help but shudder. I think our recent experience in dealing with various human rights commissions may be a precursor that will give us some considerable insight into how these new regulations will be applied to Christians. If the past is any indication, it doesn’t look good. (READ MORE)

GayPatriot: Where’s The Outrage? Dems Running Anti-Gay Campaign - Between Howard Dean promoting age discrimination against John McCain and Barack Obama’s trashing of religion, it is quite clear the Democrat Party will be declaring war on all sectors of traditional America in their campaign this year. But going unnoticed is how the Democrats & Obama have swiftly thrown the gays under the bus already. Obama’s “Other Pastor” is stridently anti-gay. The Illinois Senator is snubbing local gay media across the nation. And where’s the outrage with this ad, from the DNC itself, with the rampant gay stereotypes? (READ MORE)

The Monkey Tennis Centre: British troops have killed 7,000 Taliban in two years; would like to kill fewer - Many of us who support victory in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (I deliberately try to avoid the term 'pro-war') have long complained that our governments and militaries are reluctant to publicise the numbers of enemy being killed. Senior soldiers and politicians say they don't want to make the conflicts all about 'body counts', because that plays into the hands of extremists, and also detracts from the humanitarian and nation-building aspects of both campaigns. It's a fair point, but the counter argument is that if we don't highlight the successes achieved by our troops, it leaves the way clear for the MSM and political opponents of the war to dominate the news with reports of setbacks suffered and mistakes made by allied forces, and other stories that undermine support for the war effort and provide encouragement to the enemy. (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: “THE ALLENTOWN SYNDROME” - Once upon a time, American industrial might was unchallenged the world over. It wasn’t necessarily because our companies were any better or because our workers were more productive. It was because in order to build an 8 million man army and all the weapons and equipment that it required to defeat two of the 20th century’s most powerful militaries in Germany and Japan, we had to build the industrial infrastructure that went along with it. Plants sprung up like grass across what is now known as the rust belt – an arc of cities from Chicago up through the shores of Lake Erie in New York. And following World War II, when there was hardly a stick or a stone left standing in Germany, France, Great Britain, and Japan, the US enjoyed a near monopoly in industries like steel, textiles, automobiles, and rubber while being able to make for ourselves a wealth of consumer products that became the envy of the world. (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: Humor and the Presidential Campaign - There was a wonderful science fiction story written many years ago by Murray Leinster called "First Contact" which concerned the first contact between an alien race and human beings. The contact occurred far off in space; our space ship contained diplomats and military men. Both races took great pains to conceal the location of their home worlds and made contact with a fair amount of anxiety and paranoia about the intentions of the other. The story ended with one of the characters, an enlisted man if my memory serves, expressing confidence that our two races would find a way to co-exist in peace. His reasoning? All the while the senior diplomats and military were parlaying, he had spent the time with a junior soldier of similar rank telling jokes to each other. The idea that the aliens had the same sense of humor as the earthlings was enough for him. (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: Turnabout Is Fair Play: The Vision Of The Annointed And Barack Obama - Barrack Obama, who apparently felt a little too at home in front of a group of San Francisco liberals, said the following about blue collar voters: "It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." That's snobbish, elitist, and condescending -- and it's also very representative of what Obama and most other liberals think of average Americans. They think most Americans are fearful, bitter, dumb, and need to be led around by their betters AKA liberals. (READ MORE)

Steve Schippert: Iran, Neocons and Owning A War - Over at The Tank on National Review Online, I responded to a Friday piece by Pat Buchanan in which he posits that all the ducks are lined up for a “Neocons’ War with Iran.” Buchanan acknowledges that we are fighting Iran’s proxies in Iraq (that we have Iranian Quds Force commanders in custody is perhaps then a minor point) and cites Petraeus’s Congressional report fairly extensively to illustrate. Yet, if we respond to force with force, it is somehow the “Neocons’ War with Iran.” Iran’s quest to kill us has little place in his logic, which I find somewhat incomprehensible. I challenged, in part, with the following. (READ MORE)

Cassandra: Foregainst the Troops - I find it absolutely fascinating that these are the same people who reacted like scalded cats to the slightest questioning of John Kerry's record: But then Kerry's actions were more to their taste: rather than wearing them, he threw his medals away (or more accurately, in what may well be the ultimate gesture of highly nuanced fence straddling by a future presidential candidate, he threw his own ribbons, but someone else's medals. This is the earliest known example of a tactic that would serve Kerry well in years to come, vividly reminding America that he was vehemently Foregainst the military and all it stood for. But then so many on the Left love our military so much that it has nearly driven them mad with angst. (READ MORE)

Soccerdad: Israel policy failure - Sometimes organizations do what you expect them too. CAIR, for example, has no issue with Jimmy Carter shaking the blood soaked hands of Khaled Meshal.Sometimes the organization that does the advocating is surprising. For example two leaders of the Israeli Policy Forum are advocating outreach to Hamas. Why is this surprising? Well the IPF writes on it website that one of its goals is: “IPF sponsors exceptional educational programs and publications, which produce a unique cadre of effective advocates for a two state solution.” So now Geoffry Lewis and Seymour Reich write that we should be Finding a way to bring Hamas In. (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: If It Ain't Broke, Break It! - Some years ago, I got into the habit of listening to NPR on weekends. I think it was "Car Talk" that got me started, and I've gradually expanded my listening habits to include Weekend Edition, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and On The Media. Well, Weekend Edition Sunday is running a series of essays from listeners called "This I Believe." And yesterday, a woman named Aileen Mory from Allentown, New Jersey was chosen to be featured. Mrs. Mory took the opportunity to call for a return to the draft -- and nobly offered her own two children, ages 13 and 17, for service. (READ MORE)

DJ Drummond: Obama Swift-Boats Himself - In the late spring of 2004, things looked bright for the Democrats. Media spin was making Americans doubt the war in Iraq, ignore the war in Afghanistan, wrongly believe the economy was in trouble, and the Democrats had settled on Senator John Kerry for their presidential nominee, a decorated veteran who fought in Vietnam. Polls showed Kerry in good position and the Democrats were sure that they were about to regain the White House. Then it all fell apart. The economy's strength became impossible to deny, the successes in the Middle East wars reminded many Americans that the cause was worth its price, but even so the Kerry campaign felt it had a good chance. (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.

No comments: