Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hillary wins Puerto Rico in a landslide

Hey Barry? You know what a landslide is, right? You ought to know. "Landslide" rhymes with Kentucky and West Virgina, remember?

Hillary Clinton won the Democratic presidential primary in Puerto Rico on Sunday, and is expected to return to the mainland with a purseful of delegates.

With just 29 percent of votes in, Clinton was taking 68 percent of the vote to 32 percent for Barack Obama.

But lower-than-expected turnout could hamper Clinton’s efforts to argue she can attract enthusiastic general election voters and is the better candidate than Obama in the fall race against presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.

Puerto Rico’s role was enhanced in the Democratic primary election process this year as its 55 delegates are a critical chunk in the remaining three contests in a marathon primary season that has yet to crown a nominee.

Returns were expected to come in slowly but some pre-vote estimations had Clinton winning about 35 of the total delegates to Obama’s possible 20.

Yeah, yeah. We know. The Democrats are still going to take Barack "I'm a radical lightweight" Obama as their nominee. ((Yawn)) When will Democrats learn that you can't nominate a neophyte, and expect to win a national election? I'd like to add to his woes a little with this report from the Politico: [Author's note -- pay attention to the bolded section below]

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s decisive win in Puerto Rico demonstrated that her electoral coalition has at least temporarily survived the blow the Democratic Party dealt her campaign Saturday in denying it an infusion of delegates from Michigan.

The cable networks called the island territory for Clinton the instant polls closed at 3:00 p.m., indicating a landslide; exit polls showed her winning virtually every group, including young voters typically loyal to nomination rival Barack Obama.

Ow. The vaunted "youth vote" gave in and went for Hillary. That doesn't bode well for him as he's readying himself to possibly begin his general election run in St. Paul on Tuesday. Why do I say that? Because, as I've often stated since Super Duper Tuesday, the kids won't turn out in the general election. They don't have a historical record of doing so. Even McGovern, who ginned up hi fair share of kiddies on his side, couldn't beat Nixon with that "vaunted" bloc of voters.

Second question, what does Puerto Rico mean? Virtually nothing because they don't vote in the general election. However, we'll recall that the primary contests have been fairly close for both Obama and Hillary, and all of a sudden, she's knocking homerun landslides out of the park, and Obama's yawning about them. Bad move, Barry, because she does have the better argument for the convention than the weak one you have.

Obama’s spokeswoman in Puerto Rico, Leslie Miller, said Saturday that Clinton’s victory wouldn’t “change the fact that we’re ahead in pledged delegates, super delegates and states won.”

Yeah, "sweetie" and the primaries mean exactly squat in the general election. The question Democrats -- especially superdelegates -- ought to be asking themselves is "Are we really going to nominate a guy so green that he's a walking gaffe machine worse than John Kerry?"

Fortunately for us, their answer will probably be "YES WE CAN!" Funny thing about mantras. They don't win elections, no matter how many times the lightweight and his lemmings spout them.

Publius II

Oops, Pfleger does it again

HT to Allah at Hot Air

The audio is HERE and while it's not particularly inflammatory, he does seem to forget the promise he made to Cardinal George:

"To avoid months of turmoil in the church, Father Pfleger has promised me that he will not enter into campaigning," George said in a statement. "[He] will not publicly mention any candidate by name and will abide by the discipline common to all Catholic priests.

Really? He won't mention them by name? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but yes, Fr. Pfleger did it again this morning. This is the relevant area of the transcript which begins about 15 minutes into the sermon:

Listen to me graduates, family ... there are a lot of people that would like to control you. ::taps microphone:: Probably didn't hear me there in the back because these adults want to act like they got it altogether, you know that. I said there's a lot of people that will seek and would love to control you -- to pull you and pull your strings like you're their little puppet. And they want to make you who they want you to be. So they try to distract you. And while you're trying to focus on your destiny, and focus on your purpose, and focus on your divine plan, they will try to distract you and pull you into their madness.

We just saw this in a real public way, in this whole presidential election. Young man by the name of Barack -- what's his last name?

(Not Pfleger) Obama?

Oh, Obama. I couldn't remember. He got a vision. He's talking about where America need to go. He's talking how to turn the page without old politics and have a new way, everybody in the tent, everybody talking to one another, and while he's trying to pull it, people are trying to distract him. 'Are you black enough?' (Laughs) Stand on 35th Street. Trying to distract him. Young woman running for presi -- what's her name? Hill-top, or what's her name? Oh, Hillary, Hillary, Hillary. Hill-born, Hill-top. Talkin' 'bout 'White folk ain't gonna vote for him.' She must not have been to Iowa. Trying to distract him. Talkin' 'bout, well what did your preacher say? Hillary and McCain would wish they had a preacher with the integrity of a Jeremiah Wright. They wished they'd have a brother who would stand up and tell it like it is and not be ashamed or apologetic. They got some old weak preacher. (condescending tone) 'Jesus loves you.' Some ol' Joel Osteen, cotton-candy preacher sayin'. Ah now I got all the Olsteen people mad at me, but that's all right. 'Jesus loves you,' I know He does, but there's some stuff wrong in my life. 'Everything's wonderful.' No everything ain't wonderful. I am who I am, and I ain't making apologies.

First off, he names both Hillary Clinton and John McCain in the sermon. Then, he makes a mocking reference to the pastor that presided over the services Bill and Chelsea Clinton participated in on 2 March. What really got my goat was the mocking condescension the first time he mentions "Jesus loves you." Unlike Jeremiah Wright, who preaches bigotry and conspiracy theories, the idea that Jesus loves us is the central tenet of the New Testament.

If Cardinal George wants to send a message to Pfleger, then it's time he was removed and transferred elsewhere within the Catholic community. He's going to continue this sort of rhetoric, no matter what the Cardinal says, and no matter how many promises he makes. He keeps breaking his word. That, in and of itself, shows that Pfleger lacks any sort of real integrity as a pastor of a church.

Publius II

Obama quits Trinity Church

We just knew this was going to happen sooner or later. No, we didn't want him to quit his church, per se, but a repudiation would have been better before departing. As Mike Allen and Ben Smith of Politico show us that is not the case:

On the brink of the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama announced Saturday evening that he had resigned from his controversial Chicago congregation, Trinity United Church of Christ, “with some sadness.”

Obama told reporters he didn't want his "church experience to be a political circus — I think most American people will understand that, and wouldn't want to subject their church to that, either." He said it has been "months" since he has attended Trinity.

At a news conference in Aberdeen, S.D., after the news emerged on the blog of a black journalist in Chicago, Obama said he and his wife, Michelle, had notified the church in a letter Friday that they “were withdrawing as members of Trinity,” in part because of “a cultural and a stylistic gap.”

Obama said he also regrets “all the attention that my campaign has visited on” the church.“We had reporters grabbing church bulletins and calling up the sick and the shut-in,” he said. “That’s just not how people should have to operate in their church.

Notice that he didn't want it to be the focus of politics, despite the fact that Jeremiah Wright, Otis Moss, and Michael Pfleger made it a circus in the first place. It was their fiery, racist demagoguery that made Trinity the focus of so much scrutiny. And Obama offers no repudiation of it. Later in the piece, he reminds people that Trinity is where he "found Jesus Christ."

The problem with that observation is that Christ's church they He founded NEVER engaged in such rhetoric. Jesus never preached conspiracy theories about the Romans. He never condemned Israel for how it treated the poor, or the indigent. Jesus never said "G*d damn Israel." He never praised those who called for violence, as Otis Moss did in his first sermon as the new pastor, citing the rap lyrics of Ice Cube.

Trinity is not indicative of Christian churches, but it is unique in the "gospel" that is preached there. It is radical, and it doesn't follow the sort of gospel that others would hear preached at their churches. They preach black liberation theology which is based on division, discontent, and discrimination. It is not the sort of theology that most people hear in their churches every Sunday.

The church itself, along with Wright, Moss, and Pfleger, is the radical side of Obama's heart and mind. Throw in Bill Ayers, and we have the portrait of a radical that is so inexperienced he's become a one-man gaff machine. Without the sort of critical thinking necessary for politicians, Obama has shown that he simply can't be trusted to be president. His outlook on America is far outside the mainstream; it borders on the radical in the way he looks at this nation, and his general opinions of it.

We can go through his positions on issues, which just underline his radicalism. We can go through those he's connected to, and see where that radicalism was fomented. Add it all together, and Obama's problem isn't the church he refuses to repudiate. It lies in those he's held counsel with -- be they of the secular world or the faithful world.

The ties that bind, Senator Obama. Thy name is "radical."

Publius II

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Obama's radical problem

Barack Obama has a serious problem in his life, and it's connected to the radical people he's associated himself with. Jeremiah Wright, Willaim Ayers, and even his wife make up three of the four corners. Tony Rezko makes up the fourth, but he's not radical. He's just crooked. Yesterday, a fifth one came to light. His name is Michael Pfleger and this past Sunday he was a guest at Trinity United Church. He's not the new pastor there, though Otis Moss III has his own share of controversy as some are watching. But I'd like to address Pfleger. Let's start wit the basics, first. Here is part of what he said this past Sunday, which caused the uproar:

We must be honest enough to expose white entitlement and supremacy wherever it raises its head. I’ve said before, and I really don’t want to make this political, because you know I’m very unpolitical (laughter). But Reverend Moss, when Hillary was crying, people said that was put on. I really don’t believe it was put on. I really believe that she just always thought this is mine. I’m Bill’s wife, I’m white, and this is mine. I just got to get up and step into the plate. And then out of nowhere came hey, I’m Barack Obama. And she said oh, damn, where did you come from? I’m white, I’m entitled. There’s a black man stealing my show (mock crying). She wasn’t the only one crying. There was a whole lot of white people crying. I’m sorry, I don’t want to get you in any more trouble. The live streaming just went out again.

So this is the sequel to Jeremiah Wright. But this isn't the first time we've seen this guy. Back in March Michelle Malkin did a piece on him, and a follow-up talking about all of Obama's spiritual advisers. Which, by the way, his endorsement here used to be up on Barack Obama's website, but now it's gone. This man is as radical as radical can get.

He preaches in a fashion similar to that of Jeremiah Wright, only minus all the nutty conspiracy theories. But this is a white priest that uses much of the same rhetoric. You read what he said above. Here's another snippet of what he said this past Sunday:

We have to be honest enough to address the one who says well, don’t hold me responsible for what my ancestors did. But you have enjoyed the benefits of what your ancestors did. And unless you are ready to give up the benefits, throw away your 401 fund, throw away your trust fund, throw away all the money that put away in the company you walked into, because your daddy and your granddaddy and your great-granddaddy…unless you’re willing to give up the benefits, then you must be responsible for what was done in your generation, because you are the beneficiaries of this insurance policy.

If you're having a problem figuring out what he means here, he's talking about slavery. He's talking about people like myself and Marcie -- Hell throw in Marcie's grandfather -- that look at people still screaming about slavery and tell them "It's not my fault. Don't come knocking on my door." He's saying we can't say that anymore unless we give up our benefits. I think I'll continue to keep mine, thank you.

This man is a very controversial figure in Chicago. He has butted heads with Cardinal George on more than one occasion. He's worked with Jesse Jackson in more than one protest. This one, against Chuck's Gun Shop, has been an ongoing feud for him; He received a formal rebuke from Cardinal George over the protest because he threatened the gun shop owner. (According to Pfleger, he had no idea what "snuff" meant even though he used it in its proper, slang context.) He's also protested media figures like Jerry Springer (for violence and degradation of women) and Howard Stern (for mocking Martin Luther King). His congregation refer to him as a "blue-eyed black soul," and he truly believes he's doing the Lord's work in Chicago.

Let me be clear here. This man is dubbed a renegade by the Catholic Church, and much of the news media in Chicago. He's honored both Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan on more than one occasion. He's even gone as far, in Obama's name, to issue threats to people to lay off Obama. Cardinal George has tried to get rid of him in the past and I'm sure he's still trying, given his radical views. But what about his connection to Barack Obama? Well aside from being an adviser to the campaign (he was invited to chair a few interfaith meetings on the campaign trail) there is some quid pro quo going on here:

"It happens that there were major supporters in my district who had been supporters before they got member initiatives," Obama said, noting that some of his contributors had been his allies for years.

One of those long-time supporters was Rev. Michael Pfleger, the politically active leader of St. Sabina Church. He gave Obama's campaign $1,500 between 1995 and 2001, including $200 in April 2001, about three months after Obama announced $225,000 in grants to St. Sabina programs.

Pfleger said he made those donations personally, not on behalf of the church or to win grants.

"At a time when less people vote than ever, I don't think pastors should be silent on politics," Pfleger said.

Then the man obviously didn't pay much attention in seminary because priests are discouraged from getting involved in politics. Their purview is faith, and nothing more. I ought to know. I'm Catholic, and once considered joining the priesthood. (Luckily, I didn't, but that doesn't mean I didn't do some studying on the matter.) As a former youth minister, I can assure people that this is not the sort of priest we Catholics appreciate. I can honestly say this man is an embarrassment to myself and Marcie, and we'd never attend a Church with this man at the pulpit, or any other priest like him.

But Obama? He was cool with him. He helped him with money, didn't seem to have a problem with him at all, thought he was a great guy. Well, until this past Sunday. Then yesterday, Obama threw him overboard:

“As I have traveled this country, I’ve been impressed not by what divides us, but by all that that unites us. That is why I am deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger’s divisive, backward-looking rhetoric, which doesn’t reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together in common cause,” Obama said in a statement…

Response of Rev. Michael L. Pfleger of statements made during a sermon on Sunday, May 25, 2008[:]

“I regret the words I chose on Sunday. These words are inconsistent with Senator Obama’s life and message, and I am deeply sorry if they offended Senator Clinton or anyone else who saw them.”

Obama's disappointed the mask slipped again, and Pfleger's never regretted a single thing he's done since arriving in Chicago. All Pfleger's upset about is the fact that Obama just drop-kicked him the way he did with Wright. But this doesn't change much, folks. These are the radical ties that Obama has. And it doesn't matter if it's Jeremiah "G*d damn America" Wright, Bill "I didn't think we did enough" Ayers, Michael "I'm white, I'm entitled" Pfleger, or Michelle "For the first time in my adult life I'm proud of America" Obama.

This is the face of radicalism, and it's all connected to Barack Obama.

Publius II

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The last (hopefully) post of the day on Obama gaffe

Which one, you ask? The most recent one regarding his great uncle liberating Auschwitz, of course. The following comes from Dan Riehl and it's the most comprehensive post regarding the digging New Media is doing on this issue: (HT to Hugh Hewitt)

A New Problem For Obama?

Update: As of now, there's been much speculation and linkage as regards Obama's Great Uncle. Nothing I have seen confirms his middle initial as "T," as opposed to "W." And a CT Payne someone sent info on is deceased. That would seem to disqualify him. Also, S&L has exchanged correspondence with a site claiming to support Obama's position.
The emails make the site seem dubious, at best. If I see something substantive that changes the equation, like Obama giving up a full name, etc - I'll update. At least for now, Obama's claim is in doubt. But then this is a guy who claimed his Grandfather enlisted the day after Pearl Harbor, when he actually enlisted months later.

Evidently the Senator doesn't only speak well ... he speaks "fast," as they say. And I believe he also included those wrong facts in his book. Given the media passing on all of his gaffes, if not downright lies, he is increasingly looking like the Affirmative Action candidate. And I don't believe the majority of Americans favor that type of system for electing a president.

And Mr. Kitchell’s helpful reply:

Please crawl back under the rock you came out from.

Good day

Raymond Kitchell, veteran 89th Inf Div

I have since been sent this followup email:

From: Mark Kitchell [mailto:markkitchell@yahoo.com]

Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:47 AM

To: Steve Gilbert

Subject: Re: Any Record Of Charles W Payne?

I don’t claim to represent anyone. You are the one who came to my son and I asking for information.

Please spend ample time chasing down the lies fed to you by chickenhawks Bush & Co. Like 90% of this administration, they don’t have the foggiest idea what we went through or what we saw at Ohrdruf.

Okay, so we have supposedly learned that it was
Obama's Great Uncle that liberated a sub-section of Buchenwald, not an uncle at Auschwitz. But if sources are correct and unless there's some arcane military history in his favor, Obama still has a problem.

His only Great Uncle is
Charles W. Payne. It at least appears that no one by that name from Kansas served in the Army during WWII.

Charles W. Payne of Kansas, with a similar birth era,
served in the Navy during WWII.

What Obama's campaign released via first link above states he served in the Infantry. I assume it's possible the records are wrong, or he changed branches. But I'm unaware of that as a standard practice. Perhaps it happened during WWII for manpower reasons? Otherwise, Obama's Great Uncle would seem to have done most of his marching and liberating while at sea.

Information about the infantry division that Obama’s great uncle was a part of that took part in the liberation of a sub-camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp in Nazi German:

So, now we know which camp he supposedly helped liberate, but New Media is trying to locate his great uncle, and we can't seem to find anything that can corroborate his insistence that his great uncle helped liberate any concentration camps in Germany. Any attempts to find the man, or any records of him ever serving in an infantry division keeps hitting a dead end. So, we are left with a couple of questions:

Did his great uncle serve in an infantry division at all?

If so, would Senator Obama be willing to prove that by giving us, or the MSM, his name so it can be confirmed?

If his great uncle is the Charles W. Payne, noted above, that served in the US Navy, what part, if any, did he play in liberating the sub-camp at Buchenwald?

It should also be noted that there were 140 sub-camps to Buchenwald. (Auschwitz isn't listed, but Ohrdruf is.) BTW, at the Wiki link there is this under the general description of the camp, and what greeted it's liberators in relation to what is entitled "2008 Obama Campaign Misstatement:"

During the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary campaign Illinois Senator Barack Obama mistakenly said at a Memorial Day event in New Mexico, "I had an uncle who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps." Historically the statement was inaccurate as Auschwitz camp was liberated by Soviet troops.

The Obama campaign corrected the statement & later said the candidate mistakenly referred to the wrong Nazi death camp when relating the story of a great-uncle who served in World War II. That relative of the Senator actually helped liberate a Buchenwald subcamp.

Charles W. Payne, born 1924, enlisted 10 Nov '42, Navy, 6293977 REgistered, order #12019, Kansas City, Wyandotte Co., Board #4[1]

It appears he was in the navy.

We're with Dan Riehl, and the rest of the bloggers digging into this. We'd like some answers, and it can start with just the name of his great uncle, and if he was in the Navy at any point did he change branches of the military, possibly after his initial Navy duty? We'll recall that his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, served two years in the Marine Corps, then enlisted in the Navy, and served as a corpsman. So it's not unfathomable if he switched branches. But again, we need Obama to fill in a couple of holes to put an end to this issue.

Publius II

Mike Barnicle: Bloggers Are "Nitwits"

You have to laugh at the media when they get rather indignant at bloggers; acting like, in some way, we are threatening their jobs, and they seek to discredit us at any and every turn. Allah noted the post @ NewsBusters and from Karl @ Protein Wisdom. Thomas showed be the NewsBusters piece earlier, and I got sidetracked with our column. This is the first chance I have had to talk about this. Here is the quote from Mike Barnicle:

What about this theory, Jonathan, about, you know, the Auschwitz-Buchenwald flap, whatever, John McCain’s misspeaking in Iraq. Shiite, Sunni. What about the theory that we in the news media have taken ourselves so seriously, because of this 24-hour news cycle that we’re all involved in, that we don’t give enough credit for people being over-tired, exhausted, campaigning 20 hours a day, misspeaking—including Senator Clinton at times misspeaking—and then we jump all over them. And then these nitwits at home with their computers, these bloggers, who [snorts] think they’re part of the news media, can then accuse us of being soft on this candidate or that candidate. Just a theory.

For the record, Mr. Barnicle, bloggers do not strive to be a part of the media (the mainstream media), nor do they wish to be a part of it. We were "born" with the desire to correct the media, and watch for their misstatements, lies, and deceit. We did it with Dan Rather. We did it with Eason Jordan. And we did it with the "fauxtography" scandal during the Israeli/Hezbollah war of 2006. Each time we caught the media spinning its tall tales, they were caught, and we presented it to our readers. (I use "we" as a generalized term for the blogosphere even though we -- Thomas and I -- did cover those particular subjects.)

The problem the media has with the blogosphere is that we move much quicker than they do. We can react and analyze the news quicker, more accurately, and we can gather up experts to back up that analysis. The media does not do this. Take, for example, the New York Times hit pieces on John McCain this year. Each one was deflected or debunked by the blogosphere. Whether Mr. Barnicle likes it or not, bloggers serve an important role in the way the media deals with stories.

The gaffe from Senator Obama on his uncle's liberating service was pushed into the media when bloggers started digging. As Thomas wrote about earlier today bloggers started out with proving Senator Obama as either misinformed about the camp in question, or that it was a lie. As of yet, the jury is still out regarding the theory he might have lied. (We think he was probably telling the truth, and most likely forgot which camp his relative participated in the liberation of.) But for Mr. Barnicle to look down his nose at us doesn't not help his case. He sounds very condescending. Need he be reminded that there are more than one blogger that had been picked up by MSM sources. And as ABC learned it is not a bad thing for a journalist to understand what it means to blog, and understand the new media.

Maybe instead of berating bloggers Mr. Barnicle should try understanding the new media, and work with it to clean up the mainstream media.


Secretary of State John Kerry?

Consider this the "snort-worthy" post of the day care of Allah @ Hot-Air. He picked up on this story from the AP:

The airplane came to a stop, the door opened and out popped Tony Blair. At the bottom of the stairs to greet the former British prime minister on Saturday was Sen. John Kerry, looking every part the diplomat.

Four years after a failed presidential bid and amid a race for a fifth Senate term this fall, Kerry's moves have prompted some questions ...

Kerry aides insist he's not angling for the job and point to his long involvement in foreign affairs. It started with his famous testimony as a 27-year-old veteran questioning the Vietnam War before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It continues today, at age 64, as the No. 3 Democrat on the same panel.

But envisioning him in the post would hardly be a stretch given Obama's chances at securing the Democratic nomination, a general election shaping up as a "change" campaign and Kerry's relationship with the Illinois senator.

Kerry would likely face competition from Sen. Joseph R. Biden of Delaware, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee; Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, a former Peace Corps volunteer who also sits on the panel, and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, a top Obama adviser.

Over the weekend, Kerry wrote a Washington Post op-ed column chastising President Bush and John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting, for criticizing Obama after he said that, as president, he would be willing to negotiate with U.S. opponents such as Iran.

In recent weeks, the Senate has also passed Kerry-sponsored resolutions seeking humanitarian aid for Burma and Robert Mugabe to step aside as president of Zimbabwe, while Kerry has filed legislation to remove South African President Nelson Mandela from U.S. terrorist watch lists.

The senator invited Blair to this island getaway last weekend so they could discuss the Middle East and climate change. ...

Yet an Obama spokesman kept a respectful distance from questions about a potential Cabinet appointment.

"Senator Obama appreciates his close friendship with Senator Kerry, his service to this country and his early support for our campaign. It is obviously far too early to even speculate about the makeup of an Obama administration — as we are still in a nomination fight — but with his depth of expertise, especially on issues of foreign policy, Senator Kerry would be on the short list for anyone's Cabinet," said spokesman Bill Burton.

Oh wow. Could Senator Obama be deluded enough to actually consider Senator "Global Test" for that position? We thought the possibility of a Barack Obama presidency would be a disaster, but with John Kerry heading up the foreign policy team for the United States would make things even worse.

We remember his "global test," right? From the 2004 presidential debate at the University of Miami?

No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America.

But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.

Can anyone imagine John Kerry instituting his "global test" as a policy of the United States as Secretary of State? Can we imagine the sort of policy he would run in such a way. Imagine this scenario:

It has just been discovered that Iran has built not one, but a few nuclear weapons. They are using them in blackmailing the region into engaging in hostilities against Israel. John Kerry presents the finding to the United Nations, and awaits the United Nations decision as to what to do. Meanwhile, Iran is preparing to launch a nuclear weapon at Israel. Israel has always been an ally of ours, and we have never turned our back on them. But in this scenario, but waiting on the United Nations determination, we would be, in fact, doing precisely that. Waiting on a group of corrupt bureaucrats to tell us we can do something to prevent the attack.

Please. John Kerry could not carry out this job. The very thought is as scary as it is amusing. He has worked consistently to neuter the United States, and his idea of a "global test" would have humbled this nation; to a point that would have made us look weak and ineffectual to our allies, and our enemies.

We could hope that should Barack Obama become president, he would choose more competent individuals for Cabinet positions than a man who has constantly sought to weaken the nation.


The newest Obama gaffe: Uncles, Auschwitz, and history

Barack Obama has a problem. He makes too many mistakes, and as long as the media is in the tank for him, they're not going to call him on any of his inept comments. His most recent one concerns his uncle participating in the liberation of Auschwitz:

"I had an uncle who was one of the, um, who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps. And the story in our family is that when he came home he just went up in the attic and he didn't leave the house for six months."

Now this can be taken as pandering to two groups which he seems to have a problem with. First, he could have been trying to show veterans and current serving soldiers that they can count on him to stand up for them and support them. Second, it could have been a veiled pander to Jewish voters, showing them that his family's history in standing up for the Jews is enough to put those voters at ease.

The problem is that, as noted by the Purple Avenger at AoSHQ, it was the Red Army that liberated Auschwitz:

Auschwitz of course is in Poland. It was liberated by the Red Army on Jan 27 1945. Poland, on most maps is usually placed to the east of Germany, although we may need to investigate the geography textbooks the Messiah used as a child...

The Allies were wrapping up the battle of the bulge in late January of 1945 -- the Rhine crossings were still well into the future when Auschwitz was liberated.

So, either he lied, he's misinformed, or he got the camp wrong. Transterrestrial Musings tries to locate who this uncle is, and they also note that the camp he meant to say was Buchenwald. What's significant about Buchenwald? Buchenwald was a forced labor camp, not an extermination camp. It saw an extraordinary amount of death which came mostly from the camp conditions, and malnourishment. Over 1,000 Soviet POWs were summarily executed there, but the labor prisoners weren't. Again, this was not a camp like Auschwitz. (Dachau was a concentration camp, mainly for political prisoners, not a death camp like Auschwitz.)

But what we discovered, thanks to Transterrestrial Musings, is that the camp in question probably wasn't even Buchenwald. As they note, The Virginian catches the real camp in question:

According to the Obama camp, the “uncle” who was actually a great-uncle who did not liberate Auschwitz but instead participated in the liberation of a labor camp called Ohrdruf (a name likely unrecognizable to most Americans under age 70).

Ohrdruf, per the President, Society of the 89th Division, WWII:...these camps which I and others prefer to refer to as slave labor camps, were not engaged in any discernible program of extermination of certain groups such as the Jews. An after action report of the G-5 staff (military government) of the 89th Division was given to me with a query from a young lawyer in Belgium. The survivors of many of these camps were administered to by military government personnel and were found to be victims of sickness, starvation and slave labor to the extent that most of them were in very bad shape. These people, along with many others became classified as displaced persons (DP's); some of them spent many years in DP camps in Germany before finding a new home elsewhere. But in answer to my query, there was no connection between the activities of the concentration camps and these slave labor camps.

So what we appear to have is something that’s commonly known as “resume inflation.” And that’s what you get when you have a man who has no real experience. When what you have is an empty suit who is trying to pretend that there is substance there.

As Transterrestrial notes "You know, if I were an Obama staffer, I'd start fact checking everything he says, to try to stay ahead of the blogosphere. If this turns out to be true, that press release that the campaign put out yesterday is going to be pretty embarrassing."

This is embarrassing for Obama because the story keeps changing. He can't explain why he used Auschwitz, or how the military records show that his uncle was more likely to have participated in the liberation of Buchenwald. Then the press release states that Ohrdruf was the camp in question. This is bad in many ways because it's reminiscent of John Kerry's "Christmas-not-in-Cambodia" story which also switched constantly. First it was Navy SEALs, then it changed from that to a CIA agent. Then he eventually shut up about it because he was nailed on his lie. Can we prove Obama was lying? That this was "resume inflation?" No, not yet we can't. It'd be nice if Obama gave a few more specifics about this so it could be fact-checked.

Publius II

Memo to CAIR: It's called assimilation, you morons

We have read a number of stories in which CAIR jumps into lawsuits crying discrimination against Muslims for a host of reasons. Whether it's taxi cab drivers who refuse to carry passengers with guide dogs or if they have alcohol with them, or if it's employees at stores who have to scan pork products at the register, CAIR is doing it's best to give Muslims a pass in assimilating to American life. Now it's Mission Foods, which requires employees to wear uniforms, and CAIR claims that requirement equates to religious discrimination:

A group of Muslim workers allege they were fired by a New Brighton tortilla factory for refusing to wear uniforms that they say were immodest by Islamic standards.

Six Somali women claim they were ordered by a manager to wear pants and shirts to work instead of their traditional Islamic clothing of loose-fitting skirts and scarves, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a civil liberties group that is representing the women.

The women have filed a religious discrimination complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

"For these women, wearing tight-fitting pants is like being naked," said Valerie Shirley, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota chapter of CAIR. "It's simply not an option."

CAIR issued a press release calling on Mission Foods to reinstate the women in their jobs. However, the group declined to disclose the names of the women and would not make them available for interviews Tuesday.

Gruma Corp., the Irving, Texas-based parent company of Mission Foods, released a written statement Tuesday denying that any employees were terminated or disciplined at the New Brighton plant. However, the company made clear the six women have been relieved of their responsibilities for the time being, and may ultimately lose their jobs if they don't wear uniforms.

"Should these employees choose to adhere to the current Mission Foods uniform policy, they may return to their positions with the company," the company statement said. "However, these positions will need to be filled as soon as possible and cannot be held indefinitely." ...

The women's traditional clothing was loose-fitting but never posed a safety risk, Shirley said, because the six women put tortillas in packages and did not work near machinery. "Tortillas came down a conveyor belt onto a table and they packaged them with their hands," she said. "There wasn't even the potential of a safety hazard."

OK, let me explain something here for the nutters at CAIR that obviously don't understand what it means to work around machines like this. I used to work for my father at a plastics processing plant where plastic parts are formed by molds. A lot of moving parts, and loose items such as scarves, watches, necklaces, etc. could get caught on moving parts of these machines. If that happened, the workers, like myself, could end up getting burned. You had to heat the plastic sheets up in an industrial oven so it would be soft enough to be vacuum-formed to the mold.

These women are working on a conveyor belt. Even if it's moving slow, there is a serious potential for injury, which the company is obviously trying to avoid. Additionally, OSHA has guidelines about such items around moving machinery. Those standards trump this asininity perpetuated by CAIR and these six women. Furthermore, if there's a dress code, they either abide by it, or find a new job.

CAIR is doing whatever it can to have Muslims excluded from assimilating to practices in the American workplace. They want exceptions made for Muslims. Now we have no problem with allowing Muslims to practice their religion. In fact, that's protected by the First Amendment. But CAIR's insistence that they be granted special exemptions is simply stupid, and if they win lawsuits like this, it sets us on a dangerous path to giving into minorities that don't deserve such acts.

Publius II

Obama has a stash of SuperDs?

The Democrat superdelegates (SuperDs, for short) have been a point of contention between Hillary and Obama this election cycle because neither one will have enough pledged delegates to get the nomination. Because of this glaring fact, the SuperDs will have to solve this fight. But it looks like he's pounding on doors in DC to locate the SuperDs he'll need according to MSNBC: (HT to Allah at Hot Air)

As NBC’s Tim Russert reported on Nightly News last night, the Obama campaign will claim a majority of all delegates -- whether it’s 2,026, 2,210, or a number in between -- next Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. According to our sources, Obama's been making calls on the Hill this week (the place where more undeclared superdelegates live than any other in the country) in an attempt to gather the number he needs, probably around 45 supers in order to declare Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. The campaign is hoarding commitments from undeclared superdelegates to hit these magic numbers once the nominating contests come to a close on June 3. The actual choreography, however, hasn't been agreed to yet; it depends on what happens at Saturday’s DNC meeting. Here’s one scenario: Obama announces enough supers on Monday June 2 to bring him within 10 delegates of the new magic number. Then on Tuesday evening, just as the polls close in Montana, Obama thanks that state for putting him over the top as the small state is one the Obama camp is hoping to put in play for the fall. Sure, it's three electoral votes but every EV may matter if he's got to make up for not winning Florida and (maybe) Ohio.

Of course, a lot of this depends on what happens on Saturday, which the DNC is doing it's level best to settle the problems of the primaries. From MSNBC:

Speaking of Saturday's DNC meeting… A packet sent around to members of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee has some neutral opinions about the various challenges. One thing folks ought to not miss is the fact that the DNC rules had called for an automatic 50% delegate cut for states that violate the window. The Rules committee went beyond that -- which was within its rights -- and took away ALL of the delegates. Doesn't this provide the blueprint for what's likely to happen on Saturday -- a reinstatement of 50% of the delegates in both states? In fact, if we're interpreting this right, and if the Rules committee follows the letter of the law on this issue, they can't reinstate 100% of the delegates because of the initial violation. For those following the FL/MI fight closely, realize that a Florida compromise seems to be fairly easy to come to; frameworks are being developed as you read. But Michigan is the real riddle. The biggest impediment there are those “uncommitted” delegates; If the Rules committee decides to accept the January primary results then it's not clear, via the DNC charter, that it's within the party's rules to assign uncommitted delegates to Obama. Of course, as multiple members of the Rules committee told NBC News, there's such a thing as "political will," which could trump the DNC charter. Oh, the joys of what we'll be watching on Saturday.

There is speculation that if the Rules Committee goes with the 50% rule, and awards the delegates -- majority to Hillary/minority to Obama -- that she is still going to the convention. I know a lot of people think we're nuts for arguing for Hillary to be the nominee, but let's consider an important fact here: Obama hasn't taken the big states. He lost Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Indiana, West Virginia, Florida, California, and New York. She won them. Think about that for a moment -- Ohio specifically. Granted thanks to Republican cross-overs she won it, but he lost it on the heels of a few missteps by the Obama campaign. The most notable ones were the pledge of Austan Goolsbee to the Canadian press that Obama's anti-NAFTA comments were merely rhetoric, and the infamous "3 a.m. phone call" ads showing Obama to be less that competent in handling crises in the middle of the night. No president in the last forty-eight years has won the presidency without taking Ohio. (The last president to win without taking Ohio was John F. Kennedy.) If Obama can't take Ohio, he probably won't win the presidency, and if he didn't take it in the primaries, he probably won't take it in the general.

So, what's Hillary's argument? She can win in the Midwest. She can win in the South. She would be a more formidable opponent against John McCain. In short, it'd be a knife fight between the two of them. Additionally, she has a better chance of flipping "purple" states to blue, and weak red states to blue. In other words, she'll put more states in play, forcing McCain to campaign harder in those states, which means he'll spend money he really can't afford to spend. She has the money. Also, her two key demographics int he primaries -- working class white voters and women -- will be locked up by her.

Obama supporters claim if he loses the nomination, they won't vote for Hillary. There goes the black vote, which has been turning out in droves for him. He's been pulling 90%+ of black voters int he primaries, so she'd lose a good majority of a consistent Democrat demographic. But they won't go out and vote for McCain. The last poll conducted o that question shows that only 19% of his voters would go for McCain if he were denied the nomination. Hillary supporters would turn out in greater numbers for McCain. That poll was done at the end of March by Gallup.

We believe that the Democrats will nominate Obama, and Florida and Michigan will have only 50% of their delegates seated. (Regardless of the Rules Committee and Howling Mad Howie Dean, they have to be there on the off-chance the nominating process goes to a second ballot.) Hillary can continue onto the convention in Denver, but it won't do her any good. She is going to lose the nomination, and the Democrats are going to pin their hopes on a lightweight rookie who is prone to mistakes, missteps, and gaffes. His stash of SuperDs are going to be the straw that breaks Hillary's political back, and her only hope is to work on a chance for 2012.

Publius II

Senator Know-Nothing

Senator Obama is a man who has been afforded almost every opportunity in this country. He is a successful author, a freshman senator in the US Congress, a fortuitous career in Illinois politics, a noteworthy record as a Chicago community organizer, and attended both Columbia and Yale universities. That is quite a life, and it is clear to us that he obviously did not pay all that much attention in school, or in life.

On Sunday Barack Obama said the following to a group of people assembled for Memorial Day:

"On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes — and I see many of them in the audience here today — our sense of patriotism is particularly strong."

One would think that a man given the excellent educational opportunities would not make a gaffe like this. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those soldiers who give the ultimate sacrifice in the name of the United States. (Yes, I am aware that I did make comments on Memorial Day regarding the living soldiers, but there was a point behind it. Those soldiers may end up giving their lives. Do not miss the chance to thank them for their service, and tell them how proud you are of them.) But Senator Obama is either seeing dead people or he confused Veteran's Day with Memorial Day. A simple enough gaffe, but one that speaks volumes to his lightweight status in this race, and in the Senate.

Yesterday he recalled a family story where he claimed his uncle liberated the concentration camp of Auschwitz. The problem with this comment is that the United States military did not liberate Auschwitz. The Russian army made it to Poland first, and liberated that camp. Over at Hot-Air (follow the link above) Allah and commenters worked quickly to identify which uncle this was, and whether he was even in the war. The conclusion? He probably got the name of the camp wrong. Still, a gaffe is a gaffe.

I bring these two items up for one reason. I am disheartened to see so many who lack a basic knowledge of history, especially American history. This story in the East Valley Tribune caught our eye:

U.S. students would get an F if they were graded on their knowledge of Memorial Day, according to results from a survey that tested the knowledge of young people on war-related questions from U.S. history.

A 60-question multiple-choice exam focusing on history, government and economics was administered by the University of Connecticut's Department of Public Policy to more than 14,000 randomly selected seniors and freshmen on 50 campuses of private and public universities across the country. The survey was given on behalf of Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a right-leaning civics nonprofit organization.

While Memorial Day is a holiday that was established as a result of the Civil War, the results of the exam show that only about half of the students surveyed were able to answer a series of questions about that war and other U.S.-involved conflicts.

For example, 48.5 percent of students were able to identify that the Civil War battles of Fort Sumter, Gettysburg and Appomattox were listed in the correct chronological order and about 60 percent of students correctly answered that Abraham Lincoln was elected president during the period of 1851-1875.

Richard Brake, ISI's director of university stewardship, said the survey was directed at college students, but that the results are "an indictment on high schools" where students are not retaining information about U.S. history.

Most people would yawn at this and say "so what?" We, as a nation, are not learning about our nation. So much emphasis has been put on mathematics and science that we have left history by the wayside. This is a pet peeve of ours because both Thomas and I majored in history for our undergrad degree. Anyone who knows us knows that we know our history cold. But kids nowadays do not like to learn history because for them it is boring. We can understand that, to a point, but not learning history leads to mistakes made today.

George Santayana wrote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." He wrote that in his book The Life of Reason. This is the reason why we put so much emphasis on history. We are watching history repeat itself right now. With the problems surrounding Iran it is reminiscent of Germany in the late 1930s. Regarding Senator Obama's candidacy, we can point to Jimmy Carter. History does repeat because there are a few people (more than a few, actually) that obviously have not paid attention to what has gone on in the past. Without knowing what has come before us, there is no way we can avert making the same mistakes again.

While this post seems to reflect our general opinion on history, it does go more towards the continuing gaffe parade that Barack Obama is showing the nation. Do we really want to see four years of his handlers having to make excuses and spin away his gaffe-prone moments? We do not wish to see this. This man has either missed his history lessons, or, like Senator Clinton, feels a pathological need to inject his family into moments throughout history. No one can fault him for wanting to "brag" a little about his family, but if he decides to make these giant leaps, it would be advisable that he know his history to avoid the "steaming pile of excrement" that he steps in. (Thomas used that line yesterday on the radio with Hugh Hewitt.)


Sunday, May 25, 2008

"We Are Their Heirs."

Scott Johnson @ PowerLine draws attention to this piece by Tom Moutain which details the ultimate sacrifice given by the residents of Newton, MA. On this particular day, it is moving, thoughtful, and poignant. It serves as a reminder of those who gave all in the name of freedom:

When Fred Guzzi, head of Newton Veterans’ Services, faxed me six pages full of names, I immediately called to remind him that I requested the list of soldiers from Newton who died in World War II, not the list of everyone from Newton who served. The list that he sent had too many pages, too many names. Surely one faxed page would suffice. He quickly retorted that all six pages contained the names of all the men from Newton who died in World War II — 269 of them.

By any measure, 269 men killed in war from a city the size of Newton is an enormous, heart-wrenching number. That’s well over 500 mothers and fathers who received the fateful telegram informing them that their sons had been killed in wartime. No corner of Newton was spared the tragedy of the Second World War. Every neighborhood, every block, every school, suffered the loss of someone who was killed overseas. To this day there are those among us who remember all too well.

Alderman Carleton Merrill remembers Lester Bixby, his friend from Newton High, Class of 1943, who was killed in combat in France in December 1944, and Stephan Butts, with whom he attended the Underwood School, who was killed on the India-Burma Front in February 1945. Then there was Milton Elkind, who lived across the street, killed in France that same year. And Bill Spiers, his classmate who died in the retaking of Guam in 1944.

The average age of these Newton soldiers was 24 when they were killed. George Gallagher was only 17 and John Gentile 19 when they were killed (along with the five Sullivan brothers) on board the cruiser Juneau, which was torpedoed in the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942. The oldest killed was Daniel Hurley, also a veteran of World War I. He enlisted as a medic and died in Germany in 1945, one month shy of his 64th birthday. Annino Coletti was 23 when he was killed in fighting in the Marshall Islands.

Harry Homans of Tremont Street and John Mastopiera of Chestnut Street were both killed on Iwo Jima on the same day, Feb.19, 1945. So were Peter Bontempo and William F. Callahan Jr, both killed in northern Italy on April 14, 1945. Bontempo Road in Oak Hill Park is named for Peter. The Callahan Tunnel is named for William.

Charles Brown and Robert Stein lived in the same two-family house on Edinboro Street. Charles died in a Japanese prison camp in the Dutch East Indies in 1942. Robert was killed shortly after D-Day, on June 8, 1944, in Normandy. Francis Shuster Jr. and William Golding Jr. were next-door neighbors on Fairway Drive in West Newton. They were both killed at age 24.

Governor (and later Senator) Leverett Saltonstall of Chestnut Hill Road lost his son, Peter Saltonstall, at Saipan in the Pacific in August 1944. Endicott Peabody, who later became governor, lost his brother, Arthur Peabody, killed near Vienna, Austria, in February 1945. Gene Cronin, the unofficial “Mayor of West Newton” and a World War II veteran himself, lost his brother, John Cronin, on the Meuse River in Belgium in 1945.

In 1944, 112 Newton soldiers were killed, 20 in December alone.

Fourteen Newton soldiers were killed in the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944 and early 1945, including James Foley and Salvatore Yeradi. Eleven were killed on D-Day, June 6, 1944, or in the subsequent Battle of Normandy, including Julius Amendola and George O’Brien. Ten died — or rather, were murdered — in POW camps, including William Cannon, Fred Timson Jr. and Francis Cronin. A note was found on William Osborne which read “Poisoned by Japs.” Ted Ladd was beheaded by the Japanese while in captivity.

Newton soldiers fought and died all over the globe. Stanton Amesbury was killed in Algeria by Vichy French soldiers in November 1942. Matthew Billings died of his wounds off Kiska, Alaska, in 1943. Edgar Bevis was shot down over Taiwan in 1945. Carl Cole crash-landed and died in Denmark. Harvey Cibel was killed by Rommel’s soldiers in Tunisia in 1943. Albert Desrochers was killed near Australia. Melvin Herson was killed in a bombing raid over Romania in 1944. Charles Spettel was shot down over Yugoslavia in February 1945. Paul Van Wart and Stephan Silverman were both shot down over China in 1944. Dominic Silverstrone and Howard Stiles were killed in New Guinea; their bodies were never found. John Newman Jr. perished on a life raft after his ship was sunk by a German U-Boat off Iceland.

Many of those killed had streets named after them in Oak Hill Park, including Paul Cavanaugh, Francis Fredette, Frank McCarthy, Meinoff Kappius, Joe Antonellis, John Caulfield, H. Russell Keller Jr., George Avery, Nick Tocci, Albert Caldon, Russell Colella, John O’ Rourke, Frank Young, Robert Shumaker, William Kerr, Hugh Van Roosen, George Walsh, Fred O’Connell, Bill Nightingale, Larry Early and Robert Hanson, who was also posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for having shot down 26 enemy aircraft in the South Pacific.

Victor Pellegrini of Lincoln Road was killed on Christmas 1944, when his troop carrier was torpedoed in the English Channel. Ed DeStefano, also of Lincoln Road,was killed the month before, just over the German border. Nam Leong of West Newton was killed in action in Italy in January 1944. So was George Pattison of Newtonville. John Murphy was killed aboard the USS Quincy in the Battle of Savoa Island in 1942. Robert Murphy was also killed in the South Pacific two years later; his father requested that he be buried in the American Cemetery in Manila.

Sixty soldiers from Newton were Missing in Action, and subsequently declared dead, their bodies never having been recovered. Among them were Charles Bjornson, killed when his submarine, the USS Lagarto, was sunk off French Indochina (Vietnam); Charles Burkett Jr., killed when his plane was shot down near the Bonin Islands; George Carson, killed on Okinawa; Paul Coburn, killed when his plane crashed in the Pacific. Also MIA were Fred Elliot Jr., Dominic Giannetti, Robert Hale, John Hennessey, Fred Horgan, Ted Jennings, Ted Johnson, Jim Lally, Carl Lancaster, Bill Lewitt, Lenny Nodell, Clarence Powell and Antonio Palumbo.

Carl Peterson, commander of the US Coast Guard Escanaba, perished with his crew in the North Atlantic after his ship was torpedoed by a German U-Boat. Alfred Pezzella bailed out over Romania in 1944 and was never found. Richard Waite, a medic, was 20 years old when he was killed in Normandy, “his body was burned beyond recognition,” official reports stated, and his burial place is still unknown. Robert Williamson was shot down off the coast of China in 1945, and disappeared forever.

George Guise was killed in Czechoslovakia on May 9, 1945, one day after the final German surrender.

There are more men, many more from Newton who were killed somewhere in the globe during the Second World War. I have barely mentioned a third. Perhaps a book would do them all some justice, much more than a brief column can possibly provide. For they deserve more. Infinitely more. Some of these men were comparatively lucky. They were married before the war. They had children. They lived a portion of their adult lives. But most never married, never had children, never lived a life beyond their post-adolescent years. Their bodies were interred by their parents, if they came home at all.

The United States paid an unbearable price in World War II — 418,500 American soldiers dead. A generation decimated. And with that hundreds of thousands of children we would never know.

But millions of children we would know.

For it was these soldiers who made our future, our nation, our very lives, possible. Without their supreme sacrifice, it is doubtful that many of us would be here today.

We are their heirs.

We are their children.

Indeed. Please remember them all for they did give the ultimate sacrifice.


Memorial Day Thoughts

Please be sure to stop by BlackFive, Mudville Gazette, Michael Yon and this post in particular from Michelle Malkin for Memorial Day remembrances.

As for us, we recall those that have fallen in this war, and all those before now. For those who came before bought freedom with their most precious blood. Those who have fallen since continued that debt, and it is one that the people of this nation will never be able to repay.

Remember also those who are alive and fighting today, abroad. One day they will return home, but not until the job is done. Not until their mission, whatever it may be, is finished. Remember them for their courage. Remember them for their honor. Remember them for the sacrifices they have made, and pay for their families that are left behind.

It is not an easy job being a soldier. But it is an even tougher job being a soldier, a husband or wife, and a father or mother.

The last time I saw my brother was on my wedding day. I knew when he left he did not want to go, and I did not want him to go. But he understood his duty, as did I. I worry about him everyday. I can relate to the families that go through this, and I can understand their frustrations at times. It is not easy being a military family.

So we should remember them this one day out of the year. Forget the barbecues. Forget the fun and games. Take time out to not only think about who is fighting on our behalf, and protecting this great nation, but go to one of the remembrance services in your town if you can. Thank those soldiers -- young and old -- for serving this nation when she called upon them to take up the rifle.

God bless our soldiers. God bless our veterans. And God rest the souls of the departed.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Israel's worst enemy -- Jimmy Carter

This story infuriates me so much that if I were the Israeli government I'd ban him from ever setting foot on their soil again. Furthermore, I'd issue a flat declaration that Jimmy Carter is an enemy of Israel. Why the fussing and fuming? Because the former president decided it was all right to disclose the amount of nukes Israel supposedly has:

Israel has 150 nuclear weapons in its arsenal, former President Jimmy Carter said today, while arguing that the US should talk directly to Iran to persuade it to drop its nuclear ambitions.

His remark, made at the Hay-on-Wye festival which promotes current affairs books and literature, is startling because Israel has never admitted having nuclear weapons, let alone how many, although the world assumes their existence. Nor do US officials deviate in public from that Israeli line. Carter, who has immersed himself since his presidency in Israeli-Palestinian relations, was highly critical of Israeli settlers on the West Bank, and of Israel's refusal to talk to elected officials of the Islamic party Hamas, although he said that Israel's security was his prime concern.

Carter, whose presidency was dominated by the 444-day siege in which Iran held 52 American diplomats hostage, said "my advice to the US would be to start talking to Iran now" to persuade it to drop its nuclear work. But he cited Israel's nuclear arsenal - and those of the US, Russia, China, Britain and France - in arguing that Iran would find it almost impossible to develop, in secret, many weapons and the missiles to deliver them.

Yeah, that's believable -- he has concern for Israel's security. Well he did a bang-up job of showing his concern by revealing a closely guarded secret that Israel has been keeping for their own safety. Drop speculation here because we all know Israel has nukes. But it's their policy to remain mum on that subject. The US has ALWAYS backed them up on that position. But Jimmy Carter's distaste for Israel is now plain as day.

And as for negotiating with Iran, who the Hell does he think he is? He couldn't negotiate his way out of a paper bag. His own negotiations in the Iranian hostage crisis only came to pass when Iran saw who was about to win the presidency, and they didn't want to risk the ire of the new president. Reagan, as we'll recall, was dead set on getting the hostages back if Carter didn't get them out, and we're pretty sure he would have laid out a military option.

Memo to Jimmy Carter: You're irrelevant, pal. You were a disaster as a president -- the worst of the 20th Century in our humble opinion. You negotiate with Israel's enemies in a futile attempt to get them to stop. You negotiated the Framework with North Korea for Clinton, and you, along with Madeline Albright, were duped from the start. Ineffectual, inept, and incompetent are words used to best describe you. And now we can add turncoat to that list. What a piece of sh*t you turned out to be.

Publius II

The Legacy of Communism on Display in China

On May 12 a powerful 7.9 earthquake rocked the Sichuan province of China. Over sixty thousand people have been confirmed dead in what many officials and seismologists call the strongest quake to hit China in over a decade. But the true tragedy is the fact that almost ten thousand schoolchildren lost their lives in the quake. Parents, rightly so, are demanding answers and assigning blame to the Chinese government:

The earthquake’s destruction of Xinjian Primary School was swift and complete. Hundreds of children were crushed as the floors collapsed in a deluge of falling bricks and concrete. Days later, as curiosity seekers came with video cameras and as parents came to grieve, the four-story school was no more than rubble.

In contrast, none of the nearby buildings were badly damaged. A separate kindergarten less than 20 feet away survived with barely a crack. An adjacent 10-story hotel stood largely undisturbed. And another local primary school, Beijie, catering to children of the elite, was in such good condition that local officials were using it as a refugee center.

“This is not a natural disaster,” said Ren Yongchang, whose 9-year-old son died inside the destroyed school. His hands were covered in plaster dust as he stood beside the rubble, shouting and weeping as he grabbed the exposed steel rebar of a broken concrete column. “This is not good steel. It doesn’t meet standards. They stole our children.”

There is no official figure on how many children died at Xinjian Primary School, nor on how many died at scores of other schools that collapsed in the powerful May 12 earthquake in Sichuan Province. But the number of student deaths seems likely to exceed 10,000, and possibly go much higher, a staggering figure that has become a simmering controversy in China as grieving parents say their children might have lived had the schools been better built.

This is the legacy of Communism. While so many may extol the "virtues" of such a totalitarian system, when disasters like this strike the government's shoddy work is laid bare for all to see. The Chinese government was so excited to be awarded the Olympics that on the day the quake occurred, Chinese news services assured everyone that the Olympic stadium was unharmed before continuing on with the news.

The children have become the victims in this tragedy. Seven thousand schools collapsed. Four thousand children orphaned. Five million people are homeless. The shoddy workmanship is exposed for all of those in China, and around the world, which is the "best" anyone could expect from a Communist regime.

Our hearts go out to those in China that have suffered through this catastrophe. They are in our prayers. For those that wish to help, you can do so by contributing to the American Red Cross's efforts here and you can contribute to Caring For China here.

For as the legacy of Communism is exposed for the world, the West's efforts to help those in need, in a time of crisis, crushes that image. This tragedy shows exactly who those are that care, and are doing what they can to help. On the flip side is the Chinese government who is giving no answers to the parents that lost children and loved ones in this quake.


Bill Clinton whines; makes case for wife

Continuing on the subject of Hillary Clinton, and her potential electability, her husband laid out the case. From ABC's Political Radar blog:

ABC News' Sarah Amos reports: Former President Bill Clinton in South Dakota today delivered a harsh critique of how his wife has been treated during her presidential bid, telling the crowd that he has "never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully just for running," and that, "she will win the general election if you nominate her. They're just trying to make sure you don't."

Clinton spent more than six minutes calmly discussing what he called a "frantic effort to push her out" of this race, saying that no one asked Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson or Gary Hart to end their presidential campaigns early.

Clinton also spoke against bullying superdelegates to make up their minds, saying, "I cant believe it. It is just frantic the way they are trying to push and pressure and bully all these superdelegates to come out. 'Oh, this is so terrible: The people they want her. Oh, this is so terrible: She is winning the general election, and he is not. Oh my goodness, we have to cover this up.'"

Speaking to a crowd of about 200 in Fort Thompson, S.D., Clinton seemed slightly subdued during his 30-minute speech, which largely focused on the issues important to the Native American community. As he wrapped up his remarks, a woman in the audience asked him a question about voting for Hillary Clinton.

"If you vote for her and she does well in Montana and she does well in Puerto Rico, when this is over she will be ahead in the popular vote," Clinton said. "And they're trying to get her to cry uncle before the Democratic Party has to decide what to do in Florida and Michigan because they are claiming that it only takes 2029 votes on the first ballot to win, and it takes a lot more than that if you put Florida and Michigan back in. Well, they will have to unless we want to lose the election. I mean, look, so there is that that is going on."

The former president was strong in his assertion that his wife has the best chance to win against Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, arguing that many electoral map predictions have his wife winning more electoral votes than Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., the Democratic frontrunner, in a general election.

"She is winning the general election today and he is not, according to all the evidence," Clinton said. "And I have never seen anything like it. I have never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully just for running. Her only position was, "Look, if I lose I'll be a good team player. We will all try to win but let's let everybody vote and count every vote.'"

Clinton also strongly criticized the media, saying that ever since Iowa they have been against his wife, making him feel as though he was living in a "fun house." As he concluded his thoughts on how this election has been handled, he again went back to the media's choice of coverage.

"If you notice, there hasn't been a lot of publicity on these polls I just told you about," Clinton said. "It is the first time you've heard it? Why do you think that is? Why do you think? Don't you think if the polls were the reverse and he was winning the electoral college against Sen. McCain and Hillary was losing it, it would be blasted on every television station? You would know it wouldn't you? It wouldn't be a little secret. And there is another Electoral College poll that I saw yesterday had her over 300 electoral votes, yeah. She will win the general election is you nominate her. They're just trying to make sure you don't."

First off, whining doesn't endear him to anyone. We'll admit that the press has been far more easy-going in covering Obama. CNN went so far as to declare themselves a "Wright-free zone" for Obama shortly after the Jeremiah Wright flap reached a fever pitch with both Obama and Wright throwing hammers at each other.

Never before in any election I've witnessed or studied has the media been so willing to allow a candidate to pick and choose what he talks about. Worse yet, because of the media's willingness to do little "favors" for Obama they're painting a picture for the American electorate that they are, in fact and practice, quite biased. They should, in all honesty, simply declare themselves members of his campaign so they can run Obama propaganda openly instead of trying to shill for him behind the scenes. Memo to the media -- You have taken the place of the emperor, and you definitely have no clothes.

The former president makes as compelling an argument for his wife as we have, and as many other pundits have. Obama is a rookie; a lightweight with an abundance of flowery rhetoric, and little substance. That doesn't win elections. It never has, and it never will. The voters want to see what the candidates offer in detail, not generalized hype about "hope" and "change." Obama lacks the substance that the majority of the electorate is looking for. Sure, he has his supporters, and a good deal of them are among the DNC power-brokers, the media, and the vaunted "youth" that barely can comprehend what it takes to run a nation.

Obama is banking on the youth to come out for him, and that would be a sight to behold seeing as how they haven't done that yet. Ever since McGovern, who also had the backing of the youth in America and saw it disappear on Election Day, the youth in this nation has little patience for a political contest. They'll come out in droves for the primaries, but they are notably absent in the general election. Obama also has one thing that has been a key demographic for Democrats, and they are threatening to not show up on Election Day should Hillary be nominated. Those would be blacks, and despite their preaching to the contrary, they will go out on Election Day. whether they'll cast a vote for Hillary is yet to be determined, but they will go out and vote.

Bill's case is a strong one, despite the whining. Additionally, it's one that the superdelegates should take a careful look at. Look at the electoral map in matchups between Hillary and McCain and Obama and McCain. I think the picture would become a lot clearer if they quit listening to fools like Jimmy Carter and Howard Dean. Let them make up their minds, and we're sure they'll make the right choice.

If Democrats want even the slightest shot at the White House, Barack Obama is not their hero riding in on the white stallion. The only thing he'll show Democrats on Election Day is a rout that could very easily be comparable to Bush-41's whooping of Dukakis.

Publius II