At the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Dr. James McHenry, a Maryland delegate, followed Benjamin Franklin from Independence Hall. He recorded a question asked by a lady, directed at Dr. Franklin.

The lady asked, "Well Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?"

"A republic," replied Dr. Franklin, "if you can keep it."


"The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." - Ayn Rand

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Operation Fast and Furious - How High does it go?

  1. Dennis Burke, the United States Attorney for Arizona resigned over the Operation Gunrunner/Operation Fast and Furious Scandal.
  2. Acting ATF Director, Ken Melson was reassigned to the Office of Legal Policy as an advisor on forensic science issues due to the scandal. Todd Jones, US Attorney for Minnesota took his place as (another) Acting ATF Director
  3. Operation Gunrunner was managed in Arizona. Operation Castaway, a clone of the Operation Gunrunner program was managed in Florida. Two programs point to a nationwide POLICY. Acting Director Melson didn't have the spleen to order this sort of nationwide program without approval from his boss, Attorney General Eric Holder. The quickest way for an acting director to keep from being a director is to do things that are not sanctioned. 
  4. The White House (LINK to NY Times) was aware of Operation Fast and Furious. ATF Supervising Agent William Newell testified before Congress that he occasionally spoke to Kevin O'Reilly, a member of the White House's national security staff about the progress that they made on the case. The Obama Administration conveniently transferred O'Reilly to the US State Department, which sent him to Iraq, where he is presently unavailable to respond to Congressional subpoena.
  5. Dan Restrepo the National Security Advisor for the Western Hemisphere and Greg Gatjanis, the director of Counterterrorism and Counter Narcotics on the National Security Council were also briefed by ATF Supervisor Newell.
  6. Dan Restepo told the Mexican News Media that, "The US will work to inhibit the flow of weapons...across our border." Restrepo has not been available to receive a subpoena from Congress. "That blows apart White House claims that it had no idea the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was encouraging frontmen for Mexico’s cartels to buy weapons from U.S. gun dealers — to “trace” them afterward."(Investors Business Daily)
  7. DOJ Criminal Division Chief Lanny Breuer said time and again in public speeches that he supported Operation Gunrunner.
  8. Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano was aware of this operation and approved of it. (LINK) "Last week, our administration launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels. My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner, DEA is adding 16 new positions on the border, as well as mobile enforcement teams, and the FBI is creating a new intelligence group focusing on kidnapping and extortion. DHS is making similar commitments, as Secretary Napolitano will detail."
  9. Both the FBI and DEA had their hands involved in Operation Fast and Furious. "Confidential sources have told Congressional investigators that a main target ATF was trying to identify in Fast and Furious was actually a DEA confidential informant working with the FBI." (LINK to CBS News) Clearly, FBI and DEA were aware of Operation Gunrunner/Fast and Furious.

Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, Attorney General Eric Holder said (to Fox News, September 7, 2011), "The notion that somehow or other this thing reaches into the upper levels of the Justice Department is something that. ... I don't think is supported by the facts," Holder told reporters at an unrelated press conference in Washington. "It's kind of something I think certain members of Congress would like to see, the notion that somehow or other high-level people in the department were involved. As I said, I don't think that is going to be shown to be the case -- which doesn't mean that the mistakes were not serious."

Fox News reported today (LINK to Fox) that the US Taxpayers paid for firearms that were supplied to the Sinaloa Federation narcotics cartel.

Is there any real question in your mind, dear reader, how high this scandal went in the Obama Administration?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Obama and Class Warfare (point/counterpoint)

The best way to discourage job creators is to levy more and higher taxes on them. Yes, it is class warfare and it's about turning one more numerous voting block on another less numerous (but more prosperous) voting block.

I've never been employed by a company or person who makes less than I do.

It's just something to keep in mind when you're out there looking for work.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Isn't it Time for the Obamas to go on Vacation Again?

The Obama Family has become known for their lavish vacations, enjoyed at taxpayer expense. The reporting from both US and foreign media on these lavish trips where they're accompanied by as many as 350 staff people to keep them happy. Google it if you're a denier.

Graphic h/t WoFat

However, it wasn't until I looked at this cartoon that I realized that it was more about trying go get Michelle out of the dumps than allowing Barack some time on the links. It's true that she never felt good about being an American until after her husband was elected president. Now, it's just a matter of keeping her spirits up.

In a "Dear Republican" fund-raising message e-mailed to potential contributors this morning, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said, "He sure needs a break after a long year criss-crossing the country raising money to save his job—all the while over 14 million Americans are out of work and even more are suffering because of his policies."
But maybe it's not about the Chief Executive at all. Maybe it's about trying to make Michelle feel good about the tough job that she has as First Lady.

Let's face it, she doesn't look as good as French First Lady, Carla Bruni. From what we've heard, she doesn't even like Carla Bruni. Then again, Carla's rear isn't wider than her husband's.

So what can the American people do to try and cheer her up? Vacations. Lots of vacations - all over the world. The Obama Family doesn't go to its home in Chicago when it's on vacation or to Camp David the way most presidents did. They jet set around the world. However, much she travels, I don't think that Michelle's rear will shrink or that her attitude will improve. So far, she's spent one of every nine days in office "on vacation" (not including weekends at home with the kids while Barack is off working).

Then again, that's just my opinion.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Felines to Aid in Traffic Safety

Based on this article (LINK HERE), we won't be seeing any of those cat's eyes** on the highway in the future. Soon they will be replaced by real cats, possibly chained to the highway.

Scientists at the Mayo Clinic have invented whole cats, that can sit in the middle of the interstate highways and prevent accidents. After years of waiting, might this be that moment when cats can finally help mankind and do a day’s work? Maybe. (LINK TO THE MAYO CLINIC HERE)

The Highway Departments in some states will issue decals (left) for motorists who want to place them on the door of their car to announce to the world that they were able to stay on the highway thanks to the new glow-in-the-dark cats. Supplies are limited.

So for all you doubters and cat haters out there, this doesn't appear to be a hoax - well not about the glowing cats. The implementation of the glowing cats wasn't conceived by researchers at the Mayo Clinic but technology does have its spin-offs.

Cat lovers have endorsed the idea, feeling that with glow-in-the-dark cats on the highway, Tabbie will be just a little safer and less likely to have motorists swerving to hit her in the dark.
**The cat's eye is a retroreflective safety device used in road marking and was the first of a range ofraised pavement markers. It originated in the UK in 1933 and is today used all over the world.

Sadly, this technological breakthrough won't do anything to save imperiled small, yappy dogs owned by fat women.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Operation Gunrunner - Time to Appoint a Special Prosecutor

The investigation into potentially criminal behavior on the Operation Gunrunner Scandal has expanded to the White House per CBS News

Laura Ingram interviews Congressman Darrell Issa about the latest in the American Government's gun smuggling effort that resulted in arming Mexican narcotics cartels, which resulted in deaths to at least one American agent and countless Mexican soldiers, police officers and civilians.

Congressman Issa believes that Holder knew or should have known about this program.
"The only way the attorney general didn't know is that he made sure he didn't want to know." (Congressman Issa)
That being the case, it's time for the PRESIDENT to appoint an independent special prosecutor on this matter pursuant to 28 C.F.R. PART 600. The role of the prosecutor(s) would be as follows:

1. Fully investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding "Operation Fast & Furious", "Project Gunrunner", "Operation Castaway", and any other related federal law enforcement activities as Congress should deem appropriate, and;

2. Determining whether any federal, state and/or international regulations, laws, statutes, treaties, agreements or other binding conventions were violated, and;

3. Determining which officials and/or employees, whether elected or appointed, of the U.S. Government, had substantial knowledge of, or should have had knowledge of, the activities resulting in any such violations, and;

4. Determining which officials and/or employees, whether elected or appointed, of the U.S. Government, were materially responsible for planning, approving and/or otherwise enacting any operations or activities leading to such violations, and;

5. Determining whether any such officials and/or employees of the U.S. Government may have engaged in improper activities aimed at "covering-up", obstructing, frustrating, obfuscating, minimizing or preventing efforts by Members of Congress to conduct lawful oversight inquiries, and/or designed to evade rightful accountability for wrongful acts by such officials or employees;

6. Insuring that any officials and/or employees of the U.S. Government who committed substantial acts of wrongdoing are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

7. Issuing a comprehensive Report of Investigation and Recommendations to the Congress and American people.

Because such a prosecutor couldn't be appointed by Eric Holder, a suspect, it would be appropriate given the current political make-up of the Senate and the House of Representatives that the people selected to head this prosecution team be selected by Senate Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Boehner.

How high does this scandal go?

You be the judge.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Movie Review: The Kingdom

"What would a murder investigation look like on Mars?" (Screenwriter Matt Carnahan used that sentence to describe the movie that he wrote which made it on the big screen.)

The Kingdom is a 2007 film directed by Peter Berg and starring Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Ashraf Barhom, with Kyle Chandler, Jeremy Piven and Ali Suliman.

The film is fictional, but inspired by bombings at the Riyadh compound on May 12, 2003 and the Khobar Barracks housing complex on June 26, 1996, in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The story follows a team of FBI agents.

Is the film worth sitting through in the comfort of your own home (interspersed with commercials to pay for it)? Not really

It's a formula film that takes jabs at Saudi sensibilities on gender, on many of their citizen's opinions about the United States, etc. Just because they're stereotypes doesn't make them untrue. It's just that this sort of movie always revolves around those issues.

Jamie Foxx is not credible playing a government agent to those who understand where his heart is. He's ok playing an informant, or as Ray Charles, but he doesn't cut it in a law enforcement role. His acting isn't bad - it's just that his personal life abuts his role, and not in a good way.

Radical Wahhabism, the sect of Islam that al Qaeda identifies with finds a nexus within the borders of our Saudi Allies. (read the wikipedia account to see how the Saudis distance themselves from that association). The movie could have taken a more risky and possibly more artistic perspective by including some of the genuinely politically incorrect facts that made the actual investigation interesting.
There is a duality to the Saudi government. Some of them support terrorism and others genuinely oppose it. The Kingdom danced around the issue.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Employment - Left and Right

I think that as September advances, the Obama Administration's predictions of 'a summer of recovery' have fizzled seriously again. Asian stocks fell today following the dismal US jobs report on Friday.
SFGate reported:
Asian stocks fell for a second day, led by mining companies and exporters, after U.S. unemployment stagnated in August, fueling concern that the world’s largest economy may be headed for a recession. 
Samsung Electronics Co., a South Korean exporter of consumer electronics that gets 22 percent of its revenue from America, sank 3.1 percent in Seoul. Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker by market value, declined 1.6 percent in Tokyo. Clothier Fast Retailing Co. sank 3.6 percent after reporting sales fell at its Uniqlo stores. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company and Australia’s No. 1 oil producer, retreated 1.1 percent after crude and metal prices slipped. 
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 1.3 percent to 122.60 as of 9:27 a.m. in Tokyo. More than six stocks fell for each that rose on the gauge. The measure slumped 8.6 percent last month, the most since May 2010, amid concern global economic growth is slowing as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis spreads and after Standard & Poor’s cut the U.S. credit rating 
“People didn’t expect an increase in U.S. jobs would come to a halt, which was a negative surprise,” said Toshiyuki Kanayama, a market analyst at Tokyo-based Monex Inc.

In Europe, Deutsche Bank shares lost 6% after CEO Joseph Ackermann told a banking conference that the euro zone debt crisis could kill weak banks and stunt profits for the rest of industry for years to come. (CNBC)

Democratic Party Philosophy vs Republican Party Philosophy

The Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (REPORT) indicates that the US is entering another phase of recession or perhaps even depression as this lingering economic crisis and malaise drags on - and on. 

President Obama poises himself (THE PRESIDENTIAL LABOR DAY SPEECH) as reported by Voice of America to launch yet another stimulus package [maybe as much as another trillion dollars?] to put America back to work. In his speech in Detroit (famous 'union city') where the genuine jobless numbers approach 35%, the President remained hopeful that government borrowing to pay workers to keep the unemployment numbers down will boost his re-election campaign prospects.

Albert Einstein defined insanity this way: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Another trillion dollar stimulus package?


Will some of the money for the new stimulus be used to smuggle firearms to Mexican Drug Cartels the way that the last one did?

Today, Texas Governor Rick Perry said, “We [have] got to get America back working again. And government’s role is to create an environment [conducive to job growth]. I did not create those jobs. Americans created those jobs. Texans created those jobs, because we allowed them to have an environment where they were not overtaxed, over-regulated, or over-litigated. We got out of the way and let the private sector do what the private sector does best: create jobs.”

The difference between the (so far failed, dismal) Democratic Party's approach to borrowing a trillion or two that is subsequently wasted and the Republican Party's concept of enabling the private sector couldn't be more different. 

Happy Labor Day

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Eric Holder is Obstructing a Congressional Investigation

There is only one reason why the Attorney General of the United States is continually obstructing the Congressional Investigation surrounding BATF Operation Fast and Furious. It's because he knew about it and likely so did the President.
In a stunning development late yesterday, the Justice Department told me that there had been 31 firearm recoveries in the United States and Mexico linked to Operation Fast and Furious, the ill-advised strategy that allowed guns to be purchased by known straw buyers and then transferred to people often transporting the guns across the border into Mexico. 
The latest revelation comes from answers to questions for the record to Attorney General Eric Holder when he was testified on May 4 before the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which I am the Ranking Member. Questions for the Record are written questions for witnesses testifying before the committee that Senators are unable to ask in person. 
The Justice Department initially answered my questions on July 22. I was disappointed that the Attorney General didn't answer all of my questions and even the questions the department answered were not complete. Soon after receipt of the answers, the department indicated to my staff that one answer in particular was inaccurate. 
The question asked, "In addition to the two guns recovered at the Terry murder scene, how many of the guns connected to Operation Fast and Furious that have been recovered were recovered in connection with violent crimes in the U.S.?"

In the July 22 response, the department said that "…ATF is aware of 11 instances where a recovered firearm associated with this case was recovered in connection with a crime of violence in the United States."

Now, in revised answers, the department said that instead of 11 instances where a recovered firearm associated with this case was recovered in connection with a crime of violence in the United States, there is one additional firearm associated with Fast and Furious recovered in the United States (in addition to the two recovered at the murder scene of Brian Terry). 
"21 additional firearms associated with Operation Fast and Furious that were recovered in Mexico and reportedly were associated with violent crimes." 
The Justice Department has been less than forthcoming since day one, and this latest response is so convoluted and incoherent that it appears the department is trying to hide something instead of providing straight answers. So, the revisions here are hardly surprising, and the numbers likely will rise until the more than 1,000 guns that were allowed to fall into the hands of bad guys are recovered, most likely years down the road. What we're still waiting for are the answers to the other questions the Attorney General failed to answer per our agreement. The cooperation of the Attorney General and his staff is needed if we're ever going to get to the bottom of this disastrous policy and help the ATF and the department move forward.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Senator Grassley
The BATF began Project Gunrunner as a pilot project in Laredo, Texas, in 2005 and expanded it as a national initiative in 2006. Project Gunrunner was part of the Justice Department's broader Southwest Border Initiative, which sought to reduce cross-border drug and firearms trafficking and the high level of violence associated with these activities on both sides of the border. Many people are concerned that what started out as a legitimate program morphed into the abortion we see today because the Democratic Party wanted to make a case that firearms from the US ended up in Cartel hands in Mexico. They had difficulty demonstrating that, so they sold the guns themselves in order to "make their case" to the American people.

The lie that began this program expansion in 2006 is a cover-up in 2010 and 2011.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Does Allah like Infidels better?

Islamic Sensibilities and Breast Cancer

While the official numbers are skewed by under-reporting, there is a general consensus that women living in the Islamic World have a much higher incidence of breast cancer than in the West. One might ask is Allah loves the infidels more to provide protection not generally available in fundamentalist Islamic societies.

There is also a vastly higher incidence of rickets (Vitamin D deficiency) among nations which require women and young ladies to wear traditional Islamic dress. Another example of how Allah seems to favor the infidels.

Even though I detest Bill Maher, he does slap the nail on the head with this 12th Century Fashion Show. So I'm running with Maher's production - 

Sidebar: It is interesting to note that, on the basis of surveys conducted by the prestigious Pew Research Centre, that 82% of Egyptian and Pakistani Muslims support stoning for adultery based on the non-evidential accusation of one man without allowing for a woman's defense. That's chilling enough, but 84% Egyptians, 86% Jordanians, 76% Pakistani Muslims support the death penalty for people who leave Islam. These views, formed from an intransigent adherence to ancient revelation, are incompatible with democracy.

Muslim rape culture began in the year 624 when Mohammed came up with an ingenious means of rewarding his followers. In addition to the trophies of war, he made it legal for them to capture and rape married women. Previously that would have been considered adultery. Now it was an incentive to become one of Islam's Holy Warriors. It doesn't take much to imagine how ugly and awful the camp of Mohammed's followers was for a woman. That's why the Burka was invented.

Muslim apologists insist that the Burka has something to do with female modesty. But the Koran spells out clearly the reason for it. "Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies that they may thus be distinguished and not molested." The Hijab was invented for similar reasons in 1970's Lebanon to mark out Shiite women so they wouldn't be molested by Muslim terrorists. The purpose of the Burka was closer to a cattle brand, separating women married to Muslim husbands, from slave women who were captured in war. The former were the property of their husbands and untouchable, the latter were fair game for everyone. To a Muslim, the Burka is a sign that says, 'only my husband may rape me' and the lack of a Burka means, 'everyone can rape me.'

When Australia's Grand Mufti Sheikh Hilaly justified a notorious series of gang rapes by comparing women to uncovered meat left out in the presence of a cat, he laid out the basis of Muslim rape culture. Women are always the guilty party, because they are women. If they refuse to defeminize themselves by putting on a Burka and becoming just another dark ghost haunting the streets of Cairo or Sydney with their lack of selfhood, then they are automatically guilty of their own rape.

In the West rape is a crime because it an assault on a human being. In Islam, it is only a crime because it is a sex act that takes place outside of marriage. In many Islamic countries, 'Zina' meaning adultery or immoral sexual conduct in general, is a charge that can be levied against both the rapist and his victim. Even in a case where Mohammed ordered the execution of a rapist, he first 'forgave' his victim for her part in it. To the extent that Islam criminalizes rape, it is as a property crime or a disruption of public order. And it imposes a high standard of proof that is unlikely to be met.

In Islam, women are objects, not subjects. Physically their entire bodies are considered 'Awrah', an Arabic word meaning 'nakedness', 'fault' or 'defect', terms that amply sum up the Islamic view of women. Even their voices are considered 'Awrah' meaning that even a fully covered up woman speaking is an immoral thing. A woman exists within Islam as an immoral object. And that gives Muslim men implicit permission to assault her, while holding her very nature accountable for tempting them to commit the act.

In a tribal society, rape is a crime against property and honor. To a father, his daughter's virginity is a valuable item that increases her market value. Marrying her off is way to build a relationship between two families. To a husband, his wife's chastity maintains the value of his property and insures that the offspring is his. To assault a woman is to commit a crime against the communal property of a family. But a woman herself has no rights over her body that any man is bound to respect. 

Why else do women have to be defeminized, their faces masked and their voices silenced, if there isn't some terrible mysterious force about femininity that causes men to act out?
That is exactly what the first president of Iran claimed, when he said that, "Scientific research had shown that women's hair emitted rays that drove men insane." (emphasis added)
More recently an Iranian cleric explained that women who do not dress modestly corrupt men and cause earthquakes. The flight routes of Iranian planes had to be diverted from a stadium where women played soccer for fear that their hair rays might affect passengers in the planes above.

Behind this hair ray nonsense lurks an uglier notion, that women are unnatural creatures and that men are not responsible for their conduct around women. If a man rapes a woman, maybe her hair rays made him do it. If they can cause earthquakes, why not. Western legal culture says that men have more control over a situation with a woman. Islamic jurisprudence creates reasons why women do to exonerate their rapists.

How do you sell the notion of equal rights to people who view women as dangerous objects that have to be kept under lock and key? In Islam, you can't - which is why I think that Allah likes Infidels (or at the very least, infidel women) better despite what Muslims say. 

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