Sunday, March 29, 2009

North Korea Missile Launch

Regarding North Korea's plans to fire another missile (regardless of stated intentions or analysis on both sides as to the meaning of such a launch---provocative or otherwise) over the next week or so:

In discussions today on MSM relating to US plans to shoot down this particular missile, Gates offers the following money quote---

"I think if we had an aberrant missile, one that was headed for Hawaii, that looked like it was headed for Hawaii or something like that, we might consider it," Gates said. "But I don't think we have any plans to do anything like that at this point."

"Might consider it"?

No, Mr Gates---wrong response in my book. Your comment should have been re-worded as "we will shoot it down if it headed to Hawai'i". I do believe my friends on Oahu would appreciate the confidence in such language.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Walmart/Cafe Hayek

From the Cafe Hayek blog---I make no additional comments to what was written. I may not agree totally with Libertarian or Austrian Economics leanings but he is "spot on' in the most direct definition.

Obscene bonuses
Russell Roberts

Can you believe this? (HT: Jeff Bliss):

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, plans to award $2 billion this year to U.S. hourly workers in bonuses, profit sharing, discounts and 401(k) and stock-plan contributions after sales jumped in the recession.
Payments to employees include $933.6 million in bonuses today, spokeswoman Daphne Davis Moore said by phone. Workers will also get $788.8 million in profit sharing and 401(k) contributions this year, Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke told workers in a memo.
Wal-Mart recorded its biggest sales ever in the fourth quarter, boosting revenue in the year through January by 7.2 percent to $401.2 billion. U.S. comparable-store sales jumped 3.3 percent last year as the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer sold more groceries, $4 medicines and flat-panel televisions to consumers pinched by the recession.

Don't they know there's a recession going on? How dare they award their employees for doing a good job? They should all give a bunch of the money back to the government. What? The bonuses aren't being funded by taxpayers? How yes, I remember. This is how capitalism once worked. Successful companies rewarded their employees and lousy companies disappeared.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


The above link sickens me.

Given the present day economic/realpolitik realities our country faces, I suppose any reader would be wondering why the absence of what should be daily comments about our present travails. The reality is that I'm spending a significant amount of time attempting to digest the vagueries of present DC decision making and how same fits within my scope of analysis.

I'm angry. And that's not good.

I'm angry that there seems to be no control of financial or moral responsibility. Apparently we are looking at increasing IMF aid to 100 billion dollars---and the other day, Hillary Clinton promised an extra 1 million dollars to allow deserving Palestinian youth to pursue university training either in the EU or the US (excuse me???---note to Hillary from my desk---can we consider the needs of US students for the time being??), Actually, forget Hillary---her actions are merely the wishes of the present administration in toto. I used to believe that Condi Rice was merely a "lap dog" for the Bush administration. Sorry, Hillary, but you seem to be more of the same...and so far, not much of the "change" that I assumed you would shoulder. I understand the generic importance of the IMF..but increasing the total awards to 100 billion dollars at this stage of the game?? To borrow the acronym but WTF? I sound like a Republican perhaps..maybe a few Democrats. Just as I am attempting to evaluate the genuine grist of the gargantuan money traps that are being signed "into law", I end up reading the above link. At some point, I will discuss my perspectives of the military---the pluses and the minuses. Again, it won't be pretty but I will not hold back just to kow-tow to a particular interest group or two.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Check out the above link for a discussion as to the benefits between a proposed carbon tax vs the cap-and-trade avenue of approach.

Afterwards, one may wish to either pound one's head into a wall or merely stop reading after the first couple of interviews after "admitting" that the higher powers in DC will end up making the correct decisions in the long run. Now, of course, the crucial assumption will be made that any decision will be based solely on the collective good of the republic as opposed to any one industry. Yep..that was sarcasm.

My point is that even I don't understand the intricacies of either of these topics although I've tried hard to muddle through the various definitions of both and how, based upon one expert or another, BOTH entities would be much better for the economy than the other. Confusing. Go ahead...word search both topics and see what I mean.

Theoretically, there should be a finite truth here devoid of industry bias. But how does one find the reality here? Quite honestly, I'm stuck on this one. I have no idea who's telling the truth or has the best judgement. Proponents of both avenues clearly have delineated their own agendas so which one should take precedent?

What a mess. It's a subject of importance and there seems to be a clear lack of coherent agreement all around. It's times like this that I question my desire to jump into the quagmire of DC politics.

On the other hand......

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Islamic Perspective/Geert Wilders

This posting might inflame quite a few readers yet I think it important to include on my blog. If you do not know who Geert Wilders is...then spend the time now to do a word search or two on this individual before you read this speech. Whether or not you choose to accept his political direction, at least appreciate the concept of freedom of speech. Then go ahead and research his comments within the text to verify or deny his observations. Remember---my desire is to ensure an American population that is politically and economically savvy. It is only in this manner that we as a population can have some degree of control of our national (state and local too) political powers. Our country is based upon a political system which recognizes a separation of the values of religions and state realpolitik. Keep this in mind from this particular Dutch perspective.

Here is Geert Wilders' speech at the Four Seasons in New York on February 23:

Thank you.
Thank you very much for inviting me. And – to the immigration authorities – thank you for letting me into this country. It is always a pleasure to cross a border without being sent back on the first plane.

Today, the dearest of our many freedoms is under attack all throughout Europe. Free speech is no longer a given. What we once considered a natural element of our existence, our birth right, is now something we once again have to battle for.

As you might know, I will be prosecuted, because of my film Fitna, my remarks regarding Islam, and my view concerning what some call a ‘religion of peace’. A few years from now, I might be a criminal.

Whether or not I end up in jail is not the most pressing issue; I gave up my freedom four years ago. I am under full-time police protection ever since. The real question is: will free speech be put behind bars? And the larger question for the West is: will we leave Europe’s children the values of Rome, Athens and Jerusalem, or the values of Mecca, Teheran and Gaza?

This is what video blogger Pat Condell said in one of his latest you tube appearances. He says: “If I talked about Muslims the way their holy book talks about me, I’d be arrested for hate speech.” Now, Mr Condell is a stand-up comedian, but in the video he is dead serious and the joke is on us. Hate speech will always be used against the people defending the West – in order to please and appease Muslims. They can say whatever they want: throw gays from apartment buildings, kill the Jews, slaughter the infidel, destroy Israel, jihad against the West. Whatever their book tells them.

Today, I come before you to warn of a great threat. It is called Islam. It poses as a religion, but its goals are very worldly: world domination, holy war, sharia law, the end of the separation of church and state, slavery of women, the end of democracy. It is NOT a religion, it is an political ideology. It demands your respect, but has no respect for you.

There might be moderate Muslims, but there is no moderate Islam. Islam will never change, because it is built on two rocks that are forever, two fundamental beliefs that will never change, and will never alter. First, there is the Quran, Allah’s personal word, uncreated, forever, with orders that need to be fulfilled regardless of place or time. And second, there is al-insal al-kamil, the perfect man, Muhammad the role model, whose deeds are to be imitated by all Muslims. And since Muhammad was a warlord and a conqueror we know what to expect. Islam means submission, so there cannot be any mistake about it’s goal. That’s a given. It’s fact.

This is Europe 2009. Muslim settlers calling for our destruction, and free speech on trial. All this is the outcome of a sick and evil ideology, the ideology that is weakening us, the surrender ideology of cultural relativism. It believes that all cultures are equal, and therefore Islam deserves an equal place in the West. It is their duty, the left thinks, to facilitate Islam. This way the cultural relativists paradise comes within reach and we will all be happy, and sing kumbaya.

The forces of Islam couldn’t agree more. Islam being facilitated by government is their agenda too. But they see it as jizya, the money dhimmis pay in order not to be killed or raped by their Muslim masters. Therefore, they happily accept the welfare cheque or the subsidies for their mosque or the money governments donate to their organizations.

This is just one example of cultural relativists and Muslim settlers having the same agenda. There is another. Islam considers itself a religion and therefore we are not permitted to criticize it. The left agrees. Although it hated Christianity for decades, now that Islam appears on the scene, they suddenly change course and demand ‘respect’ for something they call a religion.

Again we see the left and Islam having the same agenda: it is a religion, so shut up.

This all culminates in a third coming-together: nor the left nor Islam is in favor of criticism. In fact, given the opportunity, they would simply outlaw it. Multiculturalism is the left’s pet project. It is actually their religion. Their love of it is so great, if you oppose it, it must be hate. And if you say it, it is labeled hate speech. Now here is something the Islam can agree on.

This is the essence of my short introduction today: where the left and Islam come together, freedom will suffer.

My friends, make no mistake, my prosecution is a full-fledged attack by the left on freedom of speech in order to please Muslims. It was started by a member of the Dutch Labour party, and the entire legal proceeding is done by well-to-do liberals, the radical chic of Dutch society, the snobbish left. Too much money, too much time, too little love of liberty. If you read what the court of Amsterdam has written about me, you read the same texts that cultural relativists produce.

How low can we go in the Netherlands? About my prosecution, The Wall Street Journal noted: “this is no small victory for Islamic regimes seeking to export their censorship laws to wherever Muslims reside”. The Journal concluded that by The Netherlands accepting the free speech standards of, “Saudi-Arabia”, I stand correct in my observation that - I quote - “Muslim immigration is eroding traditional Dutch liberties”.

Now, if the Wall Street Journal has the moral clarity to see that my prosecution is the logical outcome of our disastrous, self-hating, multiculturalists immigration policies, then why can’t the European liberal establishment see the same thing? Why aren’t they getting at least a little bit scared by the latest news out of, for example, the UK. News that tells that the Muslim population in Britain is growing ten times as fast as the rest of society. Why don’t they care?

The answer is: they don’t care because they are blinded by their cultural relativism. Their disdain of the West is so much greater than the appreciation of our many liberties. And therefore, they are willing to sacrifice everything. The left once stood for women rights, gay rights, equality, democracy. Now, they favour immigration policies that will end all this. Many even lost their decency. Elite politicians have no problem to participate in or finance demonstrations where settlers shout “Death to the Jews”. Seventy years after Auschwitz they know of no shame.

Two weeks ago, I tried to get into Britain, a fellow EU country. I was invited to give a speech in Parliament. However, upon arrival at London airport, I was refused entry into the UK, and sent back on the first plane to Holland. I would have loved to have reminded the audience of a great man who once spoke in the House of Commons. In 1982 President Reagan gave a speech there very few people liked. Reagan called upon the West to reject communism and defend freedom. He introduced a phrase: ‘evil empire’. Reagan’s speech stands out as a clarion call to preserve our liberties. I quote: If history teaches anything, it teaches self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly. What Reagan meant is that you cannot run away from history, you cannot escape the dangers of ideologies that are out to destroy you. Denial is no option.

So, what should we do? Is this a good moment for freedom-loving people to give in or to change course? To all-of-a-sudden start singing praise of Islam, or proclaiming there is such a thing as a moderate Islam? Will we now accept the continuation of Muslim mass immigration to the West? Will we appease sharia and jihad? Should we sacrifice gay rights and women rights? Or democracy? Should we sell out Israel, our dearest ally, and a frontline state of Islam?

Well, my humble opinion is: No way, Jose!

I suggest to defend freedom in general and freedom of speech in particular. I propose the withdrawal of all hate speech legislation in Europe. I propose a European First Amendment. In Europe we should defend freedom of speech like you Americans do. In Europe freedom of speech should be extended, instead of restricted. Of course, calling for violence or unjustly yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre have to be punished, but the right to criticize ideologies or religions are necessary conditions for a vital democracry. As George Orwell once said: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”.

Let us defend freedom of speech and let us gain strength and work hard to become even stronger. Millions think just like you and me. Millions think liberty is precious. That democracy is better than sharia. And after all, why should we be afraid? Our many freedoms and our prosperity are the result of centuries of endeavour. Centuries of hard work and sacrifice. We do not stand alone, and we stand on the shoulders of giants.

Late December 1944 the American army was suddenly faced with a last-ditch effort by the Germans. In the Ardennes, in the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler and his national-socialists fought for their last chance. And they were very successful. Americans faced defeat, and death.

In the darkest of winter, in the freezing cold, in a lonely forest with snow and ice as even fiercer enemies than the Nazi war machine itself, the American army was told to surrender. That might be their only chance to survive. But General McAuliffe thought otherwise. He gave the Germans a short message. This message contained just four letters. Four letters only, but never in the history of freedom was a desire for liberty and perseverance in the face of evil expressed more eloquently than in that message. It spelled N – U – T – S. “Nuts”.

My friends, the national-socialists got the message. Because it left no room for interpretation!

I suggest we walk in the tradition of giants like General McAuliffe and the American soldiers who fought and died for the freedom of my country and for a secular and democratic Europe, and we tell the enemies of freedom just that. NUTS! Because that’s all there is to it. No explanations. No beating around the bush. No caveats.

Our enemies should know: we will never apologize for being free men, we will never bow for the combined forces of Mecca and the left. And we will never surrender. We stand on the shoulders of giants. There is no stronger power than the force of free men fighting for the great cause of liberty. Because freedom is the birthright of all man.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Islam Perspectives

This is a very important link to read if one wished to begin a nonpartisan evaluation of the worldwide Muslim perspective toward the US. By the way, the Obama administration is looking at sending 900 million dollars of aid to assist the rebuilding of the infrastructure of Gaza. Apparently none of the monies will be funneled to HAMAS which ipso facto controls Gaza. I will watch with interest how this plays out. Likewise, I wonder whether it would be interesting to re-interview the Gazan respondents upon their views of the US after they receive another huge amount of aid from us.....

Monday, February 16, 2009


The following is an article by Greg Miller from the Los Angeles Times.

After you read this (being aware that Pakistan also just over the weekend made it official to allow unbridled Taliban influence in the northwestern territories), consider the "outing" of Valerie Plame and then take a look at the short piece of history immediately following this article. Sometimes inadvertent comments and public announcements can have unintended consequences.


Feinstein: CIA drones based inside Pakistan
Senator's remarks about missile strikes highlight ally's conflicted stance.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

WASHINGTON — A senior U.S. lawmaker said that CIA Predator aircraft operating in Pakistan are flown from an air base inside that country, a revelation likely to embarrass Pakistan's government and complicate its counterterrorism collaboration with the United States.

The disclosure by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was the first time a U.S. official had publicly commented on where the Predator aircraft patrolling Pakistan take off and land.

At a hearing Thursday, Feinstein expressed surprise at Pakistani opposition to the ongoing campaign of Predator-launched CIA missile strikes against extremist targets just inside Pakistan's northwest border.

"As I understand it, these are flown out of a Pakistani base," she said.

The CIA declined to comment, but former U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, confirmed that Feinstein's account was accurate.

Feinstein's spokesman, Philip LaVelle, citing a Washington Post story published in March, said her comment was based solely on previous news reports that Predators were operated from bases near Islamabad.

Many counterterrorism experts have assumed that the aircraft were operated from U.S. military installations in Afghanistan.

The basing of the pilotless aircraft inside the country suggests a much deeper Pakistani relationship with the United States on counterterrorism matters than has been publicly acknowledged.

Such an arrangement would be at odds with public protests by Pakistan's officials over the Predator strikes and could inflame anti-American sentiment in that country.

"If accurate, what this says is that Pakistani involvement, or at least acquiescence, has been much more extensive than has previously been known," said Bruce Hoffman, a Georgetown University terrorism expert. "It puts the Pakistani government in a far more difficult position (in terms of) its credibility with its own people."


from Wikipedia re Andrew J. May:

The May Incident

During World War II, May was responsible for a major release of highly confidential military information, known as the May Incident. In that incident, U.S. submarines had been conducting a successful undersea war against Japanese shipping during World War II, frequently escaping Japanese anti-submarine depth charge attacks. However, the deficiencies of Japanese depth-charge tactics were revealed in a press conference held in June 1943 by Congressman May, a member of the House Committee on Military Affairs. May had visited the Pacific Theater and received various confidential intelligence and operational briefings. At this press conference, May revealed the highly sensitive fact that American submarines had a high survival rate because Japanese depth charges were typically fuzed to explode at too shallow a depth. Various press associations sent this leaked news story over their wires and many newspapers (including one in Honolulu, Hawaii), published it.[3][4]

Japanese naval forces heard of May's security breach and were quick to exploit the information. The inevitable result was that in future, Japanese depth charges were adjusted to explode at a more effective average depth of 250 feet (80 m). Vice Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, commander of the U.S. submarine fleet in the Pacific, later estimated that May's highly damaging security breach cost the United States Navy as many as ten submarines and 800 crewmen killed in action.[3]

Though the Roosevelt administration and the Navy Department in particular were furious with May's disclosures, they could do little about it. At the time, Roosevelt was preparing his election run for the 1944 presidential campaign, May was Chairman and ranking Democratic member of the powerful Military Affairs Committee, and public revelation of the consequences of May's indiscretions could have come at a high political price for the Roosevelt administration.