Archives October 2009

MR. PRESIDENT: WHERE THE TRANSPARENCY?

No one president was more reviled by the media during his last two years in office, than George W. Bush. But, as the saying goes, it goes with the job.

Fast forward to today. We have elected a president who, more than any other previous president, used the soap box to promise “transparency” and “openness” like no other that ever occupied the White House. During the campaign, drooling anchors of three major networks traveled with candidate Obama in Europe, while basically ignoring John McCain during his travels. The partiality was, to say the least, obvious. Well, after all, electing a black man as president is story enough. What does anything else matter, eh?

Meanwhile, into the president’s tenth month, it appears all that so-called transparency has drawn to a closed curtain. Not everyone loves the president the way he is accustomed to being loved, therefore, those who do not love him, are persona non-grata — no longer welcome to access. Not smart.

The big news, is the news media itself. Some commentators on Fox Cable News have been critical of Mr. Obama. (Note: commentators, not the news segments) Thus, consequences are being imposed by the White House for being critical to Mr. Obama. That equates to closing the door to the media. Uh…the chosen media: Fox…which happens to have the highest ratings and largest audience of all the cable news channels.

Is this not reminiscent of some other governments, not too long ago? Controlling the press, so that only a glowing image is radiated to the American public? One that will be forever held in high esteem and reverence. Criticism not allowed.

Anyone remember commentator Keith Olberman, of MSNBC, and his long, predictable rants excoriating President G.W. Bush for one issue or another? Where was the White House prohibitions then? Same with Chris Mathews, and others. Did Mr. Bush lock the doors to MSNBC?

The more important issue: What does this tell us about the man, and about his administration? It tells me that this is one politician that says whatever people like to hear, and then does something else. It tells me, don’t trust.

I wish I were a cartoonist. I would draw side-by-side caricatures: One, a picture of Mr. Obama smiling before a microphone announcing his policy of transparency and openness, and Two, a picture of Mr. Obama with his back to the White House press room, forcing the door shut on Fox reporters. If that isn’t hypocrisy in action, what is?

It all went flat on the president’s team when the White House recently called on the “friendly” networks to isolate and alienate Fox. Again, not smart. Maybe the president and his staff forgot about the First Amendment’s reference to a free press? To their credit, the other major networks refused to attend an interview with pay czar, Ken Feinberg, unless Fox was invited as well. That wasn’t surprising, because they could see themselves in the same boat down the road, if and when they also started hammering the president and his staff.

Are we not getting the picture yet, folks?

This isn’t the first sign of press manipulation. For example, in July of this year, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs fumbled all over himself trying to field off charges of Mr. Obama’s trend toward press manipulation as two experienced reporters pointed out how the president’s staff cherry-picked loyal attendees at his so-called open forum Town Hall meetings. Those reporters were not from Fox, they were among the most liberal: Helen Thomas and Chip Reid, of CBS, complaining how the president is wrongfully trying to control the media. Helen Thomas, in particular, pointed out how this has never happened in the White House before. Check out this five minute video:

Click here: RealClearPolitics – Video

Still not getting the picture?

Now, the health care debate appears to be in closed chambers contrary to promises of openness in months past. Open debate drew resistence. Open debate drew complaints from millions of citizens. The Health care package met many obstacles that prevented it from being passed. Now, the president’s staff and members of congress have apparently sequestered themselves in order to get a bill through the system, without any further resistance. A short editorial and video by Andrea Lafferty sums it up:

Click here: Obama’s ‘Transparency’ Behind Closed Doors? | Editorial

Meanwhile, the president continues to shield many documents pertaining to his past, from the public. Some examples:

* Obama has ignored requests for his records from Occidental College, where he studied for two years before transferring to Columbia University.

* Mr. Obama has refused to give Columbia, where he earned an undergraduate degree in political science, permission to release his transcripts.

* Obama did not agree to the release of his application to the Illinois State Bar, which would have cleared up intermittent allegations that his application may have been inaccurate.

* Obama did not release records from his time at Harvard Law School.

* And, of course, there is the mystery surrounding the actual, long form birth certificate in Honolulu, which can only be released upon permission from Mr. Obama, which he has not given.

The real mystery, is not what’s on the certificate, it’s the refusal to release.

Some of you may ask, “Why should he release all these things?”

The answer: Because — he is the president of this country.

Because, any citizen who applies for sensitive government jobs, is required to disclose.

All of these issues, including others, beg the question: What are you hiding, Mr. Obama?

Media manipulation? Transparency? Openness? You tell me.

ERIC HOLDER AND THE CIA: WHILE OUR ENEMIES WATCH

 

Seems the Attorney General of the United States is waging a vindictive campaign, under color of law, to seek, discredit and perhaps indict and punish operatives of the past administration who engaged in an ill-defined interrogation technique called “water boarding.” It is also very obvious to anyone with half a brain that the ultimate goal is to nail the biggest of fish in the Bush administration who supported and/or approved of these practices.

This is, in fact, a war tactic. It’s a war of politics at its worst, a war that plants the seed for further breakdown of our security infrastructure which can only endanger our forces overseas and our citizens on the domestic front.

Seven past directors of the CIA – from both parties — have sent letters to the president imploring him to stop Eric Holder from continuing on this dangerous path. He hasn’t.

The present CIA Director, Leon Panetta, has pleaded with the president, to pull the reins on Mr. Holder. He hasn’t.

Of course, we all wondered why the president appointed someone to be CIA Director who had absolutely no background in that field. Now I have a better idea.

The risks are dire:

1 – Damaged morale with the ranks of all governmental intelligence units will inhibit the will to do their jobs, and do them effectively. This will translate to doing less, which translates to peril for our nation, because “intelligence” is the most important weapon we have in this kind of war.

2 – Damaged morale in the CIA and other intelligence units will create fear and mistrust of our own government leaders. If operatives feel distrustful of their superiors, they will be less likely to take risks. It’s common sense.

3 – Our image overseas as a trusted partner among our allies will diminish. After all, if we can’t trust ourselves, how can they?

4 – The infighting and mistrust within the ranks and among our allies, is exactly what our enemies hope for, for it weakens our resolve, and thus, our effectiveness.

One can only wonder what the true motive is behind these actions.

There has been much discussion about the definition of “torture” especially as it applies to water boarding. In fact, water boarding involves no maiming and leaves no injury. Its intent, to be blunt, is to scare the crap out of someone who is thought to have vital information which can ultimately save the lives of soldiers and/or innocent people. And, it has done just that.

This administration would have us believe that the CIA of yore had gone on a torture spree. Not the case. These methods were used sparingly and rarely. In fact, it’s been used on three suspects, all of whom are confirmed terrorists, one of whom planned the 9/11 attack that killed 3000 people. (Khalid Sheik Mohammed) And, the confessions derived therefrom have saved countless innocent lives that were on-tap for a terror attack at the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, California.

Kudos to the CIA… or any law enforcement agency…for preventing innocent deaths.

Anyone want to compare the interrogation techniques that are used by our enemies, none of which seem to come under scrutiny by any other government body, including the United Nations?

Beheadings, eye gougings, being burned alive, stoning deaths, torturing genitals, amputations, broken arms, legs, backs and necks, dental removals…all teeth, thrown alive from airplanes, etc. Shall I continue?

Oh, my. We wetted three terrorists. Let’s try to arrest the formerVice-president.

In case our esteemed leaders haven’t figured it out by now, the enemy doesn’t give a damn about any Geneva convention. We’re playing a game where the enemy may cheat all they want. But our side cannot cheat.

If one side of a football came can cheat beyond imagination, and the other side cannot cheat, guess who’s going to win?

War isn’t pretty. Most important, more than anything, is winning. If we don’t win, we won’t be around for the next war.

All of this gives cause to look a bit deeper into Mr. Obama’s hot pick for our chief law enforcement officer, Eric Holder. Who is this guy?

* He’s the guy whose law firm (before his AG appointment) has been representing seventeen of the Yemeni terrorists at the Guantanamo Base in Cuba. Three thousand pro-bono hours by attorneys inside the firm of Covington &Burling. A study of released detainees who returned to the battelfield and/or become suicide bombers is horrific with tales of innocent carnage.

* He, along with the administration, is pushing for Gitmo detainees to be brought into the U.S. to stand trial. Though they are not charged with any domestic criminal charges, this means they will be entitled to legal representation…at the cost of the American taxpayer. Imagine taking a group Nazi soldiers as POWs in WWII, and transporting them to Virginia so we could provide them lawyers?

* He’s the guy who brokered the prison commutations (by President Clinton) of 16 members of FALN in 1999, a Marxist, Puerto Rican domestic terror group responsible for untolled numbers of bombings, killings and maimings in New York City and other places. Google it.

* He’s the guy who brokered the controversial pardon of sleazeball tax evader, Marc Rich, whose wife had donated huge sums to the Clinton campaigns and to his library.

* He’s the guy who’s behind the new requirement that soldiers advise all captured enemy combatants, in Afghanistan and Iraq, of their Miranda Rights. Every American cop and lawyer knows, that the Miranda rights rule applies to suspects arrested for domestic crimes within the United States, and it has nothing to do with issues involving a foreign war. Can you imagine how the Army squad sergeant feels standing there before a Taliban terrorist, telling him not to talk, and we’ll give him a free lawyer if he wants?

Who side is this man on?

Eric Holder left a $2 million salary, which included a separation pay of another $1 million plus a lucrative retirement plan, to take a government job for $186,000 a year.

Naturally, the bigger question, is why was he appointed in the first place? And why is the president approving this, contrary to the advice of so many experts in the field?

I’m afraid to ask: What’s next?

I agree that water boarding terrorists should not be employed, except as a last resort. But if it saves innocent lives and secures the future of America, as it allegedly did in the case of terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, I vote to look the other way in deference to a higher priority: The preservation of our union.

This kind of war cannot be won with guns and planes. Intelligence is the most important ingredient for success. Without it, we’re dead in the water. The needs of national security must trump Eric Holder’s witch hunt. If it doesn’t, the consequences will be grim, and we’re in big trouble.

 

 

 

THE THIRD JIHAD

 

I urge everyone, especially doubters and skeptics, to reach out and obtain a copy of a DVD documentary titled, “The Third Jihad.” This film is one of the best to date, which brings out in stark detail, the threat to the western world of radical Islam’s plans toward eventual domination.

Narrated by Phoenix physician named Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, himself a devout Muslim who loves America, who brings insights, knowledge and credibility to the topic. The film also features other intellectuals and scholars, including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who illustrates succinctly, but without doubt, that the process of conquering the west is not going to be by terror, but by gradual infiltration of all our institutions until Sharia Law eventually replaces our own constitution. It may sound off the charts, but it happens to be a fact. And the best weapon in the hands of our enemy, is our own blind ignorance.

 The film is divided into a number of segments including quotations by radicals throughout the world, including many within our own country. Those of you who are still enamored by the organization CAIR, need to take a step back and watch this video.

When you see these fanatics demonstrating in the streets, they are the same “moderate” Muslims who are working in our retail stores, our schools and our government, who we love and defend.

This is not about Islamophobia. Dr. Jasser points out that the jihadists are a small percentage of the world of Muslims, but they are a formidable force to be reckoned with, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, and zillions of petro dollars from the mid-east, which I’ve often written about in my blogs and my book. All of this is verifiable, for those who would bother to check it out.

Political correctness and self-defeating capitulation is burying the UK, France and other nations in Europe. In truth, the enemy doesn’t need bombings, terror or Al Qaeda. All they need are the threat of terror, and birth rates, which are four times that of western women. A matter of mathematics, considering the fact that the world is now home to 1.4 billion Muslims, and growing rapidly. When all is said and done — as will be witnessed by our great-grandchildren, the good and decent Muslims, such as Dr. Jasser, will be caught up in the revolution, while Jews, Christians and even atheists will be subjected to a horrid life of subjugation.

And we do nothing, (WE meaning, the American people in general…including politicians and the media and all the naysayers) but bury our heads and make excuses…while people like myself are ridiculed and called names. All the evidence is out there, for the asking. It’s just a matter of opening one’s eyes.

I have asserted in a number of writings, that our greatest threat is not from terrorists, but from the deceivers who pose as moderates while infiltrating the infrastructure of the United States, much the same as they are doing in Europe. The film points out a number of such examples.

Thus, while we use our resources around the world in the form of military might, the enemy is waltzing through the back door, literally and figuratively. This is not a war that will be won with planes and guns.

Earlier this summer, the new administration appointed two devout Muslims to high level security positions in the Department of Homeland Security. One only has to access Google, to see a plethora of articles and blogs disclosing their backgrounds and dangers this poses to our sleeping nation. Start with this one, then search beyond:
 
 
 
 
 

 

Click here: Obama Appoints

When I watched “The Third Jihad” earlier this evening on the American Life cable channel, they offered DVDs for sale via a 1-800 number. Not uncommon, right? But what followed was curiously uncommon. My wife called to buy a copy, and — of course — she was put on hold to wait for someone to answer the call. Wait she did, not for ten minutes, not for twenty minutes, but for almost two hours listening to a recorded message saying “Your call is important….be with you in a few minutes.” No one ever answered.

Two Hours!

 I can’t prove it, but it came to mind: Thousands of people could easily be motivated by a sinister source to flood the lines with an unyielding response of calls that would basically jam the system. The network is world wide…and in the age of cell phones and text, an easy chore for the well organized.

Get a copy. View it. And, be prepared.

 Click here: Amazon.com: The Third Jihad

THE MOVIE “CAPITALISM” : NOT SO MUCH A LOVE STORY

I finally viewed the movie: “Capitalism: A Love Story,” written and directed by Michael Moore.
Whether pro-Moore or anti-Moore, the first thing we must all realize is that is that he has produced a documentary designed to expose problems in the United States, from his subjective point of view. That being said, it’s only natural that he will use interviews and materials that support a left wing agenda, while at the same time, discard any contrary information, no matter how compelling, that might dispute his positions.
We could expect the same, for example, from a Sean Hannity or a Rush Limbaugh who — if they were to produce such a documentary — would likewise present interviews and materials that support the right wing agenda while discarding any information that is contrary to their own.
All columnists, writers, politicians and pundits are guilty of this, yours truly included. If I want to write about the horrors of pit bulls — to which I already have a pre-determined leaning — I will seek out statistics and supportive quotations from sources that support my conclusions. They all do it…liberals, conservatives, democrats, republicans, communists, gays, anti-gays, blacks, Hispanics, whites, religious groups, writers, movie stars, talk show hosts and you name it.
The key is to try and be as open minded as possible, see all sides of an issue and present data and facts, not name-calling, pigeon-holes and opinions, to support a position.
Having been familiar with Moore’s leanings from past movies, we all knew going in that this was going to be a film which bashes the evils of capitalism, while supporting a change to another form of government, most likely socialism. So why go?
Because … to be Frank … it’s interesting. And there is always something that can be learned.
Here is where Moore is right:
* Corruption has been rife within our government, which is the root of all our economic problems. That’s just a truism.
* Both parties, republican and democrat, and their elected representatives, are responsible for the corrupt partnership with banking and mortgage interests that have brought about the housing crisis.
* Corporations that run private prisons are in collusion with politicians and judges to keep the cells over-filled in order to line their own pockets. I know this from my own research for a book.
* Many decent and unfortunate people have been bamboozled and cheated by mortgage companies, thereby losing their homes and livelihoods to selfish interests.
* The people, in general, are aware of government corruption, and wanted a drastic change from the status quo, and they got it.
The shooting of Moore’s movie was obviously completed shortly after the November election, thus there is no measurement of the new president’s achievements, or lack thereof.
Here’s where Moore is wrong:
* He blames a capitalistic system for all the woes. In fact, the system is the best in the world, and worked fine for two centuries, but we — the people — have been stupid enough to elect — and re-elect — corrupt politicians who are in collusion with Wall Street.
* He suggests that socialism is a better system, but he fails to point out how socialism inhibits personal freedoms all around the world.
* He shoots scenes which depict the big bad cops evicting poor innocent citizens, but he fails to present both sides of the scenario. As we all know, they exist. And in these cases, the people being evicted may have deserved it…or may not. We just don’t know. But the scenes certainly bring out emotions…which they are meant to do.
* He fails to mention that the Bush Administration, including the president himself, warned of an economic meltdown if congress did not impose more regulations on the mortgage companies, which they failed to do.
* He failed to mention that the three largest recipients of political contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — ostensibly to keep regulations at bay — were Dodd, Frank and Obama.
* He selectively denigrates Ronald Reagan as though he was at the center of big banking corruption, while failing to acknowledge Reagan’s contributions to the world in bringing down the Soviet Bloc and the Berlin wall.
This blog could ramble on about more of the scenes, but that’s a nutshell. Did Moore over dramatize? Yes. Did Moore center on his own pre-determined agenda? Yes. Will he piss-off conservatives? Yes. Will liberals in the audience cheer? They did. Is the film silly in spots? Yes. Did I shake my head and go “Oh noooo” at times? Yes.
Would this film be a great promo for the Obama agenda? Yes.
Would I recommend it? Sure. But only to people with enough smarts to sift though the personal prejudices and see the truths. Because it does illustrate much about what has been wrong with the government in general. If you’ve got an open mind, you’ll recognize the B.S., and absorb the meat.
Here’s a couple of review quotes:
“Moore’s guests are ventriloquists’ dummies he props up on his knee so they can present views he shares.” — Kyle Smith, The New York Post
“Michael Moore tackles a big subject with a scattershot approach.” — Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times
“This is a love story, all right, but it has less to do with the flaws of capitalism than it does with Moore’s unwavering fondness for the sound of his own voice, and for what he perceives as his own vast cleverness.”   — Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com
Was I selective in posting these quotes? Darn right.
 Okay, here’s one from James Berardinelli, of Reelviews. “Vintage Moore, which means that it will enthrall many and enrage an equal number of viewers.”
Bring it on….

 
 
 

 
 

 

 
 
 

 

THE MOVIE “CAPITALISM” : NOT SO MUCH A LOVE STORY

I finally viewed the movie: “Capitalism: A Love Story,” written and directed by Michael Moore.

Whether pro-Moore or anti-Moore, the first thing we must all realize is that is that he has produced a documentary designed to expose problems in the United States, from his subjective point of view. That being said, it’s only natural that he will use interviews and materials that support a left wing agenda, while at the same time, discard any contrary information, no matter how compelling, that might dispute his positions.

We could expect the same, for example, from a Sean Hannity or a Rush Limbaugh who — if they were to produce such a documentary — would likewise present interviews and materials that support the right wing agenda while discarding any information that is contrary to their own.

All columnists, writers, politicians and pundits are guilty of this, yours truly included. If I want to write about the horrors of pit bulls — to which I already have a pre-determined leaning — I will seek out statistics and supportive quotations from sources that support my conclusions. They all do it…liberals, conservatives, democrats, republicans, communists, gays, anti-gays, blacks, Hispanics, whites, religious groups, writers, movie stars, talk show hosts and you name it.

The key is to try and be as open minded as possible, see all sides of an issue and present data and facts, not name-calling, pigeon-holes and opinions, to support a position.

Having been familiar with Moore’s leanings from past movies, we all knew going in that this was going to be a film which bashes the evils of capitalism, while supporting a change to another form of government, most likely socialism. So why go?

Because … to be Frank … it’s interesting. And there is always something that can be learned.

Here is where Moore is right:

* Corruption has been rife within our government, which is the root of all our economic problems. That’s just a truism.

* Both parties, republican and democrat, and their elected representatives, are responsible for the corrupt partnership with banking and mortgage interests that have brought about the housing crisis.

* Corporations that run private prisons are in collusion with politicians and judges to keep the cells over-filled in order to line their own pockets. I know this from my own research for a book.

* Many decent and unfortunate people have been bamboozled and cheated by mortgage companies, thereby losing their homes and livelihoods to selfish interests.

* The people, in general, are aware of government corruption, and wanted a drastic change from the status quo, and they got it.

The shooting of Moore’s movie was obviously completed shortly after the November election, thus there is no measurement of the new president’s achievements, or lack thereof.

Here’s where Moore is wrong:

* He blames a capitalistic system for all the woes. In fact, the system is the best in the world, and worked fine for two centuries, but we — the people — have been stupid enough to elect — and re-elect — corrupt politicians who are in collusion with Wall Street.

* He suggests that socialism is a better system, but he fails to point out how socialism inhibits personal freedoms all around the world.

* He shoots scenes which depict the big bad cops evicting poor innocent citizens, but he fails to present both sides of the scenario. As we all know, they exist. And in these cases, the people being evicted may have deserved it…or may not. We just don’t know. But the scenes certainly bring out emotions…which they are meant to do.

* He fails to mention that the Bush Administration, including the president himself, warned of an economic meltdown if congress did not impose more regulations on the mortgage companies, which they failed to do.

* He failed to mention that the three largest recipients of political contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — ostensibly to keep regulations at bay — were Dodd, Frank and Obama.

* He selectively denigrates Ronald Reagan as though he was at the center of big banking corruption, while failing to acknowledge Reagan’s contributions to the world in bringing down the Soviet Bloc and the Berlin wall.

This blog could ramble on about more of the scenes, but that’s a nutshell. Did Moore over dramatize? Yes. Did Moore center on his own pre-determined agenda? Yes. Will he piss-off conservatives? Yes. Will liberals in the audience cheer? They did. Is the film silly in spots? Yes. Did I shake my head and go “Oh noooo” at times? Yes.

Would this film be a great promo for the Obama agenda? Yes.

Would I recommend it? Sure. But only to people with enough smarts to sift though the personal prejudices and see the truths. Because it does illustrate much about what has been wrong with the government in general. If you’ve got an open mind, you’ll recognize the B.S., and absorb the meat.

Here’s a couple of review quotes:

“Moore’s guests are ventriloquists’ dummies he props up on his knee so they can present views he shares.” — Kyle Smith, The New York Post

“Michael Moore tackles a big subject with a scattershot approach.” — Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

“This is a love story, all right, but it has less to do with the flaws of capitalism than it does with Moore’s unwavering fondness for the sound of his own voice, and for what he perceives as his own vast cleverness.”   — Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com

Was I selective in posting these quotes? Darn right.

 Okay, here’s one from James Berardinelli, of Reelviews. “Vintage Moore, which means that it will enthrall many and enrage an equal number of viewers.”

Bring it on….