Monday, July 28, 2008
Obama, "The Vast Majority Of Muslims," And The Rest Of Us
So now that you know that the rest of the world loves Obama, how about you?
I raised that question last Thursday night on my radio talk show at Washington, DC’s 630 WMAL, albeit rather facetiously.
Despite what the forces at CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, Rueters, The New York Times, and “CNN International” may want me to believe, I don’t assume that “the world loves Obama,” anymore than I assume that “the world hates Bush.”
Obamamania Not a Worldwide Phenomenon
WASHINGTON -- John McCain's prisoner-of-war experience is a strong selling point for him in this American election. But it is a powerful drag on his popularity in Europe, where past U.S. involvement in Vietnam still generates intensely negative feelings. Barack Obama's flirtation with protectionism similarly divides opinion at home and abroad. His attacks on NAFTA (Snip) cause important foreign partners like Mexico, China and Japan to wonder if an Obama presidency would be good for them...
KABUL - A senior Taliban commander in southern Afghanistan surrendered to Pakistani authorities and British forces killed another leader, dealing a "shattering blow" to the militant group's leadership, the British army said on Tuesday. Mullah Rahim, the top commander for southern Helmand province, gave himself up after British forces had killed two other Taliban leaders in little over three weeks...
KABUL - Iran has become the main transit route for militants trying to join insurgents in Afghanistan, an Afghan government daily said on Sunday. Some Western nations with troops in Afghanistan have said that Iranian weapons destined for the Taliban have been seized in Afghanistan...
After the Iranian Revolution, I was an officer in the Revolutionary Guards. I was also a spy working for the CIA, code name Wally. My position in the Guards gave me access to the Khomeini regime’s deep secrets and a firsthand look at the unfolding horror: torture, rapes, executions, assassinations, suicide bombers, training of terrorists, and the transfer of arms and explosives to other countries to support terrorist attacks. I risked my life and my family’s trying to expose this regime because I believed it should be stopped. Once again I incur such risks to bring awareness that lack of action endangers the world.
The men who ordered the destruction of the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie and the bombings of the Marine Corps barracks in Lebanon, the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, and the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia are pursuing the nuclear program in Iran and with one goal in mind:
to obtain The Bomb...
TEHRAN -- A University of Illinois law professor says he has offered to represent Iran if it decides to sue the United States over threatened nuclear program sanctions. Iran's Press TV reported Tuesday that Francis Boyle, an international law expert, is urging Iranian leaders to sue Israel and the U.S. through the International Court of Justice in The Hague over their ultimatum that Iran freeze its nuclear enrichment program in a matter of weeks...
[a university professor - how surprising. we need an internet alternative to 'higher learning', they're little more than far-left indoctrination centers...]
WASHINGTON -- Senior members of China's Ministry of State Security once again are delving into the 4th-century B.C. writings of Sun Zhu and his book, "The Art of War." Our courts have exposed a gradual change in Chinese spies and their tradecraft. Rather than rely on usually ensnared ethnic Chinese, they are recruiting Americans who want to be traitors. [snip]
It is apparent from these cases that Chinese intelligence likes killing a number of birds with one stone by acquiring top classified military intelligence from the United States to scare our regional allies. Australia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Japan are specific targets.
With this massive hemorrhaging of secrets, one could give credence to the rumors, which continue to come out of China, that the DF-21 ballistic missile is being equipped with a high-explosive warhead and a guidance system that can find and hit our aircraft carriers at sea... [snip]
Some of us seek closer ties with China. But we must remember that Madeleine Albright may soon be back in the U.S. administration. And her policy in 1999 was a brilliant mantra of real politiks:
"I would not let any single issue, such as trade or human rights, get in the way of our friendship policy towards China."READ MORE
Moscow - Russia announced plans on Sunday to revive its once-mighty navy by building several aircraft carriers and upgrading its fleet of nuclear submarines in the coming years. Russia's power at sea is a shadow of the formidable Soviet navy which challenged U.S. military dominance in the Cold War. (Snip) Russia will build five or six aircraft carrier battle groups in the near future, RIA news agency quoted Navy Commander Vladimir Vysotsky...
[so it can project its ambitions globally - all paid for by your gas dollars]
"The Labour Party has lost Glasgow East, a tribal stronghold. The equivalent of a Kennedy losing in Massachusetts."Labour lost one of its safest parliamentary seats on Friday, deepening doubts in its own ranks about Prime Minister Gordon Brown's ability to win the next election. [....] In more bad news for Brown, a poll for The Independent on Saturday showed the Conservatives opening a 22-point lead over Labour.
[I.e., more tangible evidence that what we're told by the old media re: Bush's having done 'damage' in Europe doesn't match what European voters are increasingly saying]
French lawmakers took a step toward ending the country's decade-long experiment with a 35-hour work week, passing a bill that gives companies greater latitude to extend working hours. The new law, approved late Wednesday, retains the legal limit on working hours but allows companies to negotiate opt-outs with employees. It also lets companies increase the maximum number of working days for white-collar workers to 235 per year from 218 currently.
Reforming the 35-hour law was one of President Nicolas Sarkozy's headline pledges during last year's presidential campaign. Sarkozy says the 35-hour law was an economic mistake that did not create jobs as it was intended to do. Waving banners with slogans like "There is life after work" and "I refuse to give my life to shareholders," members of two white collar unions protested the new law Wednesday in Paris.
"If I'm forced to work 235 days, my personal life will suffer," said demonstrator Arnaud de la Bergerie, a 27-year-old mechanical engineer.READ MORE
U.S. energy policy -- to stretch the meaning of the term - is appalling. It has been thrown together piece by piece over the decades to create a system that is dysfunctional, over complex, and internally contradictory. It is a system that victimizes American citizens, cripples the U.S. economy, makes the government a laughingstock, and empowers our enemies worldwide.
While it's conceivable that somebody could actually design a policy that would do worse, they'd really have to work at it. The only group in American that sees energy policy achieving some of their goals are the ones who oversaw its implementation from the beginning: the environmentalist Greens. [snip]
One thing consistently overlooked is that American energy policy is literally the result of a series of accidents. Each of these incidents set off a blizzard of activity intended to "rationalize" the energy industry and its practices, prevent further mishaps, increase government control, and not the least, usher in the new Green Age. [snip]
Through its influence in the media and government (both bureaucracy and congress), the Greens effectively abolished nuclear power, curtailed domestic oil production, and left the American energy industry in the comatose state in which it abides to this day. Nor was this an error or overreaction - it was a deliberate effort to fulfill the 'Green agenda'. [snip]
Current energy policy -- or non-policy, however you wish -- lies at the very center of the Green agenda. First, we need to rid ourselves of our "addiction" to nukes and oil. Then we adapt to solar and wind, and.... Here it peters off into silence. Because no such second step has ever, or will ever be made. Solar, wind, alcohol, ethanol... all these are single-digit energy sources... [snip]
It has gone almost completely unacknowledged that with oil shale, offshore deposits, and new resources such as the hydrocarbon sludge deposits off B.C. and Alaska, the OPEC of the late 21st century is going to be right here. [snip]
Environmentalism is a luxury, and like all such, is best taken in moderation. The environment requires protection, but that's all. Primitive panthiesm has no place in this millennium. Nature is not an utterly benign continuum, and human beings are not a disease. Pseudo-religious environmentalism has long outlived its welcome. It's time to bring down the curtain.
[full histories and references, long, but as a pretty good 'full story' of how we got in this mess Highly Recommended > ]
While the top priority of most Americans — including a growing number of moderate Congressional Democrats — is legislative action on domestic oil exploration, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) wants the world’s greatest deliberative body to set aside concerns over skyrocketing energy prices to deal with such pressing issues as interstate pet-monkey sales, a botanical garden in Maryland, and the establishment of a committee to encourage celebration of the War of 1812 bicentennial.
Reid’s cloture motion on a 35-bill package called the“Advancing America’s Priorities Act” (AAPA) which authorizes over $11 billion in new spending, is currently scheduled for a Saturday vote.
None of the 35 bills in this omnibus have anything to do with domestic oil recovery or energy production of any kind.
[it matters who you vote for]
On Wednesday, the Department of Commerce issued a press release, the kind of thing you would hope business journalists get in their e-mail boxes. But I found no coverage of this news in a Google News Search on [commerce "free trade'] (typed as indicated inside brackets).
Here is that news:
U.S. Manufacturing Exports Swing from Deficit to Surplus with Free Trade Agreement Countries
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez announced new U.S. Commerce Department data showing that the United States is running a trade surplus in manufactured exports with our 14 free trade agreement (FTA) partners. In the first five months of 2008, the trade balance in manufactured goods rose to a $2.7 billion surplus with our FTA partners from a $12.3 billion deficit during the same period last year. The U.S. manufactured goods trade balance improved 122 percent with our FTA partners, but only six percent with non-FTA partners in the first five months of 2008. [snip]
“Americans need more trade, not less,” Gutierrez said. “It’s clear FTAs make us more competitive and contribute to the health of the U.S. economy. Now it’s time for Congress to approve the pending FTAs with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. U.S. manufactured exports and local economies depend on free markets for jobs and prosperity.” [Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez]
READ MORE [DoC press release]
READ MORE [fact sheet]
President Bush and Congress have been in lock-horn mode on the Colombia free trade pact since April. (Snip) Speaker Nancy Pelosi changed the rules, saying that Congress needs more time to consider the pact "in light of the economic uncertainty in our country." The speaker has it backwards. The economic uncertainly is the reason why Congress should approve the Colombia free trade agreement. The pact is far more advantageous for us than it is for Colombia...
[but our labor unions are against it...]
California’s Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Takes Down Trans Fats
By Alex Garrel On Friday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill according to which trans fats are to be banned in all the state’s restaurants; unsurprisingly, this is the first US state to apply such a law.
[the nanny state grows]
AP's 'US Now Winning Iraq War' Analysis Getting Light Exposure
Robert Burns and Robert H. Reid created quite a stir in the blogosphere yesterday with their dispatch from Baghdad, "Analysis: US now winning Iraq war that seemed lost." NewsBusters colleague Noel Sheppard accurately called it a "stop the presses" story, and ended his post with an important perspective that you really must read if you haven't already...
New sport combines boxing and chess
BERLIN - Nikolay Sazhin almost knocked out his opponent with a blow to the chin in the second round. But he had to take the queen to win the match. In front of 1,000 cheering fans one recent Saturday night, Sazhin moved his bishop to go in for the kill and won the world championship of chess boxing, a weird hybrid sport that combines as many as five rounds of pugilism with a game of chess...
[no, I didn't make this up]