"Rocket went up near midnight. Came down in the Pacific. All media watching Obama. Not much time to cover."
A sampling of news & views available from the New Media likely to be ignored by the Old.
"Rocket went up near midnight. Came down in the Pacific. All media watching Obama. Not much time to cover."
North Korea fired a long-range rocket over Japan on Sunday, provoking international outrage and triggering an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council as it succeeded in grabbing the world's attention. The reclusive communist state's official media said a satellite had been launched into orbit, and it was now circling the earth transmitting revolutionary songs. But both the U.S. military and South Korea said nothing had entered orbit.
The weekend rocket launch by North Korea capped off what has been a remarkably successful first quarter for the world’s most toxic regimes and troublesome bad actors.
President Obama said that he wants the U.S. to lead not by force, but by example. However no one is following. This means that there is, at this time, no world leader among nations. There is no unipolarity, but there is also no multipolarity. Declinists who thought American influence would be challenged (or augmented) by “emerging Asian superpowers” have been made irrelevant by the global economic crisis.
Influence is now in the hands of bad actors that see the Free World’s reluctance to take a stand.
They and their enablers within international bodies are setting the global agenda. Everyone else is reacting. In three months, the Obama administration has not failed one foreign policy test but six, by this reckoning. The only national security areas in which the president has acted soundly are in Iraq and Afghanistan. And those have been matters of continuing or expanding Bush policies...
[I.e., as always, any void in moral leadership is quickly being filled by the despots of the world. We can regret that human truism, but we deny it at peril.
Highly Recommended for the specific examples that support the above conclusions > ]
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told “Fox News Sunday” that he would have disabled the long-range missile before North Korea launched it, saying too many people “do not appreciate the scale of the threat that is evolving on the planet.”
“There are three or four techniques that could have been used, from unconventional forces to standoff capabilities, to say: ‘We’re not going to tolerate a North Korean missile launch, period.’
“One morning, just like 9/11, there’s going to be a disaster,” Gingrich said. “I have yet to see the United Nations do anything effective with either Iran or North Korea.”
“What are they going to promise, and why would we believe them?” Gingrich said. “It’s very dangerous to have a fantasy foreign policy, and it can get you in enormous trouble.”
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to announce on Monday the 'restructuring' of several dozen major defense programs as part of the Obama administration's bid to 'shift' military spending from preparations for large-scale war against traditional rivals to the counterinsurgency programs that Gates and others consider likely to dominate U.S. conflicts in coming decades. Obama addressed the Pentagon budget March 24, saying:
"We've already identified potentially $40 billion in savings just by some of the procurement reforms. . . . And we are going to continue to find savings in a way that allows us to put the resources where they're needed, but to make sure that we're not simply fattening defense contractors."
- Russia sent a strong warning to the United States Thursday about supporting Georgia in the U.S. ally's efforts to rebuild its military following last year's war.
The Foreign Ministry said helping arm Georgia would be "extremely dangerous" and would amount to "nothing but the encouragement of the aggressor."
The warning comes days after Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili stridently vowed to rebuild and prepare his armed forces for missions other than peacekeeping _ comments made alongside a top U.S. general.
"Georgia needs strong allies. Georgia needs the hands of friends for the resolution of further problems," he said. "Georgia will not be happy until it is free of occupation."
In 2004, the Supreme Court sowed the seeds for a national-security upheaval when it ruled, in Rasul v. Bush, that war prisoners held outside the United States had a right to challenge their detentions in federal court.
Last year, in Boumediene v. Bush, the justices continued the seismic shift, holding that the right they had invented in Rasul — a right extended to aliens whose only connection to the United States is in waging war against it — was somehow rooted in our Constitution.
Thursday, the inevitable earthquake struck as a federal court in Washington took the imperial judiciary global. Though Rasul and Boumediene involved only the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Judge John D. Bates ruled that alien combatants detained by our military in Bagram, Afghanistan — an active combat zone — are entitled to petition the federal courts for their release.
Let’s be clear about what this means. Judge Bates is saying that, under the Supreme Court’s rulings, the jurisdiction of the federal judiciary extends everywhere in the world, without limitation, and it includes the power to micromanage wars as they are being fought.
[Our Judiciary dysfunction has reached crisis level - something must be done to reign in these self-appointed demi-gods.]
As the U.S. government’s myriad intrusions radically transform our economy, few seem to notice the dangerous progress of the international Left’s assault on American sovereignty. Without firing a shot, transnational progressives are further along than the Soviet Union could ever have reasonably hoped to be, notwithstanding Lenin’s prescient understanding that we would willingly participate in our own demise. In the Left’s sights is the very concept of the American people’s right of self-defense.
The New York Times reports that a Spanish court is considering filing human-rights charges, and issuing arrest warrants, against former attorney general Alberto Gonzales and five other Bush administration officials. What these former White House, Justice Department, and Pentagon attorneys did do was to wrestle with complex, largely unsettled questions about the parameters of American law, right after nearly 3,000 Americans were murdered in a sneak attack. [snip]
And it’s not just a European power-grab. American courts are as responsible as any for this travesty, having revived an “alien tort” doctrine, dormant for nearly two centuries, to prosecute torture and other crimes that occurred outside our borders and affected none of our nationals.
Now, as many of us have been predicting, the worm is turning. All that remains is for anti-American progressives to further pervert the “law of nations” — once finite but now endlessly malleable — so that, one by one, incidents related to national defense are judicially recognized as human-rights violations and war crimes...
Those who thought that Dr Goebbels came to an end on a stretch of waste ground in Berlin in 1945 have been forced to think again. The piece of theatre that concluded in London on Thursday was one of the great confidence tricks of our lifetimes. As I wrote here a few weeks ago, this international act of posturing was pointless; because despite having caused the problem, the political class had none of the requisite skills to sort it out... [snip]
Capitalism is not too important to be left to capitalists. It has to be left to them. Politicians simply do not understand. They are contaminated by a desire to redistribute, and to regulate, to keep large constituencies of non-productive voters happy. In his [Brown's] drivelling speech on "morality" on Tuesday he castigated people for taking risks. Capitalism is based on risk. The reward for risk is profit. The punishment for bad risk should be bankruptcy.
Roosevelt's New Deal failed because it hindered people from helping themselves. This welfarist event this week risks making the same mistake on an international scale, with its £1 trillion slush fund for wrecked economies. The politicians have left the stage, thank God. Now let us hope they stay off it for as long as possible, and let the people who can sort out this mess get on with doing so – whatever the risk entailed.
The top Republican on the Budget Committee told The Hill that he owes an apology to Europe for insulting them over the past few weeks.
The 39-year-old lawmaker acknowledged that it was unfair to the continent to call President Obama's budget proposal the "Europeanization of America," since France and Germany recently called on the White House to rein in the stimulus spending.
“We owe them an apology because our budget is worse than theirs,” Ryan told The Hill, referring to the Democrats’ budget measure. "To suggest that we’re turning our budget into a European kind of a budget is unfair … it’s unfair to Europe."
I could just be missing something in the Constitution that authorizes the federal government to run private businesses or to enter into business on its own. So if anyone knows how the president of the United States got the power to tell the president of General Motors that he was fired please e-mail me.
I am eagerly awaiting the exact provisions in the Constitution that give the federal government the power to dictate business policy to individual corporations. Short of seeing them, I will assume our new busybody government has gone rogue.
Could you tell me, for instance, how it is that Congress can be considering a bill to establish a Green Bank that would be a wholly owned corporation of the United States intended to lend money to projects that promote or develop clean energy or renewable energy?
I missed that provision in the Constitution, too... [snip]
This is one more in a growing list of offenses of the Congress and president against the people of the United States. If it were not that the people have so little power left, you would almost call it a power grab.
"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
Federalism is not a new idea. It is as old as our republic. President Thomas Jefferson, in his inaugural address, emphasized that "the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns" are state governments. In New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, 285 U.S. 262 (1932), Justice Louis Brandeis, in a famous dissent, noted the power of federalism and that states serve as valuable testing grounds where the people can apply social and economic policies to address individual concerns. Said he:
"It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country." Id., at 311 (Brandeis, J., dissenting).
The Obama administration has made it clear: In order to get the billions of dollars of federal money that Chrysler and General Motors need to survive, they'll need to build and sell more fuel efficient vehicles.
But while GM and Chrysler may rely too [?] heavily on large trucks and SUVs today, they can't entirely turn away from them now and survive. There is still a market for larger vehicles and those vehicles bring higher profits.
Unfortunately, as much as "green cars" have become a popular rallying point, it's not clear that they're the way to business success. Today, hybrid cars make up about 2% of all vehicle sales in the U.S., a tiny sliver compared to sales of just pick-up trucks alone.
Chrysler relies more heavily than GM on sales of trucks and vans. "On a standalone basis, Chrysler will struggle to comply with increasing fuel economy standards, and it may even have to restrict the sale of certain models to make sure it's in accordance with proposed standards."
[This 'rescue' plan has nothing to do with business success and everything to do with forcing a religious belief ('Green') upon this country...]
The sunspot cycle is behaving a little like the stock market. Just when you think it has hit bottom, it goes even lower.
2008 was a bear. There were no sunspots observed on 266 of the year's 366 days (73%). To find a year with more blank suns, you have to go all the way back to 1913, which had 311 spotless days: plot. Prompted by these numbers, some observers suggested that the solar cycle had hit bottom in 2008.
Maybe not. Sunspot counts for 2009 have dropped even lower. As of March 31st, there were no sunspots on 78 of the year's 90 days (87%).
When you hear the names Al Gore and James Hansen in the same sentence you immediately assume the subject to be manmade global warming panic. But there’s another distinction which links these two – they both steadfastly refuse to defend their positions in formal debate. And a recent performance by one of their own in just such a venue reminds us why.
Roll Call TV has just posted video of the March 27th debate they hosted between Marc Morano, former communications director for Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), and Climate Progress's Joe Romm. Part one begins here at about the 3:45 mark and Part two begins here directly.
Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Marlo Lewis once noted:
“The alarmists claim all the evidence supports their theory, but the only way they can prove that is to actually show up for a debate and win. If they are afraid to publicly debate and scientifically defend their assertions, it is a good indication who they fear will win the debate.”
Many Americans find the debate in Washington over adopting a "cap and trade" program to reduce carbon dioxide a bit confusing. That's understandable. Put simply, it's a tax on energy consumption.
In fact, it would be a huge tax. If enacted, cap-and-trade will be one of the government's largest revenue sources within the next decade. It also would break one of President Obama's promises. In his speech before Congress in February, he said,
"If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime."
Massachusetts' overall costs for health programs have increased by 42 percent since 2006, when health care became "free"...
In Massachusetts's latest crisis, Governor Deval Patrick and his Democratic colleagues are starting to move down the path that government health plans always follow when spending collides with reality -- i.e., price controls. As costs continue to rise, the inevitable results are coverage restrictions and waiting periods. It was only a matter of time, says the Journal.
They're trying to manage the huge costs of the subsidized middle-class insurance program that is gradually swallowing the state budget:
Consumer and watchdog groups will send a letter to White House on Wednesday that will strongly press President Obama on his whistleblower policies.
The letter, which is being signed by Public Citizen, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and others, will note that Obama’s March 11 signing statement of the omnibus spending bill would deny a salary to a federal manager who “interferes with or prohibits certain communications between federal employees and members of Congress.”
The signing statement also says the executive branch could control employees’ communications with Congress “in cases where such communications would be unlawful or would reveal information that is properly privileged or otherwise confidential.”
Grassley and whistleblower groups say this runs counter to Obama’s campaign promises on protecting government informants...
With almost no public attention, both chambers of Congress in the past week advanced an alarming expansion of the Americorps national service plan, with the number of federally funded community-service jobs increasing from 75,000 to 250,000 at a cost of $5.7 billion. Lurking behind the feel-good rhetoric spouted by the measure’s advocates is a bill that upon closer inspection reveals multiple provisions that together create a strong odor of creepy authoritarianism.
To begin with, the legislation threatens the voluntary nature of Americorps by calling for consideration of “a workable, fair and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people.” It anticipates the possibility of requiring “all individuals in the United States” to perform such service, including elementary school students.
The bill also summons up unsettling memories of World War II-era paramilitary groups by saying the new program should “combine the best practices of civilian service with the best aspects of military service,” while establishing “campuses” that serve as “operational headquarters,” complete with “superintendents” and “uniforms” for all participants. It allows for the elimination of all age restrictions in order to involve Americans at all stages of life. And, it calls for the creation of “a permanent cadre” in a “National Community Civilian Corps.”
But that’s not all. The bill also calls for “youth engagement zones” in which “service learning” is “a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency”...
ACORN employees across the country have been indicted for voter fraud, and by its own admission, the group has submitted at least 400,000 questionable voter documents, according to a New York Times report dated Oct. 24, 2008.
Now two whistle-blowers, Anita MonCrief and Marcel Reid, who used to work for ACORN have testified under oath before the House Judiciary Committee that the organization took money to intimidate capitalist organizations like the Carlyle Group and H&R Block, and worked closely with the Obama presidential campaign to get voters to the polls.
It is here where the story begins to rise to the next level.
According to MonCrief, New York Times reporter Stephanie Strom was getting close to documenting a story directly linking the Obama campaign to ACORN through the “Project Vote” organization. There is speculation that “Project Vote” did a number of illegal things last November during the voter-registration process. Strom was allegedly zeroing in on the situation.
But the Times’ investigation suddenly stopped dead, prompting a call from Strom to MonCrief, her source. A voicemail from Strom was left on Oct. 21, 2008:
“Hi, Anita, it’s Stephanie. I’ve just been asked by my bosses to stand down. ... They want me to hold off on coming to Washington. Sorry, I take my orders from higher up.”
I thought conservatives were the only group that was guilty of hate speech until I heard Jon Stewart’s rant on Rush Limbaugh. But, that was proceeded by New York Governor David Paterson. And, that was proceeded by David Letterman. Limbaugh is a tough football loving brute, but even three libs throwing illegal chop blocks can’t take Rush down.
Odd how they accuse us of hate speech..
[For the umpteenth time: not personally a fan of Rushbo - but there's a media witch hunt against him that's un-American and a dangerous precedent (well, continuation of an assault) against free speech. Recommended > ]
Student finds mobile phone while out celebrating his 18th birthday and is ARRESTED after handing it in to police
A college student who found a mobile phone while out celebrating his 18th birthday was arrested after handing it in to police. Teenager Paul Leicester was arrested for 'theft by finding' and detained for four hours.
The Southport College A-level student eventually had the case against him withdrawn but said it was a 'shocking experience'.
['theft by finding'. government]
Ruling hands greens a setback
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that federal environmental regulators can use cost-benefit analysis techniques when deciding how to upgrade equipment at power plants, a defeat for green groups who want the impact on the environment to be the chief or only consideration.
The 6-3 ruling strikes down a victory for the Riverkeepers environmental group, which had persuaded the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that cost should not matter in its bid to require companies to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in system upgrades to meet what it claimed were Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority in the 6-3 decision that the EPA is permitted to weigh cost when ordering electrical plants to upgrade their cooling systems.
"While not conclusive, it surely tends to show that the EPA's current practice is a reasonable and hence legitimate exercise of its discretion to weigh benefits against costs that the agency has been proceeding in essentially this fashion for over 30 years,"
Justice Scalia wrote.
Nigerian police detain goat over armed robbery
Police in Nigeria are holding a goat on suspicion of attempted armed robbery. Vigilantes took the black and white beast to the police saying it was an armed robber who had used black magic to transform himself into a goat to escape arrest after trying to steal a Mazda 323.