"Once abolish God and the government becomes the God." -G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Civility Doesn't Last Long

Tonight, Rep. Paul Ryan will give the Republican response to the State of the Union address. No one has heard it. No one can say for certain what it will focus on. One hopes Mr. Ryan's comments will commit our elected leaders to shoring up America's finances, reducing government bureaucracy, and saving taxpayers money - "three pillars to prosperity" that would go far in getting our economy going again and putting Americans back to work. Even the president is expected to support (at least vocally) finding new ways to reduce the $1.2 trillion deficit he and the Democrats in Congress created last year.

No matter. Rather than listen to Paul Ryan's address tonight in that dashing new tone of civility the Left has been pining for, the Democrats have gone on an all out war path to paint Mr. Ryan as a radical monster.

“This is an initial volley in a three-day effort — 72-hour window — to try to muddle Paul Ryan’s foray onto the national scene,” said a senior Senate Democratic aide.

 “It’s clear from the Republican Party’s selection of Paul Ryan to be spokesman and the decision to vote on giving him unfettered control on what to cut that [Republicans] are getting behind his plan, and that makes clear they’re coming after Social Security and Medicare,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) told reporters.
“In an unsettling development for America’s seniors, ending Social Security and Medicare is now the official position of the Republican Party,” said Jon Summers, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
“We will be putting a focus on the fact that on spending matters, the Republicans are making judge, jury and executioner out of someone who, according to his Roadmap, wants to privatize Social Security,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer 

Of course, these are all lies, as even the New York Times reluctantly points out:

Mr. Ryan’s plan includes an option for retirees to invest one-third of their Social Security taxes in personal investment accounts and a new program that would give older Americans a fixed payment (of up to $11,000) to buy certified private health insurance in place of traditional Medicare. It would not make any changes to Social Security and Medicare for people under 55, and Mr. Ryan has argued that the changes would preserve the programs for coming generations. [emphasis mine]

In the meantime, President Obama and the Democrats have failed to produce their own plan for fiscal restraint and responsibility, which is no surprise given the 28% increase in spending (84% if you count the stimulus) and $4.5 trillion of debt they gave us over the past two years.

I'm sure the president's address tonight will sound like the harmless purrs of a centrist kitten, but the actions of the Senate paint a clearer picture of how Democrats will be responding to calls from Republicans (and the public at large) for smarter, smaller government. They will have to be dragged kicking and screaming, or they won't go at all.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Forget the Man Cave, Meet the Mom Cave!

This is the kind of insight you only gain while waiting to microwave your shrink-wrapped danish at a Howard Johnson as part of their complimentary breakfast. USA Today's Lead Paragraph of the Year perhaps?
When life gets stressful for Mary Kammerer, she retreats into a spare bedroom in her house. She lights candles or burns incense, listens to meditation music — sometimes she talks to her mom, whose ashes she keeps in the room.
She doesn't allow any interruptions. Her husband and pets know to stay away and she leaves her cellphone in the other room. She lies on the air mattress, closes her eyes and lets the music take her to a place where only she lives.
If my wife had a room where she talked to my dead mother-in-law, I'd steer clear, too. Coincidentally, Lily Tomlin plays the mother in the vase and you'll never believe the hilarity that ensues when she accidentally gets dumped on Steve Martin.

But wait, there's more:

"It puts me in a whole new world, where I can relax," said Kammerer, 51, of Rockledge, Fla., who works for Bridges, a community organization for people with special needs. She goes into the room two or three times a week for an hour, more if she is stressed. "It's better than a bubble bath."

 The tricky part is febrezing the stink of reefer out of the room.
For years, men have retreated to their "man caves" to watch sports, play video games or shoot pool without their wives or girlfriends around to bother them. Women who needed time alone had the kitchen, a place associated more with work than relaxation. It's now the social center in the home, so there's no privacy there. But these days, women are chiseling out their own sanctuary, taking over a room, nook or even a closet and making it their "mom cave."
HomeGoods has even made it part of their marketing campaign, laying out the essentials of every mom cave (mom jeans optional). Someone tell Mrs. Kammerer she's doing it wrong. The whole house is supposed to be a mom cave. After all, isn't the origin of the "man cave" a place to escape the delicate touch of a female that has overtaken the rest of the house?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Governing in Symbols: Obama's New Rhetoric Repackages Same Old Anti-Business Policies

After his party's crushing defeat in the midterms, Jonathan Alter (or was it Howard Fineman) told President Obama that he needed to stop governing in prose and start governing in poetry. Whatever that means. “In Xanadu, did Barack Khan, a stately memorial campaign decree…”

But in all seriousness, President Obama seems to be taking the advice, if not governing in poetry at least governing in symbols. We experienced some of that in Tucson with the awkwardly themed “Together We Thrive” memorial service, where everyone walked away with free Organizing for America swag; that is, everyone except the victims. Now today we are informed the president will sign an executive order that outlines a review process of unnecessary restrictions and regulations that are stifling businesses and job growth.

The majority of America approves, and Obama’s poll numbers are on the uptick. Three cheers for Mr. President, except well… haven’t we been down this road before? For those willing to buy the razzle-dazzle of Obama’s new symbolism, look no further than the president’s past record of placating voting blocs with meaningless, highly publicized executive orders from closing Guantanamo Bay to lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling. It goes without saying that neither accomplished a damn thing. In fact, there are more restrictions to offshore drilling and fewer permits are being granted than ever before. These are the executive decisions that count, made in the dead of night, and they don't come with photo-ops.

The executive order and editorial in the WSJ written by the president are political theater from the master of political theater, cover for the mainstream media to rehabilitate Obama’s image as a centrist (they’ve been calling him that anyway, but when you host a show on MSN-DNC, who exactly is to the left of you?). Remember, Democrats don’t believe they lose elections because of their policies. Democrats believe they lose because of their messaging. Thus, there’s no need to turn the ship around or steer it in another direction due to public disapproval, just strike up the band and attempt to lift the poor saps spirits before they notice they're headed toward an iceberg.

So we are told what's needed to insert some sanity into unreasonable government meddling is another executive order that specifies how the government should reasonably meddle. It won't be long before we get new committees to recommend new regulations on how to regulate the new committees to make sure no one is overregulating the regulators. This is the essence of governing in symbols, and Obama has it down pat.

As much as Obama loves symbols, you won’t see him embrace triangles or the triangulation of former President Clinton. Obama’s symbol of choice has always been the circle, and it’s his circular logic that always brings him back to the story arc of government protecting the people from the "excesses" of free enterprise.

Nothing's changed, despite the new rhetoric. No president serious about eliminating onerous regulations takes over one-sixth of the American economy and places draconian measures on insurance companies, medical device manufacturers, hospitals, and doctors. You don't grow the size of government by 25% in 18 months and pass the Financial Reform or Food and Safety bills if you are focused on cutting the bureaucratic tape that hampers business opportunities. President Obama has used the regulatory agencies of his administration to come down harder on industry than any president since FDR (and FDR didn't have near as many bureaucrats at his disposal).

In fact, for all his effort to fool voters, Obama’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal is a tell for his ideological position, articulating the need for government to “strike the right balance” between freedom and security. This is the antithesis of Benjamin Franklin’s much-quoted, “Any society that would give up a little freedom for a little security will have neither and lose both.” But Ben Franklin is just some stuffy, old, rich white guy who helped write the Declaration of Independence. What does he know?

If you want to see how most of America views our success as a nation, read the first paragraph of Obama's editorial. It's brilliantly written and comes close to describing American Exceptionalism. But there's a reason it's the starting point for his article, not the finale. Barack doesn't see the world this way. To understand the president's mindset, you have to start in the second paragraph where he writes, "But throughout history, one of the reasons the free market has worked is we that have sought the proper balance... with regulations necessary to protect the public."

And here's another troubling passage hidden in the gobbledygook:

But creating a 21st-century regulatory system is about more than which rules to add and which rules to subtract. As the executive order I am signing makes clear, we are seeking more affordable, less intrusive means to achieve the same ends—giving careful consideration to benefits and costs. This means writing rules with more input from experts, businesses and ordinary citizens. [emphasis mine]

Question: if the government is creating a new regulatory system, adding rules, and writing rules with more input from experts (experts being statists and special interests), how does this promote free market solutions? It sounds like the same old anti-business, command-and-control economy. In fact, judging by the last paragraph, it is:

Despite a lot of heated rhetoric, our efforts over the past two years to modernize our regulations have led to smarter—and in some cases tougher—rules to protect our health, safety and environment. Yet according to current estimates of their economic impact, the benefits of these regulations exceed their costs by billions of dollars.

This is the lesson of our history: Our economy is not a zero-sum game. Regulations do have costs; often, as a country, we have to make tough decisions about whether those costs are necessary. But what is clear is that we can strike the right balance. [emphasis mine]

In other words, the past two years were a testament to how regulation should work in our country, not an aberration, according to President Obama. The passage of all these monstrosities has "led to smarter rules". One can only infer from these statements that the president's 2011 agenda will reiterate the need for government to “strike the right balance” by taking over more aspects of the economy. In other words, more of the same, but masked by friendlier language and symbols.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Video: Radical Christian w/ Fetish for Founding Fathers Uses "Negro" Repeatedly at Tea Party Like Event

You might have heard of him. Someone alert the race-baiters at MSNBC.

Amazing how we sometimes think we know what we don't know. I hope watching and listening to this will blow some of the assumptions and prejudices of the Left out of the water. I hope, but I'm not holding my breath. Dr. King's fight was a fight with its roots firmly planted in Judeo-Christian principles of freedom and justice. These were the same principles that guided our founders when they wrote the Declaration of Independence. The desire of progressives to walk away from both of these, their continued effort to look past God and the Constitution, to dismiss these values as antiquated and move toward some new sort of agnostic/atheist socialism is a road to perdition.

Martin Luther King had a dream, but it was the dream of America's founders, of Christians, and of a large majority of the individuals who make up today's tea party - not the modern progressive.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

President Thrived, Victims Not So Much: Obama's Theatrics in Tucson Create Forgettable Memorial

In lieu of a leader, Americans went to the polls two years ago and elected an orator. His resume was paper-thin. His policy successes were non-existent. His past was either whitewashed or sealed away from view. But when he spoke, especially at large events with high production values, people listened. In fact, they did more than listen. They were moved. To quote Harry Reid, he was clean and articulate. Oprah was even more ecstatic. He was "the one we had been waiting for."

Barack Obama became president not for anything he had achieved, but because he spoke so well of hoping to achieve something. His speeches offered poetry without details or solutions. They were highly celebrated theater, especially by the elites and celebrities. Fast forward to today.

Political operatives on the Left have been hoping for a tragic event to boost the president's poll numbers ever since the midterms. If only we had an Oklahoma City, they wished aloud. Oklahoma City saved Bill Clinton's presidency! Cue the tragedy in Arizona. Nineteen individuals were shot, six killed, and a sitting Congresswoman critically wounded by a lone gunman. A nation's eyes turned to Tucson.

We all know the rest of the story. The Left immediately began to blame conservatives (especially Sarah Palin and the Tea Party) without any evidence whatsoever. When that evidence never materialized, it didn't stop them from seeing invisible bogeymen where they wished to see them. Dissent used to be patriotic in the bad old days when Republicans were in charge. Now the Left was blaming dissent for causing death, violence, and destruction. Incredibly, they were blaming a mainstream political ideology, conservatism, for the tragedy.

The divide this narrative created was more than enough to require saner voices. Every politician and pundit on the Right pleaded for sanity, to stop the blame game and instead put the focus where it belonged - on bringing the shooter to justice and praying for the victims and their families. Most of this advice was ignored by the mainstream media or considered wise only so long as conservatives were willing to admit their rhetoric played some sort of imaginary role. A moral equivalence was made between those on the Left accusing their political opponents of causing the shooting and those on the Right trying to clear their name from such egregious smears with increased rhetoric.

Insert the president and his soothing voice of pragmatism. Given the chance to play good cop to the kos kids (and Krugman's) bad cop, Obama would take the exact same position conservatives had all week (but without the baggage of having to defend himself against false accusations). He would appear to rise above it all, post-partisan, a healer and not a divider. He would call for unity without having to offer any policy solutions, none were necessary (maybe stricter gun laws or a push for the Fairness Doctrine, but that could always come later from his henchmen in Congress). The solution to the crisis manufactured by intolerant blowhards on the Left was, as it turned out, the president's greatest strength - a speech. A speech could freshen his message of HOPE and allow him to rehash his "this is the moment the planet began to heal" mumbo-jumbo from the campaign trail.

It was the perfect scenario, the one political operatives had been dreaming of to resuscitate the image of their diminished leader. Obama would give a speech to bring the country together! Nevermind the blame his party irresponsibly placed on their political opponents is exactly what divided the country in the first place. The stage was set. The players were ready for the heroic third act. All cameras would be on the president. Turns out dead bodies make great political theater, even better than Democratic donors dressed in white doctors coats. Lucky for President Obama.

There's no doubt the speech President Obama gave in Arizona lived up to his past speeches. Obama was clean and articulate, if not noticeably gray (too gray, I might argue, as if his handlers wanted him to appear weathered and aged by the crisis). Were this a political event, you would praise him for another terrific speech that moved the sheeple (especially the college age sheeple) and caused a few enthusiastic fans to faint. It was a grandiose photo-op worthy of it's own slogan and t-shirts. In fact, the event got both, entitled "Together We Thrive."

There's only one problem. This was not a political event. It was a memorial service to pay tribute to the precious lives lost when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at a Safeway in Tucson. The families weren't there to pose with the president and help him kick-off his reelection bid. They were there because they had watched loved ones die. These were grieving wives, fiances, mothers, fathers, and daughters, and they deserved better than the tacky atmosphere that made this memorial service one to forget.

Even the name of the memorial service told you everything you needed to know about its purpose. Together We Thrive. Who? The victims??! I don't think they'll be thriving. Can you imagine using such a theme to describe the recently deceased? Together We Remember would have been a far more appropriate theme, but perhaps wouldn't have made as cool of a t-shirt. The only person thriving on Wednesday in Tucson was President Obama, and truth be told, Together We Thrive is a nearly three year old campaign slogan previously rolled out in his run for the presidency.

In essence, the event was a few hundred yards short of presidential. I watched Ronald Reagan's address after the Challenger disaster again (delivered from the Oval Office) just to remind myself what we should have been expecting. A few short pleas from the Commander-in-Chief could have gone a long way to quieting the disruptive cheers and whistles from the rowdy crowd on Wednesday. But when every cheap seat comes with it's own free Organizing for America t-shirt, when attendees are invited to the event with emails from political groups, you are setting the tone for anything but a somber memorial service. It was a speech that should have been delivered in a smaller venue or perhaps even from the Oval Office as Reagan delivered his, but then it couldn't have served as political optics. This event was about one thing: paying tribute to our celebrity president, not the memories of those who perished, and that's disheartening.

Words. Just words. And what president has ever done words better?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Never Let a Crisis Go Without a Logo

Barack brands a massacre. Because sometimes "Yes, We Did!" just doesn't seem quite appropriate.

No lie. T-shirts with the phrase "Together We Thrive" were made available for mourners at tonight's memorial service in Tucson with Dear Leader in attendance. I'm hoping a similar logo won't appear on the podium when the president gives his political address/eulogy.

You may recall when Lyndon Johnson attempted to brand the shooting of JFK with "Rising Above the Grassy Knoll" tote bags. Epic fail. But don't feel bad for The One. Feel bad for the families of the victims.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

You'll Never See a Cartoon of Muhammed but...

This despicable cartoon ran in the Washington Post two days after the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. In the meantime, almost every mainstream news source reluctantly reported there was no connection between Jared Lee Loughner and the Tea Party. Oh well. Who needs facts when you can portray a whole group you disagree with politically as dangerous nuts?

Reason Magazine has further details of the double standard and these "wise words" from the cartoonist who drew it (along w/ some other irresponsible depictions of conservatives as killers):

"In a larger sense there is a link between anti-government rhetoric and the actions of this obviously deranged man. He is not "troubled", he is crazed. But he knows that the larger enemy is the "government", even though I suspect he has no idea, other than the police, what the government is. So in my experience, there is plenty of linkage, the linkage of a constant steady pressure, constant yammering on right wing radio, and constant political advertising to strike at the government, linking to a weak and distracted mind, inured to the real cost of violence by video games and super-violent films. And to this the easy availability of Glocks in a state like Arizona, and the result is more than predictable. Only willful political opportunism could blind anyone [sic] to it. This same connection drove Timothy McVeigh and others. This won't, I regret to say, be the last incident, not as long as the self-hatred in this country goes unanswered. [...]
The disgusting part is the lack of inclination to blame the people ultimately [sic] responsible. They are again being given a pass for the viciousness they have engendered, at least in part."

Remember, with Nadal Hasan we were told not to jump to conclusions - not even days or weeks after the Islamo-fascist took out his wrath at Fort Hood. But there appears to be a coordinated effort to connect Loughner (a white male) to any and all conservatives - despite evidence to the contrary. When the narrative being painted by the powers that be differs so starkly from the facts on the ground, you know a nation is at a crossroads. With all due respect to the victims, there is more to fear from the environment the Left has intentionally created since the shooting than there is from the type of random act of violence that took place Saturday.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has put together a page of more of the Left's "civility" (really, it's quite a collection) that obviously no mainstream media is concerned might contribute to a "climate of hate." And you may remember this video from last year: When Democrats Attack Free Speech.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Left's Assassination Attempt on American Liberty

There aren't enough words to describe the tragedy that occurred in Arizona when 22 year old gunman Jared Lee Loughner walked into a Safeway in Tucson and shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, along with 19 others. Fortunately, thanks to a fast-thinking intern, quick medical attention, the miracle of prayer, and the luck of where the bullet entered and exited her skull, Rep. Giffords is still with us. Doctors remain optimistic about her recovery, and that is great news.

Sadly, six other victims weren't as lucky. Thoughts and prayers go out to their families. No mother, father, son, or daughter can imagine such a horrific event taking their loved ones from this world. I hope they are in a better place now where there's no such thing as a 24 hour news cycle. To use their deaths, as some have done to demonize their political opponents, shows a complete callousness for life and does a great disservice to the families. It disappoints me to think the American political process could stoop this low. And yet here we are.

Just minutes after Rep. Gabrielle Gifford was shot, before the blood was dry, progressives began blaming the tea party, Sarah Palin, and conservative rhetoric for this massacre. Was the shooter a member of the tea party? No. Was there any proof he had ever supported Sarah Palin or paid attention to her tweets and facebook posts? No. But such lack of evidence didn't stop the Left. They had a narrative to push, a narrative laid out nearly a year ago by President Clinton, that somewhere on the right the next Timothy McVeigh was out there and continued opposition to Democrat Party ideas was surely to push them over the edge. This is worse than guilt by association. It's connecting dots where none exist to silence dissent.

It didn't take long for pundits on the Left to take up Bill Clinton's campaign. Before a shooter's name was even disclosed, Markos Moulitsas and Paul Krugman had already begun to paint right-wing political rhetoric as the culprit fostering hate in America. In fact, it got so out of control that Sarah Palin became a trending topic on twitter and google during the aftermath of the deadly shooting. Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos, where true hate speech flourishes, tweeted, "Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin." And that was one of the nicer things that was said all day.

As for Krugman at the NYT, one can only hope he's ashamed of printing this nonsense:

"We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was.

She’s been the target of violence before... she’s a Democrat who survived what was otherwise a GOP sweep in Arizona, precisely because the Republicans nominated a Tea Party activist. (Her father says that "the whole Tea Party” was her enemy.) And yes, she was on Sarah Palin’s infamous “crosshairs” list.

Just yesterday, Ezra Klein remarked that opposition to health reform was getting scary. Actually, it’s been scary for quite a while, in a way that already reminded many of us of the climate that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing."

In other words, it had to be an anti-Obamacare, tea party member because hey, they ran against her in a tough-contested election. What?! Anyone who refuses to condemn Krugman for printing such false assumptions with no evidence to speak of is clearly as sick as he is, and that brings up a very important point. If the Left really believes that charged political rhetoric causes violent outbursts by deranged individuals, why are they using this same vitriol against Sarah Palin? Either they don't believe the very hypothesis they've been hyperventilating over the past two days or they are hoping something equally despicable happens to the former governor. Which is maybe why this image is making the rounds online: 

Now I don't believe this will lead some sicko to kill Sarah Palin, as disgusting an image as it may be. I do find it extremely distasteful, bordering on an actual threat (you can imagine the outrage if this image was found in the shooter's home with Giffords depicted instead). It's surely more egregious than the map liberals are whining about with "targets" over congressional districts. But obviously the Left must not believe such over-the-top political rhetoric causes disturbed individuals to commit bloody slaughters or it wouldn't be making the rounds online. Unless they really want to see Sarah Palin assassinated. Thus, the outrage is manufactured.

At this point, I would normally spend time defending Sarah Palin and the tea party, dissecting the idiocy of Paul Krugman's statements, pointing out that one of the shooter's high school friends said he was an atheist and called him "left wing." I might also point out that Rep. Giffords was the first Jewish member of Congress to be elected in Arizona and that Jared Lee Loughner cited Adolf Hitler's Mein Kamph as one of his favorite books. Or that he seems to have been planning this mad act of violence long before Palin's map or the tea party ever took form. But none of that really matters. Jared Lee Loughner was obviously a twisted individual.

Here's what does matter. We cannot let a personal tragedy for some become the great American tragedy by senselessly banning forms of political speech or attempting to police the thoughts of our citizens. We cannot become a nation that tries to set guidelines to determine which dissent is appropriate and which is incendiary. To do so would shred the Constitution, limit the right of the people to redress grievances against their government, and shrink the voice of the opposition in the face of an all-powerful state.

Now is not the time to throw out liberty for the promise of a little more security for our elected officials. Thousands, no, hundreds of thousands of over-the-top political statements have been uttered by both the Left and the Right over the past few years, yet incidents of violence have been so rare, they are nearly nonexistent. Perhaps one of the best examples of over-the-top rhetoric is that of "truthers" who believe the government of the United States is responsible for the attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11. Yet rather than force this kind of speech underground, giving it a kind of dangerous legitimacy by banning it, the most effective response is to refute it with facts out in the open, to smoke out the moonbats and let Truth prevail.

Millions of examples of vitriol dot the landscape of American history. So far, no event, not even the assassination of John F. Kennedy or the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, has caused Congress to re-think free speech or pass a law to limit political discourse as protected under the first amendment. Not only does this incident not rise to the standard of those tragedies, there's no evidence that the shooter in this case was ever influenced by the statements of any political speech, Democrat or Republican. It's more likely he was a nut, and like John Hinckley, could have just as easily taken the wrong cue from a movie starring Robet DeNiro and Jodie Foster.

Any effort to limit political speech by this Congress, and you know it's coming from the Democrats, should be firmly rejected. This is as close to a Reichstag fire moment as we've come to in this country recently. Should the first amendment be chipped away to only protect non-offensive, politically correct speech, we really will be entering a new era of tyranny. January 8, 2011 will go down not as the day a sitting congresswoman was almost killed, but as the day American liberty took a great fall.

Yes, the Left's reaction to this random shooting is a threat to our liberties, and no, I won't tone down my rhetoric to please Paul Krugman or Ezra Klein. But, then again, I don't find the Constitution "old and confusing."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Taking Moral Relativism to New Levels: NY Times Calls Sudan's War Criminal President "Pragmatic"

Sometimes you have to read a paragraph twice to make sure the writer meant to say what they said. Such was the case earlier this week regarding this article written by Jeffrey Gettleman in the New York Times about the civil war in Sudan:

"Both sides, according to many analysts, are more pragmatic than they are often given credit for. Despite being portrayed as careless brutes in many Western countries, the Islamist cabal that controls Sudan, starting with Mr. Bashir, has shown surprising elasticity." [emphasis mine]

Let's see if we can get this straight. The president of Sudan, Mr. Bashir, and his well-funded, government-backed Janjaweed militias are responsible for 200,000 to 300,000 deaths and the displacement of 3 million refugees. He has been cited for human rights abuses by hundreds of watchdog groups and charged with war crimes and genocide by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Even Time magazine has said of the Sudanese president's Islamist regime:

"Amid the chaos, the regime of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir continues its brutal crackdown, aggressively attacking rebel redoubts, indiscriminately killing civilians and razing entire villages."

Yeah, sounds like pragmatism to me. And that doesn't even include the well-documented rapes and child beheadings. So how could this regime be unfairly portrayed as careless brutes by anybody, let alone the West? Even activists on the Left have been willing to call out the Islamist northern Sudanese government as "evil." Such tepid writing by Mr. Gettleman is either the worst case of moral relativism ever or the result of new NYT sensitivity training to placate the international Muslim perspective (which can easily be summed up as "Israel is behind this to divert attention from their own crimes.").

Do we have to start placating the Al-Qaeda perspective now everytime we mention 9/11? This isn't objectivity in reporting. This is whitewashing the truth, blurring right and wrong in the name of political correctness.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Kinder, Gentler Facetwitch

You will notice some changes as we enter the new year. They are mostly cosmetic. I wanted to give the blog a more reader-friendly appearance, but I also wanted to open the door for adding more variety in content. I also wanted something I could direct potential employers to as writing becomes more of a full-time job for me. Don't worry. My opinions haven't gotten any gentler. You will get the same brazen, well-thought out commentary with a side of snark (when deemed appropriate). And when it's not well-thought out, as always I'm sure you will let me know with your comments.

You will notice some new pages on the menu bar at the top of the screen. They are all currently under construction, but in the coming days I hope to have them up and working. I will share links to the most pertinent news stories of the day and some of my favorite videos. This is all in an attempt to turn this more into a blog you can visit daily and find new things, as opposed to just waiting around for my next column. My columns tend to take longer to write, because so much gets covered everyday in talk radio and the big blogs that I don't want to spend time rehashing. You deserve more than talking points. So I sift through hundreds of websites and wait for inspiration to strike.

I am also finally mastering the use of twitter. I've added several twitter tools to my computer and phone so I can share more thoughts (in 140 characters or less) with my readers - even when I'm away from my desk. Hopefully, these pass the censors at the FCC who have appointed themselves the new nannies of the internet. If you are interested in following my tweets (where I will also link to the best news stories of the day), simply add me. My handle is real easy to remember. It's @facetwitch.

May you and your family experience a renewal of liberty and a wealth of blessings in 2011! Here's hoping the 112th Congress undoes the damage caused by Nancy Pelosi's bunch.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

10 Biggest Disappointments of 2010

Happy 2011! As trite as I find end of year lists (check out this top ten from last year if you don’t believe me), I am going to introduce one more to the already overcrowded field. Please accept my apologies up front, but I felt the need to reflect once more on the pain and agony 2010 brought so many of us (unless you’re Mark Zuckerbucks). Seriously, if facebook is the story of 2010, we’ve sunk to a new low in banality. So here’s to Twenty O’leven (much easier to say than two thousand and eleven) and the TEN BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2010:

10) US Soccer in the World Cup – The experts told us we should have high hopes for this team, yet we barely advanced to the second round (it took a breakaway goal in overtime) and then lost to Ghana in our first playoff game. Ghana! Most Americans can’t even find Ghana on a map (which could qualify as the 11th biggest disappointment of the year). Oh well, there’s always next year… er... in four years.

9) Hollywood’s Lousy Movie Releases – In a few weeks, ten films will be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. Unfortunately, there probably weren’t ten films worth seeing in 2010. Martin Scorsese released his worst effort in years (Shutter Island) and it turns out the critical early favorite is a film about facebook. At least it’s not in 3D. Who knows? Maybe next year we’ll get a sequel about ebay or the kindle.

8) Tea Party Candidates for U.S. Senate – They had solid ideas, but poorly run campaigns by inexperienced candidates combined with the smear tactics of the mainstream press doomed Joe Miller in Alaska and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. Perhaps the biggest disappointment of all was watching Sharon Angle fall to Harry Reid in Nevada. On the bright side, we got Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. Still, if the conservative resurgence is going to save America from becoming the next Greece or Spain, we are going to have to do better in 2012.

7) Tiger Woods – We loved to root against him in the past, but when he’s struggling to find moral clarity and swinging his club more like the man in front of the golden EIB microphone than the Golden Bear, it just isn’t any fun to watch the world's former greatest golfer lose anymore. Here’s hoping Tiger gets his personal and professional life back on track in 2011 so we can root for the other guy again without feeling guilty.

6) Scott Brown – From the great new hope of the Republican Party and firewall against Obamacare to the disappointing RINO who might end up with a voting record to the left of Arlen Specter, no politician in Washington could disappoint us more in less time without the initials B.H.O. But maybe, just maybe, it will remind conservatives why Massachusetts Republicans can’t be relied on in presidential races either.

5) The Cupcake Fad – Gourmet cupcakes. Designer cupcakes. Five dollar cupcakes. Cupcakes not shaped like cupcakes. Everywhere you turned in 2010 there were cupcakes. Doctors offices, dry cleaners, and barber shops closed at an alarming rate but we got 20 new places to buy cupcakes. Surprisingly, they taste like... cupcakes. Perhaps no one looked sillier all year than a fifty year old man in a business suit licking the icing off a cupcake. We’re still a nation of adults, aren’t we?

4) Football in Texas – The Lone Star State prides itself on football. There is no greater church for the Texas sporting fan. And yet for the first time in recent memory, the Dallas Cowboys failed to make the playoffs AND the Texas Longhorns didn’t qualify for a bowl game. There was even talk of a Cowboys Super Bowl at the beginning of the year. HA! Meanwhile, Florida stole the Longhorns' coach-in-waiting,  and the Houston Texans are, well, the Houston Texans. The only bright spot of the year is TCU. Not to take anything away from what they’ve accomplished, but when TCU is the pinnacle of Texas sports, you know it’s been an unusually bad year.

3) Homeland Security – The myopic agency ended 2009 by failing to heed the warnings of a father in the U.K. who tipped off the CIA that his son was planning some kind of attack. You would think such a tip from a credible witness would at least initiate a red enough flag to get the underwear bomber’s name on a No Fly list. Nope. Follow that with the failed Times Square plot and efforts to placate every radical Muslim by calling their religious beliefs “peaceful” and refusing to use the word “terrorist” except when referring to Christian militias. Then initiate a heavy-handed security protocol at the airport that wastes valuable resources on law-abiding, non-threatening citizens and gropes and undresses ten year old children. We’re not any safer, but we’re conditioning our kids to give up their liberties and be less vigilant when faced with the all-powerful state.  It’s time for this bloated, intrusive, and ineffective government agency to go.

2) The Economy – Too many longtime local businesses have closed their doors. Unemployment has hovered around 10% all year. If you didn’t lose your job this year, you know someone who did. One in six Americans is on food stamps. Obamanomics hasn’t been good for anyone really except Goldman Sachs. Contain. Control. Regulate. Restrict. These are all words the Left uses to describe their favored government policy toward business and they are all antonyms of GROWTH.

1) Eric Holder’s Justice Department – They couldn't get a conviction against an Al-Qaeda terrorist accused of blowing up two African embassies in 1998, failing on 179 out of 180 counts, but they have the people of Arizona back on their heels for daring to check the legal status of arrested residents. They dropped all charges against two black panthers for intimidating voters outside the polls dressed in military-style uniforms and waving weapons. Most recently, they sued a school district for refusing to give a Muslim teacher a month off so she could take a vacation to Mecca. This is the most political Justice Department in history. What local or state entity will the federal government sue next for failing to give greater influence to special interest groups dear to Mr. Holder and President Obama?