The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Newt Gingrich on The First 100 Days

A letter from Newt Gingrich arrived in my mailbox today, and I think it provides a quite thorough and balanced take on Barack Obama's first 100 days in office:
To mark President Obama's 100th day in office, I'm going to say something you might find unexpected, even shocking:

President Obama's first 100 days have been spectacularly successful.

President Obama is the strongest domestic Democratic President since Lyndon Johnson. His ability to get Democrats in Congress to give him things that undermine their own power is impressive.

In just 100 days, President Obama has been devastatingly effective in moving forward swiftly the most radical, government-expanding agenda in American history.

Successfully Moving to a European Model of Government Control

At home, in everything from his economic policy to his energy policy to his just-announced science policy, President Obama has successfully moved the country from a traditional American model of entrepreneurship and private initiative to a European model of regulation and government control.

Abroad, he has succeeded in his apparent goal to be the un-George W. Bush; replacing aggressive, if sometimes flawed, American leadership with a humbled, weakened America on the world stage.

Judged by these standards, President Obama's first 100 days have been a remarkable success.

Getting Congress to Give Him Things That Undermine Their Own Power

The Obama record in the first 100 days includes three instances of spectacular political impunity:
  • Under the guise of "economic stimulus" he was able to pass a $787 billion gift for his liberal special interest base. And he did it so quickly that no member of Congress was able to read it before they voted.
  • After campaigning on a pledge to end earmarks, he signed an appropriations bill loaded with 8,000 earmarks - and paid no political penalty.
  • President Obama has kept congressional Democrats marching with him in lockstep. House Democrats tow the party line an amazing 94 percent of the time and Senate Democrats vote Democratic 91 percent of the time.
Two Historic Bureaucratic Power Grabs

In these first 100 days, the Obama Administration has achieved two historic bureaucratic power grabs:
  • President Obama has transformed the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) into giant engines of unsupervised spending. Together, they've spent the equivalent of the entire federal budget for 2007, without having to disclose where the money went.
  • Just two weeks ago, the President presided over an unprecedented bureaucratic power grab when his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruled that greenhouse gases pose a threat to public health. This seemingly innocuous decision opens the door to wholesale regulation of American life by government. The threat is so great that politicians and activists are using the specter of an out-of-control EPA to force Congress to pass a $1 trillion to $2 trillion energy tax in the form of cap-and-trade legislation.
In Foreign Policy, Weakness and Self-Delusion

The Obama 100 days record also includes remarkable weakness and self-delusion overseas:
  • In an attempt to overcome anti-Americanism abroad by agreeing with it, President Obama has gone on a global apology tour, labeling America as "arrogant, dismissive and derisive" in front of foreign audiences.
  • President Obama has unleashed a domestic war over the meaning of guilt by caving in to the anti-American left and leaving the door open to prosecuting Bush Administration officials over the interrogation of terrorists who plotted to kill Americans.
All Other Obama "Accomplishments" Are Only a Prelude to His $3.5 Trillion Budget

But all these successful expansions of government at home and retractions of American leadership abroad are merely a prelude to President Obama's looming crowning achievement: His 2010 budget which remakes our health care system, remakes our energy system, raises taxes and forecasts an amazing $9 trillion increase in the national debt.

As I write this, Democrats in Congress are fashioning a deal to pass the budget's provisions on health care by preventing Republicans and moderate Democrats from having a voice in the debate.

Think about that. The Obama-Reid-Pelosi political machine is going to pass legislation that fundamentally affects every single American - as well as 17 percent of our economy - by cutting the elected representatives of half of all Americans out of the process.

If they succeed, the budget will be President Obama's most enduring - and devastating - accomplishment.

Will the Future Bring Change We Can Believe In? Or a Change in What we Believe?

One thing is clear at this point in President Obama's presidency: His control of Washington Democrats has been so masterful, and his policies so successful, that he has officially claimed ownership of the American economy.

Going forward, it won't be possible to continue to place blame on former President Bush and the Republicans. If President Obama fails, it will be his failure and his alone.

As for us, the "success" of the first 100 days of the Obama presidency raises a threatening possibility.

As my daughter and columnist Jackie Cushman put it, if we're not careful, instead of change we can believe in, we're going to have change in what we believe.

It's something to ponder for the next 1,361 days.
Check out the other analyses at the Human Events site. As any doctor will tell you, you must first diagnose the problem before you can fix it. We must take a Lance Armstrong type attitude about this; we must not let the bad news deter us, but rather to strengthen our resolve to fight for our Republic.

And for those who have not already read Mark Levin's new book, it is a GREAT place to start, because First Principles are THE most important weapon we have in winning the coming battles. No conservative home (or their liberal friends) should be without a copy.
DiscerningTexan, 4/29/2009 12:14:00 PM | Permalink | |
Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cartoon by Michael Ramirez (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 4/28/2009 10:44:00 PM | Permalink | |
So... who was it that wanted those "pictures" of Air Force One against the NYC Skyline ? And who was on the plane?
DiscerningTexan, 4/28/2009 10:36:00 PM | Permalink | |

Out of the Closet at Last

Specter makes official what the rest of us have always known: he is a Socialist and he belongs with the Socialists. Somebody out there with money: please write Pat Toomey a big check.
DiscerningTexan, 4/28/2009 01:05:00 PM | Permalink | |
Sunday, April 26, 2009

Apocalypse Now: Senate Dems to use "Nuclear Option" to avoid filibuster, Force Nationalized Medicine

Courtesy of Political Demotivation (click to enlarge)

To mark my own "observance" of President Obama's first one hundred days, I offer easily one of the better summaries of the mess we have gotten ourselves into I have yet read; but no essay can adequately document the end result of the tsunami that the "seismic event" of electing this man--and these Senators--into office.

Evidence that the the worst is yet to come: the Democrats--with Obama's blessing--are about to use the so-called "nuclear option" to force single-payer Socialized medicine down the rest of our throats; even though the Senate clearly does not have the votes a filibuster-proof majority to do it the right way.

They are calling it "reconciliation"--and traditionally it has only been used for passing budgets--but not the legislation that spends the money. The Dems are now planning to use this budgetary "exception" to ram through the nationalization of one-sixth of the US economy.

Rationing: coming soon to a physician near you.

The other day I linked to what I then thought was the best Mark Levin show ever; but when I heard his Friday show--most of which was spent on the betrayal of the Dems and Obama in invoking "nuclear option"--I began to wonder. Check it out, especially the first 45 minutes or so, which includes a great interview with up-and-coming Republican Congressman, Paul Ryan.

If the next 1300 days are as horrific as Obama's first 100 have been, it is going to get very, very ugly.
DiscerningTexan, 4/26/2009 11:39:00 PM | Permalink | |
Friday, April 24, 2009

To Be Frank... Barney Sucks

Courtesy of Drink the Kool-Aid (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 4/24/2009 08:34:00 PM | Permalink | |

Al Gore can't stand "The Heat" (what Narcissist Can?)

Al Gore: narcissist extraordinaire! Aided and abetted by a kangaroo-court Congress.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the following defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. They believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism. ....

.... Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence or strong self-esteem, it's not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence and self-esteem into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal. In contrast, people who have healthy confidence and self-esteem don't value themselves more than they value others.

When you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may have a sense of entitlement. And when you don't receive the special treatment to which you feel entitled, you may become very impatient or angry. You may also seek out others you think have the same special talents, power and qualities — people you see as equals. You may insist on having "the best" of everything — the best car, athletic club, medical care or social circles, for instance.

But underneath all this grandiosity often lies a very fragile self-esteem. You have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have a sense of secret shame and humiliation. And in order to make yourself feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and efforts to belittle the other person to make yourself appear better.

Clearly all of the above apply to Al Gore; but let's get real here--does not the language above also describe someone else we've been "inundated' with lately?

Hint: we've covered this ground before (emphasis mine):

People with Narcissistic pathology never recognize their own culpability for problems. It is too painful and intolerable. The Narcissist has a damaged self. When the environment (esp other people) support his self esteem, he does relatively well. He may be charming and charismatic and appear to be self assured and in command of himself. However, should the other fail him the pain of the assault on his self esteem is destabilizing. The Narcissist reacts to failure with terrible shame which evokes rage. The rage, if held within, leads to despair; suicidal depression is a danger at those times. When the rage is directed at the object who is imagined to have caused the humiliation (or has actually caused the humiliation, as by a lover's rejection) the outcome can be murderous. Often enough the rage is inchoate and the objects include those who have caused his pain (America, the Jews, women, and the police as symbols of the frustrating society) and murder-suicide is the outcome. The most severe form of Narcissistic pathology is Malignant Narcissism, which I described in a series on Narcissism, Malignant Narcissism, and Paranoia: Part III:

In more severe cases, the existence of the other person’s mind and life is simply of no consequence. For the Malignant Narcissist, other people are mere props in the pageantry of their lives. A tyrant can throw someone into a shredding machine without a second thought because the victim only matters in relation to how he can support the grandiosity of the tyrant; beyond that, he is faceless, nameless, worthless. It was no accident that Saddam Hussein was surrounded by sycophants who all grew mustaches to look just like him.

As might be apparent from the descriptions of narcissism, the attitude of the other is extremely important (narcissists are very sensitive to slights from others and almost anything that is not supportive is felt as criticism or attack One can see how, as you move down the spectrum from the healthy narcissist who has a concern and regard for the best wishes of others, to the more pathological narcissist who is intensely needful of being aggrandized, to the malignant narcissist who demands obeisance just as he can not trust anyone to really think well of him, you are moving down a spectrum from sensitivity to paranoia.

Further complicating the situation is that the Narcissistic Character is extraordinarily sensitive to humiliation and equally intolerant of it.

Jim Lindgren wrote a chapter in his PhD thesis on a relevant question:

"Testing Social Dominance: Is Support for Capitalism and Opposition to Income Redistribution Driven by Racism and Intolerance?"

It is sad that Willis would point to Republicans as particularly angry or vengeful, when those who strongly favor income redistribution (a central position of the current Administration) are more than twice as likely as strong opponents of leveling to admit that they responded to their anger by plotting revenge.

I would suggest that it not that those who favor income redistribution who are most prone to anger and revenge fantasies but that those who most readily deny their own responsibility for their circumstances and tend to externalize, ie blame others, who are most likely to respond with anger and revenge fantasies to perceived or real frustrations. I suspect that those who externalize are more likely to look to a presumed benevolent (toward them) Other (ie, the government) to make things right and will be attracted to redistributionist ideas. That does not, of course, mean that people can not come to such ideas from different and healthier psychological organizations and favoring redistribution is hardly diagnostic.

Finally, to return to Dr. Helen's comments; the combination of "a lack of personal responsibility combined with a sense of entitlement" is indeed a combustible combination. We see this combination on a daily basis in Adolescents, who often develop a hostile-dependent relationship with the parents whose support they they need and whose limits they resent. Needless to say, most Adolescents remain within the bounds of what we loosely refer to as normal and negotiate the trials and tribulations of adolescence without resorting to murder, though their rage when frustrated can be quite daunting.

We are now a Nation filled with overgrown adolescents used to getting whatever we desire. Perhaps the most worrisome problem is that, at last, we are going to have to learn to live within our means.

DiscerningTexan, 4/24/2009 12:12:00 PM | Permalink | |

Uh Oh: Worries of a Flu Pandemic, originating in Mexico

Some cases in Texas; they are calling it "Swine Flu" but might be a new strain. The word "Pandemic" is used in this news story.

Wash your hands, folks.
DiscerningTexan, 4/24/2009 11:26:00 AM | Permalink | |
Thursday, April 23, 2009
A history lesson from Mark Levin. Maybe his best show ever. Listen to at least the first 45 minutes....
DiscerningTexan, 4/23/2009 11:31:00 AM | Permalink | |
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Despicable Act (continued)

Well, well. After all of his "let's look forward, not backward bullshit", today we are finally getting a clear picture of the Democrat endgame on Obama's (very selective) "leaks" of CIA interrogation memos: Soros and his lynch mob on the left he leads want a head--at least one--no matter what damage it does to the rest of the country--who already find themselves in an economic black hole (are they just trying to distract us from their own mismanagement?).

In any case, the guillotines are being erected even as we speak. They seem to have forgotten what their own hard-left spokespersons were saying back in 2001.

I got really angry about this the other day, and my feelings about the depravity of Obama's actions have not subsided.

Here is the rub: if Obama's goal here is really only about getting to "the truth", then why hasn't Obama also authorized the release of the intelligence that was gathered as a result of the "enhanced" interrogations? Hmmm??

And then--insult to injury--to see Hillary Clinton up there calling out Cheney today was enough to activate my acid reflux. Good grief.

Andy McCarthy has it about right:
If the Secretary of State really doesn't think Vice President Cheney is a reliable source, she is smart enough to know the obvious thing to do: declassify and disclose the intelligence reports he's talking about so all the world can see exactly how unreliable he is. Here's her big chance to put her money where her mouth is and truly embarrass the guy she so effortlessly trashed in a public hearing today.

Gee, I wonder why she doesn't seem to want to do that? She sure talks a good game. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that every knowledgeable intelligence chief to weigh in on the subject (including Obama's own intelligence chief) says exactly what Vice President Cheney said: namely, that the interrogation program yielded valuable information that saved American lives. Why would anyone suppose that the CIA's reports reflect what the intelligence chiefs have been saying and what the Vice President who read them remembers reading? What a crazy, unreliable notion. Let's get the truth out — after all, as Secretary Clinton assured us, President Obama is determined to get to the bottom of this.

An even stronger take--without the obvious anger that was in my own post on the subject--comes from the Editors of Wall Street Journal (excerpted below):

Mark down the date. Tuesday, April 21, 2009, is the moment that any chance of a new era of bipartisan respect in Washington ended. By inviting the prosecution of Bush officials for their antiterror legal advice, President Obama has injected a poison into our politics that he and the country will live to regret. ....

.... Policy disputes, often bitter, are the stuff of democratic politics. Elections settle those battles, at least for a time, and Mr. Obama's victory in November has given him the right to change policies on interrogations, Guantanamo, or anything on which he can muster enough support. But at least until now, the U.S. political system has avoided the spectacle of a new Administration prosecuting its predecessor for policy disagreements. This is what happens in Argentina, Malaysia or Peru, countries where the law is treated merely as an extension of political power.

If this analogy seems excessive, consider how Mr. Obama has framed the issue. He has absolved CIA operatives of any legal jeopardy, no doubt because his intelligence advisers told him how damaging that would be to CIA morale when Mr. Obama needs the agency to protect the country. But he has pointedly invited investigations against Republican legal advisers who offered their best advice at the request of CIA officials. ....

.... So the CIA requests a legal review at a moment of heightened danger, the Justice Department obliges with an exceedingly detailed analysis of the law and interrogation practices -- and, seven years later, Mr. Obama says only the legal advisers who are no longer in government should be investigated. The political convenience of this distinction for Mr. Obama betrays its basic injustice. And by the way, everyone agrees that senior officials, including President Bush, approved these interrogations. Is this President going to put his predecessor in the dock too?

The Editors' conclusion is inarguable:

Those officials won't be the only ones who suffer if all of this goes forward. Congress will face questions about what the Members knew and when, especially Nancy Pelosi when she was on the House Intelligence Committee in 2002. The Speaker now says she remembers hearing about waterboarding, though not that it would actually be used. Does anyone believe that? Porter Goss, her GOP counterpart at the time, says he knew exactly what he was hearing and that, if anything, Ms. Pelosi worried the CIA wasn't doing enough to stop another attack. By all means, put her under oath.

Mr. Obama may think he can soar above all of this, but he'll soon learn otherwise. The Beltway's political energy will focus more on the spectacle of revenge, and less on his agenda. The CIA will have its reputation smeared, and its agents second-guessing themselves. And if there is another terror attack against Americans, Mr. Obama will have set himself up for the argument that his campaign against the Bush policies is partly to blame.

Above all, the exercise will only embitter Republicans, including the moderates and national-security hawks Mr. Obama may need in the next four years. As patriotic officials who acted in good faith are indicted, smeared, impeached from judgeships or stripped of their academic tenure, the partisan anger and backlash will grow. ....

Mr. Obama is more popular than his policies, due in part to his personal charm and his seeming goodwill. By indulging his party's desire to criminalize policy advice, he has unleashed furies that will haunt his Presidency.

Another excellent read: don't miss David Ignatius' take on the impact that Obama's betrayal will have on our intelligence agencies in todays Washington Post:

At the Central Intelligence Agency, it's known as "slow rolling." That's what agency officers sometimes do on politically sensitive assignments. They go through the motions; they pass cables back and forth; they take other jobs out of the danger zone; they cover their backsides.

Sad to say, it's slow roll time at Langley after the release of interrogation memos that, in the words of one veteran officer, "hit the agency like a car bomb in the driveway." President Obama promised CIA officers that they won't be prosecuted for carrying out lawful orders, but the people on the firing line don't believe him. They think the memos have opened a new season of investigation and retribution.

The lesson for younger officers is obvious: Keep your head down. Duck the assignments that carry political risk. Stay away from a counterterrorism program that has become a career hazard.
And open the country to more attacks... (read the whole thing).

Even the Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby--himself no fan of torture--thinks the Democrats are barking up the wrong tree:

Rereading those columns amid the tumult over the Justice Department "torture memos" released last week, I see little that I would change. I am still convinced, as I wrote in 2005, that interrogation techniques amounting to torture "cross the line that separates us from the enemy we are trying to defeat."

Yet the Bush-era memos strike me as much more thoughtful than most of the moral preening and tendentious grandstanding they set off. Congressman Jerrold Nadler, a senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, apoplectically declares that the memos not only authorized torture "without a shadow of a doubt," they "gave explicit instruction on how to carry it out." The New York Times pronounces them "a journey into depravity." A petition at urges the appointment of a special prosecutor for "torture . . . and other heinous crimes of the Bush Administration."

What's missing from all this sanctimony and censure is any acknowledgment of the circumstances under which the CIA interrogations took place, let alone the successes with which they have been credited. That may be a good way to score easy political points. It doesn't add much to the public discourse.

Context matters. Actions that are indisputably beyond the pale under normal conditions - waterboarding a prisoner, for example - can take on a very different aspect when conditions are abnormal, as they surely were in the terrifying wake of 9/11.

"We did not have a clear understanding of the enemy we were dealing with," recalled Dennis Blair, the Obama administration's director of national intelligence, in his statement accompanying the declassified memos last week. "Our every effort was focused on preventing further attacks that would kill more Americans." Knowing little about Al Qaeda's capabilities, desperately seeking to head off another slaughter, fearing the worst, the government's highest priority was to extract critical intelligence from Al Qaeda detainees.

That was the state of affairs when the CIA sought legal approval to use harsher interrogation methods. "Those methods, read on a bright, sunny, safe day in April 2009, appear graphic and disturbing," Blair's statement said. But there was nothing sunny or safe about the post-9/11 emergency in which they were used. Any honest discussion of the memos authorizing them ought to say so.

Particularly when those memos indicate that the "enhanced interrogation techniques" saved lives. According to Deputy Assistant Attorney General Steven Bradbury's memo dated May 30, 2005, "intelligence acquired from these interrogations has been a key reason why Al Qaeda has failed to launch a spectacular attack in the West" since 9/11. Senior terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed at first "resisted giving any answers" when asked about future attacks, but waterboarding led him to divulge "specific, actionable intelligence." One result was the foiling of Al Qaeda's planned "Second Wave" - a 9/11-like plot to crash a hijacked airliner into a Los Angeles skyscraper.

But what if it hadn't been foiled? Suppose the CIA had been denied permission to use brutal interrogation tactics, and Al Qaeda had consequently gone on to murder thousands of additional victims in California. What kind of conversation would we be having once it became known that the refusal to subject KSM to waterboarding had come at so steep a price? How many of those now blasting the Bush administration for allowing torture would be blasting it instead for not preventing a second bloodbath?

No one wants that to happen. But if it does, there will no longer be a doubt as to why we weren't able to stop the attack the next time. And for a man who ran on a platform to unite this country to embark on this course--thus proving that he is nothing more than a pawn for Soros and the MoveOn nutjobs--is nothing short of Presidential malpractice. If a stop is not put to this madness; if they continue down this road, the already-wide partisan divide in this country could explode into something not seen since the 1860's.

Either way, whether the explosion comes from our enemies outside or from of a seismic shift within our own Republic, there will only be Obama and the bloodlust of the Democrats to blame.

And at that point, the consequences won't be pretty.
DiscerningTexan, 4/22/2009 11:25:00 PM | Permalink | |
Whoa! Freddie Mac CFO Found Dead in apparent suicide...
DiscerningTexan, 4/22/2009 02:22:00 PM | Permalink | |
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Despicable Act

Former US Attorney Andrew McCarthy is brilliant as usual in describing the REAL "Interrogation Scandal":
All this folly finds its way back to that simple question: “Does [insert interrogation tactic of choice] shock the conscience?” As Wallace put it to Hayden, and as Obama frames it in policy debates, the question is utterly devoid of context. The “shock the conscience” standard is derived from a 1952 Supreme Court case, Rochin v. California. That, evidently, is enough to qualify it as the high-minded yardstick of permissible government behavior — no need to get into icky complications like circumstances or (dare I say) obligations.

We have “waterboarding,” or simulated drowning. Grisly stuff. Tough guys wrestle the subject onto a slab. Another tough guy does the dirty work, rendering the subject unable to breath, creating the fear of imminent death. How could that not be shocking to even a jaded conscience? Next case.

Except what if the next case involves coercing a subject onto a slab for the purpose of administering injections that will kill him? Or what if we shoot a hellfire missile at a house where a subject is meeting with three other subjects and their guests? Or what if we drop a bomb on a densely populated area, knowing full well that many subjects will be killed and others permanently maimed? Doesn’t all that shock the conscience too? Does it not matter that the subject is a convicted rapist-murderer? The emir of a terrorist organization plotting mass murder? A member of an organization with which we are at war?

Law provides guidance for the human condition in all its endless variety. As such, it always accounts for context. It is a favorite talking point of leftists and libertarian extremists that heightened security measures “suspend” the Constitution even though a crisis is when the Constitution is most needed. Never has anything so vapid been repeated with such indignation. The Constitution is never suspended. It anticipates war and peace, insurrection and domestic tranquility, and prescribes adjustments for different conditions. Free speech is guaranteed but treason is proscribed. Privacy is guaranteed but searches are authorized. Liberty is guaranteed but imprisonment is permitted. Life is guaranteed but the death penalty is permitted.

“The great ordinances of the Constitution,” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. instructed, “do not establish and divide fields of black and white.” Everything is contingent. In peacetime, the rule of law is what the statutes prescribe and the courts ensure. But the Framers also knew it would not always be peacetime. That is why, Holmes elsewhere wrote, “when it comes to a decision by the head of the State upon a matter involving its life, the ordinary rights of individuals must yield to what he deems the necessities of the moment. Public danger warrants the substitution of executive process for judicial process.” Executive process doesn’t suspend the Constitution any more than Congress would be suspending the Constitution if it suspended habeas corpus. Rather, executive, legislative, and judicial processes are all parts of the Constitution, their roles waxing and waning based on “the necessities of the moment.”
Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, Rich Lowry argues (credibly) that the memos should be a source of pride.

It gets worse: now Obama is reversing-field (isn't that all he ever does?...) by now leaving the door open to prosecute former Bush Admin officials for rendering legal opinions which the current appeaseniks disagree with. Apparently to these slugs, it would have been more "moral" to allow thousands more innocents to die than to pour water up someone's nose.

I defy anyone to justify the morality of allowing mass murder of innocent Americans by our enemies in wartime, all in the guise of a holier-than-thou feigned "horror" about actually allowing the murderers themselves to be made the least bit "uncomfortable" or deprived of a little sleep...

There were 3,000+ families and an entire nation who suffered on 9/11. The CIA itself has stated (even in the released memos) that countless lives were saved because of the methods used.

The sick irony is that Obama only chose to release the methods of interrogation (thus permitting our enemies to understand the "line" beyond which the US will not go--and train accordingly) yet the man sworn to protect the American people has refused to release the end results of those "uncomfortable" interrogations; including a thwarted 9/11 style attack on a Los Angeles skyscraper (from today's Washington Post):
Specifically, interrogation with enhanced techniques "led to the discovery of a KSM plot, the 'Second Wave,' 'to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into' a building in Los Angeles." KSM later acknowledged before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay that the target was the Library Tower, the tallest building on the West Coast. The memo explains that "information obtained from KSM also led to the capture of Riduan bin Isomuddin, better known as Hambali, and the discovery of the Guraba Cell, a 17-member Jemmah Islamiyah cell tasked with executing the 'Second Wave.' " In other words, without enhanced interrogations, there could be a hole in the ground in Los Angeles to match the one in New York.
Former Vice President Cheney has read many more of the memos that Obama chose to keep "secret" even as he decided after so much "heavy thought" that it was acceptable to aid and abet fanatics who want us dead; all in the name of preening around like a peacock with some sick notion of his own "moral superiority". In fact the "evil" Cheney made a formal request (back in March) that the CIA declassify the results of the interrogations so that the American people would know the whole story. But that wouldn't fit Obama's "Blame America First" agenda.

How ironic this all is: a few years back many of us were collectively outraged that the New York Times released secrets (over President Bush's protestations) which allowed our enemies to avoid detection via their financial transactions. It is irrefutable that this act of near-treason in wartime allowed our enemies to adapt and evade our efforts to stop their murder. That decision has probably already cost many American servicemen and women--and other innocents--their lives.

But today it is not a dying newspaper revealing these secrets; today it is the President of the United States who is endangering us all by revealing methods which never need have seen the light of day; all the while refusing to acknowledge the countless lives that were saved by the very actions he so loudly and blatantly condemned.

It doesn't stop there: Obama has spent the last three weeks trashing his own country, in Europe, Latin America, and at home. He has coddled and all but kissed the rings of tinpot banana republic mass-murdering dictators--while betraying a former President's attorneys, the CIA, and the very agents in the field who put their own careers on the line in order to do what it takes to keep Americans safe. And it did!

If that weren't enough, today Obama reversed course on previous pronouncements and had the "audacity" to threaten prosecution of a former President's legal advisor for daring to argue that depriving mass murderers of a little sleep and putting them through a "procedure"--the same "procedure" that every American Special Forces member and CIA agent has to undergo as a part of their training--was a small price to pay for saving thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent American lives. Does this man's ego and shame have no boundaries whatsoever?

I have never seen a President of the United States behave in a more disgraceful, blindly partisan and destructive fashion. Many may have disagreed with how President Bush (and an overwhelming majority of Congress...) authorized, funded and conducted the War in Iraq. But I have never seen any President--until now--knowingly put his own country's National Security in jeopardy just to score cheap political points that will only play to the far-Left fringe at home and to our enemies abroad.

I can honestly say that I have never been so ashamed of an American President; and in my lifetime there have been plenty of opportunities: Carter's appeasement, weakness in the face of our enemies and policies that caused economic ruin; Nixon's disgrace and resignation; Clinton's uncontrollable zipper, perjury and definition of "is"--all of these 'scandals' pale in comparison with the damage that may have been done by the release of these classified CIA documents.

As far as I am concerned, it is We, the American people who are being tortured now; and some innocents may yet die at the hands of our enemies because of this despicable partisan decision.

For shame, sir. For shame.
DiscerningTexan, 4/21/2009 02:04:00 PM | Permalink | |
Your flab is causing Global Warming. Just thought you would want to know.

Line of the day:
If we can figure out a recipe for soylent green, we can solve this whole problem. Dibs on the 200-pounders.
DiscerningTexan, 4/21/2009 01:20:00 AM | Permalink | |
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Does THIS apply to people making less than $250K?

And what about THIS? (even setting aside the PC pseudo-science that has now led the founder of The Weather Channel to call AGW "the greatest scam in history"...)

Bend over, folks. Even if you only make 10K per year, your "O-Daddy" is coming for your cash too. If you shop online, drive a car, or use electricity, you are screwed.
DiscerningTexan, 4/19/2009 11:20:00 PM | Permalink | |
So... they have banned firearms in the UK, right??
DiscerningTexan, 4/19/2009 02:49:00 PM | Permalink | |
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Another beauty from Mark Steyn: Live Tea or Die! Just a taste:
Asked about the tea parties, President Obama responded that he was not aware of them. As Marie Antoinette said, “Let them drink Lapsang Souchong.” His Imperial Majesty at Barackingham Palace having declined to acknowledge the tea parties, his courtiers at the Globe and elsewhere fell into line. Talk-show host Michael Graham spoke to one attendee at the 2009 Boston Tea Party who remarked of the press embargo: “If Obama had been the King of England, the Globe wouldn’t have covered the American revolution.”

The American media, having run their own business into the ground, are certainly qualified to run everybody else’s into the same abyss. Which is why they’ve decided that hundreds of thousands of citizens protesting taxes and out-of-control spending and government vaporization of Americans’ wealth and their children’s future is no story. Nothing to see here. As Nancy Pelosi says, it’s AstroTurf — fake grassroots, not the real thing.

Besides, what are these whiners so uptight about? CNN’s Susan Roesgen interviewed a guy in the crowd and asked why he was here: “Because,” said the Tea Partier, “I hear a president say that he believed in what Lincoln stood for. Lincoln’s primary thing was he believed that people had the right to liberty, and had the right . . . ”

But Susan Roesgen had heard enough: “What does this have to do with your taxes . . . ? Do you realize that you’re eligible for a $400 credit?”

Had the Tea Party animal been as angry as these Angry White Men are supposed to be, he’d have said, “Oh, push off, you condescending tick. Taxes are a liberty issue. I don’t want a $400 ‘credit’ for agreeing to live my life in government-approved ways.” Had he been of a more literary bent, he might have adapted Sir Thomas More’s line from A Man for All Seasons: “Why, Susan, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world . . . but for a $400 tax credit?”
Read the whole thing; it's well worth the time spent.
DiscerningTexan, 4/18/2009 11:54:00 PM | Permalink | |
The Left unveiled: an astonishingly superb post from Sissy Willis: "Let me devour your flesh because I know how to use it better than you do"
DiscerningTexan, 4/18/2009 10:52:00 PM | Permalink | |
Not only are warrantless wiretaps still "OK"; the DHS will now use them to spy on the Right...

Monstrous: The hypocrisy is staggering; the implcations are frightening. Which of course is the whole idea:
For eight years, we’ve been treated to hysterical rhetoric from Democrats, including Barack Obama, about the scourge of “domestic spying.” Now that the Obama administration is openly calling for domestic spying — the real thing, not the smear used against President Bush — they’re suddenly silent.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in coordination with the FBI, has issued an intelligence assessment on what it calls “Rightwing Extremism.” It is appalling. The nakedly political document announces itself as a “federal effort to influence domestic public opinion.” It proceeds, in what it acknowledges is the absence of any “specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence,” to speculate that “rightwing” political views might “drive” such violence — violence, it further surmises, that might be abetted by military veterans returning home after putting their lives on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan. And for good measure, in violation of both FBI guidelines and congressional statutes, the Obama administration promises scrutiny of ordinary Americans’ political views, speech, and assembly.
Read the whole thing. The STASI may be alive and well.

UPDATE: Coming soon to a neighborhood near you?
DiscerningTexan, 4/18/2009 07:47:00 PM | Permalink | |
Friday, April 17, 2009
New from Iowahawk:

"It Could Happen Here!"



DiscerningTexan, 4/17/2009 09:57:00 PM | Permalink | |
Well that didn't take long; you would have thought they'd have waited at least until they got a bill passed to admit the truth...
DiscerningTexan, 4/17/2009 09:00:00 PM | Permalink | |
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Many thought that the unbelievable bias yesterday by that CNN reporter was a low point of American journalism--but we may not have even gotten close to the lowest point yet; consider the plight of our journalism schools.
DiscerningTexan, 4/16/2009 11:26:00 PM | Permalink | |
Stirring the teapot: Reynolds channels Pournelle:

Apparently the Tea Parties were a success: at least they seem to have upset Pelosi and Company. The media doesn't quite know what to make of all that. On the other hand it's easy for us to make too much of it; we still don't have an identifiable leader, and it's not clear that the Country Club Republicans have learned (or forgotten) anything. The next step is the California ballot propositions. Nothing can stop the wave of higher taxes, but defeating the propositions despite their adulation from both parties and all the media would establish that progress is possible. By progress I mean, of course, reducing the size and cost of government.

The way things are headed now, the best career is a government job. Use the time you have to put in to learn how to do something you want to do, then use your retirement time to do it. It's not spectacular, and having the best and the brightest become government time servers won't do much for the economy, but you won't have to work very hard and you can retire without having to scrabble for your next meal. At my age that seems far more attractive than it did thirty years ago. Given the economy and the war on business and success ushered in the last election -- and the steps now being taken to make the new trend toward Europeanization of America permanent and irreversible -- young people ought to think hard about where they will be in thirty or forty years. Live long and prosper. But do not take the government as an example. Save, be thrifty, and do all your paperwork. Your real life will begin when you retire.

From the liberal view, the Old America is gone, finished off in the last election, and the trend toward government control of everything is now on track and inevitable, and the rules can be changed so that nothing can be done about that. We have seen their justification in articles about how the US is far behind Europe in civilization, as well as here.

The latest memo from the Department of Homeland Security is an example; and the Tea Parties will not curb enthusiasm for these new measures.

DiscerningTexan, 4/16/2009 11:05:00 PM | Permalink | |
Wednesday, April 15, 2009

via SayUncle
DiscerningTexan, 4/15/2009 11:24:00 PM | Permalink | |
Uh oh: are we fast approaching the ultimate Worst Case Scenario? Ace is reporting that Pakistan could collapse within months... (but fear not; Obama is standing ready to defend the nation).
DiscerningTexan, 4/15/2009 10:19:00 PM | Permalink | |
Join the crowd.
DiscerningTexan, 4/15/2009 09:35:00 PM | Permalink | |
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Political "Magic Words"

Thomas Sowell sums up the insanity that we suddenly find ourselves drowning in: Americans are suckers for "magic words".
DiscerningTexan, 4/14/2009 10:51:00 PM | Permalink | |

A Discerning Texan... and a genuine movement to stop Anti-Federalist Tyranny

Texas was not the first State to move along these lines. Based on these comments from the esteemed Economist Walter Williams, Texas is the 21st state which is at least considering such a stance:

Our Colonial ancestors petitioned and pleaded with King George III to get his boot off their necks. He ignored their pleas, and in 1776, they rightfully declared unilateral independence and went to war. Today it's the same story except Congress is the one usurping the rights of the people and the states, making King George's actions look mild in comparison. Our constitutional ignorance – perhaps contempt, coupled with the fact that we've become a nation of wimps, sissies and supplicants – has made us easy prey for Washington's tyrannical forces. But that might be changing a bit. There are rumblings of a long overdue re-emergence of Americans' characteristic spirit of rebellion.

Eight state legislatures have introduced resolutions declaring state sovereignty under the Ninth and 10th amendments to the U.S. Constitution; they include Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington. There's speculation that they will be joined by Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Maine and Pennsylvania.

He shocked the establishment in 2008 – now read Ron Paul's clear-thinking manifesto on constitutional government: "The Revolution"

You might ask, "Isn't the 10th Amendment that no-good states' rights amendment that Dixie governors, such as George Wallace and Orval Faubus, used to thwart school desegregation and black civil rights?" That's the kind of constitutional disrespect and ignorance big-government proponents, whether they're liberals or conservatives, want you to have. The reason is that they want Washington to have total control over our lives. The founders tried to limit that power with the 10th Amendment, which reads: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

New Hampshire's 10th Amendment resolution typifies others and, in part, reads: "That the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General (federal) Government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a General Government for special purposes, delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force." Put simply, these 10th Amendment resolutions insist that the states and their people are the masters and that Congress and the White House are the servants. Put yet another way, Washington is a creature of the states, not the other way around.

Read the whole thing.

Barack Obama and his "Chicago mob" led by chief hitman Rahm Emanuel have decided that a 52-48 victory in a hotly contested election gives a rookie, "first-time" executive with a slick smile and a lot of catchy phrases carte blanche to completely ignore the Constitution and to unilaterally impose a stunning string of scorched-earth Marxist solutions which seem to have much more in common with the repression of Hugo Chavez than with any of Obama's recent predecessors. But the real kicker is that they think no one is noticing; and on that point they are very, very wrong.

UPDATE: Speaking of the Tea Parties tomorrow--which no doubt will dwarf any antiwar protests over the last 8 years, and then some--don't miss Iowahawk's The Mary Hamsher Moore Show.

Meanwhile Bill Whittle gives at least 5 good reasons why you should attend a tea party yourself tomorrow.
DiscerningTexan, 4/14/2009 07:55:00 PM | Permalink | |
Monday, April 13, 2009

How the Left plans to Consolidate Power

One of the more disturbing passages I have read in some time; in particular because the words therein ring so very true (via Glenn Reynolds):
JONATHAN MACEY: “To socialize the American economy, it is not necessary to nationalize every business in the United States. All it requires is to put the corporations that control the finances of all of the companies in the economy under government control. And that is what is happening now. . . . Apparently, members of Congress liked the special treatment that Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd received in getting his mortgage through Countrywide. We’re going to see even more of that kind of thing — and outright corruption on a much bigger scale — when the government is in direct control of the financial institutions and making the credit decisions that businesses large and small depend on to survive.”
Read the whole thing.
DiscerningTexan, 4/13/2009 11:19:00 PM | Permalink | |
Saturday, April 11, 2009

Piracy in the age of Obama; Why America must send a Message by playing Hardball Now

Jules Crittenden has perhaps the most sensible post on how to handle the Somalian pirates that I have yet read:

My own thoughts on this are similar to Keegan’s [article in the UK Telegraph]. Just sink the boats. Declare Somalia’s coast to be a no go for boats of any kind. Offshore or tied up at the dock. On trailers, on the beach. Send whatever airframes may be appropriate to the task … UAVs, helicopters, Warthogs, F-16s, whatever … and destroy every boat along the coast. Wait a day or two, repeat. Wait a week or two, repeat. Destroy any boat launch, repair, storage or harbor facilities as may exist while you’re at it. A few quick Marine shore parties, naval missile barrages and close-in naval raids may be helpful.

No boats, no piracy.

If that is considered too draconian, seeing as some people might actually be trying to fish, then there’s the more intensive, expensive, hazardous measure of patroling close to shore, and stopping every boat. Sink any with weapons on the spot and deposit those boatmen who don’t resist on shore. Kill the ones who do. Placing military teams on some merchant ships, or deploying decoy ships to ambush and kill pirates in the act might also be effective. Personally, I’d suggest another expedient from the Golden Age of Piracy. Gibbets. We had one at the entrance to Boston Harbor on a rock called Nix’s Mate, which is an aid to navigation these days as well as reportedly being cursed and bothered by strange wailing noises. (I camped on a harbor island adjacent a couple of years ago, didn’t hear anything but the jets screaming in overhead to Logan.)

The idea is, hang them and let them rot, where the others can see them. If opportunities to hang pirates at the entrance to harbors old-school are limited … and there’s that annoying lawyer/rights problem … then maybe the answer is to keep a few pirate bodies acquired in the above-mentioned operations. Drop from altitude into the middle of suspect villages and piracy bases.

Just a thought. It may sound a little too 18th century, but that is more or less the century in which Somalia dwells, on a good day. Decades of violent anarchy has left Somalia with little respect for anything but rule of arms. If we are to help Somalia enter the 21st century, it will take baby steps. Brutal baby steps.
With Obama in the White House and Hillary at State, I would NOT go "all in" on Obama having the cojones to undertake anything this drastic, what with Hillary's blather about a "21st Century Solution" (Earth to Hillary: it is not wise to attempt to nuance your way through a "21st century solution" when your enemies' mindset is mired somewhere between the 6th and 18th centuries).

In fact, I would be less suprised if Obama instead concocted a "Pirate Bailout Program", i.e. to print some more worthless US dollars and pay ransom for any and all of Americans taken in the last several days.

Christopher Hitchens wrote a great piece in City Journal a couple of years back as he researched his book on Thomas Jefferson; particularly Jefferson's decision to take on the Barbary Pirates (who arguably were the day's most famous Islamic terrorists, going all the way back to the Middle Ages).

The lessons drawn from history from REAL Presidents and patriots like Jefferson (a man who risked his own hanging to write and sign that Declaration of Independence--and a giant of a man) in comparison to a deer-in-the-headlights appeasement-minded novice whose bona fides were "community organizing" and getting payoffs from corrupt Chicago "kingmakers", are stupefying and depressing. But I digress.

The lessons of the Barbary Pirates--combined with the modern-day the failures of the Clinton Administration to act forcefully against the spread of Islamic radicalism--are completely relevant to the Somalian (and all other) piracy; especially considering the message it sends to the enemies who want to destroy us, like Iran and North Korea. What Crittenden suggests above is worth serious consideration. Hell even the French are showing more balls than our own "Commander in Chief" is in this crisis.

On the example of Jefferson, Hitchens writes (emphasis mine):

... How many know that perhaps 1.5 million Europeans and Americans were enslaved in Islamic North Africa between 1530 and 1780? We dimly recall that Miguel de Cervantes was briefly in the galleys. But what of the people of the town of Baltimore in Ireland, all carried off by “corsair” raiders in a single night?

Some of this activity was hostage trading and ransom farming rather than the more labor-intensive horror of the Atlantic trade and the Middle Passage, but it exerted a huge effect on the imagination of the time—and probably on no one more than on Thomas Jefferson. ....

One immediate effect of the American Revolution, however, was to strengthen the hand of those very same North African potentates: roughly speaking, the Maghrebian provinces of the Ottoman Empire that conform to today’s Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. Deprived of Royal Navy protection, American shipping became even more subject than before to the depredations of those who controlled the Strait of Gibraltar. The infant United States had therefore to decide not just upon a question of national honor but upon whether it would stand or fall by free navigation of the seas.

One of the historians of the Barbary conflict, Frank Lambert, argues that the imperative of free trade drove America much more than did any quarrel with Islam or “tyranny,” let alone “terrorism.” He resists any comparison with today’s tormenting confrontations. “The Barbary Wars were primarily about trade, not theology,” he writes. “Rather than being holy wars, they were an extension of America’s War of Independence.”

... But one cannot get around what Jefferson heard when he went with John Adams to wait upon Tripoli’s ambassador to London in March 1785. When they inquired by what right the Barbary states preyed upon American shipping, enslaving both crews and passengers, America’s two foremost envoys were informed that “it was written in the Koran, that all Nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon whoever they could find and to make Slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.” (It is worth noting that the United States played no part in the Crusades, or in the Catholic reconquista of Andalusia.)

Ambassador Abd Al-Rahman did not fail to mention the size of his own commission, if America chose to pay the protection money demanded as an alternative to piracy. So here was an early instance of the “heads I win, tails you lose” dilemma, in which the United States is faced with corrupt regimes, on the one hand, and Islamic militants, on the other—or indeed a collusion between them.

It seems likely that Jefferson decided from that moment on that he would make war upon the Barbary kingdoms as soon as he commanded American forces. His two least favorite institutions—enthroned monarchy and state-sponsored religion—were embodied in one target, and it may even be that his famous ambivalences about slavery were resolved somewhat when he saw it practiced by the Muslims.

However that may be, it is certain that the Barbary question had considerable influence on the debate that ratified the United States Constitution in the succeeding years. Many a delegate, urging his home state to endorse the new document, argued that only a strong federal union could repel the Algerian threat. In The Federalist No. 24, Alexander Hamilton argued that without a “federal navy . . . of respectable weight . . . the genius of American Merchants and Navigators would be stifled and lost.” In No. 41, James Madison insisted that only union could guard America’s maritime capacity from “the rapacious demands of pirates and barbarians.” John Jay, in his letters, took a “bring-it-on” approach; he believed that “Algerian Corsairs and the Pirates of Tunis and Tripoli” would compel the feeble American states to unite, since “the more we are ill-treated abroad the more we shall unite and consolidate at home.” The eventual Constitution, which provides for an army only at two-year renewable intervals, imposes no such limitation on the navy.

But do not expect Obama and his fellow anti-Constitutional "Statists" to be impressed by the intent of the founders--they have shown disdain for the founders and the Constitution they have sworn to defend in almost everything they do and stand for.

These, after all, are the same folks who came up with the original ideas of letting (first) the UN, (second) Jimmy Carter, and (third) Madeline Albright matriculate into paying off North Korea in exchange for a promise not to build nukes--a promise they almost immediately broke, long before Bush took office.

Even President Bush let down many Americans who believe in peace through strength (myself included) by attempting yet another failed payoff of the NK's. Fool me once, shame on me...

But the consequences of not sending the appropriate "messages" today are much more dire, to say the least. Note to Barack: if there is no United States your Hope and Change mean exactly squat (emphasis again mine):

In the latest evidence Iran is seriously planning an unconventional pre-emptive nuclear strike against the U.S., an Iranian military journal has publicly considered the idea of launching an electromagnetic pulse attack as the key to defeating the world's lone superpower.

Congress was warned of Iran's plans last month by Peter Pry, a senior staffer with the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack in a hearing of Sen. John Kyl's subcommittee on terrorism, technology and homeland security.

In an article titled, "Electronics to Determine Fate of Future Wars," the journal explains how an EMP attack on America's electronic infrastructure, caused by the detonation of a nuclear weapon high above the U.S., would bring the country to its knees.

"Once you confuse the enemy communication network you can also disrupt the work of the enemy command- and decision-making center," the article states. "Even worse today when you disable a country's military high command through disruption of communications, you will, in effect, disrupt all the affairs of that country. If the world's industrial countries fail to devise effective ways to defend themselves against dangerous electronic assaults then they will disintegrate within a few years. American soldiers would not be able to find food to eat nor would they be able to fire a single shot."

WND reported the Iranian threat last Monday, explaining Tehran is not only covertly developing nuclear weapons, it is already testing ballistic missiles specifically designed to destroy America's technical infrastructure. The report was published first in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, a premium, online intelligence newsletter by WND's founder.

Pry pointed out the Iranians have been testing mid-air detonations of their Shahab-3 medium-range missile over the Caspian Sea. The missiles were fired from ships.

"A nuclear missile concealed in the hold of a freighter would give Iran or terrorists the capability to perform an EMP attack against the United States homeland without developing an ICBM and with some prospect of remaining anonymous," explained Pry. "Iran's Shahab-3 medium range missile mentioned earlier is a mobile missile and small enough to be transported in the hold of a freighter. We cannot rule out that Iran, the world's leading sponsor of international terrorism might provide terrorists with the means to executive an EMP attack against the United States."

Lowell Wood, acting chairman of the commission, said yesterday that such an attack – by Iran or some other actor – could cripple the U.S. by knocking out electrical power, computers, circuit boards controlling most automobiles and trucks, banking systems, communications and food and water supplies.

"No one can say just how long systems would be down," he said. "It could be weeks, months or even years."

EMP attacks are generated when a nuclear weapon is detonated at altitudes above a few dozen kilometers above the earth's surface. The explosion, of even a small nuclear warhead, would produce a set of electromagnetic pulses that interact with the earth's atmosphere and the earth's magnetic field.

"These electromagnetic pulses propagate from the burst point of the nuclear weapon to the line of sight on the earth's horizon, potentially covering a vast geographic region in doing so simultaneously, moreover, at the speed of light," said Wood. "For example, a nuclear weapon detonated at an altitude of 400 kilometers over the central United States would cover, with its primary electromagnetic pulse, the entire continent of the United States and parts of Canada and Mexico."

The commission, in its work over a period of several years, found that EMP is one of a small number of threats that has the potential to hold American society seriously at risk and that might also result in the defeat of U.S. military forces.

"The electromagnetic field pulses produced by weapons designed and deployed with the intent to produce EMP have a high likelihood of damaging electrical power systems, electronics and information systems upon which any reasonably advanced society, most specifically including our own, depend vitally," Wood said. "Their effects on systems and infrastructures dependent on electricity and electronics could be sufficiently ruinous as to qualify as catastrophic to the American nation."

Wood warned of the potential for unprecedented cascading failures of major electronic and electrical infrastructures.

"In such events, a regional or national recovery would be long and difficult and would seriously degrade the overall viability of the American nation and the safety and even the lives of very large numbers of U.S. citizens," he said.

Strategic EMP attacks on the U.S. have also been considered and discussed recently by China and post-Soviet Union Russia, according to the commission. Yet, the more imminent threat, according to William R. Graham, former chairman of the commission, and Wood, comes from rogue states such as Iran and North Korea and their terrorist allies.


The commission estimated that major corrections could be made in the next three to five years that would greatly reduce America's vulnerability to an EMP attack. There is concern within the commission, however, that the EMP threat is not being taken seriously by the Department of Homeland Security.


Wood said an actual EMP attack on the United States minimally would result in $20 billion in damages, no loss of life and just a great deal of inconvenience. However, on the other end of the scale, it could "literally destroy the American nation and might cause the deaths of 90 percent of its people and set us back a century or more in time as far as our ability to function as a society."

And so today, here we are. The US Navy against terrorists in a lifeboat. Here we are in a world with an isolated nuclear North Korea, with Kim lobbing ICBM's over Japan, selling these missile technologies to a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran, the world's leading terror sponsor and sworn enemy of America and all other "infidels". We have Iran's president promising to wipe America and Israel from the face of the earth, even as Obama proposes to REDUCE spending on our missile shield that seems to be working.

Meanwhile, as Korea and Iran and these modern-day Barbary Pirates thumb their nose at the rest of us, all that the Obama/Clinton regime seem to be able to concoct as a "response" is to take this "serious provocation" (ooooo...) back to the impotent, corrupt, anti-American UN for resolution, with China and Russia ready and waiting with their veto pens.

Good luck with all that.

Crittenden (and Jefferson before him) had it right: President Obama has an opportunity here with these pirates to at least flex a muscle or two at minimum and to send a message to the terrorists who want us all dead purveyors of "man-caused disasters".

But don't hold your breath.

You might want to stock up on long term food and water stockpiles though...

DiscerningTexan, 4/11/2009 11:38:00 AM | Permalink | |
Thursday, April 09, 2009

Next Gift: an iTunes Card

Cartoon by Glenn McCoy (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 4/09/2009 11:13:00 PM | Permalink | |

Nah--no message "coordination" here...

Via Gateway Pundit, Doug Ross notices a very interesting media trend:

Gee, What an Odd Coincidence... Lib Media Runs Curious Batch of Hundreds of Similar Healthcare Headlines In Same Day

Doug Ross noticed the media published over 200 nearly identical healthcare headlines in the same 24 hour period:

Click to Enlarge
Every one of these headlines carried news about uninsured Americans.
Each was specific for an individual state.
And, they all ran on the same day in several states.
...Dozens and dozens of them.

All of the stories were marketed by a liberal "advocacy group" called Families USA. (Ever notice how the dems use such innocent names as a front for their socialist intentions?)

If you ever needed proof of a vast left wing conspiracy running through the media this would be it.

Dear Leader must have given them the order to start pushing his nationalized healthcare plan this week. ...
DiscerningTexan, 4/09/2009 10:44:00 PM | Permalink | |
Wednesday, April 08, 2009

How about this: Let's NOT Repeat the Mistakes of the Past

When Barack Obama told CEO's "MyAdministration is the only thing standing between you and the pitchforks..." he was using the language of the Marxist Community Organizer (which of course Obama was before being elected to office...).

History has shown that the end result of this line of thinking is ruinous and deadly. Oleg Atbashian writes that the nation's "organizer in chief" could learn a lot from Russian history.
DiscerningTexan, 4/08/2009 12:43:00 AM | Permalink | |
Monday, April 06, 2009

A Message to the Rich; Best Bill Whittle Post Ever?

Bill Whittle has so many brilliant essays that to call this one his "best ever" might be a stretch. But with that said, this one certainly resonates with me in today's atmosphere of Marxist hate speech: This essay may be one of the more effective demolitions of the cancer of class warfare that I have seen in a long time. Class warfare is the very essence of exploitation and is the very antithesis of the Tenth Commandment.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's (goods, house or fields, nor his male or female slaves, nor his ox or ass, or anything that belongs to him).
As always, in destroying the Left's strawmen, Whittle is a Ninja among novices:
The Washington Post ran a column a few days ago, in which a Mr. Joel Berg applauds the Obama Administration for reducing the amount of charitable deduction that The Rich are allowed to take when they write a check to charity.

Mr. Berg – who runs a charitable foundation that feeds the poor — explains things for us thusly:

…It is wrong to give them [the very rich] unilateral power to decide whether their taxpayer-subsidized donations should go to, say, well-heeled operas or lavish care of pets rather than to organizations that meet more pressing communal needs.”
Mr. Berg lists two specific ways in which The Rich have been Letting Down the Team – again.
First, [he writes] such tax deductions are a highly inefficient way to fund social programs.”
Got that? He continues:
Second, voluntary private charity is a less equitable way to solve community problems.
See the problem here?
When the wealthiest Americans donate to charities, [writes Berg] they are most likely to give to universities, hospitals and cultural institutions from which they and their families may benefit.
The filthy swine!

The answer is simple. Don’t let The Rich have a big deduction on charitable giving, since they will donate to stupid things like the Arts or medical centers, instead of those charities doing important things – like Mr. Berg’s.

No sir! The answer is clear: simply tax them more.

Combined with other progressive Obama tax proposals, that change would not only start to redress the inequality gap that has engulfed America in recent decades but would also help to pay for many effective domestic programs…
… Which Mr. Berg then helpfully goes on to list.

Well, I read this article in the Washington Post, and I thought: there you have it. The top ten percent, that pays sixty percent of the total income tax and which allows the bottom half – HALF! – to pay nothing… Those horrible, greedy bastards are not using their free-will generosity as “efficiently” as the government can, so let’s just take more of their money and call it square.

So let me now send a personal message to The Rich in America…

As an American and a patriot, I implore you – I go to my knees and beg you – LEAVE NOW.

Leave. Just go away. Retire to the Cayman Islands or Bermuda or wherever, but do it now, please, while you still have some love for this country. Close your companies, fire your employees, shutter your factories and offices, sell your property, and take all of that somewhere else… better yet: somewhere scenic but poverty-stricken. Somewhere that could use some wealth creation. Somewhere that people simply are grateful to have a job in the first place. Somewhere where you will be appreciated.

You are not welcome in America any more. Take your wealth and prosperity and inventiveness and hard work and vision and insight and bold risk-taking and joy in seeing growth and wealth creation and just go away – right now, before it’s too late. Because if you stay, Joel Berg and Barack Obama and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd will continue to come after you for more and more and more and they will not ever stop – not ever – until you are forced to flee. And when that day comes, you will go with not with fond remembrances and a desire to return home, but rather a black heart and hard and bitter memories.

So on behalf of those few of us who still believe in the Land of Opportunity, I beg you and implore you, in the name of our common patriot ancestors who worked so hard and sacrificed so much so that we could become so spoiled and ungrateful: take your 60% of the total income taxes and just go away.

Because if you do, then there will no longer be an Enemy for the Left to stick it to. Then, perhaps, the half of the country that pays no income tax might have to put some skin in the game. Then, perhaps, with most of the wealth generation gone we will turn to our community organizers to provide the wealth creation, and the tax dollars, and the innovation. When you have gone the President of the United States, supported by an army of little acorns like Joel Berg, will have to start calling for the rest of us to be taxed more to address the inequality gap.

[... here Whittle goes into a wonderful story of his own meager beginnings, and how his drive and initiative--and some caring friends--led to the success he enjoys today. He finishes with a flourish]

.... So to The Vilified Rich, I beg you now: do for the rest of the country what my friend did for me… do for us what we are incapable of doing for ourselves. Break us of this addiction to the generosity of others. Just go away for a while, voluntarily, and leave the rest of us to look around and wonder where all the money and the jobs went. It will be painful, and it will be bitter, and our rage will be a terrible thing to see. But then, either we will get better, or we won’t. All will depend on whether or not we still feel the shame, and find the courage, to recover for ourselves the mastery over our own lives that once existed for all Americans, before you few despicable rich people came and started paying for more than half of everything. Which, as is obvious now, was not nearly enough.

If we can break this fever, then you can come back with your jobs and your capital and your vision and your wealth, which was generated by producing something large numbers of people found worth paying for. But go now, while you still love America enough to want to come back some day. Because if you don’t shut this thing down, and soon, the Bergs and Obamas will take and take and take from you until you never want to see this Godforsaken land again.

Now that is what I call an argument. Read the whole thing.

Whittle should run for office. Seriously. I think he could win.

DiscerningTexan, 4/06/2009 10:09:00 PM | Permalink | |
Sunday, April 05, 2009

UPDATED Post(s) of the Day -- a Steyn Double Play!

Mark Steyn brilliantly dissects the empty spectacle of the G20 summit, beginning with the world media's chat with the Secretary of State phone sex "enchantress":

Unfortunately, as part of the curious run of bad luck currently afflicting our new secretary of state, upon dialing the number the gentlemen of the press were greeted by a honey-voiced seductress, presumably not Secretary Clinton, offering them "phone sex" and seeking their credit-card number if they "feel like getting nasty."

No, it wasn't a White House April Fools' gag. This was April 2.

Alas, what with the collapse of the newspaper industry and major metro dailies filing for bankruptcy every 20 minutes, sticking phone sex on your expense tab isn't as easy as it once was. So many of these bigshot correspondents were forced to hang up, call the White House Press Office, get given the correct number and listen to Hillary droning on about the NATO summit for a half-hour. The Deputy Press Secretary, Bill Burton, insisted that the White House handing out sex-line numbers was no big deal and only Fox News would make a fuss about "a corrected phone number."

I'm not sure why the White House needed to correct it. It's the perfect radio ad for the administration. Call 1-900-OBAMA, and Timothy Geithner will demand your credit-card number and ask whether you feel like getting nasty, because he certainly does. He'll be wearing a steel-tipped basque, and the squeals in the background will be an AIG executive or the former CEO of General Motors hanging upside down in the Treasury Department basement while he feels the firm lash of government "regulation" from Barney Frank and Mistress Pelosi.

Well, we all hate "the rich," don't we? Last week, David Paterson, the governor of New York, said that if he'd known his latest tax increase would persuade Rush Limbaugh to sell his Manhattan apartment and leave the city, he'd have raised taxes earlier. Ha-ha. Very funny. In New York City, as Mayor Bloomberg has pointed out, the wealthiest 1 percent contribute 50 percent of municipal revenue. How tiny a number of people does Gov. Paterson have to drive out before it causes significant shortfalls in the public coffers?

On the other hand, the rich can only be driven out if they've got somewhere to be driven to. At the ludicrous G-20 summit in London last week, the official communiqué crowed over a "clampdown" on tax havens – those British colonies in the Caribbean and a few other offshore pinpricks in the map. "The era of banking secrecy is over," the G-20 proclaimed.

Does anyone seriously think a Swiss bank account or a post office box in the Turks and Caicos are responsible for the global meltdown?

No, but the world's governments have decided to focus on irrelevant scapegoats. In the current crisis, Japan, Germany and Italy (plus Russia) are in net population decline that's only going to accelerate in the years ahead. So, unlike the U.S., they can't run up the national debt and stick it to their kids and grandkids, because they don't have any kids and grandkids to stick it to. If New York is running out of rich people, Germany is running out of people, period. The Chinese and other buyers of Western debt know that. If you're an investor, and you're not tracking GDP versus median age in the world's major economies, you're going to lose a lot of money.

If government has a role in this crisis, it ought to be to reverse the combination of unaffordable social programs and deathbed demographics that make a restoration of real GDP growth all but impossible in many European nations. But that would involve telling the citizenry unpleasant truths, and Continental politicians who wish to remain electorally viable aren't willing to do that. President Sarkozy, The Times of London reported, "said that the summit provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give capitalism a conscience." What he means by "a conscience" is a global regulatory regime that ensures there's nowhere to move to. If you're France, which has a sluggish, uncompetitive, protectionist, high-unemployment business environment whose best and brightest abandon the country in ever-greater droves, it obviously makes sense to force the entire planet to submit to the same growth-killing measures that have done wonders for your own economy. But it's not good news for the rest of the world. The building blocks for a global regulatory regime and even a global central bank with an embryo global currency (the IMF and the enhanced role of "Special Drawing Rights") are an ominous development.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Steyn appears in The Corner for an encore performance, and hits it out of the park:

Norks over Japan

A reader chides:

The North Koreans launch a missile over Japan and nary a peep about it from anyone on The Corner??

I'm sure I'm not the only Corner-fan baffled by this............

Well, I seem to be the only one around this morn, and that's mainly because I'm stuck at an airport. But, since you ask re the Nork rocket, I said everything I had to say on this subject in my book, America Alone :

North Korea has millions of starving people; it has one of the lowest GDPs per capita on the planet, lower than Ghana, lower than Zimbabwe, lower than Mongolia.

But it’s a nuclear power.

The danger we face is not a Chinese superpower or an Islamist superpower: if it’s a new boss, you learn the new rules and adjust as best you can. But the greater likelihood is of a world with no superpower at all in which unipolar geopolitics gives way to non-polar geopolitics, a world without order in which pipsqueak thug states who can’t feed their own people globalize their psychoses.

The North Korean test, about which our new president has issued the feeblest of rote protests, is the flip side of the post below. The western world has no will. So we approach a state in which the planet's wealthiest jurisdictions, from Norway to New Zealand, lack any capacity to defend their borders, and the planet's basket-cases, from North Korea to Sudan, will be nuclear powers.

We'll see how that arrangement works out.

God help us all.
DiscerningTexan, 4/05/2009 09:58:00 PM | Permalink | |

Help is on the Way

Also via Glenn (who is decidedly "on" today):

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: Obama Makes Some Tough Business Decisions.

The country’s in the very best of hands.

DiscerningTexan, 4/05/2009 09:34:00 PM | Permalink | |