Friday, April 10, 2009

The Churchill Series - Apr. 10, 2009

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

As August 1929 drew to a close, Churchill, with his eighteen year old son, Randolph, his brother, Jack, and Jack's son, Johnny, neared the end of an almost month long trip across Canada, after which the party planned to visit the U.S. for two months. For Churchill, the trip was a mix of speaking, writing and holidaying.

On September 1 he wrote Clementine :

Tonight we reach Vancouver where alas I have to open an Exhibition and make a speech. ...

I have reluctantly consented to make another speech at Victoria [on Vancouver Island], as it is said to be the most English of all Canadian towns, with a large colony of retired officers of the Army and Navy whose pensions apparently go further here than at home. ...
All went well in Victoria until a cleric, who was supposed to simply return thanks, did what some clerics often do. Churchill told Clementine about it in a letter dated September 12 :
I addressed an enormous luncheon, 700 or 800 men, the cream of Victoria, for an hour. Thanks were proposed to me by the Dean - a foolish Cleric with Socialist leanings, who asked a number of cheeky questions and maundered on unduly, so I put up Randolph to reply and he, in a brief, admirably turned debating speech of five minutes completely turned the tables upon the Dean, to the delight of the audience and also to their amazement. ...

I could not have done it so neatly myself.
Churchill saying he could not have done it so neatly himself is high praise indeed.

Monday there are tense moments at the Customs Inspection station as Churchill's party - he called it "the troupe" - crosses into prohibition-era America and the Custom's inspectors insist on searching the luggage.

I hope you all have a restful and blessed Easter weekend.


The Purposes Of The Piot Posts

In response to Where's Piot's "KC - Shut Up?" a commenter said in part:

Even if [Piot] had replied it would have been easily fabricated BS which you would have spent much time proving wrong.

His non-reply is his indication of his contempt for you.

Why reiterate his contempt. It only serves his purpose.
Based on previous comments and this one, I judge the commenter to be an intelligent, serious and fair-mined person.

To the commenter and all of you, I offer the following explanation for my Piot posts:

Between Feb. and Oct. 2007 I did spend a lot of time documenting and commenting on matters related to Duke professor Charles Piot’s Feb 12, 2007 reading at a public forum held on Duke’s West Campus of his paper which he said was a study of the role of blogs in the Duke lacrosse case.

Piot’s paper was, in fact, largely an ad hominem targeting historian and Brooklyn College professor KC Johnson, one of those who led the fight to expose the Duke/Durham frame-up attempt as well as the disgraceful conduct of many of Piot’s Duke faculty colleagues whose heinous and reckless actions did so much to enable the trashing and endangerment of the students on the lacrosse team, and to sustain the attempt to imprison three Duke students who were transparently innocent.

I listened to Piot’s reading and took notes, but no taping was permitted and no print copies of his ad hominem were available.

So I emailed Piot the day following his reading and asked that he post a copy of his paper on the Internet.

That was a fair way to give KC a chance to respond; and it would allow anyone to read what Piot had said and judge his paper for him/herself.

I had no doubt KC would effectively rebut and expose Piot; nor did I have any doubt informed, reasonable people would see Piot’s paper for the vicious, very likely slanderous ad hominem it was.

I think even Piot realized that.

How else to explain his never making a copy of the paper he actually read Feb. 12, 2006 available; nor his ever releasing for public viewing the tape which Duke AV made which contains his reading of his ad hominem?

Instead, Piot published in a journal an airbrushed copy of his paper.

Documenting and commenting on Piot's actions and inactions with regard to his ad hominem, including documented instances of his refusal to make his paper as originally read available to KC and others, may have earned me Piot’s contempt.

If it did, it’s a very small consideration when placed beside the importance of placing “on the record” and calling attention to Piot’s egregious conduct which should trouble all at Duke who value academic disputation based on fairness and honesty.

As for reiterating, that reminds and informs people of what Piot did and what Duke tolerates.

Mike Williams' Obama Watch - Apr. 10, 2009

Here's Mike Williams Obama Watch letter today. I add a few comments following it.

Mike begins - - -

I honestly don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Rick Moran at American Thinker nails it:

It's no great secret that most politicians lie - a little anyway. But with Obama and Biden we seem to have entered a whole new ballgame when it comes to shockingly gaudy, in your face, don't-care-if- I'm-caught-or-not, deceitful lying that dares the press to call them on it and always get away with it.

How about the White House saying with a straight face that the president didn't bow to the Saudi King? How about Obama getting in front of a battery of microphones the day after firing the CEO of GM and saying that the government was not in the business of running GM?

There are many more examples of the president's inability to be straight with the American people.

But the point is that the press will never follow up or write anything that exposes their lies….
The press will never follow up or write anything that exposes their lies.

My comments:

No one should be surprised President Obama routinely lies even when facts, video tapes and common sense contradict him.

And no one should be surprised that most of MSM lets him get away with it, even to the point of framing the lies in ways that make them seem credible or at least not blatantly false.

During the presidential primaries Obama, for almost 20 years a close friend of Rev. Jeremiah Wright who regularly attended services at Wright's church, made the preposterous claim he'd never heard any of Wright's anti-white, anti-American pulpit screeds?

Almost all MSM went along with Obama.

Even if we allow for the sake of argument that somehow Obama really wasn't in Wright's church for the virulently racist, anti-American screeds, can you recall a single reporter asking Obama:

"Senator, if you weren't in church for any of Rev. Wright's controversial sermons over the course of the almost 20 years you were a member of Trinity UCC and you never read similiar remarks Wright made in Trinity publications, didn't Ms. Obama or any of the other Trinity congregants ever tell you what Rev. Wright was saying?"

When Obama can get away with telling us he didn't know about Wright's anti-white, anti-American screeds, why is anyone surprised the White House, for example, is telling us President Obama didn't bow to Saudi Arabia's King?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Churchill Series - Apr. 9, 2009

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

September 1, 1929 found Churchill in Western Canada, at a place many of you may have visited: Banff. His visit was part of three month long speaking, writing and holiday trip he took across Canada, down the American West Coast, and then across America to New York by train. He was accompanied by his son, Randolph, his brother, Jack, and Jack's son, Johnny.

Here follows most of a wonderful letter Churchill wrote Clementine from Banff. Mary, his youngest daughter, is then seven :

I have some news which will interest Mary. [We] have encountered bears. [WSC underlined "bears." JinC]

We were motoring along when suddenly at a turn in the road, bears were seen approaching at no great distance. It was in fact a she-bear attended by two large cubs. We stopped the motor alongside of them.

The she-bear reared up on her hind legs in what looked at first a menacing attitude, but it turned out that she was not at all hostile, but was in fact only begging for biscuits [which we did not have.] …

[We] slept at Lake Emerald, after a fine drive along the sides of precipitous hills, across foaming torrents and through magnificent gorges. Lake Emerald has an extraordinary colour, more Turquoise of Jade than Emerald. … I painted three pictures which give a very inadequate idea of the great beauty of this spot.

In the evening we reached Lake Louise, where there is another enormous hotel. [Here there is] another green Lake of wide expanse surrounded by enormous precipices and with a wonderful line of snow clad peaks and glaciers in the centre. …

No more prefect Alpine scene exists than this though it is but two hours ride from a Ritz hotel. No wonder Lake Louise is becoming one of the most famous pleasure resorts on this continent! …
It makes you want to head right off to Banff, doesn’t it? I have a friend who’s been just about everywhere in the world. He says Banff and the lake area surrounding it is the most beautiful place he’s ever been.

The letter gives us a wonderful look at Churchill, the father and husband. He knew Clementine would read Mary the letter, especially the part where Papa, Randolph, Uncle Jack and Johnny meet the bears.

He knew both Clementine and Mary would love the striking “word pictures” he drew.

But he couldn't know that 70 years after he wrote that letter, Mary, now Lady Soames, would take it and other letters her father and mother wrote each other, and make them available to us.

What a wonderful thing Lady Soames did.

I hope to see you tomorrow. We’ll be on Victoria Island where, among other things, we’ll meet that cleric I mentioned the other day. Remember? The one Churchill said had “socialist leanings.”

Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill. (Edited by their daughter Mary Soames) ( p. 343)

UK Police Arrest Pakistanis In Suspected Al-Qaeda plot

The Daily Telegraph has the story here.

DT leads with a video report but I recommend you read the print story first for background to the video.

That everyone from reporters to the Prime Minister are using the words “Pakisantis” and “Pakistan” is progress for Britain where media and government officials usually use PC euphemisms such as “the suspect are Asians.”

The most sensible line in the video came from a former police administrator who said: “People in this country need to wake up.”

They sure do.

There’s much I admire about the Brits, but they’ve been too lovey-dovey in responding to domestic terror threats and those in their midst who incite contempt for Britain’s traditional values while excusing the terrorists.

Many of us in America are that way, too.

The civilized world is in a war with terrorists. Team Obama may not understand that but the terrorists certainly do.

DT entire reporting’s here.

Hat tip: Drudge Report

Where's Piot's "KC - Shut Up?" ( A Repost)

Readers Note: On the thread of a post at KC Johnson’s Durham-in-Wonderland a number of commenters reference Duke Professor Charles Piot’s Feb. 12, 2007 reading of what he purported was carefully researched analysis of the role of blogs in the Duke lacrosse case,

I attended the public event at Duke during which Piot read his paper which was, in fact, almost entirely a reckless, error-filled ad hominem targeting KC.

I posted a number of times concerning the content of Piot’s paper as read by him, the email exchanges I had with Piot, and an airbrushed version of his paper published months later.

Below is a reposting of Where’s Piot’s “KC – Shut Up?” which I posted Oct. 15, 2007.

You’ll see the post ends with a copy of an email I sent Piot. I express the hope I’d soon hear from him. I never have.

Is anyone surprised?

Here’s Where’s Piot’s “KC – Shut Up?”

Charles Piot is associate professor in the Department of Cultural Anthropology and interim director of the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke University.

The journal Transforming Anthropology recently published Piot’s "KC's World,” an ad hominem targeting historian, blogger and Brooklyn College Professor Robert KC Johnson. You can read Piot's ad hominem here.

KC Johnson has been a leader in the fight for justice for Duke students victimized by now disbarred former Durham DA Mike Nifong, certain Durham Police officers and others who conspired to frame the students with enablement from many, including some at Duke.

If you're an intelligent, fair-minded person familiar with KC's work and haven't yet read his response to Piot, you're expecting it to be carefully organized, fact-driven, and effective in refuting bogus claims and manufactured facts.

You're right as you’ll see if you read KC’s response to Piot's attack here.

Example of KC responding: Piot claims the intent of Duke faculty's Group of 88's now discredited "Listening Statement" was “was never to speak to the events at the lacrosse party.”

KC counters that false claim by noting and linking to the text of Professor Wahneeema Lubiano's email to colleagues soliciting their support for the "Listening Statement."

Lubiano's email begins: “African & African-American Studies is placing an ad in The Chronicle about the lacrosse team incident.”

I hope you read what both Piot and KC say.

The rest of this post contains first, excerpts from a February 19, 2006 JinC post concerning a statement Piot made when reading a paper at a panel forum I attended on February 12; and second, a copy of an email I've just sent Piot in which I ask him why he left the statement - "KC - shut up and go back to teaching" - out of his journal article which he told me in an email last February would contain the text of the paper he read at the Feb. 12 forum.

Now the excerpts from the Feb. 19 post, PIOT HURT HIMSELF , which begen with a correction.

CORRECTION: I say in the post that Professor Piot is a signatory to the Group of 88's statement. He's not.

I apologize for my error.


[...] On Feb. 12, 2007, in what was advertised on the Internet as a panel presentation on Duke’s West Campus to which the public was invited , African and African American and Cultural Anthropology professor Charlie Piot, a signatory of the now discredited Duke faculty Group of 88’s “listening statement,” attacked historian, Brooklyn College professor and blogger Robert KC Johnson, one the statement’s leading critics.

Piot ended his attack with: “KC – Shut up and go back to teaching!” [...]

Piot clearly meant his “Shut up” line to be one of the most important in his lecture. It was his crescendo and climax, delivered with deliberate emphasis. It drew long and sustained applause from his audience which included a number of Group of 88 signatories and their students.

As regards all of that, Piot’s “Shut up” closer was well-chosen and successful. It expressed in a few words exactly what Piot, the majority of the “88,” many of their students and some others at Duke would like Johnson to do.

But did Piot’s “Shut up” do him much good beyond “the world of ‘88’ and its satellites?”[...]

Did Piot want people to view his lecture as a scholarly disputation?

If he did, ending with “KC – Shut up and go back to teaching” was a mistake.

Telling another academic to “Shut up and go back to teaching” is the way you end an ad hominem, which is just what Piot’s “lecture” was. (Taping of Piot’s remarks was not permitted except for an “official” taping by panel sponsors who haven’t released it. Piot told me in an email he couldn’t release text copies of his remarks because he’s promised them to a journal editor who’s agreed to publish them, a proviso of which is that Poit’s remarks not be released pending journal publication.) [...]

Faculty who value open debate and free expression, and that’s most Duke faculty, scorn those demanding an academic “Shut up and go back to teaching.” [...]

They’ll instead identify with what Economics Professor Roy Weintraub, a faculty member for thirty-seven years and twice chair of the academic council said in a Feb. 14 letter to The Chronicle ( “Disagreement is not McCarthyism” )

”I don't ask the panelists to shut up and teach. I ask them instead to understand that for various Duke faculty, staff, administrators, students, parents and alumni to disagree with them in public or in private is neither McCarthyism nor an academic travesty and betrayal of the values of our institution, but is rather an expression of their believing otherwise.

I've just sent Professor Piot the following email.

Dear Professor Piot:

I first contacted you on February 13 of this year concerning a paper you read the previous night in the West Union Building on West Campus. Taping of your reading was not permitted and you didn't distribute print copies of your paper. I asked where I could link to your paper.

In an email response you explained: "I've promised my piece for publication in an academic journal, with the proviso that it not be published elsewhere beforehand. I'll certainly let you know when it comes out."

Your paper has now been published in Transforming Anthropology. It differs in significant respects from what I reported in posts last February based on notes taken during your reading.

For example, as you surely recall, you ended your Feb. 12 reading with: "KC - shut up and go back to teaching." I posted concerning it in PIOT HURT HIMSELF and sent you a link.

However, the Transforming Anthropology version of your paper omits your "KC - shut up and go back to teaching" statement.

Forum attendees were not permitted to tape your reading but there was, as you know, a videotape made by Duke AV people of it at the behest of the forum organizers.

I understand the videotape is now in the possession of the Department of African and African American Studies which has so far not made the tape available to the public despite requests that it do so.

I am requesting that you now make that tape publicly available at an internet site.

You accuse bloggers, especially KC, of McCarthyism. Yet KC linked to your Transforming Anthropology article as part of his response to you. I'm sure he would have linked to the videotape of your paper reading had it been available.

But he can't.

You’ve given KC no chance to respond to the paper you read Feb. 12 which was the most vicious, and possibly slanderous, ad hominem I've ever heard one academic deliver against another in public.

You've done that by acting much like Senator McCarthy himself. Recall he made that speech in Wheeling, WV attacking "Communists in the State Department" but never produced the actual speech, and instead began offering versions of it.

Professor Piot, fairness demands you make the videotape available to KC and the rest of us.

I look forward to your response, which I’ll publish in full at JinC.

Here’s a link to a post which includes this email as well as background concerning it:


John in Carolina

Spoofing Team Obama’s “Smart Diplomacy"

The Other McCain posts:

The Vatican has quietly rejected at least three of President Obama's candidates to serve as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See because they support abortion, and the White House might be running out of time to find an acceptable envoy before Mr. Obama travels to Rome in July, when he hopes to meet Pope Benedict XVI.

Yeah, smart diplomacy: yeah.
The news in the post would make any sensible American groan but for its title, which I hope leaves you laughing as it did me:
”And a ham and cheese sandwich for the Israeli Ambassador, please.”
Message to The Other McCain: Great spoof!

Message to JinC Readers: The Other McCain's an outstanding blog you can visit here.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Four Wise Comments

A commenter says - - -

We have now reached the truly dangerous point where we cannot even be warned about the lethal, fanatical and suicidal hatred of our society by Islamic extremists, because to do so would be politically incorrect and, in some European countries, would be a violation of the law against inciting hostility to groups.

The same commenter says - - -

Perhaps the scariest aspect of our times is how many people think in talking points, rather than in terms of real world consequences.

And this - - -

Barack Obama's favorable reception during his tour in Europe may be the most enthusiastic international acclaim for a democratic government leader since Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich in 1938, proclaiming "peace in our time."

And this - - -

How a man who holds the entire population of a country as his prisoners, and punishes the families of those who escape, can be admired by people who call themselves liberals is one of the many wonders of the human mind's ability to rationalize. Yet such is the case with Fidel Castro.


Perhaps you know or have guessed the comments are Thomas Sowell's. But their knowledge of history and good sense reminded me of the comments readers frequently make here.

Sowell's comments are found in his latest column - "Random Thoughts" - where, among other thoughts not mentioned here, there's one on how President Obama might reduce the national debt and another with some homey advice for Treasury Secretary Geithner.

Sowell's wise and always worth reading.

Hat tip: BN

Your Problems Viewing The Cartoons

I'm sorry some of you are having trouble viewing the Obama cartoon showing him as the Pied Piper behind whom follow smiling and dancing mice labeled "CNN," "MSNBC," "CBS," and "NBC."

If you can use Mozilla, you should be able to view it.

Any advcie on how to get the cartoon showing on AOL and IE will be welcome.


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Churchill Series - Apr 8, 2009

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

In August 1929 Churchill, with his son, Randolph, his brother, Jack, and Jack’s son, Johnny, arrived in Quebec City to begin an almost three month tour of Canada and the United States.

As a well-known author and Member of Parliament who’d recently served as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Churchill was in great demand as a speaker. Also, receptions were arranged so people could meet him.

Churchill had brought with him research material for his planned biography of his ancestor, the first Duke of Marlborough. He would also write for magazines and newspapers a number of articles describing the trip.

And with all of that, the trip had been planned as a travel holiday.

Churchill wrote Clementine from Quebec:

We stayed at the Chateau Frontenac, a tremendous hotel on the most modern lines. Saturday we saw all the sights, the Citadel, Wolfe’s Cove and the Plains of Abraham, where the battle which decided the fate of Canada was fought. …

Late in the afternoon …we took an open motor car and went off twenty miles into the blue. I wanted to see the country at close quarters and nibble the grass and champ the branches. We saw hills and forests scarcely trodden by the foot of man, every kind of tree growing in primeval confusion and loveliest [streams] splashing down to the rivers. …

Our first morning there arrived [a man from] the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, sent specially on a twenty-four hours journey by Mr. [Charles] Schwab [Chairman, Bethlehem Steel Company] with the most cordial message . Mr. Schwab places his ‘railway’ car at our disposal during the whole of our tour in the United States!

This solves all problems. We timidly suggested paying the haulage, but this was brushed aside with pained looks. It will certainly be an enormous convenience and comfort. …
Churchill had gotten to know Schwab during WWI when Schwab sought construction contracts from the Admiralty of which Churchill was then First Lord. At the time it took British shipbuilders 14 months to build a submarine; Schwab said BSC’s shipbuilding division could build them in 6 months. He convinced Churchill, who approved a contract with BSC which built the subs in 6 months as Schwab had promised.

In August 1943, almost fourteen years to the day of his first visit, Churchill returned to Quebec, this time as Prime Minister, for a conference with President Roosevelt and other allied leaders. As he had the first time, he stayed at the Chateau Frontenac as did many members of the British and American delegations.

Below are links to the Frontenac, and the tourist sites of the City of Quebec and the Province of Quebec.

If you haven’t visited Quebec, I hope you do. The city is set above the St. Lawrence with the views stretching for miles on a clear day. It’s very easy to get about; just watch those cobblestones in “The Old City.”

The surrounding countryside is magnificent. Within an hours drive of the city you find yourself, just like Churchill, in a primeval, Alpine-like countryside of forests, glens and snow-capped mountains.

Visiting Quebec allows you to experience much of what is wonderful about Europe. Only for Americans, Quebec is more easily reached and less expensive. As of Apr. 8, 2009 a U. S. dollar buys a little more than $1.20 Canadian. You can check the most current exchange rate here.

Tomorrow we’ll be in Western Canada. Churchill will meet a bear, visit Banff and Lake Louise, paint, and end the Canadian portion of the trip of the trip at a luncheon on Victoria Island. All is well until Churchill meets a cleric with “Socialist leanings.”
Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill. Edited by their daughter, Mary Soames. (pgs. 336-338)

You Bet Some MSM Pay Attention To Obama

A friend sent along this cartoon . No source was cited but it's a safe quess it wasn't CNN, MSNBC or the networks. Or NPR, NYT, LAT, PBS , etc., etc., etc.


'A government big enough
to give you everything you want,
is strong enough to take everything you have.'
Thomas Jefferson

Obama In Turkey: A Lose-Lose

In the NY Post today national security and military affairs expert Ralph Peters explains what President Obama was really doing Turkey,

Those in the MSM who’ve gushed over Obama’s speech in Ankara and his remarks in Istanbul - - that’s almost all the MSM reporting on the trip - - should pay attention to what Peter’s says.

Peters IMO correctly sees that Obama projected an image of a weak, apologetic America at the same time he hurt those in Turkey trying to halt and reverse its slide to Islamist state status.

As Peters says - - -

…[At every European stop], Obama draped Lady Liberty in sackcloth and ashes, drawing plentiful applause but no serious economic or security cooperation in return.

Then, in Turkey, he surrendered our national pride, undercut our interests and interfered in matters that aren't his business.

On the latter point: Suppose the European Union president went to Cuba and insisted that the world's sunniest concentration camp should be welcomed into NAFTA?

That's the equivalent of what our president did in Ankara on Monday when he declared that he supports Turkey's bid for EU membership.

The Europeans don't
want Turkey in their club. Because Turkey isn't a European state, nor is its culture European. And it isn't our business to press Europe to embrace a huge, truculent Muslim country suffering a creeping Islamist coup.

The Europeans were appalled by Turkey's neo-Taliban tantrum on-stage at last week's NATO summit. The Turks fought to derail the appointment of a great Dane, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as the new NATO secretary general.

Why? Because he didn't stone to death the Danish cartoonist who caricatured Mohammed. [
Peters exaggerates here but he points in the right direction. – JinC]

Which brings us to the even bigger problem: Obama has no idea what's going on in Turkey. By going to Ankara on his knees, he gave his seal of approval to a pungently anti-American Islamist government bent on overturning Mustapha Kemal's legacy of the separation of mosque and state. [
I know a number of Western-oriented Turks. All of them are deeply concerned by their current government’s increasing slide toward an Islamist state.]

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party, the AKP, means headscarves, Korans, censorship and stacked elections. The country's alarmed middle class opposes the effort to turn the country into an Islamic state. Obama's gushing praise for the AKP's bosses left them aghast.

Obama's embrace of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (now orchestrating show trials of his opponents) was one step short of going to Tehran and smooching President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. …

Peter’s entire column’s here. I strong encourage you to read the whole thing.

Mike Williams Obama Watch - Apr. 8, 2009

Biden tells Israel not to attack Iran. Iran is very pleased. Bill Katz isn’t:“Will someone please shut Joe Biden up.”

Bill continues:

Joe, why wouldn't he [newly installed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ] do it? Why shouldn't he do it? The Obama administration is in high grovel, and is beginning to make Jimmah Carter look like a tough guy. Maybe you should spend more time being rough on enemies, and less time pressuring allies….

Ya think? Meanwhile, in the grown-up world, Somali pirates have seized an American ship and crew, and the Iranians have charged an American journalist with espionage. Two more chances for our apologist-in-chief to speak loudly and wield his little stick….

Moving right along, our esteemed Congressional Black Caucus went to Cuba recently, where it sounds like they went lips to cheeks with the Castro brothers:

The CBC members conceded there were limited discussions about human rights abuses in Cuba.

"We didn't talk about it much," said Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio. "You don't go into someone's house and insult them."

I guess they would have sucked up to the terrorist on the left, too, if he were still with us [h/t Gateway Pundit]:


Also – in the immortal words of Casablanca’s Louis Renault -- we’re shocked, shocked to learn that “Detroit has more registered voters than it has residents.” Once again, the Gateway Pundit nails it:


Well, we started off with nukes, so let’s end it for today with our nuclear illusionist-in-chief:

"Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something."

So declared President Obama Sunday in Prague regarding North Korea's missile launch, which America's U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice added was a direct violation of U.N. resolutions. At which point, the Security Council spent hours debating its nonresponse, thus proving to nuclear proliferators everywhere that rules aren't binding, violations won't be punished, and words of warning mean nothing.

Rarely has a Presidential speech been so immediately and transparently divorced from reality as Mr. Obama's in Prague. The President delivered a stirring call to banish nuclear weapons at the very moment that North Korea and Iran are bidding to trigger the greatest proliferation breakout in the nuclear age….

That’s from the WSJ. Read it all and weep.

Somali Pirates Challenge Obama, U. S. Navy

TigerHawk posts about it - - -

Somali pirates have decided that it is great time to capture an American flagged ship crewed by our citizens.

Naturally, I have a few questions.

Why has this not happened before? Why were these pirates not deterred by the prospects of a response from the United States Navy (the very first mission of which was to stop piracy from Africa)? What will our president do about it?

This is a far more important moment for Barack Obama than the news media, judging by the lack of coverage on cable news this morning, believes it to be.

MORE: FoxNews has more.

WELCOME CORNER READERS: The tenor and scope of our response should not merely be tailored to getting these hostages back safely. Our Navy's command of the seas is a non-negotiable strategic asset. We need to know why our flag did not deter these bozos and take immediate steps to restore their respect for it, even if we have to bomb every pirate port on the Somali coast and suffer the charge of "disportionality" from the international law fetishists. It's what Thomas Jefferson would do.

Law Prof On Why Frank's Attacked Scalia

Writing in the Chicago Tribune, Univ. of Wisconsin School of Law professor Ann Althouse examines Rep. Barney Frank’s latest attack on Justice Antonin Scalia and suggests what Frank’s motive is.

Althouse begins - - -

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) says that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a "homophobe" who "makes it very clear that he's angry, frankly, about the existence of gay people."

Frank points to Scalia's dissenting opinion in Lawrence vs. Texas—a case that struck down a statute criminalizing homosexual sodomy—and accuses the justice of thinking that "it's a good idea for two consenting adults who happen to be gay to be locked up because he is so disapproving of gay people."

But Scalia has written no such thing. Either Frank is an incompetent reader or he is deliberately trying to mislead people into believing that justices vote for results in cases the way legislators vote a bill up or down.

Now, it is true that Scalia wrote a cutting dissent in Lawrence.

Scalia didn't expand his opinion with a statement of sympathy for the gay men he would have let the state imprison. But his sharp words were not aimed at those men.

Scalia made a righteous show of his dedication to a method of constitutional interpretation, following the original meaning of the constitutional text. In this analysis, any infusion of the judge's personal values is nothing but an illicit power grab.

Make no mistake: Scalia's scathing words were aimed at his colleagues on the Supreme Court. He mocks them for adopting the "law profession's anti-anti-homosexual culture." They've "taken sides in the culture war," Scalia said, instead of dutifully accepting the criminal statute that emerged from the democratic process in the state of Texas.

"Let me be clear that I have nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda through normal democratic means," Scalia wrote, refraining from saying anything about whether he wanted to see them prevail.

He merely said that—because the state may base its laws on morality—gay people will have to fight for what they want in politics, not the courts. …

If Frank's accusations inflamed you, think hard about why Frank chose to portray Scalia the way he did. I suspect Frank would like to soften us up for future judicial nominations.

Back in 2007, Barack Obama told us about "the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges": "We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled or old."

If Obama delivers nominees who've demonstrated their heart and empathy by reaching outcomes that accord with liberal political preferences, will liberals forget that we need to test the soundness of their legal reasoning?

If Frank succeeds in getting people to believe that judicial opinions are the kind wishes of good hearts, we will rubber-stamp these seemingly good people.

If we do that, we will have forgotten what law is, and our rights will depend on the continued beneficence of the judges we've empowered.

Althouse’s entire column’s here.

Hat tip:

What Obama’s Russian Friends Say Now

Did you read the stories or watch news reports about the first meeting between President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev?

Do you remember that after it Medvedev posed smiling with our smiling President whom he hailed as "my new comrade" who "can listen?"

Was it really only a week ago that most of America’s MSM gushed about how successfully Obama had "managed" and "impressed" Medvedev?

It was.

And we can only imagine how good Obama, his aides and his MSM flacks must have felt.

But "feel good time" is over.

Reality struck today!

Via AFP reports - - -

Iran poses no threat to the United States, Russia said Tuesday, rebuffing a key argument of President Barack Obama on whether to go ahead with a European missile shield bitterly opposed by Moscow.

Former president George W. Bush had infuriated Russia by striking a deal to install 10 missile interceptors in Poland and related radar stations in the Czech Republic, saying they were needed to counter "rogue states" such as Iran.

The Obama administration says it is reviewing the shield project, studying whether it is militarily justified and cost effective.

But Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, said that the Iran threat was a myth.

"I don't see any threat to the United States coming from Iran anytime soon," Kislyak told a conference of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

He said the shield in the former Soviet bloc nations also failed to cover all of the NATO alliance.

"It didn't accomplish a single stated goal that we were told was the reason to deploy. If that was the case, that means there was something else behind this," Kislyak said. …

The rest of AFP’s story’s here.

Question for President Medvedev: When you were doing all that posing and “my new comrade” stuff with President Obama, did you know your American ambassador would deliver the kind of statements Kislyak did just as Obama was returning to America?

I’m betting you did.

Question for President Obama: Do you now get what the Russians were doing last week with the smiles and “my new comrade” stuff?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Churchill Series - Apr. 7, 2009

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Readers Note: This continues a 5-part series begun yesterday.


On August 3, 1929 Churchill, still a member of Parliament but out of Cabinet office following the Conservative’s defeat in the recent general election, sailed from Southampton bound for a two month trip to Canada and America. He was accompanied by his eighteen year old son, Randolph, his brother, Jack, and Jack’s son, Johnny.

Clementine couldn't accompany them because she'd had a tonsillectomy just before the trip and her physician strongly advised she remain in England to recover.

Churchill made the best of the situation by writing a series of letters to Clementine so she could "share" the trip with him.

He wrote the first letter a few hours after his ship left Southampton:

All departures from home – even on pleasure are sad. The vessel drifts away from the shore & an ever-widening gulf opens between one and the citadel of one’s life and soul. …

You are quite right not to make plans till you feel yourself again. But then surely there are lots of delightful alternatives. … Do not exclude the USA.

We are plodding across a calm Channel & this goes to you from Cherbourg.

I expect to do a lot of work – Certainly 2 articles before landing & to read copiously into Marlborough. …

Send me a wireless to mid-ocean to tell me how you are getting on.

With tender love
Your devoted
On August 8, with the ocean crossing nearing its end, Churchill wrote:
We have had a wonderfully good passage with only one day of unpleasant motion. …

The boys were called by the Captain at 6:30 a.m. to see a large iceberg – 150 ft. high – which passed at no great distance. They did not, however, wake me, which was a pity. …

There is a fine swimming pool on board where the youth of both sexes play water polo. I stick to the hot water. …
What thoughts passed through your mind as you read those parts of the letters?

I thought of the two sentences beginning “All departures from home …” and admired as always Churchill’s descriptive power.

“Send me a wireless to mid-ocean…” Today they’d be calling each other on their cells.
And we very proberbly wouldn't have the letters.

Also, Churchill and everyone else on board must have thought of the Titanic when they saw the iceberg 150 ft. above the waterline. It was less than 20 years since the Titanic went down; he knew many of those who perished.

In tomorrow’s post, Churchill and his party – he called it the “troupe” - arrive in Quebec. He’ll tour the city and take a drive in the countryside. He tells Clementine all about it. Then the troupe heads for Montreal and points West.
Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill. Edited by their daughter, Mary Soames. (pgs. 334-336)

They Say It’s Not About Money

With an eye toward saving some public funds, a bill’s been introduced in North Carolina’s General Assembly which would permit towns, cities and counties to place public notices on their Web sites. That way, the local governments won’t have to do what they do now: pay to have the announcements published in area newspapers.

The N. C. Press Association is strenuously opposed to the bill. (no surprise there) It’s even produced ads telling the public why it should oppose the bill. You can view them here.

Dan Gearino has an excellent post – “Really, it’s not about the money” - chiding the Press Association for the content of the ads.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Churchill Series - Apr. 6, 2009

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Readers Note: The post that follows is a modified and updated version of one that ran in July 2006.


In the late summer of 1929, Churchill, out of office following the Conservative’s defeat in that year's general election, embarked on a three month trip across Canada, down the West coast of the United States, and then across America by train to New York.

Churchill was accompanied by his son, Randolph, his brother, Jack, and Jack's son Johnnie.

Clementine was supposed to accompany them. But just before the trip, she had a tonsillectomy. Her physician advised her not to make the ocean voyage and trip across Canada. In those days, a tonsillectomy and the recovery period carried more risks than they do today, especially for adults.

Churchill was keenly disappointed Clementine was unable to accompany him. He loved her company and was eager for them to together see Canada and America and meet many of the countries’ most influential and famous citizens.

Faced with that disappointment, Churchill made the best of the situation. In this case that meant writing Clementine a series of letters in which he described the sights, the people he met and a series of events, planned and unplanned.

The letters are remarkable for their detail, descriptive power, and assessments of many of the famous and not so famous people Churchill met. For example, it was on this trip that Churchill first met William Randolph Hearst, who was so impressed with Churchill that he offered him a contract to write a series of articles for the Hearst papers which Churchill eagerly agreed to do once he heard Hearst’s offering price.

I’m basing the next five Churchill Series posts on the letters he wrote Clementine during the trip. I hope you visit each day. Tomorrow we depart from Southampton aboard the Canadian Pacific steamship
Empress of Australia bound first for Cherbourg and then out across the Atlantic

What's That In Spitzer's Hands?

AOL is reporting on former NY Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer's Today Show interview during which he discussed the sex/prostitution scandal which led to his resignation.

, like Duke's President Richard Brodhead now ensnared in the Duke/Durham frame-up scandal, wants to put everything behind him and "move on."

Below is the photo AOL chose to accompany its story. The photo may have been the only one AOL had handy.

Whatever AOL's reason, it was certainly an unfortunate choice for the former governor seeking to rehabilitate his reputation.

How's Your Austrian?

If it's not so good, don't get down on yourself. Even President Obama has trouble with the language.

All carrots, no sticks

Jennifer Rubin at Contentions describes "the modus operandi we have seen to date from the Obama team."

They don’t much believe in acquiring or wielding leverage to gain a bargaining advantage with foes.

They are the team that believes in grand gestures, chats with Dimitri Medvedev, and bows to Abdullah the Great.

They think expressions of “respect” for the “Islamic Republic of Iran” will melt the mullahs’ hearts.

And they don’t see why they shouldn’t scurry back to the six-party talks with North Korea despite a missile stepping on the president’s lines.

They flatter themselves that they can flatter their international opponents.
Take a look at Rubin's post - "All carrots, no sticks"

Obama & Dems Banana Republic Spending

Experts say many major private and public pension funds are under funded. What’s more, they warn money for social security will run out in a few decades as the same time an aging population will cause Medicare and Medicaid costs to soar.

Today DC Examiner tells us what President and the Democratic-controlled Congress are doing - - -

It was surely an act of hubris for President Obama to ask Congress to approve a $3.6 trillion federal budget for 2010 that runs a trillion-dollars worth of red ink its first year and then projects half-trillion deficits every year thereafter for a decade. Congress has never before been asked to consider spending of such magnitude, not even during wartime.

Obama’s budget proposal also included provisions committing the nation to far-reaching policy changes that are certain to drive federal taxes higher, send gasoline and electricity costs soaring, socialize doctors and patients by putting Washington bureaucrats in charge of health care, and make Uncle Sam the Daddy Warbucks of college tuition for everybody.

The ultimate result will be a doubling of the national debt, a burden that will fall on our children and grandchildren. In short, this was a budget proposal of historic significance to every living American and for millions yet to be born.

So how did Congress deal with this landmark legislation?

The House of Representatives gave opponents exactly 20 minutes to present an alternative, then gaveled the Obama measure to approval. The Senate approved it after considering a handful of amendments.

But note that even before the 2010 budget was approved, this Congress had approved spending more than $1.2 trillion, or $24 billion per day. That’s $1 billion every hour since the 111th Congress convened in January.

The rest of the Examiner’s editorial’s here.

When I was a child, I heard people say, “Even the rich can spend their way to the poorhouse.”

President Obama and the Congress are doing something like that to our country.
Hat tip: Instapundit

This Obama Coverage Not WH Approved

Remember Mike Williams, the best blogger not blogging? He's back today with an electronic letter that follows. Welcome back, Mike.

According to a Pew Research poll ( may take about 20 seconds to load due, perhaps, to heavy traffic) President Obama “has the most polarized early job approval ratings of any president in the past four decades.”

Larrey Anderson, commenting on the poll at American Thinker:

President Obama has made an awful lot of promises -- none more often than his vows of bipartisanship… voters who were hoping for that promised change to bipartisanship need to refocus their dreams on something else. Praying for the survival of our Republic seems like a good start.

Praying for the survival of our Republic! Are we going a little hyperbolic here? The Gateway Pundit: “This week Obama promised to weaken our national defense, bashed America while in Europe, told the world we were torturers, and handed over our rights at the G20.”

James Lewis at American Thinker:

We have a rock star president who for the first time in American history fired the President of a private corporation, General Motors, then immediately flew to Europe with an entourage of 500 courtiers and a worshipful media, bowed waist-deep to the King of Saudi Arabia, and proceeded to accuse his own country of arrogance.


What arrogance these Americans have. Either that, or a very, very -- no, stunningly -- ignorant man was just elected president -- largely because millions of benevolent voters believed that we owe black people a presidency. They may come to see that as their biggest mistake ever. In the next couple of years they will see a tripling of government debt, high inflation, a permanent loss in their personal wealth, and a major devaluation of the dollar….

And Lee Cary:

Sticks and stone will break our bones, but what are insults from the Obama administration doing to our national psyche?

First, Attorney General Eric Holder called us cowards. Sure, it was framed in the context of interracial issues, but a coward is a coward is a coward. (Was he a coward when he faithfully executed former President Clinton’s final pardons, include one granted to Marc Rich -- yet another tax evader?)

Now, Holder’s boss, President Obama, confessed to our European friends, and others in the vicinity, that we’ve been arrogant.

So let’s see if we have this right. We’re cowardly, arrogant, we torture people, we don’t listen to our friends, we’re selfish and hence must be forced to share our wealth, our children are poorly educated, and our airports and infrastructure are substandard to China’s. What’d I miss?

I don’t know about you American Thinker readers, but I’m getting bummed out. I’m not on suicide watch, but I am wondering about joining a local therapy group for those suffering from ISS (Insult Stress Syndrome)….

So, why does Obama bash us? Paul Mirengoff of Power Line reasonably asks. His fourth possible reason:

…American bashing is the product of his ego. Scott suggested as much yesterday when he described Obama as "bestriding the Western world in the guise of a philosopher king." By distancing himself from America's foreign policy, he presents himself as something greater than a mere American president attempting to project American power and American ideas. Any president can do that. So grand is this American president that he will project his own special synthesis of world ideas, at least rhetorically. In doing so, not coincidentally, he will impress elites at home and abroad, and enhance his personal popularity, if not that of the country. His intellect will be admired and he will become a beloved figure throughout the world.

Meanwhile, in what Bill Katz calls the grown-up world:

The president is about to address the Turkish parliament. This should really be rich, as Turkey is a Muslim country. The opportunity for high grovel is so tempting. The president has already bowed down physically to one Muslim leader, the king of Saudi Arabia, as you've seen in a widely circulated photo. We can't wait to hear what honors are about to be bestowed on other aggrieved Muslims.

This, from the Washington Post, should put the president's current excursion in Europe into some perspective:

As Obama prepared to address the Turkish parliament Monday, the U.N. Security Council met in an emergency session. Despite the urging of the United States and Japan, the 15-member council could not agree on a statement criticizing North Korea's rocket launch. China and Russia said they were not yet convinced that Pyongyang had violated any U.N. rules, according to council officials.

Remember all that palling around that Obama did with Russia's Medvedev last week? Remember the smiles? Remember the talk about "resetting" our relationship with Moscow? Remember the pledge to start negotiating a new nuclear weapons treaty? Remember the warmth and the good times? Oh, and also the swell food.

Lot of good it did us. The old reds won't even admit that North Korea broke any rules. Security Council resolutions? Did you see any resolutions? Maybe the secretary-general's dog ate them. That must be it….

We’ll give a Brit the last word on Obama for today. He starts off:

Isn't it time for him to go home yet? It is good, in theory, that the new President of the United States is taking so much time to tour Europe. He arrived in London last Tuesday, has been to Strasbourg, Prague yesterday and now he's off to Turkey. It shows, I suppose, that he cares about the outside world and that is 'A Good Thing'. But his long stay means that we are hearing rather a lot from him, way too much in fact….

Economic Snap-back Late This Year?

At Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election, writes about the possibility of an economic snap-back at the end of this year. I comment below the star line.

Hassett says (excerpts) - - -

… Back in 1964, [Milton] Friedman speculated that the economy might be thought of as a plucked string: The farther you pull it, the more forcefully it snaps back. That analogy gave the Friedman idea its name, “the plucking model.”

The economy can go down for many reasons. If the world suddenly and permanently demands less of our best product, then a decline today is a harbinger of bad times ahead.

If, however, panic drives everyone to stop buying just about everything, then buying will resume when the panic subsides, and we could easily -- and quickly -- end up back where we started. A panic like that would fit the bill for a Friedman “pluck.”

So if the economy is going to decline, it’s good news to find out that it’s been plucked. That means a snap-back is imminent. …

Hassett explains a snap-back is not a sure thing but provides some help deciding if it is - - -

The hard part, of course, is figuring out whether a given decline is lasting bad news or a temporary pluck.

Until recently, that problem seemed intractable. But over the past few years, econometricians have developed sophisticated models that have solved the problem.

The frontier of this literature has been stretched by a fascinating new working paper by George Washington University’s Tara Sinclair. Sinclair’s model can take the data for an economy and filter out an estimate of whether any plucks occurred. …

Sinclair told me last week that she recently detected something that may be good news for the outlook going forward: “My updated results show that the ‘pluck’ part of the latest recession began in the fourth quarter of 2008.”

That means that the first part of this recession was a lasting adjustment to the collapse of our financial sector, unlikely to reverse itself anytime soon.

On the other hand, the radical declines of the past two quarters are likely transitory, presaging strong quarters to reverse the pluck.

While Sinclair was reluctant to offer a forecast on the outlook, she added that “on average, plucks last just under four quarters.”

With that history as a guide, then, it would seem that the recovery may well be rapid and begin later this year. …

Sinclair’s results also imply that the lateness of the pluck means that permanent damage has been suffered.

When we do recover, we will go back to where we were late last year, with unemployment in the 7 percent range, rather than to the halcyon days [with unemployment in the 5% range]. After that, we can expect a slow and painful drift to full employment.

Sadly, from where we are sitting, 7 percent unemployment looks pretty good, and the news that we have been plucked provides some comfort as more awful news arrives.

Hassett’s entire column’s here.

My comments:

Friedman’s “plucking theory” makes sense. People often overreact in times of stress and uncertainty; and then upon reflection, adopt more rational behavior. We’ve all often seen financial markets snap-back from oversold levels that resulted from panic selling. The 1987 "crash" is a classic example of that.

An important matter Hassett didn’t discuss is the effect on the recovery of current government actions. The massive debt the government is assuming will for certain slow the recovery.

Also, a great deal of risk-taking enterprise will be needed to bring the economy back. But Team Obama’s plans for “taxing the wealthy” and “redistributing wealth” will stifle risk-taking enterprise.

What's your take on all of this?

Who’s A Philanthropist?

In response to NY Times Calls Soros A "Philanthropist" cks reminds us - - -

For the press, a philanthropist is anyone who donates money to Democratic causes (i.e. a Democrat).

A robber baron is a Republican who donates to philanthropic causes because he has a guilty conscience.

It is always important to remember the correct definition.


And it’s also important to remember how the press defines people and things.

Team Obama’s plans for more government control of medical decisions we currently make for ourselves are not going to bring us more “socialized medicine” but “health care reform.”

Those racist, anti-American sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright? They were really "snippets."

And I use to think a snippet was some kind of bird.

Get Tough Response To North Korea

Ken responds to N. Korea Fires Up Obama; I Recall Reagan - - -

Obama could solve this in ten minutes. Call in the Chinese ambassador and let him know that a North Korean nuke would upset the balance in East Asia and that the US would have no choice but to share its weapons with South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Kim wouldn't last a week.

There is absolutely no chance that Obama or any other Democrat would do this. Nor is there any chance that a "compassionate" Republican would either.

The world is a brutal place. We can play by its rules and win or pass another worthless resolution and lose. We are losing. And our children will pay for it with their blood.

Ken makes a very important point. America relies far too much on "strongly worded" resolutions.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

NY Times Calls Soros A "Philanthropist"

First, excerpts from a Sept. 28, 2004 NY Times story; then my comments below the star line.

Times reporter Katharine Seelye began - - -

George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who has given $18 million to Democratic advocacy groups to defeat President Bush, is preparing to spend millions more because he fears that Senator John Kerry might lose.

By mid-August, Mr. Soros had given more than $15 million to advocacy groups like America Coming Together. At that time, he said in an interview on Monday, he fully expected Mr. Kerry to win the election. But recently, Mr. Soros saw what he called the outrageous and slanderous Swift boat commercials against Mr. Kerry and how they had damaged his standing in the polls.

Since then, the Hungarian-born Mr. Soros said, he has become so worried that Mr. Bush will win the election that he increased his giving, to $18.2 million, and has scrapped a trip in October to Russia to work against the president's re-election.

"America has gone off the rails," he lamented in the interview over a lunch of Dover sole at his home in suburban New York. "I've been accused of messianic fantasies, and I will own up to them. To the extent that I can contribute to improving the world in which we live, I want to do it, and I'm in a better position than a lot of other people."

In the last 25 years, Mr. Soros, 74, has given hundreds of millions of dollars to philanthropies overseas like helping blacks go to college in South Africa, building a system to filter water in war-torn Sarajevo and shipping hundreds of photocopying machines to Hungary to advance an independent press. He also spent more than $500 million in Russia on health and educational programs.

Mr. Soros has now set his sights on the United States. "If I could contribute to repudiating the Bush policies, I think it would be the greatest good deed I could do for the world," he said as he announced his tour at the National Press Club here.

Such ambitions have given Mr. Soros the status of whipping boy for Republicans. They find that mention of his name helps them raise money. …

Mr. Soros, whose $7.2 billion fortune makes him the 24th richest person in the United States, has become the biggest donor to the 527 advocacy groups, a category named for the section of the tax code that covers them. He pledged $10 million to America Coming Together for a registration and get-out-the-vote drive, but gave a total of $14.5 million.

His other contributions to Democratic 527's are $2.5 million to Move Voter Fund; $325,000 to Young Voter Alliance; $325,000 to 21st Century Democrats; $300,000 to the Real Economy Group; and $250,000 to Democracy for America.

He has also pledged $3 million to the Center for American Progress, a research group led by John Podesta, President Bill Clinton's chief of staff. Mr. Soros has given $1.5 million to the center.

He said that in this election year he had had minimal contact with Mr. Kerry, largely because campaign finance laws bar coordination between candidates and 527's, and he is such a large donor to the 527's that such contact would be not be correct.
The two men are neighbors in Sun Valley, Idaho.

You can read the entire Times story here.


My comments:

Wasn’t that nice of the Times to tell readers Soros is a “philanthropist.” And in the very first sentence, no less.

And you noticed later in the story Times reporter Seelye detailed some of Soros' "philanthropic" giving. I’m sure Soros appreciated that.

But how often do you see the Times call a major contributor to the GOP a “philanthropist” and detail his or her philanthropic giving? Yet many of them are extraordinarily generous people who contribute to a charitable and social betterment causes.

As for the two men being neighbors in Sun Valley, Idaho, that’s true.

But what the Times didn’t tell its readers was that Soros only bought a ski lodge close to the Kerry’s ski lodge after it became clear Kerry would be the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee.

Seelye’s story is an example of “hearts and flowers” journalism by a major Democratic Party newspaper covering one of its party’s most generous – er, er – ( we shouldn't call Soros a “philanthropist,” should we?).

N. Korea Fires Up Obama; I Recall Reagan

Here’s part of an AP story. My comments follow below the star line.

According to the AP - - -

North Korea defied international warnings and sent a rocket hurtling over the Pacific on Sunday, a launch President Barack Obama called an illicit test of the regime's long-range missile technology that threatened the security of nations "near and far."

Obama and European Union leaders meeting in Prague condemned the move and said North Korea's dangerous defiance demanded an international response.

Diplomats at the United Nations scheduled an emergency Security Council session for later Sunday to discuss what Obama called a clear violation of U.N. resolutions.

"North Korea broke the rules once more by testing a rocket that could be used for a long-range missile," Obama said. "This provocation underscores the need for action — not just this afternoon at the U.N. Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons."

He said the launch threatened the security of countries "near and far."

The rest of the AP story’s here.


My comments:

President Obama speaks of “the need for action – not just this afternoon at the U. N. Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons.”

But what does Obama propose besides the “action” of a U. N. Resolution?

If Kim Jong-il decides to break “the rules once more,” he’ll ignore a U. N. resolution no matter how “strongly worded” and no matter how much “backing” it receives from “the international community.”

The Chinese communist government has some power to influence Kim. But I doubt it will use that power to stop his long-range missile development program.

While America can try diplomacy and economic sanctions, the most important thing Obama needs to do is press forward with development of an effective anti-ballistic missile defense program.

This past week as North Korea prepared for its launch and the President continued to try to “engage” Iran in “discussions,” I thought a lot about President Reagan.

How wise he was to push for an anti-ballistic missile defense system, a proposal which Sen. Ted Kennedy, other Dems and their MSM flacks opposed and ridiculed as “Star Wars.”

For Those Who’ll Soon Visit Britain (Post 2)

Readers Note: For background concerning the post which follows, please see the first post in the series, For Those Who’ll Soon Visit Britain (Post 1).



I ended the last post talking about pubs, but I didn’t say anything about “pub grub.”

If you visited England 20 or 30 years ago and remember only pubs in which you got good “British food at a fair price” (Sheppard’s pie, fish & chips, ham & cheese sandwiches, etc.), you may be disappointed now.

Many London pubs today no longer meet that standard.

But there's still good pub grub out there.

To find it, I'm sure you know to scout for yourself and ask friends and others you trust.

If you’re staying at a hotel, the concierge also comes to mind as someone to ask.

Well, sure, but bear in mind the concierge may be steering you to a place where he/she will get some “credit” for the steer; or the concierge may be giving you a wonderful tip.

You’ll be the judge.

Here’s a tip that’s almost always been good for me when I’ve sought pub grub in London: ask a police constable.

What’s true in NYC, Paris, Rome, and Durham, NC is true in London: the cops usually know the best places to get basic food at a decent price.

What’s my favorite London pub for a pint, some food and good conversation?

It’s Albert, about which the link page tells you a good deal.

I’ve no commercial connection to Albert.

The photo at the link site is “real,” as is everything I read at the site.

If anything, it’s one of the few publican sites which IMO actually understates what you’ll find at the pub.

Of course, as with any recommendation you find on the Net or elsewhere, phone ahead to confirm opening hours, etc. and “scout” the place when you approach it.

I’ll post again about London Monday.

In the meantime, what do you have to say?

And "Cheers!"