Time for Thorns

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Archive for June 2009

Honduran democracy…

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Contrast Obama’s  slowly- slowly approach on Iran with his instant condemnation of the ouster by the army of the Honduran president, who had scheduled an unsanctioned vote to approve his seeking an unconstitutional second term.

I agree with Mary Anastasia O’Grady that Honduras has defended its constitution against abuse by President  Zelaya.    My view is that when Fidel Castro,  Daniel Ortega,  and Hugo Chavez  are pressuring Honduras to restore the authoritarian  Mr.  Zelaya,   I am most certainly correct in standing firmly against it.    I freely confess that having Hillary Clinton added to those voices did not make me hesitate in that judgment for even a nanosecond,  as she has no more love for individual freedom and democracy than His Oneness does.

For more background,  go here.    Let’s hope Honduran institutions stay united in keeping the new president in and the old one out.

Written by timeforthorns

June 30, 2009 at 2:57 pm

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Iranian protest flutters…

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We still don’t know how many protesters were out yesterday,  and there was no sign of Mousavi,  but the regime arrested some Iranians who work at the British Embassy.    Read David Pryce-Jones for his take.

As to what will happen to the official number of 451 who have been arrested,  never mind the thousands of others also said to be under arrest,  listen to  someone arrested during the Iranian student demonstrations a decade ago.

I don’t imagine Eli Lake’s musings on what our spies don’t know about Iran will surprise anyone who knows that only 20% of our C.I.A. actually works abroad.     The Wall Street Journal has a related column on our intelligence decline since liberals professed higher moralism in the 1970’s.    As Gabriel Schoenfeld so aptly puts it,  “We are thus paying the price of running covert operations even as we gain absolutely none of the benefits.”

I think Fareed Zakaria is right in his view that this uprising won’t succeed,  but that the regime is wounded, perhaps fatally.    He believes Obama has taken the proper  cautious approach,  while I think it took him much to long to react with even the mildest support of democracy.

Written by timeforthorns

June 29, 2009 at 11:40 pm

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Does Obama read polls?

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There are some rather interesting polls just out,  one from the New York Times,  here,  and another one done by pollsters Peter Hart and Bill McInturff,  here.

Too many people still believe the deficit is entirely Pres.  Bush’s fault,  but appear to at least realize that Obama  isn’t solving the problem.  The politics involved with the health care proposals should help point out the real numbers.

Or perhaps someone will trot out this chart showing just how badly the Obama team misjudged the stimulus impact — if indeed any of them actually ever believed their own forecasts.

Written by timeforthorns

June 29, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Another hero lost…

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Michael Ledeen at The Corner alerts us to the death of Retired Marine Corps Col. Kenneth L. Reusser,  called the most decorated Marine  aviator in history.   Would you have had the balls to use your plane’s propeller to hack off the tail of the enemy plane when your guns froze?   Reusser did.   Read and enjoy.   Semper Fi!

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June 29, 2009 at 11:11 pm

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Democrats and the Guardian Council..

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The Democrats and Iran’s Guardian Council have something in common:  neither sees any real problem with having more votes than eligible voters in cities.

“… the incident has happened in only 50 cities,”  the Council said.  That’s comparable to hearing Democrats explain why the dead still vote in Chicago,  Detroit,  etc.    The Council added that voter turnout of above 100% in some cities is a normal phenomenon because there is no legal limitation for people to vote for the presidential elections in another city or province to which people often travel or commute.   I guess that would explain why residents of New York voted from their winter homes in Florida…

And now with budgets so tight,  Democrats have an additional excuse to avoid cleaning up voter rolls.    The Iranian theocracy is fascism in the name of Allah,  and like most of the Middle East,  hopelessly corrupt,  displaying competence only in theft,  seldom in governing.

If you consider the number of cities run by Democratic machines, and how poorly they serve their citizens,  a nasty parallel appears.  Our own government entities are much less resistant to the lure of corruption that they once were.    And now we have the prime product of the Chicago machine in the White House,  running the country just as the machine has long run Chicago.   I am not the least surprised that Obama violated the same law protecting Inspectors General that he co-sponsored,  nor am I astonished that big media can’t get its lips off his posterior long enough to report on it.   Are you?

Written by timeforthorns

June 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Iran on Sunday…

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The regime has cracked down hard.    We will never know how many have died,   how many were wounded,  but the news will dribble out over the months.    Some video here and  here if you can bear to watch.

The mullahs have arrested every opposition leader they could find, and are using Chinese techniques to scan videos of the crowd to identify people,  then send goon squads to arrest them.

Even thought the streets are generally clear,  the hacktivists are still working their keyboards like mad,  with some success.  There are some reports of an evening crowd off about 3,000 being met with tear gas and batons.    Obama remains a pillar of timidity,   apparently still hoping to cut some sort of deal with Iran.    William Tate  asks who will stand for freedom if the U.S.  President will not.   The former Prime Minister of Spain has a fine piece on the consequences for Iran of our silence.

James Lewis exquisitely  excoriates Obama as  “the little president who wasn’t there.”     Ann Coulter is less elegant,  but just as effective in her blast.    Anne Bayefsky is equally  scathing

Read what an Iranian woman has to say about the movie,  The Stoning of Soraya M. and about the lefty  elites who say nothing in the face of such evil.    Then brace up with some of the always no-nonsense John Bolton on regime change.

Finish with some wicked politicacartoons.

Written by timeforthorns

June 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm

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Galen Institute on health plan…

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Listen to the president of the Galen Institute,  Grace-Marie Turner,  on the Obama health care plan.    The audio is just under 11 minutes long,  but it gives you a sound historical background for this latest health care scam.    For example,  did you know that when Medicare debuted,  Congress insisted it was merely additional coverage,  and you could keep your existing coverage?    As it always does,  the government plan crushed the private competition,  and now there is no alternative to Medicare,  is there?

And what of the  “46 million uninsured”  His Oneness regularly refers to?   Well, the Census Bureau says about a fifth of those aren’t US citizens,  and many are illegal aliens.    But we have been assured that the new plan won’t cover non-citizens,  so which is it,  Mr.  President?

If you want to know what Obamacare will look like,  consider the government-run health care system for 2 million American Indians on reservations in 35 states.   The standing advice is not to get sick after June,  which is when the money generally runs out.

The Indian system and the Medicare history are useful weapons, particularly if you have a pro-plan Congress critter.    While you’re at it,  ask why Congress and all federal employees aren’t going on the proposed system,  and if they make such a hash of the Indian system and Medicare,  why should we believe they’ll do better at this?

That’s why Obama’s in such a hurry — he’s afraid too many of will realize we’re getting hosed!

Written by timeforthorns

June 28, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Cap-and-trade in the House…

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The excerable Waxman-Markey bill narrowly passed the House,  and provided some moments of levity.    Waxman added 300 pages at 3 AM Friday,  so there was no complete bill,  just piles of pages with people trying to stuff the amendments into the proper places.    It still wasn’t up on THOMAS when I last checked.   So we have yet another  “bill” passed unread by anyone.    That is the modus operandi of the Democrats,  and of Obama,  because they are aware the more people know about such bills,  the more they find to object to.  They will attempt to do the same thing to the Obamacare health plan,  so be forewarned.

Here is Speaker Pelosi’s victory announcement.     The 8 Republicans who provided the margin of victory should be taken to the woodshed.   Yes,   I realize 8 of the 44 Democrats allowed to take political cover by voting “No” might have switched,  but these Republicans made it easy for them and should hear about it.

One must never underestimate the overall  stupidity or particular ignorance of  politicians,  or their cupidity,  just as one must seldom accuse them of an overabundance of courage or honesty.

Prime example:   The number of pols nattering on about the cloud of CO2 atop our atmosphere.    The problem is that CO2 is 1.5 times denser than air,  so it tends to go down,  not up.   Think of the poisonous lakes in Africa which occasionally belch — ever hear of the CO2 and methane galloping uphill to kill a village?    Of course not,  but that simple logic is beyond most Congress critters.

You must understand the corruption of the Obama administration and the EPA.    First,  the EPA must declare CO2 a dangerous pollutant in order to regulate it.    This required the EPA to ignore its own researcher’s inconvenient  report on  greenhouse gases  —  thank the Competitive Enterprise Institute for unearthing the emails showing not only EPA censorship,  but also the lies uttered to protect its preordained conclusion.

The wheels  are about to come off of the global warming/climate change stampede,  and in a big way,  but we can’t depend on truth and facts to carry the day.    Start insisting your Senators do the correct thing and the smart thing by stopping this unconstitutional taxing scheme.

Written by timeforthorns

June 27, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Health care infomercial…

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As predicted,  ABC presented us with a day-long promotion of Obama and his health plan,  but managed to attract few viewers.   The Business and Media Institute called it a presidential filibuster.     You know it wasn’t the blockbuster performance it was designed to be when the ABC News site says the “president struggled to explain”…

Yes,  there were a couple of decent questions,  but His Oneness was allowed to avoid answering them and no one followed up.    I would say ABC News should be embarrassed,   but I think that is entirely beyond the outfit at this point.

And this makes it look as if ABC is trying to walk back the cat just a bit.

Written by timeforthorns

June 27, 2009 at 5:05 am

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$134.5 billion U.S. bearer bonds…

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There is a startling lack of  interest in the story,  which is here,  just as  there was also scant enthusiasm for following up on Rep. Paul Kanjorski’s  account of the attack on the US financial system last fall.   Basically,  on June 3,   Italian police arrested two  “unidentified Japanese nationals”  illegally crossing the border from Italy into Switzerland carrying $134.5 billion in US government bearer bonds in a false-bottomed briefcase.    The men were arrested on the border between Italy and Switzerland by Italy’s  financial police.

The Italians won’t identify the men or say if they’re even in custody or not.    No one has said absolutely whether the bonds are fake or legitimate.    The  initial response from Treasury was that they were fake.   Glenn Beck got curious and enlisted some help from columnist Deroy Murdoch,  who could get nothing from the Italians either.

Beck got this response email from Treasury:  “Based on the picture we’ve seen via the internet the securities are crude fakes.”    Even stranger is that Beck’s call to the Secret Service,  which deals with  counterfeiting issues,  netted the information that it isn’t investigating,  but the Bureau of Public Debt is.

The few mentions which have appeared in the media ponder the Japanese dumping US debt and bagmen for Nigerian scanners.   If you were the President,  and the Italians called to say they had nabbed men carrying ONE PERCENT of your nation’s GDP,  wouldn’t you have had the Secret Service and Treasury on the next plane out?  Wouldn’t you be moving heaven and earth to find out what the truth  was and to shore up confidence in the financial system?  Why would you NOT do that?

I don’t like any of the answers to that last question,  just as I didn’t like the total disinterest in Kanjorski’s story.

So now we’re left with the 4 options Glenn Beck laid out if the bonds are real:

1.  The Italians are keystone cops;

2. It’s economic terrorism (by a rogue state, or the mob);

3.  Countries are quietly getting out of holding US debt; or

4.  Treasury or the Federal Reserve is selling black-market bonds

If the bonds are forgeries,  an entirely new set of questions arises.   How would forgers have access to bonds which supposedly haven’t been issued since 1982?    If they are “crude”,  why were the Italian financial police fooled,  and why are they apparently still waiting for someone to determine their authenticity?    Why are various government agencies not doing their customary jobs?

And why the hell are Diana West,  Beck,  Murdoch and I the only 3 people on the planet who seem to care about this story?

Written by timeforthorns

June 27, 2009 at 12:06 am

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