Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt Heading the Way of Iran?

I certainly hope Egypt doesn't turn into Obama's Iran, but as Barry Rubin discusses, he isn't doing much differently from what the Carter Administration did.
But Obama’s rhetoric – the exact opposite of what it was during the upheavals in Iran which he should have supported – seems dangerously reminiscent of President Jimmy Carter in 1978 regarding Iran.

He has made it sound – by wording and nuance, if not by intention – that Washington no longer backs the Egyptian government.
I really hope that doesn't become the case. Egypt does have a similar Islamist overtones in the Muslim Brotherhood. Andrew McCarthy discusses them here.

From what I'm seeing, there may not be a good path out of the problems that the US has supported for too long.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Imam Caught Entering from Mexico

Interesting. Especially since it doesn't seem to be getting much press time.

From the Daily Mail:

U.S. border guards got a surprise when they searched a Mexican BMW and found a hardline Muslim cleric - banned from France and Canada - curled up in the boot.

Said Jaziri, who called for the death of a Danish cartoonist that drew pictures of the prophet Mohammed, was being smuggled into California when he was arrested, along with his driver Kenneth Robert Lawler.

Now why would you think he'd be coming into the country illegally? No doubt it is all an innocent error. Can't wait to see where this leads.

New Black Panther Party and the DOJ - Now the Facts

Jennifer Rubin goes into the details of the final report.

The statements indicate several points: 1) the New Black Panther Party case brought by career Justice Department employees was meritorious on the law and the facts; 2) there is voluminous evidence of the Obama administration's political interference in the prosecution of the New Black Panther Party case; 3) there is ample evidence that the Obama administration directed Justice Department employees not to bring cases against minority defendants who violated voting rights laws or to enforce a provision requiring that states and localities clean up their voting rolls to prevent fraud; 4) the Justice Department stonewalled efforts to investigate the case; and 5) vice chairman Abigail Thernstrom has, for reasons not entirely clear, ignored the evidence and tried to undermine the commission's work.

That's just wonderful. Hope the GOP gets on this quickly. Maybe they can pound the MSM into actually reporting accurately on this. Well we can hope.

A lot more details at the title link.

While you're at WaPo read Krauthammer's latest.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NH NEA - Educated Imbeciles

Fools in the Teachers union continue to miss the little fact that a criminal wouldn't be stopped from bringing a gun to the statehouse when legal carry was disallowed. Now they think it's a shooting gallery.
A New Hampshire teachers' union is defending its cancellation of a traditional Dr. Seuss reading at the State House, saying the recent removal of a ban on guns there raises safety concerns for participating fourth-graders.

The decision involves the Read Across America program that the National Education Association-NH has held with state senators for 12 years. It's a one-day event, unrelated to the several thousands of school children who visit the State House every year.

"We lock down schools if there is a gun within the neighborhood," NEA-NH President Rhonda Wesolowski said. "But to send them to a place where they specifically are allowed is a bit of a different story. We keep children, our most precious resource, safe in the school system. Why would we take them to a place where they say it's OK to have guns.

Wesolowski called it "ridiculous" that allowing guns in the State House is a potential learning opportunity.

"We understand what is out there in the real world," she said. "I'm sure the parents of Christina Taylor Green didn't think for a moment their child was in any danger when she went to see the congresswoman in Tucson."

Emphasis mine. Of course that's not true about the lock down. There is no such thing as a gun free school zone. I still find it fascinating that people like this choose a party line rather doing any investigation, or simple use of logic, to understand that laws don't stop criminals. They only stop law-abiding citizens.

Children live in a world where their parents and neighbors own guns. That doesn't make the non-school world a constant war zone. I love them dancing in the blood of the Tuscon shooting. Because god only knows that the NH statehouse is exactly the same as a safeway parking lot.

Not that they are playing political games:
"I am disappointed that the NEA is using New Hampshire fourth-graders as political pawns," he said. "I have participated in Read Across America for a number years when there was no gun ban in effect and they never raised the issue. This is clearly a political move."

Bragdon said there has been no change of rules regarding deadly weapons in the Senate Chamber. Unlike the House, which specified where and how weapons can be carried around Representatives Hall, the Senate does not address the issue in any way, he said.

The joint House-Senate Legislative Facilities Committee voted this month to repeal a year-long ban on weapons in buildings at the State House complex. The new policy leaves it to Senate and House sergeants-at-arms to enforce rules in their respective chamber. New House rules allow members and citizens to carry weapons anywhere in the State House. Except for law enforcement officers, weapons cannot be displayed in areas immediately adjacent to Representatives Hall. Senate rules are silent on the issue.

Interesting. Why are they protesting now if the ban was only in place a year and pretty much didn't change anything? Oh, because they are trying to enforce their distrust of responsible citizens who choose to protect themselves.

Personally, I say to hell with the reading program. If they want to hold it hostage to petty stupidities that have no relevance to an identical reality from only two years ago, so be it. But don't blame the legislature, the cause is their own.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Transparency - And a Tracking List

This is an interesting story from the AssPress. Interesting that it ever saw the light of day as far as I'm concerned. I'll give them the credit of putting it out there though. This should be noted as the action of the administration that was supposed to be the "most transparent evah!" From the looks of the report they are behaving as all the other administrations. Maybe worse, but that's hard to tell.

The Associated Press reported in July that for at least a year, Homeland Security had sidetracked hundreds of requests for federal records to top political advisers to the department's secretary, Janet Napolitano. The political appointees wanted information about those requesting the materials, and in some cases the release of documents considered politically sensitive was delayed, according to numerous e-mails that were obtained by the AP.

The Freedom of Information Act is supposed to ensure the quick public release of requested government documents without political consideration. Obama has said his administration would emphasize openness in providing requested federal records.

According to Issa's letter, Homeland Security's chief privacy officer and FOIA official told committee staff in September that political appointees were simply made aware of "significant and potentially controversial requests."

So what are the political advisers doing with all those names? And when the list is done, what is being done with it?

Guess I'm glad they are having congressional oversight on this. At least it will get some airing and the public will get to see more details of how Obama is running his administration. Not that I expect more from the MSM, but you can always hope.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Rep. Peter King - Stupid Legislation

I find this proposal bafflingly stupid. I'm still wondering who the security experts are that he spoke with. Do they honestly believe a 1000 ft. zone would stop anyone intent on murder? Or will this further exacerbate the harassment of lawfully acting citizens in public places? This is security theater at it's most pathetic.

I have to say I'm glad NRO did this article. It really leaves you wondering why they can't realize that making a law that will be difficult to enforce and difficult to interpret is worth the effort.

Here's a great start:
King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, acknowledges that his legislation, if it had been on the books, might not have prevented the attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D., Ariz.) and others. “Maybe not in this case, but in others it could be prevention,” he argues
Prevention? I find that highly unlikely. I can't see someone just randomly deciding to off a congresscritter because they just happen to be walking by with a gun. If there are such people I'm betting they are very rare. My bet is on the perp generally planning out the whole thing and knowingly ignoring all the laws against murder before they even think about any law about carrying a gun within 1000 ft of a politician.
What about a situation where a gun is fully concealed and law-enforcement officials are unable to spot anything suspicious? “In that case, then this wouldn’t work, but there can be cases where it will. Would it work in five percent of cases? Ten percent? Twenty percent? Thirty percent? I don’t know, but I do believe it would certainly work in some instances. I don’t see the downside.”
He doesn't see the downside. Obviously because he isn't thinking. How much will cops be forced on trying to detect concealed weapons rather than actually watching for odd behavior. Or, how many cops will be looking for the concealed carrier? What about events with no LEO involvement? What about the person who didn't know that a political master was in the area and came out of a shop with a gun, would they be breaking the law? Do concealed carry permit holders have to run searches to find where the politicos are and map ways around them to ensure they don't break the law? The point is this legislation would make criminals out of most law abiding citizens for just living normally.

This bit is the saddest:

In Tucson, onlooker Joe Zamudio was armed when he witnessed the developing scene in the parking lot. Zamudio, within seconds, had his hand on his gun, ready to shoot, in case Loughner was not subdued. Does King think citizens have the right to be armed, and respond, during unexpected violent outbursts in public?

“It’s more helpful if you had security in the area,” King replies. “If something did start, and police were firing, I would not want a civilian firing at the same time. When we balance the equities, I’m saying there is a greater good to be obtained by keeping weapons out of that thousand-foot zone.”

Ok, what if there aren't any police in the area? Not to mention I can't recall an instance where a CCW holder got into the fight when the police were involved. And I'm betting when it has occurred it has been extremely rare.

Then there is the enforcement angle.

Enforcement, King admits, would be tricky, so “reasonable exceptions” will be detailed in the legislative language. “I don’t think the federal government has the right to keep someone from bringing a gun to a state or local event,” he says. “We will have to make exceptions, for example, for storeowners who have guns in their store for protection; it’s their right to have them there.”

Another exception may be making the so-called ‘bubble’ around public officials only applicable at public events — enabling neighbors of public officials who may own firearms to not be bothered. “It would be primarily about public events,” King says. “Again, laws should be interpreted reasonably and we will write it to allow reasonable exceptions.”

You have to love that part. How complicated will the law be when you add all exceptions? What if you miss something reasonable? This bill will quickly turn into the law that forgot that people lead varied lives and just because a politico couldn't think of all exceptions that are reasonable for everyone's life doesn't mean that the law abiding citizen should now be the criminal.

Just a very clueless politician.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Guns in the MSM

Very funny piece trying to let the MSM talk intelligently about guns even when they are obviously wrong on the topic.
As a gun owner and hunter, and as someone who’s spent a fair amount of time thinking and writing about the legal and empirical debates that surround guns, I’m here to help. Here are some quick and easy tips for anti-gun columnists — if you follow them, you’ll still be wrong, but at least you won’t sound so ridiculous.
Read it. it's worth a laugh.

Revelations from Tuscon

Have to say that the killings themselves taught us that there needs to be change with how we deal with the mentally ill. Not sure myself what the solution is.

The reactions to the event taught us that the left is willing to go to total war to continue their power.

There has been a great effort this week to come to grips with the American left's reaction to the Tucson shooting. Paul Krugman of the New York Times and its editorial page, George Packer of the New Yorker, E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post, Jonathan Alter of Newsweek and others, in varying degrees, have linked the murders to the intensity of opposition to the policies and presidency of Barack Obama. As Mr. Krugman asked in his Monday commentary: "Were you, at some level, expecting something like this atrocity to happen?"

The "you" would be his audience, and the answer is yes, they thought that in these times "something like this" could happen in the United States. Other media commentators, without a microbe of conservatism in their bloodstreams, have rejected this suggestion.

So what was the point? Why attempt the gymnastic logic of asserting that the act of a deranged personality was linked to the tea parties and the American right? Two reasons: Political calculation and personal belief.


The divide between this strain of the American left and its conservative opponents is about more than politics and policy. It goes back a long way, it is deep, and it will never be bridged. It is cultural, and it explains more than anything the "intensity" that exists now between these two competing camps. (The independent laments: "Can't we all just get along?" Answer: No.)

The Rosetta Stone that explains this tribal divide is Columbia historian Richard Hofstadter's classic 1964 essay, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics." Hofstadter's piece for Harper's may be unfamiliar to many now, but each writer at the opening of this column knows by rote what Hofstadter's essay taught generations of young, left-wing intellectuals about conservatism and the right.

After Hofstadter, the American right wasn't just wrong on policy. Its people were psychologically dangerous and undeserving of holding authority for any public purpose. By this mental geography, the John Birch Society and the tea party are cut from the same backwoods cloth.

"American politics has often been an arena for angry minds," Hofstadter wrote. "In recent years we have seen angry minds at work mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated in the Goldwater movement how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority."

I think the left has missed the point for all their denigration of the tea parties. Calling them names and insulting them doesn't get you more votes, it gets you less. I doubt they will learn anything from the elections of 2010 and no doubt will not learn anything from their reactions to the events in Tuscon.