June 4, 2011

The Commie Rats Are Leaving The Ship

The Chinese are abandoning ship. They are dumping American debt. What does that tell you?

China Has Divested 97 Percent of Its Holdings in U.S. Treasury Bills

( - China has dropped 97 percent of its holdings in U.S. Treasury bills, decreasing its ownership of the short-term U.S. government securities from a peak of $210.4 billion in May 20
09 to $5.69 billion in March 2011, the most recent month reported by the U.S. Treasury.

Treasury bills are securities that mature in one year or less that are sold by the U.S. Treasury Department to fund the nation’s debt.

I don't blame them. A bad loan is a bad loan no matter who you are. Except if you are a lending institution subject to Carter's Community Reinvestment Act of 1977.

And of course bad news loves company so here is another dose. The US housing market is in the worst shape since the Great Depression.

The ailing US housing market passed a grim milestone in the first quarter of this year, posting a further deterioration that means the fall in house prices is now greater than that suffered during the Great Depression.

The brief recovery in prices in 2009, spurred by government aid to first-time buyers, has now been entirely snuffed out, and the average American home now costs 33 per cent less than it did at the peak of the housing bubble in 2007. The peak-to-trough fall in house prices in the 1930s Depression was 31 per cent – and prices took 19 years to recover after that downturn.

The latest Case-Shiller house price index was just one of a slew of disappointing economic data from the US yesterday, which suggested ebbing confidence in the recovery of the world's largest economy. The Chicago PMI manufacturing index showed a sharp slowdown in the pace of expansion in May, missing Wall Street forecasts and sending the index to its lowest since November 2009.

But cheer up! Obama almost made par again this week!

June 3, 2011

Doctor Death Is Dead

I wonder if he is gonna need to do a bit of 'splaining where he's going?
From the Washington Times:

Jack Kevorkian, the former point man for the right-to-die movement, died Friday at a Detroit-area hospital from natural causes. He was 83.

The Michigan pathologist, who was released from prison in 2007 after being convicted of second-degree murder, became a national figure after assisting in 130 suicides during the 1990s. For some patients who wanted to end their lives, he would hook them to a lethal-injection machine. He strapped others to a face mask that was connected to a carbon-monoxide canister. The patients then controlled when they killed themselves.

His actions sparked a national debate about physician-assisted suicide for patients who doctors believed had no hope to live. It raised questions about the reliability of a terminal diagnosis and the possibility of future breakthrough treatments.

June 2, 2011

The People's President

Moral Relativism and Fall: Solzhenitsyn’s Forgotten Warning to America

A gulag in America? Don't be surprised. "Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it...". From Breitbart's Big Peace:
It is not understood definitively anywhere when the decline came. What is understood and easily seen is that we are a culture and society in deep trouble. There are proofs and evidence everywhere for those who care to look for such things.

We were warned by one of the greatest men of the 20th century that our civilization would fall if we lost our core beliefs and our identity.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Soviet prisoner of conscience, author of Gulag Archipelago, and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch, a titan of moral clarity warned us about the coming failure of our society back in 1978 in a speech given at Harvard University. We didn’t listen.

Equivalence is the essence of moral relativism; the jihad murders at Fort Hood were allowed to occur because Hasan’s expressions of jihad intent, intolerance, and hate were viewed by his superiors and colleagues as simply “his opinion.” No action was taken against Hasan to prevent the atrocities because to do so was considered politically incorrect by his military superiors. Fort Hood is a devastating failure of understanding and demonstrates our deep inability to respond to oppositional definitiveness even when that absolutism means treason and murderous intent.
There seems little doubt that the attack at Fort Hood by the traitor, killer, jihadist Hasan was preventable. The fact that it was not shows a great confusion on the part of those whose positions require moral and ethical certainty, clarity, and courage. Their apparent confusion (and subsequent failure to act) stems from the dark influence of moral relativism and its fraudulent affiliated concepts, multiculturalism and political correctness.

If we have no standards of belief, no accepted concepts of truth and value, then any new ideology that reaches our shores is considered by moral relativists to be as valid as the host culture and perhaps even superior simply because it is “different”. The radical acceptance of all as equal which is foundational to practically applied moral relativism means that moral relativists have no basis upon which to make moral or ethical judgments.

Cultural and societal decline is certain when fundamental concepts of value and importance are abandoned, and the conflicts that arise from better/worse, good/rotten, intelligent/ignorant, victim/oppressor, right/wrong dichotomies can no longer be resolved .

Go to Big Peace and read the rest of it.

June 1, 2011

Just Say No

It looks like someone finally grew a pair... or found them or borrowed them. I don't care one way or the other. They finally acted like adults and said no. From the Hill:
House torpedoes unconditional hike to $14.3 trillion debt ceiling

The House overwhelmingly voted down an unconditional increase to the $14.3 trillion debt limit Tuesday, as the Republican majority delivered a symbolic rebuke to President Obama ahead of a meeting at the White House.

The vote was 318-97, with 82 Democrats joining every Republican in rejecting legislation that would have authorized $2.4 trillion in additional borrowing by the federal government. Seven Democrats voted present on the legislation.

The Last Thing Osama Saw

This is what the Navy Seal team looked like when they went in to get Bin Laden. A couple of things to notice:
  • 50 caliber sniper on the right.
  • Knee, knuckle and forearm protection.
  • Various plastic/wire ties.
  • Absolute identity denial to protect their families.
  • Free choice of footwear.
  • Fourth from the right has three artillery simulators and CS gas grenades on his belly. He’s the 'shock and awe' guy.

    Let's be clear on this:
    OBAMA did NOT kill Bin Laden. An American sailor, who Obama just a few weeks ago was debating on whether or not to PAY, did.

    In fact, if you remember a little less than two years ago his administration actually charged and attempted to court-martial three Navy Seals from Seal Team Six. A terrorist suspect they captured complained they had punched him during the take down and bloodied his nose. Obama's administration further commented how brutal the Seals were. The left took their usual pound of flesh, calling them Nazi's and Baby Killers.

    Now all of a sudden the very same brave men vilified by Obama and his cohorts are now heroes when they make his administration look good in the eyes of the public. Obama just happened to be the one in office when the CIA finally found the bastard and our sailors took him out.

    Essentially, Obama only gave an answer, Yes or No, to Osama being taken out.

    This is NOT an Obama victory, but an AMERICAN victory!!!

    H/T to Charlie

    Barack Obama And The Temple Of Dumb

    This article is almost a week old and I have read sections of it elsewhere, but this is the first time I read the entire article. It is a devastating opinion piece at The America Interest on Obumble's foreign policy with respect to lst week's Israeli diplomatic debacle.

    The Dreamer Goes Down For The Count
    Walter Russell Mead

    I had never thought there were many similarities between the pleasure-loving Charles II of England and the more upright Barack Obama until this week. Listening to his speeches on the Middle East at the State Department, US-Israel relations at the AIPAC annual meeting and most recently his address to the British Parliament the comparison becomes irresistible.

    “Here lies our sovereign king,” wrote the Earl of Rochester about King Charles:

    Whose word no man relies on.
    Who never said a foolish thing
    Or ever did a wise one.

    This seems to capture President Obama’s Middle East problems in a nutshell. The President’s descriptions of the situation are comprehensive and urbane. He correctly identifies the forces at work. He develops interesting policy ideas and approaches that address important political and moral elements of the complex problems we face. He crafts approaches that might, with good will and deft management, bridge the gaps between the sides. He reads thoughtful speeches full of sensible reflections.

    But the last few weeks have cast him as the least competent manager of America’s Middle East diplomatic portfolio in a very long time. He has infuriated and frustrated long term friends, but made no headway in reconciling enemies. He has strained our ties with the established regimes without winning new friends on the Arab Street. He has committed our forces in the strategically irrelevant backwater of Libya not, as he originally told us, for “days, not weeks” but for months not days.

    Where he has failed so dramatically is in the arena he himself has so frequently identified as vital: the search for peace between Palestinians and Israelis. His record of grotesque, humiliating and total diplomatic failure in his dealings with Prime Minister Netanyahu has few parallels in American history. Three times he has gone up against Netanyahu; three times he has ingloriously failed. This last defeat — Netanyahu’s deadly, devastating speech to Congress in which he eviscerated President Obama’s foreign policy to prolonged and repeated standing ovations by members of both parties — may have been the single most stunning and effective public rebuke to an American President a foreign leader has ever delivered.

    Netanyahu beat Obama like a red-headed stepchild; he played him like a fiddle; he pounded him like a big brass drum. The Prime Minister of Israel danced rings around his arrogant, professorial opponent. It was like watching the Harlem Globetrotters go up against the junior squad from Miss Porter’s School; like watching Harvard play Texas A&M, like watching Bambi meet Godzilla — or Bill Clinton run against Bob Dole.

    The Prime Minister mopped the floor with our guy. Obama made his ’67 speech; Bibi ripped him to shreds. Obama goes to AIPAC, nervous, off-balance, backing and filling. Then Bibi drops the C-Bomb, demonstrating to the whole world that the Prime Minister of Israel has substantially more support in both the House and the Senate than the President of the United States.

    President Obama’s new Middle East policy, intended to liquidate the wreckage resulting from his old policy and get the President somehow onto firmer ground, lies in ruins even before it could be launched. He had dropped the George Mitchell approach, refused to lay out his own set of parameters for settling the conflict, and accepted some important Israeli red lines — but for some reason he chose not to follow through with the logic of these decisions and offer Netanyahu a reset button.

    As so often in the past, but catastrophically this time, he found the “sour spot”: the position that angers everyone and pleases none. He moved close enough to the Israelis to infuriate the Palestinians while keeping the Israelis at too great a distance to earn their trust. One can argue (correctly in my view) that US policy must at some level distance itself from the agendas of both parties to help bring peace. But that has to be done carefully, and to make it work one first needs to win their trust. Obama lost the trust of the Israelis early in the administration and never earned it back; he lost the Palestinians when he was unable to deliver Israeli concessions he led them to expect.

    The President is now wandering across Europe seeking to mend fences with allies (Britain, France, Poland) he had earlier neglected and/or offended; at home, his authority and credibility have been holed below the waterline. Everyone who followed the events of the last week knows that the President has lost control of the American-Israeli relationship and that he has no near-term prospects of rescuing the peace process. The Israelis, the Palestinians and the US Congress have all rejected his leadership. Peace processes are generally good things even if they seldom bring peace; one hopes the President can find a way to relaunch American diplomacy on this issue but for now he seems to have reached a dead end — and to have allowd himself to be fatally tagged as too pro-Israel to win the affection of the Europeans and Arabs, and too pro-Palestinian to be trusted either by Israel or by many of the Americans who support it.

    Internationally, this matters a great deal; domestically it matters even more. The President has significantly less capacity to act than he did a week ago. The Bin Laden dividend, already cruelly diminished by what The Daily Caller said was the administration’s “victory lap in a clown car”, is now history. The GOP, in trouble recently as voters recoil from what many see as Republican extremism on issues like Medicare and public unions, will be able to use the national security card in new and potent ways.

    As the stunning and overwhelming response to Prime Minister Netanyahu in Congress showed, Israel matters in American politics like almost no other country on earth. Well beyond the American Jewish and the Protestant fundamentalist communities, the people and the story of Israel stir some of the deepest and most mysterious reaches of the American soul. The idea of Jewish and Israeli exceptionalism is profoundly tied to the idea of American exceptionalism. The belief that God favors and protects Israel is connected to the idea that God favors and protects America.

    It means more. The existence of Israel means that the God of the Bible is still watching out for the well-being of the human race. For many American Christians who are nothing like fundamentalists, the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land and their creation of a successful, democratic state after two thousand years of oppression and exile is a clear sign that the religion of the Bible can be trusted.

    Being pro-Israel matters in American mass politics because the public mind believes at a deep level that to be pro-Israel is to be pro-America and pro-faith. Substantial numbers of voters believe that politicians who don’t ‘get’ Israel also don’t ‘get’ America and don’t ‘get’ God. Obama’s political isolation on this issue, and the haste with which liberal Democrats like Nancy Pelosi left the embattled President to take the heat alone, testify to the pervasive sense in American politics that Israel is an American value. Said the Minority Leader to the Prime Minister: “I think it’s clear that both sides of the Capitol believe you advance the cause of peace.”

    President Obama probably understands this intellectually; he understands many things intellectually. But what he can’t seem to do is to incorporate that knowledge into a politically sustainable line of policy. The deep American sense of connection to and, yes, love of Israel limits the flexibility of any administration. Again, the President seems to know that with his head. But he clearly had no idea what he was up against when Bibi Netanyahu came to town.

    As a result, he’s taking another ride in the clown car, and this time it isn’t a victory lap. I hope I’m wrong, but I think the next intifada got a lot closer this week.

    H/T to Charlie

    May 31, 2011

    RV'ing The Chinese Way ... Hell's Trailer Park

    Ring Out The Old

    China has the highest number of executions in the world. The exact number is a state secret, but Amnesty International estimates the number at 1,770 per year. Other estimates are much, much higher, from 6,000 to 8,000. Most Chinese executions involve a rifleshot to the back of the head in a public forum, say a park, where a crowd can witness the death. But the Chinese government is now providing a means for a more humane form of execution through mobile lethal injections - Death Vans.

    Ring In The New

    The Vans O'Death cost from $37,500 to $75,000, depending on vehicle's size. They are 20 to 26 feet in length and capable of speeds in excess of 65 to 80 mph for those "can't miss" appointments. They are configured thusly:


    Execution chamber: in the back, with blacked-out windows; seats beside the stretcher for a court doctor and guards; sterilizer for injection equipment; wash basin

    Observation area: in the middle, with a glass window separating it from execution area; can accommodate six people; official-in-charge oversees the execution through monitors connected to the prisoner and gives instruction via walkie-talkie.

    Driver area

    Production to date: at least 40 vehicles, made by Jinguan and two other companies in Jiangsu and Shandong provinces

    I have no idea what kind of mileage they get or if an RV version suitable for retirement parks (like those in Nevada casino resorts) is available. Did you notice the Chinese soldiers leaning to either side of the victim in order to avoid the brain splatter? Oh, the vans are simply a dream come true when you want to avoid costly dry cleaning bills!

    But the nasty undercurrent here is that this method of execution makes it easier for the government to harvest the organs of the decedent. Indeed, it is reported that some executions are delayed until a request for organs is received.

    I wonder if the ObamaCare vans will play music?
    Now available in disposable syringes and suppositories.
    Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

    May 30, 2011

    Memorial Day

    When America stops being good, America stops being strong.

    This weekend, let us praise the GOD of Glory, the LORD of Battle, Our Rock and Our Salvation, for the millions of good men and women who have so faithfully served our Country, even unto death.

    Lay Me Doone (Sgt. MacKenzie)

    Soldier Music

    US Air Force Tribute

    Marine Tribute

    Soldier Tribute

    US Navy Tribute

    The lament, "Sgt MacKenzie"", is written and sung by Joe Kilna Mackenzie, son of Maria McCabe and the late Alex McCabe of Provost Christie Drive, Rothes. Joe wrote the song in memory of his Grandfather, a Moray man from Bishopmill, who along with hundreds of other Seaforth Highlanders from the Elgin/Rothes area went to fight in the great war. Sgt Charles Stuart MacKenzie was bayoneted to death at, the age of 35, while defending one of his badly injured colleagues in the hand to hand fighting of the trenches.

    Film director Randall Wallace, who also won an Oscar for his screenplay of Braveheart, received a CD of the album and was haunted by the emotion and spirit of reverence captured in "Sgt MacKenzie. He arranged for Joe and band mate Donnie MacNeil, who played the pipes, to re-record 'Sgt MacKenzie' with the backing of an 80 piece orchestra and the WestPoint Military Choir at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London. The lament has been introduced into the film ["We Were Soldiers Once" starring Mel Gibson ~ sig94] during key scenes with Joe singing on his own and on the last track of the film with the orchestra and choir.

    The above is from the Sgt. MacKenzie website - this is the most haunting dirge I have ever heard. It speaks to the sacrifice and the love for each other born in the heart of the common soldier, for Sgt. Charles Stuart MacKenzie did not die fighting for God and Country. He died defending his friend.


    H/T IOTW for Warrior Song


    More precisely, it's with America and will be in the UK sooner than we think.

    FAST is the American equivalent of Europe's ADABTS and it's just undergone its first round of field tests in NE America. Results analysis is ongoing and there will be further field tests to come as excited researchers lick their lips in anticipation of yet another technological advance furthering the progress of mankind.

    FAST = Future Attribute Screening Technology
    ADABTS = Automatic Detection of Abnormal Behaviour and Threats in crowded Spaces

    I first blogged about ADABTS HERE. It works by analysing what they call 'multimodal signals' such as body language, facial expressions, speech intonation and so on. It's nice to see that the Home Office Scientific Development Branch is having a hand in developing ADABTS so that the UK can be in it but not run by it. However, I'm still not clear whether we'll be actors, players or stakeholders; maybe the EU should add the word 'patsies' to their list of descriptives.

    When news of this technology first came to light in 2009 NeoConOpticon carried this quote in a short article:
    In response, defence expert Ko Colijn says the alarming tone of Hayes’ report is “a bit exaggerated”. Colijn points out that the EU does not have the authority to create a “well-oiled Orwellian society” even if it wanted to. It will be up to the individual member states to decide what is implemented. “Many projects will fall by the leeway.”
    I think we can see that Colijm was unduly casual about the implications: what the EU wants, the EU gets and, as in so many other instances, the UK is either a staunch supporter or a prime mover.
    "ADABTS aims to facilitate the protection of EU citizens, property and infrastructure against threats of terrorism, crime, and riots, by the automatic detection of abnormal human behaviour. Current automatic detection systems have limited functionality, struggling to make inferences about the acceptability of human behaviour."
    PS I see that the original file in my post linked to above has gone awol; this happens so often now that it's becoming quite unremarkable to find info wiped or hidden.

    ADABTS .pdf leaflet
    More acronyms A 100-page .pdf: "Towards a more secure society and increased industrial competitiveness"
    H/t: Activist Post for the heads-up on FAST.

    UPDATE: I understand it's Memorial Day today: "In all, since 1775 over 1,316,000 men and women have sacrificed their lives for our country." It's a sobering thought when you look around at what's happening now.

    May 29, 2011

    There Must Always Be A Day Of Rememberance

    Why do we bother with memorials and remembrances? Why should we care whether or not events peculiar to our culture are observed for all time by future generations?

    Unfortunately things have progressed to the point in America where perhaps we need to have discussion like this. Memorials have been observed for thousands of years. The earliest indications of human existence are recorded in some part due to man's need to remember (also to serve some rather colossal egos!), to hold near and dear the memory of important lives and events in order for the culture to survive; not merely to survive - but to remain intact. We can survive, but will we recognize the end result in a few generations?

    Will the image displayed above pertaining to the war my father and his brothers fought have the same emotional impact on my great grandchildren as it does for me? That question is why memorials are created, to preserve the values held dear by one generation and to pass them on to the next.

    One of the earliest surviving memorials is the Passover, as detailed in the Book of Exodus. The observation of Passover celebrates the deliverance of Israel from the tyranny of an Egyptian Pharaoh approximately thirty-five hundred years ago. The Hebrew Feasts and holidays, in effect their memorials, are what helped keep the identity of the Jews alive despite two thousand years of persecution, murder and dispersion.

    Our Memorial Day started as Decoration Day on May 30, 1868, to honor the dead from the Civil War. There have been many wars since. In all, since 1775 over 1,316,000 men and women have sacrificed their lives for our country.

    War of Independence ----(1775-1783)------25,000
    Quasi-War -----------------(1798-1800)-----------20
    Barbary Wars -------------(1801-1815)------------35
    War of 1812 ---------------(1812-1815)-------20,000
    1st Seminole War ---------(1817-1818) -----------30
    2nd Seminole War --------(1835-1842) -------1,500
    Mexican-American War - (1846-1848) -----13,283
    3rd Seminole War ---------(1855-1858)-----------26
    Civil War --------------------(1861-1865) ---623,026
    Indian Wars ----------------(1865-1898)----------919
    Spanish-American War ----(1898)-------------2,446
    Philippine War -------------(1898-1902) -------4,196
    Boxer Rebellion ------------(1900-1901)-----------37
    Mexican Revolution -------(1914-1919)-----------35
    Haiti Occupation ----------(1915-1934)----------146
    World War 1 ---------------(1917-1918)------116,708
    World War 2 ---------------(1941-1945)-----407,316
    Korean War ----------------(1950-1953)------36,914
    Vietnam War ---------------(1964-1973)------58,169
    El Salvador -----------------(1980-1992)-----------20
    Persian Gulf Support ------(1987-1988)-----------39
    Invasion of Grenada -------(1983)------------------19
    Invasion of Panama --------(1989)-----------------40
    Persian Gulf War ------------(1991) ---------------269
    Somalia -----------------------(1992-1993) ---------43
    Bosnia -------------------------(1995) ----------------12
    Afghanistan ------------------(2002-2010) -----1,514+
    Iraq ----------------------------(2003-2010) -----4,454

    It is said that men do not necessarily die in combat for their Cause or their Country; but they will die for their friends.

    Jesus said in John 15:13

    "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for His friends".
    If we are to be true to the precepts that founded this Nation, then we must also accept the sacrifice that our friends made for us. That is why there is a Memorial Day - a Day of Remembrance for our friends: past, present and future. We will never forget the blood sacrifice that Christ made for our sins and we must never forget the blood sacrifice that our vets made for our freedom. To forget these sacrifices is to deny what we are.

    And then what will we be?