Thursday, April 30, 2009

The World Health Organization says a "pandemic is imminent". If so, it would be the first influenza pandemic since 1968.

At least one biologist says it is possible to stop these viruses from spreading.

Dick Morris says President Obama's high approval ratings won't last. I think he is correct. Unfortunately, it does not look as if it will happen in time for the elections in November of 2010.

Did the recent release of the torture memos put a damper on U.S. counter terrorism activities? I can't help but think, human nature being what it is, that the release of the memos, and the overall "tone" of the Obama Administration, will cause the people who risk their lives defending us against terrorists to dial back on their zeal.

A bill legalizing "Gay Marriage" passes the New Hampshire Senate. I favor allowing gays to be married under civil laws, and I favor it even more when it is done through the process of legislation, rather than by a court order.

Chrysler is headed for bankruptcy. It seems that the government is pulling the strings, and the result will be a company owned mostly by the union, and partly by Italian automaker Fiat, and the U.S. and Canadian governments. It is becoming a 'brave, new world", is it not?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Arlen Specter, unprincipled hack, officially announces he is now a Democrat. They can have him. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), says it didn't have to be this way. Is this just another sign of the demise of the GOP? I don't think so, but I'm not going to rule it out. If President Obama succeeds in radically altering the way in which our lives are lived by expanding the size and reach of government, then we may see another several decades of a diminished GOP facing a bigger Democratic Party, as we saw from 1933 to 1968. Still, I wouldn't put any money on any prediction. All it takes is a big war, or a big pandemic, or some other "unknown unknown" to throw a monkey wrench into the works.

New numbers show the economy shrank more than expected during the first quarter of this year. Meanwhile, more jobs go away, as my former employer, Clear Channel, cuts 590 people across the country.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lots of links about the swine flu outbreak on The Drudge Report. My bottom line? I'll wait and see before I panic (I don't think I'll panic, even then, since there isn't much to be done except stay inside and work on my computer, which I do every day, anyway). Here is some perspective on the Swine Flu.

Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania has, according to this report, decided to become a Democrat which, if Al Franken is finally seated as the new Democratic Senator from Minnesota, would give the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority. He was always too liberal for the GOP, anyway, but the timing is terrible. Still, I have always been a fan of our partisan system. The system only works well when the people within it hew to a recognizable set of principles as embodied in their party platforms. You don't have to agree with everything, of course, but you should fall somewhere within it's parameters. Arlen Specter fits better among the Democrats, so they are welcome to him.

Nancy Pelosi's amnesia. "Torture? I'm shocked, shocked to see torture going on here".

Palestinian President Abbas refuses to call Israel a "Jewish State". Of course he does. He, like almost all Palestinians, believes that Palestine was illegally seized from it's Arab inhabitants by European Jews and that the only way to see justice done is to allow all Palestinians to return to the homes they were forced to abandon during the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948. At that time, if Israel remains a democracy, the Palestinians can vote out the Jewish men and women who govern the country, because the Palestinians will be in the majority. Since Abbas represents the "moderate" Palestinians, and their position is moderate only because the Hamas position explicitly, rather than implicitly, calls for the destruction of Israel, this is just another little bit of information that proves, once again, that there will be no peace in Palestine/Israel until one side or the other is utterly and completely defeated.

Meanwhile, the other Arabs in Egypt and elsewhere are getting nervous about the words and actions of one of their other historic enemies, the Persians. It always pays to remember history when thinking about the Middle East.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Public health officials around the world are scrambling to put measures into place to contain this new outbreak of swine flu, including a declaration of emergency here in the United States. Things are especially bad in Mexico, where the virus apparently originated. Flu pandemics are periodic and inevitable, but they do not have to be as bad as the 1918-19 Spanish Flu pandemic that killed 50 million people out of a world population of 1.5 billion. Of course, the day may come when the virus mutates in just the right way to create a pandemic even worse than that one. Let's hope today is not that day. For lots of links to this story, check out The Drudge Report.

Robert J. Samuelson has nothing but disdain for the myths being woven by environmentalists as they pretend we can easily and cheaply retool our economy to combat global warming.

The selling of the green economy involves much economic make-believe. Environmentalists not only maximize the dangers of global warming -- from rising sea levels to advancing tropical diseases -- they also minimize the costs of dealing with it. Actually, no one involved in this debate really knows what the consequences or costs might be. All are inferred from models of uncertain reliability. Great schemes of economic and social engineering are proposed on shaky foundations of knowledge. Candor and common sense are in scarce supply.

Read the whole thing.

Deep within the GOP base, trouble is brewing.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Seven Americans take ill with a strange new flu virus. The virus has elements of human flu, bird flu, and swine flu in it's DNA. Sounds pretty suspicious to me.

The fiance of the so-called "Craigslist Killer" says the wedding is still on. If press reports are correct, and authorities found a gun that matches the one used in the crime, and they found the suspect's fingerprints on the plastic ties used on the victim, and they found underwear from the victims in his apartment, then I suspect she is going to have to make other arrangements, as her fiance will be otherwise engaged.

Paul Krugman says prosecutions should go forward against Bush Administration officials who either authorized or engaged in torturing prisoners. Wesley Pruden takes the opposite view.

Can the GOP win back the House in 2010? Stuart Rothenberg says, "No chance".

Charles Krauthammer describes the Obama agenda to level our society. Irwin Stelzer describes what Obama's America will look like.

Is Pakistan on the verge of collapse?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The men who invented the Internet (and Al Gore is not among them) talk about the future.

Economist Nouriel Roubini writes about the global economy, and predicts that it will continue to shrink for at least another year and a half, with double-digit unemployment here in the U.S. by the middle of 2009.

The slowing economy, and the depressed housing market, are among the factors keeping Americans from moving.

Ralph Peters says the American Left wants show trials, not of terrorists who are trying to kill Americans, but of Americans who interrogated terrorists.

I see two trends. One is that of the productive people in the economy pulling back, not just due to fear of the vicissitudes of the marketplace, but also because of fear of government interference and taxation. The other is of the people who defend us pulling back from doing what is necessary for fear of later prosecution. Both trends are very dangerous.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Are we on the cusp of a fundamental political and social change here in the United States, perhaps a Fourth American Republic? The author of the piece posits the existence of three American Republics since the founding, although all are based on the original Constitution first written in 1787. The first was a loose alliance of states, with one section's economy based on slave labor and agriculture, the other on free labor and manufacturing. The second followed the Civil War, a dynamic, capitalistic society of expanding population and territory. The present Republic is the one put in place since the New Deal in 1933, a special interest state of expanding government and competing special interests. An interesting analysis.

Former New Hampshire Congressman Jeb Bradley wins a special election for a State Senate seat. Could the tide be turning here in the Granite State? Perhaps, but it should be understood that the district is a solid one for the GOP, and Bradley had the benefit of name recognition as a long-time representative from the area, as a State Representative as well as a U.S. Representative (Bradley lost his Congressional seat in 2006, and then tried and failed to win it back in 2008). Still, good news, and a good first election for the new Republican leadership here, headed up by former Governor and White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu.

Tom Friedman laments the declining state of education here in the United States.

The owners of the Yankees and Mets lament the timing of opening billion-dollar stadiums in the middle of a deep recession.

The New York Times Co. refuses to open negotiations with the unions representing workers at The Boston Globe to the public, while also announcing more big losses, with those losses being blamed to a large extent on the collapse of revenue at the Globe. The trend continues, as one would expect, since the business model for newspapers no longer works. I just don't see how the Globe, or the Times, or any newspaper will continue much longer in their current form.

The Sun remains quiet...too quiet.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The first review I've seen of the new Star Trek movie, and the reviewer likes the film very much. I am old enough to have seen the original series during it's first run but, like so many others, I really became a fan when the series was repeated (and repeated...and repeated) in syndication in the early to mid 1970s, which helped create the fan support for the making of a reunion movie, and then the many sequels, and then the new series based in the original universe. If this new movie is as good as this first reviewer says it is, then we can expect the revival of the franchise, and many more movies to come.

John Bolton believes the President got one right by deciding to boycott a UN conference about racism (which, like it's previous incarnation, was likely to turn into an anti-Israel hatefest).

Ralph Peters says the President didn't do much good at a recent meeting with Latin American leaders.

Never heard of Moldova? Here is a piece about what is happening there, and why it should be of interest to us.

Christopher Hitchens believes Turkey should be denied membership in the European Union.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Paul Krugman looks at the problems facing Ireland, and Robert J. Samuelson analyzes the comparisons being made between our current economic crisis and the Great Depression. Both columns make interesting reading. Whenever I read these articles written by people who are considered economic experts I come away with the sinking feeling that even the very best and brightest really have no idea how things are going to turn out.

Which leads me to this article about the rising tide of Islamic extremism in Pakistan. The money quote...

"The inescapable reality is that another domino has toppled and the Taliban are a step closer to Islamabad," the Pakistan-based News International newspaper warned last week after the Buner takeover. The paper compared Pakistan to Vietnam: a weak and corrupt state being "nibbled away" by determined insurgents: "The Taliban have the upper hand, and they know it."

More and more the Islamic extremists remind me of the hardened and determined Bolsheviks in Russia in 1919, the Chinese Communists in 1949, and the Viet Cong in the 1960s and 70s. They have an ideology that they believe in completely, and the military skills and mental toughness to use whatever brutal means are necessary to achieve their goals.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Do we really want to put our CIA employees into harm's way? Do we really want to make them second guess themselves at every turn? Do we really want to give our enemies the information they will need to harden their networks against our efforts to disrupt them?

I don't want to do that. Many of you don't want to do that, I'm sure. But President Obama and his people may have done all of that by releasing those memos regarding interrogation techniques, even if they released them after what they thought was a long period of thoughtful consideration of the matter. So, why did they do it?

Because, dear friends, in case you hadn't noticed by now, the President and his people do not believe that we are at war. For them, terrorism is a law enforcement matter, to be handled by policemen and courts, with due process and respect for constitutional rights.

For seven years after 9/11, the Bush Administration insisted that we were at war with the Islamist fundamentalist terrorists and their allies. That intellectual foundation created certain policy imperatives and operational techniques. We now will face the problem with a different intellectual foundation creating different policy imperatives and operational techniques. The Bush approach resulted in seven years without another attack on our soil. We shall see if the Obama approach is as effective.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Yesterday was Tax Day, which seemed like the perfect day to protest against high taxation, which is what organizers of the "Tea Parties" did around the country. Glenn Reynolds has a great deal of coverage on his Instapundit site. Although I am not involved in these protests, and haven't been covering them, they are a familiar phenomenon. I saw several of these grass-roots movements during my time as a full-time, conservative radio talk show host. The folks on the Left who insist on believing that these protests are either an "astroturf" movement, created by Republican or Republican sponsored fake grassroots organizations, or populated simply by the tinfoil hat wearing crowd of crazies, are making the same mistake they have made in times past. They fail to sense the popular anger out there over the bailouts, despite the polling data that has consistently shown that anger, and the popular fear about increasing government intrusion in their lives. This fear and anger was muted during the last years of the Clinton administration due to increasing prosperity, and it was muted during the Bush years by the specter of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism. Today, however, the dynamics are quite different. We face genuine economic hardship, and the Obama administration is deliberately playing down the "War on Terror" (despite the fact that they pretty much continue to fight it along the lines of the previous administration). At the same time the government is intruding into the marketplace in a massive way. This causes people to wonder how we are ever going to get out of debt without massive tax increases down the line. Thus, the "Tea Parties". Leftists who fail to realize the true, populist roots of these protests will find themselves, once again, on the outside looking in, much as they did in early 1995 when the new Republican Congress took charge.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Somali pirates have attacked another American ship, causing some damage, but the ship's crew managed to keep the pirates from boarding until the Navy came to their aid.

Meanwhile, the criminals who lead North Korea have kicked out U.N. inspectors and vowed to re-start their nuclear program and walk away from the six-party negotiations that have, for years, been aimed at keeping North Korea's nuclear program under wraps. This is probably a repeat of the same old pattern. The North Koreans test a missile (or a small nuclear device), it fails, they are condemned by the "international community" for their actions, they respond with bellicose rhetoric and actions, the "international community" comes crawling back to them with concessions, which they take, then they do something provocative, and the cycle starts again.

A group of retired Flag and General officers come out against allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. military. It's been more than 20 years since I served in the U.S. Army. Back then, I know that open homosexuals in the Army would have been a problem. Today, with a new generation of soldiers, I don't know how they would react but, since I expect the President to reject the advice of those officers, I guess we will find out.

An argument against expanding Medicare. The bottom line for me remains simple. The only way to expand health insurance coverage to everyone, and contain costs, is to ration care. In today's American system, as convoluted as it is, money still talks. We ration health care based on dollars, although we do it via a third and fourth party, rather than directly, with our employer choosing the plan and the people who run the plan choosing what they will cover (with the input of regulators to a greater or lesser extent). I would prefer a system whereby we all bought our own plans directly, with a government subsidy for people whose income is so low that they cannot afford even the cheapest plan. I fear, however, that we are headed in the opposite direction, toward a universal, government-run, plan. This plan would ration care based on the decisions of government bureaucrats rather than the insurance and corporate bureaucrats who make the decisions in our current system. Why would that be worse? Because the insurance and corporate bureaucrats we have now at least have to pay some attention to the marketplace, if for no other reason than fear of lawsuits or lost business. Government bureaucrats do not share the same fears, as anyone who has ever stood in a line at a Department of Motor Vehicles Office or some other government entity can attest.

Finally, something to give you a lift. You may have heard of the British television show, Britain's Got Talent. It includes Simon Cowell of American Idol fame (I believe he also helped create the show). Recently, the show featured a 47-year-old woman named Susan Boyle. Many of the millions who have seen the video first downloaded it assuming it was one of the joke videos that have become so popular on the Net. Perhaps they were as shocked as Simon and the other judges by the beauty they could not see and would never have guessed they would find. Take a look and a listen.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ralph Peters isn't going to hold his breath waiting for President Obama to get tough with the pirates, despite the rescue of an American ship captain made possible by the marksmanship of some Navy Seals.

In the Punjab local militants, allied with Taliban fighters from Afghanistan and Al Qaeda terrorists, are making life more difficult and chaotic for the government and military of Pakistan.

Bob Shrum says the GOP is in ruins. I agree. But political systems are dynamic. Could the GOP disintegrate, like the Whig Party did in the 1840s and 1850s? If so, would another party rise to take it's place, as the Republican Party replaced the Whigs at that time? I don't think so. The more likely scenario is that President Obama and the Democrats will either go too far in their political agenda, generating a backlash that will propel the Republicans back into power, or the American people will perceive President Obama as a failure (and there are many different ways that perception could come about), causing the same result.

One more step toward the words "Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota".

Could Title IX do for American science and engineering what it has done for male athletics?

Thinking the unthinkable in American foreign policy.

The world of Major League Baseball mourns Harry Kalas and Mark Fydrich.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Congratulations to the U.S. Navy for the professional way they handled the hostage situation on the high seas off the coast of Somalia, which resulted in the rescue of the American merchant captain, the capture of one pirate, and the deaths of the other three. Remarkable marksmanship from the Navy Seals who killed the three remaining pirates on the bobbing lifeboat. It's something you'd expect to see in a movie. Let's hope that the President, who authorized the use of deadly force at the on-scene commander's discretion, continues to push for a more robust posture against these pirates.

The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal is happy with the outcome of the hostage standoff.

Fred C. Ikle says we should kill pirates. I agree.

On a different subject, Robert J. Samuelson says Obama's vision of our economic future is just a lot of hot air.

You may have read about the proliferation of so-called "Tea Parties" across the country, in essence a series of anti-tax protests that have arisen as a result of popular anger over the taxpayer-funded bailouts. Greg Reynolds at Instapundit has been covering it from the beginning. Well, along comes Paul Krugman, who believes these tea parties are a sham, essentially put together by "Astroturf" groups, which is what fake grassroots organizations are called in the political business. Krugman's inability to see and/or understand real popular sentiments is illustrative of the major reason why his ideological compatriots in the Democratic Party have lost so many elections since 1968. In the Krugman worldview, people aren't really upset that their tax dollars are being used to bailout banks and automobile companies, they're just being manipulated by Republican operatives. I hope the leaders of the Democratic Party share Krugman's blindness, it will make it easier to beat them at the next opportunity.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

U.S. Navy ships are blocking the pirates who are holding an American ship captain hostage from receiving reinforcements.

Andrew C. McCarthy says the problem of modern piracy tests the whole concept of the rule of law.

Bret Stephens wonders why we don't hang pirates. My question exactly.

Amir Taheri pans the recent Obama world tour.

Caroline Glick heard a message loud and clear from President Obama's world tour and the recent words and actions of his government...America will no longer be the world's policeman, and our former allies, like Israel, had better start making other arrangements. Read the piece, as she makes some telling points. I fear this new era of American weakness will lead to the big war I have long thought is coming.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Major League Baseball mourns one of their own, killed in a car crash.

The standoff between the U.S. Navy and four pirates holding an American merchant ship captain hostage continues at the time I write this. The situation provides us with a rather illuminating example of media bias. Read this report about the situation in The New York Times, then read this report about the situation in The New York Post. The facts they use are identical, but the tone of each article could not be any different. This is what I mean whenever I refer to media bias. In a newspaper example, bias is a product of the world view of the reporters and editors, but it is also the product of the sense of identity that the people who make up a newspaper believe their paper must maintain. So The New York Post positions itself in the marketplace differently than The New York Times, which accounts for differences in headlines, writing style, and length of articles, also how each paper prioritizes. The two articles illuminate how each paper responds to the exact same set of facts, not only in how they write the article (the angle they take), but also the style. For The New York Post, the standoff is characterized by weak, frightened pirates faced with the might of the U.S. Navy. For The New York Times, the standoff is seen as an indicator of the impotence of American military power. A terrific example of media bias. If you teach a media course (as I have done in the past), these articles make perfect examples.

Arthur Herman, who wrote a history of the Royal Navy, explains what needs to be done to combat piracy.

David Ignatius writes about the dangers facing Pakistan.

Charles Krauthammer writes about the weakness of the President.

Despite the recent big gains posted in the stock market, there is still fear out there about the economic outlook.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

As of 7:45 AM Eastern Time this morning the standoff between Somali pirates holding an American ship captain hostage and the U.S. Navy continues. So far, it appears that the four pirates initially boarded the Maersk Alabama, armed with AK-47s, but the crew locked themselves in the steering compartment. At some point the crew was able to surprise and overpower one of the hijackers and tie him up (chalk one up for American's not always a bad thing). The hijackers, meanwhile, had the captain. Unfortunately, the crew made the mistake of thinking that they could negotiate in good faith with the pirates, so they gave up their prisoner, thinking they could exchange the captain for him. The pirates reneged on the deal. The captain managed to convince them to leave the ship in one of the ship's lifeboats, with the captain. That's the situation now, a I understand it, with a Navy vessel nearby, the captain and the four hijackers in a lifeboat, and the crew of the Alabama on board their ship in radio contact with their captain on the lifeboat.

I hope this turns out well for the captain, who is from Vermont. This stuff needs to be stopped, which means arming the crews, hanging some pirates, and sinking their motherships and sacking their base camps. I doubt any of those things will happen.

President Obama will push for immigration reform that will involve legalization of illegals, according to this front-page story in The New York Times. If he pushes for this, which I doubt will be the case, it will be quite a political gift to the GOP (which is why I think he will not push it).

An argument against universal health coverage.

In New Hampshire, a bill passes that would bar discrimination against "transgendered" persons when it comes to public facilities, a so-called "bathroom bill", and a bill passes that would make it harder for other states to collect their sales taxes from New Hampshire retailers.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Somali pirates hijack a U.S.-flagged freighter, with American crewmen aboard. The ship is owned by a Dutch company, but the fact that it is flying the Stars and Stripes, with Americans aboard, means, as far as I am concerned, that this is a matter for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. If President Obama doesn't order them to go and rescue these guys, and kill these pirates, then he is Jimmy Carter. It would be even better if he were to order the Navy and Marines to attack the pirate bases, burn them to the ground, and kill all the pirates they can get into gun range. That's the way to deal with pirates. Of course, he won't do that, because the pictures will not be pretty.

UPDATE....There are reports that the American crew has taken back control of the ship, with one of the four hijackers in their custody and the other three, presumably, in the water. This is going to be an interesting story, as we have seen numerous instances of hijackers taking ships in these waters off the East African coast, usually holding the crews and ships hostages and getting a ransom payment. Here, perhaps, in the example of the great American tradition of self-defense, we may have the solution to the problem (unless the U.N. is willing to sanction a military effort to clean up the pirate camps).

Economist Nouriel Roubini, who was right about the financial collapse, and predicts more hard times ahead, lashes out at CNBC's Jim Cramer. Cramer is getting it from all sides.

One analysts believes a new poll shows Americans are growing slightly more optimistic about the economy, still like Obama, and still hate the GOP.

Of course, they'll learn to hate Obama and the Democrats once they finally get around to raising every one's taxes, which at least one Obama supporter thinks they will have to do at some point.

The Vermont legislature overrides a gubernatorial veto, legalizing gay marriage in the Green Mountain State. It's the first time a legislature has legalized gay marriage, rather than a court.

Ralph Peters is critical of President Obama's words and actions while in Turkey.

Is the buildup of the Chinese Navy a threat to stability in the region?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Ralph Peters praises Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for his budget priorities.

Jay Cost takes a look at the numbers, as always, and discovers that President Obama's job approval rating is more polarized than any previous modern President. Cost also believes, and his analysis of the numbers bears this out, that we are becoming more politically polarized as a nation.

In a story that reflects the intensity of the polarization, Republicans have threatened to block Obama's judicial appointments if he releases the "torture memos" that the Bush legal team wrote to give backing to interrogation techniques used against captured terrorists.

Bill Kristol and Anne Applebaum both think President Obama's call for a world without nuclear weapons is a fantasy, and a dangerous one at that.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The North Korean "satellite" launch was a failure, according to this piece in The New York Times. This is just the most recent in a string of such failures. We may learn, after the regime crumbles and the true (and, no doubt, horrifying) story of North Korea is told, that the "Dear Leader" executes those responsible for the failures, thus losing the expertise necessary to learn from them, thus leading to more failures, and more executions. That, at least, is my guess.

A debate is raging inside the Pentagon about how the Army should orient itself to manage future threats. Should we concentrate on counter-insurgencies, such as those we are dealing with in Iraq and Afghanistan, or prepare for a larger, more conventional, war. The war between Israel and Hezbollah that was fought in Lebanon in 2006 is being examined intensely by American war planners in an effort to discover if lessons can be learned from that conflict that would be useful in deciding the issue.

Robert J. Samuelson sees deception behind the suggestion made by Chinese officials that the world move to a global currency to replace the dollar.

Michael Kinsley describes what the world might look like without newspapers. Surprisingly, he takes the exactly correct, and capitalistic, tone. His conclusion?

If General Motors goes under, there will still be cars. And if the New York Times disappears, there will still be news.


Saturday, April 04, 2009

The New York Times Co. threatens to shut down The Boston Globe, unless the Globe's unions make serious concessions. At some point we may see The New York Times Co. shutting down The New York Times.

Unemployment hits 8.5%. There are mixed signals coming from the economic numbers, but I expect the unemployment numbers will continue to get worse, probably hitting 10% by year's end. That's just a WAG on my part but, based on the recent performance of the economists, politicians and bankers, my guess is as good as theirs.

In Iowa, the state Supreme Court rules a law banning gay marriage as unconstitutional. I haven't read the decision, or the relevant provisions in Iowa's constitution, but my guess is that the court got it right, if their constitution is at all like the one in Massachusetts, where the Supreme Judicial Court made a similar ruling some years ago. The bottom line for me is, if you're going to let the state into the institution of marriage by creating a state-sanctioned legal framework of rights, responsibilities, and benefits, then how do you limit them to heterosexual couples? Unless homosexual behavior is proscribed as anti-social (as sex with children or animals is), then it seems to me the people who engage in this behavior have every right to the same legal framework as do people who engage in heterosexual behavior. Of course, I also believe that this would also apply to people who wish to marry more than one other person, as I also do not see any logical basis for limiting the institution (again, as a state-sanctioned matter) to couples.

Citizens of Pakistan who wish to live in the modern era are disturbed by a widely released video of a Taliban commander in a region of Pakistan flogging a young woman. Perhaps this video (they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so perhaps a video is worth ten thousand) will galvanize the people of that troubled country into a recognition that the Islamists, as represented by the Taliban and Al Qaeda, are barbarians, and can only be fought to the death, rather than make accommodations with them.

The "New World Order" is simply a fantasy.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Caroline Glick describes the process of making Israel's existence illegitimate which, of course, is the first step toward her destruction.

Republicans are incensed in Alaska over the Ted Stevens affair, after the charges were dropped and the prosecutor investigated for misconduct, all too late to help Stevens, who lost his re-reelection bid. Those calling for a special election, essentially a "do over", are wasting their time. The election was held, Mark Begich won, Stevens lost. The fact that Stevens lost because of political dirty tricks, well, that's just part of the grand tradition of American politics. If they could make the case that the election itself was tainted by fraud, they might have a shot, but I don't think anyone is saying that.

Paul Krugman explains why the Chinese find themselves in a "dollar trap".

Charles Krauthammer explains why the auto company takeovers and the interventions into the financial sector are not the most transformative things President Obama is planning to do to the country.

New York Post columnist Joel Sherman says the new Yankee Stadium is a monument to greed, and entirely inappropriate for the times.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Andrew Bacevich says the way to save NATO is for the U.S. to quit the alliance. I agree. NATO has long since outlived it's purpose, which was to prevent a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. Let the Europeans pay for their own defense.

The Sun is not producing much in the way of sunspot activity. What it all means, I have no idea.

Politicians are finding that taxing the rich may not be enough to cover their budget deficits.

Ben Shapiro says President Obama is doing us all a disservice when he boils down important questions to "false choices" when, in fact, there are real choices and real decisions to be made.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I spent a lot of time reading The New York Times today, and the Old Grey Lady had some good stuff in it...

GM's bankruptcy could be unusual due to government participation in the process.

American auto workers are being put in a difficult position due to the looming possibility of bankruptcy for GM and Chrysler.

Another sign of hard times as people abandon ship(s) (boats, really).

Al Franken takes another step toward the title of United States Senator.

Israel's new Prime Minister offers conciliation, but not backing for a Palestinian state.

Thomas Friedman says the price is not right.

Joseph Stiglitz says the government bailouts are a bad deal for taxpayers.

Simon Critchley looks for a good cynic.

In The Washington Post, Richard Cohen takes a dim view of giving the automakers even more of our money.

In Britain, a disturbing story that some people believe says something about the decay of their civilization, as police officers held back citizens who wished to make a rescue attempt during a building fire that eventually killed a 3-year-old child and the child's parents. Should one or more of the officers, without proper equipment, have rushed into the building in an attempt to save the family? Should they have allowed the neighbors to try? Difficult questions, indeed, although I seem to remember one story from 9/11 about the NYPD officer who was just handing in his retirement papers when the call came in about the first plane striking one of the buildings. He dropped the papers on the desk and ran out the door, headed to the scene. He didn't live to enjoy his retirement.