Leading Iranian cleric: “Hey, it’s okay to kill Jewish babies”

May 31, 2011

Hey, Mesbah-Yazdi said we could!

That’s the takeaway regarding this fatwa issued by the Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi in response to a questioner asking whether a suicide bomber was, well, committing suicide:

Q: “Now, about [the] targeting [of] civilians in the Zionist state. Some say that according to the teaching[s] of [Ahl Al-Bayt, i.e. the Prophet Muhammad's household] and the Koran, it is haram to target civilians in any case. They also say that Israelis are civilians like any other people, while others believe they are settlers and usurpers [rather than] civilians.

“Are the operations [carried out] by Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad against [Israeli] ‘civilians’ haram? Why or why not? How about the Israeli children killed in such attacks? If it is not haram, what is the answer to those who quote the Hadith [which forbids targeting] non-combatants.”

A: “Muslims should not attack those civilians of the occupied territories who have announced their opposition to their government’s vicious crimes, except [in] situations in which they are used as human shields and [when] fighting the aggressors depends on attacking those [same] civilians.”

Note that the learned Shiite scholar, though specifically asked about killing children, never says “don’t do it.” Not a word of forbiddance. You shouldn’t target those who denounced their own government, but if they’re being used as human shields… Well, hey. Stuff happens, you know?

I guess it was the fault of the Fogel children that they didn’t publicly oppose Israeli policy.

Note also that the questioner asked about the religious propriety of suicide bombing. You may be surprised to know that this is a controversial issue in Islam, because suicide is a sin. Islamic scholars have argued with al Qaeda leaders about this, and they in turn have had to engage in stretched-to-the-breaking-point arguments to say it isn’t technically suicide. (Read all about it.) Mesbah-Yazdi apparently comes down on the al Qaeda side of the argument, telling the questioner that it is not only permitted, but it is a religious obligation on all Muslims to conduct “martyrdom operations.”

Funny, but the learned Ayatollah himself has yet to strap on a bomb belt and blast his way to glory as a martyr. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time until he gets around to it.

Just as soon as the right Jewish child comes along.

RELATED: In case you find yourself wondering if Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi is some kind of …er… fanatic, you’re right. How much of a fanatic, you ask? How about, “so bad that even Ayatollah Khomeini banned his movement?” Mesbah-Yazdi is a spiritual adviser to President Gilligan Ahmadinejad; he’s appeared in this blog before.

via The Jawa Report and Ynet News.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Memorial Day quote of the day: Iraq veterans edition

May 30, 2011

From the great Walter Russell Mead:

[Osama's] dream died in Iraq.

But on this Memorial Day it is not enough to remember, and give thanks, that Osama’s dream died before he did and that the terror movement has been gravely wounded at its heart.

Because the dream didn’t just die.

It was killed.

And it was killed by coalition forces.  They killed it by fighting harder and smarter than the enemy and they killed it by winning trust and building bridges better than the enemy.  They did it because they were better, more honorable warriors and better, more honorable partners for peace.  Mostly American and mostly Christian, the coalition forcers were more compassionate, more just, more protective of the poor and more respectful of Arab women than the crazed thugs who thought setting off bombs in the market was fulfilling God’s will.

We must continue to honor and thank the Arab allies and tribal leaders who made the choice for America in a dark and a difficult time.  But especially on this Memorial Day we must honor and remember the American heroes who by their lives and by their deaths brought victory out of defeat, understanding out of hatred and gave both Muslims and non-Muslims a chance to get this whole thing right.

The story of America’s victory over terror in Mesopotamia needs to be told.  In justice to those who sacrificed so much, and for the sake of those who may have to face similar dangers in the future, somebody needs to tell the real story of how, against all odds and in the face of unremitting skepticism and defeatism at home, our armed forces built a foundation for peace and reconciliation in the Middle East.

All wars are tragic; some are also victorious.  The tragedies of Iraq are real and well known.  The victory is equally real — but the politically fastidious don’t want to look.  The minimum we owe our lost and wounded warriors is to tell the story of what they so gloriously achieved.

On this Memorial Day, a truth needs to be told.

We have not yet done justice to our dead.

Read the whole thing.

PS: Guess that resolution went the way of all things…


Italy persecutes scientists for failing to perform magic

May 30, 2011

Really, what else can you say about nonsense like this?

Italian Seismologists Charged With Manslaughter for Not Predicting 2009 Quake

Italian government officials have accused the country’s top seismologist of manslaughter, after failing to predict a natural disaster that struck Italy in 2009, a massive devastating earthquake that killed 308 people.

A shocked spokesman for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) likened the accusations to a witch hunt.

“It has a medieval flavor to it — like witches are being put on trial,” the stunned spokesman told FoxNews.com.

Enzo Boschi, the president of Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), will face trial along with six other scientists and technicians, after failing to predict the future and the impending disaster.

Earthquakes are, of course, nearly impossible to predict, seismologists say. In fact, according to the website for the USGS, no major quake has ever been predicted successfully.

Not just nearly impossible, they are impossible to predict. Whether by looking for precursors such as clusters of micro-quakes or by theoretical geophysical modeling, the phenomena of earthquakes are simply too complex for our current understanding to make anything resembling a reasonable prediction. This makes liberal efforts to control a market economy look like child’s play in comparison.

Like the Italians, I live in “earthquake country.” Every so often, we get warnings about “the big one” being overdue. What they mean is that, historically, large quakes have occurred in Southern California “every so often, plus or minus a lot of years,” and so Los Angeles is bound to have one. But you see how vague that is? Yes, we’ve gone longer than the historical average for a truly big temblor, but will it happen tomorrow, next week, or in a thousand years? No one knows, and no one can say. Local media love it, of course, because it allows them to boost tepid ratings by scaring the public. Public officials give in to it, because fear rather than prudence seems to be the only way to get people to have adequate emergency supplies on hand and take other measures to mitigate risk.

But it’s all a carnival sideshow, with Madame Olga reading the cards to to tell you when the earth demons will dance. It’s a psychological binky for infantilized adults who are frightened of a future they cannot control.

Which is apparently what Italians want, and now they’re going to punish scientists for not giving it to them.

Welcome to the 21st century. Next stop, the Dark Ages.

PS: Yeah, I said I was going to stay off the Internet today, but I just wanted to scan the news, then I saw this, and… and… I’m weak.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Memorial Day blog holiday

May 30, 2011

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington

Today is Memorial Day, and I’ve decided it’s a good day to spend away from the Internet. (We’ll see just how strong my resolve is.) Enjoy your day, folks. Normal service resumes tomorrow.


Kyoto Treaty collapses: Gaea-worshipers, Green Statists hardest hit

May 29, 2011

Way back in 1997, many of the world’s nations gathered in the beautiful city of Kyoto to sign a treaty to save us from a problem that does not exist: anthropogenic global warming (AGW). The aim of this treaty was to impose freedom and economy-crushing regulation on the industrial world regulate, limit and reduce the amount of “greenhouse gases,” such as carbon dioxide (aka, “plant food”) by imposing targets… which were largely not met, because most governments don’t want to commit suicide by returning to a pre-industrial age.

The Kyoto Treaty (which President Bush wisely refused to submit to the Senate) is set to expire next year, so there’s an effort on to renew it so we can all keep supporting the lifestyles of transnational bureaucrats fighting AGW, which doesn’t exist. That effort fell apart this weekend as four nations with some of the biggest economies on the planet said “no:”

Russia, Japan and Canada told the G8 they would not join a second round of carbon cuts under the Kyoto Protocol at United Nations talks this year and the US reiterated it would remain outside the treaty, European diplomats have said.

The future of the Kyoto Protocol has become central to efforts to negotiate reductions of carbon emissions under the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, whose annual meeting will take place in Durban, South Africa, from November 28 to December 9.

Developed countries signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. They agreed to legally binding commitments on curbing greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

Those pledges expire at the end of next year. Developing countries say a second round is essential to secure global agreements.

But the leaders of Russian, Japan and Canada confirmed they would not join a new Kyoto agreement, the diplomats said.

They argued that the Kyoto format did not require developing countries, including China, the world’s No. 1 carbon emitter, to make targeted emission cuts.

At last Thursday’s G8 dinner the US President, Barack Obama, confirmed Washington would not join an updated Kyoto Protocol, the diplomats said.

Now, who would have thought it: national leaders not wanting to cripple their own economies while other nations get a free pass to catch up? Why, you might think one of them was up for reelection, or something…

Regardless of the why, this is good news for those who value prosperity, liberty, and scientific truth.

Which doesn’t include everyone. Among Gaea cultists, the news probably brought many scenes like this:

What is best in life? To hear the lamentations of the eco-hippies…

via Watt’s Up With That?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Memorial Day weekend and the anniversary of a great defeat

May 29, 2011

Memorial Day is a holiday set aside for Americans to honor our servicemen past and present and to remember, if even for a moment, those who gave what Lincoln called that “last full measure of devotion.” But this weekend also reminds us of another war, one far older than the United States, and yet hasn’t ended.

Some people call our current struggle with jihadist Islam “The Long War,” meaning that this fight is expected to go on for years, if not generations.

But it’s a long war in another sense, too, because we of the West been fighting it, through periods active and quiet, since Muhammad first declared as Allah’s command:

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Today marks an anniversary in that nearly 1400-years long struggle, the Fall of Constantinople and the end of the last remnant of the Roman Empire:

"Siege of Constantinople,"Jean Chartier c.1475

From Constantinople, the Turks, who had taken the Arabs’ place as leaders of the jihad, would march on into Central Europe, conquering the Balkans and twice besieging magnificent Vienna. This last great surge was stopped at the gates of the city in 1683; after that, Islam went into a long period of quiet that gradually ended in the final decades of the 20th century, until the jihad resumed amidst fire and terror on September 11th, 2001. Where once stood Franks and Greeks and Austrians and Spaniards and Italians, now there stands… us.

Is there a grand lesson in all this? I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that people who think this “long war” will end quickly and easily are only fooling themselves. As long as there remains in Islam a compulsion to fight everyone else until they submit:

And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do.

…this war will go on.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Cannes film festival: Antisemitic or just plain irrelevant?

May 28, 2011

There was a controversy at this years Cannes Film Festival when Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier admitted his sympathies for Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. While he was expelled from Cannes for his remarks, Poliwood’s Roger L. Simon and Lionel Chetwynd take it as an opportunity to look at Antisemitism and anti-Americanism in the larger European artistic community, as well as questioning whether Cannes as a vehicle for great movies has degenerated into irrelevance:


Bill Whittle: Obama is making us a “turncoat nation”

May 27, 2011

Bill Whittle returns today with a video that absolutely savages the “Smart Diplomacy” of Barack Obama and his administration. Noting that it takes years and decades of efforts to build up trust between nations, Whittle shows with devastating clarity how, one by one, Obama is trashing those relationships and, in the process, harming our national security and turning us into a nation of turncoats:

Two things from the video I’ll point out: first, I had a feeling Bill was a big fan of Victor Davis Hanson. I am, too, and I can’t recommend his books highly enough, whether you’re interested in Military History, Ancient Greece, the decline of California, or current affairs in general. Hanson has a way of using the past to illuminate the present that few can match. Whittle points to one of his books, How The Obama Administration Threatens Our National Security, part of the Encounter Broadsides series. Not only do I second Bill’s recommendation of Hanson’s book, but I’m a fan of the entire series. They’re inexpensive, brief polemical works on important issues that will give you the arguments you need to deal with liberal co-workers and friends.

The other item Bill mentions is the stab-in-the-back betrayal of Poland and the Czech Republic in 2009 after they stuck their necks out for us by agreeing to host missile defense sites over strenuous Russian objections. At the time I was outraged and called it “appeasement and betrayal,” and my opinions haven’t changed. Barack Obama’s, amateurish, ham-handed, and ideologically driven foreign policy is wrecking America’s traditional alliances and gaining nothing –nothing– in return.

At this point, I don’t care if the Republican nominee in 2012 is Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, John Huntsman — or even Alf! We have got to vote him out of office.

RELATED: Two good articles you may want to look at. In the first, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy describes Obama’s Middle East policy as “ObamaCare for Israel.” It’s an apt analogy, and McCarthy uses it as an example of Obama’s Alinskyism as applied to foreign relations. After that, check out Stanley Kurtz’s article on Obama’s hard-Left leanings in foreign policy: “Pro-Palestinian-in-Chief.” Kurtz wrote the brilliant Radical in Chief, a political biography of Obama chronicling his lifelong attachment to Socialism. The book discussed the implications of Obama’s radical Leftist politics for domestic policy; “Pro-Palestinian” can be considered a companion piece for foreign affairs.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Pat Condell: “Let’s blame the Jews!”

May 27, 2011

British comic Pat Condell rants about the rise of Antisemitism in Europe, Jewish conspiracy theories, and the pathetic truth behind Islamic Jew-hatred.

(Fair warning, both for a bit of rough language and for Pat making his contempt for all religion quite clear.)


Sarah Palin’s Magic Bus

May 27, 2011

You may have heard that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is about to embark on a “One Nation” (1) bus tour of historic sites in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Here’s the roll-out video:

Many are speculating that this may be a prelude to announcing her candidacy for president. I don’t think there’s any “may be” about it: I think she’s 95% in and this plus her documentary (which, contrary to the MSM slander, she neither commissioned nor paid for) are the final “testing the waters’ to gauge reaction. Jim Geraghty in his Morning Jolt newsletter thinks the only thing that could change her mind would be the effect on her family and that this bus tour might be a way to measure that:

My first reaction was that the book tour wasn’t ipso facto evidence that Palin was running for president; in her Greta Van Susteren interview, Palin suggested that concerns over her family were what was holding her back. Does a bus tour mean that issue has been resolved? Maybe. But I think only Palin and her family know for sure. As I speculated, maybe this is a “dress rehearsal” — if the family goes through the experience of the bus tour and emerges unscathed, then the campaign is a go.

As I’ve made clear in the past, I greatly admire her (2) and think she’d be a fine president — and not just by comparison to the low bar set by the current occupant of the office. She’s my preferred candidate (3). Whether she can win the nomination and the general election is another thing, and that’s for the voters to decide, not pundits and would-be pundits — including me.

Meanwhile, we’ll keep you posted on how the tour goes.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot: Go, ‘Cuda!

(1) Take that, John Edwards.

(2) Yes, even after “The Resignation.” As I’ve said, that’s a non-issue for me until someone can convince me otherwise by explaining in detail and with facts what she should have done given the Alaska ethics law at the time and the concerted campaign to destroy her that exploited that law.

(3) But, if she doesn’t run or does but loses the nomination, there are others I could easily support: Tim Pawlenty for one, who not only has a good record as governor but also is showing more feistiness than I ever expected.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Friday Chuckles

May 27, 2011

It’s the eve of a long weekend, folks, and that means a few laughs are in order. So here’s the latest NewsBusted, starring Jodi Miller:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


What is Socialism?

May 26, 2011

That is, aside from a really bad idea?

Nick Gillespie of Reason.TV sat down with Kevin Williamson, National Review editor and author of the recent “Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism,” to discuss why so many people favor a system that gave us the most monstrous dictators of history, and how it relates to the modern regulatory and welfare states.

I think you’ll find it interesting:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


“My journey toward Islamoawareness”

May 25, 2011

That’s the title of a post at Big Peace from a person who works in Hollywood, but has to post through a friend because of the bigotry shown toward anyone who doesn’t toe the orthodox left-liberal line there. His awakening to the truth about Islam –that it is an aggressive, totalitarian faith driven by its core doctrines to force all others into submission– mirrors my own, though my journey began right after September 11th. Here’s how he begins:

I use the term “Islamoawareness” because people who are critical of Islamic doctrine are often smeared as “Islamophobes”.  I reject this label because a “phobia” is an irrational fear of something, but to fear something that is, indeed, out to kill you is the height of rationality.

Read the whole thing. Like David Mamet’s story of his transformation from unthinking liberal to thoughtful conservative, it’s a tale of opening one’s eyes to facts –not bigotry, facts– and casting off comfortable blinders of political correctness in order to see reality, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us. It’s a path we all need to walk in the face of a continuing jihad, both cultural and violent.

And be sure to take note of the recommend reading list at the end; I’ve read most of them and heartily agree.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Future leaders compared

May 25, 2011

‘Nuff said?

Bibi and Barack

via Christian Adams

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


A Mideast crisis by September?

May 24, 2011

And it’s not the one you’re probably thinking of, a unilateral declaration of statehood by the Fatah-Hamas Palestinian administration. Rather, analyst Barry Rubin has in mind the Egyptian elections scheduled for that month, elections that will very likely bring to power an anti-American, anti-Israeli, Islamist government — a situation made much worse thanks to Obama administration ineptitude and a failure to recognize even now what the dangers are.

Rubin’s articles are worth reading “cover to cover,” but let me cite a portion in which he asks what our “leaders” will say when the near-inevitable happens and Obama’s Mideast policy collapses:

Imagine the day after that election. What will the mass media say? What will the American politicians say?

–That they were wrong about the Egyptian revolution and the Muslim Brotherhood?

–That by helping to bring down the old regime, U.S. policy foisted a disaster on the region and on its own interests?

–That by celebrating how great the “Arab Spring” is and refusing to acknowledge the real threats and problems, Obama made catastrophic errors.

–That his policy has led to many advances for America’s enemies?

–That Israel is in a far worse strategic situation and certainly can’t and shouldn’t make any more concessions?

–That the Islamists are emboldened and thus both Hamas and the radicals who run Fatah are taking an even harder line?

–That the loss of faith in America by its Arab allies is now undeniably clear and they are scrambling to make their own deals with Iran and other extremists?

–That there is a real possibility of a war in which Egypt either joins directly or backs Hamas? Imagine, Egypt stays “neutral” but nobody stops thousands of Egyptian volunteers from crossing into Gaza to fight or even across the Egypt-Israel border to launch terror attacks?

–What will the Obama Administration do if in practice Egypt tears up the Israel-Egypt peace treaty even if it pretends that it isn’t doing so?

–People are insisting that if Hamas in practice becomes part of the Palestinian Authority that the United States, and certainly Congress, will cut off aid. But what will happen when the Obama Administration does everything possible to prevent an aid cut-off and nothing possible to pressure the PA into changing its policy or behavior?

These are not speculations. These things WILL happen. Nobody in the United States or Europe is seriously discussing these scenarios and what should be done about them.

As I said, that’s not the half of it; Lebanon is increasingly under Hizbullah’s dominance (and thus becoming a satrapy of Syria and Iran), Assad is showing he will kill however many it takes to stay in power in Syria, and Iran marches on to nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them. And all of this has been made worse by bumbling US policies since Obama took over.

Yet he and his administration (and his defenders in the media) show no sign that they understand what is happening, continuing instead to pretend that territorial concessions will solve anything.

The Hippocratic Oath is often paraphrased by “First do no harm.” Someone should whisper those words to President Obama before it’s too late.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


But don’t forget, they’re our partners in peace, you piece of filth

May 23, 2011

They just happen to think, and I quote, “Jews are Human pieces of filth.” That shouldn’t stop us from reaching out, right?

And here’s the transcript:

Yasser Qachlaq: The natural place for Barak is Poland, and the natural place for that idiot, Netanyahu, is Moscow, while the natural place for me is Safed.

[…]

I would like to say to Ben-Gurion: You little boy, tomorrow, my little son will stomp on your grave. He will deport your remains to your true country in Europe, and we will return.

[…]

Like Imam Khomeini said, back in the day, if each of us were to spit, we would drown out all five million of them. The number of Jews – those human pieces of filth – in my land equals one third of the people of the Nasr City neighborhood in Cairo.

[…]

Netanyahu, who says that the Right of Return should be resolved outside Israel, should resolve his own problem by returning to his homeland, Moscow. These are human pieces of filth. Even Balfour, when he got carried away, and gave my land to those Jews, said that he was doing so to get rid of them. They brought us those pieces of filth, and we should throw them back to their countries.

I’ll bet he’s good buddies with Helen Thomas.

The reason I post these clips (and there are many, many more in the MEMRI archives) is to illustrate that the problem between Israel and the Arabs isn’t about land or boundaries, regardless of what Qachlaq says; if it were, the issue would have been resolved long ago, perhaps before World War II. There have been plenty of opportunities, and the Arabs have shot them all down.

No, the root of the problem is cultural and religious, a Jew-hatred rooted in the core of Islam and supplemented with Nazi influences that pervades Islamic society from from the street to the elites and is fed and reinforced in the mosques, in the media, and by Arab governments every day.

How can you expect to make peace when so many believe it is a divine command to make war on you, and that you are nothing but “Human pieces of filth?”

POSTSCRIPT: I wrote this post last night and scheduled it for this morning. In the meantime, Power Line has published a post on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s speech at AIPAC. In it is a story that I think illustrates well the point I was making above about making peace with a people raised from birth to want your death:

The following story illustrates Israel’s dilemma.

A Palestinian woman from Gaza arrives at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba for lifesaving skin treatment for burns over half her body. After the conclusion of her extensive treatment, the woman is invited back for follow-up visits to the outpatient clinic. One day she is caught at the border crossing wearing a suicide belt. Her intention? To blow herself up at the same clinic that saved her life.

What kind of culture leads one to do that?

Sadly, it is a culture infused with resentment and hatred.

It is this culture that underlies the Palestinians’ and the broader Arab world’s refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

This is the root of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. It is not about the ’67 lines.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


But… But… But, Obama said we had to spend to create jobs!

May 22, 2011

Oh, yeah? One graph measuring federal spending vs. the number of jobs shows us what a farce that is:

How's that spending binge working out for ya?

Via Power Line. Click through for more.


But… But… But Obama said the border was secure!

May 22, 2011

You probably remember Obama’s recent trip to Texas in which, during a speech in El Paso, he mocked, derided, and demagogued the legitimate concerns of those worried about the security of our southern border. He went so far as to claim his administration had done more than any before it to meet those concerns:

But over the last two years, thanks to the outstanding work of Janet [Napolitano] and Alan [Bersin] and everybody who’s down here working at the border, we’ve answered those concerns. Under their leadership, we have strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible. They wanted more agents at the border. Well, we now have more boots on the ground on the southwest border than at any time in our history.

So, see? There’s nothing to be concerned about. The border is safe! And pay no attention to those drug-cartel outposts inside Arizona:

Hiking through rough Arizona desert terrain a few miles north of the Mexican border recently with a group of armed DEA agents, we were approached by a lone U.S. Border Patrol agent. He warned we should be careful up ahead, because two people believed to be spotters for a Mexican drug cartel had just been seen running down a ridge to elude U.S. authorities.

By now, agents told us, the men were probably hunkered down in a cave or crevice to wait out the patrol. But just to be safe, the DEA agents spread out to cover more ground as they moved forward again, watching closely for the suspected Mexican surveillance team likely sent by drug traffickers to spy on American law enforcement officials on their own soil.

Making our way slowly to the rugged hilltops about a mile away, we came across several caves carved out of the rock by wind and rain. On the floor of one of them, we saw clear evidence that a surveillance team had been camping out. Two blankets were spread out next to a pair of shoes. Nearby were boxes of food, tarps, water jugs, toothpaste and a portable stove, on top of which was a pan with fresh cooking oil still in it.

Agents also found radio chargers and car batteries used to power communications gear. They told NBC producer-photographer Al Henkel and me that Mexican surveillance teams will work in these mountains for 30 to 60 days at a time.

“They locate themselves up on these ridgelines, up in caves, hidey holes, ‘spider holes’ we call them,” said DEA agent Todd Scott. He and the agents wondered if this particular “spider hole” was home to the two men just seen running away.

The report goes on to estimate there are 200-300 spotters operating in Arizona as far north as Phoenix and using military-grade gear to track US law enforcement movements and talk to each other in a sophisticated operation. Here’s a video report:

But, don’t worry; the border is safe.

Obama said so.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Your future under Obamacare: longer waits, less efficient treatment

May 22, 2011

One of the contentions of those opposing the effective nationalization of our healthcare system has been that the quality of care will necessarily decline as the government finds itself forced to introduce rationing to control costs. ObamaCare’s supporters reply with the only rejoinder they’ve got: “nuh-uh.”

The reason they’re left with nothing but denial as an argument is that the empirical evidence is against them. Back in 2009, reporter Jon Stossel discussed effective rationing via long wait times (1) in the Canadian single-payer system. This weekend, the left-wing Guardian newspaper brings us more evidence of rationing via waiting in Britain’s National Health Service:

NHS budget squeeze to blame for longer waiting times, say doctors

Latest performance data reveal number of English patients waiting more than 18 weeks has risen by 26% in last year

Doctors are blaming financial pressures on the NHS for an increase in the number of patients who are not being treated within the 18 weeks that the government recommends (2).

New NHS performance data reveal that the number of people in England who are being forced to wait more than 18 weeks has risen by 26% in the last year, while the number who had to wait longer than six months has shot up by 43%.

In March this year, 34,639 people, or 11% of the total, waited more than that time to receive inpatient treatment, compared with 27,534, or 8.3%, in March 2010 – an increase of 26% – Department of Health statistics show.

Similarly, in March this year some 11,243 patients who underwent treatment had waited for more than six months, compared with 7,841 in the same month in 2010 – a 43% rise.

Pro-socialized medicine (3) advocates can claim all they want that “it will be different here” or “we just need to make some adjustments,” but the truth is that the same will inevitably happen here: political pressure to save money will force the government to ration care via slower service and denial of care (4).

And this is why it is crucial to keep up the pressure to repeal ObamaCare, whether in one fell swoop or by “repeal by a thousand cuts.”

It’s bad policy, it’s bad medicine, and it’s got to go.

(1) Unless, of course, you’re an important government official who can jet off to the US for needed care whenever you want.

(2) 18 weeks is “recommended?” I can go to a doc tomorrow and, if I need a referral, I can see a specialist within 1-3 days. And the NHS is supposed to be an improvement over what we have now?

(3) Which is the desired end-state of ObamaCare, regardless of what they say in public. Just ask Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.

(4) Hmm… Kind of sounds like “death panels.”Nah. Only a chillbilly dummy would suggest something so stupid. Couldn’t ever happen.

via Dan Mitchell

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


So, is Saturn suffering from global warming, too?

May 21, 2011

Need an umbrella?

Among the many hypothetical, not-borne-out-by-facts claims made by global warming cultists is that, as the carbon dioxide we’re spewing into the atmosphere causes the temperature to rise (which it isn’t), the Earth will see larger and more violent storms. (Ooops…)

So, does this mean normally placid Saturn is experiencing global warming? Probably not, but it’s still a mighty impressive storm:

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and a European Southern Observatory ground-based telescope are tracking the growth of a giant early-spring storm in Saturn’s northern hemisphere so powerful that it stretches around the entire planet. The rare storm has been wreaking havoc for months and shooting plumes of gas high into the planet’s atmosphere.

“Nothing on Earth comes close to this powerful storm,” says Leigh Fletcher, a Cassini team scientist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and lead author of a study that appeared in this week’s edition of Science Magazine. “A storm like this is rare. This is only the sixth one to be recorded since 1876, and the last was way back in 1990.”

Cassini’s radio and plasma wave science instrument first detected the large disturbance in December 2010, and amateur astronomers have been watching it ever since through backyard telescopes.  As it rapidly expanded, the storm’s core developed into a giant, powerful thunderstorm, producing a 3,000-mile-wide (5,000-kilometer-wide) dark vortex possibly similar to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.

To give you some perspective, that storm is bigger than the entire Earth (1).

Events like this remind us of how wondrous and awesome (in the literal sense of the words) the universe beyond our little floating rock truly is.

(1) Be honest, Gaea cultists; deep inside, in your heart-of-green-hearts, you’d be thrilled if something like this happened here to punish Man for his treason against the Earth.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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