Such a bargain…

October 30, 2009

The Obama Administration told us we had to pass the $787-billion dollar Stimulus bill NOW!! in order to save and create jobs to blunt the worst recession in decades. Well the numbers are in:

  • Money spent so far: $150,000,000,000
  • Number of jobs created or saved: 650,000
  • Price per job: $230,769.23

Only in a Washington controlled by statists who’ve never had to deal with economic reality in their lives could this be considered a worthwhile use of public money.

Can I have one?  Money Eyes

Advertisements

Honduras: An Obama-Clinton disgrace

October 30, 2009

Today’s Times Online brings news of a resolution to the months-long crisis in Honduras, in which a constitutional democracy defended itself from a budding dictator, President Manuel Zelaya, by removing him from office, replacing him with the proper constitutional officials, and sending the would-be caudillo into exile. Elections would be held as scheduled and the interim president, Micheletti, had promised not to run. Because Zelaya refused to accept his ouster and had gathered allies in the hemisphere, a standoff ensued. Now that standoff is over, with the result that … Manuel Zelaya will be restored to power:

The interim government of Honduras has yielded to international pressure and agreed to allow the return to power of Manuel Zelaya, the ousted President who was toppled in a military coup four months ago.

The breakthrough came after renewed pressure from senior US officials who travelled to Honduras this week for a last-ditch effort to end the crisis.

“It is a triumph for Honduran democracy,” said Mr Zelaya after the rival sides agreed to a deal under which he may be reinstated as President within days.

Roberto Micheletti, the president of the interim government that took power after the coup on June 28, announced that he had agreed to reinstate his political rival.

“I am pleased to announce that a few minutes ago my negotiating team signed an agreement that marks the beginning of the end” of the four-month stand-off, Mr Micheletti said in a statement from the presidential palace.

Mr Zelaya was sent into exile at gunpoint on June 28 but returned secretly to Honduras last month where he has taken refuge in the Brazilian embassy.

For background on the crisis, see my earlier post.

This is another new low for American foreign policy under President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. Instead of gathering the facts and then backing the defense of constitutional order in Honduras, the White House and Foggy Bottom jerked their collective knees and condemned the legitimate government, demanding Zelaya’s restoration, which left them in the grotesque position of allying the government of the United States with its sworn enemies in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, who were backing their anti-democratic protege.

Not at all phased by this diplomatic cluster-frak, the administration kept beclowning itself by cutting off aid to Honduras, denying visas to its officials to visit the UN (while granting them to Burmese dictators), and supporting diplomatic missions meant to strongarm the Honduran democracy into surrender. At long last, it worked.  Congratulations on the win, Team Obama!

Let me make this as plain as I can: the President of the United States, the moral leader of the democratic  nations of the world, and his chief diplomat allied his administration with some of the hemisphere’s worst dictators in order to bully a constitutional democracy and ally into accepting the restoration of a man who is definitely anti-democratic, anti-constitutional, and probably mad. And all this was done in the face of a finding by the Law Library of Congress that the removal of Zelaya was legal under Honduran law (PDF). (For a strong dissent, see here)

Forget constitutionality, forget rule-of-law, and forget supporting a democratic ally defending itself from dictatorial neighbors. All that matters to Obama and Clinton is that they got what they wanted and once again showed that they prefer thugs and tyrants to genuine democrats. Israel versus the Palestinians, Iran’s mullahs versus Iran’s people, Russia versus our Central European allies and Georgia, and now Venezuela versus Honduras. In each case the administration has hugged the enemy and slapped the friend.

The only good in this is that Zelaya is bound by the agreement to honor the election results and that command of the Army is taken away from him. On the other hand, the Obama administration still has three years to go, yet it’s already an embarrassing disgrace.

LINKS: Power Line; Fausta (The best source on Honduras); Ed Morrissey; and Legal Insurrection.

RELATED: That staunch defender of democracy, Senator John “Don’t Question My Patriotism” Kerry wants the Law Library of Congress to retract its report as unhelpful. In return, the Law Library has told Kerry to drop dead.

UPDATE: Reader Karateka has posted a darkly funny (and sadly accurate) political cartoon at his blog, Innovation and Politics.


Britain has a big problem

October 29, 2009

Two articles at Pajamas Media explore the rise of the fascist British National Party (BNP). In British National Party Gains Further After BBC’s Question Time Fiasco, Andrew Ian Dodge looks at the attempted ambush of BNP leader Nick Griffin on the BBC show Question Time, during which the other panelists and a stacked-deck of an audience attempted to harangue and humiliate Griffin as anti-BNP demonstrators rioted outside. While not showing any sympathy for the execrable Griffin, Dodge observes that the effort may well have backfired and quotes a UK blogger as evidence:

As the average English person dislikes people ganging up on others, they are already expressing sympathy with Griffin and I predict that the popularity of the BNP will rise.

Before you can show up a policy you have to debate it, and not one of the other so-called politicians [on the panel] had any intention of engaging in a debate. It was a set-up, it was despicable and it was enormously counter-productive.

In my neck of the woods the comments go more like “if they spent so much time trying to shut him up, he must have summat to say they don’t want us to hear.”

In Britain’s New Neo-Nazi Star, Mike McNally looks at Griffin’s rise and speculates on the reasons for the BNP’s newfound strength:

The BNP speaks to the white working classes, a constituency which feels increasingly alienated, neglected, and abandoned by a “New” Labour party which once drew the bulk of its support from those same people. In broad terms, these are people who feel left behind by the pace of social and economic change. They are concerned about the erosion of what they see as their British identity under a government obsessed with promoting multiculturalism. More pressingly, they feel under pressure from mass immigration, angered by the continuing transfer of political power away from their elected leaders and into the hands of unaccountable bureaucrats of the European Union, concerned by rising crime, and alarmed by the spread of Islamic extremism.

The last time the far right (to use the term in its broadest and laziest sense) made inroads into British political life, in the 1970s, they were killed off by the arrival of Margaret Thatcher, who stood up for British interests and addressed the  concerns of the working classes without pandering to racist attitudes. The economic chaos that accompanied the fall of the Labour government in 1979 was exploited by racist and nationalist groups, and it’s no coincidence that now, as then, such elements are growing in popularity during the death throes of a Labour administration.

McNally’s going easy on himself by calling the designation of the BNP as “far right” lazy. It’s flat-out inaccurate: Look at BNP’s economic program and you’ll see that, like Nazism before it, the British National Party is a product of the Left.

Regardless, both authors are right when they argue that the growing popularity, or, at least, respectability, of the BNP represents a failure of the governing classes in Britain to deal with the needs and concerns of their constituents. Indeed, if author Melanie Phillips is right, Labour is guilty of a shockingly high-handed and arrogant attempt to remake the character of the nation – the public’s opinions be damned. But it’s not just Labour; the Conservatives are no longer the Thatcherites of old, but a washed-out Labour-Lite. The Liberal Democrats are barely distinguishable from the other two. Among the minor parties, the UK Independence Party most resembles American conservative-libertarian Right, but it hasn’t gained much traction.  Small wonder that, faced with an out of touch and corrupt political class, more and more Britons (especially disaffected Labourites) are coming to see the openly racist and fascist British National Party as their only alternative.

It’s a big problem, and I suspect it will only get worse before it ever gets better.


Quote of the night

October 28, 2009

In the comments section of a post earlier today about the jihadist plot to murder a cartoonist and a journalist for daring to exercise their rights of free speech, reader velvethammer reminded me of an article by one of the intended victims. In it, Jyllands-Posten editor Fleming Rose explained why he published the Muhammad cartoons:

Has Jyllands-Posten insulted and disrespected Islam? It certainly didn’t intend to. But what does respect mean? When I visit a mosque, I show my respect by taking off my shoes. I follow the customs, just as I do in a church, synagogue or other holy place. But if a believer demands that I, as a nonbeliever, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission. And that is incompatible with a secular democracy.

Exactly.


Wednesday night chuckles

October 28, 2009

NewsBusted with Jodi Miller:


Religion of Tolerance Watch

October 28, 2009

Following up on an item I linked yesterday, we now know why over 100 FBI agents -including snipers and helicopters- raided a Muslim slaughterhouse in Illinois: it was linked to a plot to kill 78-years old Kurt Westergaard, author of one of the most well-known of the infamous Muhammed Cartoons:

Two Chicago men charged in terror scheme

When FBI agents at O’Hare arrested David Headley en route to Pakistan earlier this month on charges he plotted to kill a newspaper cartoonist in Denmark, authorities say he held an additional airline reservation – to Copenhagen.

He was to depart Thursday.

Headley’s friend, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, who shared an extreme hatred for cartoons that depicted the prophet Mohammed, arranged for the flight, authorities said.

Any depiction of the prophet, even a favorable one, is forbidden by Islamic law as likely to lead to idolatry.

The Chicago men, who knew each other from a military school in Pakistan, on Tuesday were accused of an international plot dubbed “The Mickey Mouse Project” that since late 2008 included scheming with others to “commit terrorist acts against overseas targets,” according to federal criminal complaints made public in Chicago.

The North Side men are accused of plotting to target employees of the Danish newspaper Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, which published cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in 2005, sparking violent riots across the Muslim world.

The most controversial of the 12 cartoons depicted Mohammed wearing a bomb with a lit fuse as a turban. That cartoon was drawn by Kurt Westergaard, 78 – who was targeted for assassination, authorities said.

This is the cartoon in question:

jyllandsposten_bombhead

For this act of free speech, a right we in the West hold to be among the universal, natural rights of Mankind, Mr. Westergaard and Flemming Rose, the editor of the Jyllands-Posten, as well as other staff at the paper were marked for death.

They were to be murdered for offending Islam.

Free speech means nothing unless it means the freedom to criticize and even give offense, for no other kind of speech needs protection. If we renounce our right to criticize or even insult a public figure, a political party, or even a religion –any religion– then free speech is dead, the first amendment is “just words,” and we are all self-made dhimmis living in fear.

Which is exactly what jihadists like David Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana want.

(hat tip: Jihad Watch)

RELATED: The original Dread Cartoons Of Blasphemy.


It’s a rare day

October 28, 2009

When I agree with a Russian on anything, but today’s one of them:

The Sun Defines the Climate – an essay from Russia

An excerpt:

It follows that warming had a natural origin, the contribution of CO2 to it was insignificant, anthropogenic increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide does not serve as an explanation for it, and in the foreseeable future CO2 will not be able to cause catastrophic warming. The so-called greenhouse effect will not avert the onset of the next deep temperature drop, the 19th in the last 7500 years, which without fail follows after natural warming.