(Video) Mitt Romney vs. The Incredible Shrinking President

August 31, 2012

Bill Whittle nails it in this video: In 2012, the candidates at the top of their respective tickets have made very different bets about the nature of the American people, and that difference is revealed in the choices each has made about who they pick for their running mate and how they run their campaigns. Romney has bet everything that Americans are still responsible adults who can face facts and make intelligent decisions as free citizens of a democratic republic. President Obama, on the other hand, assumes we are now nothing but infantilized wards happy to live in a super-sized European nanny state, concerned only that the “free pie” keeps coming.

PS: Romney-Ryan 2012, because too much free pie is only going to make us sick.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) A moving tribute to fallen warriors

August 30, 2012

Via Michael Yon, here’s video from the New Zealand Defence Force of members of the 2/1 Battalion enacting a Maori haka  to honor comrades killed by an IED trap in Afghanistan:

From the description posted by the NZDF:

Haka is used throughout New Zealand by many, not only Māori, to demonstrate their collective thoughts. There is a haka for each of the Services, as well as the Defence Force. Units with the NZ Army have their own haka. This video shows the soldiers of 2/1 RNZIR Battalion performing their Unit haka, powerfully acknowledging the lives and feats of their fallen comrades as they come onto the Unit’s parade ground. It is also an emotive farewell for they will leave via the waharoa (the carved entrance way) for the very last time.

Haka –sometimes termed a posture dance could also be described as a chant with actions. There are various forms of haka; some with weapons some without, some have set actions others may be ‘free style.’ Haka is used by Māori (indigenous people of New Zealand) for a myriad of reasons; to challenge or express defiance or contempt, to demonstrate approval or appreciation, to encourage or to discourage, to acknowledge feats and achievements, to welcome, to farewell, as an expression of pride, happiness or sorrow. There is almost no inappropriate occasion for haka; it is an outward display of inner thoughts and emotions. Within the context of an occasion it is abundantly clear which emotion is being expressed.

Aside from the haka itself, what I find so fascinating are the stark contrasts in the ceremony: between the loud, demonstrative warriors’ farewell and the quiet dignity of the Christian priest leading the fallen to their rest; between the world of the Maori and that of England. The two come together and, instead of clashing, blend to create something very powerful.

May they rest in peace.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Media bias? What media bias? Surely not at ABC… Updated: unbiased observer identified

August 29, 2012

It’s not just public figures who can have embarrassing open-mic moments that reveal truths they’d rather keep hidden. Sometimes the “unbiased professionals” behind the scenes forget where they are, too.

And that’s when they show who the really are — propagandists, not journalists:

During live coverage of the Republican National Convention here in Tampa, an ABC News employee provided the perfect example of the pervasive anti-Republican bias Mitt Romney faces in his bid to unseat President Barack Obama.

In video broadcast Monday night by ABC over the internet, an ABC News employee can be heard claiming that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann are unconcerned about the fate of residents of the New Orleans area who are currently being hit by Hurricane Isaac.

“They aren’t concerned at all,” the person says on tape. “They are happy to have a party when black people drown.”

That line elicits laughter from several employees listening in on the joke.

Shades of Kanye.

Of course, media bias against Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians isn’t some shocking revelation these days; I’m sure we can all think of egregious moments going back to Reagan’s time, at least. (1) In the enclosed, mutually reaffirming echo chamber that’s the modern MSM (and the broader entertainment media), these are the beliefs you’re supposed to have. These are the jokes you’re supposed to tell in order to be part of the club, showing others how smart and progressive you are, even if you don’t necessarily believe it.  You want to be accepted don’t you?

Not that I think this unnamed joker at ABC was covering for his real beliefs. Far from it. The echo chamber is not only self-reinforcing, but it’s also a magnet for the like-minded, people who see journalism as a way to fight for “noble causes,” and not as a way to present all the relevant facts — just those the “gatekeepers of information” deem relevant.

The real lesson of this incident (other than checking to see if any nearby mics are on) is not to ignore the MSM, however good that might be for one’s blood pressure, but to diversify sources of information so that we, ourselves, don’t get trapped in the echo chamber. Don’t stop watching ABC (they do occasionally say something useful), but also watch PJTV. Don’t stop reading the NYT –they do have some good individual writers, even if the paper is hopelessly biased– but also scan the Real Clear sites. Even if you disagree with someone, reading or listening to what they have to say will sharpen your own arguments — and sometimes they might even know something useful. (Admittedly, I wouldn’t expect that from Jesse Jackson or Debbie Wasserman-Schultz…)

Just don’t let yourself become a smug, laughing jackass like the ones they hire to produce the news at ABC.

Footnote:
(1) My blog-buddy Sister Toldjah did a fantastic job exposing media bias in the Zimmerman-Martin case.

UPDATE: According to Mediaite, the professional and open-minded journalist caught slagging the Romneys and all Republicans is Yahoo News’ Washington bureau chief David Chalian. Heckuva job, Davey. Yahoo news was doing a joint webcast with ABC. (via sdo1)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) SEALs don’t fight so American presidents can bow to kings

August 28, 2012

Another hard-hitting ad by special operations veterans, this time from Special Operations For America (SOFA), headed by former Navy SEAL Ryan Zinke, a Montana state senator.

Did I say “hard hitting?” Make that a gut-punch.

Ben Shapiro at Breitbart spoke with Senator Zinke about why these former special operators have chosen to speak out:

The ad is sure to provoke massive consternation on the left, which has been in a frenzy ever since Special Operations for America launched. The event at which the ad launches, “Defending Our Defenders: A Salute to the United States Military,” will feature a tribute by Congressman Louie Gohmert, former members of SEAL Team Six, Army Rangers, Gold Star parents, and a few surprise guests.

Ryan Zinke, the former Navy SEAL who started the super PAC, spoke exclusively with Breitbart News today. “The ad itself accurately portrays where this President is,” said Zinke. “It accurately portrays his core belief that America should not lead. This president is shaping America to be one of the followers, to relinquish our role as a world leader. I didn’t fight 23 years as a Navy SEAL to watch America bow to anybody.”

(…)

When asked whether it was inappropriate for former SEALs to speak out, as some on the left have alleged, Zinke answered, “If the veterans can’t speak out, who can? I think it’s a duty of every veteran and every citizen to be actively involved in our political process, especially when the president sets out to negotiate away our rights under the Constitution. There have been other veterans — TR, Eisenhower, JFK — they’ve been active in speaking out and shaping the policy and politics of our country. I’m going to stand for what I believe in, and I’m encouraging every veteran and every citizen to do the same. Our country is at a crossroads, and this election is certainly the most important in my lifetime.”

And, as Shapiro notes, for their choice to speak freely as American citizens and veterans, SOFA has been placed on the White House “enemies list.”

Nice way to say “thanks for your service,” isn’t it?

RELATED: An earlier short video from another group of concerned veterans and intelligence operatives, this time on White House leaks.

PS: Romney-Ryan 2012, because they won’t glad-hand our enemies.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Oregon in play? Really??

August 27, 2012

Normally I’d call whoever said that crazy, but it is Karl Rove, after all:

A lot of the political analysis you hear from partisans is predictable. But sometimes they surprise.

That was the case when Karl Rove spoke at a Politico breakfast event in Tampa this morning. Two examples:

(1) When asked what state, now that Wisconsin and Michigan seem to be in play, would emerge next on the target list, he cited Oregon. He noted correctly that the state House is ied 30-30, Republicans almost captured the governorship in 2010 and tha[t] there’s a left wing constituency disappointed in Obama. He surely remembers that in 2000 Ralph Nader won 5.04% in Oregon and tha[t] Al Gore carried it by only 46.92% to 46.52%.

To be honest, I’d expect Oregon to flip about the same time as California, which would also be when the sun goes out. But, much as I thought of the possibility of Obama losing Illinois, the fact that these questions are being raised at all indicates the depth of the problem Obama faces in his reelection race: he may have to spend a lot of money defending what should be his core states, rather than in the battlefield states where Romney is genuinely competitive. Given that Obama is already having trouble raising enough money to keep up with Romney, spreading what cash he has more thinly could cause a real problem come election day. While I’d love to see a “Red” breakout on the West Coast, I’ll settle for making Team Obama scramble to patch a leaky dam.

Read the rest; there are some interesting observations about the Hispanic vote, too.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Taliban behead 17 for the heinous crime of dancing

August 27, 2012

“Life and liberty under the Taliban”

And here I thought the judges on “Dancing with the Stars” were harsh:

Insurgents beheaded 17 civilians in a Taliban-controlled area of southern Afghanistan, apparently because they attended a dance party that flouted the extreme brand of Islam embraced by the militants, officials said Monday.

The killings, in a district where U.S. Marines have battled the Taliban for years, were a reminder of how much power the insurgent group still wields in the south — particularly as international forces draw down and hand areas over to Afghan forces.

The victims were part of a large group that had gathered late Sunday in Helmand province’s Musa Qala district for a celebration involving music and dancing, said district government chief Neyamatullah Khan. He said the Taliban slaughtered them to show their disapproval of the event.

All of the bodies were decapitated but it was not clear if they had been shot first, said provincial government spokesman Daoud Ahmadi.

Information was only trickling out slowly because the area where the killings occurred is largely Taliban controlled, Khan said. The Taliban spokesman for southern Afghanistan could not be reached for comment.

Many Afghans and international observers have expressed worries that the Taliban’s brutal interpretation of Islamic justice will return as international forces withdraw. Under the Taliban, who ruled the country from 1996 to 2001, all music and film was banned as un-Islamic, and women were barred from leaving their homes without a male family member as an escort.

Gee, people are concerned about the Taliban returning to power (as they almost certainly will), just because they decapitate people for dancing? Shoot women for going out of the home unescorted? Throw acid in school girls’ faces for daring to learn to read? Whatever for?

Thanks to President Obama’s waffling and halfhearted commitment to Afghanistan (remember when it was his “right war?“), this is what the Afghan people have to look forward to. Obama’s already announced our withdrawal date. The Taliban just have to wait.

And then the party will really get started.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Washington Post answers Reagan’s question

August 24, 2012

Obama’s economic recovery adviser

Ronald Reagan met Jimmy Carter in their one and only debate a week before election day in 1980. At the end, Governor Reagan asked a question of the viewers and with it, some say, decided the race:

Now, 32 years later (has it been that long??) The Washington Post has answered that question for us: No way, no how.

Household income is down sharply since the recession ended three years ago, according to a report released Thursday, providing another sign of the stubborn weakness of the economic recovery.

From June 2009 to June 2012, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 4.8 percent, to $50,964, according to a report by Sentier Research, a firm headed by two former Census Bureau officials.

Incomes have dropped more since the beginning of the recovery than they did during the recession itself, when they declined 2.6 percent, according to the report, which analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. The recession, the most severe since the Great Depression, lasted from December 2007 to June 2009.

Overall, median income is 7.2 percent below its December 2007 level and 8.1 percent below where it stood in January 2000, when it was $55,470, according to the report.

But wait, there’s more! The median net worth of families declined nearly 40%, from $126,000 to $77,000, a level not seen since 1992. Blacks saw their income decline more than twice as much as Whites and Hispanics, a grim achievement for the first African-American elected to the presidency. Households that derive most of their income from the self-employed now have to make due with almost ten percent less. The only people who have done better, not surprisingly, are those collecting government checks.

Read the whole thing; it’s a horror story as much as a news article, and its key point cannot be driven home hard enough — for the average American, the “recovery” has been worse than the recession.

I’ve seen it written before that recessions caused by financial crises, as was the last one, take longer to recover from than those arising from industrial slowdowns. And, I’ll grant, Obama did inherit a bad situation, once made worse by the mistakes of the late Bush administration — TARP, the initial auto bailouts, &c.

But Obama is responsible for his administration’s policies since taking office, and he owns in its entirety the nation’s economic performance since June, 2009, when the recession ended and the so-called recovery began.

And that is a record of doing exactly the wrong things, resulting in a miserable failure that shows no sign of improvement — and may well get worse.

If you aren’t doing better that you were four years ago, if in fact your situation is objectively worse, then why on Earth would you vote for Obama?

PS: Romney-Ryan 2012, because I want someone in charge who can see that the private sector is not doing fine.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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