Sunday, November 30, 2008

Terrorism on the Decline?

Latest from the Human Security Report Project:
Challenging the expert consensus that the threat of global terrorism is increasing, the Human Security Brief 2007 reveals a sharp net decline in the incidence of terrorist violence around the world.

Fatalities from terrorism have declined by some 40 percent, while the loose-knit terror network associated with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda has suffered a dramatic collapse in popular support throughout the Muslim world.

The Brief also describes and analyses the extraordinary, but largely unnoticed, positive change in sub-Saharan Africa's security landscape. The number of conflicts being waged in the region more than halved between 1999 and 2006; the combat toll dropped by 98 percent.

Finally, the Brief updates the findings of the 2005 Human Security Report, and demonstrates that the decline in the total number of armed conflicts and combat deaths around the world has continued. The number of military coups has also continued decline, as have the number of campaigns of deadly violence waged against civilians.


Sunday Funnies

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Where are the ICLU lawyers, damn it?!

Friday, November 28, 2008

"Retreat?!- Hell! We just got here!"

Marine Sergeant Matthew Orth (Read his Q & A: ‘For God & Country’: A sniper’s story)

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a MARINE and his rifle!"

"We're surrounded. That simplifies the problem!"

"Retreat Hell! We're just attacking in another direction."
-Attributed to Major General Oliver P. Smith, USMC, Korea, December 1950

Marine Makes Insurgents Pay the Price
November 18, 2008
Marine Corps News|by Cpl. James M. Mercure

FARAH PROVINCE, Afghanistan — In the city of Shewan, approximately 250 insurgents ambushed 30 Marines and paid a heavy price for it.

Shewan has historically been a safe haven for insurgents, who used to plan and stage attacks against Coalition Forces in the Bala Baluk district.

The city is home to several major insurgent leaders. Reports indicate that more than 250 full time fighters reside in the city and in the surrounding villages.

Shewan had been a thorn in the side of Task Force 2d Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Afghanistan throughout the Marines’ deployment here in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, because it controls an important supply route into the Bala Baluk district. Opening the route was key to continuing combat operations in the area.

“The day started out with a 10-kilometer patrol with elements mounted and dismounted, so by the time we got to Shewan, we were pretty beat,” said a designated marksman who requested to remain unidentified. “Our vehicles came under a barrage of enemy RPGs (rocket propelled grenades) and machine gun fire. One of our ‘humvees’ was disabled from RPG fire, and the Marines inside dismounted and laid down suppression fire so they could evacuate a Marine who was knocked unconscious from the blast.”

The vicious attack that left the humvee destroyed and several of the Marines pinned down in the kill zone sparked an intense eight-hour battle as the platoon desperately fought to recover their comrades. After recovering the Marines trapped in the kill zone, another platoon sergeant personally led numerous attacks on enemy fortified positions while the platoon fought house to house and trench to trench in order to clear through the enemy ambush site.

“The biggest thing to take from that day is what Marines can accomplish when they’re given the opportunity to fight,” the sniper said. “A small group of Marines met a numerically superior force and embarrassed them in their own backyard. The insurgents told the townspeople that they were stronger than the Americans, and that day we showed them they were wrong.”

During the battle, the designated marksman single handedly thwarted a company-sized enemy RPG and machinegun ambush by reportedly killing 20 enemy fighters with his devastatingly accurate precision fire. He selflessly exposed himself time and again to intense enemy fire during a critical point in the eight-hour battle for Shewan in order to kill any enemy combatants who attempted to engage or maneuver on the Marines in the kill zone. What made his actions even more impressive was the fact that he didn’t miss any shots, despite the enemies’ rounds impacting within a foot of his fighting position.

“I was in my own little world,” the young corporal said. “I wasn’t even aware of a lot of the rounds impacting near my position, because I was concentrating so hard on making sure my rounds were on target.”

After calling for close-air support, the small group of Marines pushed forward and broke the enemies’ spirit as many of them dropped their weapons and fled the battlefield. At the end of the battle, the Marines had reduced an enemy stronghold, killed more than 50 insurgents and wounded several more.

“I didn’t realize how many bad guys there were until we had broken through the enemies’ lines and forced them to retreat. It was roughly 250 insurgents against 30 of us,” the corporal said. “It was a good day for the Marine Corps. We killed a lot of bad guys, and none of our guys were seriously injured.”

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."

Hat tip: Michael Medved Show

Credit quote for the title to this post: CAPT. LLOYD WILLIAMS, USMC

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Terrorism Alive and Well

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey named "Liberty" surprises President George W. Bush at the annual turkey pardoning event at the White House, three days ahead of Thanksgiving, November 19, 2001.
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

When it comes to pardons and impeachment, this one's a turkey

Rochelle Riley writing for Free Press:
Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s ineffectiveness became clear the day she became Speaker of the House and immediately announced that there would be no impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney.

Guided by politics, she said leading investigations into just how much the Bush administration did – and did wrong – would be divisive. What she didn’t express was her worry that too many Democrats faced elimination from the House if they took on the difficult task of proving who knew what, when.

But Congress is running out of time to finally make the Bush administration own up to its actions for eight years. If Congress isn’t careful, the president who already has issued 171 pardons could also pardon every appointee and employee he has ever had – and their dogs.

President Bush has issued half the number of pardons that Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton did in their two terms.

I know the two individuals who many of us conservatives want to see pardoned: Border Patrol Agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos.

Didn't they recently get resentenced? If a president interferes during a judicial process, I believe that would be grounds for impeachment. He could still issue a commutation of sentence or pardon within the next two months. I think where the two agents were wrong, was in covering up the shooting. If others can get pardoned for crimes outside the interest of the U.S., I don't see why these two shouldn't get pardoned as well for committing "crimes" in the interest of the U.S.

From what I hear, the case for commutation is being considered by the DOJ's Pardon Attorney.


Q I just want to ask regarding the two border agents -- that was in the news again last week. Now that the President is ending his term -- calls are renewed for a pardon or a commutation. Is there anything on that you --

MS. PERINO: We never comment on pardons. People who are eligible to apply for a pardon can do so through the pardon attorney at the Department of Justice. And we don't comment on the deliberations that are underway.

The most outrageous Bush pardon of all:

President George W. Bush gathers with children and National Turkey Federation officials as he pardons "Pumpkin", the 2008 Thanksgiving turkey, during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington November 26, 2008.
REUTERS/Jason Reed

AP writer, Deb Riechmann:
One hot topic of discussion related to pardons is whether Bush might decide to issue pre-emptive pardons before he leaves office to government employees who authorized or engaged in harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Some constitutional scholars and human rights groups want the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama to investigate possible war crimes.

If Bush were to pardon anyone involved, it would provide protection against criminal charges, particularly for people who were following orders or trying to protect the nation with their actions. But it would also be highly controversial.

At the same time, Obama advisers say there is little — if any — chance that his administration would bring criminal charges.

This blogger says Bush can simply pardon Cheney (and everyone else) and immediately resign. Cheney becomes president and pardons him, perfectly legal!:

Just as important is making sure he is held accountable for his destruction and can not pardon himself and his cronies! From As we celebrate our new President-elect and all the changes he will bring to our nation, we must not turn a blind eye to the final actions of George Bush. Incredibly, Washington is already buzzing with Bush's plans to block all investigations of his crimes and even to pardon everyone involved - including Cheney and himself. Chris Matthews is even counting down the days .

Does Bush have the power to pardon everyone in his administration? Yes. Will he abuse that power to stay out of jail? Only if we let him. "you bet he will if he can find a way" We must create a groundswell of opposition to any pardons by George Bush, so he understands that he will be impeached and prosecuted for issuing corrupt pardons.

it is my guess that Obama and virtually every Democrat in Congress is secretly praying for Bush to "self-pardon" himself. Not because they wish him to escape justice, but because they don't want the politically dangerous, nationally divisive, and ultimately thankless task of having to administer it. If Bush pardons himself, or gets Cheney to pardon him, he will let the Democrats off the hook, freeing them from the growing importuning of millions of Americans whose rage at Bush and Cheney will only grow greater as more and more insiders come forward to reveal the truth. My only question is -- why is no one even discussing this? Bush can Pardon Cheney then Cheney can pardon Bush

One of the more outrageous nutters is Vincent Bugliosi, author of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. Here's how he perceives his own self-worth on objectivity and credibility:

With respect to the position I take about the crimes of George Bush, I want to state at the outset that my motivation is not political. Although I've been a longtime Democrat (primarily because, unless there is some very compelling reason to be otherwise, I am always for "the little guy"), my political orientation is not rigid. For instance, I supported John McCain's run for the presidency in 2000. More to the point, whether I'm giving a final summation to the jury or writing one of my true crime books, credibility has always meant everything to me. Therefore, my only master and my only mistress are the facts and objectivity. I have no others. This is why I can give you, the reader, a 100 percent guarantee that if a Democratic president had done what Bush did, I would be writing the same, identical piece you are about to read.

Read the whole thing for a peek into the afflicted mind of a BDS sufferer.

The real reason why there won't be any impeachment, is because there isn't a leg for the movement to stand on.

The big lie is that Bush lied.

Cross-posted at Flopping Aces

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How About a Fair and Balanced Doctrine for MSM?

There are those who are uninformed and then there are those who are misinformed. I blame the latter case on the mainstream media which even Mark Halperin of Time magazine readily admits.

“It’s the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war,” [ed. failure to force the United States to run like cowards?] Halperin said at a panel of media analysts. “It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage.”

Halperin, who maintains Time’s political site “The Page,” cited two New York Times articles as examples of the divergent coverage of the two candidates.

WaPo admitted this the following week after the Election:

It’s like we’re living in a alternative universe. Now the MSM is admitting that they showed a complete and utter bias towards Obama…..NOW! When it’s too late to do anything about it. Just yesterday Mike posted on the Newsweek writers who hid the character concerns they had about the one. Now the WaPo has jumped into the act:

The [Washington] Post provided a lot of good campaign coverage, but readers have been consistently critical of the lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt toward Democrat Barack Obama. My surveys, which ended on Election Day, show that they are right on both counts.

My assistant, Jean Hwang, and I have been examining Post coverage since Nov. 11 last year on issues, voters, fundraising, the candidates’ backgrounds and horse-race stories on tactics, strategy and consultants. We also have looked at photos and Page 1 stories since Obama captured the nomination June 4. Numbers don’t tell you everything, but they give you a sense of The Post’s priorities.

The count was lopsided, with 1,295 horse-race stories and 594 issues stories. The Post was deficient in stories that reported more than the two candidates trading jabs; readers needed articles, going back to the primaries, comparing their positions with outside experts’ views. There were no broad stories on energy or science policy, and there were few on religion issues.

Why would this imbalance exist?

Stories and photos about Obama in the news pages outnumbered those devoted to McCain. Post reporters, photographers and editors — like most of the national news media — found the candidacy of Obama, the first African American major-party nominee, more newsworthy and historic. Journalists love the new; McCain, 25 years older than Obama, was already well known and had more scars from his longer career in politics.


When Gov. Sarah Palin was nominated for vice president, reporters were booking the next flight to Alaska. Some readers thought The Post went over Palin with a fine-tooth comb and neglected Biden. They are right; it was a serious omission.

Last week, John Zogby and filmmaker John Ziegler released the following poll:

Zogby Poll

512 Obama Voters 11/13/08-11/15/08 MOE +/- 4.4 points

97.1% High School Graduate or higher, 55% College Graduates

Results to 12 simple Multiple Choice Questions

57.4% could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing)

81.8% could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing)

82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)

88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)

56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).

And yet…..

Only 13.7% failed to identify Sarah Palin as the person on which their party spent $150,000 in clothes

Only 6.2% failed to identify Palin as the one with a pregnant teenage daughter

And 86.9 % thought that Palin said that she could see Russia from her “house,” even though that was Tina Fey who said that!!

Only 2.4% got at least 11 correct.

Only .5% got all of them correct. (And we “gave” one answer that was technically not Palin, but actually Tina Fey)

Watch the video at Flopping Aces. Is there ignorance equivalency on the conservative side? Sure. But when more voters- doesn't matter Republican or Democrat- know with knee-jerk speed the answer to "which candidate has the pregnant teenage daughter?" but don't know the details of William Ayers and his association to Barack Obama (it's the education reform, stupid), then I'd say the serious arm of the news media has failed to do its role in critical analysis for the sake of the people. When the media is in the tank for one party, we get Mexico.

Victor Davis Hanson:

The point is that somewhere around early to mid-2007 ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, Newsweek, Time, etc. chose to become — in the manner that they selected, emphasized, and presented their news stories — a quasi-official Obama media, or at least a quasi-official what-they-thought-Obama-was news media. Chris Matthews’ asinine statement about his investment in the success of the Obama administration was merely a crude summation of the creed of the more sober and judicious.

I don’t really think they can now pull off an Animal-Farm-like ‘two-legs were bad’, ‘now two-legs good’ complete turn-about just because they’ve taken over the manor. I do think that the media’s unprofessional lobbying for the cause of Obama — not now, but in a decade or two — will become a classic case study in any graduate class on journalistic ethics.

Amanda Carpenter:

John Ziegler didn’t know the kind of fury the left would unleash on him when he unveiled his web video “How Obama Got Elected.”

The ten-minute short featured 12 interviews he conducted with Obama supporters at Los Angeles polling stations on Election Day and the final product wasn’t flattering to liberals. His subjects couldn’t answer basic questions like “Who controls Congress” and “Who is Nancy Pelosi” or “Who is Harry Reid.” They could, however, correctly answer questions about GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter and wardrobe budget without any problem.

The web video spread like wildfire around the internet, getting more than 1.4 million views. Ziegler plans to include the interviews in a forthcoming film titled “Media Malpractice…How Obama Got Elected.”

See his website and video here.

What does it say about our culture that gets its information/opinions shaped by the likes of Jon Stewart and SNL? As latenight comedians put it, they couldn't find anything funny about Obama. He's the dignified, serious cerebral candidate with the halo.

John Harwood:
I don’t think they are hacks for the Democratic Party. People write about what’s funny to them. And the stuff that’s funny to them is, is the stuff that comes out of what they see that they want to make fun of from Republicans.

More than the claims of "the Republican Party strayed from conservatism, which is why we lost", what hurt us and what has hurt us for decades and continues to hurt us today, is the liberal control of our culture, from media, to professors, to judges:

for people on the left, all -- I repeat, (set ital) all (end ital) -- professions are a means to an end, not ends in themselves. That end is the social transformation of society, meaning the promoting of “social justice” as the left understands that term.

For most liberal news reporters, therefore, the purpose of news reporting is not to report news as objectively as possible. The purpose of the media in general and of reporting specifically is to promote social justice and the social transformation of society.

For most liberal judges, the primary purpose of being a judge is to promote social justice and transform society. That is why liberal judges are so much more likely to be judicial activists than conservative judges. Most liberal judges do not see their roles as merely adjudicating a dispute according to the law. They see their role primarily as using the law and their power to rule on the law to promote social justice.

For most university professors -- and many high school teachers, as well -- outside of the natural sciences and math, the same holds true. The task of a teacher is to teach, i.e., to convey the most important information as honestly as possible. But, again, this conflicts with the social justice goal of the left. History teachers who merely teach history are of little use to the left. History -- and English and political science, and sociology and other liberal arts -- teachers must use their classroom to produce young people who will wish to engage in society-transforming work for social justice.

For most liberals in the arts (there are very few conservatives in the arts) there is no denial of their having an agenda. They state quite candidly that the purpose of the arts is to challenge the (conservative) status quo, to raise political and social consciousness by advancing a “progressive” political and social agenda. The artist whose agenda is merely to produce beautiful art is looked upon as a reactionary buffoon, and is not likely to be taken seriously -- no matter how talented -- in the worlds of music, dance, painting, and sculpture.

Even the natural sciences are increasingly subject to being rendered a means to a “progressive” end. There was the pseudo-threat of heterosexual AIDS in America -- science manipulated in order to de-stigmatize AIDS as primarily a gay man’s disease and to increase funding for AIDS research. There are the exaggerated secondhand smoke data popularized so as to decrease smoking and fight “Big Tobacco.” And now we have the scientifically questionable belief in man-made carbon emissions causing global warming leading to natural catastrophe – and recommended “solutions” many of which, if adopted, will serve the goal of undermining corporate capitalism.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Michael Totten Embedding Oncemore in Iraq

Michael Totten arrived in Baghdad last week; stay tuned for his dispatches.

I’m told the city will be unrecognizable to me now. I know this is true. It is beyond controversy at this point that the war has wound down. But I still have a slightly difficult time believing it on a gut level. News reports from Iraq have been so few and far between lately that I can’t help but picture the old Baghdad in my mind. My experience hasn’t yet caught up with reality. This trip will remedy that.

Photo by Michael Totten

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Funnies

More Sunday Funnies at Flopping Aces

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Victory Day in Iraq (?)

A number of conservative blogs participated in this, today. I knew about it through Zombie, when Curt forwarded his email that indicates he saw my cross-post at FA, earlier in the week.

As exuberant as I felt in that post's message, I am hesitant to declare Iraq a victory. There will probably never be an "official" victory declaration.

At some point, though, Iraq should succeed or fail based upon its own merits of self-rule and self-determination. No more apron-strings. And if it fails, if things head south of success, it should not be an indictment of the decision to remove Saddam. That remains, a positive. And I stand by the justifications put forth for war, to this day. In fact, even more so today than I did back then.

I think the photo below (another side of the reality), which BDSers would take delight in posting on their lefty sites, is actually the best indicator of just how well democracy is flourishing in the new Iraq:

Demonstrators hang an effigy of U.S. President George W. Bush during a rally at the al-Firdous square in Baghdad November 21, 2008.
REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani

They still have a long way to go, though. Burning effigies of our "selected not elected" president is sooooo yesterday, and unimaginative. When they can come up with protests like this against the imperialistic, fascist dictatorial evil Bush regime:

....and get away with it....

Then, now, we're talking freedom and democracy, baby!

My pseudo-cross-post at Flopping Aces

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Face of Grace

U.S. Army Spc. Luke Wschenfelder from Billings, Mont, a member of Alpha Company, 1/38 Infantry Regiment sleeps with his M-4 assault rifle next to a teddy bear, a gift from his girlfriend Brittany, at his company's combat outpost outside Baqouba, Iraq.
Alexander Nemenov, AFP/Getty Images

I found this essay, written by the father of a deployed soldier, over at A Soldier's Perspective. Please make sure it receives the attention the MSM surely won't give it, and reaches as wide an audience as possible:

On Sept. 16, Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-Va., introduced the following essay into the Congressional Record. Written by Mitchell L. Hubbard of Winchester, Va., it tells of his son’s experiences while deployed to Iraq.

“His son’s story should make us all think about our armed forces, as well as the police and first responders, who risk so much to serve us every day,” Wolf said.

Hubbard’s essay follows:

“Whatever your political take on the war in Iraq, nothing can alter it more than having a loved one in the midst of it. Nor is anyone’s current perspective balanced until they hear at least some things from a soldier’s point of view.

“My wife and I learned these truths when our son, a 2004 Handley graduate, decided to join the Army in 2006. His reasoning was simple: he wasn’t comfortable knowing that thousands of others his age were sacrificing their own freedoms to protect his. When he signed up to join those thousands, it changed our perspective as well.

“Up to that point, it had always been other people’s sons and daughters doing the fighting. Now it would be our own child. Naturally, no one wants their child to volunteer to go in harm’s way for freedom’s sake. It was something of a conviction, though, when my wife and I had to ask ourselves why it shouldn’t be our own son in the Middle East, why we should be spared the rituals of anxiety, prayer, hope and waiting that tens of thousands of other families over here have already endured.

“In early June, we flew to Fort Hood, Texas, to see our son deploy for a 15-month tour in Iraq. Again, one’s perspective is limited until one attends a deploying ceremony for a unit of soldiers. Spouses, children, parents, siblings and friends, all crowding a gym, all clinging closely to their treasures in uniform, accompanied by flags, prayers, cheers and tears. Our son had joined a ‘band of brothers.’ My wife and I had joined the ‘band of others’ who would be waiting at home. Both those going, and those left behind, carry the war on terror in a personal way.

“Still, those of us left behind need to see something of what our soldiers see, and not only what is offered us in the news. To that end, here is one story our son, Luke, shared with us by phone that must be shared with anyone who claims an interest in what our soldiers are doing in the Middle East.

“Stationed outside a city on the Tigris River, Luke had accompanied his colonel into town as part of a security team, while the colonel spoke with a local sheik. While standing guard, Luke noticed a woman approaching from behind and cautiously turned in her direction, his rifle at the ready.

“An interpreter told our son it was OK – the woman just wanted to touch a soldier. Still uneasy, Luke stood still while the woman reached out her hand and touched his face, tears in her eyes.

“Looking to the interpreter for meaning, our son was told that the woman simply ‘wanted to touch the face of grace.’ It seems this trembling woman, like most of the people in her town, looked upon our soldiers as angels of grace, sent by God to protect her from the violence and oppression her people had come to know up to then. Learning this, our son squeezed and kissed the woman’s hand, and she left, weeping.

“The ‘face of grace.’ How many of us, safe at home debating the politics of the war on terror, have ever seen our soldiers in such a light? How many of us have even read such an uplifting newspaper account of our soldiers?

“To be sure, our soldiers are not virtuous simply by being soldiers. At home in their ‘civvies’ they are as un-angelic as the rest of us. Yet when they voluntarily get into ‘full battle rattle’ (as they call their battle gear) in a hot and hostile land, their job is both protective and sacrificial – as angelic a purpose as humans can take on.

“People like this woman, having suffered years of oppression and fear, have eyes and a heart to see this, and the desire to “‘touch the face of grace.’ Do we have the ability to see our soldiers in the same way? And not merely our soldiers: Can we see the ‘face of grace’ in the police who protect us in every town, day and night? Or in the fire and rescue teams who are ‘soldiers’ in their own right?

“My wife and I obviously pray that our son and his ‘band of brothers’ will come safely home to their personal ‘band of others.’ After listening to our son’s experience, though, we have added the prayer that Americans in every community will be given the eyes and heart to see the ‘Face of Grace’ in all who protect our lives and freedoms – especially in soldiers like our son.”
Cross-posted at Flopping Aces

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Lie That America Bears Unique Guilt for Slavery

When Michael Medved wrote his column, Six inconvenient truths about the U.S. and slavery a year ago, lefties went nuts, mischaracterizing him as defending slavery, and Keith Olbermann distinguished him with the much coveted "Worst Person in the World" award.

Love his challenge to the caller Jamal, in this radio interview from November 30th, regarding if Jamal takes offense to having a "slave" last name (Phillips), why on earth would he adopt a "slave" first name (Jamal), given that if any group should bear unique guilt and responsibility for perpetuating the institution of slavery in its history, it's the Islamic world (they don't bear unique guilt, as slavery was institutionalized in so many cultures all over the globe). Not only was the slave trade alive and thriving long before America was ever a country, but it existed in the Islamic world a century after it was ended in the West, and was responsible for as many as twenty times the number of African slaves that were ever brought over to Britain and North America.

Pg 55-6 from the book:

Saudi Arabia outlawed slave owning only in 1962. The Islamic Republic of Mauritania finally moved toward abolition in 1981, but the practice continued unabated, even after a 2003 law that made slave ownership punishable with jail or a fine. As recently as December 2004, the BBC cited Boubakar Messaoud of Mauritania's SOS Slaves Organization: "A Mauritanian slave, whose parents and grandparents before him were slaves, doesn't need chains. He has been brought up as a domesticated animal."

The organization Christian Solidarity International continues to purchase Sudanese slaves in order to free them, recently paying $100 (or two cows) for an adult captive. A press release revealed that in March 2007 alone the group bought ninety-six male slaves, who had been seized as part of the Muslim northern government's "jihad" on the nation's Christian and animist south. Six of the young men had been raped by their Islamic masters, and 99 percent had received frequent and sadistic beatings.

The long, savage history of Muslim slavers and their depredations in every corner of Africa makes a mockery of the trendy sentimental attachment of many African Americans to an alien Islamic culture that not only abused their ancestors but still afflicts their cousins. The fascination with Arab names (Jamal or Ayesha, not to mention Muhammad Ali or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), even among non-Muslims in the black community, and the glamorization of Arab civilization as somehow authentically African grow in spite of incontrovertible evidence of more than a millennium of brutal Islamic enslavement.

I picked up my copy of his new book, yesterday.

Big Lies That Poison Thanksgiving And Subvert Our Sense Of Honor

By MICHAEL MEDVED | Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2008 4:20 PM PT

For some of Barack Obama's most ardent supporters, his resounding victory represented the first sign of redemption for a wretched, guilty nation with a 400-year history of oppression.

Filmmaker Michael Moore, for instance, considered election night "a stunning, whopping landslide of hope in a time of deep despair. In a nation that was founded on genocide and then built on the backs of slaves, it was an unexpected moment, shocking in its simplicity."

Actually, Mr. Moore's summary of America's origins is a wholly expected distortion, shocking in its mendacity.

Like so many other revered figures in the worlds of entertainment and academia, the portly provocateur thoughtlessly recycles the darkest assumptions about the generous nation that provides his privileged, prosperous life.

My new book, "The 10 Big Lies About America," represents an aggressive effort to correct the ugly smears that play an increasingly prominent (and often unchallenged) role in our public discourse.

Big Lie No. 1, for instance, concerns the ubiquitous notion that the nation's founders and builders followed a policy of "genocide" toward Native Americans.

In truth, disease caused 95% of the deaths that ravaged native populations of North America following European contact. Despite lurid (but historically baseless) claims of massive infection brought about by "smallpox blankets," even the deadliest germs displayed no consciously hostile agenda.

In fact, intermarriage (including frequent intermarriage with African-Americans, slaves and free) and assimilation caused more Indian "losses" than all occasional massacres by governmental and irregular forces — incidents invariably condemned by federal authorities, never sponsored by them.

My book's Lie No. 2 precisely anticipates Moore's claim that America was "built on the backs of slaves," suggesting that our wealth and prosperity came chiefly through the stolen labor of kidnapped Africans.

While slavery represented an undeniable horror in our nation's early history, the slave population never exceeded 20% of the national total (amounting to 12% at the time of the Civil War). This means that at least 80% of the work force remained free laborers.

The claim that our forefathers built America "on the backs of slaves" rests on the idiotic idea that involuntary servitude proved vastly more productive than free labor. In fact, the states dominated by the slave economy counted as the poorest, least developed in the union — providing the North with crushing economic superiority that brought victory in the War Between the States.

Of more than 20 million Africans taken from their homes in chains, at most 3% ever made their way to the territory of the United States (or the British colonies preceding our nation). Americans played no part in establishing the once-universal institution of slavery but played a leading, outsize role in bringing about its abolition.

Other lies about America's past badly distort current debates over public policy. It's not true, for instance, that governmental activism provides a necessary remedy for periodic economic downturns (Big Lie No. 6).

In fact, leaders who courageously resisted the temptation of major federal initiatives at times of crisis presided over shorter, less painful recessions, while the ambitious innovations of Hoover and FDR worsened and prolonged the Great Depression. (Even liberal historians admit that the New Deal never worked as "a recovery program.")

Meanwhile, the popular assumption that our founders determined to create a secular, not a Christian, nation (Big Lie No. 3) has produced widespread hysteria over the program of "the Christian right."

In fact, the constitutional framers insisted on a combination of a secular government and a deeply Christian society. Even Jefferson, an unconventional religious thinker, believed that fervent faith represented a necessary element in the security and growth of the republic; he personally attended and authorized weekly Christian services in the Capitol building itself.

Secular militants, not Christian conservatives, currently strive to transform America in a way our founders would neither recognize nor approve.

Unfortunately, some of the same religious conservatives who get it right about the place of organized faith in the American fabric get it terribly wrong by signing on to Big Lie No. 10: that the United States has entered into a steep — and irreversible — moral decline.

In fact, a wealth of statistics concerning marriage, teenage sexuality, drug addiction, crime, alcohol abuse and other signs of social breakdown show a recent, decisive turnaround that may represent one of the nation's periodic "awakenings." Moralists have proclaimed permanent ethical collapse ever since 1645, yet no one could claim that our path has been straight downhill for 350 years.

The big lies about America all work to undermine the sense of honor and gratitude that ought to inspire every citizen, particularly in this Thanksgiving season. They also destroy the essential sense of perspective required in significant debates as a new government comes to power in Washington, D.C.

While Sen. Obama's supporters rightly rejoice at his election to the nation's highest office, they will disorient his presidency and damage society if they embrace destructive distortions about our past, and view his elevation as a rare (or exclusive) basis for pride.

Cross-posted at Flopping Aces

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Party, Right or Wrong

Curses! Foiled Again!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Intolerance of Liberal Activists and a T-Shirt Experiment

In the weeks before the election, I noticed a growing number of my fellow citizens wearing Obama's face on their t-shirts, usually in the spirit of socialist realism art. There's not a politician alive who I admire enough to the point of worshipful adoration that I'd sport his likeness on my clothing or plaster it all over the wordsmobile (I do, however, wear my FA t-shirts with pride and enthusiastically tell people it's a right-wing website when asked).

Read more »

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Sunday Funnies

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Breaking the Brass Ceiling

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody smiles during her promotion to General, where she was pinned by Chief of Staff of the Army General George W. Casey, left, and her husband Craig Brotchie during her ceremony at the Pentagon Nov. 14, 2008. Dunwoody made history as the nations first 4 star female officer. DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Molly A. Burgess

Back in June:

President Bush has nominated Lt. Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody to take over the Army's Materiel Command as a four-star general, and if confirmed by the Senate she would be the first woman in U.S. history to receive such a high military rank.

In announcing the nomination yesterday, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates praised Dunwoody's "extraordinary leadership and devotion to duty" and called the choice "an historic occasion." There are 57 active-duty female general officers in the U.S. armed forces, five of whom are three-star generals. About 5 percent of the Army's general officers are women.

General Dunwoody achieved that promotion on Friday.
Read more »

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Victory in Iraq Achieved

A U.S soldier shakes the hand of an Iraqi boy during a patrol in Baquba, in Diyala province some 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, October 21, 2008.
REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Bush War critics often say success and victory has never been defined. It's been defined repeatedly; but not as often as the mantra, "What does victory in Iraq mean? It has never been defined?" *Sigh*

I'd say this is the moment when victory is in clear sight:

Though he'd been on a mission all day and was about to drop, Mike Yon just called from Iraq to let me know that the war is over, and we've won. Whatever it is that is left of violence, there isn't combat. Roughly half of the men in the unit of the 10th Mountain Division he was out on missions with are veterans with previous tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, and in eight months into their deployment in southern Baghdad, they haven't fired a single bullet in combat.

Our soldiers in Iraq have played many roles and worn many hats, but it seems that their primary role now is that of a peacekeeper, providing support to a government and a people that seem increasingly capable of handling their own affairs.

We can declare victory because President Bush wouldn't quit on his troops. If Barack Obama had his way, a triumphant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi would have had a chance to have made the same claim over the Caliphate of Iraq.
- Confederate Yankee

More from Michael Yon, via Instapundit:

And the place we're at, South Baghdad, used to be one of the worst places in Iraq. And now there's nothing going on. I've been walking my feet off and haven't seen anything. I've been asking Iraqis, 'do you think the violence will kick up again,' but even the Iraqi journalists are sounding optimistic now and they're usually dour." There's a little bit of violence here and there, but nothing that's a threat to the general situation. Plus, not only the Iraqi Army, but even the National Police are well thought of by the populace. Training from U.S. toops has paid off, he says, in building a rapport.

He says the big problem everybody is talking about now is corruption. But hey, we have that here, too. He'll be heading to Afghanistan next week. "Afghanistan is a bad situation, but on Iraq I can't believe things have turned out so well."

President Elect Obama and Pelosi-Reid wish to "end the war". Thanks to the efforts of President Bush and Senator McCain supporting General Petraeus and the soldiers on the ground, they have "WON the war."

*UPDATE* 11/18/08 0645

Hugh Hewitt, Monday:

Yesterday's vote by the Iraqi cabinet to approve a status of forces agreement confirms what most reasonable people had concluded this summer --that the battle for Iraq is over and the country is stable and secure even though its enemies remain in small enclaves within the country and across the border in Iran. It has taken five years and come at a high cost in American lives lost and in thousands of wounded soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

It is, however, a crucial victory in the war against Islamist extremism and for stability in the Middle East. Only blinkered victims of Bush Derangement Syndrome would want to throw away the fact of a multi-party, multi-ethnic democratic government in the heart of the Arab world, one capable of countering Iranian influence in the region and one that partners with the West in the ongoing battle against al Qaeda. The new agreement calls for the full withdrawal of American forces in three years --an orderly exit that allows order to endure within Iraq.

Zombietime suggests Saturday, November 22nd be declared Victory in Iraq Day.

Cross-posted at Flopping Aces

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In Memory...

A rose is placed on the beach in memory of the World War II Battle of Dieppe in Dieppe November 13, 2008. A group of veterans from Canada is travelling through France and Belgium to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the end of the World War I and to visit World War II battle sites.

REUTERS/Chris Wattie

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

CIA Agents Confirm al Qaeda footprint in Iraq Before Invasion

al Qaeda's presence in Iraq before the war is already known about (just the degree of influence and relationship is disputable). But what is new is this over at Flopping Aces. Check out some of the "oldies but goodies" links in the comments section, as well.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Where is the Republican Knight in Steele Armor?

Who will occupy the RNC Siege Perilous? Michael Steele or Newt Gingrich?

Amanda Carpenter reminds us why Newt not running for the RNC Chair is probably a good thing:

And it would appear that both men might be on the same page.

Bill Sammon's sources tell him Steele may announce as soon as Thursday, and is courting the endorsement of Newt Gingrich, which if landed, would do much to scare off the incumbent and possible challengers:

The source also contradicted a report in Tuesday's Washington Times that Steele and Gingrich were competing for the RNC post.

"There is no fight," the source said. "This tension between Michael Steele and Newt Gingrich is totally fabricated and, in fact, Gingrich and Steele are working together to create a new strategy for the direction of the GOP."

In a statement issued by the former House speaker, Gingrich said he was not interested in seeking the post of Republican party chairman.

"A number of people have asked me to consider running for Republican National Committee chair. They have been very flattering, and I am very honored by their support," he said.

It's time to bring in new blood. Republicans need a fresh makeover even as we speak of returning back to conservative traditionalism. As much as we decry that "race doesn't matter", the face of the Republican Party as seen by the American public is that of the stereotypical "white man's club". We need the Palins, the Jindals, to bring style with the substance. What the Democratic Party had in 2008 was a charismatic rock star; what we need is not only a "return" to conservative ideology, but also one wrapped in an attractive delivery system. Someone like Alfonso Rachel in the public eye could also do much to reshape the image of the Republican Party. He is someone who the MTV crowd can relate to on style and delivery.

I prefer Michael Steele as RNC Chair on the most superficial of reasons, as well as on the most substantial: He's black.

The color of his skin shouldn't matter. But because the country as a whole is still fixated on race, it matters. Let someone like Michael Steele deliver the post-racial conservative message that it's the Republican Party that's been living the message of MLK: That the color of one's skin doesn't matter; it's the content of the character.

Michael Steele has character; and to those to whom it matters, he also has the "right" skin color to deliver the message.

One of life's charms is in paradox.

Michael Medved points out similarities between where we find ourselves politically today, and where we were 16 years ago:
Read more »

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

June 2: U.S. Army Maj. David Waldron with the 3rd Infantry Division walks with his 3-year-old twins Zoe and Andrew to pick up his duffle bag after a homecoming ceremony for about 265 soldiers with the Special Troops Battalion after a 15-month deployment to Iraq, in Fort Stewart, Ga. The 3rd Infantry, which began sending troops home in March, was the first Army division called up for a third tour in Iraq.
Stephen Morton-AP

Thank many a vet today.

And take the time to read this letter...

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Monday, November 10, 2008

God Bless Those Who Serve a Cause Greater than Self


U.S. Air Force Capt. Joshua Tyler, left, re-enlists Staff Sgt. Andrew Petrulis, Explosive Ordnance Division craftsman, at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Oct. 27, 2008. Petrulis' teammates took advantage of a training opportunity to time the "fireball" detonation at a safe distance to make the re-enlistment a more memorable event for their comrade. Tyler and Petrulis are assigned to the 755th Air Expeditionary Group Explosive Ordnance Disposal Operating Location.
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse

Recruitment goals being met:
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2008 – Recruiting successes in fiscal 2008 continued into the first month of the new fiscal year, with all active and reserve components meeting or exceeding their October goals, defense officials reported today.

Recruiting remained solid across the board, with the Army leading the effort by exceeding its active-duty goal by 1 percent, its Army National Guard goal by 16 percent and its Army Reserve goal by 10 percent, officials said. The Army signed on 5,324 active-duty soldiers in October, as well as 6,487 National Guardsmen and 3,049 reservists.

The Marine Corps topped its October active-duty recruiting goal by 4 percent and its Marine Corps Reserve goal by 51 percent, officials reported. The Marines recruited 2,983 new active-duty members and 968 reservists.

The Navy reported a strong recruiting month as well, reaching its goals of 2,930 active-duty sailors and 664 reservists.

The Air Force also met its October goals by signing on 3,336 active-duty airmen and 856 reservists. The Air National Guard exceeded its monthly goal by 20 percent, with 913 recruits.

The October recruiting successes came on the heels of strong fiscal 2008 recruiting successes, with all military services and their reserve components meeting or exceeding their goals.

David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, called 2008 the strongest recruiting year since fiscal 2004.

In addition to attracting numbers, officials emphasized, recruiters brought in quality members. More than 92 percent of recruits hold a high school diploma, contrasted with 75 percent of the general U.S. population in the same age range, officials said.

Nearly 70 percent of new active-duty recruits came from the top half of those in the United States testing highest in math and verbal aptitude, and about three-quarters of new recruits come from neighborhoods that are at or above the U.S. median annual household income of about $50,000.

“[It] is a great tribute to the qualities of America’s youth today, their willingness to step forward, and their willingness to serve,” Chu said. “The fact that we are getting some of the best and brightest in our society is a great tribute to the spirit that young people put into the notion of public service today.”

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George Bush Took His Eye Off the Ball on the GWoT

How will we fight and win this war? We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network.

This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion.
It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.

-President Bush in an address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, United States Capitol, Washington D.C., September 20, 2001.

While al Qaeda blusters and purports to be planning new attacks, they've been getting their asses kicked in, all across the globe. This is especially true in Iraq, where the Iraqi government will begin paying salaries to 51,000 members of the Sons of Iraq, and where al Qaeda lost the hearts and minds of the Muslim world.

Critics of President Bush's Iraq War venture love to claim that "he took his eye off the ball; we should be in Afghanistan and Pakistan- that's where al Qaeda is."; "We let bin Laden get away." And of course, they also love to point out, "al Qaeda was never in Iraq....until we invaded."

al Qaeda has had operations in 50 countries, and we've killed and captured operatives in 102 different countries since 9/11. Although we have a large, visible, military footprint in Iraq and Afghanistan, we've been engaging al Qaeda all across the globe.

Leaked to today's NYTimes, which leaks it to the American public, is the following:
Read more »

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sunday Funnies

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The "Early Intervention" of Liberal Indoctrination

I teach at a gymnastics club, in a blue state. During the final days of the election, parents and children were bleeding blue. Obama t-shirts were all around me, and kids were wanting to talk politics. I generally refuse to discuss politics with children, at any great length, as my professional role is to teach them gymnastics; not political indoctrination. And no matter how fair and balanced I may think I am being, no matter how seemingly objective, I accept that my partisanship may color my commentary. So I simply refrain, or give minimalist responses and steer the conversation away, back to gymnastics.

Yesterday, one of the girls I teach mentioned how her school teacher wouldn't tell her and her sister who she voted for. I said that was good. The girl then said but it was so obvious. She then went on to describe how some classmate may mention "Obama", and the teacher would smile and fawn; another might mention, "I heard McCain said such-and-such", and the teacher would say, "that's a lie, blah, blah, blah...."

Folks, we are losing the political culture war, and I'm convinced that it is due to the influence in the media and journalism schools; in universities; in Hollywood and pop culture; and in K-12 education.

I suspect that what takes place in this Ashville North Carolina classroom is all too common:

Teacher Diantha Harris browbeats McCain supporting student, Kathy,in Ashville N.Carolina grade school. The poor girl is obviously distressed over the teacher's line of question[in]g and belittling her choice of candidate in front of her school mates.
Kathy's father serves in the military.

The teacher's inability to perceive her own bias framing the "debate" and influencing young minds to her way of seeing the world and not in developing "free thinkers", is all too common not just in the classroom, but in journalism. So many reporters still cling to the dinosaur belief that their personal biases do not creep into their copy.

Liberalism is not just a disease: it's an epidemic mental disorder.

Hat tip: geeeeeZ!

MataHarley also blogged this over at Flopping Aces

Related interest: Scott's daughter terrorized by Obama kids

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Is it 2012 yet? :P

Congratulations to the President Elect, Senator Barack Obama. He may be the most undeserving, least vetted, least experienced presidential candidate in American history...but what should stand out is the historic moment of the United States breaking the ultimate glass ceiling, to elect the first black (biracial) American to the highest office. As much as I have deplored the crutch of racial fixation, the fact that we witnessed it happen, is something to be proud of, turning a page in our history. If there is anything positive to result from this election, it's the potential for the country to finally move beyond race. It is, at least symbolic, if nothing else. Racism will always exist. But no one can ever again accuse America of "holding the black man down".

John McCain gave a very gracious, a very necessary concession speech tonight. I am proud of what he said. I don't blame him nor President Bush for losing us this election. Frankly, I believe John McCain of all our Republican candidates had the best shot at winning. The fact we lost says more about the excitement and energy that surrounded Senator Obama than the unworthiness of Senator McCain. We can whine about the media, we can complain about the lost opportunities and poor strategy of the McCain campaign, the unprecedented amount of campaign money that weighed against us...but at some point you just have to stop whining like Democrats of the last 8 years. Eat your crow, and take the lumps. It's not the end of the world. My country may seem unrecognizable to me tonight; but the sun will come out tomorrow...someday. We still remain the greatest nation on God's green earth. Sarah Palin's political career is just beginning. We've not seen the last of her. Or Tina Fey.

I only speak for myself; but can only encourage those reading this to do as John McCain has done; do as Scott suggests; do as decent Americans do and put country first: Respect the electoral process and congratulate your political opponents on their hard-earned victory. I know our passions ran deep, and this election hurt deep. But it's not the death of conservative ideology or the Republican Party. It wasn't a landslide victory, and Senator McCain finished respectably. Nor did the Democrats gain their filibuster-proof majority seats.

At some point, as liberating as it is from mainstream news, the blogosphere can be a very toxic place. For all the fear we foresee in an Obama Presidency, my one hope is that we are proven wrong. That some of what we "investigated" into his past history, however legitimate, will not reflect upon his need to govern to the center and serve ALL the people of the United States. Not just blacks. Not just liberals. But serve all Americans.

Senator Obama has given lip service to promises of unity, bipartisanship, of reaching out. Let's give him the chance to prove it, then hold him accountable to his words. Let's not do to him what liberal Democrats have done to President Bush for 8 years.

Of course I will still fight tooth and nail against the liberal agenda and policies I feel would steer America in the wrong direction. He may be influenced by socialist ideology, but America is not a socialist nation. But tonight, this night.....we should all be proud as Americans that once every two, four years, we have the freedom to choose our elected leaders. We should feel grateful that we have a voice; and that each of our votes counts. That we are able to transition leadership, peaceably. We remain an example of representative democracy to the rest of the world.

In America, anything is possible. A man with the unlikely name of "Barack Hussein Obama" just proved it. It is sad that Barack Obama's grandmother did not live long enough to see this day....

...and a happy climax for Chris Matthews and his "leg thrill".

God bless America.

Cross-posted at Flopping Aces

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Country First! Regular Joes and Janes for John McCain

Go McCain!

Members of the crowd in Steubenville hold signs in support of McCain's claim to help voters like "Joe the Plumber."
Melina Mara-The Washington Post

Palin takes the stage in Fredericksburg among a flurry of cheers and campaign signs.
Lois Raimondo-The Washington Post

Members of the crowd fix their attention to the stage during the rally in Leesburg.
Carol Guzy-The Washington Post

A young supporter of Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain holds up a sign at his Ohio and Texas primary election night rally in Dallas, Texas March 4, 2008.
REUTERS/Mike Stone

Election Day Open Thread at Flopping Aces

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Monday, November 03, 2008

What does Senator Obama, Hawaiian, Sign, and "Good Luck", have in Common?

This was from today (I saw this part of the speech earlier on CNN this morning) Watch this video and tell me what you notice:

Was this accidental?

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Cards giving support for the Obamas sit among flowers for Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama's grandmother Madelyn Dunham, who just passed away, in Honolulu, Hawaii November 3, 2008.

REUTERS/Hugh Gentry

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sunday Funnies

More Sunday Funnies at Flopping Aces

Sorry. I should have posted this earlier this morning, but I was at work much of the day.

I've also been making new posts over at Flopping Aces. So don't think I've slowed down in the last couple of days of this election.

Just a few recent posts:

John McCain Served a Cause Greater than His Own Self-Interest Then, and Continues to Do So Now.

The Candidate of “Change”, “Unity” and for “Setting a New Tone in Washington”…is on the Negative Attack as Usual

Senator Obama is Lying through His Teeth: He DOES NOT Share his Peanut Butter and Jelly

Service and Sacrifice

The 9 Minute McCainfomercial that Should Have Aired, Right After…

Tonight’s 30-Minute Long Prime-Time Obama Campaign (Dis)Infomercial

The “Distraction” of Senator Obama’s History and Cardboard Cutout List of “Accomplishments”

Ok…Enough with the frivolous “distractions”; let’s talk about the real issues…

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