4/27/2009

Whereforartthou Mitch Rapp??

I am a fan of the escapist novels from Vince Flynn, where his protagonist--counter-terror operative Mitch Rapp--does things his own way, rules be damned!

However, during the heady days of the Bush administration, I always found it almost unrealistic the way that Flynn painted the extreme opposition of some partisan political hacks to the way Rapp produced results, even if those methods were above board. They would stop at nothing to expose, or ruin attempts to thwart terrorists because it didn't fit their neat little academic reluctance to let rough men do violence on their behalf. I guess I found it made for a good story, but a little over the top.

Then came the Obama administration....
The assault is relentless. It is enraging. And today, the Obama administration's assault on those who dare to defend America from terrorist thugs who rejoice in publicizing beheadings, mass murder, and pure evil are on notice: "You will be punished. We're coming after you."

The target audience now includes the American Warrior. The Obama administration has abdicated the Warrior's defense, refusing to appeal the 2nd Circuit's decision that more photos should be released from investigations of the detention of enemy fighters from the battlefield. The Obama administration has sided with the ACLU and abandoned our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. This cannot stand.

[...]

The next logical step for this anti-military administration is to submit the American Warrior to the jurisdiction of a kangaroo International Criminal Court. Don't think the American Warrior isn't watching and thinking. International law, rather than American sovereignty, is all the rage these days in the White House after all.

The Warrior will begin to question precisely what it is that he risks all to defend. And when faced with the fact that he may remain undefended in doing so, his risk expands and the once-booming clarion call to service reduces to distant whispers.

And that will be . . . the end.
In this, a darkening hour....wherforearthou Mitch Rapp??

4/24/2009

The CIA is not Monolithic

Instapundit says:
"I’D FEEL SORRIER FOR THE C.I.A. FOLKS, if they hadn’t run a multiyear leak-war against the Bush Administration. Did they really think electing Obama would improve their situation?"
That sentiment would make sense if the CIA was a monolithic organization and voting bloc. However we are really talking about two different worlds within one agency.

The folks that Glenn would, and should, feel sorry for at this moment are the dispirited members of the Agency's Directorate of Operations. These are the 'brawny' operatives work in the shadows and handle unpleasant business. Many of them come to the agency from the world of military Special Forces. As such, they probably didn't vote overwhelmingly for President Obama, or wage any war against President Bush

On the other hand, the Analysis side of the house (where most of those pesky leaks probably came from) is filled with....analysts! These are not people who used to hang their professional hat at Ft Bragg or Coronado. They are the 'brainy' types who hold post-graduate degrees in International Affairs or such, and are far more likely to have a "Hope" bumpersticker on their Prius in the parking lot at Langley than their DO counterparts. As a whole they are not a bad crowd, but it within them where the problem existed for President Bush and his policies.

So, in short...these days when it comes to the CIA, it is the 'brawny' that does deserve sympathy, while some of the 'brainy' that deserve contempt...

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers. Glenn points out "If CIA leadership had wanted to shut down those leaks, I think it probably could have." About this he is correct. And in fact I should have also originally included 'leadership' as a third culture within the agency. However, the Leadership would tend to be/look like the 'brainy' Analysts, with the further negative factor that it is also filled with lawyers!

Chutzpah

Reason runs with a quote from Barney Frank on freedoms, and says "2 out of 3 ain't bad":
"I would let people gamble on the Internet," Frank said. "I would let adults smoke marijuana; I would let adults do a lot of things, if they choose."

He added: "But allowing them total freedom to take on economic obligations that spill over into the broader society? The individual is not the only one impacted here, when bad decisions get made in the economic sphere, it causes problems."

With all due respect to Reason and libertarianism, and with a little bit of tongue-in-cheek, my response would be...
'Yeah Barney, cause we know no one ever made bad decisions while gambling or smoking pot'

4/23/2009

Geithner the Loanshark

Reason asks a great question today....

"Is the Government Acting Like a Payday Lender?"

Earlier this week when thinking about the refusal of the Federal Govt to take back TARP moeny offered up by banks who wanted out of the deal, I was reminded of one of the major underlying stories in the movie "Barbershop".

In that subplot, Calvin the barber (played by Ice Cube) decides to sell out his barbershop to the sleazy loan shark (played by Keith Daivid) Mr. Wallace. Wallace quickly decides to turn the shop into a strip club. This causes Calvin to try to return the money, but Wallace refuses to take it back.



After Calvin drops the money on Mr. Wallace's desk and tries to run for it, he is chased through the streets by Wallace's thug, who repeatedly screams "Take this money!" and Calvin screams back "I don't want it!" After said thug catches Calvin, he shoves the envelope of money into Calvin's chest and growls "This money is *yours*...you hear me?!"

I can envision Tim Geithner chasing some regretful corporate CEO across the Washington Mall screaming "Take this money!"

While Reason is asking the right question, they are a bit off on their comparison. A payday loan operation, while somewhat sleazy, is usually at least regulated in its actions.

What the Obama/Geithner operation is operating like is a street level loanshark.

I wonder when we will see the thugs unleashed.....

(Hat tip: Instapundit)

4/18/2009

Red State Scare

Coming soon from DHS Productions....

"It Could Happen Here!"

A PRESENTATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

JANET NAPOLITANO, DIRECTOR

IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
AND THE HOUSE ANTI-TAX ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE
At this very moment dangerous subversive extremist elements are infiltrating our communities and schools, bent on destroying our American Way of Life. These are the shadowy forces of International Constitutionalism. Agents from the Department of Homeland Security are on the trail of these nefarious Red State saboteurs, but it will take a vigilant public - including ordinary high school students like you - to help bring them to justice before it's too late. Only with your help can we preserve the American Way!

So You Say You Want A Medical Revolution?

Socialized Medicine....best of intentions....unintended consequences...

Cause:
"Here's something that has gotten lost in the drive to institute universal health insurance: Health insurance doesn't automatically lead to health care. And with more and more doctors dropping out of one insurance plan or another, especially government plans, there is no guarantee that you will be able to see a physician no matter what coverage you have."
Effect:
"A woman died in labour in a hospital lavatory after her induction was delayed because of a lack of specialist staff, an inquest was told yesterday."
Is paving the road to hell with good intentions considered a "shovel-ready project"??

Chavez's Soul

When I saw this picture from a summit in Trinidad and Tobago posted today on The Corner, I immediately thought of a famous quote from GWB....



"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and
trustworthy….I was able to get a sense of his soul
."


According to the NYT, Chavez hosted a "meeting of leftist governments in Venezuela" prior to this summit. What with all that has and is likely to happen this year, perhaps the U.S. will qualify for an invite to Chavez' meeting next year.....

4/16/2009

Media Tax Confusion

There is so much to critique about the egregious performance by CNN's Susan Roesgen, and much of it has already been done.

However, I have not seen much on her lack of comprehension of the motivations of the Tea Parties. She seems to think it is all about taxes, when it is so much more than that. But even so, she still doesn't get it even on that subject.

First, when she schreeches at inquires of the apparently ignorant extremists protesters that didn't they know about the benevolent federal's government's $400 tax credit? As if that would make it all better.... She doesn't comprehend that those who were at the protests don't want the government to take that money from us in the first place. If you let us keep more of our own money to raise our children, we would not need a tax credit to help us pay to raise our children.... Independence versus Dependence. What a concept....

Second, she once again tries to educate the unwashed about how much manna was falling onto Illinois from Heaven Washington DC, without understanding that these people were precisely angry because that very money was going to come out of their very own pockets....and their children's pockets. Why would she think that these people would be happy to accept that money?

Like much of the liberal side of the political spectrum, the media thinks that if something is handed out by the government, it must be good. And they can't understand it when some people would refuse that handout, or object that they are forced to subsidize it.

The liberals are used to those people who gladly accept those handouts...but those people are usually never the ones who are made to subsidize it with their taxes. And now they are forced to see those subsidizers, strange apparitions called 'taxpayers', perhaps for the first time. It is as if these strangers and their stranger customs had just wandered out of the jungle in New Guinea.

Real taxpayers...a new and angry species...apparently something to feared...and definitely not suitable for family viewing....

4/15/2009

Get your Bale Out!

When I was driving this afternoon, I saw a few bales of hay outside of a store, where you not expect to see bales of hay. I thought it strange, but gave it no further thought....

Now I know why....


How did I not see that coming?

Tea Time in Georgia

Some shots from the Tea Party in Warner Robins, GA....

A couple of hundred "extremists" milling about. Looking to do no good, no doubt...


They must be "extremists", since there are two 'Don't Tread on Me' flags in one picture...


These guys are carrying some less extreme flags. They might be OK....


Honk if your paying someone else's mortgage....


Even Union guys want to hang with pretty "extremists"

4/12/2009

Headline of the Day

I think that this *has* to be the headline of the day:
Woody Harrelson claims he mistook photographer for zombie
You can count me a unsurprised.

The corresponding money quote:
"I wrapped a movie called 'Zombieland,' in which I was constantly under assault by zombies, then flew to New York, still very much in character," Harrelson said in a statement issued Friday by his publicist.

"With my daughter at the airport I was startled by a paparazzo, who I quite understandably mistook for a zombie," he said.

Lay off the wacky weed there Woody...

A New Way Nowhere

With the big Tea Party protests scheduled to happen this coming Tax Day, the leftys (driven by a group called A New Way Forward) decide to try and get ahead of the curve, and hold some protests this weekend.

As we showed yesterday with photos, those protests were fairly lame. (Find even more links to photos over at Instapundit).

However, a good lefty will never let reality get in the way of a bit of good, self-serving propaganda. Check out the reviews that ANWF gives themselves on their blog.....
We made it happen! What do you get when you have no organization, are three weeks old, have the rain pouring down on you and out your nose, and care deeply about our political system and economy being hijacked by fancy rhetoric and bank CEO’s? In just three weeks, we got thousands of people out across the country on an obscure, wonkish financial-policy issue. Pretty amazing, and totally unprecedented. This was a national demonstration like no other because we are informed, intelligent and want to have an honest conversation about where tax dollars are going and what can better be done.

Heh... Sounds like
Stuart Smalley is blogging for these guys..."we are smart, handsome, and people like us!"

But honestly..."thousands"? Based on ground level reports (the mos observed thus far was ~100 in San Fran, which is a city ready to protest anything), if they had 1001 people at their protests nationwide, I would be mildly surprised. But I guess if you have 1001, you can say you had "thousands"....

And "totally unprecedented"? C'mon, there are single Tea Party protests that outdrew your entire national effort on this same subject. Except they just want a different type of solution. So ANWF is mildly delusional if they think that they are "unprecedented" for working "three weeks" on somethning that has been growing for 3 months.

OF course the party wouldn't be complete without a little media exageration as well. The Golden Gate X Press (OK, it is a bunch of journalism students at SFSU, but they will be "journalists" soon enough...) pumps up the AWNF effort with some tried and true leftist boilerplate:
"San Francisco and 46 other cities in the United States and Canada took part in mass protests to break up the power of the banks that caused the current financial crisis. The mass protests were organized by a group called A New Way Forward."
Apparently these protests were so massive that they had to call them "mass protests" twice. Either that or the reporter is trying to help them compensate for their lack of participation. I wonder what the Golden Gate X Press will call the Tea Party protests next week...

4/11/2009

Protests - Pictures of Contrast

Some interesting pictures out there today of both 'Tea Party' protests and 'A New Way Forward' protests.

First a Tea Party in Pittsburgh (via Instapundit):



Second, a 'New Way Forward' protest in Boulder, Co:



Notice any difference?


Just to make sure I am not cherry picking photos to fit my meme, lets try that again....this time, same city!


Tea Party protest, Chicago:



Pro-Bigger Govt protest, Chicago:




Hmm...still looks the same to me. Let's see which ones get more media coverage. Perhaps the scales will tip this weekend on that front.


Lastly, no post about political rallies is complete without looking at some of the great signs that people make and carry around.


Anti-Govt solution:




Pro-Govt solution:




OK, perhaps I am biased , but even despite the lack of punctuation, I have to give it to the Anti-Govt solution guy.
But you do have to give that lefty protester some credit...he wants to Nationalize *and* Decentralize the banks at the same time. I might be willing to let him have his way, just to see how they would pull that off...

4/07/2009

4/06/2009

Excuse me, Do you speak American?

Apparently, President Obama thinks 'Austrian' is a language.

Perhaps that is why we have always had issues understanding what Arnold Schwarzenegger has been saying....we all thought he was butchering English as a German-speaker. Silly us...he was just speaking his mother tongue, Austrian....

I guess the Austrians had better work fast and invent a language, so that Obama doesn't look bad or uninformed. Ooops, too late....

Update:
Apparently the State Department has just put in for a rush delivery on this new product from Rosetta Stone....


4/01/2009

A billion computers and a billion monkeys

A great write up from the irascible Penn Gillette....
I trusted my Dad that turning into a skid would work. I trusted my carny mentor, Doc Swan, that closing my mouth around a burning torch would put it out. They were right. Maybe the United States borrowing more money than I could imagine in a billion years with a billion computers and a billion monkeys typing on them, will get us out of financial trouble. I really don't know. It's certainly true that many counterintuitive things are true, and when you have the guts to do something counterintuitive that works, it's really cool. It's a superpower under our yellow sun.

But there are some things that are just intuitive. Did you know, that if you're going 100 mph, directly at a very, very thick, reinforced concrete wall, and you speed up, so you're accelerating right when you hit the wall that the accident you have is going to be much worse than if you'd jammed on the brakes as soon as you saw the wall at the end of the street? Did you know that? It's exactly what everything you know and feel would tell you, and it's exactly true. Most times when you're driving, or playing with fire, or handling money, the thing that makes sense to you is also true.

I way hope we're turning into a skid and not accelerating into a concrete wall.
Indeed.

(Hat Tip: Instapundit)

Obama's Child Labor Corps



(Hat Tip: Hot Air)