Sunday, November 28, 2010

Checking In Baggage? ...From Paris

Thanksgiving weekend is historically known as the most hectic travel weekend of the year. Perhaps you were among those lucky few who were being patted and groped by the TSA.  From what I understand, even if you didn't smoke, after the TSA pat-down encounter, you needed a cigarette.  Maybe you felt more secure with the new 'touching' TSA moments.  Never mind that.  Do you think our terrorist frequent fliers have moved on to luggage?  They are pretty smart.  Why should they worry themselves with all that non-sense at the gates and security?  Why not advance to a more secretive luggage?  Has anyone asked security (TSA) what they are doing about the most obvious next step --our LUGGAGE? 

What a shame

Fire Reported at Ore. Islamic Center

Arson caused a fire on Sunday at an Islamic center that was the place of worship for a Somali-born teen who two days ago was arrested on charges of plotting a terror attack in Portland, authorities said.

The fire at the Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Center was set early Sunday morning, said Carla Pusateri, a fire prevention officer for the Corvallis Fire Department.

She said "quite a bit of evidence" was left at the scene, which led her to believe the fire was intentionally set.

The Leaks

Saudi Arabia urges US attack on Iran to stop nuclear program

• Embassy cables show Arab allies want strike against Tehran
• Israel prepared to attack alone to avoid its own 9/11
• Iranian bomb risks 'Middle East proliferation, war or both'

    • Nuclear energy campaigners in Iran Embassy cables reveal the US, Israel and Arab states suspect Iran is close to acquiring nuclear weapons despite Tehran's insistence that its programme is designed to supply energy. Photograph: Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear programme, according to leaked US diplomatic cables that describe how other Arab allies have secretly agitated for military action against Tehran.

The revelations, in secret memos from US embassies across the Middle East, expose behind-the-scenes pressures in the scramble to contain the Islamic Republic, which the US, Arab states and Israel suspect is close to acquiring nuclear weapons. Bombing Iranian nuclear facilities has hitherto been viewed as a desperate last resort that could ignite a far wider war.

What was int eh US diplomatic cables? Embarrassing on every level.

The cache of cables contains specific allegations of corruption and against foreign leaders, as well as harsh criticism by US embassy staff of their host governments, from tiny islands in the Caribbean to China and Russia.

The material includes a reference to Vladimir Putin as an "alpha-dog", Hamid Karzai as being "driven by paranoia" and Angela Merkel allegedly "avoids risk and is rarely creative". There is also a comparison between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Adolf Hitler.

Among scores of other disclosures that are likely to cause uproar, the cables detail:

• Grave fears in Washington and London over the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme

• Alleged links between the Russian government and organised crime.

• Devastating criticism of the UK's military operations in Afghanistan.

• Claims of inappropriate behaviour by a member of the British royal family.

The cables name countries involved in financing terror groups, and describe a near "environmental disaster" last year over a rogue shipment of enriched uranium. They disclose technical details of secret US-Russian nuclear missile negotiations in Geneva, and include a profile of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who they say is accompanied everywhere by a "voluptuous blonde" Ukrainian nurse.


Dangerous standoff with Pakistan...
Gitmo became game of 'Let's Make A Deal'...
US to Slovenia: Take a prisoner if you want meeting with Obama...

Clinton Orders US Diplomats to Spy on Other Countries at UN...
China conducting computer sabotage...
Saudis chief financiers for al Qaeda...

Arabs urge air strike on Iran...
WIKILEAKS: We've been hit with 'mass distributed denial of service attack'...


Google TV is a flop


Struggling Google TV Devices Have Prices Slashed at Retail

It would appear as though those Google TV devices, which seemingly had such promise, have been unable to overcome poor user experience, huge honking controllers, and a network-imposed lack of content. Google TV, you see, is a flop

Dogs and Cats


Dogs Have Bigger Brains Than Cats Because They Are More Sociable, Research Finds

ScienceDaily (Nov. 27, 2010) — Over millions of years dogs have developed bigger brains than cats because highly social species of mammals need more brain power than solitary animals, according to a study by Oxford University.

Have you notice Al Qaeda attacks Dems area?

Saving Liberals From Themselves

Byron York supplements Scott's observations on, and questions about, the attempted terrorist attack on Portland immediately below by pointing out that "Politically correct Portland rejected feds who saved city from terrorist attack":

What is ironic is that the operation that found and stopped Mohamud is precisely the kind of law enforcement work that Portland's leaders, working with the American Civil Liberties Union, rejected during the Bush years. In April 2005, the Portland city council voted 4 to 1 to withdraw Portland city police officers from participating in the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force. Mayor Tom Potter said the FBI refused to give him a top-secret security clearance so he could make sure the officers weren't violating state anti-discrimination laws that bar law enforcement from targeting suspects on the basis of their religious or political beliefs.

Other city leaders agreed. "Here in Portland, we are not willing to give up individual liberties in order to have a perception of safety," said city commissioner Randy Leonard. "It's important for cities to know how their police officers are being used."


CAIR: Unindicted, But Still A Co-conspirator

We have noted many times that the Department of Justice named the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a self-described civil rights group, as an unindicted co-conspirator in its prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation and others for providing support to the terrorist group Hamas. But we missed the fact (I did, anyway) that the federal courts have now affirmed DOJ's designation of CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator.

The Dems think you are just a bank account.

Illegals to Get Taxpayer Funded Debit Cards

Hauser’s Law. It does not matter what the rates are, the Fed gets 19% of GDP

Tax Rates and Revenue

What the MSM would have you do

Pay no attention to those 63 Tea Party Victories in the congress

Congresswoman Elect Renee Ellmers of the 2nd North Carolina District. September 2010 in Virginia

This week the number of still undecided House elections decreased by one as Ann Marie Buerkle was finally able to declare victory over one term congressman Dan Maffei in the 23rd NY District a district that went for President Obama by a wide margin in 2008.

Ms Buerkle, a candidate that had largely been ignored by the National Republican Party during the election and the media after it, was part of the 63 seat pickup that Republicans enjoyed but was by no means the most unexpected.

Cleaning up after ourselves

A giant concrete dome filled with radioactive dirt, smack dab in the Pacific Ocean

A giant concrete dome filled with radioactive dirt, smack dab in the Pacific OceanIn 1958, the United States tested the 18-kiloton "Cactus" nuclear device on Runit Island in the Pacific. 20 years later, Cactus' 350-foot-wide crater was filled with radioactive soil and covered with a 100,000-square-foot concrete dome. Worst vacation ever?

The $239 million Cactus Dome, which is on Runit in the Enewetak Atoll, holds 111,000 cubic yards of radioactive soil and detritus from nuclear testing on the Bikini and Rongelap atolls. The dome was constructed between 1977 and 1980 and is made of 1.5-foot-thick concrete. I suppose you could still drop by, but I can't imagine the idea of standing on top of a radioactive landfill holds much appeal. There's no gift shop, for one.

A giant concrete dome filled with radioactive dirt, smack dab in the Pacific Ocean

[Via Atlas Obscura and Radiochemistry. Top photo: Defense Special Weapons Agency.]

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez

If States were named after TV shows


Explaining China: Remember, all revolutions come from the Middle Class

While China has moved towards a market economy over the last twenty years, the communist part continues to monopolize political power. To aid this, nationalism has been used more and more to get the increasingly affluent Chinese peoples minds off their lack of political rights. So verbal sparring with Russian, Vietnam, India, Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan continue to heat up the international situation, although it keep Chinese domestic politics rather more quiet than they would be otherwise.

Venezuela Update

November 27, 2010: Venezuela is spinning out of control. President Hugo Chavez's efforts to radicalize the country have ruined the economy, and made a lot of Venezuelans angry. The socialist revolution has failed, and Chavez responded with more of what caused the problem in the first place. The government is taking control of more companies, which then tend to fall apart under the control of political appointees. That means fewer jobs, and less to buy. More food has to be imported. What doesn't have to be imported are radical advisors and terrorist groups, but Chavez has brought these in as well. His radical economic advisors urge more of the nationalizations that are ruining the economy. Allies like Iran have established terrorist bases in Venezuela, from which they are trying to expand in South America. Throughout all this, Venezuela has hung on to its democracy, and that has Chavez on the run. Recent elections took away his control of parliament, and the 2012 presidential elections threaten to remove him entirely. There are fears that Chavez will go from manipulating elections to outlawing them, to retain power.

How not to run a gov’t

The bankruptcy lesson from a Detroit suburb.

More bad news out of Michigan: Facing a $3 million deficit on its $18 million budget, the Detroit suburb of Hamtramck is seeking permission to file bankruptcy. Other towns may not be far behind.

Hamtramck suffers from high unemployment and falling income, but its budget problems go deeper than the recession. The town began running million-dollar deficits 10 years ago due to union contracts that would make Greeks blush. City workers were entitled to annual wage increases at four times the inflation rate and eight paid weeks of vacation each year. That’s in addition to 15 paid sick days, three paid emergency leave days, three paid personal days and one paid birthday.


Irony: 30,000 SEIU Members’ Kids To Lose Coverage Because of Obamacare

GW Conf to spread the $$

From Copenhagen to Cancun -- Obama diminished

On Monday, the sixteenth "Conference of the Parties" to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will begin at the Mexican resort of Cancun. In a post just below this one, John exposes the redistributionist agenda that helps animate this conference. As John notes, Ottmar Edenhofer, who admits that international climate policy is economic rather than environmental policy, will co-chair the Working Group on "Mitigation of Climate Change" at the Cancun confab.

More on Mr. Edenhofer:

Ottmar Edenhofer is one of the leaders of the international global warming movement: he is the deputy director and chief economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the joint chair of the IPCC's Working Group 3, and will co-chair the Working Group "Mitigation of Climate Change" at the upcoming summit in Cancun. On November 14, he was interviewed by the Neue Z├╝rcher Zeitung. His explanation of the current goals of the climate change movement was illuminating:

The new thing about your proposal for a Global Deal is the stress on the importance of development policy for climate policy. Until now, many think of aid when they hear development policies.

That will change immediately if global emission rights are distributed. If this happens, on a per capita basis, then Africa will be the big winner, and huge amounts of money will flow there. This will have enormous implications for development policy. And it will raise the question if these countries can deal responsibly with so much money at all.

That does not sound anymore like the climate policy that we know.

Basically it's a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War.