March 29, 2010

History for Affirmative Action Presidents

At Powerline Paul argues:
In my opinion, President Obama's tilt towards the Palestinians is rooted in ideology, a considerably softer version of the ideology espoused by Jeremiah Wright . The facts that matter to this president do not pertain to the PA's intentions. Rather, I suspect the key facts are these: compared to Israelis, Palestinians are downtrodden and non-Western. They are what leftist academics call "the other." And promoting the interests of "the other" is a big deal for Obama -- indeed, this imperative seems like the closest thing he has to a religion.

If I'm right, then Netanyahu will never be able to placate Obama. And he should not try.
He's wrong only in the phrase "considerably softer version of the ideology espoused by Jeremiah Wright" which would better read "muted version", but Paul's being polite or evading the cruel truth that America is now governed by the intellectual spawn of 1960's hippie revolutionaries. In truth Israel has a special role in this religion. Israel is "the other" and the founding high points of modern terrorism against the West are attacks on Israel - Jewish, modern, victorious, free Israel. Among the plane hijackings, the Munich massacre, the murder of children which figure in Obamans' pyschogeography as revolutionary acts of the downtrodden, I wonder if Obama has even heard of Operation Entebbe:
Operation Entebbe was a counter-terrorism hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on July 4, 1976.[1] A week earlier, on June 27, an Air France plane with 300 passengers was hijacked by Palestinian terrorists and flown to Entebbe, near Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Shortly after landing, all non-Jewish passengers were released.
The IDF acted on intelligence provided by Israeli secret agency Mossad. In the wake of the hijacking by members of the militant organizations Revolutionary Cells and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, along with the hijackers' threats to kill the hostages if their prisoner release demands were not met, the rescue operation was planned. These plans included preparation of armed resistance from Ugandan military troops.
Led by [a] 30-year-old commander ..... the operation took place under cover of darkness, as Israeli transport planes carried 100 elite commandos over 2,500 miles to Uganda for the rescue operation. The operation, which took a week of planning, lasted 90 minutes and 103 hostages were rescued. Five Israeli commandos were wounded and the only death was of [the] commander... All the hijackers, three hostages and 45 Ugandan soldiers were killed, and 11 Russian-built MiG fighters of Uganda's air force were destroyed. A fourth hostage was murdered by Ugandan army officers at a nearby hospital.

The dead Israeli commander was Yonatan Netanyahu, the older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu whom Obama, Community Organizer in Chief, hosted with open contempt last week. Things change.

March 26, 2010

Shard shots

The Shard of Glass, tallest building in the UK or Europe is being built at London Bridge Station near my apartment. The borough is Borough (whence Chaucer's Pilgrims set off to Canterbury) and the area is Southwark where Shakespeare lived, worked and made pots of money at the Globe Theatre. Here are some shots of the work in progress taken in late afternoon gloom. The core is now the same height as the vile piece of concrete brutalism across the road known as Guy's Hospital, a filing cabinet to die in. So vile and so brutal is Guy's that I want it preserved as counterpoint to The Shard. Anyway for lovers of big cranes:

March 22, 2010

Correspondence with a minor devil (my nephew at college in Boston)

Hey Mark,

Just wanted to know your opinion on the fact that UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE IS ABOUT TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW!!!!

- Your nephew, Wormwood

P.S. - Looks like Obama is getting stuff done while the conservatives have been too busy having tea parties.


I emphasize the Party of Death/Party of Life contrast here, but that's because of Stupak's role.

Health care will become a government dept. I'm agin it in principle because it's the very big nose of a humongous camel snuffling into my tent and I'm agin it because I've known about a National Health Service all my life. It's ghastly, costly, murderous and infectious. And smells bad.

In terms of modern history it may be a good thing, as was Obama becoming President a good thing. It crystallizes the issues around big government so that America is confronted with socialism in its face and has to make a choice. Right now the polls and the energy are all on the side of the self-reliant version of your country. Obamacare just heightens the disgust of real America. But who knows, maybe you'll become like Belgium yet, tho I doubt it.

It's still strange to me how intelligent young men like you get taken in. I suppose your world view was formed by Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart and Tina Fey. Eric Cartman is a better role model.

I differ from most conservatives on government health care. My policy is that there shouldn't be any government health care except for children and front-line military. The rest is one's own responsibility + one's family + voluntary charity as opposed to the involuntary charity of you, Ebenezer Whippersnapper Wormwood, saying: "Weird Uncle Mark, you may be a senior devil but I know how to spend your money better than you, so I'll tax you and give your money to what I say are worthy causes, AIDS in Africa, say, or healthcare for illegal immigrants, AND AND AND on top of that I get to feel good about myself."

Well apart from me wanting to kill you for being sanctimonious at my expense, it turns out that most people get worse health your way. Human Motivation 101. But that doesn't matter because you get to feel virtuous.

Finally you want to regulate my life far more than I want to regulate yours. That places a heavy burden of proof on you.

Your Weird Uncle Mark

March 21, 2010

The Party of Death

Mr. Stupak and his Democrat followers have now clarified that you cannot be pro-life and be a Democrat. If abortion was truly their biggest issue, they wouldn't willfully align themselves with the Party of Death. This vote will expose the myth of the 'pro-life Democrat.' With this single vote, the Democratic Party will divide our nation into the Party of Death and the Party of Life, and future elections will never be the same.
Phyllis Schafly

The Abortion President

It's a few hours before the House votes on Obamacare. All the mood music is that Democrats will muster the 216 votes, probably by inducing defections from Stupak's small group of anti-abortionists. If by a miracle this disgusting bill fails, let it be remembered what Obama is and why his Presidency failed in its signature legislation: Obama is The Abortion President, the man who wriggled, squirmed and lied to deny 'healthcare' to babies who survive abortion.

Fire and Ice

At the end of April I'll be touring Iceland with another photographer, so I'm happy to read that a volcano's erupted. It's right beside this glacier where I was in 2007:

Our trip will head first for Snæfellsjökull, the highest mountain and the entrance for Jules Verne's 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth'.

March 18, 2010

The Nobel Prize for Taking the Piss

Re that earthquake in Hawaii:
  • It's true, Hawaii and Haiti both have 2 i's.
  • Obama may have been born in Hawaii, so it seems peculiar that he'd confuse it with a different one of the 57 states, but, look, he hasn't been back there for nearly 3 months.
  • He claims that the great Hawaii Earthquake of 2010 will be covered for federal aid because of the Louisiana Purchase in his Healthcare Bill, but it won't because that provision is explicitly limited to Louisiana, which makes sense because it was an La. senator's vote being purchased, not the vote of Senator Papa Doc Duvalier from Hawaii.
  • So this isn't just a lie, it's a multi-layered, nuanced, Harvard Law School, Potemkin Village, alternate reality, supercallifragilsticexpialidocious, Krakatoa of a lie….an Obaman lie.
  • All together now, to the tune of The Star Spangle Banner: "WHAT IF BUSH HAD SAID THIS?"

March 14, 2010

Blame Bush

Really. Bush should have bombed the Iranian nukes, as Cheney seems to have advocated, and worked to undermine a barbaric regime that's committed many acts of war against the US. Instead Bush's good nature told him to leave that decision to the next President, realizing the problem of inheriting a direct conflict with Iran. But a more cold-blooded thinker would have taken Obama at his and his associates' word and presumed that Obama would betray Israel. And so it came to pass. Blame Bush and blame the Jews who voted for Obama.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

March 09, 2010

The soft bigotry of high expectations

Obama is useless, as in soup-to-nuts useless and then some. The "and then some" means wrecking America's alliances and emboldening America's enemies. Has he no friendships with foreign leaders? Britain? Fuhgeddaboudit, that romance is swimming with the fishes. France? Sarkozy looks down his distinguished nose at Obama's "virtual" foreign policy to Iran and says so at the UN. "Zut alors! 'oo eez ze surrender monkey?" (while refusing troops for Afghanistan). Where are the African leaders fêting Obama? Indonesia? Nope. India? China? Nope, nope. Venezuela? Iran? N. Korea? Brazil? Russia? Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope.

People are starting to notice and this piece attracted this comment:
Obama’s problem is that most other world leaders are not empty suits but people of some accomplishments. As these leaders have met and assessed him as of no consequence, in effect agreeing with Bill Clinton that Obama is little more than a coffee boy elected via celebrity syndrome, they have little interest in him and he realizes that he is not of their caliber either. Consequently, once past the pleasantries and the weather, neither has much to say to the other.
And for masochists a comedy classic:

March 08, 2010

In civilisation

Tony Blair in Israel:
Of note is a story he related about Netanyahu when the two of them were at a dinner party hosted by Netanyahu. It seems the waiter accidentally ladled the soup, matzo ball I presume, onto Netanyahu’s lap. The waiter, rather than gushing over with apologies to his head of state, proceeded to berate him for being in the way while he was trying to do his job. Netanyahu apologized profusely... Blair asked rhetorically, in which other Middle Eastern nation might one witness such an episode with a similar outcome.

March 03, 2010

Morning rant #10, perfidious America

Actually I don't need to rant on America selling out my country by billing and cooing with Argentina about the Falkland Islands. Powerline has done it elegantly here:
So, once again, the Obama administration has sold Great Britain, formerly our #1 ally, down the river, along with the inhabitants of the Falklands, whose opinions would seem to count for something. We are past the point where anyone could doubt that the Obama administration's hostility toward the U.K. is intentional. Obama seems to have substituted personal pathology for national policy.

Investors Business Daily here:
The U.S., which backed Britain to the hilt when Argentina invaded its Falklands in 1982, has suddenly gone neutral on who has sovereignty over the islands. This is much more than a bad slap to our best ally.

Remember April Glaspie, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq who infamously told Saddam Hussein in 1990: "But we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait." To Saddam, that was a green light from the U.S. to invade his tiny neighbor.

Today, we hear similar language from the U.S. on another territorial dispute that may take us down the same road.

My gut reaction is to re-deploy the Royal Navy from Afghanistan to the Falklands and then annexe the US Virgin Islands (I've long coveted St John's, USVI, where they already drive on the left) and then burn down Washington, tho I expect you'd cheer us on this time. I'm telling you, Yanks, you're pissing off Americaphiles like me, not because your scummiest President and dopey Hillary are doing doo-doo on our alliance, but because your decent leaders are silent. Palin and Romney should be screaming blue murder. Don't take Gordon Brown's quietism as a guide. He's more supine than Obama.

Meanwhile I suggest Hillary asks Argentina for some troops for Afghanistan while she's so popular in B.A. They make good sandbags.

Exit question: What was the best thing that ever happened to Argentina?

Answer: Getting whacked by Britain in 1982 which led directly to the fall of the murderous military junta and then democracy. There should be statues of Thatcher on every street corner. She liberated Argentina.