The usual excellent line-up from the Watcher’s Council

I’ll be reading and voting on the following materials tomorrow:

Council Submissions

Non-Council Submissions

It looks like excellent stuff to me.

Wednesday round-up *UPDATED*

Original thoughts have fled my brain.  Still, with others thinking for me, I still perform a public service by passing their writings on to you.  In no particular order, and with more reliance on some sources than on others:

Robert Harris is a talented writer.  I have on my bedside table right now his most recent book, The Ghost, about a ghost writer, which I was able to pick up for $1.29 at Goodwill.  Right now, I don’t think I want to read it.  Why not?  Because Harris proves (again) that talent and morals are often utterly unrelated.  He likes Roman Polanski.  Others like Roman Polanski.  Roman Polanski is really talented.  So it’s just really unfair to pick on him for the fact that, a long time ago, Polanski drugged and raped a 13 year old.  Let me repeat that last bit:  he drugged and raped a 13 year old.  We know he did because he’s said he did.  By the way, doesn’t this remind you of Obama’s defense of his own ghost writer, which is that Ayers admitted to crimes that happened so long ago, who really cares?  If your politics are good, all is forgiven.

By the way, on the same subject, when you read this list of Hollywood machers demanding Polanski’s release because it’s so unfair that he thought he could travel abroad safely, only to get himself arersted, ask yourself this question:  How many would be delighted to see Bush or Cheney arrested should they set foot on foreign soil?

Jake Tapper’s one of the good guys — an honest reporter.  Here, he has a very funny report about the reports on Obama’s deviations from truth in his press for ObamaCare.

These two interesting stories are completely unrelated, except that the both use the word “police”:  one is about a suspicious (to say the least) private police force takeover in Montana; the other about the complete collapse of the British constabulary, once one of the finest in the world.

Obama might be more effective in the Middle East peace process if he actually listened to the Palestinians.  Doing so, he’d learn that their number one concern isn’t settlements, it’s the horrors visited upon them by their own government.

More to follow.


See Steve Schippert on the dangerous (and, in a way, lazy) thinking now emerging from Biden’s mouth on the administration’s behalf with regard to Afghanistan.

John Stossel on lies, damn lies and Obama’s statistics.

Sick day open thread

I’m not sick, but the children are, and my computer had a few hiccups this morning.  The computer is back, but the kids are still languishing, so I’m off to a slow start.  I’ll be back soon, I promise.

E-Verify at risk in California

I got this notice from the North Bay Minutemen:

If Arnold does not veto AB 1288 before Oct 1, then AB 1288 will become law in California.  AB 1288 prevents any city or county in California from requiring any business to use E-Verify.  If AB 1288 becomes law, CLEC,, will be shut down, at least in the short term.

You have about 24 hours to tell Arnold to save E-Verify in California!

Send him an email, free fax, or printed letter at:

FYI, the Department of Homeland Security describes E-Verify as follows:

E-Verify (formerly the Basic Pilot/Employment Eligibility Verification Program) is an online system operated jointly by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration (SSA). Participating employers can check the employment eligibility of new hires online by comparing information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against SSA and Department of Homeland Security databases. More than 145,000 employers are enrolled in the program, with over 7.6 million queries run through the system in fiscal year 2009 (as of August 29, 2009).

E-Verify is free and voluntary, and is the best means available for determining employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their Social Security numbers.

Sounds so sensible, doesn’t it?

Put your money on those the Dems attack most fiercely

We conservatives have tended to be “go along to get along” people.  If the media says someone is crazy, we back off, ’cause we don’t want to scare ordinary Americans.  Mark Steyn usefully reminds us that the media isn’t “ordinary Americans” and that media goals are antithetical to conservative success:

The media would like the American Right to be represented by the likes of Bob Dole and John McCain, decent old sticks who know how to give dignified concession speeches. Last time round, we went along with their recommendation. If you want to get rave reviews for losing gracefully, that’s the way to go. If you want to win, look at whom the Democrats and their media chums are so frantic to destroy: That’s the better guide to what they’re really worried about.

How do they live with the cognitive dissonance?

Our local town council elections are coming soon.  The candidate statements in the Voter Information Pamphlet are so generic as to be meaningless, so I did what I always do:  I went out on the internet, looking for information.  I discovered that one of the candidates donated to Barack Obama.  With that in hand as the only information I had on her, I crossed her off my list.  I don’t need a big government person sitting on the Council of my small, somewhat indebted town.

Today, though, I had the opportunity to talk to the gal and I discovered that she’s a fiscal conservative.  I can vote for her in good conscience.  That’s great for my town, because I think she’ll win a place on the council.

What troubles me, though, is how in the world sensible people can square their core values (fiscal conservativism, equality of opportunity, etc.), with being liberals?  Only cognitive dissonance could allow a bright fiscal conservative to place her hopes in Obama, the man who is going to rewrite the whole definition of Big Government when it comes to America.

Tune in next week when the Empire State goes Red & Black to honor the Nazis *UPDATED*


Just asking.

And yes, I’m definitely a hypocrite, because my house is filled with things made in China.  The sad fact is that there is a lot of stuff nowadays that you can’t buy at all unless you’re willing to accept Chinese manufacture.  Most Chinese goods are poorly made (and that’s not even touching upon the food poisoning and lead poisoning issues) so, as a savvy consumer, I try to avoid them, something separate from also trying to be a relatively principled shopper.  The fact remains, though, that Chinese goods are ubiquitous and my money supports that regime.  I still think, however, that being a prisoner of the marketplace is different from giving the Communist government itself the kind of accolade and honor that goes with colors on the Empire State.

UPDATE:  I’m not the only one asking this question.

Confirmation that liberalism is a religion — and Obama is the God *UPDATED*

The Breitbarth site headlines the following video as follows:


With my pre-Obama mindset, I promptly inverted the language and read it as a normal sentence:


How naive I was.  This political activism group, in a Church, led by people in vestments, prays TO Obama.  Obama is their God.

UPDATE:  Ed Morrissey notes the possibility that the crowd is saying “hear our cry, Oh God!”  Or that some are saying “Oh, God!” and some are saying “Obama.”  He’s got a poll for those of you who want to chime in.  As for me, given that it looks as if a minister is giving an impassioned invocation about health care to a political group, I’m just wondering about that church’s tax exempt status.

Does anyone know about the Challenge Day program? *UPDATED*

Have any of your children done a Challenge Day?  I can’t tell if it’s harmless, helpful, or touchy-feely, PC psychobabble crap.  The self-congratulatory website promises that “everyone” will “Live their lives in service by Being the Change.” Since my daughter got invited, I want to know what it is.

UPDATE:  Terry Trippany found this for me.  Doesn’t make the program sound good.  As for me, the tip off was the Oprah recommendation.  Whether she recommends books, presidential candidates, or creepy school encounter sessions, I’m against it.

Obama’s State Department botches again

In the digital age, perils lurk everywhere.  Most organizations know that.  When I sign my kids up for Chorus or Girl Scouts or soccer, the organization asks me for permission to use my children’s photos on line or in other publicity material.  Obama’s State Department, however, didn’t think that far ahead, and has now put the daughters of the Spanish Prime Minister at risk.  Will this amateur hour nightmare never end?

Bret Stephens writes an unusually elegant takedown of Obama’s foreign policy

I always like the way Bret Stephens thinks, but I’ve seldom even noticed how he writes.  He’s a great writer — clear and concise — but he’s never struck me as a particular luminous writer.  I think he must have been inspired when he wrote about the rebirth of the neocon movement, in large part because the bad guys are still here, but Obama is remarkably feckless when it comes to dealing with them.  How else to account for the lovely prose and imagery I quote below:

My answer [to a French journalist asking about the rebirth of neoconservatism] was that the neocons are back because Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il and Vladimir Putin never went away. A star may have shone in the east the day Barack Obama became president. But these three kings, at least, have yet to proffer the usual gifts of gold and incense and myrrh.


As for Russia, its ambassador to the U.N. last week bellyached that the U.S. “continues to be a rather difficult negotiating partner”—and that was after Mr. Obama cancelled the missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic. Thus does the politics of concession meet with the logic of contempt.

All this must, at some level, come as a surprise to an administration so deeply in love with itself. “I am well aware of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world,” Mr. Obama told the U.N.’s General Assembly last week with his usual modesty. He added that those expectations were “rooted in hope—the hope that real change is possible, and the hope that America will be a leader in bringing about such change.”

Yet what sounds like “hope” in, say, Toronto or Barcelona tends to come across as fecklessness in Warsaw and Jerusalem. In Moscow and Tehran, it reads like credulity—and an opportunity to exploit the U.S. at a moment of economic weakness and political self-infatuation.


Where neocons do put their faith is in American power, not just military or economic power but also as an instrument of moral and political suasion. Disarmament? The last dictator to relinquish his nuclear program voluntarily was Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, who did so immediately following Saddam Hussein’s capture. Democratization? Contrary to current conventional wisdom, democracy is often imposed, or at least facilitated, by U.S. pressure—in the Philippines, in the Balkans and, yes, in Iraq. Human rights? Anwar Ibrahim, the beleaguered Malaysian opposition leader, told me last week that “the only country that can stand up” to abusive regimes is the United States. “If they know the administration is taking a soft stance [on human rights], they will go on a rampage.”

Treat yourself well and read the whole thing.