Thursday, November 27, 2008

Round Up

Some news from the UK.

Science standards in schools have slipped ‘catastrophically’, the Royal Society of Chemistry declared yesterday. The eminent scientific body said it had ‘hard evidence’ that exams had been dumbed down since the 1960s.

Check out the two sample questions for proof.

British police raid a woman's house for cannabis plants- she was actually growing tomato plants on the windowsill.

Bureaucrats strike again-

A charity raft race which has never suffered a serious accident in its 27-year history has been sunk by the health and safety demands of police and council risk assessors.

A disgrace-

A lesbian soldier last night celebrated winning almost £200,000 compensation after being subjected to a lewd campaign of sexual harassment by a male sergeant.

Patrick Mercer, a Tory MP and former Army officer said: 'Servicemen and women who have been hideously injured defending this country receive a paltry amount in comparison. That can't be right.'

And finally, a sign of the times-

Teenage thieves, vandals, muggers and burglars will escape any punishment if they agree to say sorry 'on the spot' under a proposed scheme.

Justice Minister David Hanson said: 'Court is often an inappropriate option for young people who have never committed any previous offence.

'This will steer young people away from trouble at the earliest possible stage, particularly if their first offence is very minor.

'By introducing this option for the police, bad behaviour can be nipped in the bud at the same time as the victim's feelings are addressed.

Sure, making them say sorry and then letting them off with it is proven to be more of a deterrent than actually punishing them for breaking the law. And nothing makes the victim of a mugging or burglary feel better than knowing that their assailant is free as a bird and escaping any kind of consequences for their actions.

Makes you wonder what kind of world some of these politicians live in, doesn't it?

Obama's New Ride

The Times has details on Obama's new wheels-

The Obamobile being prepared for the president-elect is said to be a monster gas-guzzler made by General Motors, the troubled car giant. It will look like a black Cadillac but is built like a tank. A spy photographer who tracks down future car models for magazines snatched pictures of the heavily disguised first-car-in-waiting when it was being road-tested last summer.

Presumably this means that it's a Secret Service project rather than an Obama camp one.

The armour-plated car, which has a raised roof, windows up to 5in thick, extra-strength tyres and a body made of steel, aluminium, titanium and ceramics, is thought to be based on a GMC 2500 truck that gets less than 10 miles to the gallon. Three cars are believed to be in production so that two can serve as decoys.

And of course the arrant hypocrisy of Obama's demands for more fuel efficient cars to be used by Americans is compared to his gas guzzler. Just like the revolting hypocrisy of his belief that so-called "assault weapons" need to be banned in America because they "belong on foreign battlefields", at the same time as his protection detail is armed with actual assault rifles. Nevermind that the weapons he wants to ban aren't actual assault weapons.

For those not in the know the so-called assault weapons ban Obama wants to implement won't actually ban assault weapons. By definition, an assault weapon is one that fires an intermediate sized cartridge and that is selective fire- that is, it can fire either semi-auto (one shot at a time) or full auto (many shots each time the trigger is pulled). These are already prohibited- what the "assault weapon ban" will actually ban are weapons which look like true assault rifles but which are only capable of semi-auto fire. They are functionally identical to semi-auto rifles used for hunting and plinking and so on. In many cases these supposed assault weapons are less powerful than lever action guns and bolt action rifles.

Another fact which should be pointed out is that, as the authorities have admitted themselves, the last AWB had no effect on crime whatsoever- a ban is simply a measure to undermine the Second Amendment and to make it look like Obama et al are doing something about crime- in actual fact it only affected law-abiding citizens exercising their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If you're concerned about violent crime and criminals using guns (the same people who will ignore any new gun law any way), then you'd be better off pursuing tougher sentencing for breaking the law.

Back to the car story now and I only have one question- what's wrong with the vehicle that Bush uses at the moment? Okay, two questions- how much is this costing the US taxpayer?

Nuanced Change

Wow, Obama touts the advantages of Washington experience- and just you forget all that screwy stuff he said on the campaign trail. He justifies it too with the argument that it would worry people if the Treasury Secretary or the Chairman of the National Economic Council had no experience- but him, the top guy, President, needs no experience. He's all the change you need apparently.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Here's the video for the Martina Topley Bird single Carnies. It's taken from the album Blue God. Currently one of my "most listened to". Her first album Quixotic is another must have- it features David Holmes (you know him from the soundtracks to the Oceans movies), David Arnold (who now does the soundtracks to the Bond movies) and, of course, Tricky. She provided the female vocal on his first, and best, album Maxinquaye.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Flight of Fantasy

A little Tomb Raider to brighten up the weekend. By the way, Adam Hughes has a new collection of convention sketches out called The Details Are A Tad Sketchy. Available here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Joy of New Music

For me the height of musical invention occurred around the mid-nineties. The period had everything- Mudhoney, Nirvana, Primal Scream, a bit of Ministry and NIN, Leftfield, Orbital, Aphex Twin, Massive Attack, the entire output of the Ninja Tune label at the time, Tom Waits, My Bloody Valentine, Tricky. I could go on and on. I started out with stuff like The Stone Roses, moved into the whole grunge and alternative thing, then developed a taste for electronic music. Apart from the occasional need to listen to the likes of Leftfield's remix of Renegade Soundwave really loud I tend to stick to the more chilled out side of the musical world. I really do like my ambient tunes.

Anyway, since then my musical tastes haven't really changed- but I still hunger for new music, indeed, I go through short bursts of an insatiable craving for new sounds to listen to. I'm about halfway through one right now. My latest acquisitions include Stars of the Lid (Avec Laudanum is particularly blissful), the awesomely fantastic Sigur Ros (með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust is a perfect album), Susumu Yokota's Sakura, Snow Patrol's A Hundred Million Miles (not quite as good as the last album but it's growing on me), Red Snapper's Pale Blue Dot, Martina Topley-Bird's latest The Blue God (she really should be more famous), Helios and the brilliant Caesura, Blockhead's Music by Cavelight, Mogwai's The Hawk Is Howling and the trance album Are You Shpongled?

By and large, pretty chilled out stuff- and I can't believe how lucky I am to have discovered so much lately that I really, really like. Thank heavens for Amazon's recommended lists. They are a fantastic way to find new artists. Anyway, drum and bass was a music style that I only partially got into- Goldie's Timeless was pretty popular among my crowd back in the day- and I really liked T-Power's Self Evident Truth of an Intuitive Mind and Photek's Form and Function. Apart from that though, it sort of passed me by. Until now- checking out the much changed Ninja Tune I happened upon King Cannibal and the staggering Aragami Style single. It's brutal, the muscial version of a horror movie. Even if you're into something like heavy metal or hard rock and have no interest in electronic music, I suggest you check it out. Tracks like this don't come along too often. Now all I have to do is negotiate an unknown genre and see if there's more like this out there.

Here's another of King Cannibal's tunes- Badman After Dark. It doesn't have the visceral impact of Aragami Style- it's the aural equivalent of being hit in the face by a sledgehammer- but the dense, dark sound and ominous tones seem to be part of this guy's style. Here's hoping he brings out an album of tunes like these.

UPDATE - Check out King Cannibal's MySpace page- along with a few other tracks to listen to.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Jonah Goldberg on Obama-

On Sunday night, President-elect Barack Obama told CBS' "60 Minutes" that Franklin D. Roosevelt would be a model of sorts for him. "What you see in FDR that I hope my team can emulate is not always getting it right, but projecting a sense of confidence, and a willingness to try things. And experiment in order to get people working again."

This is a problematic standard. What do you want in a surgeon? One who "gets it right" or who projects "a sense of confidence?" Ditto accountants, defense lawyers, mechanics and bomb-disposal technicians: Cocky and self-assured, or gets it right?


"Okay, but come the Zombocalypse, if you get some kind of zombie foot funk, don't say I didn't warn you."

It made me laugh. And, darn it, now I'm going to have to update my zombie survival kit with a pair of those.

And finally-

A U.S. government assessment has concluded that alleged al-Qaeda operative Aafia Siddiqui is not mentally competent to stand trial, a judge wrote in a court order issued yesterday.

She was, however, mentally competent enough to graduate from MIT- and to try and kill a US soldier in a gun battle .

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Audacity of Ego

A telling glimpse into how Obama views himself- from a discussion back in 2006 when the team was discussing a White House run.

Barack, Michelle and eight others were in Axelrod’s office in downtown Chicago. If Barack was going to run, he had to decide quickly, a point the group made by laying out primary schedules and game plans for fund-raising and building an organization. Insights were offered from around the room.

It was Michelle, Axelrod remembers, who stopped the show. “You need to ask yourself, Why do you want to do this?” she said directly. “What are hoping to uniquely accomplish, Barack?

Obama sat quietly for a moment, and everyone waited. “This I know: When I raise my hand and take that oath of office, I think the world will look at us differently,” he said. “And millions of kids across this country will look at themselves differently.”

He sure is humble, isn't he? And his reason for wanting to be President can be achieved simply by taking office- no need to actually do anything.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Israel Goes Under The Bus

Looks like Obama is going to urge that Jerusalem be divided- and that Israel retreat to pre-1967 borders. This latter fantasy- that there will be peace if only Israel adopt the borders it had before 1967 is oft-repeated. Funny how those borders never brought Israel any peace before 1967. Does Obama know what happened in '67? Has he heard of a little thing called the Six-Day War? How does he posit the fantasy of '67-borders peace with this statement from a time when Israel did, in fact, occupy those borders-

"We have nothing for Israel except war - comprehensive war... marching against its gangs, destroying and putting an end to the whole Zionist existence... every one of the 100 million Arabs has been living for the past 19 years on one hope - to live to die on the day that Israel is liquidated."

Here's what Obama has in mind for the besieged state of Israel-

Barack Obama is to pursue an ambitious peace plan in the Middle East involving the recognition of Israel by the Arab world in exchange for its withdrawal to pre-1967 borders, according to sources close to America’s president-elect.

Obama intends to throw his support behind a 2002 Saudi peace initiative endorsed by the Arab League and backed by Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister and leader of the ruling Kadima party.

The proposal gives Israel an effective veto on the return of Arab refugees expelled in 1948 while requiring it to restore the Golan Heights to Syria and allow the Palestinians to establish a state capital in east Jerusalem.

On a visit to the Middle East last July, the president-elect said privately it would be “crazy” for Israel to refuse a deal that could “give them peace with the Muslim world”, according to a senior Obama adviser.

Obama has yet to explain how the example of Gaza and Hamas will work in this context- handing Gaza over to Palestinian control succeeded only in providing them with a location to launch rocket attacks deeper into Israel- and Hamas is still committed to seeing that all of Israel is annihilated. 1967 borders will not change that mindset one iota.

So much for an undivided Jerusalem- oh wait, foreign policy expert Obama had no idea this this was a controversial thing to say. But he does know how peace can be achieved there.

According to a Washington source Obama told Abbas: “The Israelis would be crazy not to accept this initiative. It would give them peace with the Muslim world from Indonesia to Morocco.”

Wow- this breathtaking ignorance of the Muslim world's hostility merely to the existence of Israel is staggering.

UPDATE - Robert Spencer makes a pertinent point about the Islamic notion of what a treaty entails.

Amid all the enthusiasm for this plan, as noted in the article below, no one seems to have considered anything about the Islamic legal doctrine regarding treaties, which allows Muslims to conclude only temporary truces with the infidels, in order to allow the Muslims time to gather their strength and fight again more effecively sometime in the future.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Obama's Big Fat Lie

So, here it is, over a week after the election. Bill Ayers admits that he and Barack Obama aren't just people who live in the same neighbourhood.

“We had served together on the board of a foundation, knew one another as neighbors and family friends, held an initial fund-raiser at my house, where I’d made a small donation to his earliest political campaign,” he writes.

Got that? Ayers tells us that he and Barack Obama are family friends. Now, let's see what Obama's "fight the smears" website had to say on the topic of Ayers-

Smear groups and now a desperate McCain campaign are trying to connect Barack to William Ayers using age-old guilt by association techniques. Here’s the truth: the smear associating Barack to Ayers is “phony,” “tenuous,” – even “exaggerated at best if not outright false.”

According to the Associated Press, they are not close: “No evidence shows they were “pals” or even close when they worked on community boards years ago …”

This is what Obama's own website said about Ayers. In fact, they even had a handy little section to copy and paste a message for supporters to send to their friends on the issue. It said,

Smears like this often spread as part of a broader, shadowy strategy to scare people who aren't very familiar with Barack by spreading false information...

Ayers and Barack barely know each other. They served together on the boards of local charities, but do not know each other well.

The truth is that they were lying to the people of America about this issue. Someone was spreading false information but it was Obama himself. He was blatantly and repeatedly lying about his friendship with an anti-American terrorist in order to win the election at any cost.

And here's the dirt-digging, fact-checking media quoted on the same page-

Ayers was one of many who sponsored coffees for Obama in 1995 when he declared for the Illinois Senate. The official campaign launch occurred at the Hyde Park Ramada. Their relationship barely goes beyond serving together on an education foundation board in Chicago.

If McCain continues to insist that Obama launched his political career from Ayers’ Hyde Park living room, he is misleading the public by overplaying the size and significance of Ayers’ early support.

Her reference to Obama’s relationship with William Ayers, a member of the Vietnam-era Weather Underground, was exaggerated at best if not outright false. No evidence shows they were “pals” or even close when they worked on community boards years ago and Ayers hosted a political event for Obama early in his career.

CNN Fact check wrote about Palin’s claim that Obama is palling around with terrorists, “Verdict: False. There is no indication that Ayers and Obama are now “palling around,” or that they have had an ongoing relationship in the past three years.

And here's what the vaunted "Fact Check" website had to say-

In a Web ad and in repeated attacks from the stump, McCain describes the two as associates, and Palin claims they "pal around" together. But so far as is known, their relationship was never very close...We find McCain's accusation that Obama "lied" to be groundless...Despite the newly released records, there's still no evidence of a deep or strong "friendship" with Ayers, a former radical anti-war protester whose actions in the 1960s and '70s Obama has called "detestable" and "despicable."

I expect them all to print a full retraction of these claims, now proven to be false, and also to issue a public apology to Sarah Palin for lambasting her when she spoke out about Obama's relationship with Ayers. Oh, and an apology to the American voter for doing absolutely no research into any of these claims when this was a legitimate issue in the election.


And what of Barack Obama- will he apologise for outright lying through his teeth to America? Remember, this is what he said about Ayers when challenged on their links-

This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.

And remember this too- Obama tried to use their muscle to threaten TV stations which aired an ad about him and Ayers.

Now, having learned from Ayers' own lips that he and Obama were friends it makes what followed the release of that ad even more outrageous.

Obama not only aired a response ad to the spot linking him to William Ayers, but he sought to block stations the commercial by warning station managers and asking the Justice Department to intervene. The campaign also planned to compel advertisers to pressure stations that continue to air the anti-Obama commercial.

Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said Obama supporters have inundated stations that are airing the ad, many of them owned by Sinclair Communications, with 93,000 e-mails. He called the ad false, despicable and outrageous.

"Other stations that follow Sinclair's lead should expect a similar response from people who don't want the political discourse cheapened with these false, negative attacks," Vietor said.

And, as is now shown to be the case- and as bloggers such as myself have been trying to make clear- the relationship between Ayers and Obama was much deeper that the now-President-Elect wanted you to know.

In a letter to station managers, Obama campaign lawyer Robert Bauer wrote: "Your station is committed to operating in the public interest, an objective that cannot be satisfied by accepting for compensation material of such malicious falsity."

Bauer also wrote to Deputy Assistant Attorney General John C. Keeney, noting that the ad is a "knowing and willful attempt to evade the strictures of federal election law."

The truth didn't stop Obama and his goons from trying to squelch the First Amendment rights of groups opposed to him. Instead they blatantly accused them of lying about a truthful ad- and then attempted to use threats of legal action and even the full force of the Justice Department to silence them.

Obama not only lied about Ayers- he tried to silence those who refused to go to sleep like the MSM and actually question his lie.

And this is the man- the family friend of a man who declared war on America, who bombed America, who attempted the mass murder of US servicemen and their dates at a dance at Fort Dix, who discussed not only the genocide of 25 million Americans but actually overthrowing the government, installing his own dictatorship and then carving the USA up into portions for communist regimes like the Soviet Union and China to rule over- who is now about to enter the White House. A man with established links to radicals and racists, who threatens to silence his critics even when they are telling the truth.

It's obscene.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Obama's Questions

Jake Tapper reports on a questionnaire being given to those considered for Obama administration positions.

The seven-page, 63 question intrusive and extensive list of queries, first obtained by the New York Times and confirmed as legitimate by the Obama Transition Team, offers a revealing glimpse into both the Obama team's determination not to repeat the mistakes of its predecessors (Any nanny issues? Any discriminatory club memberships?) as well as the new era on which Obama will lead ("Please provide the URL address of any websites that feature you in either a personal or professional capacity (e.g. Facebook, My Space, etc.").

Ever sent an email which might prove embarrassing to you, your family or dear old Barack? They want to know. In fact, they even go so far as to ask if you've ever kept a diary which might prove embarrassing- I should have thought that everybody would be embarrassed if a private and personal diary were made public.

Then, more interestingly, comes this-

Applicants are asked if they or any immediate family members own a gun, if they have ever been charged with sexual harassment or malpractice, if they have ever had any alimony or child support issues, "any writs of garnishment," or any bankruptcy problems.

In fact they not only want to know about your gun ownership but also who uses it and how it is used.

Strange, don't you think? Now, why would that be of interest to the transition team?

I'd suggest having a good look at the list of extensive, probing questions about candidates and their contacts and families- it even asks for details of people they may have cohabitated with in the past ten years.

Think on this- Obama wants to know a great deal about the people who will work for him. So why was he so secretive about his own past when applying for the job of President to the American people? Perhaps in future there should be a questionnaire like this given to all Presidential candidates- which they would have to fill out themselves so that no unlucky staffers could later get the blame for making mistakes.

It's pretty standard for employers to ask questions of employees- so why don't America's employers ask their potential employees at the start of each campaign to do the same?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fast vs Slow

Simon Pegg- of Shaun of the Dead fame- comments on the recent British TV zombie show "Dead Set". I haven't seen it yet myself but he takes exception to the choice of fast zombies for the programme.

The concept was clever in its simplicity: a full-scale zombie outbreak coincides with a Big Brother eviction night, leaving the Big Brother house as the last refuge for the survivors. Scripted by Charlie Brooker, a writer whose scalpel-sharp incisiveness I have long been a fan of, and featuring talented actors such as Jaime Winstone and the outstanding Kevin Eldon, the show heralded the arrival of genuine homegrown horror, scratching at the fringes of network television. My expectations were high, and I sat down to watch a show that proved smart, inventive and enjoyable, but for one key detail: ZOMBIES DON'T RUN!

Worth a look at. Personally, I don't mind the fast zombie concept and I disagree that having a zombie run is like giving a werewolf wings. Zombies weren't animated by radiation or a virus originally- that was a new spin on the old myth of voodoo magic. The fast breed is simply another manifestation of that.

I'd actually like to see a film tackle the notion that, after a zombie outbreak, the undead are pretty fast to begin with but, as their bodies begin to rot, they slow down and turn into the mass-congregating shamblers we are all familiar with.

UPDATE - Thanks to commenter jansch, here's the link to Charlie Brooks' response to Pegg's article.

ODS Revisited

Ed at Hot Air has just posted a piece called "The Onset of ODS". Essentially, he's calling out Rep. Paul Broun for bringing up Obama's "civilian national security force"- oh yeah, and any anyone else who questions it too apparently.

Now, let's see what Ed said,

If we plan to offer a rational alternative to the coming debacle of the next two years, then we’d better stick to facts and eschew hyperbole. We need to oppose the reality of the radical agenda proposed by Obama and the Democratic majorities in Congress, not fantasies spun out of context-free snippets of speeches.

Fair enough? Well, no, not really. Broun may have erred in bringing up the spectre of Nazi Germany in talking about Obama's plan and mentioning the Gestapo (back in the summer, the SA, the Brownshirts, was generally supposed to be the more apt comparison for what it's worth). Ed is quick to criticise discussing Obama's plan, dismissing it as nothing more than this-

In the context of Obama’s remarks above, though, he fairly clearly meant to at least include a volunteer force in outreach within and outside the US as some sort of Department of Peace-like indirect boost to national security. Nothing in that speech hints at a Gestapo-like organization at all.

No, of course not. By saying "we need a national security force as strong and as powerful and as well funded as the military" you obviously assume Obama meant a peaceful group which would only indirectly help with national security. Right? That's perfectly logical isn't it?

But- and it's a big but- during the summer Ed also said this about the proposed group-

On July 2nd, Obama spoke in Colorado Springs and hit themes of national service, foreign policy, and national security. In that vein, Obama proposed a rather extraordinary idea — that the US should spend as much money on a civilian national security force as it does on the military.

The phrasing of it — a “civilian national security force” — sounds much more like a quasi-military organization operating within the US under the control of the federal government.

Obama needs to clarify what he means by “civilian national security force”, and how it would be funded. After all, we have a panoply of federal security agencies already: FBI, BATF, DEA, and more, plus the National Guard on the state level. Where would Obama get the money to fund it at the same level as the Pentagon? What would its mission be, and where would it get its authority? What would be the lines of jurisdiction?

So, in short, precisely the same sorts of concerns that those labelled as being ODS-sufferers now are actually asking.

The movement on the Right to stamp out what they see as being unreasonable criticism of Obama now that he's won the election is- it seems- an extension beyond the "he's our President too, let's be gracious" stage and has now descended into actually slandering those asking perfectly legitimate questions out of some fear that BDS might break out on the Right. Thus far, all this criticism aimed at their own ranks is targeting those who refuse to forget Obama's radical and dangerous links (including those who refuse to accept the notion that the election has somehow magically purified him of all this) and those who are paying close attention to the policies the Obama camp is putting out.

So, if you're wondereing why Obama would deliver a speech calling for a civilian national security force with equivalent strength, power and funding to the US military to, you know, assist with national security Ed thinks you're being deranged.

We need to oppose the reality of the radical agenda proposed by Obama and the Democratic majorities in Congress, not fantasies spun out of context-free snippets of speeches.

Yeah, you fringe kook you, he's telling you, why on Earth are you actually listening to the evidence of your own ears and the words coming out of Barack Obama's mouth? And pay no heed to the fact that I was asking exactly the same questions a little while ago.

Don't you know how nuts you make conservatives look when you question why a man just elected President wants to create a force as powerful as the US military- to enforce national security in the USA? It's so unreasonable and it might make us look bad- just forget Barack even said anything.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This Is Not The Change We Were Looking For

Michael Malone, the journalist who famously wrote a column in which he admitted his embarrassment at calling himself that because of the incredible media bias this election cycle, has written another column about the experience. Worth reading. Out of it all though, this line most caught my attention.

But after that, I realized that I risked becoming Joe the Journalist, and not wanting my life vivisected by vengeful bureaucrats and fellow reporters, I stopped all interviews.

This is a professional journalist admitting, in what actually seems to be a bit of a passing mention, that he was afraid- scared of government officials who oppose him ideologically trying to dig up some dirt on him. Or of his fellow journalists doing the same.

Is this what America has become- that members of the press feel pressured not to do TV interviews out of fear?

In America do citizens and journalists now have to weigh exercising their First Amendment rights against their lives being being put under the microscope in public?

Behold the change Obama has wrought.

Can of Worms

So Obama's going to close Guantanamo Bay.

Good news I hear those big-hearted liberals say- those poor enemy combatants, held for years against their will so that they couldn't return to the battlefield and once again take up arms against America and her allies. Boo hoo.

Well, now that Obama's won he's planning on letting them out of Gitmo- and into America!

President-elect Obama’s advisers are quietly crafting a proposal to ship dozens, if not hundreds, of imprisoned terrorism suspects to the United States to face criminal trials, a plan that would make good on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison but could require creation of a controversial new system of justice. …

Under plans being put together in Obama’s camp, some detainees would be released and many others would be prosecuted in U.S. criminal courts.

A third group of detainees — the ones whose cases are most entangled in highly classified information — might have to go before a new court designed especially to handle sensitive national security cases, according to advisers and Democrats involved in the talks. Advisers participating directly in the planning spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans aren’t final.

And how many of these cases- do you suppose- will result in conviction in a criminal court? Let's not forget that these men were not arrested by police, read their rights and then extensive evidence collected. They were captured by soldiers during a time of war. They can claim their rights were violated by their capture, removal to Gitmo, being held without trial, their questioning, etc, etc. How much of that is going to get past a criminal court and still result in a conviction?

And those he's planning on releasing? Well, how many are going to claim that it isn't safe for them to return to their country of origin- how many are going to demand to be allowed to stay in the United States? If they are allowed to stay- what are they going to do then?

The war against Al Qaeda and associated jihadist groups still rages- and yet Barack Obama thinks it's a good idea to release these people? Would he have thought it a good idea to release Nazi prisoners of war before 1945- because, in effect, that is what's happening.

One last point- they're going to be taken to prisons on the US mainland (presumably). Won't that make these locations something of a target for their cohorts?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Support The Troops

A comment quoted at Smallest Minorty-

In my lifetime I've seen two Democrat Congresses clamor to allow the military to lose a war; one successfully (Viet Nam), one unsuccessfully (OIF). I've seen two Democrat Presidential candidates demand that they be voted in as Commander in Chief so that they can so order the US military to lose said war; one unsuccessful (McGovern), and one successful (Obama). I've watched Democrat Senators and Congressmen defame the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who daily risk their lives so that these retards can do that defaming at no risk to themselves. And I've just retired after 22 years as a commissioned officer in the US Army, so I can now freely criticize the US President.

No, I'm not going to hold back just because I'm "above all that". I'm going to be just as brutal to Obama as any Lefty was to George Bush because it matters. It matters that we didn't fight back against the slime merchants at their level, and now they’ve won. And now my fellow soldiers, my brothers-in-arms, the folks who had my back in harm's way, have to serve once again under someone who not only doesn't understand them, but loathes them and their honor. Now I have their back.

Obama isn't worthy to lick the Iraqi dirt off the bottom of the lowest ranking Army Private's boots. And I'm not going to let him and his ilk slime the military any more just because it's not proper.

No damn way.

Obama's already vowed to slash military spending, missile defence and to slow the development of future weapon systems. But he wants to increase language and culture skills.

His inane brand of hope and change applied to the US military. Now, more than ever, it would seem that the military needs all the support it can get.

Redistribution Goes Mainstream

You know, I suspect that in the years to come an awful lot of people are going to wish that they had paid more attention to the criticisms of Obama-Biden and the socialist policies they- and now more and more Democrats- espouse.

Nicki at Liberty Zone explains (using some harsh language) the problems with Democrat plans to steal your 401(k) investments. You see, Democrats don't think it's fair that you get to save for your retirement because, golly, some people won't be able to save quite so much. Hence, the plan to take the money you've saved and share it out among everybody. Aren't you glad you voted for an Obama administration!

Then Ed at Hot Air notes the mainstreaming of Democrat talking points on redistributing wealth. We can't have some people owning more than others- why the very idea!

We have been guided by a Republican administration who believes in the simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it and they have an antipathy towards redistributing wealth and they may be able to sustain it for a while but it doesn’t work in the long run.

It seems that Obama has made Democrats' mask slip- the rampant socialism, the out-and-out desire to take by force what you have earned and give it to those they think deserving, has come out into the open.

Take note- and make them face their words next election is my advice.

Obama Reaches Out To Syria

Obama hasn't been sworn in yet- he's still officially a Senator- but one of the first things he has chosen to do as President-Elect is to send an advisor to the Middle East, specifically to Syria and Egypt.

The Middle East Newsline has confirmed that Presidential-elect Barack Obama has dispatched his senior foreign policy adviser Robert Malley to Egypt and Syria to outline the Democrat's policy on the Middle East.

Mr. Malley, who served in the Clinton administration, relayed a pledge from Mr. Obama that the United States would seek to enhance relations with Cairo as well as reconcile differences with Damascus.

"The tenor of the messages was that the Obama administration would take into greater account Egyptian and Syrian interests," an aide to Mr. Malley said.

As opposed to Israeli ones. Jewish voters, are you taking note?

The aide said Obama plans to launch a U.S. diplomatic initiative toward Syria, regarded by the Bush administration as a leading supporter of the al-Qaida insurgency in Iraq.

So Obama has prioritised talks with Syria- a regime which is enabling attacks on American forces in Iraq.

And please note this too- Malley is described as a senior advisor to Obama- but Obama apparently sacked him during the campaign season. It took, what, a day or two for him to be re-hired once all the votes were in?

One of Barack Obama’s Middle East policy advisers disclosed yesterday that he had held meetings with the militant Palestinian group Hamas – prompting the likely Democratic nominee to sever all links with him.

Robert Malley told The Times that he had been in regular contact with Hamas, which controls Gaza and is listed by the US State Department as a terrorist organisation.

Now that Obama has the Jewish votes he needed to win the election, the guy who talks to Hamas is back on the team. Oh, and look what the Obama team said at the time of his sacking-

Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for Mr Obama, responded swiftly: “Rob Malley has, like hundreds of other experts, provided informal advice to the campaign in the past. He has no formal role in the campaign and he will not play any role in the future.

Can we believe anything Obama's said?

UPDATE - More on Malley here. Worth reading- his anti-Israel stance has a long history.

The Continuing Threat

National security may have faded from the number one spot during the election but the threat is still very real.

OSAMA bin Laden is planning an attack against the United States that will “outdo by far” September 11, an Arab newspaper in London has reported.

And according to a former senior Yemeni al-Qaeda operative, the terrorist organisation has entered a “positive phase”, reinforcing specific training camps around the world that will lead the next “wave of action” against the West.

For the sake of America- let's hope this is all just talk.

And in the UK-

Secret enclaves of al-Qaeda extremists based in London, Birmingham and Luton are planning mass-casualty attacks in Britain, according to a leaked Government intelligence report.

The document, which was drawn up by the intelligence branch of the Ministry of Defence, MI5 and Special Branch, states that "some thousands" of extremists are active in the UK. They are predominantly UK-born and aged between 18 and 30, and many are believed to have been trained in overseas terrorist camps.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

This is America?

Assaulted by cops and then arrested- for wearing a McCain-Palin t-shirt. Watching this made my blood boil. At about the one minute mark he pauses to talk to the camera, is completely non-violent- and is clearly attacked by a cop. The others with him have to calm him down "Whoah, whoah, whoah." The chants and the cheers of the crowd as he is led away...That's pretty chilling

Surely a case for the ACLU. Anyone want to bet they'll take it?

Yet More Change

When Obama's website was criticised for its mandatory volunteerism, the site was changed to remove that language. Over the past day or so, a few of us have begun to comment on his intent to introduce a permanent "assault weapons" ban. Thanks to a blogger at Daily Kos (now there's something I never thought I'd write), it appears that the Obama camp has caused a little more change- and removed all references to the AWB.

He does realise that the election is over, right?

My only guess is that they are trying to prevent Republicans geting up a head of steam now in their battle against some of these policies. Waiting until January will leave them on the defensive.

Either that or the team responsible is incompetent and has no clue whatsoever what his policies are. Which is odd because on his official Barack Obama website- you know, the one where he outlined his policies to potential voters- the language remains,

They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.

I would love to think that he has reconsidered the plan- truly a sign that he was going to be more moderate- but I have my suspicions that this is the case.

Obama's Replacement

Obama has named his replacement as Senator- long-time friend Valerie Jarrett. She's not someone I'm familiar with at all but here's what I came up through Google.

Since 1995, Jarrett has been a high ranking executive at Habitat Co., a real estate firm tasked by a federal judge to ensure the CHA ends segregation in public housing.

Under the Plan for Transformation, the city has lost more than 13,000 housing units for the poor at a time when low-income families face one of the worse housing crises in recent history. After years of neglect and abandonment, many residents doubt that Jarrett and CHA officials have their interests at heart.

Jarrett has pushed to integrate new developments by limiting the number of residents, mostly poor and black, who can live in the new communities. From the beginning, that stance clashed with efforts by residents and housing advocates to ensure the number of units set aside for the poor was as large as possible.

And this-

Jarrett has been part of Obama's inner circle since his days as an Illinois state senator. She identifies herself as a Chicago businesswoman, but according to Obama campaign advisers, she is much more than that.

She is Iranian-American, for one thing, and the Obama campaign has sought to keep her ties to Iran from press views, as it has also sought to keep her political background and deep and tangled business and personal relationship to the Obama family from sight. For example, while it's true that Jarrett is a business executive, she also has been a well-known political operative for Chicago Democrats back to her days working in the background as an adviser to late Chicago mayor Harold Washington, as well as the Daley family.

"She knows where are all the bodies have been buried in the past 30 or so years of Chicago politics and she knows all the tricks," says one longtime Democrat political consultant in Chicago. "If Obama had a political and financial godmother, it would be Valerie."

Jarrett is the chief executive of Habitat Co., which developed and managed large housing projects in and around Chicago -- and in Obama's state legislative district -- that were subsidized by federal and state housing dollars, and which were ultimately seized by federal authorities for what were unlivable conditions. While overseeing the company that managed these housing facilities, Jarrett also worked with long-time Obama friend and convicted felon Tony Rezko in raising money for Obama's political career.

Some more from Marathon Pundit. And from Doug Ross.

Ideologically Offensive

Looks like Obama's much-hoped-for swing to becoming a moderate once he's in the White House is not going to materialise.

Transition advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have compiled a list of about 200 Bush administration actions and executive orders that could be swiftly undone to reverse White House policies on climate change, stem cell research, reproductive rights and other issues, according to congressional Democrats, campaign aides and experts working with the transition team.

Obama will be able to undo much of what Bush has put in place without even having to go near Congress.

A team of four dozen advisers, working for months in virtual solitude, set out to identify regulatory and policy changes Obama could implement soon after his inauguration. The team is now consulting with liberal advocacy groups, Capitol Hill staffers and potential agency chiefs to prioritize those they regard as the most onerous or ideologically offensive, said a top transition official who was not permitted to speak on the record about the inner workings of the transition.

You know, when you put it in those terms it sure sounds a lot like Obama's going to be a centrist, moderate President. Right? I mean, a moderate, middle-of-the-road kind of President is sure to consult with liberal advocacy groups (sure sounds like lobbyists to me, but what do I know) to change orders deemed to be "ideologically offensive".

It sure looks like America is going to get a heapful of change.

As an after-thought (and in no way am I comparing Obama to Hamas), remember how pundits claimed that Hamas would act completely out of characer and stop being so radical once they came to power. Look how that worked out.

Obama Derangement Syndrome

Since the election I've read a number of conservatives posting on-line about how those on the Right need to take a chill pill and stop being so mean to Barack Obama. The general consensus seems to be that many who are vocally opposed to Obama are being completely unreasonable and are either suffering from, or on the verge of contracting, Obama Derangement Syndrome. The argument seems to be that you can't possibly continue to point out Obama's history and his stated policies because he's about to be President. He won the election and voila! he's turned over a new page.

Relax, they say, stop being such Barack-bigots. Let's just be nice because criticising Obama just makes you look like those morons on the Left who spent the past eight years making jokes and conspiracy theories up about George Bush, Dick Cheney and the rest of the administration.

Well, I for one am totally and utterly in favour of polite and reasoned discourse. It's been a pleasure here to occasionally engage in just that with those who disagree with me. In fact, I welcome it. However, and here's where I have a problem with these commentators, there is a difference between an unwillingness to forgive Obama his flaws and ODS. Personally I hold the view that he is a man of low character and I will not apologise for that- it's not deranged or unreasoned to come to that conclusion. Simply holding a job in the White House does not change a man's nature or his past. I do, or course, wish the best for America- whether a Democrat, Republican or Independent is at the helm.

Anyway, the latest of these "stop criticising Obama in case you go crazy" pieces is at Pajamas Media. Here's the comment I left-

I agree that ODS must be avoided but it’s not to early to start protesting an Obama administration and the plans he has for it. There’s plenty of evidence to use for this, including his own bill the “Global Poverty Act” which will tie US taxation to UN demands- and it’s projected to cost billions of dollars.

Not to mention the policies he’s stipulated he intended to carry out- among them a permanent “Assault Weapons” Ban.

Then there’s the incredible secrecy surrounding his transition team-
“There are some people who have been with us from the beginning who are clearly political liabilities or who won’t be able to qualify for a job, say, because they can’t get a security clearance,” says another aide, who was unaware of the unique Obama transition project’s tax status.

There’s no need to resort to the “ChimpyHitlerHalliburton” nonsense of the Left when we can- perfectly reasonably- be outraged by Obama’s long association with a man who declared war on America and who discussed the genocide of 25 million Americans.

I’ve read a lot of posts lately warning conservatives not to submit to ODS, some even going to far as to declare Obama- who has lied, cheated (his campaign donations) and involved himself with racists (Wright) and terrorists (Ayers and PLO-spokesman Khalidi)- a good and decent man. I personally disagree. He may be President-Elect but that does not, in my eyes, wipe clean the slate of his past.

The big difference between conservatives and liberals is that the latter camp have not only ridiculed and insulted the President for the past eight years, they have done the same to their country. Conservatives recognise the difference between the man holding the office and their nation. See all the stories about liberals, for the first time, flying the Stars and Stripes. Furthermore, we’ve heard endless stories and rants about Bush’s intention to establish re-education camps, install a Christian theocracy, etc, etc, etc. That would be the derangement part- it’s an unfounded, paranoid hatred of Bush.

On the other hand, the criticism on the right regarding Obama is, from what I’ve seen on blogs, based entirely on his avowed intentions and his factually established history. We don’t need to imagine an Obama presidency weakening the Constitution because he has stated in public that he intends to promote judges to the Supreme Court who will rule not on the Constitution but on their own, personal sense of fairness.

If the right does start to get a little deranged, I’m sure that there will be a good number of blogs- just like this one- who will point out that fact. Until that starts to happen however I’d appreciate it if some members of the conservative blogosphere stopped yelling at people (who thus far have couched their opposition to Obama in terms of his own plans for America rather than “that guy’s a jerk”) and accusing them of being unreasonable crazies.

I should also have pointed out that while conservatives are- and will- be opposed to the policies of an Obama Presidency, they will not lose faith in their country. Those afflicted with BDS, on the other hand, had no problems in attacking their own nation. They thought nothing of disparaging the troops at war (no conservative will do the same no matter how unpopular a war Obama sends them on) or of openly praising the enemies of America (see any of Zombie's photo reports for evidence of that.

Global Poverty Act Revisited

Now that Obama's won the election it seems prudent to go over some of the campaign promises and proposals he's made. One, an actual piece of legislation that McCain-Palin never once mentioned, is the Global Poverty Act.

The legislation would commit the U.S. to spending 0.7 percent of gross national product on foreign aid, which amounts to a phenomenal 13-year total of $845 billion over and above what the U.S. already spends. ...

There's nothing really obvious in the bill itself to cause alarm- but it makes reference to United Nations Millennium Development Goals. And it is implementing those goals which will cost the American taxpayer dearly.

The Pain of Govt. Healthcare

A warning about what nationalised health care actually results in- it's not free healthcare, it's a rationed system.

Thousands of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients have been denied effective NHS treatments on the basis of cost. The move – by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) – withdraws currently available treatment options.

The decision has been branded ‘a prescription for pain’ by the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA), a campaigning umbrella body which represents the views of arthritis charities, including the Arthritis Research Campaign.

At the moment there are three different types of treatment available to rheumatoid arthritis patients. When they are given it, it is necessary in 50% of cases to switch from one type to another as the treatments affect different people in different ways. Before starting the treatment there is no way of telling which will work best. Thanks to NICE (an Orwellian choice of name if ever there was one) if you aren't lucky enough to get it right first time then you're out of luck. Destined to remain in pain knowing that there's a treatment out there for you but which the NHS won't give you.

This, by the way, is all you need to know about NICE-

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which has been widely criticised for banning drugs from NHS use as too expensive, squandered £4.5million on 'communications' last year.

This was £1.1million more than the £3.4million the controversial organisation spent on assessing new medicines.

And this, dear reader, is how the NHS has fared under Labour in the UK-

NHS productivity fell by 2.0 per cent a year between 2001 and 2005, according to the Centre for the Measurement of Government Activity, the ONS unit that monitors public spending. That was the period of the biggest funding increase in NHS history.

From 2005 to 2006, productivity fell less quickly, by 0.2 per cent.

From 1995 to 2006, the NHS annual budget more than doubled from £39 billion to £89.7 billion.

A doubling in the budget- and more increases planned- but a few thousand people are being denied the only effective treatment available to them because it costs too much.

There is no cure for RA, but anti-TNF therapy can slow and sometimes even halt the progression of the disease, effectively freezing it in its tracks, while also controlling the pain it causes.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Government Growth

Under Obama's Presidency it looks like the government is going to grow even more bloated and become radically more expensive. How this alone fits into his plans to reduce taxes I don't know.

President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps ...

He's talking about an increase from current levels of 75,000 to 250,000 for Americorps alone in addition to doubling the size of the Peace Corps.

...and will create
a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps.

Interesting to note that- in addition to the changes made to the America Serves page noted below, more changes have been made. Now most of the details are just missing. It would seem that screen-capping his website is in order.

Not to mention his plans- which he doesn't seem to be publicising on his website- for a civilian national security force funded to the same extent as the Army and, perhaps more worryingly, "just as powerful, just as strong".

It would have been nice if he'd been asked about the creation of this incredibly expensive and disturbingly powerful entity just once during election season.

Evidently this is why he's going to require service- because otherwise they wouldn't seem to be enough people to volunteer for all of these new organisations. Don't forget- he's also planning on increasing the Army by 65,000 and the Marines by 27,000.

The Democrat Draft

I thought something looked a little different last night- LGF captures the changes that the Obama team are making to their website.


Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.


Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free.

Of course, simply removing the word "require" doesn't change his plans just the presentation of them. We can always remind people what Michelle Obama warned them about-

“Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation and that you move out of your comfort zone. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual – uninvolved, uninformed – you have to stay at the seat at the table of democracy with a man like Barack Obama not just on Tuesday but in a year from now, in four years from now, in eights years from now, you will have to be engaged.”

There we have it again- Obama will require it of you. Not ask but require and demand. Not "you should" but "you will have to".

See also this post.

UPDATE - He might have scrubbed this language from his .gov website but the material still exists on his Barack Obama website. Screen cap below. There's also a pdf of his service plan hosted at the campaign site.

Symbols of Authority

As has been noted Obama seems to be breaking the rules again with his .gov registered Change website. Despite the fact that there's no such thing as the "Office of the President Elect" Obama's colossal ego has created one. He seems to be obsessed with self-aggrandizement and these symbols of authority- the fake seal, the Greek Temple, heck, even the choice of location for his acceptance speech during the convention. There was even his seat on his campaign jet and reporters having to remind his staff that, way before the election, he wasn't yet in the Oval Office.

And now, as well as the imaginary office and unofficial .gov website, he's even giving press conferences with a pretend office placard.

Am I the only one who finds it a little juvenile and quite a bit narcissistic of him to do all this stuff?

Quote of the Week

Bill Whittle's articles are always a pleasure to read. This one stands out among all the post-election Republican analysis. Of course, it's Whittle so go read it all, but here's one passage which really stands out-

So consider this, my fellows in arms: On Tuesday, the Left — armed with the most attractive, eloquent, young, hip, and charismatic candidate I have seen with my adult eyes, a candidate shielded by a media so overtly that it can never be such a shield again, who appeared after eight years of a historically unpopular President, in the midst of two undefended wars and at the time of the worst financial crisis since the Depression and whose praises were sung by every movie, television, and musical icon without pause or challenge for 20 months . . . who ran against the oldest nominee in the country’s history, against a campaign rent with internal disarray and determined not to attack in the one area where attack could have succeeded, and who was out-spent no less than seven-to-one in a cycle where not a single debate question was unfavorable to his opponent — that historic victory, that perfect storm of opportunity . . .

Yielded a result of 53 percent.

Folks, we are going to lick these people out of their boots.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Inmates Running The Asylum

Telling the truth banned by courts. Nope, this isn't one from The Onion.

Arizona’s Supreme Court Justice has agreed to enforce the Hispanic Bar Association’s demands of banning the terms “illegal” and “aliens” in all of the state’s courtrooms.

Claiming that the terms are inflammatory, the president of Arizona’s Hispanic Bar Association, (known as Los Abogados) has asked state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor to stop using them at trials or hearings because they create perceptions of judicial bias.

In a strongly worded letter to the chief justice, Los Abogados’ president says attaching an illegal status to a person establishes a brand of contemptibility, creates the appearance of anti-immigrant prejudice and tarnishes the image of courts as a place where disputes may be fairly resolved.

It further points out that no human being is illegal and that a national Hispanic journalism association has roundly criticized the reference for dehumanizing a segment of the population. The letter goes on to criticize the state’s High Court for using the term “illegals” in at least two opinions and the term “illegal aliens” in dozens of others.

It concludes with a list of acceptable and unacceptable terms relating to illegal immigration. Among those the group wants banned are; immigration crisis, immigration epidemic, open borders advocates, anchor babies and invaders. Among the acceptable terms are foreign nationals, unauthorized workers and human rights advocates.

We can't possibly use the word "illegal" in a court of law, can we? And now, you're no longer allowed to call someone a pro-illegal immigration activist. The replacement term is human rights advocate.

I feel like I'm in The Twilight Zone.

Obama On Security

Obama on Homeland Security-

Prepare the Military to Meet 21st Century Threats: Barack Obama will not hesitate to use military force to take out terrorists who pose a threat to America. Obama will ensure that our military becomes more stealthy, agile, and lethal in its ability to capture or kill terrorists. He will bolster our military's ability to speak different languages, navigate different cultures, and coordinate complex missions with our civilian agencies.

Note the facets of the US military that he wants to improve. Now watch this-

He's going to slow America's development of future weapon systems but he wants to improve the Army's ability to navigate different cultures?

I don't know what to say.

Change Is Coming

David Codrea at War On Guns notices a detail on Obama's website that Second Amendment advocates should be aware of. And a startling illustration of the staggering hypocrisy of anti-gun politicians.

Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn't have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.

Unless of course, your name is Barack Obama, in which case, assault weapons- real ones not the lookalikes the bill would actually ban- are perfectly justified on the streets.

Obama- in favour of assault weapons in the hands of his 24/7 security detail to protect him en route to the gym. Opposed to law-abiding Americans possessing semi-auto rifles to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Hypocrisy you can believe in.

Obama And Decency

I've noticed a big difference between this election and the last. This time we have conservatives explicitly stating their respect for the office of the President, even while vowing to oppose those policies they think harmful to the nation. Last time, moonbats were so distraught they needed psychological counselling.

After reading AllahPundit's declaration that Dean Barnett thought Obama was "a good guy and a decent man", I felt like I should chime in. Given that I don't have the shackles that Obama is going to be my President, I don't feel that it's necessary to try and delude myself about these issues. I didn't do so at the time but then this morning I stumbled upon Patterico's argument "On Obama and Good Men." Now, to be fair, I understand completely where he's coming from- like it or not, Obama is President-Elect, and Patterico has declared an admirable intent not to succumb to the low abuse that characterised the Left while Bush was in office.

All fair and good. However, beyond this- and beyond being willing to engage in reasonable debate- he goes on to state-

So far, as I’ve said, I see him as a basically good and decent man who, like many politicians, has engaged in some highly questionable behavior in the pursuit of power.

And here's another point he made just a few sentences earlier-

Many here are calling him a bad man because he has done some bad things and associated with some bad people. It’s true, he has, and I can respect the people who write him off for that reason.

So, Patterico is in effect stating that Obama has done bad things, associated with bad people and also engaged in highly questionable behaviour but he is nevertheless a good and decent person. From where I'm sitting there is no logic to that. Sure, Barack's done bad things, he hangs out with bad people but he's still good and decent. What sense does that make?

I understand that he's trying to take the high road, to respect the office of President and to avoid the pitfalls of BDS. However, this goes beyond the stated goal of "it’s possible to disagree without being disagreeable". He could just as easily have said, "he's going to be our new President come January- let's not be asses about our opposition to his policies".

Good and decent people don't do bad things and associate with bad people- they don't spend their entire adult lives in the company of radicals and murderous terrorists (Ayers and Dohrn), they don't have dinner regularly with members of foreign terrorist groups (Khalidi and his wife), they don't attend a racist, hate-filled, anti-American church for 20 years and expose their children to same, they don't abuse their authority to attempt to shut down speech critical of them, they don't repeatedly lie about their associations and policies for the sake of their ambition- and good and decent people don't become the only Senator to have voted in favour of infanticide.

A commenter attacked Patterico over his "praise" for Obama on just this issue. He replied,

To this person, and many others, the fact that someone believes in partial-birth abortion means that they are a Bad Person. I consider the practice horrific, and it’s not overstating it to say I believe it is evil. For some people, it’s an easy step from that to saying that anyone who supports it is evil.

But Obama- who is more radical on these issues than all of the pro-abortion camp in Congress- is not, in his opinion, evil too- or even just a bad person. Perhaps I'm not nuanced enough but when a man takes actions to enable evil acts to occur, he does not remain untarnished. Obama is a man who had the power to speak out, to write a bill, to vote. By his actions he could have tried to prevent- in Patterico's own words- evil acts from taking place. Not only did he do nothing, he has taken deliberate steps to enable these evil acts to keep happening. Good and decent men do not stand by when it is within their power to prevent evil. Now, you could make an argument that not only failing to prevent an evil act but encouraging more to occur is not evil in and of itself. I might be able to accept you believe that line of reasoning- but I do not accept that you can go from that, from being a willful accomplice to acts you yourself have admitted are evil, to calling that same person a good and decent man.

Let's not beat about the bush- Obama is, in my opinion, a terrible choice for President. He has no experience other than promoting himself (and wasting over a hundred million dollars on so-called educational reforms that failed to improve education in any way) but more than that- he has not been straight with the electorate. He has gone to great lengths to obscure, obfuscate and outright lie about who he is. A good and decent man doesn't do that.

A good and decent man does not expose his children to the vile, racist bile of Rev. Wright every Sunday.

A good and decent man doesn't befriend a terrorist who planted bombs in the United States and who plotted to murder Army personnel and their girlfriends at a dance.

Would Patterico be so quick to label someone who spent a decade working closely with- and whose career was promoted by- an Al Qaeda terrorist who hated America, who declared war on the nation, who planned to overthrow the government and install a dictatorship, who discussed murdering 25 million Americans who he thought would to accept his ideology, who planned to bomb American soldiers a "good and decent man"? I don't think so.

People try to excuse Obama's troubling past by calling his associations political convenience. Sure, he befriended corrupt slum-lord Tony Rezko but that was just so he could advance his own career. He's still a good and decent man.

People try to excuse his membership of a racist, hate-filled church because that church isn't unique! So what if he listened to anti-white, anti-American sermons week after week and year after year- and took his children along too? Those are just the crazy things that some folks come out with- and besides did you know that some other black churches are just as racist and hateful too? Why, of course, Obama's a good and decent guy.

I will note however that a good number of black churches which teach the tenets of Christianity rather that Jeremiah Wright's black theology will take offense at being tarred with that same brush.

People try to excuse his association with terrorists. Hey, that was just bad judgement on his part, he didn't really think about what it meant to befriend and work alongside a notorious America-hating terrorist for years on end. And those friendly dinners he had with a PLO spokesman? Well, Mona Khalidi (who also worked for the PLO) is such a good cook- he mustn't have been thinking about the victims of Arafat's reign of terror. He's still a good and decent man.

But the simple fact of the matter is that there is no excuse. Obama is an adult- and apparently quite an intelligent one. He chose of his own free will to get involved with these people. He chose to vote in favour of infanticide- even though it goes beyond what most other pro-abortion politicians choose. He, and he alone, is responsible for his actions. And it is those actions he must be judged upon. They cannot be ignored or brushed aside simply because he has won an election.

In all good faith I cannot accept that a good and decent man would behave in the way Barack Obama has. On the contrary, he seems to me to be a man of exceedingly low character.