Sunday, August 31, 2008

Is the Republican Reform Beginning?

Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Governor of Louisiana

John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate was a bold and risky move, which may yet backfire on him as the Alaska Governor moves into the national spotlight. It does however, signal one encouraging development if the party is, in fact, beginning to turn to a younger cadre of up and coming conservative figures.

Palin seems on the surface to fit that bill. She is, of course, young, attractive and charismatic. She is conservative (pro-life, pro-gun) She also shot down that infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" that was propagated by old-time Republican hacks, Ted Stevens and Don Young (the former under indictment, the latter under investigation). She is also considered a reformer resisting the questionable practices of people within in her own party like the above two. Now, we will see and learn all we need to make a judgement of her on the national level. Whether she is ready for the VP slot or not, she represents the kind of figures that the party needs to produce and groom.

There are others. Michael Steele of Maryland, who was defeated in his run for the Senate in an ugly campaign (opponents threw oreo cookies at his feet, implying he was an "Uncle Tom" because he was a black conservative Republican), represents a growing conservative force with the African-American community. If McCain wins, look for him to find a place for Steele in his administration.

Another rising star in Republican politics is Lynn Swann, former Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver who continued to make his home in Pittsburgh after retiring from the NFL. He was defeated in his run for governor of Pennsylvania by Ed Rendell. He also brings a conservative message to black America.

Then there is Bobby Jindal, the Governor of Louisiana, who has brought a message of reform to a state that badly needs it. He was mentioned as a possible VP pick for McCain. As we speak, he is being tested by the looming Hurricane Gustav, that will probably crash into his state and most likely hit New Orleans hard tomorrow. If he performs well, his ascent is assured. First impressions are that he is moving fast and decisively to prevent a repeat of what Katrina brought.

(Notice that I did not mention Arnold Schwarzenegger. I can't believe they are giving this guy a major speaking slot. He defines the term RINO.)

Those are just a few of what I perceive as the hope of the Republican party to remake itself and return to its conservative base.

In that regard, I think another group bears mentioning. That would be the College Republicans on college campuses all over the country. These young men and women are standing up for conservative principles in a decidedly hostile environment. They have to bear the vocal opposition, disruption and ridicule of left-wing students whose only theme is that the US is evil, radical professors, who see their mission as to indoctrinate students, Muslim Student Associations, who align themselves with America/Israel-hating, Jew-bashing speakers and other left-wing anarchists. They (the College Republicans) are the best hope for a rejuvenated Republican Party.

In the midst of Hurricane Gustav, it appears the Republicans will hold a subdued convention, which could be shortened or even cancelled at this point. They would be wise to hold down the confetti, balloons and gasbag speeches. Bush, Cheney and the Gulf state governors and senators would be wise to stay away from St Paul and attend to the hurricane. Hopefully, the Republicans can show a better example than the masked ball we witnessed in Denver.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sarah Palin

No political statement here. Just trying to dress up my blog, like, make it more attractive, nicer to look at, you know......never mind.

Jimmy Carter Strikes Again

Pals: Jimmy Carter and Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez

I was sure I had caught a glimpse of Jimmy Carter wandering across the stage in Denver this week. The man who will never go away must have had a few days off from his duties in Gaza promoting the Palestinian cause and decided to haunt the convention for a day or two.

Not content to crash, I mean the Clinton's party, Carter said in an interview with USA on Thursday in Denver that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been “milking every possible drop of advantage from his time served as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.” Throughout his campaign for president, McCain has been “able to weave in his experience in a Vietnam prison camp, no matter what the question was,” Carter added. He also took the opportunity to blast Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) for his decision to speak in favor of McCain at the Republican convention next week.

How classy from a former president. (Carter, a graduate of Annapolis, served in the Navy.) But that is exactly what we have come to expect from the hapless Carter, from the criticism of his successor, Ronald Reagan, to the blistering criticism of George W Bush, Carter has never been able to conduct himself in a manner befitting a former president. Had he been a better Commander-in-Chief, he might get away with it. However, Carter's time in the White House was a disaster. (Remember the Iranian hostage crisis?) Even Democrats can only describe it as a "failed presidency" as they then praise his post-president years (which, in my view, constitute a failed post-presidency).

In recent years, Carter has busied himself with furthering the Palestinian cause and condemning Israel to the point that many Israelis and American Jews have concluded that he is an anti-Semite (I have not).

To most Americans, at least those old enough to remember the bleak years of his presidency, Carter is a discredited bumbler, who has failed to this day to come to grips with his own shortcomings. Now he denigrates McCain's experience as a POW in a manner similar to that of retired General Wesley Clark not long ago.

So now, with the Republicans about to start their own convention (if Hurricane Gustav doesn't interfere), Carter has slipped back out of sight, possibly back to that "peace farm" of his in Georgia (which is lavishly funded by Arab sheiks and governments) to think of new schemes to undermine Israel and his own government. But fear ye not. He'll be back soon with some outrageous comment or another book telling us how wise he is.

If only we would listen and take him seriously. Actually, the scary thing is....some people do.

Pennsylvania Joe

"and home of Senator Joe Biden"

Isn't it interesting how Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) has morphed so quickly into Joe Biden (D-PA)? From his first utterings since being nominated as Barack Obama's running mate, Biden has seemingly forgotten that he represents the state of Delaware.

These days, it's Keystone Joe, the kid from Scranton, PA. ("Scranton never leaves you", says Joe) Where did Obama and Biden head once the festivities in Denver had concluded? Pittsburgh, that's where. Why? To reinforce his Pennsylvania origins, that's why.

In truth, Biden spent the first ten years of his life in Scranton before his family moved to Delaware, that tiny insignificant state with only a fingerfull of electoral votes.

But Pennsylvania-that's different story. Pennsylvania is a delegate-rich state that is considered a crucial battleground state in November. Thus, Biden is once again a bonafide Pennsylvanian, tried and true, red, white and blue.

So once again, Joe Biden, the big-mouth, the plagiarizer, is giving everyone the big stroke-job in trying to convince the swing-voters of a major state that he is "one of them", a favorite son, if you will. Watch for the mainstream media to go to Scranton to dig up people who went to kindergarten with Joe or bounced him on their laps.

So, in the words of the Obama camp, is this politics as usual, change, or just more of the same?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin-All in All, a Hell of a Choice

Left: "Sarah Palin is inexperienced and unqualified to be president."

Right: "And Barack Obama?"

The Palin pick: A case of rope-a dope?

The more I see of Sarah Palin, the more I love this choice for a variety of reasons.

First of all, let me get one thing out of the way. I cannot argue that she is ready to be president from day one. She needs seasoning, and I pray McCain will be able to serve a full term. On the other hand, I don't think Hillary Clinton was ready either. More importantly, either is Barack Obama.

Of course, the Obama campaign jumped quickly on her rather thin resume. The first thing we heard was this from Obama spokesman, Bill Burton:

"Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain's commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush's failed economic policies -- that's not the change we need, it's just more of the same," said Bill Burton, Obama Campaign Spokesman."

What Mr Burton failed to remember was that his candidate, Barack Obama, is just as inexperienced as Palin if not more so. Apparently, some Obama staffers understood this because later comments throughout the day focused more on her conservative ideals rather than the lack of experience. Obama et al also have to remember that they alienated millions of women by their "dissing" of Hillary. Do they want to repeat that?

Of course, it could be argued back and forth who has the most political experience. Obama has 12 years in the Illinois State Senate and US Senate total, while Palin has 13 years in local municipal politics (small-town mayor and less than two years as Alaska's governor.) It could be argued that a governor has daily managerial experience, while a US Senator gives speeches and casts votes. At any rate, take your pick.

The point is that Burton's comment was a case of premature shooting from the hip. (Of course, it can be argued that McCain's arguments against Obama's inexperience have been weakened considerably by his choice of Palin.)

Not surprisingly, MSNBC broke the news in a thoroughly biased and unprofessional manner today. Under the headline "Breaking news", MSNBC flashed the pick with the sub-title; "How many houses will Palin mean for McCain?" (I may have a word or two off here, but it was a clear shot at McCain's bumbling of the number of homes he owns.) Is that what you call professional journalism? Whatever happened to the line between straight news reporting and editorializing?

Most conservatives seem to be very happy with the choice, and there are an abundance of reasons they should be. First of all, Palin is a solid conservative. She is pro-life, and just recently chose to have her fifth child last April even though she knew it would be born with Downs Syndrome. She is pro-gun (a member of NRA)and pro-drilling in ANWR. (Hopefully, she can influence McCain in that regard.) She is also, in virtually every respect, the un-Hillary. Did I mention that Palin (a former beauty queen) is also drop-dead gorgeous? That, of course, shouldn't count for anything-but it does.

Notwithstanding Mr Burton's statement, Palin's selection cannot be considered "more of the same". It was an exciting pick. Probably McCain and his advisers realized they were in a position where they had to steal the attention away from Obama. That they did.

I am certainly no advocate of picking people for jobs just because they fit into some gender or racial slot. Yet, America is fast approaching the day when we are not going to see many more all-male, all-white tickets. The country is ready for a minority president, just as it is ready for a female president. We should still insist on the right person, however.

It could very well be that McCain has played rope-a-dope with the Obama campaign, hoping they would jump up without thinking and scream, "inexperienced, not qualified". If so, Mr Burton fell right into the trap.

Thus far, I am very pleased that McCain chose a young and attractive conservative. As for the inexperience factor, which do you prefer, an experienced president with an inexperienced vice president or an inexperienced president with an experienced vice president? Take your pick.

Let's Play "Name Those Cheerleaders

The above picture shows:

a high school football cheerleaders
b college football cheerleaders
c Denver Bronco cheerleaders
d MSNBC anchors covering the Democratic Convention in Denver

If you guessed "d", you wouldn't be correct, but then, you wouldn't be far off the mark either. Such was the performance of the MSNBC anchor team of lap dog Chris Matthews, who has publicly confessed that Barack Obama makes his knees knock and attack dog Keith Olbermann. Both were united in their adoration of all things Obama.

However, there is trouble in pom pom land this week. First, it was reported that Republican Joe Scarborough had been crossing swords with Olbermann and Matthews. Then it was reported that Olbermann, who has burned more bridges in his career than General Sherman, was trying to get the network to oust veteran anchor Tom Brokaw.

Then, on Tuesday evening, Matthews and Olbermann got into an on-air spat over some petty issue, like who loves Obama more.

It all kind of reminds me about the crime story a few years back when the mother of some high school cheerleader hired a thug to do harm to another cheerleader who was rivaling her daughter for a slot on the team.

If that wasn't enough, last night, Olbermann, still thinking he was a commentator instead of his convention role as a co-anchor, picked out some article by an AP writer named Charles Babington, whose wire release an hour after Obama's speech had concluded that he (Obama) had offered nothing new, and that his speech lacked specifics. An outraged Olbermann read the first few paragraphs on air, blasted AP, and then told Babington:

"Charles Babington, find a new line of work."

(I have an idea Keith Olbermann might be looking for a new line of work soon.)

It seems to me that it is entirely proper for the network anchors to turn to their cadre of commentators for varied responses and opinions, as the other networks did. On Fox, conservative Britt Hume was very complimentary of the whole event, the historical significance, Obama's performance and the electric atmosphere in the stadium. Then he turned to a variety of commentators, yes, mostly conservative, who gave a range of opinions, some complimentary, some critical.

On the other hand, Olbermann and Matthews, when they weren't having a cat-fight, were gushing over Obama and everything Democrat. Who needs commentators when the anchors are doing the commenting? Who needs spin doctors when the anchors are doing the spinning?

But there is good news at MSNBC. According to the ratings, very few people witnessed the multiple embarrassments.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Obama Speech-What Will We See Tonight?

"The time is now! This is our moment! Change! Hope! More Change!"

Investco Field at Mile High is apparently getting a major makeover for the Obama speech tonight, Greek columns and all. One thing is for sure; the speech will be designed to appeal to the blind emotions of Obama's supporters. It should be quite a spectacle. Women will be crying and clasping their hands together with enraptured looks on their faces. As long as the teleprompter doesn't break down, it should be a scene of ecstasy throughout the stadium.

One thing that Obama convinced me of in Berlin; the man is a megalomaniac. Now I know why Bill Clinton is leaving town and won't be at Mile High tonight. Add Obama's ego to Biden's ego, and even a stadium that holds 75,000 doesn't have enough room for all three.

I hope that the people in the middle, those who are considering voting for Obama really take in the scene at the stadium, Greek pillars and all. I hope they ask themselves if this is the man that is going to raise up people from their low economic status. Is this really a "man of the people"-or just another self-aggrandizing politician? Will we be thinking of Martin Luther King-or the ugly rhetoric of Jeremiah Wright?

Furthermore, when the audience begins to think that he is not just another money-grubbing politician, I hope they will remember Tony Rezko. When he spouts rhetoric about his patriotism, I hope folks will remember not only Wright, but also William Ayres, an unrepentent Weather Underground bomber and fugitive, who helped get Obama started in politics.

But for those who have already considered those issues and cast them aside, ask yourselves, as you survey the 75,000 seat stadium with the artificial Greek pillars, why this man considers himself too big, too great for a regular convention hall.

Oh, in case you were wondering:

Top: Zeus at Mt Olympus
Middle: Vittore Emmannuele Monument in Rome
Bottom: Zeppelinwiese in Nuremberg

Obama Wows 'em at Mile High Stadium

As predicted, Barack Obama thrilled the audience of some 75,000 Democrats at Denver's Investco Field with a speech long on soaring oratory-and long on the classical Democratic, liberal tone as well. Set aside the oratory, and it was a speech that could have been delivered by Tip O'Neill. It was pretty much the liberal template masked in moderate language-education and health care given to all by the government. If anything, he contradicted himself.

For example: He tried to sound a middle-of-the-road tone when talking about taxes, but small business owners must be nervous as to what Obama will do as to their tax liability.

"Our government should work for us, not against us."

"I am my brother's keeper."

Translation: I will raise your taxes to give "stuff" to everybody.

There was the angry glass-half-empty, complaining about "raw deal America" (My words, not his). Obama quoted Phil Gramm, who had referred to America as a nation of "whiners". Yet, even as he derided Gramm to a convention of whiners, he proceeded to whine.

As he and other Democrats typically do, he prefaced his remarks on John McCain by paying tribute to his military history-then proceeded to rip into him. He attacked McCain's judgement in "supporting Bush with 90% of his votes".

Senator Obama: if you want to debate judgement, we can discuss little issues like Jeremiah Wright, Michael Pfleger, Tony Rezko and William Ayres. What does your years-long association with these folks-even as you became a politician-say about your judgement.

In the area of energy, Obama promised to end our dependence on Middle Eastern oil in 10 years...... but forget drilling. If this man thinks we will not be using oil in 10years, he is nuts. The choice for us is where are we going to get that oil until the day comes when alternate sources of energy are established.

He also reminded us that "we (Democrats) are the party of Roosevelt and John F Kennedy". Well, yes-and don't forget Truman, but you are also the party of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. (I'll stop there.)

To sum up, Obama used his great oratorical skills to put on a spectacular show at Investco. Once you get past the soaring tone of this clearly charismatic figure, what we are left with is Barack Obama, an experienced, unqualified and very liberal junior senator, who has just outlined the usual liberal laundry list, albeit in masked words.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Al Who?"

Yesterday, while teaching my English class for foreign students at the University of California at Irvine, I experienced a moment that made my day.

We were reading and discussing a chapter on "Urban Legends". After reading the passage and discussing some urban legends and traditional legends in their own countries, I tried to give an example of an American urban legend. The first one that came to mind was the one about Al Gore claiming to have invented the Internet.

Now, I studiously avoid bringing my political opinions into the classroom, lest I become like the far-left professors I always decry. I don't view my job as being to try and teach my students what they should believe about various issues.

So, as I described the legend about Gore and the Internet, I tried to do it in an impartial way and not denigrate Mr Gore or to make the case that he really believes he invented the Internet.

The "problem" was-no one in the class had any idea who Al Gore was. Nobody. I mentioned that he had been Bill Clinton's Vice-President. Nothing. I mentioned that he had run for president against George Bush in the 2000 election. I mentioned the movie he made, "An Inconvenient Truth". Nothing. Zip, zero, nada.

"Teacher, who is Al Gore?"

So much for my explaining an example of an urban legend. Once I recovered my balance, however, I realized it was a great day.

Night Two at the Demmies-Hillary Speaks

"Yeah, OK. I'm supporting Obama."

Last night, I actually caught a few lines of Barbara Boxer speaking at the convention droning on in the background while the announcers were talking about anything other than Barbara Boxer. Actually, John and Ken, our two irreverent radio talk shocks in LA were laughing about her new hair style.

But I digress (at the very outset). Last night's "main event" was the speech by Hillary Clinton in her orange pants suit. Actually, there is little to say. In a way, it was a typical Hillary speech. Her body language and facial expression cry out arrogance. But we already know that don't we? She said the obligatory things she had to say about supporting Obama. But it was all about her. Was she really comparing herself to Harriet Tubman?

As she spoke, there was her erstwhile husband, Bill, knowing the camera was on him and putting on that phony expression as if he was about to break out in tears of pride. Did anyone notice LA Mayor, Tony Villar (Antonio Villaraigosa) sitting behind the former president? The mayor, who has become a joke since taking over LA, didn't even get a 2 minute speaking gig at the convention. In consolation, somebody gave him a seat behind the former president during Hillary's speech.

Michelle Obama, for her part, tried her best to put on a warm smile of affection for Hillary, something we all know she doesn't feel in that mysterious heart of hers.

What was interesting about Hillary's speech was what she didn't say. When she mentioned Obama's name, it could have been any other opponent, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, or even Mike Gravel. She never offered what English composition teachers call "supporting details". Why are you supporting Obama, Hillary? Is it because he is ready to be president from day one? She never offered one example of why Obama should be president other than he is the Democratic nominee. Her words of support for Obama had all the passion of a form letter. It was like the New York Yankees wishing the Boston Red Sox good luck in the World Series.

As usual, this year's Democratic Convention is a convention of anger. A convention hall full of unhappy victims inside surrounded by thousands of unhappy victims demonstrating outside. Even Gloria Allred, the ubiquitous LA ambulance-chasing "victims" attorney is there (inside the hall) demonstrating on behalf of Hillary.

So it's on to tonight. Joe Biden will give one of his stirring speeches, but even more importantly, Bill Clinton will appear. Already unhappy at the time slot he was given, Clinton now says that his speech will last only 10 minutes.

What will he say?

Monday, August 25, 2008

The First Night-Ted Kennedy and a Home Run by Michelle Obama

After watching the first night of the Democratic Convention, there were obviously two things that stood out (neither of which were Nancy Pelosi or Howard Dean).

First of all, Ted Kennedy made an emotional appearance and spoke for about 10 minutes. Was it a classic Kennedy stem winder? Obviously not- his illness would not permit that, but he did look better than I expected, and he gave a full, albeit short speech.

Michelle Obama, for her part, gave a great speech. Credit must also be given to whomever wrote the speech. It was simple in words and content, but her manner and her smile made it, as they say in politics, "a home run". Everyone agreed that she had to do two things: She had to avoid looking angry and, yes, militant. She also had to do something to dispel that memory of previous statements that called into question her feelings for America.

"And that is why I love this country." I guess we all knew that there would be a line like this in the speech.

"....people like Hillary Clinton....." Yes, we also expected that Michelle had to throw a conciliatory bone to Hillary Clinton. Was that line forced on her? Almost certainly so.

Mrs Obama also used her smile to great advantage. She had to show a softer side, and she did. She came across as likable. I also would add that this speech was ten times better than the one we had to endure 4 years earlier by Teresa Heinz Kerry about herself in five languages.

By the way, where are you really tonight, Senator Obama-St. Louis or Kansas City?

Just nitpicking.

The San Francisco "Giants"

"And now, introducing YOUR San Francisco Giants!

Batting leadoff and playing 1st base- Gavin Newsom
Batting second and playing 2nd base- Heather Fong
Batting third and playing 3rd base- Cindy Sheehan
Batting fourth and playing shortstop-Nancy Pelosi
Batting fifth and playing left field- Barbara Boxer
Batting sixth and playing center field- Diane Feinstein
Batting seventh and playing right field- Carole Migden
Batting eighth and catching-Jerry Sandoval
Batting ninth and pitching- Barry Bonds"

Barry Bonds batting ninth and pitching???

With a lineup like this, what difference does it make?

* Glossary of those names you may not recognize:

Gavin Newsom- Playboy mayor, who presides proudly over a sanctuary city no matter how many gang members kill innocent people.

Heather Fong-Chief of Police who instructed her officers not to bother illegal aliens

Cindy Sheehan-War protester who is running for Nancy Pelosi's seat in Congress

Carole Migden-wacky state politician representing San Francisco (see my recent posting)

Jerry Sandoval- SF City Supervisor, who believes we should not have a military

Barry Bonds- former Giant pitching great

Denver Opens its Arms to.......This?

A street scene in Denver: Are these protesters-or just the San Francisco delegates?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My Comment to Daily Kos re: David Horowitz and the Muslim Student Associations

On August 15, 2008, Daily Kos writer John K Wilson wrote a piece attacking David Horowitz and his planned "Stop the Jihad on Campus" campaign. Wilson's article was entitled: "David Horowitz's jihad against free speech on campus".

Below is my response:

"I would like to respond to John K Wilson’s article of August 15, 2008 attacking David Horowitz’s "Stop the Jihad" campaign. As one who has been teaching part-time at the University of California at Irvine for the past 10 years, I can tell you that Horowitz is correct when he describes radical Islamic activity on US campuses. The campus where I teach is arguably the worst in the nation when it comes to radical Muslim activity and anti-Semitic expression.

The UCI Muslim Student Union (MSU) on a regular basis, brings in radical speakers who are not only anti-Israel, but anti-Semitic and anti-American to boot. Acknowledging the fact that there is nothing unusual about anti-American and anti-Israel thought on US campuses and it is, indeed, protected by the First Amendment , it is the anti-Semitic nature of these speakers that most concerns me.

This past May, the MSU hosted a "Palestine Holocaust" week. Among the speakers was Mohammed Al-Asi, a Washington-based Imam who, in a past appearance at UCI, referred to Jews as "low-life ghetto-dwellers" and made the following statement: "You can take a Jew out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of the Jew". As he was spouting his hate-filled rhetoric in May, a group of high school students on a campus tour was right behind him waiting for their bus. They had to listen to this hate speech. Meanwhile, that situation was ignored by a group of deans who more interested in playing hall monitor and keeping Jewish protestors from getting too close to the speakers. (The protest was entirely peaceful.)

Also appearing, as he does virtually every quarter, was Oakland-based Imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali. This hate-filled figure is an open supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah (as is Al-Asi), who glorifies suicide bombers and others who specialize in bombings against innocent Israeli men, women and children. This is another figure who hates his own country as much as he hates Israel. As he repeatedly called George Bush an idiot, he also referred to a black Army general serving in Africa (name unknown) as an "Uncle Tom". Free speech? Sure, but is this the kind of speaker the MSU wants to be identified with? What kind of conclusions are the rest of us supposed to draw?

In addition, during the week-long hate-fest, the MSU erected a mock wall simulating the wall Israel has built to keep out suicide bombers (with notable success). Along with various other photos and phrases, there appeared a cartoon drawing of Ariel Sharon, drawn in the unmistakable style of Julius Streicher’s Der Stuermer, the notorious anti-Jewish Nazi newspaper of the Third Reich. In the drawing, Sharon was portrayed with all the stereotypical Jewish features, hooked nose, thick lips and a leering gaze. This drawing remained on that wall for an entire week.

And who pays for these speakers and displays? MSU at UCI receives university funding-taken from student tuition fees including $6,500 for the "Palestine Holocaust Week". Indeed, the other half of the problem at UCI is a complacent and/or intimidated university leadership that will not address complaints about the hate speech, which they insist is "free speech". They will not even speak out publicly and condemn the things that are being said against Jews.

No one, including myself, has ever suggested that these speakers be dragged off to jail for what they say. At the same time, I object to the fact that Jewish students at UCI have to endure this hatred on an almost quarterly basis. Last May, a Jewish female student who was filming Malik Ali’s evening speech was followed back to her car by half a dozen male Muslim students and surrounded and harassed as she tried to leave. A woman from South Africa witnessed the incident. According to this woman’s account, when the campus police arrived and observed what was happening, they reportedly showed complete indifference. One officer reportedly stated to the woman, "It’s just the Muslims getting back at the Jews." (Though I have no personal knowledge of the incident, I brought it to the attention of the UCI EEO Office and requested they look into it. No one has ever gotten back to me about it. )

This is not to suggest that Jewish students have to live in fear at UCI. I would point out that 99% of the students at UCI are not involved in this ugliness. Yet, there is a problem at UCI that I see as twofold. First, there is a radical MSU that is clearly sympathetic to acts of terror against Israel. The other is the leadership at UCI.

Finally, there is this saying that has recently appeared on the campus website of the University of Southern California Muslim Student Association :

'Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him....'

The above is the hadith (Sacred Teaching) that is one of the most troubling writings in Islam. Fortunately, the USC Provost has just ordered the MSA to remove it. You can talk about freedom of speech and freedom of religion all you like, but the above statement is clearly an incitement to murder which has no place on a university website.

You may disagree with Horowitz’s politics, but in my view, he is performing a valuable public service in bringing attention to hate speech on US campuses. If the MSU groups across the nation want to make the case for Palestinians’ grievances, that is their right. If they want to bring in speakers who insult the US, and the President , that is also their right, just as it is my right to make the necessary conclusions and express my own reactions. When they engage in clear anti-Jewish words and depictions, then they deserve all the criticism they get. Likewise for an administration that tolerates and turns a blind eye to hatred on its campus by a small but vocal minority."

Gary Fouse
Adjunct teacher
Univ of California-Irvine, Ext

I believe this letter was written as a respectful response to Mr Wilson and focused on the issue of anti-Semitic hate speech. It will be interesting to see what kind of response it gets from Daily Kos and their readership.

California: Budget? We Don't Need No Stinking Budget

Top: San Francisco Democrat Carole Migden (with microphone)

Bottom: The "Terminator" and Democrats working on the California budget

The looniness in California continues unabated. More specifically, the looniness in Sacramento, our state capital, continues unabated. In case you haven't noticed, the state is currently operating without a budget since the new fiscal year kicked in July 1. At issue is the Democrats determination to raise taxes to keep all those great spending programs operating. The problem is that they need a 2/3 super majority to pass new taxes, and the Republicans-what few there are in California politics- are holding out against raising taxes. Of course, the Democrats want to throw out that "anachronistic" rule (passed by voters), pointing out that only two other states (Arkansas and Rhode Island) have a similar law (which seem to be able to get their budgets passed on time).

Of course, our Republican-in-name-only Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, under the behind-the-scenes influence of his wife, Maria Shriver, has pretty much forgotten his past stand against new taxes. "Everyding ist on de table," according to Arnie. Everything including lowering salaries of state workers to the minimum wage.

What the Democrats will never come to grips with is that Californians are already the most heavily taxed people in the nation. We pay the highest income tax, the highest sales tax, the highest gasoline tax, plus another 50-60 cents per gallon for that special fuel blend mandated by Sacramento to enhance the environment. But it is never enough.

As Tom McClintock (R-Simi Valley)has repeatedly pointed out, California does not have a revenue problem. For the past several years, revenue to the state coffers has outpaced the rate of inflation. The problem is that spending has outpaced revenue. You don't have to be Milton Friedman to know that is a formula that never works.

Not to be swayed, the Dems have now spent more taxpayer money to launch an ad campaign "to pass the budget". Of course, the secret message is that raising taxes is the only solution. The ad features the usual laundry list of citizen/victims whose very existence is threatened by losing out on all the great government programs like student loans, welfare, our great education, etc.

But back to Governor Schwarzenegger, who rode to power as a Republican fighting to roll back taxes. Since taking over for the incompetent Gray Davis (who was recalled), Arnie has presided over a deficit that has actually increased since he took office. Blissfully unaware, he insists that he has done "vonderful dings fuer Kalifornia". After getting into a heated argument over the air with critical talk jocks, John and Ken (KFI 640 am), he has seen his telephone lines in Sacramento swamped by callers telling him not to raise taxes (at the instigation of John and Ken, naturally). The result was that the public line had to be shut down.

Then, if that wasn't enough, last week, Carole Migden, a truly bizarre politician from, where else, San Francisco, launched into a verbal tirade against her entire staff in the halls of the capitol and proceeded to send them all home on Thursday telling them not to come back on Friday. Apparently, the lady has acquired a reputation for berating staffers and police who guard the capitol. The San Francisco Examiner has called her, "Sacramento's scariest boss". Migden, who thankfully, will leave office in November, is no stranger to controversy. Last May, she was involved in a 30 mile erratic spin in her state-owned car down Highway 80 before she bounced off a center divider and rear-ended another car.

So it goes in our state. Come to think of it, who needs a budget? My life sure hasn't changed since July 1.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Joe Biden- The Sensible Choice

"OK, kid, here's the plan."

There were so many considerations to be weighed by Barack Obama in his VP choice-so many that there was no perfect choice. But in the end, Obama made the best choice possible in selecting Joe Biden.

To be sure, Biden is not perfect. He has an abrasive personality-at least in public-and has a history of putting his foot in his mouth. This was the man who, not so long ago, described Obama as "bright, clean and articulate"-with all those unconscious racial implications. When he appears on C-SPAN talking down to witnesses in Senate Committee hearings, you find yourself wishing that someone would tell him off for his arrogance. And yes, I did refer to him in a past posting as "Joe the Jerk". He also has an embarrassing past issue of plagiarism that will surely be brought back by his opponents.

In addition, his selection seems to contradict the whole Obama message of freshness and change that has proved so popular up to now. Biden, a 6-term senator, is pretty much Mr Insider in Washington.

Perhaps most troubling for Obama is the fact that during the primaries, when Biden was a presidential candidate, the Delaware senator publicly questioned Obama's readiness for the presidency. Not only that, when asked about it at a debate, Biden stood by the remark-with an obviously uncomfortable Obama standing next to him. That will be sure to get a lot of play in the coming months. How many times will Biden be asked what made Obama ready to be president between then and now?

As for the other choices; Tim Kaine would have only added more inexperience to the ticket. Evan Bayh would have put everybody to sleep in the first week. Bill Richardson would have been a good choice as far as experience was concerned. Hillary? Aside from placating a few million women, Obama knew it wasn't worth the headaches. Bill and Hillary are not comfortable in any other place but number one, and Obama knew it. He would have been crazy to choose Hillary-if she really wanted it.

Biden gives Obama precisely what he needed; someone with political and foreign policy experience plus one perceived as more to the center. (God, I hope these politicos don't revive that word, gravitas.) A few months ago, I opined in this blog that of all the Democratic candidates, Joe Biden was probably the most qualified to be president. Given Obama's glaring lack of experience, that consideration had to be the deciding factor in the decision. (Not that I said it, I mean rather because.......oh, never mind.)

Friday, August 22, 2008

More Breaking News!!!

This is a Fousesquawk news alert:

Fousesquawk has learned that this evening, there is a lot of activity being observed in front of Joe Biden's house in Delaware.

USC Orders MSA to Remove "Hadith of Hate" From Website

“Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him….”

The so-called Hadith (sacred teaching) of Hate is one of the most notorious writings in Islam. It instructs Muslims to kill Jews. One would think that Muslims would try to keep this phrase secret from the rest of the world.

Not so the Muslim Student Association at the University of Southern California, which has even put the hadith up on its campus website. Now, as a result of protests lodged by David Horowitz's Freedom Center and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the university's Provost, Chrysostomos L. Max Nikias, has ordered the MSA to remove the hadith from its website.

I applaud the action by USC. Finally, one university (hardly a conservative bastion) has summoned up the courage to put the MSA in its place, albeit belatedly. This haditha should have been struck down as soon as it appeared. This cannot be considered free speech. It is a call to murder, plain and simple. If this is what USC's MSA subscribes to, it reveals them to be nothing more than radicals and vicious bigots. This kind of language has no place in American society. Similarly, those Muslims who subscribe to this "teaching" have no place in our society. Decent Muslims who want to gain a place in our society must turn away from this kind of language.

It would be nice to see my own university, (UC-Irvine)take similar measures against the MSU (Muslim Student Union). It would be refreshing to hear UCI's leaders tell the MSU that speakers who come to our campus and call Jews "low-life ghetto dwellers" (Imam Mohammed Al-Asi), glorify acts of mass murder by suicide bombers in Israel (Amir Abdel Malik Ali) and displays that depict Jews with hooked noses, thick lips and leering gazes are not going to be tolerated any longer at UCI. Don't hold your breath. The cowards who run UCI have, up until now, not summoned up the courage to confront the MSU and their vicious speakers. In fact, the MSU receives funding from UCI in the form of money taken from student tuition fees. The May 2008"Palestine Awareness Week" was funded by UCI to the tune of $6,500, according to Frontpage Magazine. Thus, UCI supplies funding to MSU to bring in hate mongering speakers and erect racist, anti-Semitic displays that denigrate Jews.

So it will be up to the rest of us to bring the public's attention to what is going on in academia. David Horowitz's Freedom Center, for one, will be putting on a "Stop the Jihad on Campus Week", which will occur during the week of October 13-17, 2008 on over 100 campuses across the nation. Public attention must be brought to the actions and words of these various MSA's across the country. Hopefully, the public can demand that universities crack down on hate speech on their campuses.

Breaking News!


Fousesquawk can now confirm that John McCain will not, repeat NOT be Barack Obama's vice-presidential running mate.

Operation Scheduled Departure Fizzles Out

Julie Myers, Director, ICE

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has just announced that its 3 week pilot program entitled; Operation Scheduled Departure has ended. The program, by which, non-criminal illegal aliens could report for deportation, has now concluded with a grand-total of (drumroll please).........eight (8) persons who turned themselves in.

As Lawrence Welk used to say, "Ah wonderful, ah wonderfulah".

Who in the world dreamed up that hare-brained scheme?

Probably Julie Myers, the thirty-something young lady who was appointed by President Bush to head the agency after a few years as an Asst US Attorney and various DOJ jobs. Some charged that she got the job because she was the girlfriend, now wife of Michael Cherthoff's assistant, John Wood. Others said that she got the job precisely because she was a lightweight, someone who could be pushed around. God only knows her agency doesn't get a lot of love and support from Washington.

Speaking of scheduled departure, didn't she announce a few months ago that she was leaving for a high-paying job in the private sector-as most of them eventually do? When I told that to a friend of mine who works for the agency, the response was, "good".

So how much did this "operation" cost? In order to justify 8 deportees, I would guess it must have been a real shoestring operation, like say $50?

On a more serious note, this is just another example of why we don't want to give more power to our government, say in the area of health care, etc. That is not to criticize ICE as an agency. I'll bet the mortgage that this scheme didn't originate in the field. It must have originated in agency HQs in Washington.

Therein lies the problem. When I was a DEA agent (1973-1995), we had a damn good outfit-at the agent and street level. The problem was whenever our HQs got involved. At that point, we were dealing with a bureaucracy, even though most HQs personnel were ex-street agents who had risen to supervisory level and were doing their obligatory HQs tour of duty. It was a completely different mentality. I am sure the same is true of ICE-and all the other agencies.

So, if you are one of those folks who want to entrust more and more of your life to government, remember Operation Scheduled Departure.

Let's Play "Name That Home"

"Which home are we going to, Dad?"
"Dunno, kids. Still waiting for my staff to get back to me."

In the interest of always being "fair and balanced", how many homes does John McCain own?

a one
b two
c seven
d unknown-we are still waiting for his staff to get back to us.

Boy, was that a terrible answer. When asked by on Wednesday how many homes he owns, McCain stumbled around a'la Barack Obama and said that he would have to consult his staff and get back with an answer.


How about this for an answer: "We own seven homes. I come from a wealthy family and Cindy comes from an even wealthier family. We are well off, and I am not going to apologize for it. There is no disgrace in being rich as long as you didn't steal it."

How easy was that? McCain should fire his staff and hire me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Yet Another San Francisco Sanctuary Disgrace

The cases of illegal alien gang members and assorted criminals protected by sanctuary city San Francisco never seem to stop. Now meet Mr. Eric Antonio uc-Cahun (19), who happens to be an illegal alien from Mexico, who had been twice arrested for gang assaults and gone through the local criminal justice system without ICE ever being notified. Now we learn that uc-Cahun was later arrested for his participation in a horrific gang assault and stabbing.

Here are the details: On August 13, 2006, uc-Cahun was arrested for felony assault in San Francisco and sentenced to probation. ICE was never notified. On October 18,2006, uc-Cahun was arrested for felony assault in San Francisco and received 4 months juvenile detention. ICE was never notified.

Then, on May 22, 2007, guess what happened. uc-Cahun participated in a gang assault on a man in San Mateo County. During the assault, uc-Cahun allegedly used a box-cutter to cut the man's stomach wide open. A prosecutor described the act as similar to "gutting a pig".

Tonight, on Fox News (Bill O'Reilly Show), guest hostess Laura Ingraham interviewed former SF Supervisor Angela Alioto, who helped write the sanctuary law for San Francisco. Alioto defended the sanctuary policy stating that nothing in the law prevented the city from notifying ICE. She then opined that the sanctuary policy of San Francisco had nothing to do with the stabbing in San Mateo County.

Of course it didn't.

It is getting to the point that the defenders of sanctuary policies in places like San Francisco and Los Angeles are starting to sound like Holocaust deniers. They are denying the undeniable and defending the indefensible. As the bodies of innocent American citizens continue to stack up, the actions of city officials who have shielded illegal alien criminals from Immigration authorities has bordered on criminal.

It is time for the Federal Government, specifically the Justice Department and the US Attorney's Offices in places like San Francisco and Los Angeles to determine if federal law has been circumvented and take appropriate measures including prosecution if appropriate.

Let's Play "Name That Veep"

Who will be in Springfield, Illinois on Saturday?

So now Barack Obama is milking his choice of a running mate for all the suspense and publicity he can, as if this is going to give him a huge bump in the polls. Obama will formally announce his choice as running mate Saturday in Springfield, Illinois, the town that he uses like a rented mule because it is the home town and burial place of Abraham Lincoln.

Meanwhile, the media is all in a tither trying to find out in advance who the pick is. Obama has announced that his running mate will join him on Saturday in Springfield. Thus, the leading candidates are now probably all under media surveillance trying to catch them getting on a plane for Springfield.

Suggestion for the mainstream media: You might want to hire the National Enquirer to do your surveillance for you. They are pros.

So, let's play "Name that Veep". Who, in your opinion, is sure to be in Springfield, Illinois on Saturday?

a Joe Biden
b Tim Kaine
c Evan Bayh
d Hillary Clinton
e Abraham Lincoln

If you guessed Abraham Lincoln, you are a winner!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Obama and the Illinois Born Alive Protection Act

Barack Obama, who it must be conceded at the outset, is pro-choice, is now caught in a controversy over his role as an Illinois State Senator in a 2002-2003 legislative fight over abortion. It calls into question whether Obama goes even farther than a pro-choice position in the abortion question.

In 2002, President Bush signed into law the federal Born Alive Law, passed by Congress that states that all proper measures should be taken to preserve the life of an infant born out of the mother's womb alive.

In 2002-2003, the Illinois Legislature was considering a similar state law called the Born Alive Protection Act. It was specifically designed to protect the life of an infant who survived the induced labor abortion process and came out of the mother's womb alive. (This process is not uncommon when the fetus is diagnosed as handicapped or deformed.) Obama concedes that he led the drive to defeat the bill, which he believed was in contradiction to Roe vs. Wade. (There was also a companion act called the Induced Infant Liability Act, which contained measures for lawsuits against hospitals or doctors on behalf of the infants.) The bill was defeated by the Illinois Legislature. Obama, who was Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee in the State Legislature, by his own admission, led the fight to defeat the bill.

This issue goes beyond abortion rights. It calls into question the issue of what is proper procedure when, during an induced labor abortion, the child exits the womb alive.

This issue has been highlighted by Jill Stanek, a Chicago nurse, who testified before Obama's Illinois committee of her own personal experience at a Chicago hospital. A child with Downs Syndrome had been born alive as a result of an induced abortion. According to Stanek's account, hospital personnel dumped the baby, still breathing, into a soiled linen closet. She told of retrieving the infant and cradling it in her arms for 45 minutes until it died. This, according to Stanek, was part of a policy of allowing babies to die who had survived the induced labor abortion procedure.

Obama, in his appearance at the Saddleback Church event just days ago, told Pastor Rick Warren that the question of when a fetus has human rights was "above his pay grade." Apparently, when he was in the Illinois State Legislature, he did not consider the question above his pay grade. He apparently believed then and believes now that a breathing human being that has exited the mother's womb alive during an abortion procedure has no human rights. If, at that point, the mother's wishes to terminate the child's life take precedence, then at what point does infanticide become illegal?

This issue should give abortion rights advocates pause. It should also give Obama supporters pause.

The Jewel of Medina-More Cowardice in the West

Add Random House Publishing House to the list of cowardly Westerners who are submitting to the threat of Islamic anger. Now the esteemed publisher has announced that they are suspending publication of a controversial novel by Sherry Jones entitled; The Jewel of Medina-a fictional account of the marriage of the Prophet Mohammed with an 11-year-old bride, Aisha. The author's Serbian publisher has also pulled the book. In the case of Random House, the decision was made upon the protest of a non-Muslim US professor. The Serbian publisher made the decision in response to the protest of a local Muslim group.

After Random House sent out advance copies of the book, they received a protest from University of Texas Professor (of Middle Eastern and Womens'Studies)Denise Spellberg, who derided the book (which I repeat, is a novel) as historically inaccurate and warned the publisher that it would incite violent reactions from Muslims. (Why is it always the professors?)

In the Serbian case, when the publisher announced that the book was being pulled, an organization called the Islamic Community of Serbia accepted the "apology" and announced that planned protests would be called off.

In her defense, Ms Jones denies any intent to portray Islam or the Prophet Mohammed in a bad light, and expressed disappointment with the decisions to pull the book.

What is disappointing is to witness another case of non-Muslims caving in to the threat of Islamic reaction, real or imagined. Random House states that they have received no protests from Muslims regarding the book. Apparently, Professor Spellberg speaks for them.

I can't speak for Serbia, but US publishers like Random House would do well to contemplate the whole issue of censorship-and self-censorship. When it comes to the history of Islam, given the present-day situation in the world with Islamic terrorism, which, many would argue, is rooted in Islamic writings, we all have an intense interest in the true nature of this religion and its implications for the rest of us in the world. If, in fact, Mohammed took an 11-year-old wife, that is a legitimate issue for our consideration. If it is historical fact, then how can we suppress it?

If Mohammed took an 11-year-old wife, are we not entitled to know of it?

The Saddleback Church Forum

Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA. Pastor Rick Warren

The consensus among conservatives is that John McCain greatly outshone Barack Obama last week in the event at Lake Forest's Saddleback Church. Wishful thinking on our part? I really don't think so.

In a general sense, I have to say that McCain came across as decisive, whereas Obama, minus his teleprompter, tended to meander his way through his responses, as he typically does. McCain demonstrated that he knows what he believes. Obama probably does too, but there is the suspicion that he is trying to walk a middle line to appeal to the greatest number of voters.

To be more specific, Obama handled the fetus question badly, as many others have already pointed out. When asked by Pastor Rick Warren at what point does (an unborn child) have human rights, Obama couldn't answer. His now-famous non-answer was a wandering reference to the scientific and theological implications of the question ended by an admission that the answer was "above my pay grade". (Excuse me, Sir, but if you are President of the United States, no one will be above your pay grade.) McCain, on the other hand, answered unequivocally, "At the moment of conception."

Obama also stepped in it over the "ideal Supreme Court judge" issue. When asked who he would not have nominated to the Supreme Court, he listed Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. While acknowledging Scalia's superb legal mind, Obama took a shot at Thomas in challenging his legal expertise and qualifications for the job.

What is that old saying about living in glass houses? How does Obama question the qualifications of Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court without reminding voters of one of his own biggest problems-the question of his qualifications for president?

In his answer, McCain listed the 4 top liberals on the Supreme Court (Breyer, Ginsburg, Stevens and Souter). For a conservative, that should be music to our ears and accentuates the importance of judicial appointments in this election.

Kudos to Pastor Warren in drawing up the questions and designing the format. One can question the idea of having such an event in a church, but both candidates participated. Personally, I don't think it is objectionable since the religious community has the same right to participate in the political process as anyone else.

This last observation may, indeed, be wishful thinking, but I see a downward trend for Obama. Perhaps, it is a case of too much exposure too soon, added to details coming out regarding his past and his associations. I also think the European trip turned off a lot of Americans-especially the appearance in Berlin.

I have made this comment before, but it bears repeating. Smooth talkers like Obama can talk their way in the front door-and talk their way right out the back.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Anderson Cooper "Car Chase"- War of the Worlds"?

As a follow-up to the reported Anderson Cooper "Car Chase" that appeared on Fox Sunday night, it appears that I (and others) may have been "War of the Worlded" by the Fox News Red Eye Show, and the whole thing was a spoof. While I am a regular watcher of Fox News, I was unaware of Red Eye until now.

Well, if that is the case, then an apology is due to Anderson, and I will happily accept the award as Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the Woooorld".

Deadbeat Congresswoman-Meet Laura Richardson

Congresswoman Laura Richardson, (D-CA)

The State of California is loaded with bad politicians, from the super-liberal to the corrupt, to the incompetent. One who might just take the cake is Congresswoman Laura Richardson (D-CA), who represents the 37th District of California (Long Beach)in Washington. Prior to being elected to Congress, Richardson was a figure in California state politics.

What sets Richardson apart from all the other bums? Richardson may be the only one who could be termed a "deadbeat" due to her history of failure to pay her mortgages on various California homes.

After being elected to the state assembly in 2006, Richardson purchased a 2-story home in Sacramento with no down payment and at a sub-prime mortgage rate. On July 27 2008, the lender, Washington Mutual, foreclosed on the home when Richardson stopped making her payments and failed to make payments for almost a year. (A lien had also been placed on the home due to unpaid utility bills.) Total amount owed was $578,000.

Even though the house was later purchased by a broker at a foreclosure sale, Richardson was able somehow to get the bank to rescind the sale and return it to her. How she accomplished that is a matter of speculation. The broker charged "preferential treatment".

In addition to all that, neighbors have not been happy with Richardson's care -or lack thereof- of the home. Garbage and uncut grass have been a chronic problem. In short, the house is the eyesore of the neighborhood. According to the LA Times, the City of Sacramento has declared the house a "public nuisance".

The Sacramento house is not the only home that Richardson has owned. She also owns a home in San Pedro, in which her mother resides, and a home in Long Beach. Like the one in Sacramento, the Long Beach home is in disarray. The LA Times reported on 5-31-08 that, in the last 13 months (as of May), Richardson had defaulted 5 times to a tune of almost $71,000. According to the Long Beach Press Telegram, while Richardson has worked out a payment agreement on the Long Beach home, the San Pedro home faces foreclosure.

So aren't the voters of Long Beach proud of the representative they have sent to Congress? Visit Richardson's official webpage, and you will see nothing of this scandal. What you will read is the "accomplishments" of Richardson while in office. I won't bother to recite them here, I'm sure you all know them by rote. She also informs us that she is the 239th woman in Congress, blah, blah, blah.

Laura Richardson. Remember that name. If Obama names her as his running mate, you heard it here first.

Anderson Cooper-Was There a High Speed Chase or Not?

Sunday night, I was in my hotel room in Afton, Wyoming. It was late, and I was climbing into bed when Fox News came on with a news alert reporting that there had just been a high-speed car chase involving CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper. If I am not mistaken, the incident occurred somewhere in New York State. According to the report, Copper was traveling at a speed of 130 mph and trying to catch up to some breaking story (no, it wasn't the John Edwards story.) A helicopter video was even shown showing a vehicle roaring down the highway swerving and running through red lights.

According to the report, details were sketchy, and more information would follow.

That is the last of it as far as I know.

Today, I did a Google search on the incident. All I could come up with were short blurbs from other blogs relating the same experience I had. One blogger mentioned hearing it on CNN. No one, however, seems to have any more information.

So here is my question: What the hell is-or isn't going on here? Was Cooper involved in a car chase or not? If so, where did the story go?

I want to treat this very carefully until it is cleared up. If this was a big screw up on the part of the media-Fox, CNN or whoever- it should be cleared up fast in fairness to Cooper. If there is something to the story, I have two words of reminder to the media: John Edwards.

In other words, some clarification is in order.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Message from Dr Frances Rice, Dir. of National Black Republican Association

Once again, I am happy to post a message from Dr Frances Rice, Director of the National Black Republican Association.


This is a campaign like no other. With your help, we will put up 50 - that's right - 50 "Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican" billboards all over the City of Denver, while the Democratic Party is having their national convention there.

What a way to upset the "coronation" of the Democratic Party's "messianic" presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama. Arrogant is the word for Obama, a far left-winger, who is attempting to assume the mantle of Dr. King by giving his political acceptance speech on the anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" inspirational civil rights speech. History shows that Dr. King was a minister who embraced the traditional values that made our country great. Obama has the most liberal voting record in the US Senate. Obama is no MLK.

Join the fun. Donate now to our Denver billboard campaign and help make history. No amount is too small. Click here to donate to the NBRA's Denver billboard campaign. Or to donate to the NBRA via PayPal click here.

Below is one of our MLK Was A Republican billboards. It is locaced in Sarasota County, Florida, along US-41 near Venice, FL.

Click here to help us put up 50 MLK Was A Republican billboards

Fousesquawk comment:

My apologies that I am not proficient enough to set up the clicks on my website. I would encourage each of you, however, to go to the NBRA website and take it from there. Black conservatives are a special segment of our population whose voices need to be heard.

PS: Was Martin Luther King a Republican? An intriguing question. Think before you jump to an answer.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"The Jews Are Our Dogs"

I am posting this article which appeared on the blogsite of my friend and colleague, Reut R Cohen. I think it illustrates the problem with anti-Semitism within Islam. Worse yet, it concerns a somewhat recent (July 2006) demonstration in San Francisco, where Palestinian Muslims chanted, "The Jews are our dogs".

"The following is an article by Joseph Wahed. It was particularly interesting as it delved into the issue of the Middle Eastern Jewish refugees." (Reut R Cohen)

'Jews Are Our Dogs'
By Joseph Wahed; August 22, 2006

A man brazenly shoots his way into the Jewish Federation of Seattle, kills a woman, and wounds four others, three critically. As he opens fire, the alleged assailant shouts, "I am a Muslim and I'm angry at Israel," as if to indicate that his religious affiliation gives him permission to kill Jews.

In a second incident, Mel Gibson, a Hollywood director and actor, is arrested in Malibu on suspicion of drunk driving. He allegedly screams at the officer, "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," not realizing that nearly all today's wars are Islamic wars. He also asks his arresting officer, "Are you Jewish?"

While Jew hating is not a new phenomena, it has recently become the insult de riguer in many parts of our society. And it isn't just gun-toting rampagers or drunk celebrities — the hatred is evident in the streets. Nowhere is that clearer than in a third recent incident, in which Palestinian Arabs in the streets of San Francisco chant proudly in Arabic and without fear of being castigated, "The Jews are our dogs."

It happened at an anti-Israel demonstration in front of the Israeli consulate in San Francisco on Thursday, July 12, organized by a Palestinian group called Al Awda. The demonstration was loud, boisterous, and passionate. Suddenly, demonstrators began chanting in Arabic "Al Yahud Kelabna," "the Jews are our dogs."

As troubling as it is to hear such sentiment voiced on a street in America, it was even more distressing for me since it conjured up terrible memories of when I was a young boy growing up in Egypt. These memories included Egyptian mobs descending upon the Jewish quarter of Cairo chanting "Al Yahud Kelabna," followed by violence that left some Jews dead and injured and the community dazed.

Egyptian Muslim mobs no longer do this, but only because there is no longer an Egyptian Jewish community to speak of. We once were over 80,000. Today there are fewer than 50 Jews remaining in Egypt, according to one official tally. Indeed, once thriving Jewish communities in 10 Arab countries were likewise cleansed. Today, only about 5,000 Jews remain in the Arab Muslim world, mostly in Morocco and Tunisia. Arab sympathizers blame the creation of Israel, but in reality Middle Eastern Jewry began to deteriorate years before Israel was established.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt was a much more cosmopolitan place than it is today. Whatever the broader ills of colonialism, Egypt under British rule was at least a place where Muslims, Jews, and Christians got along fairly harmoniously. But all this began to change as the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamic group two of the offspring of which are Hamas and Al Qaeda, began agitating against both the British and the Jews.

Along with the rise of Arab nationalism and Arab independence, life for Jews in Egypt and other Arab countries became intolerable. All this started happening years before Israel was established. Within a 20-year period starting in 1945, nearly a million Jews were forced out of Arab countries. Being Jewish was criminalized in Egypt in the late 1940s. Other Arab states such as Iraq, Libya, and Syria, passed similar laws. Jews began facing iron walls of discrimination and harassment by the authorities. Most of us were dispossessed. Our schools, homes, synagogues, businesses, farms, and hospitals, were all confiscated by Arab governments. Our rich, 3,000-year-old culture and heritage was decimated. No trial, no jury, no justice.

The demonstrators in San Francisco last week attacked Jews, not Israel. They did it in Arabic, perhaps thinking that only they would be in on the "joke." They didn't count on a group of indigenous Middle Eastern Jewish "dogs" being present at the counter rally across the street. In Arab culture, dogs are considered filthy, dirty beasts, and negotiating with "dogs" is not an option. Jews were often identified this way because for centuries we were living as a subjected people under the dominant culture of Islam.

We were a "protected" minority living under a religious caste system where we had to wear identifiable clothes, pay a special tax, were not allowed to ride horses, were forced to live in ghettoes, and were subjected to other indignities. Our fortunes fluctuated with the benevolence of whoever was ruling at the time. When the ruler was fair and just, Jews prospered. Otherwise, watch out. Massacres of Jews by Arab Muslims were not unknown. While most people know how European Jews suffered, little is known of the Jews of the Arab world.

Today, the Middle Eastern Muslim world is the most anti-Semitic of any region. Much of their media — television programs, cartoons, editorials — promote the kind of anti-Semitism not seen or heard since the time when Hitler walked the earth. In many mosques, too, throughout the region, religious leaders who are quick to take offense over such matters as cartoons about Islam regularly teach the vilest anti-Jewish defamation.

The effects of this "education" are seen and felt even in San Francisco, where a crowd of young Arab men and women feel perfectly free to chant "Al Yahud Kelabna." As long as Palestinian and other Arab children are taught such dehumanizing hatred of Jews, there is no hope for them, and there is no hope for us. Peace in the Middle East will not come with the next ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah, but only when tolerance, compassion, understanding, and respect for religious freedom become the dominant value in Arab society. When Arab young people honestly feel too ashamed to chant about Jews being "our dogs," then there will be real hope.

Mr. Wahed is a co-founder of Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa.

Fousesquawk comment:

This article brings up a subject which needs further attention on the part of the American public- the treatment of Jews in Arab lands such as Egypt which led to Middle Eastern Jews being driven from their homelands.

It also reminds us that it is particularly unacceptable for chants such as heard in San Francisco to be directed towards our Jewish fellow citizens on American soil-in any language.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Spanish Basketball Flap in China

"Affectionate gesture"?

This week, a photo was released of the Spanish basketball team in China. The photo, taken as an ad for a Spanish courier company, shows the players with their hands on their faces slanting their eyes in an apparent mocking of Asian eyes. Apparently, the pose was prompted by the company photographer. Understandably, the Chinese were not amused (they subsequently booed the Spaniards in their game).

What remains to be seen is if this will blow over in the rest of the world including Spain. The players are, for the most part, embarrassed over the reaction.

Reasonable people can disagree over the degree of criticism that should be levelled. Who is more culpable? A group of young athletes or the photographer and the company that thought the pose would be so cool?

Certainly, one would think that some of the athletes would have said, "Time out. This is not a good idea." Apparently, no one did. The one player who seems to belatedly understand that a mistake was made is Pau Gasol, who plays for the LA Lakers in the NBA. On the other hand, Jose Calderon, who plays for the Toronto Raptors, claimed it was an "affectionate gesture".

My reaction is this: Are Europeans currently less culturally aware than we Americans? An interesting question since many Europeans have criticized America's race relations for many years. Yet, Spain has witnessed some unfortunate recent incidents involving black soccer players.

Or is it a question of which ethnic group is being mocked? Europeans seemingly are super-sensitive to anything that offends Muslims since they have so many Muslims living in their countries. Are they less sensitive to sleights against Asians? Can the same be said of Americans, who are super-sensitive to anything that could be considered offensive to blacks?

Is there a sliding scale as to which ethnic groups can or cannot be offended? I suspect there is, as raised in the above paragraph.

My point is that all ethnic groups should enjoy the same protection, and that there should be no sliding scale. The Spanish photo was offensive, especially considering the fact that it was taken in Asia.

A lot of apologies are in order.

Off to Wyoming

Left: What I won't be doing in Wyoming

Right: What I will be doing in Wyoming (Think they'll like my Cubs cap?)

I'll be away for three days. It's off to Wyoming for my annual Army reunion (404 MP Co). All you liberals, enjoy the break.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

LA City Council in Action- Home Depot Shelters for Day Laborers

Day laborers swarm a vehicle outside a Home Depot in Washington DC
(Washington Post 6-17-07)

It's fun to follow the activities of the LA City Council-if you have a sick, cynical sense of humor. I qualify, so I enjoy exposing their antics. While a proposed measure supporting Jamiel's Law sits bottled up in committee, don't think that the City Council is doing nothing. Far from it. Now Council Member Bernard Parks (formerly LAPD Chief)is trying (again) to pass a measure that would force the city's Home Depots to build enclosed shelters for day laborers. Such shelters would include a covering, bathrooms and chairs.

Perhaps for those of you in Northeastern Maine, a little background is in order. In California, many Home Depot outlets, part of a large chain of big-box home repair stores, have day-laborers gathered outside in the parking lot soliciting work from customers as they exit. (Most day laborers are illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America.) This has led to numerous complaints from customers and neighbors who complain of harassment from many of the workers. In other words, they pose a nuisance.

Parks' measure would require any Home Depot in Los Angeles to submit a "day laborer operating plan" and to build an enclosed shelter for day laborers if their store has been the subject of complaints. The additions would be at the store's expense-even if the store has done nothing to encourage their presence, which could be a subject of debate for individual stores.

In 2006 the city of Burbank ordered that town's new Home Depot to build such a shelter which cost the store $94,000. Other Home Depots, such as the one in Signal Hill near Long Beach, have had such shelters for years.

The basic question is why businesses are being ordered to provide accommodations to people who were not invited onto the business premise to begin with, and who almost invariably, are in the country illegally. To protect the neighborhood and customers from a public nuisance? Why not use the law to remove the nuisance rather than accommodate the nuisance?

I propose a different solution. The police could treat the day laborers as a nuisance and order them to move on. Better yet, the Federal Government could effectively secure our border. Call me a radical, but it would simply entail enforcing the law.

As for Jamiel's Law? Can you say, "backburner"?

Monday, August 11, 2008

John Edwards-Will the MSM Go Back to Sleep Now?

Mainstream news media-After a hard day's work uncovering Edwards' infidelity, time for some well-earned sleep

Now that John Edwards has given his "semi-confession" to ABC News, the question begs to be asked: Is this just the beginning of a scandal that has wider implications beyond an extra-marital affair? Or will the MSM now take the position that Edwards has come clean, and it is now "time to move on"?

For the National Enquirer, this is not over. Edwards still denies paternity-even offering to take a test to determine if he is or is not the father of the child. Of course, he knows that the decision to allow the baby to be tested rests with Rielle Hunter-the same woman who is reportedly being paid $15,000 a month according to the Enquirer. She has now come out and stated that there will be no test, hardly a surprise.

But whether John Edwards fathered a love child with Rielle Hunter is not the main issue here. The real issue is the money that (according to the Enquirer) has been paid to Ms Hunter. That would involve money used to relocate her to Chapel Hill, North Carolina and subsequently to Santa Barbara, California. That would include the purported $15,000 a month. What about any funds paid to Andrew Young, the former Edwards aide, who claimed paternity and kept Hunter living nearby in the same gated community in Chapel Hill? Where has all that alleged money come from? We know that Fred Baron, former finance director of Edwards' presidential campaign, has admitted paying for Hunter's move to Santa Barbara to get her away from the prying eyes of reporters. According to Baron, the money was his own and paid without Edwards' knowledge. Have funds been disguised to hide their true source?

All of which may or may not be true, but it appears that someone has some very deep pockets. If the Enquirer allegation about the money is true (and Baron has corroborated part of it), there may be criminal violations. What criminal violations you ask?

If it comes out that campaign money/contributions were used to funnel to Ms Hunter, then there would surely be a violation of federal election law and/or McCain-Feingold. Let's say you sent money to Edwards' campaign. How would you feel if that money were used to provide support to Rielle Hunter and her child? Or to relocate her to North Carolina and later to California?

It is now a case of follow the money. Hopefully, the FBI and/or the Federal Election Commission will launch an investigation. Hopefully, they will interview the persons involved, subpoena bank records, bring folks into the grand jury, put them under oath and all that other good stuff.

Who knows? Maybe the MSM will assign their ace investigative reporters to get to the bottom of it. Or maybe, they will just roll over, go back to sleep, and let the Enquirer show them up again.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Fighting in Georgia- A Hope For Peace

This week's events in Georgia have brought back memories of my 1995 visit to that former Soviet republic in 1995, which I wrote about in a previous posting (The "Drug Wars" 5, Tbilisi, Georgia 1995). Georgia is unlike any other country. It is mountainous, ruggedly beautiful and the people (also rugged) are hospitable. But it was a dangerous place when I was there, and is obviously a dangerous place now as a result of the fighting between Georgian and Russian troops triggered by Georgia's intrusion into the breakaway region of South Ossetia. As of this writing, Russian troops are threatening the Georgian city of Gori, which, coincidentally, is the birthplace of Joseph Stalin (born Dzugashvili).

I won't take any political positions on the dispute, other to say that hopefully, the fighting can be stopped, a diplomatic solution can be found, and Georgia can retain its sovreignty.

Jerry Brown-California's "Crime Busting" Attorney General

California Attorney General Jerry Brown-Ever Vigilant in the War on Crime

Most people outside the State of California may not even be aware that former Governor Jerry Brown, who was known as "Governor Moonbeam"-with good reason, is still around California politics. Not only is he still around, he may take another run at the governorship in the next election.

After a stint as Mayor of Oakland, where he presided over an exploding murder rate, Brown has most recently been serving as California's Attorney General. If you have a hard time envisioning Jerry as a crime-fighter, you can't be blamed. As Attorney General, Brown's focus has been primarily on chasing down every last corporate polluter and providing even more disincentives for businesses to remain in the state. Violent criminals? Illegal alien street gangs? Forget it. Jerry has a larger vision.

Part of that vision is apparently using the position of Attorney General as a pulpit from which to push unionization on companies in the state. There is no better example than the 5-year-old battle involving the St Joseph Health System, a Catholic-run group of 14 hospitals under the management of Catholic nuns.

Currently, union activists are attempting to organize the workers of the hospital system. Guess who they have on their side? That's right, none other than the Attorney General himself. Not only that, but Brown has even chosen to personally appear at union rallies with other figures such as actor Ed Begley Jr. to call for "justice" for St Joseph workers.

In today's Orange County Register editorial, the paper points out that one union, Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers-West (SEIU)is even attempting to circumvent minor steps in the process-like having workers vote to decide if they even want to be unionized-to gain unionization over all 14 hospitals. The sisters claim that they are open to a "fair union election with secret ballots", but, according to the Register, SEIU wants "an exclusive mass organizing agreement with the health system that we (St Joseph) believe limits employee and employer rights..."

In late July, a week-long rally was held by United Health Care Workers organizers in front of the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St Josephs of Orange. None other than the Attorney General was there, and this is what he had to say:

"Union organizing is organizing for the well being and the common good. St Joseph, you have your work cut out for you to turn these hearts around and bring this union into convergence and alignment at the Motherhouse". (No, he didn't say anything about bringing the stars into convergence and alignment.)

My question is why is the Attorney General of California even involving himself in this questionable movement? Doesn't he have better things to do in a state already riddled with violent crime from illegal alien gangs and countless other elements? Shouldn't he be looking into the Sanctuary City policies of places like LA and San Francisco that are leading to the murders on city streets of innocent Americans? How about the blatant corruption of state political figures in Sacramento like Don Perata and Fabian Nunez? I guess not.

Instead, this bizarre political figure from a by-gone era devotes his efforts to enforcing his own social agenda-which often has nothing to do with the duties of his office.

Did I say by-gone era? I take that back.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Let's Play "Name That Criticizer"

Who made the following statement about Bill Clinton nine years ago?

"I think this president has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter." (AP/Orange County Register August 9, 2008)

a Ken Starr
b Newt Gingrich
c Sean Hannity
d Rush Limbaugh
e John Edwards

Answer: E

The Edwards Interview

After watching the John Edwards interview by Bob Woodruff on ABC's Nightline, I came away with a few reactions.

First of all, Edwards looked tired and wan-not surprising considering what he has been going through the past couple of weeks.

More importantly, beyond admitting that he committed a "serious error in judgement" and engaged in an affair with Rielle Hunter in 2006, I firmly believe that he is still lying about several key points, most notably being the father of Hunter's baby girl and not having any knowledge of monies paid to Hunter. I also believe that the coming weeks will show that.

First of all, Edwards stated his willingness to take a paternity test, something one would think he would have taken after the child was born in February. Not withstanding that point, it is easy for him to express willingness to take such a test. Guess who holds the keys to that castle? Rielle Hunter, that's who, and she is the woman who is allegedly receiving $15,000 a month from someone close to Edwards. Unless of course, Andrew Young wants to come forward and claim his parental rights to authorize a test (remember, no father's name appears on the birth certificate).

Interestingly, there was one part of the interview in which Edwards was clearly unable to offer a coherent response. That was regarding the picture of him in the hotel room holding the baby. For some reason, he did not want to concede that was him in the picture,even speculating that it might be a forgery. He told Woodruff that he was wearing a different blue shirt that night. His explanation was absolutely unconvincing.

One especially astounding statement came when Edwards told Woodruff that he "used the fact that the (National Enquirer) story contained many falsities to deny it", which he described as "being 99% honest"!!

Well, in that case, it's time to "Move On"- to Denver!

Not so fast, John Edwards. There is more.

In trying to explain why he was at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the evening of July 21-until 2:40 am- visiting a woman he was no longer involved with and a baby that was not his, Edwards stated that he wanted to convince Hunter not to reveal the affair.

My question is, what was different two weeks ago from 2 months ago or last year, when he and Hunter were denying the story? Wasn't she getting $15,000 a month and living in a swanky home in Santa Barbara?

And that leads to what may be Edwards' biggest problem down the pike. Where is all that money coming from? Edwards told Woodruff that he had no idea. Meanwhile, with the story breaking, his former campaign finance (FINANCE) director, Fred Baron, is now saying that he threw a few bucks in Hunter's direction-without Edwards' knowledge. More specifically, Baron has told the Dallas Morning News that he paid (with his own funds) to have Ms Hunter relocated from Chapel Hill, NC to Santa Barbara because she was being hounded by reporters. At this point, beyond a personal indiscretion, is there a possibility that campaign funds and contributions were being diverted to Edwards' mistress? I am not saying this is the case, but I think it merits an inquiry by whichever regulatory/law enforcement agency has jurisdiction, to say nothing of all those ace investigative reporters working for the mainstream news media-if they are interested. On the other hand, I suppose they could just leave it to that trashy tabloid National Enquirer to continue doing their job for them.

The bottom line is this: Edwards, in his public statement, says that now that he has come clean, he will have no further statement on the matter. He is mistaken. In my opinion, his interview and his statement are still full of lies. Mr Edwards still has a lot of questions to answer-questions that will not stop now that the story has finally come out. He apparently is hiding something. He does not want to own up to being the father of the child, and he does not want to admit any connection to a lot of money that has been paid to Ms Hunter to move her around the country and support her.

This story is not going away any time soon. Nor should it.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Mexico's Anger is Misplaced

Does the Mexican Government know their names?

Jennifer Ertman (14 years old at the time of her death in 1993)
Elizabeth Pena (16 years old at the time of her death in 1993)

Those are two names that mean nothing in Mexico. They are unknown to the Mexican Government officials who protested the execution of Jose Medellin in Texas this past week.

Their names are not known and mean nothing to the International Court in The Hague that "ordered" the US Government to have the case of Jose Medellin reopened and reviewed because, at the time of Medellin's arrest in 1993, Mexican Consular officials were not notified.

Their names mean nothing to the ACLU.

Sorry to say, I'm not even sure their names are known to anyone in the Bush Administration that asked Texas to reopen and review the case.

In 1993, Elizabeth Pena and Jennifer Ertman were attacked by several gang members including Jose Medellin in a Texas park. They were raped and murdered. Medellin, a Mexican national, who was in the country illegally, was eventually convicted for the crime-and finally, thankfully executed.

The Mexican Government is outraged. Yet, apparently, the average Mexican citizen is too concerned about rampant violent crime south of the border to worry about the execution of a vicious murderer north of the border. Indeed, many in Mexico are calling for the death penalty in their own country.

What the Mexican Government chooses to ignore is its own failures. Failures such as failing to provide any decent education to its masses, which leads to lack of jobs and opportunities for the Mexican people. It is not surprising that millions of Mexicans choose to enter the US to find work. Unfortunately, we also get many thousands of Mexico's criminal element.

One of the great myths is that Mexico is a poor country. Not true. In fact, Mexico is a very wealthy country inhabited by millions of poor people. Consider this: The nation of Mexico has historically been rich in natural resources; gold, silver, tin, copper, petroleum and 4 beautiful coastlines that draw in millions of tourists. The problem is that all the wealth stays in the hands of the ruling oligarchy and corrupt government officials. Nothing is left for the average Mexican.

In addition, Mexico possesses what is probably the most corrupt and brutal police force in the world-both at the national and local level. When DEA Agent, Enrique Camarena was kidnapped in Mexico by drug dealers and tortured to death in 1985, it was discovered that Mexican police officers were themselves involved. As a US Customs and later DEA agent, I had a few "opportunities" to work cases with Mexican police. In my last years before retirement in 1995, I participated in two training seminars for new federal police agents at the Mexican National Police Academy in Mexico City. I also taught in another Mexican police training course in the Washington DC area after my retirement. It was an exercise in futility. No matter how many times Mexico introduced us to the so-called "new breed" of federal agents, the result has always been the same.

Sadly, the whole system in Mexico is incurably corrupt. I am afraid the only thing that might change it would be a revolution. I also think that the wave of millions of poor Mexicans who are in the US, had they been in Mexico, might have revolted by now.

Mexico's outrage against the US is misdirected. That nation and its leaders need to look themselves in the mirror. They should ask themselves why people like Jose Medellin are so important to them while people like Elizabeth Pena and Jennifer Ertman are not. Mexico owes a formal apology to the US and to the Pena and Ertman families for the outrages committed by some of their citizens who are in our country.