Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Dear Tripp…

In Culture, Humor on August 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Perhaps time will bring maturity.

As long as I’m writing letters to Alaskans, I might as well add this one:

Dear Tripp, I’m so sorry.


Annoy the Left.

Dear Lisa Murkowski…

In Elections, Senate, Tea Party on August 28, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Senator Murkowski calls for primary "do-overs."

Senator, I’m interested in taking our country back from the progressives who have taken it so far off course. By your record I, and apparently many Alaskans, see that you are not.

There is a special kind of contempt that the public has for the likes of Al Gore and Al Franken for their electoral childishness. Senator, by your actions in this primary you are on the verge of reserving yourself a spot at that same table.

If you are indeed considering making a switch to run in the General Election as a Libertarian candidate then I have to question what that means for your beliefs and priorities. If choosing a party is a matter not of convictions but political expediency then I daresay you, Senator Murkowski, are a part of the problem in Washington D.C. and the Tea Party is right in looking to replace you.

It’s time to concede, Senator. The race was close and hard-fought but it’s done. Further tantrums on your part may succeed only in handing the General Election to your Democrat opponent.

Rasmussen: 29% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

In Humor on August 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm

According to a Rasmussen survey released today:

Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Likely Voters say the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken the week ending Sunday, August 22.

While up a point from last week, confidence in the nation’s current course has ranged from 27% to 35% since last July.

This is roughly the same percentage of Americans who believe in UFO’s. Coincidence? I think not…

Dem Health Legislation Torpedoes Low Cost Student Health Plans

In health care on August 24, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Told ya so.

Without a number of changes, it may be impossible to continue to offer student health plans, says a letter that the American Council on Education sent Aug. 12 to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius…

This is what happens when you pass intrusive legislation without reading it. Let the wild rumpus of unintended consequences start!

Mosque At Ground Zero, Not ‘Near’.

In 9/11, Terrorist on August 21, 2010 at 8:00 am

First, to establish some facts about the mosque at ground zero.

It is, in fact, at ground zero. Not near… at. Pieces of airplane fell through the roof of this building and were extracted from the basement. People who fell to their deaths from the World Trade Center buildings fell farther than the distance from those buildings to the proposed site of the new mosque.

Intended location of the Ground Zero Mosque

Further, the developers of the mosque, or Islamic cultural center as it is sometimes called, refer to the site as “Ground Zero”. This is clearly evident in tweets from Daisy Khan. Khan is the wife of Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf, Chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, the group heading the ground zero mosque project.

The term “ground zero mosque” is also found frequently in the Cordoba Initiative’s web site. It is abundantly clear that Imam Feisel, as Chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, and Daisy Khan, as head of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, specifically intend to associate this project with 9/11 and ground zero.

Erick Erickson at Red State says it well:

…this is sufficient to demonstrate that the “Ground Zero mosque’s” stewards aren’t unfairly tarred by the phrase: they wanted it. Everyone discussing this issue should face this fact squarely and honestly. It’s the “Ground Zero mosque” because it was conceived and intended as the “Ground Zero mosque.”

In spite of Cordoba’s apparent ease with the term “ground zero mosque”, the Associated Press has taken it upon themselves to rid the term from the media to the extent that they have the power to do so. In a “Standards Memo“, AP editors have decreed that the terms “ground zero mosque” and “mosque at ground zero” will no longer be used in AP stories or headlines. Since the AP feeds stories to news outlets large and small across the country, this sort of collusion stands to have a far-reaching effect.

We should continue to avoid the phrase “ground zero mosque” or “mosque at ground zero” on all platforms. We should continue to say it’s “near” ground zero, or two blocks away.


In short headlines, some ways to refer to the project include:

_ mosque 2 blocks from WTC site
_ Muslim (or Islamic) center near WTC site
_ mosque near ground zero
_ mosque near WTC site

Now, having established the fact that it is indeed a mosque at ground zero of the attack on the United States by Islamic extremists, the question is: why?

The banner at the top of the Cordoba Initiative’s web site proclaims that they are “Improving Muslim-West relations”. Though born in Kuwait, Imam Feisel was educated in the west and must surely understand western culture. He holds a degree in physics and a master’s degree in plasma physics… he’s not stupid. In any case, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that planting an “Islamic cultural center” at the site where three thousand people were murdered in the name of Islam will not engender warm and fuzzy feelings. If the building site at ground zero doesn’t logically fit with its stated purpose then the question is, what is the real purpose in choosing this particular site?

There are certainly Muslims in Manhattan who simply want a place to bring their families to pray, who are horrified by the murders perpetrated in the name of their religion by power-seeking lunatics. There are Muslims who would like to say “[expletive] you, Bin Laden; you don’t own my city or my religion.” Imam Feisel is not one of them. In fact, Imam Feisel has suggested that blame for the 9/11 attacks falls, at least in part, on the United States. He also stated that there was “insufficient evidence” to implicate Muslim extremists in the attacks. How’s that for improving Muslim-West relations?

Even the name “Cordoba House” as the Mosque was initially to be called, carries with it ominous implications. Cordoba, Spain was the cultural center of the “Golden Age of Islam” in the tenth century. Often cited as a time of “peaceful coexistence” it was rather a time when Jews and Christians were subjugated by the ruling Muslims.

For almost four hundred years the Jews lived in Al-Andalus amid the moderate Islamic rule based in Cordoba. Later came the insurgence of the Muslim fundamentalist Almoravides in 1055, and not long after their enemies, the Almohades in 1147.  Both groups brought with them radically stricter controls over the infidels (non-Muslims). During this time Jews continued to work as moneylenders, jewelers, cobblers, tailors, and tanners. Soon however, they would be mandated to wear distinctive clothing, including of the wearing of a yellow turban to distinguish them from Muslims. These changes were a foreshadowing of the stricter controls that would soon be put in place.

As the origins of the Cordoba House’s name became known, the ground zero mosque’s name was changed to “Park 51”. The statement that it makes, however, is unchanged as is the Cordoba Initiative’s determination to move ahead with the project even as prominent muslims advise against it. Doctor M. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy puts it this way:

To put it bluntly, Ground Zero is the one place in America where Muslims should think less about teaching Islam and “our good side” and more about being American and fulfilling our responsibilities to confront the ideology of our enemies.

Khan and Rauf avoid discourse on reform and political Islam. Instead, they simply give us the familiar, too vague condemnation of “extremism and violence.” They seem to conveniently view 9/11, al Qaeda and every manifestation of militant Islamism as simply a public-relations problem for “Muslims in the West.” Imam Rauf has even gone so far as to bizarrely say that the 9/11 terrorists were “not Muslims.”

In the end, I can’t support a legal block to the building of this affront to the memory of those murdered on 9/11. Our Constitution affords Imam Feisel the right to believe as he wishes and to peacefully practice his religion accordingly. My hope is that pressure from the 70% of Americans who oppose the idea as well as the opposition within the Muslim community will eventually prevail. Failing that, New York construction workers may simply refuse to build the damn thing.

(A humble tip o’ the hat to KingShamus for the aerial photo)

Rossi Wastes No Time, Issues Debate Challenge to Murray

In Congress, Elections, Senate on August 20, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Challenger Dino Rossi (R) issues debate challenge to Senate incumbent Murray (D)

With the Washington State Primary just days behind him, Republican primary winner Dino Rossi has challenged Democrat incumbent Patty Murray to a series of public debates as he vies for the Senate seat she has occupied since 1993. From Rossi’s press release:

The U.S. Senate race is one of the most important elections in the State of Washington in 2010.  Given the importance of this election, and the desire for voters to make an informed decision this fall, I propose we hold five debates in Washington State, in addition to one nationally televised debate.  I further propose we hold one debate in each media market hosted by local civic organizations, with two debates in the Seattle area.
The five debates in Washington State would be Lincoln-Douglas style, in which we would be allotted equal time to make opening statements, ask questions of each other, introduce new ideas, or defend policy positions.  A timekeeper would ensure each side adheres to time limits which are mutually agreed upon.

This is an opportunity for us to question each other on various policy positions in a manner which allows the public, not the press or interest groups, to dictate the issues covered.

The Washington Primary was flush with Republican contenders, some of whom earned noteworthy numbers. Pooling the votes cast for various candidates into “Rossi” and “Murray” voters (see graphic below), the two candidates are dead even heading for the General Election in November. In a left leaning state with a Democrat incumbent, that’s a significant statement.

Washington State Primary results. Candidates whose supporters would likely vote for Murray in the General Election are designated "D" while supporters who would likely vote for Rossi are designated "R".

After Seven and a Half Years, US Combat Troops Leave Iraq

In Iraq on August 18, 2010 at 8:34 pm

The last full US combat brigade heads south out of Iraq

With little fanfare, the last full combat brigade has loaded up their gear and driven out of Iraq. Left behind are 50,000 “non-combat” troops as “advisors”.

While any soldier will tell you that there’s no such thing as a “non-combat troop”, this is still a significant event. Private security forces will take a more active role in combat operations in areas where Iraqi security forces are not up to strength. It’s a bit of a bait-and-switch and the potential for a swell of anti-government insurgency to overwhelm the Iraqi forces is real. Still, our troops are coming out of harm’s way and that’s a reason to celebrate.

Hot Air has commentary as well as video from MSNBC that’s worth a watch.

The ‘Cost’ of Extending the Bush Tax Cuts

In Economy, House, Taxes on August 15, 2010 at 8:21 am


The New York Post ran a little blurb about the Joint Committee on Taxation and the debate on whether to extend for another year the Bush tax cuts to the top income brackets.

House Majority Leader, Steny ‘Strong-arm’ Hoyer, decries the $38.8 billion dollar “cost” of extending the cuts through 2011 as if it were an expense. If Hoyer can’t differentiate between “expense” and “revenue”, as the $38.8 billion would more properly be accounted, then he has no business making tax policy in the first place.

In early 2009, the Associated Press ran a story about yacht builders laying off workers because the economic downturn caused the wealthy to purchase fewer yachts. For all the mainstream media’s vilification of the “trickle-down” economic theory, the AP validated it in this story. Logically, if lack of spending by the wealthy takes away jobs, spending by the wealthy creates them.

Rather than the tired, class warfare battle-cry of “No fair! Tax cuts for the rich!”, Democrats could have simply skipped the most recent $26 billion bailout and covered most of the revenue short-fall. Instead, Hoyer, who can’t distinguish revenue from expense, has deemed himself better qualified to determine how money is spent than the Americans from whom he aims to collect it.