Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Jane Fondas hollywood, Al Gores, Sean Penns, Michael Moores, the hollywood lefty list could go on, an on. NO wonder they can't make a decent movie.
Bruce Willis, Michael Yon, and the Deuce-Four in IraqGreyhawk
From The Corner, Bruce Willis and Michael Yon on Iraq, the media, and a possible movie version of the Deuce-Four story. The two appeared on MSNBC's "Rita Cosby: Live and Direct" - I've added hyperlinks to the transcript below.
COSBY: Getting stories out of Iraq is not easy. Bruce Willis found that out firsthand when he went over to visit U.S. troops serving in Armed Forces.Willis spoke at the Deuce-Four's redeployment, an event Yon has promised will be covered soon on his blog.
Tonight, we are rejoined by an independent blogger who is bringing back some amazing pictures and stories from Iraq, Michael Yon. And also again with us is actor Bruce Willis, who is back with us on the phone.
It's great to have both of you here. You know, Bruce, I want to start with you. Last night, we talked a little bit about what's happening over in Iraq. You said the media isn't covering the full story. What are we missing?
BRUCE WILLIS, ACTOR: I am baffled to understand why the things that I saw happening in Iraq, really good things happening in Iraq, are not being reported on.
Michael has been over there, was embedded with the members of the Deuce Four, you know, the battalion that actually won the battle for Mosul, that -- Michael, correct me if I'm wrong -- these are the guys who allowed the election to take place, the election that happened just, you know, a couple months ago, to take place, which is, you know, just a monumental thing. And it's not being reported on.
COSBY: You know, Bruce, you know, let's face it. A lot of celebrities have not been over there. A lot of folks in Hollywood have been very critical of what's happening in the war. Do you think, if a lot of your colleagues in Hollywood went over there, saw it for themselves, they'd have a different opinion?
WILLIS: I absolutely think that. I think we live in a global world. And I think that -- I think America is just too isolationist.
And a lot of big choices are being made. You know, to say this is not our fight, when this is the same fight that this country fought 60 years ago and the entire world fought 60 years ago, for the same kind of terrorism, the same kind of thing.
This is not a new war. This is not a new kind of fighting. This is the same fight. And it's back. And it's time for it to stop.
COSBY: You know, we've seen some of these amazing pictures that we're showing here.
You know, Michael, there's a photo I want to show of a soldier and a baby girl, in particular. Here it is. Why is this photo so meaningful, Michael?
MICHAEL YON, EMBEDDED BLOGGER: Well, I shot that photo on a day when a suicide or homicide car bomber ran into one of our Stryker vehicles, injured a couple of our soldiers, and, unfortunately, there were a lot of children who had crowded around to wave at our people.
And the attackers had every opportunity to just wait a couple of blocks and attack our guys later, without the children being around, but instead chose to attack straight through the children.
And Major Bieger, who is in the photo, found the little girl -- her name is Farah -- and decided he wanted to get her to the hospital as quickly as possible.
And so he picked her up, wrapped her in a blanket, and loaded her into one of our vehicles and started to take her to the hospital as fast as possible. And unfortunately, little Farah died en route.
We went back to that neighborhood the next day, and the people there actually welcomed us with open arms. They welcomed us into their homes.
We got into a firefight there again the next day. And the people in that part of the city began to give us more and more information about the terrorists until it got to the point where -- it's very dangerous to be a terrorist now in Mosul, because...
COSBY: You know, it's incredible to hear these stories, Michael. I mean, it's amazing what you went through firsthand.
And, you know, Bruce, you know, as you're hearing these stories from Michael, I understand why your jaw just dropped when you saw these pictures.
Are you thinking, maybe at some point, you know, playing a role with the Deuce Four? Is that something maybe you'd consider?
WILLIS: We are talking about that right now. But it's not really about the film. It's about these guys.
It's about these guys who do what they are asked to do for very little money to defend and fight for what they consider to be freedom.
And it's not just for this country. It's for the world. It is time for terrorism to stop. And the United States is the country that can stop it. And that's what they're doing over there.
And there is -- I have no idea why this country is not getting the information that Michael Yon has, you know, access to, is, you know, showing people. It's just not getting out, and it's baffling.
COSBY: You know, Bruce, in 2003, you admirably offered $1 million for the capture of Saddam. I have to ask you, because just last night we had on our show so many of those pictures, those horrific pictures of what happened in Jordan.
And right now, we've got three thorns in our side. We've got Zawahiri, of course, who is Osama bin Laden`s right-hand guy. You've got Osama bin Laden himself. And then you've got al-Zarqawi, the Iraqi who everyone believes is behind the mastermind of the attack, just those horrible attacks on three hotels just last night.
Are you prepared even right now to maybe offer $1 million for one of them?
WILLIS: Well, that was a conversation I was having with members of the military. I've since been told that military men and women cannot accept any reward for the job that they're doing. It was more about my passion for trying to stop Saddam Hussein.
COSBY: Would you offer that if somebody else, let's say a civilian, is willing to turn one of them in and finally put this to an end?
WILLIS: Yes, I would. Yes, I would.
I want to live in a world, and so do the Iraqi people want to live in a world, where they can move from their homes to the market and not have to fear being killed. And, I mean, doesn't everybody want that? Who doesn't want that?
COSBY: You bet.
And, Michael, I'm going to give you just a few seconds. What are you most proud of? I mean, your pictures just really show the heart and soul there.
YON: I'd actually like to say something about Bruce Willis. He's one of the men who has had the courageous to stand behind the troops. And the troops absolutely respect and love Bruce Willis.
He came out to the Deuce Four redeployment ball in Seattle. And I wonder if he realizes just how much they appreciated that. And it's just so good to see a man of his stature throwing his entire weight behind our people who are in harm's way.
COSBY: It's terrific.
WILLIS: Thank you so much, Michael.
COSBY: And hats off to both of you guys, not just Bruce. And, Bruce, thank you so much for being with us.
And, Michael, keep up the great work you're doing. Those pictures are amazing. And please come back, both of you, anytime. Thank you.
WILLIS: Thanks very much. Keep it up, Mike.
YON: Thanks, Bruce.
WILLIS: OK, buddy.
COSBY: Thank you guys very much.
YON: Bye, Rita.
COSBY: Thank you.
Via: The Mudville Gazette
A government engineered food crisis
By Linda Chavez
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As if a housing crisis, rising energy costs and a soft labor market weren't enough to cause economic anxiety for the average American, now consumers are feeling the pinch of rapidly escalating food costs. The United States has long prided itself in being the breadbasket of the world, and Americans have traditionally paid a smaller share of their income on food than citizens of other developed countries. But the days of cheap milk, bread, beef and poultry may well be over — and Uncle Sam is partly to blame.
In 2007, the cost of a gallon of milk increased 26 percent; eggs went up 40 percent; and a loaf of white bread went from $1.05 to $1.28 from 2006 to 2008. Steep increases in the price of oil have contributed to these higher costs, but the federal government has played a pernicious role as well. By mandating that oil companies increase the amount of ethanol they blend with gasoline, the government has not only artificially increased the cost of corn, which is what most U.S. ethanol is made of, but has driven up the cost of other grains as well. Inflated corn prices encourage farmers to divert more acreage to corn, which means they plant less soy and wheat, which, in turn, drives the prices of those commodities up as well. The aggregate price of wheat, corn, soy oil and soy meal in the U.S. will be $61.7 billion higher in the 2007/2008 crop year than it was in 2005/2006.
Corn prices affect a host of other food prices as well. If you've ever looked at the ingredient labels on everything from bologna to canned tomato soup, you'll see that corn syrup is a common ingredient of many processed foods. Corn is also a common grain used in feed for cattle, poultry and hogs. As a result, prices for meat and poultry are going up, but even with higher prices, some companies in the meat industry still can't make a profit, and many are being forced to cut jobs and close plants. I've seen this firsthand as a member of the board of directors of Pilgrim's Pride, the nation's largest chicken producer, where we have already had to shut down one plant and close six distribution centers to cope with record losses directly attributable to soaring feed costs.
But what is most galling about the impact of government mandated ethanol production is that it does little or nothing to solve our energy problems. Ethanol proponents argue that it is cleaner than petroleum — which improves air quality — and that it and other alternative fuels will reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Both claims are dubious.
Corn-based ethanol is inefficient as a fuel for automobiles, reducing vehicle gas mileage by 20-30 percent in vehicles using E85, the highest ethanol content fuel. Fewer miles-per-gallon of gas essentially eliminates any savings achieved, even by mixing ethanol with gasoline in the lower 9 percent ethanol blends required in all U.S. gasoline today. And of course, it also takes energy to produce ethanol — for farming and distilling the corn and transporting the final product to the pump — and much of that energy will come from carbon-based fuels.
None of these arguments has stopped the aggressive ethanol lobby from getting its way with Congress, however, and pressure increases in presidential election years as Iowa farmers encourage candidates to pledge allegiance to ethanol during the Iowa caucuses.
If ethanol really were the miracle fuel its proponents claim, you'd think there would be huge profits in producing it in the free market. But that's not the case. Consumers not only pay for ethanol at the pump, they're paying taxes as well to subsidize ethanol production in the U.S. — and they're paying a hidden tax to keep cheaper, foreign sugar cane ethanol from competing with the domestic corn-based product. Subsidies to gasoline blenders amount to about 51 cents per gallon, and the government imposes a 54-cent tariff on foreign ethanol so that it can't provide a cheaper alternative for U.S. consumers.
And matters will only get worse as government mandates higher bio-fuel content in U.S. gasoline from the current 9 percent to 15 percent by 2015. Ethanol won't solve the energy crisis, but it may well lead to a food crisis in the U.S. and elsewhere. The U.S. Agency for International Development reports that the cost of providing wheat, corn, cereal and other foodstuffs to poor nations has gone up 41 percent since October 2007, which will mean we can provide less assistance to starving people around the world. Federal policy is literally diverting food from the table to the gas tank — and it's time we stopped it.
A guy goes to the supermarket and notices an attractive woman waving at him. She says hello. He’s rather taken aback because he can’t place where he knows her from.
So he says, “Do you know me?” To which she replies, “I think you’re the father of one of my kids.”
Now his mind travels back to the only time he has ever been unfaithful to his wife and says, “My God, are you the stripper from my bachelor party, that I made love to on the pool table with all my buddies watching while your partner whipped my butt with wet celery???”
She looks into his eyes and says calmly,
”No, I’m your son’s teacher.”
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
In an interview in conjunction with his big economic speech in New York, Senator Obama tells CNBC's Maria Bartiromo he favors increasing the capital-gains tax rate.
Bartiromo reported after her interview: "Right now, as you know, the cap gains tax is at 15 percent. He has yet to give us a specific number. How high he wants that number to go? He has said, and he told me today, that he won't go above 28 percent. So we are talking about the possibility of a doubling in the capital gains tax. He was averaging at about 25 percent."
Here is her exchange with the senator:
BARTIROMO: "How do you plan to change the tax code when it comes to capital gains? How high will that 15 percent rate go?"
Sen. OBAMA: "Well, you know, I haven't given a firm number. Here's my belief, that we can't go back to some of the, you know, confiscatory rates that existed in the past that distorted sound economics. And I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton, which was the 28 percent. I would--and my guess would be it would be significantly lower than that. I think that we can have a capital gains rate that is higher than 15 percent. If it--and if it, you know--when I talk to people like Warren Buffet or others and I ask them, you know, what's--how much of a difference is it going to be if it's 20 or 25 percent, they say, look, if it's within that range then it's not going to distort, I think, economic decision making.
Barry, bubby, Bill Clinton benefited from a very distorted dotnet economic bubble in which everyone took a % of nonexistent revenue and booked it as if it was real, then went public. I wouldn't want to try to use the 90's as a yardstick of how to go, they are in the past, and a past without history.
BARTIROMO: ...cap gains tax goes from 15 percent to 25 percent.
Sen. OBAMA: Right.
BARTIROMO: You're impacting a lot of people.
Sen. OBAMA: Right.
BARTIROMO: A hundred million Americans own stocks today.
Sen. OBAMA: Absolutely.
BARTIROMO: So it's not just the rich.
Sen. OBAMA: No, no, no, absolutely. And that's why I think that it may be, for example, that you could structure something in which people with certain incomes were exempted from this increase and it would stay at 15. The broader principle that I'm interested in is just making sure that we've got a tax code that is fair for all Americans. And I think it is not unreasonable to say--you know, I know that we'll get some arguments from some folks on this, but it's not unreasonable to say that those of us in the upper brackets have benefited disproportionately from a globalized economy; that those benefits have been compounded by the Bush tax cuts and that for us to roll back some of those tax cuts and to put this economy on a more stable fiscal footing and to make investments in the American people so that they can afford a decent life, that that is actually good long term for our economy and also good for investors and Wall Street.
Can you believe that HE believes this stuff? Let's make a MORE complicated tax code? Just tell us you want the money for redistribution of income, Robin Hood. WE ALL GET IT.
Who is John Galt?
Via: Villagers with Torches
A U.S. Marine stands guard as President Bush and first lady Laura Bush pay their respects after laying a wreath in the reflecting pool at the footprint of the north tower on Sunday, the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Via: MD Marines
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
‘I am a Jew, I am a Republican and I am poor’
By Michael Feldberg
The little known story of a Revolutionary-era manifesto linking American Jews with the ideals of democratic government, individual liberty and toleration
| POLLSTERS report that Americans are tired of political campaigns rife with smear tactics and attack ads. They long for candidates to focus on issues rather than personalities, to debate substance rather than mount character assassinations.
This preference for polite campaigning is relatively new to American politics and reflects a desire for civility in public life unknown in previous eras. In the early Republic, for example, the first two political parties, Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans routinely and falsely charged one another with corruption, sexual scandal and even treason. In Philadelphia in 1800, the Federalists introduced anti-Semitism into the political fray.
A vivid example is the vicious attack launched against Benjamin Nones. Born in France in 1757, Nones immigrated to Philadelphia around 1772. When the Revolutionary War broke out, Nones chose to fight for his adopted nation. In 1777, Nones saw heavy action as part of General Pulaski's legion. He earned the rank of major with a citation for bravery.
After the war, Nones returned to Philadelphia a war hero, but struggled to make a living. As a notary public and government interpreter, he barely earned enough to feed his growing family, which eventually numbered 14 children. Nonetheless, he was active in civic and Jewish communal affairs. Nones served as an officer of the Society of Ezrath Orchim, the first organized Jewish charity in Philadelphia and as president of that city's Congregation Mikveh Israel. He was also an active member of an anti-slavery society.
Philadelphia was rife with political rivalry throughout the 1790s with Nones in the thick of it. The conservative Federalists, representing the interests of merchants and financial speculators, battled Jeffersonian Republicans, who presented themselves as the party of small businessmen, farmers, artisans and laborers. Many Jews in the young nation leaned toward the Jeffersonians, considering them more favorable to religious liberty for minorities.
The Federalists responded to the Jewish penchant for Jeffersonianism with a barrage of anti-Semitic attacks. In August 1800, Benjamin Nones became their target.
That summer Nones participated in a Republican convention in Philadelphia. The city's leading Federalist newspaper, the Gazette, published a scurrilous account of the meeting, calling all who attended "the filth of society." It singled out Nones for its ugliest attack. "Citizen N——," it sneered, was "a Jew, a Republican, and poor," the three worst epithets in the Federalists' lexicon.
Nones immediately penned an impassioned response. When the Gazette refused to publish it, even as a paid article, he took it to the Aurora, the city's Jeffersonian newspaper, which was happy to run it. Although hot with indignation, Nones's reply conveys a dignity that transcends nearly two centuries.
"I am a Jew. I glory in belonging to that persuasion, which even its opponents, whether Christian, or Mahomedan, allow to be of divine origin — of that persuasion on which Christianity itself was originally founded, and must ultimately rest — which has preserved its faith secure and undefiled, for near three thousand years, whose votaries have never murdered each other in religious wars, or cherished the theological hatred so general, so inextinguishable among those who revile them....
I am a Republican!...I have not been so proud or so prejudiced as to renounce the cause for which I have fought, as an American throughout the whole of the revolutionary war....I am a Jew, and if for no other reason, for that reason am I a republican...In republics we have rights, in monarchies we live but to experience wrongs .... How then can a Jew but be a Republican?...
But I am poor, I am so, my family also is large, but soberly and decently brought up. They have not been taught to revile a Christian because his religion is not so old as theirs...."
Nones's letter breathes the fire of pride in his religion and nation. His manifesto links American Jews with the ideals of democratic government, individual liberty and toleration and reveals Nones as both a distinguished Jew and
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
A slice of toast and maybe some grapefruit and coffee?'
He declines. 'Thanks for asking, but l'm not hungry right now.
It's this Viagra,' 'it's really taken the edge off my appetite.'
At lunchtime she asked if he would like something. 'A bowl of
soup, homemade muffins, or a cheese sandwich?'
He declines. 'The Viagra,' 'really trashes my desire for food.'
Come dinner time, she asks if he wants anything to eat.
'Would you like a juicy rib eye steak and scrumptious apple pie?
Or maybe a rotisserie chicken or tasty stir fry?'
He declines again. 'No,' he says, 'it's got to be the Viagra...
l'm still not hungry.'
'Well,' she says, 'Would you mind letting me up? I'm starving?
Thanks Jeri H.
BAGHDAD (AFP) — US forces raided a "suicide bombing network" in Iraq's restive Diyala province on Sunday, killing 12 men, six of whom who had shaved their bodies in preparation for becoming human bombs, the American military said.
Major Winfield Danielson, a US military spokesman, told AFP, without elaborating, that the raid was launched east of the Diyala capital Baquba.
When ground forces closed in on the "target building", they came under small arms fire, Danielson said.
"Coalition forces, responding to the hostile threat, engaged five armed men and killed them.
"The ground force called for the remaining occupants to come out of the building but while some complied, others remained inside. Coalition forces entered the building and were fired upon by several armed men.
"Seven more terrorists were killed in the engagement, and coalition forces detained five suspects on the scene," he said in an emailed statement.
Assault weapons, ammunition and grenades were discovered on site and destroyed.
"Six of the terrorists killed had shaved their bodies, which is consistent with final preparation for suicide operations," Danielson said.
US commanders say the explosive vest has become the weapon of choice for Al-Qaeda in Iraq, with most jihadists nowadays wearing it and the the number of suicide attacks rising.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Passports probe focuses on worker
The State Department investigation of improper computer access to passport records of three presidential candidates is focusing on one remaining employee — a contract worker with a company headed by an adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama
The probe by State's inspector general will include polygraph tests for supervisors in the passport section to find out whether the three contract employees who accessed the records had a political motive or were part of a political operation to obtain personal data on Mr. Obama, Sen. John McCain or Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Two of the three contract employees had been fired before The Washington Times first reported Thursday on security breaches involving Mr. Obama's passport records. The furor expanded yesterday to incidents involving the passport records of Mr. McCain and Mrs. Clinton.
The third employee, who has not been fired, worked for The Analysis Corporation (TAC), which is headed by John O. Brennan, a former CIA agent who is an adviser to Mr. Obama's presidential campaign on intelligence and foreign policy.
The TAC employee is the only individual to have accessed both Mr. Obama's and Mr. McCain's passport information without proper authorization, a State Department spokesman said. That employee, who was not named, triggered an electronic alarm system, officials familiar with the probe said.
The accessed records have the data provided in passport applications and used by the department to issue or renew travel documents.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said he was unaware of the specific activities of the IG investigation but said all three contract employees will be questioned.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Iraqi Perspectives Project.
Captured Iraqi documents have uncovered evidence that links the regime of Saddam Hussein to regional and global terrorism, including a variety of revolutionary, liberation, nationalist, and Islamic terrorist organizations. While these documents do not reveal direct coordination and assistance between the Saddam regime and the al Qaeda network, they do indicate that Saddam was willing to use, albeit cautiously, operatives affiliated with al Qaeda as long as Saddam could have these terrorist–operatives monitored closely. Because Saddam’s security organizations and Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network operated with similar aims (at least in the short term), considerable overlap was inevitable when monitoring, contacting, financing, and training the same outside groups. This created both the appearance of and, in some ways, a “de facto” link between the organizations.
Way more here