Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Note to EYE ON BRITAIN readers

I have been trying to find a Wordpress template (theme) for that blog which I like -- without much success. A couple of themes that I rather liked looked good in Firefox but were a mess using IE8 or Google Chrome! Amazing. The Wordpress people must use Firefox only. I have now reverted to what I think is the most legible theme and will stick with that for the foreseeable future. It's pretty plain but at least it seems to be fine regardless of which browser you use.

For users of non-Windows operating systems (such as the various versions of Linux), however, it's a different ball-game. If Linux users have any difficulty, they should probably try different browsers until they find one that works (or maybe use Debian instead of Fedora etc.).


Wrong Reagan

An excellent post borrowed from Dan Collins below. Supporters of the teleprompter kid criticize someone who does NOT need a teleprompter! What gall!

If you’re in the mood for more sneering liberal contumely directed at Sarah Palin, you could hardly do better than to check out Pam Geller’s appearance on Joy Behar’s show, talking about Palin’s crib notes. Ron Reagan, Jr. keeps on repeating the mantra, “my father,” while projecting the worst of liberal condescension. Let’s just say that he entirely lacks the common touch that was one of the most endearing traits of Sr.

The Younger’s only point is that Palin is an empty-headed poseur. Yes, it’s true that that’s exactly how liberals represented his dad—the empty-suited actor with the jelly beans—but the difference is that, as everybody knows, that was a false representation. That many of the same people who levelled the accusation that Reagan was an intellectual lightweight are now levelling the same accusations against Palin makes no difference. He is as certain as those people were (though they are willing to admit that they were wrong now, although it doesn’t impeach their judgment), just as John Cole was certain that his former beliefs were correct, and just as certain that they are correct now. Humility is not easily learned by the self-worshipful.

It’s true that Palin disparaged Obama’s reliance on TOTUS, referring to a “telegenic guy with a TelePrompTer” in her speech at the Tea Party Convention. It’s also true that Reagan often used the device. Nobody these days seems to refer to Obama as a Great Communicator, though. There’s a considerable difference, I think, between several cribbed prompts written on one’s hand, and entire speeches recited off of an electronic screen. We’ve seen on several occasions to our embarrassment what happens when Obama’s elocutionary crutch fails him, and it reminds me a little of Max Headroom. Certainly Reagan was learned in the Founding Fathers’ writings (Lincoln wasn’t one, Mika) and in American history generally; can one truly say that of Obama? Is it likely that Obama’s letters to all and sundry will find their way into a considerable tome after he’s gone? Reagan had the habit of writing. It clarifies thoughts, it makes one regard one’s audiences. Would Reagan have gone on about a nameless woman who wished to be buried (even though cremated) in one of his t-shirts (the one who, contrary to the narrative, did after all have health insurance, though it had a very high deductible)? I don’t think so. He had none of Obama’s tone deafness (the ears, they mock!). Liberals (mirabile dictu!) now compare Obama’s use of the device to Reagan’s, conveniently forgetting how they abused the latter.

Reagan wanted to get government off of our backs. He was a master at going over the heads of intermediaries to speak directly to the American people to make his points. We liked that, because it assumed our intelligence. The contrast with the way health care reform has been conducted could not be more striking. We are told that we are too dense to understand the provisions of mooted health care reform policy, much less how the whole thing would operate in the aggregate. We are told that there’s no point in questioning whether even our Congresscritters have read it: it’s so complicated that we’d, they’d merely come away confused—better to rely on the talking points. Any program that’s so complicated that it’s incomprehensible perhaps should not be enacted.

Reagan famously said that it wasn’t that liberals don’t know anything, it’s that they know so many things that just aren’t so. Included among those things is the conceit that they’re smarter. Joy Behar? Katie Couric? I don’t think so.

SOURCE. More on the Democrat sneers here.


ACLU-Think Applied to Terrorists

This morning, in hearings before the Senate Intelligence Committee, several Administration leaders defended the idea of giving the would-be Christmas bomber the same rights as ordinary Americans in a criminal trial. This thinking, which mirrors the ideas of the ACLU, offers several ways that tens of thousands of Americans may get killed in future terrorist attacks.

Some of the facts for this article, but none of the legal conclusions, come from an article on on 3 February, 2010. The heads of services who testified as a panel before the Senate Intelligence Committee were led by Leon Panetta, Director of the CIA.

On the day of the failed attack, the FBI questioned the suspect for "fifty minutes" until "the suspect had surgery for leg burns." FBI Director Robert Mueller claimed that the suspect "stopped talking" after the surgery so his agents "gave him his Miranda rights." That meant he was assigned a lawyer, whose first advice was for him to clam up, which he did.

The Administration is now crowing that the suspect is "talking again" after FBI agents went to Nairobi and "talked to his family." The idea that this is a substitute for competent interrogation from the beginning is absurd. The number of terrorists who have honorable families who will get them to come clean in order to spare their lives can probably be counted on the thumbs of one hand.

However, the most absurd comment in the hearing, in answer to a question from a Democrat member of the Committee, was this:

Q. Why did you Mirandize the suspect?

A. Because we wanted his testimony to be admissible in a later, criminal court case against the suspect.

I did not have my TiVo running when this exchange took place, so I cannot cite the precise Administration official who said this. Ultimately, this legal policy was probably set by Attorney General Eric Holder, since his office oversees legal policy for all parts of the Administration, and directly oversees the FBI.

Turning terrorists in war into ordinary criminals is a stated purpose of the ACLU. That thinking now permeates the Obama Administration. It puts at risk American military and civilians, at home and abroad, because of intelligence not obtained in the investigation, and in intelligence betrayed and charges dropped in the subsequent circus trials. In simple terms, it means the policy of this Administration is, "we will make a fatal mistake now, to prepare for another fatal mistake in a few months."



Republicans not so dumb

Leftists have been calling conservatives stupid since the 19th century but it has always been just another hollow Leftist assertion that tells more about their own large egos than anything else -- JR

A new Pew Research Center study provides evidence that Republican voters are smarter about current affairs, issues and news:

Republicans, on average, answered one more question correctly than Democrats (5.9 vs. 4.9 correct). These differences are partly a reflection of the demographics of the two groups; Republicans tend to be older, well educated and male, which are characteristics associated with political and economic knowledge. Still, even when these factors are held constant, Republicans do somewhat better than Democrats on the knowledge quiz.

Among the largest gaps comes over knowledge of who leads the U.S. Senate. About half (48%) of Republicans are able to identify Reid as the current majority leader, while only a third of Democrats can name their own party’s Senate leader. More Republicans can name Reid (48%) than Steele (37%), the RNC chairman.

The one question in the survey in which Democrats slightly outperform Republicans is about the number of women now serving on the U.S. Supreme Court. Close to six-in-ten Democrats (58%) know that more than one woman serves on the high court, compared with 50% of Republicans. Though the Democratic Party is made up of more women than men, this finding does not appear driven mostly by gender. Republican men and women are about equally likely to answer this question correctly (about half each), while solid majorities of both Democratic men (60%) and women (57%) get this question right.

More HERE. For an extended discussion of IQ and ideology, see here



Bush billboard 'rather clever': "Former US President George W. Bush has returned on a Minnesota billboard funded by some people who aren't happy with the way things are going in Washington. The billboard's tagline: "Miss me yet?" Beverly Master, office manager of Schubert and Hoey Outdoor Advertising in Minneapolis, said the message was purchased by a group of small business owners and people from the Twin Cities area "who just felt like Washington was against them". They want to remain anonymous. Ms Master said the billboard went up at the end of December overlooking Interstate 35 in Wyoming and is scheduled to stay up until at least the end of February. She said her company, which owns the billboard, has not done any others like it. Wyoming Mayor Sheldon Anderson called the billboard "rather clever" but said he doesn't know who's behind it."

Obama's rating plunges underwater for first time in new poll as just 44% give him their approval: "President Obama's job approval rating has taken another dive, putting him underwater for the first time in the latest Marist poll. Just 44% of the country approve of the work Obama is doing, while 47% don't like what they see. The tough reviews come as Americans still find the commander in chief likable, with 50% rating him favorably, and 44% viewing him negatively. And they still blame former President George W. Bush for the dismal economy. Only 29% of voters say the poor economy is Obama's fault; 62% agree that Bush left the problem on Obama's desk. Still, people think Obama's policies are not change they can believe in. Forty-seven percent of voters say Obama has not lived up to their expectations, with just 42% saying he has. A narrow plurality - 38% - think Obama's change has been bad, and 37% think it's been good.

Fudging jobless statistics: "Last week's new unemployment numbers were bittersweet. At the same time the Bureau of Labor Statistics was declaring that the unemployment rate had declined slightly, to 9.7 percent, the government also was announcing that the economy had lost about 824,000 more jobs during the recession from April 2008 to March 2009 than Americans previously had been told. If this sounds like bureaucratic doublespeak, it is. The government doesn't really know the exact number of people with or without jobs. The number reported each month is based on surveys, and surveys often can have methodology issues. As it turns out, the surveys estimating the number of people with jobs reported over the past couple of years suffered from some really big problems. That's where government falsely claiming 824,000 more jobs than actually existed comes into play. Unfortunately, those adjustments have so far been made only through March 2009, and there are strong reasons to believe the survey data since then also need to be adjusted downward."

Another choice New York Democrat: "New York Governor David Paterson, who got the job after his predecessor resigned in a prostitution scandal, is fighting unconfirmed rumours and news reports of womanising and drug use. The rumours about Paterson's personal conduct have been circulating in the state capital of Albany - and sometimes appearing online and in newspaper reports - at a crucial moment in the Democratic governor's career. His popularity has fallen precipitously, but he has vowed to run for re-election in November despite lack of support from Washington Democrats. Paterson, New York's first black governor, has cited as fabricated a January 30 New York Post report that he was caught by state police in the governor's mansion cavorting with a woman other than his wife. He said on Monday that he has not been involved sexually with another woman since he and his wife separated temporarily more than a decade ago, reiterating an admission he made upon taking office 23 months ago. The Post has said it stands by its story."

Russia Is Toast: "The concept of BRICs nations (Brazil, Russia, India China) as an investment theme has been a mind-blowing success, both for the investors who initially followed the idea when it was created in 2001, and for the man who created it -- Goldman Sach's Jim O'Neill. But let's face it, there's clearly always been an oddball in the grouping -- Russia. Maybe things looked a lot different back in 2001, but today, it's clear that Russia isn't the BRIC we hoped it could be. The population is literally dying off, the country's political development is going backwards, and in the end any success we've seen from the nation has been nothing more than Russia riding the wave of high energy prices".

PIGS go bankrupt: "They are called the PIGS — Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain. What they have in common is that all are facing deficits and debts that could bring on national defaults and break up the European Union. What brought the PIGS to the edge of the abyss? All are neo-socialist states that provide welfare for poor people, generous unemployment, universal health care, early retirement and comfortable pensions. Most consume 40 percent to 50 percent of their gross domestic product annually, a crushing burden on the private sector.” [See also here]

Bertha Lewis Quits: Thanks, James O'Keefe!: "Acorn CEO Bertha Lewis quietly resigned as state co-chair of the Working Families Party, a few months after James O'Keefe led the undercover sting operation against her non-profit. From New York's City Hall News: Lewis was a founding co-chair of the Party. According to Working Families spokesman Dan Levitan, Lewis stopped serving as co-chair “about a year ago,” though many people familiar with the Party were unaware of that change and Lewis was identified as a current co-chair in an interview on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show as recently as September. The change in leadership comes as the Working Families Party and many of its endorsed candidates are providing extensive email and other documentation in response to December subpoenas from the United States Attorney’s office in New York. Lawyers are also preparing to return to Staten Island Supreme Court on Feb. 23 for the lawsuit being brought against the WFP’s company, Data & Field Services, and the campaign of now-Council Member Debi Rose by Randy Mastro on behalf of five Republican-connected residents of her Staten Island district."

GOP blocks Obama labor board nominee: "Senate Republicans have succeeded in blocking President Obama’s choice of a union lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board. The 52-33 vote to move forward with the nomination of Craig Becker fell short of the 60 needed to overcome a GOP filibuster.”

Bureaucratic attack on obesity -- what a laugh!: "In the Oval Office this morning, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum in conjunction with his wife’s launch of a nationwide campaign to tackle childhood obesity, what he called the ‘most urgent’ health issue facing the country. … The memorandum creates a 90-day plan creating a task-force to provide ‘optimal coordination’ between private sector companies, not-for-profits, agencies within the government and other organizations to address the problem of childhood obesity.”

Some fatal Muslim arrogance: "Mohammed Afchal was only moments from his destination when the car in which he was riding mounted the kerb and hit a power pole. He was killed instantly. Mohamed, 15, was a short distance from Chester Hill High, where he was a student, when the white Holden Commodore driven by his friend Abdul Zreika, 15, came off Gurney Road just after 3pm yesterday. Police said the car failed to negotiate a bend in the road, hit the kerb, then smashed into the pole. Abdul, who was initially trapped in the wreck, was taken to Liverpool Hospital, where he remained in a critical condition this morning. At 15, he was too young to hold a learner's licence. "When you're unlicensed you shouldn't be driving, no matter what the situation is," Abdul's older sister, who did not wish to be named, said. The 15-year-old took the Commodore, his mother's car, without their parents' knowledge, the 24-year-old said."


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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