Friday, November 18, 2011

Observations From the Back Row: 11/18/11

These are my picks for the day.

Netherlands Sliding into the Abyss
In a new interview in the Dutch magazine Panorama, Geert Wilders talks about a variety of things, including his forthcoming book about Islam, which will be published in the U.S. in April. In it, he says, he’ll document the fact that “Islam is a dangerous ideology” and that “Muhammed really is one of the big bad guys” of history, whose negative influence continues to be felt today. Yes, Wilders acknowledges, there are genuinely moderate people who call themselves Muslims, and if they want to call themselves Muslims that’s fine with him – but there is no such thing as a moderate Islam.

Obama The Man Behind Occupy Crackdown
Violent, lice-ridden and foul-mouthed with high self-esteem. Ignorant spoiled brats shouting incoherent rage. The Occupiers. The perfect product of the government education machine. Obama's shock troops in the war to "utterly transform America." In the last two months, the Occupy movement has spawned hundreds of illegal camps and many reports of drug overdoses, rape, robbery and death. The American public has had enough. Obama got the message. In the last two weeks, cities across the country, led by some of the most liberal pro-Occupy, pro-Obama mayors, have used police to clear the camps. What happened? Only a month ago, the President praised Occupy, saying the protesters "express the frustrations that t he American people feel."

Penn State: The Banality of Collaborative Evil
When the Israeli government captured Nazi mass murderer Adolf Eichmann, journalist Hannah Arendt was struck by the fact that Eichmann appeared to be a nondescript accountant type. He was not highly intelligent, and he did not appear to be particularly vicious. This led Arendt to the conclusion that anyone could, under the right ideological circumstances, become evil. Evil, she said, was banal…..But there is truth to the notion that anyone, given the right amount of self-interest, can be sucked into collaborating with evil…..I thought banal was an unusual word to use here, but in reality evil really is quite common. We have to get this….there really is such a thing as good and evil and that evil exists everyday and everywhere, and as a human trait it is quite predictable. Scary isn’t it?

Union-Backed Occupiers on the March
The sudden eviction of Occupy Wall Street squatters from lower Manhattan hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of organized labor for their increasingly violent anarchist and neo-communist brethren. The occupiers now say they plan to shut down Wall Street on Nov. 17 and occupy the New York subway. One Occupy Wall Street supporter was captured on video saying radicals plan to “burn New York City to the ground.” The movement that has spread across America is what ACORN’s neo-communist founder Wade Rathke, a former SEIU boss, calls an “anti-banking jihad

NATO Hands Future of Libya to Islamists
On October 31, NATO’s mission in Libya officially ended. The Friends of Libya, an alliance of 13 countries led by the U.S. “ally” of Qatar, is in the driver’s seat. The sheikdom is the chief backer of the Libyan Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood. Libya’s secularists are warning that Qatar is using its leadership position to bring its Islamist allies to power.

Waxman: Solyndra, Green Subsidies Saving People from ‘Fires, Droughts, and Floods’
Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said that Department of Energy subsidies, such as the the failed $535-million loan guarantee to solar company Sloyndra, were “saving” people from “fires, droughts and floods” that are caused by global warming.

The Accountability Charade
You can't spell "accountability" without "A," "C" and "T." But in Washington, government officials routinely get away with "taking personal responsibility" by mouthing empty words devoid of action. Heads nod in collective agreement that mistakes were made. But heads never roll. The Obama administration has raised this accountability charade to an art form…….While former Democratic chief inquisitor Henry Waxman praised Chu's "reputation for integrity" as "unimpeachable," Chu came across as more Mr. Magoo than Mr. Clean.

• Chu said he was "unaware" of the Department of Energy's own staff predictions two years ago that Solyndra would face a serious cash-flow crisis today.
• Chu said he was "unaware" of administration pressure on Solyndra to suppress layoff announcements until after the November 2010 midterm elections. "I don't know. I just learned about that," he shirked.
• In fact, he used the phrase "I am aware of it now" at least a half-dozen times. If there were a Nobel Prize for Unknowing, Chu would be two-time shoo-in. GOP House Energy Committee Chairman Cliff Stearns summed up:
• "We talked about the August 2009 email predicting Solyndra would be out of cash in September 2011. You knew about that, but you didn't seem to know about that.
• The PricewaterhouseCoopers concerns about Solyndra, you didn't seem real concerned or weren't aware of it.
• The White House emailing your chief of staff regarding their concerns with the PricewaterhouseCoopers report, you didn't seem to know too much about your chief of staff's awareness of that.
• The request to hold off announcement of the DOE loan, and request by your agency to Solyndra to hold off on announcing layoffs till after the midterm election, you don't have any recollection of this.
• So what I am saying is that through all of this you seem to have an unawareness."

Medal of Honor Recipient, Captain Ed Freeman, United States Army, dies at 80
It confuses me when I see the "top news stories" filled with names from sports and Hollywood. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching American Idol as much as the next person. I genuinely admire the talent of many actors and sports figures. I also believe that many in the spotlight are involved in great humanitarian efforts. Therefore, I would not want to take away from their acts of kindness and generosity. Most, however, who constantly grab media attention are not "heros" despite our treatment as such. They are simply people who share their talent with us as they go to work each day and do their job (as we all do). This morning in an email, I received an announcement about a man who lived... and then quietly died a true hero. Although his death was in August 2008 in Boise, ID, his memory lives on.

Here is that story-

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