May 2009


 Melanie Phillips
So now we can see once again the fruits of appeasement. North Korea has tested a second set of nuclear bombs and the West throws up its hands in horror. What did it expect? Once the Bush administration cravenly decided to give up on North Korea (following the similarly short-sighted approach taken by Bill Clinton), Kim Jong-Il duly took the opportunity to press full steam ahead with his nuclear program. Now the same “new realists” who came to power at the tail-end of the Bush presidency and decided to “live with” a North Korean bomb – just as they have apparently decided the U.S. could “live with” an Iranian bomb – are serving in the Obama administration, which of course has taken such imbecility to unprecedented depths. Obama has been abasing himself to every despot on the planet, proclaiming America’s weakness through his “hand of friendship” and infantile belief that talking to tyrants is the route to peace.
The result of such epic cringing is two fingers from North Korea, with yet further threats today. Iran in particular will now be watching intently to see whether America will once again display weakness and impotence; if the U.S. won’t even act to stop North Korea from going nuclear, Iran will be reinforced in its belief that it can develop its own nuclear weapons with impunity. So far, Obama has “rushed out a special statement” in which he said, “I strongly condemn [North Korea’s] reckless action” and promised to “redouble” America’s efforts to stop Pyongyang from acquiring nuclear weapons. Well, that will have them quaking in their boots, for sure. Redoubling weakness simply results in twice as much weakness.
As John Bolton commented a week ago – correctly predicting the second North Korean test – following remarks by Stephen Bosworth, the U.S. special envoy to the region:
Despite Pyongyang’s aggression, Mr. Bosworth has reiterated that the U.S. is ‘committed to dialogue’ and is ‘obviously interested in returning to a negotiating table as soon as we can.’ This is precisely what the North wants: America in a conciliatory mode, eager to bargain, just as Mr. Bush was after the 2006 test. If the next nuclear explosion doesn’t derail the six-party talks, Kim will rightly conclude that he faces no real danger of ever having to dismantle his weapons program. North Korea is a mysterious place, but there is no mystery about its foreign-policy tactics: They work.
Not only is America now paying the price of its past defeatism over North Korea, but Obama is now ensuring that the U.S. is weakened even more actively and catastrophically. The insanity of his overall strategy is set out here by James Lewis, who rightly suggests that Obama is simply the very worst person to be sitting in the White House right now. And as John Bolton again wrote in the New York Times:
… the Obama administration is seriously weakening both our strategic offensive and defensive capacity. The Defense Department budget proposes major cuts in missile defense programs, returning to an emphasis both in operational and diplomatic terms on ‘theater’ missile defense (mainly for defending deployed military forces), rather than ‘national’ missile defense (for shielding America’s population from missile attack).
… The Pentagon also proposes ending financing for the Reliable Replacement Warhead, a key to substituting safe, dependable warheads for the ones now aging… The administration is also putting new emphasis on negotiating conventions against the ‘arms race’ in outer space, which would undercut America’s current substantial advantage above the earth…
Unhappily, the administration is pushing Israel to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as a ‘non-nuclear-weapons state,’ meaning Israel would have to eliminate its nuclear arsenal. Iran and others will welcome this, given their repeated demands for the same result. Today’s real proliferation threat, however, is not Israel, but states like Iran and North Korea that become parties to the alphabet soup of arms control treaties and then violate them with abandon. Without robust American reactions to these violations–not apparent in administration thinking–more will follow.
But does Obama care about any of that? As Con Coughlin wrote in the Telegraph:
The naivety of the West’s approach to North Korea was best summed up by Stephen Bosworth, Mr Obama’s special envoy to the region, who declared he was ‘relatively relaxed’ that the American-led six-nation talks aimed at bringing Pyongyang to heel have achieved virtually nothing… If the Obama administration is relaxed about this failure, then I suppose it will take an equally sanguine view of North Korea’s attempts to export its bomb-making expertise to other rogue states, such as Iran and Syria.
Indeed, after Israel bombed the Syrian nuclear facility there was evidence of North Korean involvement in that forbidden program. North Korea is also selling nuclear and missile technology to Pakistan as well as Iran. Yet Obama appears “relaxed” about everyone’s nukes except Israel’s – the one country that will never use them except to prevent itself from being annihilated by the countries Obama is appeasing.
Naivety – or the profound idiocy of malice?

Joy Tiz

Barack Obama continues to act out his pathology at our expense.  His appalling treatment of British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, could have been written off as simply another example of this administration’s ineptitude.  Though this administration is indeed incompetent, Obama also has his own ax to grind with the Brits and lacks the emotional maturity to deal with it like a grown up.

Phase One of Operation Ally Alienation was the belligerent act of rejecting Downing Street’s offer to allow the new president to keep the bust of Winston Churchill that had been given to former president Bush after 9/11 in a gesture of solidarity and support.

After rebuffing the prime minster of America’s staunchest ally by cancelling a joint news conference in the Rose Garden, the Obamas took their boorishness to the next level during the traditional world leader gift exchange.

Prime Minister Brown presented the new Oval Office occupant with gifts reflecting considerable forethought.  Brown gave Obama a pen holder made of oak timber from the HMS Gannet, a Royal Navy ship that served on anti-slavery missions off Africa.

The Prime Minister also gave ingrate Obama the framed commissioning paper for the HMS Resolute, another Royal Navy ship.  The ship had been rescued from icebergs by the US and was offered as a symbol of the goodwill between our two nations.

Rounding out the collection of treasures was the 1st edition of Martin Gilbert’s seven volume biography of Winston Churchill; another symbolic gift representing the alliance of the United States and Britain during WWII.

Not to be outdone, our president presented the Prime Minister of our most important ally with a collection of his top twenty five favorite DVDs.  In attestation to Gordon Brown’s graciousness, the Prime Minister did, actually sit down to view the DVDs, only to discover they are unusable in the UK due to the format.

Mrs. Brown presented the first daughters with lovely outfits from Topshop, a British clothing chain.  Michelle gave Mrs. Brown’s boys toy helicopters modeled after Marine One, no doubt picked up by an aide at the last minute in the White House gift shop. 

Evidently, the president who swore he would change the way the world looks at America meant he would antagonize our allies and kowtow to our most menacing foes.

Obama’s paternal grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama worked as a cook for a British army officer when he became involved with the Kenyan independence movement.  Grandpa Obama was arrested in 1949 as a supporter of the Kikuyu Central Association, the organization that ultimately spawned the Mau Mau.  There is no question that the Kenyan penal system of that era was a violent place; mere imprisonment was not considered sufficiently punitive; torture was ubiquitous.  Grandpa Hussein’s wife tells of horrific torture of her husband at the hands of the Brits.  Some of her recollections are questionable however:  one scene of hell on earth she describes is actually a pretty good description of the process of delousing.

There is also no dispute that if Hussein was arrested for subversive activities, he was up to something more than just community organizing.  He certainly would have been subject to some Enhanced Interrogation Techniques using more than a caterpillar or Neti pot.

The left wants to paint the Mau Mau as yet another misunderstood group of oppressed victims.  The truth is; the Mau Maus were vicious guerilla fighters.  Contrary to popular folklore, the Mau Mau slaughtered far more Kikuyu citizens than the whites they were supposedly rebelling against. 

Mau Mau membership required taking an oath which was not exactly frat boy material.  The colonial secretary, Oliver Lyttleton http://www.psywar.org/maumau.php” title="wrote">wrote: 

“The Mau Mau oath is the most bestial, filthy and nauseating incantation which perverted minds can ever have brewed.  I have never felt the forces of evil to be so near and as strong as in Mau Mau.  As I wrote memoranda or instruction, I would suddenly see a shadow fall across the page-the horned shadow of the Devil himself.”

Little information is available as to the specific language of individual oaths, but we know that the process was taken seriously and had more elements of magic than politics.  Kikuyu were under tremendous pressure to take the oath and join the movement. 

Counter insurgency expert, Major Frank Kitson describes a Mau Mau body snatching raid:

“The gang, frenzied by the thought of blood, slashed around with their simis (a Kikuyu sword) and fired their guns.  One old man, slower than the rest, was caught and hamstrung.  He fell at the feet of his pursuers, covering his face with his arms to protect it from the slicing swords, but a mouse in a mechanical mincing machine would have had a better chance of survival.  One terrorist hacked off a foot, and another sliced off his testicles to use later in an Oathing ceremony.  A third gouged out his eyes with a staple and put them in his pocket for the same purpose.  When they had finished, most of the gang came by to cut and stab the twitching corpse.  They then licked the blood off their simis and moved off into the night; having first set fire to all the huts they could see.”

Other writers claim the oath was far more innocuous.  However, a 322 page report by Career Colonial Administrator, Frank D. Cornfield supports the seamier version: 

“By compelling Mau Mau members to violate not only Christian ethics but every tribal one as well, Mau Mau leaders deliberately reduced their victims to a state where a man who took the Mau Mau oath was cut off ‘from all hope, outside Mau Mau, in this world or the next.  Cornfield found that to achieve this absolute loyalty to the movement, ‘ . . . leadership forced its recruits, voluntary or involuntary, to seal their oaths by digging up corpses and eating their putrefied flesh, copulating with sheep, dogs or adolescent girls, and by drinking the famed ‘Kaberichia cocktail’-a mixture of semen and menstrual blood.”

They sound like earnest freedom fighters, right?  Again substantiating that Barack Obama has never known a normal person, his grandfather’s support for the Mau Mau was manifest enough to get Hussein arrested.  The struggle for independence from the Brits may have been a noble one, but not justification for the kind of depravity indulged by the Mau Mau.  Longtime nationalist leader and Mau Mau manager Jomo Kenyatta studied economics in Moscow in 1932.  We are not supposed to make too much of that.

Obama has a grudge against the Brits for their abuse of his grandfather, a subversive who supported a bunch of ferocious guerillas. 

Queen Elizabeth is reported to be “fuming” at Obama’s most recent snub:  the Queen was not invited to the commemorations of the 65th D-Day landings in Normandy.  The 83 year old queen is the only living head of state who actually served in uniform during WWII.  The event will be attended by Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. 

The French government is denying that the brush off originated in their administration.  “It is not up to France to determine the British representation,” French government spokesman Luc Chatel said. “There will be other 6ths of June.”

The failure to invite the Queen will be recognized as an insult to the memory of the 17,556 British and 5,316 Canadian troops who lost their lives to liberate France

Expect Obama to allow the media to chide Sarkozy or Gordon Brown for the flagrant insult to the Brits.  It’s preposterous to conclude that a word from Obama would not get the Queen invited to the ceremonies.
Buckingham Palace is, understandably, outraged.  The senior royals were eager to participate in the historic event.  The Narcissist in Chief is not about to be upstaged by authentic royalty, nor is he one to let go of grudges. 

The problem inherent in putting a narcissist in the White House is having a president who will always put his own needs ahead of the welfare of the country.  The prevaricator -in -chief could, under the right circumstances be dangerous.  The narcissist’s life revolves around maintaining a steady narcissistic supply. 

An all encompassing lack of understanding the feelings and sensibilities of others is a manifestation of narcissism.  Exposing yet again his boundless capacity for insensitivity to others, Obama let his mother read a draft of his memoir before her death.  That must have been a high point for Ann Dunham, since her son chose to write the nearly entire book about his absent, drunken bigamist father.

In Dreams, Barack Obama writes:  “I talked to Jews who’d lost parents in the Holocaust and brothers in suicide bombings.  I heard Palestinians talk of the indignity of checkpoints and reminisce about the land they had lost” (Pg 322).  This is an astounding passage.  Is Barack Obama suggesting that losing land you consider yours or being stopped at a checkpoint is akin to the slaughter of one’s family members by Nazis or suicide bombers?

And as always with Obama, rather than deal with his own inner demons, he uses his position of power to act out.  Another campaign promise kept:  Obama is most assuredly changing the world’s view of America.  Perhaps Obama is saving up all the really cool gifts for Ahmedinejad.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Jerzy Tumaniszwili was a 23-year-old naval gunnery officer in the Polish navy when his destroyer left port to escape the imminent 1939 German invasion of his county.

He achieved the rank of lieutenant commander while serving 5 1/2 years during World War II, chasing German U-boats and protecting troops on D-Day in 1944.

Tumaniszwili emigrated to the United States after the war because he was considered an enemy by the Communist regime that had taken over Poland.

Now at 92, Tumaniszwili sets sail these days mostly on rivers and lakes. But his birth country isn’t finished thanking him: The government is honoring him as a rear admiral in the Polish navy.

"It’s probably because I’m the oldest one still alive," Tumaniszwili said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It really surprised me."

The Polish ambassador, Robert Kupiecki, was scheduled to present the promotion to Tumaniszwili at a ceremony on Sunday in Portland on behalf of Polish President Lech Kaczynski.

The promotion was approved last year, but Tumaniszwili was unable to attend a ceremony in Poland, according to Piotr Erenfeicht, counselor of political affairs at the Polish embassy in Washington, D.C.

Erenfeicht said promotions of retired servicemen occur "from time to time" and that other Polish Americans have received the honor.

But he said it was clear from his record that Tumaniszwili deserved it.

"When looking at his biography, you can see, he was very honored, very respected, a hero of the Second World War," Erenfeicht said.

After the war, Tumaniszwili found a job with a medical equipment company in Waterbury, Conn., and was part of a team that helped invent a disposable hypodermic syringe.

He took the name George Trapper, a combination of his Polish first name, which translates to George, and the pseudonym, "Trapper," which he used when he wrote of Polish navy exploits for British newspapers during the war – "trapping" U-boats.

Tumaniszwili stayed with the Connecticut company through changes in ownership until retirement, which he had decided would be in Oregon after a visit in 1976.

"My wife and I, we just fell in love with Oregon," Tumaniszwili (pronounced too-MAHN-ish-veel-ee) said from his home nestled in the Cascade Range foothills between Portland and Mount Hood.

Tumaniszwili met his wife, Jean, in England, and they had a son and daughter. "When my ship docked in Plymouth in 1940, I met her and fell in love with her," Tumaniszwili said. "I said, ‘This is it, this is my wife.’"

She died four years ago, survived by her husband, their children, seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, many of whom will be on hand to see Tumaniszwili honored with his promotion.

The phrase “bankrupt General Motors,” which we expect to hear uttered on Monday, leaves Americans my age in economic shock. The words are as melodramatic as “Mom’s nude photos.” And, indeed, if we want to understand what doomed the American automobile, we should give up on economics and turn to melodrama.

Politicians, journalists, financial analysts and other purveyors of banality have been looking at cars as if a convertible were a business. Fire the MBAs and hire a poet. The fate of Detroit isn’t a matter of financial crisis, foreign competition, corporate greed, union intransigence, energy costs or measuring the shoe size of the footprints in the carbon. It’s a tragic romance—unleashed passions, titanic clashes, lost love and wild horses.

Foremost are the horses. Cars can’t be comprehended without them. A hundred and some years ago Rudyard Kipling wrote “The Ballad of the King’s Jest,” in which an Afghan tribesman avers: Four things greater than all things are,—Women and Horses and Power and War.

Corbis

Insert another “power” after the horse and the verse was as true in the suburbs of my 1950s boyhood as it was in the Khyber Pass.

Horsepower is not a quaint leftover of linguistics or a vague metaphoric anachronism. James Watt, father of the steam engine and progenitor of the industrial revolution, lacked a measurement for the movement of weight over distance in time—what we call energy. (What we call energy wasn’t even an intellectual concept in the late 18th century—in case you think the recent collapse of global capitalism was history’s most transformative moment.) Mr. Watt did research using draft animals and found that, under optimal conditions, a dray horse could lift 33,000 pounds one foot off the ground in one minute. Mr. Watt—the eponymous watt not yet existing—called this unit of energy “1 horse-power.”

In 1970 a Pontiac GTO (may the brand name rest in peace) had horsepower to the number of 370. In the time of one minute, for the space of one foot, it could move 12,210,000 pounds. And it could move those pounds down every foot of every mile of all the roads to the ends of the earth for every minute of every hour until the driver nodded off at the wheel. Forty years ago the pimply kid down the block, using $3,500 in saved-up soda-jerking money, procured might and main beyond the wildest dreams of Genghis Khan, whose hordes went forth to pillage mounted upon less oomph than is in a modern leaf blower.

iStockphoto

Horses and horsepower alike are about status and being cool. A knight in ancient Rome was bluntly called “guy on horseback,” Equesitis. Chevalier means the same, as does Cavalier. Lose the capitalization and the dictionary says, “insouciant and debonair; marked by a lofty disregard of others’ interests, rights, or feelings; high-handed and arrogant and supercilious.” How cool is that? Then there are cowboys—always cool—and the U.S. cavalry that coolly comes to their rescue plus the proverbially cool-handed “Man on Horseback” to whom we turn in troubled times.

Early witnesses to the automobile urged motorists to get a horse. But that, in effect, was what the automobile would do—get a horse for everybody. Once the Model T was introduced in 1908 we all became Sir Lancelot, gained a seat at the Round Table and were privileged to joust for the favors of fair maidens (at drive-in movies). The pride and prestige of a noble mount was vouchsafed to the common man. And woman, too. No one ever tried to persuade ladies to drive sidesaddle with both legs hanging out the car door.

For the purpose of ennobling us schlubs, the car is better than the horse in every way. Even more advantageous than cost, convenience and not getting kicked and smelly is how much easier it is to drive than to ride. I speak with feeling on this subject, having taken up riding when I was nearly 60 and having begun to drive when I was so small that my cousin Tommy had to lie on the transmission hump and operate the accelerator and the brake with his hands.

Car Culture/Corbis

A 1950 Studebaker Commander Convertible, with its famous ‘bullet-nose’ front end.

After the grown-ups had gone to bed, Tommy and I shifted the Buick into neutral, pushed it down the driveway and out of earshot, started the engine and toured the neighborhood. The sheer difficulty of horsemanship can be illustrated by what happened to Tommy and me next. Nothing. We maneuvered the car home, turned it off and rolled it back up the driveway. (We were raised in the blessedly flat Midwest.) During our foray the Buick’s speedometer reached 30. But 30 miles per hour is a full gallop on a horse. Delete what you’ve seen of horse riding in movies. Possibly a kid who’d never been on a horse could ride at a gallop without killing himself. Possibly one of the Jonas Brothers could land an F-14 on a carrier deck.

Thus cars usurped the place of horses in our hearts. Once we’d caught a glimpse of a well-turned Goodyear, checked out the curves of the bodywork and gaped at that swell pair of headlights, well, the old gray mare was not what she used to be. We embarked upon life in the fast lane with our new paramour. It was a great love story of man and machine. The road to the future was paved with bliss.

Then we got married and moved to the suburbs. Being away from central cities meant Americans had to spend more of their time driving. Over the years away got farther away. Eventually this meant that Americans had to spend all of their time driving. The play date was 40 miles from the Chuck E. Cheese. The swim meet was 40 miles from the cello lesson. The Montessori was 40 miles from the math coach. Mom’s job was 40 miles from Dad’s job and the three-car garage was 40 miles from both.

The car ceased to be object of desire and equipment for adventure and turned into office, rec room, communications hub, breakfast nook and recycling bin—a motorized cup holder. Americans, the richest people on Earth, were stuck in the confines of their crossover SUVs, squeezed into less space than tech-support call-center employees in a Mumbai cubicle farm. Never mind the six-bedroom, eight-bath, pseudo-Tudor with cathedral-ceilinged great room and 1,000-bottle controlled-climate wine cellar. That was a day’s walk away.

Getty Images

Henry Ford and his Model T.

We became sick and tired of our cars and even angry at them. Pointy-headed busybodies of the environmentalist, new urbanist, utopian communitarian ilk blamed the victim. They claimed the car had forced us to live in widely scattered settlements in the great wasteland of big-box stores and the Olive Garden. If we would all just get on our Schwinns or hop a trolley, they said, America could become an archipelago of cozy gulags on the Portland, Ore., model with everyone nestled together in the most sustainably carbon-neutral, diverse and ecologically unimpactful way,

But cars didn’t shape our existence; cars let us escape with our lives. We’re way the heck out here in Valley Bottom Heights and Trout Antler Estates because we were at war with the cities. We fought rotten public schools, idiot municipal bureaucracies, corrupt political machines, rampant criminality and the pointy-headed busybodies. Cars gave us our dragoons and hussars, lent us speed and mobility, let us scout the terrain and probe the enemy’s lines. And thanks to our cars, when we lost the cities we weren’t forced to surrender, we were able to retreat.

But our poor cars paid the price. They were flashing swords beaten into dull plowshares. Cars became appliances. Or worse. Nobody’s ticked off at the dryer or the dishwasher, much less the fridge. We recognize these as labor-saving devices. The car, on the other hand, seems to create labor. We hold the car responsible for all the dreary errands to which it needs to be steered. Hell, a golf cart’s more fun. You can ride around in a golf cart with a six-pack, safe from breathalyzers, chasing Canada geese on the fairways and taking swings at gophers with a mashie.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Louis Chevrolet sits behind the wheel of his prototype car in 1911.

We’ve lost our love for cars and forgotten our debt to them and meanwhile the pointy-headed busybodies have been exacting their revenge. We escaped the poke of their noses once, when we lived downtown, but we won’t be able to peel out so fast the next time. In the name of safety, emissions control and fuel economy, the simple mechanical elegance of the automobile has been rendered ponderous, cumbersome and incomprehensible. One might as well pry the back off an iPod as pop the hood on a contemporary motor vehicle. An aging shade-tree mechanic like myself stares aghast and sits back down in the shade. Or would if the car weren’t squawking at me like a rehearsal for divorce. You left the key in. You left the door open. You left the lights on. You left your dirty socks in the middle of the bedroom floor.

I don’t believe the pointy-heads give a damn about climate change or gas mileage, much less about whether I survive a head-on with one of their tax-sucking mass-transit projects. All they want to is to make me hate my car. How proud and handsome would Bucephalas look, or Traveler or Rachel Alexandra, with seat and shoulder belts, air bags, 5-mph bumpers and a maze of pollution-control equipment under the tail?

And there’s the end of the American automobile industry. When it comes to dull, practical, ugly things that bore and annoy me, Japanese things cost less and the cup holders are more conveniently located.

The American automobile is—that is, was—never a product of Japanese-style industrialism. America’s steel, coal, beer, beaver pelts and PCs may have come from our business plutocracy, but American cars have been manufactured mostly by romantic fools. David Buick, Ransom E. Olds, Louis Chevrolet, Robert and Louis Hupp of the Hupmobile, the Dodge brothers, the Studebaker brothers, the Packard brothers, the Duesenberg brothers, Charles W. Nash, E. L. Cord, John North Willys, Preston Tucker and William H. Murphy, whose Cadillac cars were designed by the young Henry Ford, all went broke making cars. The man who founded General Motors in 1908, William Crapo (really) Durant, went broke twice. Henry Ford, of course, did not go broke, nor was he a romantic, but judging by his opinions he certainly was a fool.

Bettmann/CORBIS

Preston Tucker, in one of the few Tucker cars produced, celebrates being acquitted of charges of fraud over the failure of his automobile business in 1950.

America’s romantic foolishness with cars is finished, however, or nearly so. In the far boondocks a few good old boys haven’t got the memo and still tear up the back roads. Doubtless the Obama administration’s Department of Transportation is even now calculating a way to tap federal stimulus funds for mandatory OnStar installations to locate and subdue these reprobates.

Among certain youths—often first-generation Americans—there remains a vestigial fondness for Chevelle low-riders or Honda “tuners.” The pointy-headed busybodies have yet to enfold these youngsters in the iron-clad conformity of cultural diversity’s embrace. Soon the kids will be expressing their creative energy in a more constructive way, planting bok choy in community gardens and decorating homeless shelters with murals of Che.

I myself have something old-school under a tarp in the basement garage. I bet when my will has been probated, some child of mine will yank the dust cover and use the proceeds of the eBay sale to buy a mountain bike. Four things greater than all things are, and I’m pretty sure one of them isn’t bicycles. There are those of us who have had the good fortune to meet with strength and beauty, with majestic force in which we were willing to trust our lives. Then a day comes, that strength and beauty fails, and a man does what a man has to do. I’m going downstairs to put a bullet in a V-8.

 wwitchwest_pelosi1103.jpg

By JAY AMBROSE

HOUSE Speaker Nancy Pelosi has figured out what to do when you get in deep political trouble at home: You dress up as Al Gore and go to China.

The trouble is well-publicized. She was briefed by the CIA on waterboarding when it was first transpiring, did nothing to object and later told stories meant to deny her tacit complicity. In short, she lied and, because of witnesses and documentation, got caught.

Reporters loved this story, and it got to where Pelosi had an increasingly hard time. Finally, she declared she would deal with the topic no more and soon was off to China to do her Gore imitation.

Global warming poses a "tremendous risk to the security and well-being of our countries," she told the Chinese. If her hosts were less than enthusiastic about ending economic growth through stringent emission controls, they did have a couple of thoughts.

One was that America and other rich countries fork over something like 1 percent of their gross domestic product to aid the cause in lower-level economies. The other was that America ought to go much further in its fossil-fuel restrictions than any political leader on this side of the Pacific has so far suggested, and that’s saying something. By 2050, President Obama wants an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions from what we had in 1990.

Paul Driessen, a policy adviser for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, has pointed out that getting to the Obama goal would require economic and industrial interventions of a range never before witnessed. That would take us back to the level of emissions of 1905, when the population was roughly one-fourth of today’s and there were no cars, planes or household electricity. At that point, we would have little wealth to send to the Third World, unless you think hybrid cars, windmills and the like will do the trick.

They almost surely won’t, and as an object lesson I give you the compact fluorescent light bulb. This simple device was supposed to be hugely important in helping to make homes less of an environmental threat.

But a recent New York Times story notes many consumer complaints, such as that some of these bulbs just plain don’t work. By the same token, it’s been noted in a magazine piece, gas-saving hybrid cars may simply encourage people to take more and longer trips, and windmills are of value only when you have wind.

Americans are catching on to all of this. Polls show they put the economy above environmental protection, and I’d guess an alertness to alarmism is a factor, along with a recession reminding us of what hard times look like. While embracing Obama’s cap-and-trade tax and other extremes may once have seemed politically profitable, the public may be realizing that market-driven incrementalism is a better bet.

If so, what does Pelosi do? Claim she was never in China?

 The original pathos-laden headline by the Daily Mail:

Can a harmless UFO obsessive stricken by autism be saved from 70 years in a brutal American jail?

The fate of self-confessed ‘bumbling computer nerd’ and UFO spotter Gary McKinnon  –  who faces extradition to the U.S. and a possible 70-year prison sentence after hacking into 97 military and Nasa computers  –  hangs in the balance.

In just a few days, this softly-spoken 43-year- old, who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of autism), will go to the High Court in London for a judicial review that might allow him to appeal again against his extradition.

This will be his last chance to stop the British Government sending him for trial in the U.S., where, if found guilty, he could spend what’s left of his life in a maximum security jail in New Jersey.

McKinnon’s crime was to hack into U.S. military computers in a naive attempt to unearth secrets about the existence of alien life. 

Gary McKinnon and Tamsin

Lost love: Gary McKinnon in happier times with former girlfriend Tamsin

It was thoughtless technological vandalism, certainly.

Yet in an astonishingly heavy-handed campaign, the U.S. authorities have sought to have McKinnon extradited using an agreement to aid the prosecution of terror suspects.

His case hasn’t gone unnoticed.

A bandwagon of celebrities who wouldn’t disgrace an A-list party have lined up to campaign for the cause of this Glaswegian-born geek, who has been fascinated by UFOs since the age of ten.

Sting, actress Julie Christie, Terry Waite, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Jane Asher, Peter Gabriel, Tony Benn, former Home Secretary David Blunkett  –  not to mention Lib Dem MP Chris Huhne and The Proclaimers  –  have all expressed their heartfelt sympathies.

It’s astonishing that such a case has become such a cause celebre

 Janis Sharp

 Gary’s mother Janis Sharp

McKinnon is gaunt, shy and naive  –  a very unlikely hero.

Julie Christie has written to the Home Secretary expressing her hope that he ‘will not become yet another victim of the American judicial system’.

Terry Waite says ‘common sense’ is needed because McKinnon’s mental condition made him ‘irrationally obsessive’.

He also asks: ‘Was Gary a spy? Was he attempting to bring down the mighty military force of the U.S.?

‘As far as I know, he was not. He was simply looking for little green men.’

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has argued: ‘It is brutal, mad and wrong even to consider sending this man to America for trial.

‘How can the British Government be so protoplasmic, so pathetic, so heedless of the well-being of its own people, as to sign a warrant for his extradition?’

Former Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour has also sung in support of McKinnon on a compilation CD and rock band Marillion have promised to play at a concert backing the hacker.

But when McKinnon finally appears on the steps of the Royal Courts of Justice, his celebrity backers will mean little as he faces judgment accompanied by just his mother, Janis, and solicitor Karen Todner.

Despite the sympathy, the family are not exactly awash with financial donations from their famous supporters.

Indeed, McKinnon’s ‘Free Gary’ campaign website was financed by a family friend.

Janis is the one keeping up her frail son’s spirits.

The heartbreak of their seven-year legal battle has certainly taken its toll  –  McKinnon even attempted suicide, believing his parents would be better off without him.

‘It’s brought the whole family to the brink of despair,’ Janis says. ‘Gary’s life is in ruins. He has panic attacks. He jumps out of his skin when the doorbell goes  –  and that’s apart from his problems with Asperger’s.’

But how did it come to this?

Caught up in his obsession with aliens  –  and given to smoking cannabis and staying up late into the night  –  McKinnon’s crime was that over a period of two years, starting in 2000, he used his home computer in North London to infiltrate, examine and, allegedly, crash parts of the U.S. military computer network, before and after the 9/11 attacks in New York.

The actions of this gentle man have been called ‘the biggest military computer hack of all time’  –  even though the U.S. is supposed to have the most sophisticated computer security systems in the world.

At one point, McKinnon was even alleged to have wiped important files at the Earle Naval Weapons Station near New Jersey, paralysing munitions supply for the U.S. Atlantic fleet.

He’s also alleged to have shut down 2,000 Army computers for 24 hours  –  posting a notice on the military website saying: ‘Your security is cr*p.’

The Americans are, unsurprisingly, furious. ‘This was a gross intrusion into a vital military computer system at a time when we, as a nation, had to summon all our resources against further attack,’ explained one Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Aerial view of the World Trade Center in the days after the 9/11 attacks

 Gary McKinnon hacked into the U.S. military computer network before and after the 9/11 attacks

The trouble is, McKinnon didn’t stop there. Once he’d started hacking, he couldn’t stop.

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, McKinnon went so far as to post a message on the website under his online pen name ‘SOLO’.

It read: ‘U.S. foreign policy is akin to government-sponsored terrorism these days . . . It was not a mistake that there was a huge security standdown on September 11 last year. . . I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels.’

U.S. authorities now allege that McKinnon caused £;500,000 worth of damage to their computers, a charge he fiercely denies.

Despite his denials, as one attorney put it: ‘There are some Americans who want to see Gary fry.’

McKinnon was caught when investigators traced software he used back to his girlfriend’s email account. The British police first knocked on his door in 2002.

Initially, the authorities were laid-back about the supposed cyber-terrorist in their midst.

‘Don’t worry,’ police told him, ‘There’s no evidence that you’ve caused any damage. You’re looking at six months community service.’

‘They also said that, out of all the computers they’d examined, Gary was one of the only people whose computer had no pornography on it,’ his mother tells me with a faint smile.

They even suggested he might try for a job in their high-tech unit once the case was over  –  so great were his computer skills.

McKinnon has never claimed innocence  –  indeed, quite the opposite. ‘What I did was illegal and wrong, and I accept I should be punished.

‘But I am not a member of Al-Qaeda and I am not a terrorist. The American reaction has been out of all proportion. They want to destroy me.’

The British Crown Prosecution declined to press charges against him after this first arrest  –  but that didn’t deter the American authorities.

They started to press hard for his extradition. 

The Pentagon

The Pentagon pictured after the 9/11 attacks. The hacker posted messages mocking the ‘cr*p’ security of the American military computer system

In June 2005, he was re-arrested and sent to Brixton prison.

‘Gary was held overnight in a cell with a Scottish murderer,’ Janis tells me. ‘He was beside himself.’

The following morning, McKinnon was taken to court. ‘I could see he was terrified,’ says his stepfather, Wilson Sharp.

‘I thought "He’s not going to survive being locked up."

‘He’s a gentle guy. He’s a vegetarian and a pacifist  –  a musician. I was so relieved when he was given bail.’

But the bail was to cost McKinnon dear. One of the conditions of his freedom was that he could not use a computer to connect to the internet  –  a terrible blow for a man who lived with a keyboard in front of him day and night, often sitting in front of his computer in his dressing gown, drinking beer.

His notoriety also cost him his relationship with his girlfriend, Tamsin, saw him kicked out of two different flats, and lose a string of jobs.

He now lives on benefits in rented accommodation.

But one good thing did come out of McKinnon’s notoriety. 

 In 2007, after he appeared on television to argue his case against extradition, his behaviour onscreen led a string of medical experts  –  including Professor Simon Baron-Cohen of Cambridge University, one of the world’s leading authorities on autism – to contact the show’s producers to suggest that he could have Asperger’s Syndrome.

The experts pointed out that McKinnon’s monotone voice, his lack of hand expressions and his ‘overly literal’ view of the world were all symptoms of the condition.

It all made sense to Janis.

She remembered that Gary had been an introverted and sensitive child who taught himself to play the piano by the age of seven.

‘One day, we came in to find him playing the Moonlight Sonata,’ she recalls. ‘He spent all his time composing music alone in his room.’

As McKinnon grew up, so he retreated farther and farther into his obsessive world, launching a life-long obsession with aliens  –  joining the British UFO Research Association at the age of ten.

It was this obsession that led McKinnon to hack into the military computer systems.

He was convinced that the Pentagon and Nasa had secret evidence of extra-terrestrial life.

Deluded, even a little mad you might think, but hardly the hallmark of a terrorist.

Yet American authorities clearly want to send a message to the computer hackers of the world  –  and are using McKinnon to do it.

McKinnon says: ‘I would gladly face trial in the UK now under the Computers Misuse Act. Britain is the only country in the world that will extradite its own nationals without prima facie evidence.’

His newly-discovered medical condition forms the basis of this last High Court appeal, in an attempt to establish whether his condition had an impact on his actions  –  and whether a lengthy period of imprisonment might damage his frail psyche.

Janis remains hopeful. ‘Gary’s Asperger’s doesn’t excuse what he did, because if you commit a crime, you commit a crime.

‘But I would say to both Gordon Brown and David Cameron: you both know about having young, vulnerable sons.

‘Should we really be extraditing our vulnerable adults and letting them serve so long abroad? Seventy years for looking for UFOs?

‘Gary just wants to be tried in his own country.’

But right now, McKinnon is ‘just waiting’, according to his mother.

‘The only thing that is getting him through is cooking,’ she says.

‘He loves to cook vegetarian food. He is so precise. Each mushroom has to be cut to exactly the same size. Right now, that’s what keeps him together.’

As for Janis, all she can do is spend every minute of the day campaigning for him.

‘We’ve been told of stun guns and male rape in these American penitentiaries.

‘I have awful nightmares of what will happen to Gary in one of those hell-holes.’

She now pins all her hopes on the judicial appeal.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of her son’s actions, it is heart-rending to hear the desperation in her voice as she speaks of her son’s future.

When her bewildered boy walks into the High Court, the only people who can save him from an American maximum security jail, and the possibility of life behind bars, are the judges on the bench.

By Oliver North

During the presidential campaign, Senator Barack Obama famously said that he was willing to meet “without pre-conditions” with the “leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea.” It was a pledge that he repeated — with minor modifications — throughout his campaign and it never failed to bring forth enthusiastic applause. Last November the voters endorsed the approach and handed him a sweeping victory. But that commitment — like his oft repeated promise to close GITMO — may prove to be our undoing.

Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t just idealistic American voters who were listening to Mr. Obama’s naïve campaign rhetoric. So too were our adversaries. And now, little more than four months into his administration, it should be apparent that his grip and grin, “I like you – you should like me,” approach to foreign policy is a potential disaster.

This week’s North Korean nuclear test and flurry of ballistic missile launches should not be viewed in isolation. It is but the most recent indicator that the O-Team is out of touch with the increasingly dangerous realities of a new world disorder. Despite a string of increasingly ominous events, the Obama administration appears intent on pursuing a Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?” national security policy.

In early February, Moscow replied to Mr. Obama’s offer to “re-boot the U.S.-Russian relationship” by stiffing us on a key logistics base for our troops in Afghanistan. In response, the O-Team agreed to pay exorbitant fees to ship non-lethal supplies through Russian-controlled territory for NATO troops fighting in the shadow of the Hindu Kush.   

During the first week of March, military aircraft and patrol boats of the People’s Liberation Army forced the USNS Impeccable — an unarmed oceanographic survey ship — to withdraw from International Waters 75 miles off the Chinese coast. The O-Team meekly acquiesced and promised a “diplomatic resolution.” It has not worked. On May 1, little noted by the so-called mainstream media, the USNS Victorious was harassed by Chinese vessels more than 180 miles off the Chinese coast.

On April 5, the North Koreans launched a 2,000-mile range, Taepodong-2 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile over Japan. The O-Team referred the matter to the toothless United Nations Security Council. There, Chinese and Russian emissaries, brandishing veto threats, warned against “punitive” sanctions. They are babbling about the same things now.

 On April 18, Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez replied to the Obama magic with a photo-op presentation of a virulently anti-American screed at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad. Flush with success, Mr. Chavez returned to Caracas, offered more visas and passports to Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists and increased arms shipments to narco-insurgents in Colombia and Mexico.

The O-Team proffer of “quiet discussions” with the Taliban has yielded a spring “Jihad” that threatens to overwhelm the Pakistani army and put Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal at risk. In Mesopotamia, the “date certain” withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraqi cities has precipitated a spike in grisly suicide bombings and the highest American casualty counts in over a year.

On March 20, in a “video message” to the people of Iran, Mr. Obama offered Tehran “a new beginning” and stated, “My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us.” Secretary of State Clinton followed up on April 8, promising that the U.S. would be a “full participant” with Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China in renewed talks with the Iranians on that “full range of issues.”

The Iranian response to these “new openings” should have been instructive. On May 20, just hours after an Oval Office meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Ayatollahs replied to Mr. Obama’s “outstretched hand” and offers of face-to-face, bi-lateral meetings by launching a 1200-mile range, solid fuel Sajjil-2 intercontinental ballistic missile. Five days later Iran rejected further talks with anyone regarding its nuclear program.

This week’s detonation of a nuclear device near the North Korean-Russian border, the ripple-fire launches of ballistic missiles and Pyongyang’s subsequent abrogation of the 1953 Armistice that ended the Korean War, is much more than just the test of an atomic weapon. It is a test of how the West in general — and the U.S. in particular — will respond. Every genocidal despot is watching — especially those ruling Iran.

Short of a military attack, there are few things left in our quiver to deter the North Koreans and Iranians from developing and deploying nuclear weapons. That does not mean nothing can be done.

Mr. Obama said again this week that his most important responsibility is “protecting the American people.” If that’s true, he ought to immediately announce that no company doing business of any kind with North Korea or Iran will be allowed to do business in the United States. Second, he should ask Congress to re-instate the funding for homeland ballistic missile defense he cut out of the FY 2010 defense budget. Third, he should expedite the installation of ballistic missile defense radars and interceptors in Europe. Doing less is a formula for disaster. 

Kim_Strangelove_Hawaii1.jpg

Mark Steyn 

What does a nuclear madman have to do to get America’s attention? On Memorial Day, the North Koreans detonated "an underground atomic device many times more powerful than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki," as my old colleagues at The Irish Times put it. You’d think that’d rate something higher than "World News In Brief," see foot of page 37. But instead Washington was consumed by the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, who apparently has a "compelling personal story."

Doesn’t Kim Jong-il have a compelling personal story? Like Sonia, he grew up in a poor neighborhood (North Korea), yet he’s managed to become a nuclear power, shattering the glass ceiling to take his seat at the old nuclear boys’ club. Isn’t that an inspiring narrative? Once upon a time you had to be a great power, one of the Big Five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, to sit at the nuclear table: America, Britain, France, Russia, China, the old sons of power and privilege. But now the mentally unstable scion of an impoverished no-account backwater with a GDP lower than Zimbabwe has joined their ranks: Celebrate diversity!

Evidently, some compelling personal stories are more compelling than others. In The Washington Post, Stephen Stromberg argued that Kim’s decision to drop the Big One on a three-day weekend was evidence of his appalling news judgment. Other blasé observers shrug that it’s now an American holiday tradition. It began when Pyongyang staged the first of its holiday provocations on Fourth of July 2006, and, amidst all the other fireworks displays, America barely noticed. No doubt there’ll be another Hiroshima on Labor Day or Thanksgiving. Geez, doesn’t the hick in the presidential palace get it? There’s no point launching nukes when everyone’s barbecuing chicken or watching football.

Well, you never know: Maybe we’re the ones being parochial. If you’re American, it’s natural to assume that the North Korean problem is about North Korea, just like the Iraq war is about Iraq. But they’re not. If you’re starving to death in Pyongyang, North Korea is about North Korea. For everyone else, North Korea and Iraq, and Afghanistan and Iran, are about America: American will, American purpose, American credibility. The rest of the world doesn’t observe Memorial Day. But it understands the crude symbolism of a rogue nuclear test staged on the day to honor American war dead and greeted with only half-hearted pro forma diplomatese from Washington. Pyongyang’s actions were "a matter of …" Drumroll, please! "…grave concern," declared the president. Furthermore, if North Korea carries on like this, it will – wait for it – "not find international acceptance." As the comedian Andy Borowitz put it, "President Obama said that the United States was prepared to respond to the threat with ‘the strongest possible adjectives.’ Later in the day, Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the North Korean nuclear test ‘supercilious and jejune.’"

The president’s general line on the geopolitical big picture is: I don’t need this in my life right now. He’s a domestic transformationalist, working overtime – via the banks, the automobile industry, health care, etc. – to advance statism’s death grip on American dynamism. His principal interest in the rest of the world is that he doesn’t want anyone nuking America before he’s finished turning it into a socialist basket case. This isn’t simply a matter of priorities. A United States government currently borrowing 50 cents for every dollar it spends cannot afford its global role, and thus the Obama cuts to missile defense and other programs have a kind of logic: You can’t be Scandinavia writ large with a U.S.-sized military.

Out there in the chancelleries and presidential palaces, they’re beginning to get the message. The regime in Pyongyang is not merely trying to "provoke" America but is demonstrating to potential clients that you can do so with impunity. A black-market economy reliant on exports of heroin, sex slaves and knock-off Viagra is attempting to supersize its business model and turn itself into a nuclear Wal-Mart. Among the distinguished guests present for North Korea’s October 2006 test were representatives of the Iranian government. President George W. Bush was much mocked for yoking the two nations together in his now all but forgotten "axis of evil" speech, but the Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung reported a few weeks ago that the North Korean-built (and Israeli-bombed) plutonium production facility in Syria was paid for by Tehran. How many other Iranian clients are getting nuclear subsidies? It would be interesting to learn who was on the observation deck for the Memorial Day Hiroshima re-enactment, but North Korea is one of the most closed societies on the face of the Earth, certainly when compared with the more closely scrutinized corners of the Middle East. In other words, it’s the perfect partner for any state that wants to pursue certain projects under the Western radar screen.

It is remarkable in just five years how the world has adjusted to the inevitability of a nuclear North Korea and a nuclear Iran. Nudge it on another half-decade: Whose nuclear ambitions will be unstoppable by 2015? Syria’s? Sudan’s? Selected fiefdoms in Somalia?

Barack Obama came to power pledging to talk to America’s enemies anywhere, anytime. Alas for America’s speak-softly-and-carry-a-big-teleprompter diplomacy, there are no takers for his photo-ops. In the ever more pitiful straw-clutching of the State Department, America is said to be banking on a post-Kim era. He’s apparently had a bad stroke and might be dead within a decade or three. So what? It’s a safe bet that whoever emerges from a power struggle between the family, the party and the military is committed to nuclearization as the principal rationale of the state. Likewise in Iran’s imminent election, both "extremists" and "moderates" are pro-nuke. You want an Iranian moderate? Here’s Hashemi Rafsanjani, the moderate guy who lost to that crazy Ahmadinejad last time round: He called Israel "the most hideous occurrence in history," which the Muslim world "will vomit out from its midst" with "a single atomic bomb." Nuking the Zionist Entity is as bipartisan as motherhood and apple pie.

More to the point, the feeble bleatings from the State Department that there may be internal change down the road emphasize the central feature of the present scene: the absence of meaningful American power. While America laughed at North Korea, Iran used it as a stalking horse, a useful guide as to the parameters of belligerence and quiescence a nuclearizing rogue state could operate within. In what Caroline Glick of The Jerusalem Post calls "the post-American world," other nations will follow that model. We are building a world in which the wealthiest nations on the planet, from Norway to New Zealand, are all but defenseless, while bankrupt dysfunctional squats go nuclear. Even with inevitable and generous submissions to nuclear blackmail, how long do you think that arrangement will last? In the formulation of Janet Napolitano, we are on the brink of "man-caused disaster."

By William Kristol

"First Latina Picked for Supreme Court; GOP Faces Delicate Task in Opposition," blared the four-column headline on the front page of the May 27 Washington Post. Leave aside the Post‘s odd failure to put in the headline the name of the person nominated–itself a nice example of the de-individualizing effect of identity politics. Consider instead the even odder decision to highlight neither the nominee’s potential influence on the Court, nor the president who picked her, but the "delicate task" faced by an opposition party powerless to block her.

It was a theme the White House and much of the media (but I repeat myself!) would seek to develop over the next few days: The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor has created a very tricky situation for conservatives, who had best tread softly as they mobilize (if they even dare mobilize), and for Republicans, who had best whisper gently when they raise questions (if they even dare raise questions).

So Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs declared, "I think it is probably important for anybody involved in this debate to be exceedingly careful with the way in which they’ve decided to describe different aspects of this impending confirmation." Not just careful, but "exceedingly careful"! Senator Chuck Schumer warned that Republicans "oppose her at their peril." These are pretty heavy-handed attempts at intimidation. One wonders whether a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experience, might have found a better way to make that point than a hapless white male like Gibbs or Schumer.

However that may be, the White House/media bluster won’t work. Most conservatives and Republicans aren’t going to be intimidated from raising legitimate questions about Sotomayor’s jurisprudence. Especially when such questions have already been raised by nonconservatives as well as conservatives, and about her conduct in an ongoing, important legal case. That case is Ricci v. DeStefano, where Judge Sotomayor sought–by hook and by crook–to uphold a hiring decision that the respected nonideological legal commentator, Stuart Taylor, writing last December, called a "simple injustice," one that many Americans "would see as a raw racial quota."

Here is Taylor’s summary of the case:

Frank Ricci, a firefighter in New Haven, Conn., worked hard, played by the rules, and earned a promotion to fire lieutenant. But the city denied him the promotion because he is not black. Ricci sued, along with 16 other whites and one Hispanic firefighter. .  .  . Ricci studied for eight to 13 hours a day to prepare for the combined written and oral exam in 2003 that he hoped would win him a promotion. .  .  . And he got one of the highest scores. But Ricci and other would-be lieutenants and captains with high scores did not get the promotions they expected. The reason was that–because not enough black firefighters had done well enough to be eligible–New Haven decided to discard the test results and make no promotions at all. .  .  . Racial politics clearly did figure in the city’s denial of promotions to the white and Hispanic firefighters. .  .  . [T]he Rev. Boise Kimber .  .  . disrupted meetings of the city’s civil service board and warned its members of a "political ramification" if they certified the exam results.

Ricci and other test-takers sued. A district judge dismissed the case. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal, in a process Taylor calls "so peculiar as to fan suspicions that some or all of the judges were embarrassed by the ugliness of the actions that they were blessing and were trying to sweep the case quietly under the rug." One of those three judges was Sonia Sotomayor. The Supreme Court took the appeal, heard oral arguments in April, and should hand down its judgment before its term ends at the beginning of July.

So we will have an unusual moment in the Sotomayor confirmation process–one that will stand out from the customary small-bore senatorial back-and-forth during judicial confirmations. We’ll have a high-profile Supreme Court ruling highlighting a very questionable judicial decision by the president’s nominee. Most Court observers expect the judgment in which Sotomayor joined to be reversed. But even if it isn’t, there will be a closely observed decision by a probably closely divided Supreme Court that will bring home the importance of the Sotomayor nomination for jurisprudence in this area. The public will have occasion to see how a nominee, herself picked for identity-politics reasons, was unempathetic, one might say, and unjust to the victims of identity politics, the firefighters of New Haven who were denied promotions.

Sotomayor will probably be confirmed. But nothing is certain. And a Ricci-focused debate over her confirmation will serve to remind Americans of the unseemliness and injustice of the Constitution-corrupting, identity-politics-driven agenda so dear to the hearts of the modern Democratic party, the Obama administration, and Sonia Sotomayor.

Sher Zieve

Although the prevention of online Cyber-attacks has—in the past—been handled by DHS, Supreme Leader Obama has decided he will instill yet another office and individual to monitor the Internet. The new “Cyber Tsar” will also monitor the Internet for content, the US Stock Exchange, private business computer networks, the US Energy grid and other entities as so ordered by Obama. The Internet will soon be under Obama’s control—both usage and content—and I predict it will look like China’s censored version very soon. The reason? We-the-people’s elected officials have not done—and still aren’t doing—anything to stop this Stalinist-resurrection.

Note: As we already know, Obama’s DHS Chief Janet Napolitano has identified as dangerous to the USA those who are pro-life, conservatives, Christians (under the guise of only going after the hateful cult “Christian Identity”), those who support third-party candidates and—in general—anyone who opposes the policies of Barack Hussein Obama. Notably, nothing attached to Islamist terrorists or real criminals was included in her now infamous report.

Obama’s close personal and professional ties to the under-multiple-indictments group ACORN have been well-documented. While a community organizer in Illinois, Obama trained many of his adherents—training ala the radical Saul Alinsky—on how to organize a community to the leftist point of view and only that viewpoint. Obama’s ACORN is under investigation in at least 14 states for fraud and corruption (some have already pled guilty) and still Supreme Leader has decided to use them for the US Census in order to rewrite districts to his benefit. Presumably, under Obama’s protection, these lawsuits will soon mysteriously go away. Note: Still we hear the crickets in the “loyal opposition’s” ranks.

Obama has proposed another (besides himself) anti-US Constitutionist and openly racist candidate to the US Supreme Court—Sonia Sotomayor. This is a judge who is a member of the radical group La Raza and who said: “The Court of Appeals is where policy is made. And I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don’t make law. I know—I know. I’m not promoting it. I’m not advocating it. I’m—you know. OK. Having said that, the Court of Appeals is where, before the Supreme Court makes the final decision, the law is percolating. It’s interpretation. It’s application.” She also said: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” Further, Sotomayor ‘disagrees’ with the Second Amendment. In Maloney v. Cuomo she ruled that US citizens do not have the right to keep and bear arms—only the State does. Then, in dismissing a discrimination case, Sotomayor ruled against 19 Connecticut firefighters who had documented proof that after achieving high scores on exams they were denied promotions because of their race—which is white. Note: In an interesting twist, this case is currently scheduled to be heard by SCOTUS.

So, why did Obama nominate her? Answer: Because he agrees with her. Both she and Obama appear to want to destroy—and seem determined to do so—the US Constitution and current US law. With no one opposing them, they will succeed. The crickets continue to chirp. By the way, to cower in the corner is to die slowly for nothing.

The cherry that top’s off Obama’s ever-expanding criminal sundae is that his US Department of Justice dropped the case against the New Black Panthers for election intimidation. The Philadelphia Bulletin writes: “Hans von Spakovsky is a former career Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. He thinks the inaction by the Justice Department is unprecedented. He told The Bulletin that the dismissal by Justice, with no notice on the Justice Department press site, particularly against an organization listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is a horrible miscarriage of justice. He said DOJ has failed in its duty to enforce voting laws. He is outraged by the action. It is absolutely unprecedented for the Justice Department to dismiss a lawsuit after the defendants failed to answer the suit and are thus in default.” The intimidation charges were never denied by the Black Panthers. KXMC.com adds “If it had been white supremacists standing in front of a polling place they’d already be in jail.” Note: Obama is now protecting the New Black Panthers and thus far no one is doing anything about this either.

So—Obama has stolen virtually all of our money, will now monitor, censor and presumably stop any and all Internet opposition to him and his policies. He protects known intimidators and criminals—no doubt soon to be part of his private police force—, he appoints tax evaders to his administration and now a blatantly anti-constitutional and racist nominee to the US Supreme Court. And—to date—none of those We-the-People have elected to oppose tyranny have done anything about it. Whether any choose to open their eyes and acknowledge the fact that we are now under totalitarian rule is questionable. However, the truth is the truth. Obama openly supports our country’s enemies, while beginning the greatest oppression of We-the-People in the history of the USA. Will the people continue to remain silent? Either we overthrow this current despotic government or we accept oppression and agree to submit to this administration and its thugs. We have now reached “desperate” on the misery scale.

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