March 24, 2008

JPost Picks up Obama Condemnation of TUCC Bulletin’s Hamas Column

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:52 pm

I speculated last Friday that Barack Obama was hoping to keep quiet his condemnation of Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC) Pastor James A. Wright’s inclusion of a Hamas terrorist’s op-ed in TUCC’s weekly church bulletin on July 22.

The placement of that op-ed in TUCC’s bulletin was first revealed at this March 17 BizzyBlog post. A JPEG of the relevant bulletin issue can be found there.

Keeping the Obama condemnation relatively muted would seem to be important, because the more people there are who know about the condemnation, the more people there are who would have to know the explosive reason why it was necessary in the first place. That’s not good for generating votes.

Obama relayed his condemnation to “JTA — Jewish & Israel News” (access to related article from the home page requires free registration), an I-believe relatively minor publication in Israel, while omitting any mention of the condemnation on his own campaign’s web site. Those actions are consistent with my theory about Obama’s real intent.

If keeping things quiet was indeed what Obama wanted, the widely-read Jerusalem Post has blown a bit of a hole in that plan:

Barack Obama blasts pro-Hamas Op-Ed
March 23, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama says that a pro-Hamas op-ed printed in his church’s bulletin was “outrageously wrong.”

In an issue dated July 22, 2007, in a section titled “Pastor’s Page,” the Trinity United Church in Chicago reprinted an article by Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzook. The article, which originally appeared as an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, justifies the Palestinian terrorist group’s denial of Israel’s right to exist.

The church’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright Jr., who retired this year, has stirred controversy for Obama’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination with statements likening Israel to colonialists and blaming attacks on the United States in part on its support for Israel.

In slamming the Hamas piece, Obama noted that he strongly rejects some of his longtime pastor’s views.

But which views? The jury’s still out on that, especially because Wright’s successor, the Rev. Otis Moss III, has been described as one who will “continue the (Wright) tradition” at TUCC, and because the Obamas have said that they will continue to worship at TUCC.

Over and above all of this, Obama has been accused of not being forthright about his views on Middle East-related issues by a person who is apparently in a position to know — and that’s another story gaining wider distribution than the Democratic front-runner had hoped for:

Arab-American Activist Says Obama Hiding Anti-Israel Stance
March 24, 2008
by Gil Ronen

(IsraelNN.com) Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama is currently hiding his anti-Israel views in order to get elected, according to a well-known anti-Israel activist. The activist, Ali Abunimah, claimed to know Obama well and to have met him on numerous occasions at pro-Palestinian events in Chicago.

In an article he penned for the anti-Israeli website Electronic Intifada, Abunimah wrote:

“The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing.

“As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, ‘Hey, I’m sorry I haven’t said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race.

“Hey, I’m sorry I haven’t said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race.’
I’m hoping when things calm down I can be more up front.’ He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy [and said:] ‘Keep up the good work!’”

Barack, Michelle, Edward and Mariam

Abunimah’s report included a photo of Obama with his wife Michelle seated at a table with virulently anti-Israeli Professor Edward Said and his wife Mariam, in what Abunimah said was a May 1998 Arab community event in Chicago at which Said gave the keynote speech.

It seems to be long past time to resurrect a popular question that was raised frequently by the Wall Street Journal during the Clinton presidency when various officials with blank-slate, troubling, or conflicted pasts appeared. Applied now, it would simply be “Who is the candidate I refer to frequently as BOOHOO (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama)?”

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UPDATE, March 25: Am I the only one who thinks that the use of “blasts” in the headline is more than a little ironic?

BlumerNetDaily, Part 1

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:41 am

NOTE: The two BlumerNetDaily posts will stay at the top for the rest of the business day.

UPDATE: For the benefit of WND, I am labeling portions of the text of Parts 1 and 2 for “material lifting,” “link hogging,” and “credit grabbing.” I am not claiming that the items labeled necessarily represent all relevant instances, or that the instances cited have necessarily been fully described.

UPDATE 2: Apparently, WND needs help distinguishing between “opinion,” “assertion,” and “speculation,” so I am providing them further assistance in that regard.

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OVERVIEW (opinion): I am outraged, and totally out of patience, at the brazen lifting of material, link hogging, and credit grabbing that is been going on for days at WorldNetDaily — based largely on material originally posted at BizzyBlog.

This is the first of two parts. Part 2 is here.

(more…)

BlumerNetDaily, Part 2

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:40 am

UPDATE: For the benefit of WND, I am labeling portions of the text of Parts 1 and 2 for “material lifting,” “link hogging,” and “credit grabbing.” I am not claiming that the items labeled necessarily represent all relevant instances, or that the instances cited have necessarily been fully described.

UPDATE 2: Apparently, WND needs help distinguishing between “opinion,” “assertion,” and “speculation,” so I am providing them further assistance in that regard.

OVERVIEW: (opinion) I am outraged, and totally out of patience, at the brazen lifting of material, link hogging, and credit grabbing that is been going on for days at WorldNetDaily — based largely on material originally posted at BizzyBlog.

This is the second of two parts. Part 1 is here.

(more…)

Couldn’t Help But Notice (032408)

Municipal Wi-Fi isn’t working out (“Hopes for Wireless Cities Fade as Internet Providers Pull Out”), because the private sector (i.e., the people who had better know what they’re doing, or they won’t be around to do it) is solving the problem in its own unique way:

Prices for Internet service on the broader market also began dropping to a level that, while above what many poor people could afford, was below what municipal Wi-Fi providers were offering, so the companies had to lower their rates even further, making investment in infrastructure even more risky, he said.

Maybe I’m missing something here, but the prices are low enough that almost anyone who really wants it can afford it. And besides, muni Wi-Fi was meant to be a service for all, not just poor people.

“Somebody” thought the chances of muni Wi-Fi working were low almost two years ago.

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Don Luskin thinks that “The Worst Risks of the Credit Crisis (have been) Averted.”

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Starry-eyed optimists’ vindication alert (HT NixGuy) –

Massive Oil Deposit Could Increase US reserves by 10x

America is sitting on top of a super massive 200 billion barrel Oil Field that could potentially make America Energy Independent and until now has largely gone unnoticed. Thanks to new technology the Bakken Formation in North Dakota could boost America’s Oil reserves by an incredible 10 times, giving western economies the trump card against OPEC’s short squeeze on oil supply and making Iranian and Venezuelan threats of disrupted supply irrelevant.

The “Peak Oil, Schmeak Oil” crowd must be in mourning.

Nix has the same concern as I — that the enviros will try to keep us from getting to it.

Memo to JS3m3 (John Sidney the Mad Maverick McCain III) — If ANWR would make energy independence a day-to-day slam-dunk reality, we should drill there too. The enviro arguments against ANWR are specious.

With all the free-trade bashing they’ve been engaged in, the presidential candidates I refer to as BOOHOO (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama) and HR4C (Hillary Rodham Cackling Crying Complaining Clinton) should be doing cartwheels over the idea of energy self-sufficiency….. right?

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Mrs. Clinton, who told Gen. David Petraeus last year that one would have to have a “willing suspension of disbelief” to believe that the Surge would work, has done a 180 (HT Hot Air), saying that he is “an extraordinary leader and a wonderful advocate for our military.”

Of course, Old Media hasn’t noted it.

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The BBC’s latest distortion is of a statement by President Bush (as documented here, the Beeb’s original headline has now been changed from the false “Bush speech hails Iraq ‘victory’” to its current “Bush says Iraq invasion was right”).

The idea of “News Without Reporters,” as written up by Steve Boriss at Pajamas Media (HT Instapundit), grows ever more appealing.

Postivity: War injuries draw couple, community closer

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Springhill, Louisiana:

March 16, 2008

….. When a sniper’s bullet shattered his jaw and severed his spine in August 2004, the then-21-year-old specialist and Humvee gunner with 1st Cavalry Division gave up the ability to hold his wife and children again or to feel the warmth of a puppy.

Burleson, a large strapping man with the beefy build of a footballer — which he was — now is a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down.

“It’ll never be as big a price as what others have paid, though,” he said from his home in north Webster Parish, thinking of the nearly 4,000 men and women who have died in the war in Iraq since it began five years ago Wednesday.

Though Burleson will spend the rest of his life in a motorized wheelchair or in bed, with a tracheotomy tube providing every breath, he is a surprisingly upbeat 24-year-old. His plans include watching his children, son Alex, 31/2, and daughter Ally, 5, grow up, though not too fast.

“I couldn’t be luckier, really,” he said, bundled against the cold on the day snow blanketed the area. “My son was born after I was shot. I couldn’t be luckier. I couldn’t ask much more than that.”

Burleson also is thankful to be alive. “If it wasn’t for all the great medical staff that was close by, I wouldn’t be here.”

Army was his choice

Burleson fulfilled a lifelong goal and joined the Army in 2001, not long after he graduated from Springhill High School and before the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. He played football as a guard all but his senior year, missing what usually is the biggest season in a player’s life because of the effects of a bad shoulder injury the previous year.

That injury actually caused the military to turn him down at first. Undaunted, Burleson had surgery — at his expense — that repaired the shoulder enough to please the military.

After service in Korea, he was based at Fort Hood, Texas, where Burleson met his wife, Kristi, at a fort social where he stepped on her boot and, Kristi said, “I kicked him in the rear.”

That got his attention, and he got hers.

“And then we went to IHOP,” she said.

He got orders to Iraq, so they put off their big-wedding plans until his return.

That was before the day that changed his life forever: Aug. 18, 2004.

Burleson was the top turret gunner on a Humvee on patrol in Baghdad with other members of his Fort Hood-based 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment “Black Knights” during an operation to cordon off the city that hot summer day.

He thinks he was the only one of the four soldiers in the armored vehicle to be wounded in the attack . Burleson doesn’t remember anything for a week before the attack and about a week after.

By the latter, he’d already been treated for several days in Iraq until his condition stabilized then was at the Army’s European medical facility at Landstuhl, Germany.

Kristi learned of her husband’s wound through a phone call. “They don’t come to visit you when they’re still alive,” she said.

From Germany, he was shipped stateside to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he underwent several operations. That October, Burleson was sent to the VA Medical Center in Dallas, which has special facilities to treat spinal cord injuries.

Burleson an inspiration

Burleson’s sacrifice and his struggle to join the Army inspired his neighbors and veterans groups near and far to band with volunteers and contractors to build the family a house adapted to his needs.

The 3,000-square-foot, $300,000 structure now commands a low hill on longtime family property on Percy Burns Road, just south of the Arkansas border. The couple received the home in late 2006.

The effort also was helped by Massachusetts-based Homes for Our Troops and Colorado-based American War Heroes.

The two-level home, built from Eco-block insulated concrete, can withstand 200-mph winds. It also has a sophisticated lift that can move Burleson from his bed to the bathroom and to a few other necessary areas of the house.

“It certainly brought the community together,” said Ken Koval, who led Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5951 in its efforts to help the couple. “People and businesses would donate this, donate that. It was unbelievable. I was surprised by the generosity shown.” …..