Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Difficult Secret.

Islam and the 9/11/12 attacks on America were on the minds of Republicans making the rounds on the news shows this weekend. Speaking of the Benghazi murders Senator John McCain (much admired here) said on CNN:

"It was either willful ignorance or dismal intelligence to think that people come to spontaneous demonstrations with heavy weapons, mortars, and the attack goes on for hours...It interferes with the depiction that the administration is trying to convey that Al Qaeda is on the wane [and] that everything's fine in the Middle East...To blame it on the video … shows the absolute ineptitude and ignorance of the realities. It's not the videos, it's the radical Islamists [who] are pushing the videos."

In that last Sen. McCain was referring to Muslims who translated Innocence of Muslims into Arabic and then pushed it, notably in Egypt, on the population. Before that Innocence was as unknown within Islam as it was without. In the former he of course was referring to Ambassador Susan Rice, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Obama. Rice made the rounds on the Sunday news shows right after the attacks and blamed the Bengahzi attacks on "extremists" who had "hijacked" what was an otherwise peaceful protest in Benghazi. That was, as McCain said, utterly wrong one of two ways, the Obamas spy chief acknowledging this week that the Benghazi murders were an al Qaeda-led “deliberate and organized terrorist attack.” 

Congressman Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, agreed saying, also on CNN, that Rice should resign:

“I believe that this was such a failure of foreign policy message and leadership, such a misstatement of facts as were known at the time and for her to go on all of those shows and to in effect be our spokesman for the world and be misinforming the American people and our allies and countries around the world, to me somebody has to pay the price for this….I can see why if they wanted to say it's too early to say it's definitively terrorism but to rule out terrorism, to say it was not terrorism at that time was a - to me a terrible mistake to make whether it was done intentionally or unintentionally and to show the significance of that, I believe she should resign, yes.”

For his part, Sen. McCain said, Nah, she shouldn't resign, Obama just sent her out there to speak for him so she would look like the idiot, not him. Yes, but she said it. Congressman King is right, Susan Rice should resign. Both King and McCain are right about the rest.

Image: "The Difficult Secret," sculpture by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (1770).

Saturday, September 29, 2012

"The Peasants," Wladyslaw Reymont (1904-1909)

"She went on very long in this way, saying her prayers, flinging tearful glances over those lands, clad with sunshine, as if it were a tissue of gold, where the rye, in its growing luxuriance, waved its rusty-red drooping ears; where the darker barley-patches stood shining in the light, glossy and shimmering; where the bright green oats, thickly sprinkled with yellow-flowering weeds, stirred and quivered in the parching heat; where over the blossoming clover that lay spread out on the hill-slope, like a blood-red kerchief, a great bird was hovering, balanced on its outstretched wings and where the broad beans stood, with their thousands of snowy flowers, keeping watch and ward over the young potato-plants, and a few plots of flax in the hollows gleamed blue with delicate flowers--childlike eyes that seemed blinking the the glare."

Reymond was a genius in the use of similes. Look in this passage at these lyrical analogies:

"clad with sunshine, as if it were a tissue of gold."
"where the blossoming a blood-red kerchief."
"a few plots of flax...gleamed blue with delicate flowers--childlike eyes that seemed blinking in the glare."

Later in the same work:

"the sky looked like a sheet of rusted iron."
"The short summer night was soon over, as if hurrying to depart before the first cock-crow. One after another, all the tapers went out except the largest, which still bent up its long waving flame, like a blade of gold."

Never read any more evocative use of similes. A true literary genius, Wladyslaw Reymont won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1924.

Innocence of Muslims.

The link previously posted here to the "entire film" consists instead of a loop of the same scenes. That I can find, the entire film has not been released yet. Several times in his speech to the United Nations this week President Obama labeled Innocence of Muslims "hate speech."  From the scenes that have been made publicly available Innocence is well within the bounds of constitutionally protected free speech and could not conceivably be characterized as "hate speech," which the U.S. government can ban. The content of Innocence is no more crude than thousands of other films and it is certainly not a crudely-made film. It is pretty well done.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula the creator of Innocence is an Egyptian Coptic Christian, a group that has suffered extensively under Barack Obama's allies in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood government.  Mr. Nakoula has now been jailed in the United States for violation of probation stemming from a 2010 bank fraud case. One of the conditions of Mr. Nakoula's probation was that he not use aliases, and he did in making this film. The arrest is a pretext, the U.S. government is going after Nakoula because he made Innocence. Obama is going to try to criminalize Innocence as hate speech in the U.S. Just such a proposal is before the United Nations now. Algeria is proposing that free speech be limited by the U.N. to exclude "denigration of religion."  Islamic countries have tried similar proposals before the U.N. for ten years. And today, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, called for a global ban on speech offensive to the Prophet Muhammad, saying such speech is  "a threat to international peace and security and the sanctity of life."  "If the Western world fails to understand the sensitivity of the Muslim world, then we are in trouble,"  Ihsanoglu is quoted as saying.  Ekkie, you're in trouble. This Westerner stands with Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, supports the content of Innocence of Muslims, congratulates Nakoula on making the film, and pledges to continue to offend Muslim sensibilities.

Image: Still from Innocence of Muslims, a woman gratuitously murdered by Muslims.

Netanyahu at U.N.

"I want to show you."

"This is bomb."

"We must draw red line."

"Red line."

"If we do not draw red line, boom."

"No boom. There must not be boom."

                                                             "Thank you."

Friday, September 28, 2012

"The Obama administration notified Congress on Friday that it intends to give Egypt's new government an emergency cash infusion of $450 million..." -New York Times, September 28.

Image:  Sculpture by Joseph Lehmbruck (1917)


The CCP has expelled Bo Xilai. He now faces criminal prosecution for...whatever the party decides to charge him with; A Chinese forensics expert says the party has not proven that Neil Heywood's death was caused by cyanide poisoning; Wang Lijun was given 15 years for the coverup;  Forty workers were injured in rioting at an electronics factory in Shanxi Province; Chinese are not happier today than before Deng Xiaoping started the longest economic expansion in the history of mankind; President-in-waiting Xi Jinping disappeared for a few days...

A couple of nights ago after getting home late from the office and playing with my daughter for awhile I did what I always do before going to bed, check the news on my phone. The lead article in the New York Times was "China's Politics Hinder Effort to Shore Up Economy."  It was bad. The CCP leadership is almost paralyzed with fear. The Bo affair--whatever that is--has somehow prevented the party from doing just about anything: they can't make decisions to "shore up the economy" until the leadership succession is settled; they can't do that until they hold the 18th Party Congress, they can't do that until the leadership succession is settled; they can't do that, somehow, because of fallout from the Bo affair. Rinse, repeat.

The article made me feel bad; I went to sleep worried. I don't know why. Somehow, China is in my soul.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Stick A Fork In It.

Unless Barack Obama gets caught with a live boy or a dead girl, this election is over.

It has always looked likely that Obama would be reelected, if narrowly. The polls this summer showed a remarkably consistent, albeit small, lead for the president but since 9/11/12 the polls have just as consistently shown the president's lead widening nationally and in those individual states where the electoral college majority hinges.

The Republicans have lost this election, not just Romney the gaffe-prone candidate. "47%" was not a Romney gaffe, it was how he really felt. It was consistent with his prior statement that he didn't care for the poor, consistent with his and the Republican Party's message this year and in past years, that there are "makers" and "takers" and that his no-tax increase message would never resonate with the "takers."  It is the "us" versus "them" politics of greed. The Republicans offered this message and this candidate to the nation.

Republicans make tax avoidance a civic virtue. Senator Lindsey Graham, defending Romney's refusal to release his tax returns, said in July "It's really American to avoid paying taxes, legally."  For years Republicans have signed a "pledge" not to raise income taxes. For any reason:  not for defense, not for deficit reduction, not for schools, not for highways, not for health. For everyone: not just for the poor or the middle class, but for the wealthy, wealthier, and wealthiest. And not just for individuals, for businesses too. 95% of Republicans in Congress have signed this pledge. Senator Graham and the Republicans have one of their own in "severely" conservative, severely wealthy Mitt Romney with his Swiss bank accounts, his Cayman Islands bank accounts, his 14% income tax, his 47% "them." They offered this message and this candidate to the nation.

The nation said no.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Obama’s 2012 United Nations Speech.

From Fox News (with pithy commentary):

The following is a transcript of President Obama's address to the U.N. General Assembly.

OBAMA: Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to begin today by telling you about an American named Chris Stevens. Chris was born in a town called Grass Valley, California, the son of a lawyer and a musician.

As a young man, Chris joined the Peace Corps and taught English in Morocco, and he came to love and respect the people of North Africa and the Middle East. He would carry that commitment throughout his life.

As a diplomat, he worked from Egypt to Syria, from Saudi Arabia to Libya. He was known for walking the streets of the cities where he worked, tasting the local food, meeting as many people as he could, speaking Arabic, listening with a broad smile.

Chris went to Benghazi in the early days of the Libyan revolution, arriving on a cargo ship. As America's representative, he helped the Libyan people as they coped with violent conflict, cared for the wounded, and crafted a vision for the future in which the rights of all Libyans would be respected.

And after the revolution, he supported the birth of a new democracy, as Libyans held elections, and built new institutions, and began to move forward after decades of dictatorship.

Chris Stevens loved his work. He took pride in the country he served, and he saw dignity in the people that he met.

Two weeks ago, he travelled to Benghazi to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital. That's when America's compound came under attack. Along with three of his colleagues, Chris was killed in the city that he helped to save. He was 52 years old.

I tell you this story because Chris Stevens embodied the best of America. Like his fellow Foreign Service officers, he built bridges across oceans and cultures, and was deeply invested in the international cooperation that the United Nations represents.

He acted with humility, but he also stood up for a set of principles: a belief that individuals should be free to determine their own destiny, and live with liberty, dignity, justice and opportunity.

The attacks on the civilians in Benghazi were attacks on America. We are grateful for the assistance we received from the Libyan government and from the Libyan people.

There should be no doubt that we will be relentless in tracking down the killers and bringing them to justice. [Applause]

And I also appreciate that in recent days the leaders of other countries in the region -- including Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen -- have taken steps to secure our diplomatic facilities and called for calm, [BOOOO. Liar, liar, your underpants are in flames.]and so have religious authorities around the globe.

But understand, the attacks of the last two weeks are not simply an assault on America. They're also an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded: the notion that people can resolve their differences peacefully, that diplomacy can take the place of war, that in an interdependent world all of us have a stake in working towards greater opportunity and security for our citizens.

If we are serious about upholding these ideals, it will not be enough to put more guards in front of an embassy or to put out statements of regret and wait for the outrage to pass. If we are serious about these ideals, we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of the crisis, because we face a choice between the forces that would drive us apart and the hopes that we hold in common.

Today we must reaffirm that our future will be determined by people like Chris Stevens, and not by his killers. Today we must declare that this violence and intolerance has no place among our united nations.

It's been less than two years since a vendor in Tunisia set himself on fire to protest the oppressive corruption in his country and sparked what became known as the Arab Spring. And since then, the world has been captivated by the transformation that's taken place,[HISS, no transformation has taken place.] and the United -- the United States has supported the forces of change.

We were inspired by the Tunisian protests [We? You have a rat in your pocket?] that toppled a dictator because we recognized our own beliefs in the aspiration of men and women who took to the streets. We insisted on change in Egypt because our support for democracy ultimately put us on the side of the people. [How's that worked out? Mr. President, are the people of Egypt our friends?] We supported a transition of leadership in Yemen because the interests of the people were no longer being served by a corrupt status quo.

We intervened in Libya alongside a broad coalition and with the mandate of the United Nations Security Council, because we had the ability to stop the slaughter of innocents and because we believed that the aspirations of the people were more powerful than a tyrant.[Applause]

And as we meet here, we again declare that the regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end so that the suffering of the Syrian people can stop and a new dawn can begin.

We have taken these positions because we believe that freedom and self-determination are not unique to one culture.

These are not simply American values or Western values; they are universal values. And even as there will be huge challenges to come with the transition to democracy, I am convinced that ultimately government of the people, by the people, and for the people [Catchy phrase, good speech writer. Mr. President, wasn't Nazi Germany a government of, by, for?] is more likely to bring about the stability, prosperity, and individual opportunity that serve as a basis for peace in our world.

So let us remember that this is a season of progress.[A "season of progress."] For the first time in decades, Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans voted for new leaders in elections that were credible, competitive and fair.

The democratic spirit has not been restricted to the Arab world. Over the past year, we've seen peaceful transitions of power in Malawi [Where's that? Who cares?]and Senegal and a new president in Somalia. In Burma, a president has freed political prisoners and opened a closed society. A courageous dissident has been elected to parliament, and people look forward to further reform.

Around the globe, people are making their voices heard, insisting on their innate dignity and the right to determine their future. And yet the turmoil of recent weeks reminds us that the path to democracy does not end with the casting of a ballot. Nelson Mandela once said, ``To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.''


True democracy demands that citizens cannot be thrown in jail because of what they believe, and that businesses can be open without paying a bribe. It depends on the freedom of citizens to speak their minds and assemble without fear, and on the rule of law and due process that guarantees the rights of all people.

In other words, true democracy, real freedom is hard work. [Bob Woodward says Obama doesn't like hard work. Obama admits he can be a little "lazy;"  he attributes it to being brought up in Hawaii. I did not make that up. (And I didn't get it from Politico.)]

Those in power have to resist the temptation to crack down on dissidents.["resist the temptation to crack down on dissidents?"  How strong is this temptation, is it like cigarettes or booze?  Is there a gum like Nicorette that "those in power" can take or a Crack Down On Dissidents Anonymous?] In hard economic times, countries must be tempted -- may be tempted to rally the people around perceived enemies at home and abroad, rather than focusing on the painstaking work of reform.

Moreover, there will always be those that reject human progress, dictators who cling to power, corrupt interests that depend on the status quo, and extremists who fan the flames of hate and division. From Northern Ireland to South Asia, from Africa to the Americas, from the Balkans to the Pacific Rim, we've witnesses convulsions that can accompany transitions to a new political order.

At time, the conflicts arise along the fault lines of race or tribe, and often they arise from the difficulties of reconciling tradition and faith with the diversity and interdependence of the modern world.[What he means here is that Islam is "backward" and "incompetent."]  In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening. In every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask themselves how much they're willing to tolerate freedom for others.

And that is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, where a crude and disgusting video [It is drilled into everyone speaking for the Obama administration: "thou shalt not mention the 9/11/12 attacks on America without FIRST condemning Innocence of Muslims."] sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. Now, I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, [And having the American government disown it.] and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well.[Absolutely not, absolutely not.]

For as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and every faith. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion, we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe.

We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them. I know there are some who ask why don't we just ban such a video. The answer is enshrined in our laws. Our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech.

Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. As president of our country, and commander in chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so.


Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views -- even views that we profoundly disagree with. We do so not because we support hateful speech, [Hate speech can be banned in the U.S. Mr. President; if you're calling Innocence hate speech, then ban it.]but because our founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views and practice their own faith may be threatened.

We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can quickly become a tool to silence critics and oppress minorities. We do so because, given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech [hateful speech again]is not repression, it is more speech -- the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.

I know that not all countries in this body share this particular understanding of the protection of free speech. We recognize that. But in 2012, at a time when anyone with a cell phone can spread offensive views around the world with the click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete.[No it's not, he can unplug the internet like Mubarak did. Obama has that power.]

The question, then, is how we respond. And on this we must agree: There is no speech that justifies mindless violence.


There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. [APPLAUSE]There is no video that justifies an attack on an embassy.[APPLAUSE]  There is no slander that provides an excuse for people to burn a restaurant in Lebanon, [APPLAUSE] or destroy a [AMERICAN]school in Tunis, [APPLAUSE] or cause death and destruction in Pakistan.[APPLAUSE (Note nobody else at the U.N. is applauding.]

In this modern world, with modern technologies, for us to respond in that way to hateful speech [I bet he moves to ban Innocence as hate speech.] empowers any individual who engages in such speech to create chaos around the world. We empower the worst of us if that's how we respond.

More broadly, the events of the last two weeks also speak to the need for all of us to honestly address the tensions between the West and the Arab world that is moving towards democracy.

Now let me be clear, just as we cannot solve every problem in the world, the United States has not, and will not, seek to dictate the outcome of democratic transitions abroad.

We do not expect other nations to agree with us on every issue. Nor do we assume that the violence of the past weeks or the hateful speech [Again] by some individuals represent the views of the overwhelming majority of Muslims [For a substantial number, maybe a majority, maybe a plurality, it does.]any more than the views of the people who produced this video represents those of Americans.

However, I do believe that it is the obligation of all leaders in all countries to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism.


It is time to marginalize those who, even when not directly resorting to violence, use hatred of America or the West or Israel as the central organizing principle of politics,[as Islam does] for that only gives cover and sometimes makes an excuse for those who do resort to violence. That brand of politics, one that pits East against West and South against North, Muslims against Christians and Hindu and Jews, can't deliver on the promise of freedom.

To the youth, it offers only false hope. Burning an American flag does nothing to provide a child an education. [Ahh]Smashing apart a restaurant does not fill an empty stomach.[Full stomachs! Full stomachs!] Attacking an embassy won't create a single job.[Jobs! Jobs!]  That brand of politics only makes it harder to achieve what we must do together, educating our children and creating the opportunities that they deserve, protecting human rights and extending democracy's promise.

Understand, [He's a little preachy: "I know," "Let me be clear," Understand."] America will never retreat from the world.[That means he will extend Egyptian loan forgiveness and continue to give them aid. I'm for retreat. Come home America. Close the embassies in Islam, no more aid, don't "pivot" toward the Pacific, pivot back toward the Atlantic. End obsolete alliances.]  We will bring justice to those who harm our citizens [Applause]and our friends, and we will stand with our allies.[We need to end many alliances: with Egypt, Taiwan, South Korea, in Eastern Europe.]  We are willing to partner with countries around the world to deepen ties of trade and investment, and science and technology, energy and development, all efforts that can spark economic growth for all our people and stabilize democratic change.

But such efforts depend on a spirit of mutual interest and mutual respect. No government or company, no school or NGO will be confident working in a country where its people are endangered. For partnerships to be effective, our citizens must be secure and our efforts must be welcomed.

A politics based only on anger, one based on dividing the world between us and them not only sets back international cooperation, it ultimately undermines those who tolerate it. All of us have an interest in standing up to these forces.

Let us remember that Muslims have suffered the most at the hands of extremism. On the same day our civilians were killed in Benghazi, a Turkish police officer was murdered in Istanbul only days before his wedding, more than 10 Yemenis were killed in a car bomb in Sana'a, several Afghan children were mourned by their parents just days after they were killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul.

The impulse towards intolerance and violence may initially be focused on the West, but over time it cannot be contained. The same impulses towards extremism are used to justify war between Sunni and Shia, between tribes and clans. That leads not to strength and prosperity, but to chaos. In less than two years, we have seen largely peaceful protests bring more change to Muslim-majority countries than a decade of violence. And extremists understand this, because they have nothing to offer to improve the lives of people, violence is their only way to stay relevant. They don't build. They only destroy.

It is time to leave the call of violence and the politics of division behind. [That's deep, really deep. There's real depth there, deep depth.]On so many issues, we face a choice between the promise of the future or the prisons of the past, and we cannot afford to get it wrong. We must seize this moment, and America stands ready to work with all who are willing to embrace a better future.

The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt. It must be claimed by those in Tahrir Square who chanted, ``Muslims, Christians, we are one.'' The future must not belong to those who bully women. It must be shaped by girls who go to school and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons.


The future must not belong to those corrupt few who steal a country's resources. It must be won by the students and entrepreneurs, the workers and business owners who seek a broader prosperity for all people. Those are the women and men that America stands with. There's is the vision we will support.

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.[He's going to ban that film. And arrest me, because I'm going to continue to slander the prophet of Islam.]  But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied.


Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims and Shia pilgrims. It's time to heed the words of Gandhi, ``Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.''


Together, we must work towards a work where we are strengthened by our differences, and not defined by them. That is what America embodies. That's the vision we will support. Among Israelis and Palestinians, the future must not belong to those who turn their backs on the prospect of peace. Let us leave behind those who thrive on conflict, those who reject the right of Israel to exist.[APPLAUSE. (Note, no other applause.)]

The road is hard, but the destination is clear: a secure Jewish state of Israel and an independent, prosperous Palestine.


Understanding that such a peace must come through a just agreement between the parties, America will walk alongside all who are prepared to make that journey.

In Syria, the future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people. If there's a cause that cries out for protests in the world today, peaceful protest, it is a regime that tortures children and shoots rockets in apartment buildings. And we must remain engaged to assure that what began with citizens demanding their rights does not end in a cycle of sectarian violence.

Together, we must stand with those Syrians who believe in a different vision, a Syria that is united and inclusive, where children don't need to fear their own government and all Syrians have a say in how they're governed -- Sunnis and Alawites, Kurds and Christians. That's what America stands for. That's is the outcome that we will work for, with sanctions and consequences for those who persecute and assistance and support for those who work for this common good.

Because we believe that the Syrians who embrace this vision will have the strength and legitimacy to lead.

In Iran, we see where the path of a violent and unaccountable ideology leads. The Iranian people have a remarkable and ancient history, and many Iranians wish to enjoy peace and prosperity alongside their neighbors. But just as it restricts the rights of its own people, the Iranian government continues to prop up a dictator in Damascus and supports terrorist groups abroad.

Time and again, it has failed to take the opportunity to demonstrate that its nuclear program is peaceful and to meet its obligations to the United Nations.

So let me be clear: America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so. But that time is not unlimited.

We respect the right of nations to access peaceful nuclear power, but one of the purposes of the United Nations is to see that we harness that power for peace.

Make no mistake: A nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained. [APPLAUSE]It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. It risks triggering a nuclear arms race in the region, and the unraveling of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

That's why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that's why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.["Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran." APPLAUSE! (No other applause)] We know from painful experience that the path to security and prosperity does not lie outside the boundaries of international law and respect for human rights. That's why this institution was established from the rubble of conflict; that is why liberty triumphed over tyranny in the Cold War; and that is the lesson of the last two decades as well.

History shows that peace and progress come to those who make the right choices. Nations in every part of the world have travelled this difficult path.

Europe -- the bloodiest battlefield of the 20th century -- is united, free and at peace. From Brazil to South Africa, from Turkey to South Korea, from India to Indonesia people of different races, religions and traditions have lifted millions out of poverty, while respecting the rights of their citizens and meeting their responsibilities as nations.

And it is because of the progress that I've witnessed in my own lifetime, the progress that I've witnessed after nearly four years as president, that I remain ever hopeful about the world that we live in.

The war in Iraq is over. American troops have come home.

We've begun a transition in Afghanistan, and America and our allies will end our war on schedule in 2014.

Al Qaida has been weakened and Osama bin Laden is no more.[APPLAUSE] Nations have come together to lock down nuclear materials, and America and Russia are reducing our arsenals.

We have seen hard choices made -- from Naypyidaw to Cairo to Abidjan -- to put more power in the hands of citizens.

At a time of economic challenge, the world has come together to broaden prosperity. Through the G-20, we have partnered with emerging countries to keep the world on the path of recovery.

America has pursued a development agenda that fuels growth and breaks dependency, and worked with African leaders to help them feed their nations.

New partnerships have been forged to combat corruption and promote government that is open and transparent. And new commitments have been made through the Equal Futures Partnership to ensure that women and girls can fully participate in politics and pursue opportunity.

And later today, I will discuss our efforts to combat the scourge of human trafficking.

All these things give me hope. But what gives me the most hope is not the actions of us, not the actions of leaders. It is the people that I've seen. The American troops who've risked their lives and sacrificed their limbs for strangers half a world away. The students in Jakarta or Seoul who are eager to use their knowledge to benefit mankind. The faces in a square in Prague or a parliament in Ghana who see democracy giving voice to their aspirations. The young people in the favelas of Rio and the schools of Mumbai whose eyes shine with promise.

These men, women and children of every race and every faith remind me that for every angry mob that gets shown on television, there are billions around the world who share similar hopes and dreams. They tell us that there is a common heartbeat to humanity.

So much attention in our world turns to what divides us. That's what we see on the news, that's what consumes our political debates. But when you strip all away, people everywhere long for the freedom to determine their destiny; the dignity that comes with work; the comfort that comes with faith; and the justice that exists when governments serve their people and not the other way around. [No APPLAUSE at the U.N.]

The United States of America will always stand up for these aspirations for our own people and for people all across the world. That was our founding purpose. That is what our history shows. That is what Chris Stevens worked for throughout his life.

And I promise you this: [Preachy.] Long after the killers are brought to justice, Chris Stevens' legacy will live on in the lives that he touched, in the tens of thousands who marched against violence through the streets of Benghazi, in the Libyans who changed their Facebook photo to one of Chris,[That is truly touching.] in the signs that read simply, ``Chris Stevens was a Friend to all Libyans.'' They should give us hope. They should remind us that so long as we work for it, justice will be done, that history is on our side, and that a rising tide of liberty will never be reversed.

Thank you very much.
[You're very welcome.]

Read more:
Swine Politico.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Obama's U.N. Speech.

"Everything that guy just said is bullshit. Thank you."

Obama's U.N. Speech.

I swear I've read that goddamned speech from start to finish. Where does it say this?:

“Make no mistake: A nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained,” Obama said... “The United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
                                                                                             -Bloomberg News.

Obama's United Nations Speech.

This is the text of the speech, from Politico.


United Nations
New York, New York

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: It is a great honor for me to be here today. I would like to talk to you about a subject that is at the heart of the United Nations — the pursuit of peace in an imperfect world.

War and conflict have been with us since the beginning of civilizations. But in the first part of the 20th century, the advance of modern weaponry led to death on a staggering scale. It was this killing that compelled the founders of this body to build an institution that was focused not just on ending one war, but on averting others; a union of sovereign states that would seek to prevent conflict, while also addressing its causes.

No American did more to pursue this objective than President Franklin Roosevelt. He knew that a victory in war was not enough. As he said at one of the very first meetings on the founding of the United Nations, “We have got to make, not merely peace, but a peace that will last.”

The men and women who built this institution understood that peace is more than just the absence of war. A lasting peace — for nations and for individuals — depends on a sense of justice and opportunity, of dignity and freedom. It depends on struggle and sacrifice, on compromise, and on a sense of common humanity.

One delegate to the San Francisco Conference that led to the creation of the United Nations put it well: “Many people,” she said, “have talked as if all that has to be done to get peace was to say loudly and frequently that we loved peace and we hated war. Now we have learned that no matter how much we love peace and hate war, we cannot avoid having war brought upon us if there are convulsions in other parts of the world.”

The fact is peace is hard. But our people demand it. Over nearly seven decades, even as the United Nations helped avert a third world war, we still live in a world scarred by conflict and plagued by poverty. Even as we proclaim our love for peace and our hatred of war, there are still convulsions in our world that endanger us all.

I took office at a time of two wars for the United States. Moreover, the violent extremists who drew us into war in the first place — Osama bin Laden, and his al Qaeda organization — remained at large. Today, we've set a new direction.

At the end of this year, America’s military operation in Iraq will be over. We will have a normal relationship with a sovereign nation that is a member of the community of nations. That equal partnership will be strengthened by our support for Iraq — for its government and for its security forces, for its people and for their aspirations.

As we end the war in Iraq, the United States and our coalition partners have begun a transition in Afghanistan. Between now and 2014, an increasingly capable Afghan government and security forces will step forward to take responsibility for the future of their country. As they do, we are drawing down our own forces, while building an enduring partnership with the Afghan people.

So let there be no doubt: The tide of war is receding. When I took office, roughly 180,000 Americans were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. By the end of this year, that number will be cut in half, and it will continue to decline. This is critical for the sovereignty of Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s also critical to the strength of the United States as we build our nation at home.

Moreover, we are poised to end these wars from a position of strength. Ten years ago, there was an open wound and twisted steel, a broken heart in the center of this city. Today, as a new tower is rising at Ground Zero, it symbolizes New York’s renewal, even as al Qaeda is under more pressure than ever before. Its leadership has been degraded. And Osama bin Laden, a man who murdered thousands of people from dozens of countries, will never endanger the peace of the world again.

So, yes, this has been a difficult decade. But today, we stand at a crossroads of history with the chance to move decisively in the direction of peace. To do so, we must return to the wisdom of those who created this institution. The United Nations’ Founding Charter calls upon us, “to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security.” And Article 1 of this General Assembly’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights reminds us that, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and in rights.” Those bedrock beliefs — in the responsibility of states, and the rights of men and women — must be our guide.

And in that effort, we have reason to hope. This year has been a time of extraordinary transformation. More nations have stepped forward to maintain international peace and security. And more individuals are claiming their universal right to live in freedom and dignity.

Think about it: One year ago, when we met here in New York, the prospect of a successful referendum in South Sudan was in doubt. But the international community overcame old divisions to support the agreement that had been negotiated to give South Sudan self-determination. And last summer, as a new flag went up in Juba, former soldiers laid down their arms, men and women wept with joy, and children finally knew the promise of looking to a future that they will shape.

One year ago, the people of Côte D’Ivoire approached a landmark election. And when the incumbent lost, and refused to respect the results, the world refused to look the other way. U.N. peacekeepers were harassed, but they did not leave their posts. The Security Council, led by the United States and Nigeria and France, came together to support the will of the people. And Côte D’Ivoire is now governed by the man who was elected to lead.

One year ago, the hopes of the people of Tunisia were suppressed. But they chose the dignity of peaceful protest over the rule of an iron fist. A vendor lit a spark that took his own life, but he ignited a movement. In a face of a crackdown, students spelled out the word, "freedom." The balance of fear shifted from the ruler to those that he ruled. And now the people of Tunisia are preparing for elections that will move them one step closer to the democracy that they deserve.

One year ago, Egypt had known one President for nearly 30 years. But for 18 days, the eyes of the world were glued to Tahrir Square, where Egyptians from all walks of life — men and women, young and old, Muslim and Christian — demanded their universal rights. We saw in those protesters the moral force of non-violence that has lit the world from Delhi to Warsaw, from Selma to South Africa — and we knew that change had come to Egypt and to the Arab world.

One year ago, the people of Libya were ruled by the world’s longest-serving dictator. But faced with bullets and bombs and a dictator who threatened to hunt them down like rats, they showed relentless bravery. We will never forget the words of the Libyan who stood up in those early days of the revolution and said, “Our words are free now.” It’s a feeling you can’t explain. Day after day, in the face of bullets and bombs, the Libyan people refused to give back that freedom. And when they were threatened by the kind of mass atrocity that often went unchallenged in the last century, the United Nations lived up to its charter. The Security Council authorized all necessary measures to prevent a massacre. The Arab League called for this effort; Arab nations joined a NATO-led coalition that halted Qaddafi’s forces in their tracks.

In the months that followed, the will of the coalition proved unbreakable, and the will of the Libyan people could not be denied. Forty-two years of tyranny was ended in six months. From Tripoli to Misurata to Benghazi — today, Libya is free. Yesterday, the leaders of a new Libya took their rightful place beside us, and this week, the United States is reopening our embassy in Tripoli.

This is how the international community is supposed to work — nations standing together for the sake of peace and security, and individuals claiming their rights. Now, all of us have a responsibility to support the new Libya — the new Libyan government as they confront the challenge of turning this moment of promise into a just and lasting peace for all Libyans.

So this has been a remarkable year. The Qaddafi regime is over. Gbagbo, Ben Ali, Mubarak are no longer in power. Osama bin Laden is gone, and the idea that change could only come through violence has been buried with him. Something is happening in our world. The way things have been is not the way that they will be. The humiliating grip of corruption and tyranny is being pried open. Dictators are on notice. Technology is putting power into the hands of the people. The youth are delivering a powerful rebuke to dictatorship, and rejecting the lie that some races, some peoples, some religions, some ethnicities do not desire democracy. The promise written down on paper — “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” — is closer at hand.

But let us remember: Peace is hard. Peace is hard. Progress can be reversed. Prosperity comes slowly. Societies can split apart. The measure of our success must be whether people can live in sustained freedom, dignity, and security. And the United Nations and its member states must do their part to support those basic aspirations. And we have more work to do.

In Iran, we've seen a government that refuses to recognize the rights of its own people. As we meet here today, men and women and children are being tortured, detained and murdered by the Syrian regime. Thousands have been killed, many during the holy time of Ramadan. Thousands more have poured across Syria’s borders. The Syrian people have shown dignity and courage in their pursuit of justice — protesting peacefully, standing silently in the streets, dying for the same values that this institution is supposed to stand for. And the question for us is clear: Will we stand with the Syrian people, or with their oppressors?

Already, the United States has imposed strong sanctions on Syria’s leaders. We supported a transfer of power that is responsive to the Syrian people. And many of our allies have joined in this effort. But for the sake of Syria — and the peace and security of the world — we must speak with one voice. There's no excuse for inaction. Now is the time for the United Nations Security Council to sanction the Syrian regime, and to stand with the Syrian people.

Throughout the region, we will have to respond to the calls for change. In Yemen, men, women and children gather by the thousands in towns and city squares every day with the hope that their determination and spilled blood will prevail over a corrupt system. America supports those aspirations. We must work with Yemen’s neighbors and our partners around the world to seek a path that allows for a peaceful transition of power from President Saleh, and a movement to free and fair elections as soon as possible.

In Bahrain, steps have been taken toward reform and accountability. We’re pleased with that, but more is required. America is a close friend of Bahrain, and we will continue to call on the government and the main opposition bloc — the Wifaq — to pursue a meaningful dialogue that brings peaceful change that is responsive to the people. We believe the patriotism that binds Bahrainis together must be more powerful than the sectarian forces that would tear them apart. It will be hard, but it is possible.

We believe that each nation must chart its own course to fulfill the aspirations of its people, and America does not expect to agree with every party or person who expresses themselves politically. But we will always stand up for the universal rights that were embraced by this Assembly. Those rights depend on elections that are free and fair; on governance that is transparent and accountable; respect for the rights of women and minorities; justice that is equal and fair. That is what our people deserve. Those are the elements of peace that can last.

Moreover, the United States will continue to support those nations that transition to democracy — with greater trade and investment — so that freedom is followed by opportunity. We will pursue a deeper engagement with governments, but also with civil society — students and entrepreneurs, political parties and the press. We have banned those who abuse human rights from traveling to our country. And we’ve sanctioned those who trample on human rights abroad. And we will always serve as a voice for those who've been silenced.

Now, I know, particularly this week, that for many in this hall, there's one issue that stands as a test for these principles and a test for American foreign policy, and that is the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

One year ago, I stood at this podium and I called for an independent Palestine. I believed then, and I believe now, that the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own. But what I also said is that a genuine peace can only be realized between the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves. One year later, despite extensive efforts by America and others, the parties have not bridged their differences. Faced with this stalemate, I put forward a new basis for negotiations in May of this year. That basis is clear. It’s well known to all of us here. Israelis must know that any agreement provides assurances for their security. Palestinians deserve to know the territorial basis of their state.

Now, I know that many are frustrated by the lack of progress. I assure you, so am I. But the question isn’t the goal that we seek — the question is how do we reach that goal. And I am convinced that there is no short cut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades. Peace is hard work. Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations — if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians — not us –- who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and on security, on refugees and Jerusalem.

Ultimately, peace depends upon compromise among people who must live together long after our speeches are over, long after our votes have been tallied. That’s the lesson of Northern Ireland, where ancient antagonists bridged their differences. That’s the lesson of Sudan, where a negotiated settlement led to an independent state. And that is and will be the path to a Palestinian state — negotiations between the parties.

We seek a future where Palestinians live in a sovereign state of their own, with no limit to what they can achieve. There’s no question that the Palestinians have seen that vision delayed for too long. It is precisely because we believe so strongly in the aspirations of the Palestinian people that America has invested so much time and so much effort in the building of a Palestinian state, and the negotiations that can deliver a Palestinian state.

But understand this as well: America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable. Our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring. And so we believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day.

Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, look out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile and persecution, and fresh memories of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they are. Those are facts. They cannot be denied.

The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition. It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine.

That is the truth — each side has legitimate aspirations — and that’s part of what makes peace so hard. And the deadlock will only be broken when each side learns to stand in the other’s shoes; each side can see the world through the other’s eyes. That’s what we should be encouraging. That’s what we should be promoting.

This body — founded, as it was, out of the ashes of war and genocide, dedicated, as it is, to the dignity of every single person — must recognize the reality that is lived by both the Palestinians and the Israelis. The measure of our actions must always be whether they advance the right of Israeli and Palestinian children to live lives of peace and security and dignity and opportunity. And we will only succeed in that effort if we can encourage the parties to sit down, to listen to each other, and to understand each other’s hopes and each other’s fears. That is the project to which America is committed. There are no shortcuts. And that is what the United Nations should be focused on in the weeks and months to come.

Now, even as we confront these challenges of conflict and revolution, we must also recognize — we must also remind ourselves — that peace is not just the absence of war. True peace depends on creating the opportunity that makes life worth living. And to do that, we must confront the common enemies of humanity: nuclear weapons and poverty, ignorance and disease. These forces corrode the possibility of lasting peace and together we're called upon to confront them.

To lift the specter of mass destruction, we must come together to pursue the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. Over the last two years, we've begun to walk down that path. Since our Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, nearly 50 nations have taken steps to secure nuclear materials from terrorists and smugglers. Next March, a summit in Seoul will advance our efforts to lock down all of them. The New START Treaty between the United States and Russia will cut our deployed arsenals to the lowest level in half a century, and our nations are pursuing talks on how to achieve even deeper reductions. America will continue to work for a ban on the testing of nuclear weapons and the production of fissile material needed to make them.

And so we have begun to move in the right direction. And the United States is committed to meeting our obligations. But even as we meet our obligations, we’ve strengthened the treaties and institutions that help stop the spread of these weapons. And to do so, we must continue to hold accountable those nations that flout them.

The Iranian government cannot demonstrate that its program is peaceful. It has not met its obligations and it rejects offers that would provide it with peaceful nuclear power. North Korea has yet to take concrete steps towards abandoning its weapons and continues belligerent action against the South. There's a future of greater opportunity for the people of these nations if their governments meet their international obligations. But if they continue down a path that is outside international law, they must be met with greater pressure and isolation. That is what our commitment to peace and security demands.

To bring prosperity to our people, we must promote the growth that creates opportunity. In this effort, let us not forget that we’ve made enormous progress over the last several decades. Closed societies gave way to open markets. Innovation and entrepreneurship has transformed the way we live and the things that we do. Emerging economies from Asia to the Americas have lifted hundreds of millions of people from poverty. It’s an extraordinary achievement. And yet, three years ago, we were confronted with the worst financial crisis in eight decades. And that crisis proved a fact that has become clearer with each passing year — our fates are interconnected. In a global economy, nations will rise, or fall, together.

And today, we confront the challenges that have followed on the heels of that crisis. Around the world recovery is still fragile. Markets remain volatile. Too many people are out of work. Too many others are struggling just to get by. We acted together to avert a depression in 2009. We must take urgent and coordinated action once more. Here in the United States, I've announced a plan to put Americans back to work and jumpstart our economy, at the same time as I’m committed to substantially reducing our deficits over time.

We stand with our European allies as they reshape their institutions and address their own fiscal challenges. For other countries, leaders face a different challenge as they shift their economy towards more self-reliance, boosting domestic demand while slowing inflation. So we will work with emerging economies that have rebounded strongly, so that rising standards of living create new markets that promote global growth. That’s what our commitment to prosperity demands.

To combat the poverty that punishes our children, we must act on the belief that freedom from want is a basic human right. The United States has made it a focus of our engagement abroad to help people to feed themselves. And today, as drought and conflict have brought famine to the Horn of Africa, our conscience calls on us to act. Together, we must continue to provide assistance, and support organizations that can reach those in need. And together, we must insist on unrestricted humanitarian access so that we can save the lives of thousands of men and women and children. Our common humanity is at stake. Let us show that the life of a child in Somalia is as precious as any other. That is what our commitment to our fellow human beings demand.

To stop disease that spreads across borders, we must strengthen our system of public health. We will continue the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. We will focus on the health of mothers and of children. And we must come together to prevent, and detect, and fight every kind of biological danger — whether it’s a pandemic like H1N1, or a terrorist threat, or a treatable disease.

This week, America signed an agreement with the World Health Organization to affirm our commitment to meet this challenge. And today, I urge all nations to join us in meeting the HWO’s [sic] goal of making sure all nations have core capacities to address public health emergencies in place by 2012. That is what our commitment to the health of our people demands.

To preserve our planet, we must not put off action that climate change demands. We have to tap the power of science to save those resources that are scarce. And together, we must continue our work to build on the progress made in Copenhagen and Cancun, so that all the major economies here today follow through on the commitments that were made. Together, we must work to transform the energy that powers our economies, and support others as they move down that path. That is what our commitment to the next generation demands.

And to make sure our societies reach their potential, we must allow our citizens to reach theirs. No country can afford the corruption that plagues the world like a cancer. Together, we must harness the power of open societies and open economies. That’s why we’ve partnered with countries from across the globe to launch a new partnership on open government that helps ensure accountability and helps to empower citizens. No country should deny people their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but also no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere.

And no country can realize its potential if half its population cannot reach theirs. This week, the United States signed a new Declaration on Women’s Participation. Next year, we should each announce the steps we are taking to break down the economic and political barriers that stand in the way of women and girls. This is what our commitment to human progress demands.

I know there’s no straight line to that progress, no single path to success. We come from different cultures, and carry with us different histories. But let us never forget that even as we gather here as heads of different governments, we represent citizens who share the same basic aspirations — to live with dignity and freedom; to get an education and pursue opportunity; to love our families, and love and worship our God; to live in the kind of peace that makes life worth living.

It is the nature of our imperfect world that we are forced to learn these lessons over and over again. Conflict and repression will endure so long as some people refuse to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Yet that is precisely why we have built institutions like this — to bind our fates together, to help us recognize ourselves in each other — because those who came before us believed that peace is preferable to war, and freedom is preferable to suppression, and prosperity is preferable to poverty. That’s the message that comes not from capitals, but from citizens, from our people.

And when the cornerstone of this very building was put in place, President Truman came here to New York and said, “The United Nations is essentially an expression of the moral nature of man’s aspirations.” The moral nature of man’s aspirations. As we live in a world that is changing at a breathtaking pace, that’s a lesson that we must never forget.

Peace is hard, but we know that it is possible. So, together, let us be resolved to see that it is defined by our hopes and not by our fears. Together, let us make peace, but a peace, most importantly, that will last.

Thank you very much.

Emphasis added Oct. 4, 2012. 

Read more:


There have been momentous changes of worldwide significance in two categories of the Public Occurrences Top Ten. Russia has overtaken China as the country with the third most pageviewers and Lebron James II has supplanted those swine Egyptians as the tenth most-read post, both over the last 3+ years. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

How Romney Can Win.

So I wanted to, you know, "clarify."  Because I wouldn't want him to, you know, "rely" on my advice. 

How Romney Can Win.

I'm sure he reads Public Occurrences though. 

How Romney Can Win.

Umm, upon reevaluation I don't think Mitt Romney can win the presidency by following "all" of my suggestions in yesterday's post. "Technically," I think he would "lose" if he followed all of my suggestions. Some of them, he can win if he follows some of them...Got a little out over my skis there...He would get my vote though.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"Innocence of Muslims," the entire film.

This is not a crudely-made film.
Over two million views on YouTube since September 14.

How Romney Can Win.

I entirely agree with Republicans who say Mitt Romney needs to go after the president aggressively.  I think there is a real opening for Romney on foreign policy. Romney needs to hammer Obama for his policies of apology and appeasement for they have made the U.S. less safe. Public opinion towards the U.S. is lower now within the Muslim world than when Obama took office. The U.S. was attacked by Islam throughout the Muslim world on 9/11 2012 and thereafter. Obama has been in full appeasement mode since. The administration has paid $70,000 to air an advertisement on Pakistani television with statements of condemnation of Innocence of Muslims taken from the public remarks of President Obama and Secretary Clinton. Romney must be specific:

  1. Romney was absolutely right to criticize the U.S. Embassy in Cairo’s statement disavowing Innocence of Muslims for “hurting the feelings” of Muslims. Romney took heat for that criticism. He must return to it, not run away from it.  The president of the United States takes an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution,” which includes the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Obama has failed his oath. The administration has repeatedly blamed the 9/11/12 attacks on Innocence of Muslims, repeatedly separating the U.S. government from the film. In doing so Obama has separated himself from the Constitution. Romney should defend Innocence of Muslims by defending the makers right to make the film.
  2. Criticize the Obama administration for spending $70,000 for the appeasement advertisement on Pakistani television
  3. No extension of the Egyptian loan forgiveness.
  4. Cut off all aid to Egypt.
  5. Cut off all aid to Pakistan.
  6. Hunt down, capture, and kill if necessary all Muslims in all Muslim countries who attacked U.S. sovereign territory by invading embassy grounds.
  7. Hunt down and kill all members of Al Qaeda wherever they are.
  8. Attack and destroy Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. 
  9. Arrest and bring to trial before any court with jurisdiction Pakistani Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, who yesterday put up a $100,000 bounty for the murder of the Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the creator of Innocence of Muslims. 
  10. Attack Iran to destroy its attempts to acquire nuclear weapons.
  11. Target the preachers of hate throughout Islam by killing the clerics and destroying their mosques. Romney should name names, starting with Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.

Friday, September 21, 2012

"You know why they hate us? I talked to intelligence people all weekend. They hate us because of their religion, they hate us because of their culture, and they hate us because of peer pressure. You talk to any intelligence person, they will tell you that's the same thing. And all those people who think we're going to go over there and change them are just naive. Think about the savagery -- the sheer unrestrained savagery -- that we have seen across the Middle East and the Arab world because of a crude film. They know what they're doing.".

"One intelligence person told me, if you scratch the surface, and if you gave every street vendor to prime minister in that region a chance to throw a rock at the U.S. embassy, they would," he said. "So this [film] is their excuse."
                          -Joe Scarborough.

Mr. Scarborough, an msnbc host now, was the Republican Congressman from the 1st District of Florida from 1995-2001. I agree with the above.
"I believe human society's development is very much like dancing the fox trot, that is, two steps forward, one step back and one step sideways...We have to be patient."
                                                                   -Dr. Weimin Mo.

I emailed Dr. Mo earlier this week asking for his thoughts on the recent events in Islam. The above was part of his response. I loved his fox trot analogy.

In the first "Seeking the Soul of China" post here I wrote "Alexander Pope cautioned, "fools rush in where angels fear to tread" but I am no angel, and I'm in a hurry." I should probably take to heart Dr. Mo's advice on patience, also. But I'm no angel.

Headline of the Day.

"Did Jesus have a wife?"
Yes, Muhammad.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mitt Romney's Kind of People.

Marc, like Romney backer Sheldon Adelson, is an American Jew, speaking of which, Israel Wins Opener in World Baseball Classic Qualifiers

Mitt Romney's Kind of People.

L-R: Fat Bald Guy, Bimbo, Marc Leder. Mitt, I'll bet you $10,000 Marc's wearing shoes without socks.

Marc is the elegant guy who threw the $50,000 per head fundraiser at which Mitt uttered his "not elegant" remarks about the 47% of us who consider ourselves "victims." Marc, like Mitt, has a private equity firm, Sun Capital. In fact, it was Mitt who "inspired" Marc to get into this job-creating field according to Mother Jones, which broke this whole inelegant story. Mother Jones quotes from a New York Times article from January of this year:

"Mr. Leder personifies the debates now swirling around this lucrative corner of finance. To his critics, he represents everything that's wrong with this setup. In recent years, a large number of the companies that Sun Capital has acquired have run into serious trouble, eliminated jobs or both. Since 2008, some 25 of its companies—roughly one of every five it owns—have filed for bankruptcy. Among the losers was Friendly's, the restaurant chain known for its Jim Dandy sundaes and Fribble shakes. (Sun Capital was accused by a federal agency of pushing Friendly's into bankruptcy last year to avoid paying pensions to the chain's employees; Sun disputes that contention.) Another company that sank into bankruptcy was Real Mex, owner of the Chevy's restaurant chain. In that case, Mr. Leder lost money for his investors not once, but twice."

To round out this post U.S. News & World Report says Marc is threatening to sue the person (identified so far only as one of Marc's "waitstaff" at this philosopher's salon) who taped philosopher-wannbe-king Mitt, and is trying to have the cops arrest the person for violation of Florida anti-recording law (Marc's salon is located in Boca Raton ("Boca"), Florida.).


I cannot think of a major party presidential candidate who has been as bad as Mitt Romney has been. Let's look at some of the recent losers:

McCain:  No, not as bad, not close. Great man, not so great a candidate (Sarah Palin). 

Kerry: "Who amongst us...? No.

Gore: "I invented the internet." No

Dole: "Stop lying about my record."  Loved that guy. No.

Poppy Bush: Looking at his watch during a debate, how does the checkout scanner work, "Message: I care."  Not very good, not as bad. 

Dukakis: "No Bernard, I would not favor the death penalty for the rapist-murderer of Kitty." Not good, not as bad. Good man, would have been a good president.

Mondale: "I will raise your taxes, he will too, he just won't tell you."  Pretty bad. No.

Carter: "There you go, again."  I don't remember any Carter gaffes during that campaign though, his presidency was a gaffe. Good man, though.

Ford: Eastern Europe is not under Soviet control, bumping his head on the airplane door, tripping down the airplane steps, falling down the ski slopes, talking as if he had "played too many football games without his helmet on" (Tip O'Neill), "WIN" buttons ("Whip Inflation Now"). Maybe Ford, yeah Ford was as bad as Romney.

Image: Mitt Romney's official portrait as Massachusetts governor. That folder on the desk right next to his wife's framed photograph is his Massachusetts health care law. Bad.


"Making Life Better." Growwll.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Though Israel’s national baseball team has many excellent pitchers, catchers, infielders and outfielders, the roster has a shortage of something that might be considered essential: Israelis. 

Only 3 of the squad’s 28 players hail from Israel, the rest being Americans with professional baseball experience and Jewish roots, recruited to play for a homeland only a few have visited.

Eligibility requirements are rather elastic for the World Baseball Classic, the 28-nation tournament beginning here Wednesday. Players do not need to be citizens of a participating country; they merely need to be eligible to become one, and for Israel that includes anyone with a Jewish parent or grandparent. A non-Jew married to a Jew could also play."

Why would an American Jew want to play for* Israel?  I don't think that's right. American Jews should play for America.

* "for" typographically omitted in original post.


Yeah, we'll get back to Mohammad shortly, Governor Romney. But first, as to you.

MALE VOICE: For the past three years, all everybody's been told is, "Don't worry. We'll take care of it." How are we gonna do it, in two months before the elections, to convince everybody you've gotta take care of yourself?

MITT ROMNEY: Well, there are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right? There are 47% who are with him. Who are dependent upon government, who believe that-- that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they're entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you name it. But that's-- it's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.

And-- and-- I mean the president starts off with 48%, 49%, 40-- or he-- he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. 47% of Americans pay no income taxes. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. And he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that's what they sell every-- every four years.

And-- and so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5% to 10% in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion. Whether they like the guy or not. What they-- what it looks like. I mean the-- it's the-- the-- when you ask those people-- we do all these polls. I find it amazing. We poll all these people, see where you stand in the polls. About 45% of the people will vote for the Republican and 48% or 49%-- (BREAK IN AUDIO)
That is really insulting to me personally. I am a professional in private practice, I am in the middle class, I pay income taxes and all other taxes, I am not dependent on the government for anything...I guess when I'm appointed by the court to represent an indigent criminal defendant and accept payment from the government I benefit--not much I can swear an oath to that--, other than that...Jesus Christ, how the hell DO I benefit from the government... I'm not on any kind of government program, no government health insurance, social security, food stamps...paid back my student loans. God DAMN it, I'm a chump, how can I suckle at the government's teet? Romney, I am not "dependent" on the government, I take "personal responsibility" for my life, I pay a higher percentage in income taxes than you do and you really piss me off.

This was first reported in Mother Jones here: excerpts above are from the NBC transcript of the entire discussion here:

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Innocence of Muslims"

Now, that film, in all its despicable entirety, will be posted on Public Occurrences.  Friends may want to avoid the casa de me when that happens. 

Oh my God, this is great, evil-great:  the leader of one of Islam's terrorist organizations, Hezbollah, has thrown down against Susan Rice and Barack Obama. Islam has been demanding that the president apologize for Innocence of Muslims. He, of course, has refused, although Rice and Secretary Clinton have come close. Obama has also refused to put pressure on Google and Youtube to take the film down, protecting and defending the constitution of the United States, which he, like, took an oath to do, and which, like, allows for free speech. The problem for the Obamas is that only the trailer to the film has been released so far, not the whole film. Islam is now demanding that Obama block release of the film in its entirety.  Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah above said today that if the whole film is released,

"America, which uses the pretext of freedom of expression...needs to understand that putting out the whole film will have very grave consequences around the world."  

Now what are the Obamas going to do?  Rice has already said the trailer was the "proximate cause" of the murder of the Americans in Libya, now the administration is put on notice that if it allows the whole film to be released there are going to be further attacks by Islam. So Ambassador Rice, if President Obama doesn't block the release of Innocence of Muslims wouldn't he be at least an accessory to the "proximate cause" of the murder of more Americans? And if Obama does block the release of the whole film (Can he do that?  Would that be constitutional?)  then Sheikh Nasrallah and Islam have made him their bitch.

Mr. President, may I ask a question, do you have a full supply of Imodium in the White House?
No, she doesn't have game, she's got bone in brain.
Ambassador Rice, have you ever been to Uzbekistan?  Ma'am just answer the question: are you now or have you ever been Uzbek?  Are you related to anyone from Uzbekistan?  How about Penn State, did you ever attend Penn State?  Huh?  Ever been there? Huh?