December 30, 2011

From Caroline Glick:

In recent months, a curious argument has surfaced in favor of US President Barack Obama. His supporters argue that Obama’s foreign policy has been a massive success. If he had as much freedom of action on domestic affairs as he has on foreign affairs, they argue, his achievements in all areas would be without peer.

Expressing this view, Karen Finney a former Democratic spokeswoman who often defends the party in the US media told the Huffington Post, “Look at the progress the president can make when he doesn’t have Republicans obstructing him.”

Yeah, sure…


The failure of Obama’s foreign policies to date has been nowhere more evident than in the Middle East.

Take Iraq for instance. Obama and his supporters claim that the withdrawal of all US forces from Iraq is one of his great accomplishments. By pulling out, Obama kept his promise to voters to end the war in “a responsible manner.” And as the polling data indicate, most Americans are willing to give him credit for the move.

But the situation on the ground is dangerous and getting worse every day. Earlier this month, just ahead of the departure of the last US forces from Iraq, Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki visited with Obama at the White House. Immediately after he returned home, the Shiite premier began a ruthless campaign against his Sunni coalition partners in a no-holds barred bid to transform the Iraqi government and armed forces into partisan institutions controlled by his Dawa Party.

Forces commanded by Maliki’s son arrested and allegedly tortured several of the Sunni Vice President Tariq al Hashimi’s bodyguards. They forced the guards to implicate Hashimi in terror plots. Maliki subsequently issued an arrest warrant for Hashimi. So too, he issued an arrest warrant for the Sunni Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Mutlaq and fired him without permission from the Iraqi parliament.

Hashimi and Mutlaq are now in hiding in Erbil. Maliki is demanding that the Kurdish regional government extradite them to Baghdad for trial.

Maliki’s actions have driven Sunni leaders in the Sunni provinces of Diyala, Anbar and Salahadin to demand autonomy under Iraq’s federal system. He has responded by deploying loyal forces to the provinces to fight the local militias.

The situation is so explosive that three prominent Sunni leaders, former prime minister Ayad Allawi, who heads the Iraqiya party, Parliament Speaker Osama Nujaifi, and Finance Minister Rafe al-Essawi published an op-ed in the New York Times on Tuesday begging Obama to rein in Maliki in order to prevent Iraq from plunging into civil war.

No doubt these “pleas” will fall on deaf ears as Obama continues to define our troops’ withdrawal from Iraq a master stroke or whatever on his part.

Then there is Egypt. Obama’s decision in February to abandon then president Hosni Mubarak, the US’s most dependable ally in the Arab world in favor of the protesters in Tahrir Square was hailed by his supporters as a victory for democracy and freedom against tyranny. By supporting the protesters against the US ally, Obama argued that he was advancing US interests by showing the Muslim world the US favored the people over their leaders.

Ten months later, the Egyptian people have responded to this populist policy by giving jihadist parties a two-thirds majority in Egypt’s parliamentary elections. For the first time in thirty years, the strategic anchor of US power in the Arab world — the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty — is in danger. Indeed, there is no reason to believe it will survive.


As to Iran, Obama’s policies have brought about a situation where the regime in Teheran does not fear a US military strike on its nuclear installations. Obama’s open opposition to the prospect of an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear installations has similarly convinced the regime that it can proceed without fear in its nuclear project.

Iran’s threat this week to close the Straits of Hormuz in the event that the US imposes an embargo on Iranian oil exports is being widely characterized by the US media as a sign of desperation on the part of the regime. But it is hard to see how this characterization aligns with reality. It is far more appropriate to view Iran’s easy threats as a sign of contempt for Obama and for US power projection under his leadership.

If Iran’s ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons are thwarted, it will be despite Obama, not because of him.

Then there is the so-called peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Due to Obama’s unbridled hostility towards Israel, there is no chance whatsoever that Israel and the PLO will reach a peace deal for the foreseeable future. Instead, Fatah and Hamas have agreed to unify their forces. The only thing standing in the way of a Hamas takeover of the PLO is the US Congress’s threat to cut off US aid to the Palestinian Authority. For his part, Obama has gone out of his way to discredit the Congressional threat by serving as an indefatigable lobbyist for maintaining US financial support for the PA.

Still more…

Of course, the Middle East is not the only region where the deleterious consequences of Obama’s foreign policy are being felt. From Europe, to Africa, to Asia, to Latin America, Obama’s determination to embrace US adversaries like Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chavez has weakened pro-US forces and strengthened US foes.

Barack Hussein Obama, chimpion of foreign policy.

Read the rest of the column.

December 27, 2011

The science parasites are still with us

The global warming con artists are still at it, trying to maintain their bread & butter “research” grants on the taxpayer’s dime.

From WesleyPruden via Jewish World Review:

“Climate research,” the New York Times confidently assures us, “stands at a crossroads.” This means that a lot of research scientists are standing at the crossroads, holding out paper bags like trick-or-treaters on Halloween night, standing in line for taxpayer largesse to fill ‘em up.

These specialists in shakedown “science,” who speak only in hyperbole, are calling the weather of 2011 the worst in history, or at least in memory, or maybe a decade, and say they could have found useful links between disasters and global-warming “science” by now if only they could shake down tightwad taxpayers for a few more millions.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made a little list of a dozen weather disasters of the year now swiftly passing into history — wildfires in Texas, floods on the Mississippi and tornadoes in Tornado Alley. Unfortunately for global-warming “scientists” ever on the scout for handouts, there were no bad hurricanes to report this year. Nevertheless, the speakers of hyperbole are making the best of the scant material at hand.

“I’ve been a meteorologist for 30 years and have never seen a year that comes close to matching 2011 for the number of astounding, extreme weather events,” the easily astounded Jeffrey Masters of the Weather Underground web site tells the newspaper, which is always alert for opportunities to beat this favorite drum. “Looking back in the historical record, which goes back to the late 1800s, I can’t find anything that compares, either.”

Maybe he should look a little harder. The disasters, calamities and other inconveniences blamed on changing weather include not only floods and fires in the United States but similar disasters in Australia, the Philippines and Southeast Asia, where calamity is part of something called “life.” Anyone spooked by “unprecedented flooding” in the Mississippi River Valley in the United States should check the precedents of the great floods of 1927 and 1937, when much of Arkansas, Misssissippi and Louisiana lay underwater for weeks, and mud even longer. The hyperbolic claims that man has never been so badly abused by the weather, and that man himself has asked for it with his wild and wicked ways abusing nature, are given the lie by the fact that the weather has been wild and wicked in many millennia before this one, when there were not nearly so many of us stalking the planet for opportunities to make mischief.

Pruden tells it soooooo well.

In these tough economic times when Congress is having deadlocked debates about taxation and government spending, the rip-offs “scientists” of the global warming cabal should be among the first casualties of the elimination of wasteful largesse.

After all, we have enough oily, soulless crooks sending us spam from Nigeria to support, so why pay people of the same ilk to run con jobs on the American taxpayer?

by @ 8:43 am. Filed under Liberal Agendas, Parasites, Weather or Not

December 21, 2011

I don’t guess we finished the job in Iraq

Before pulling out the troops, that is. Or something, since there seems to be quite a bit of sectarian disagreement over there in the aftermath of our exodus.

The Veep over there’s actually the star of an arrest warrant naming him as the man behind a bombing plot. He denies any guilt, claiming that the charges are trumped up, courtesy of the Iraqi Prez, who’s of the “opposing” sect.

So who’s telling the truth, and who’s fibbing?

I don’t know about this Islam; Here in the west, our varying religions coexist, as do the sects within same. Among Muslims, they are apparently enemies, or at least that’s what developments indicate to be the case in Iraq.

Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi:

“I am puzzled by the statement of President Obama when he says we left a democratic Iraq and that the judiciary is independent and that there’s transparency and there’s no corruption,” Mr. Hashemi said. “I am the vice president addressing him today as my home is surrounded by tanks: What democracy are you speaking about Mr. Obama?”

Oh, my, that doesn’t sound very promising at all, President Obama, now does it? Perhaps we should’ve stuck around a little longer and figured things out a little better, but what the heck? What’s a little potential mass violence in another country compared to Obama kissing up to his “peace at any price”, middle aged hippie base? Next year is an election year, you know.

Who knows what Iraq will look like or who will be running that country a year from now!

I mean, South Vietnam sure went through some changes, including a sharp, brutal, terrifying decrease in population figures, after America cut and ran out on them

by @ 8:31 pm. Filed under Iraq

December 14, 2011

Fiscal irresponsibility takes its “toll”

A spot-on rant from Jason Mattera:

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Princesella Smith, who raked in $89,599 for operating the toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge in 2011.

Good work if you can get it!

Smith isn’t alone. An investigation by the New York Post revealed that another toll booth operator pulled in a whopping $102,670 in 2011, $40K of that money coming in overtime. In total, as the Post notes, there are at least 24 New York and New Jersey workers who have raked in more than $80,000 as “public” workers at a job that requires us to hand them even more of our money.

Yep, in essence, we’re paying them to sit in an outside cubicle all day and deplete our wallets further if we want to travel between New York, New Jersey and the surrounding states.

Must be nice.

I can’t say as I would blame the employees themselves for any of this, I mean who wouldn’t take the hours and the pay involved? I would, however, blame the supervisory personnel and the bureaucrats who make all this possible.

What a country! :-)

Besides excessive wages to people whose only skill requirement is to sit on a stool and count and collect dollar bills, tax dollars reserved for transportation uses have gone to a panoply of nonessential programs. As Ronald Utt of The Heritage Foundation points out, the “highway trust fund” has been raided to pay for Indian reservations, historic preservation sites, Appalachian and Mississippi Delta development, roadside beautification, bicycles, hiking paths, university research, and—the granddaddy of all expenses—feeding the $425 million beast that is the Department of Transportation.

The Port Authority (PA), for instance, employees a gardener for $94,000 and a blacksmith for $146,000 a year. Heck, there are even retired PA employees who are making around that amount by cashing in on unused vacation and comp time. (Here’s an idea: As we’re facing budget deficits well into our future, how about requiring public employees to use their vaca time … or lose it. No cashing in allowed.)

I concur.

The rest of the column is here.

by @ 10:18 am. Filed under The Economy, WTF!!!!?

December 8, 2011

Continuing, briefly

Perhaps I am seeing a situation where one doesn’t exist, but then again, perhaps I’m not.

What I mentioned in my last post and what was accurately brought up in the comment section by Gray Monk, whose comment easily applies to the United States as well as Britain, causes me some amount of worry.

The politicians who run this nation seem to be doing what everyone else in a position to do so is doing; Grabbing everything they can for themselves while they are able, as though they expect an “every man for himself” environment to arise in the foreseeable future that applies to them as well as to the rest of us.

Performing what amount to criminal acts (acting on information they possess about how they are going to vote on issues to make personal investments), sweetening the pot in the area of their own compensation, at the taxpayers’ expense, in total violation of the Constitution…

And there was mention, last year, of National Guard troops returning from overseas combat and entering “urban unrest” training. What for?

Surely not because someone in the administration expected “Occupy Wall Street” on steroids!

NO, more likely because our politicians, who do indeed have access to information that may well tell them things they prefer not to share with we, the people, fully expect some conditions created by they themselves and their stewardship of our government to cause a significant amount of “urban unrest” among “we, the people”, significant enough that it will require well trained military units to put it down.

I hope I am overreacting, but I fear I am not…

by @ 9:54 am. Filed under America's Future

December 2, 2011

The Problem With Politicians

I’m back in Manhattan for a couple of days.

I spent the last few weeks taking care of chores at home, and now am in the city to eat at a few good restaurants with some friends and go to the theatre.

I managed to get in some reading from Seth’s list of favorite books I found while monitoring one of his email accounts, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczny and Steinbeck’s Travels With Charlie, both excellent. The second was actually a “reread”, the first a “first read” for me.

But getting down to brass tacks: We (Seth, Wolf, Chuck and I) have all become tired of the field of professional career politicians that have been running this country of late.

I’m not only speaking of the Democrats, but of the Republicans as well. Both sides are much too concerned with playing party politics to spare the needs of the American people any of their precious time. The reason for having our two party system is to allow room for compromise of one kind or another. I mean let’s face it: Both sides, while claiming that they are open to compromise, are lying: In both cases, it’s “my way or the highway”.

This might suffice for the more politically, logically or morally (each to his or her own morality) motivated among us, each of us “knowing” what is good and what is not good for our country, but without some kind of compromise, a little pain on both sides, perhaps, no one is going to “win”; However, the American people will be the big losers.

The government (mostly the Democrats, but still the government) put us in the economic fix we’re in by going outside the authority placed in them by the Constitution and causing the mortgage crisis that snowballed into the present mess, and every repair job they’ve executed on our broken economy has only made things worse.

These professional politicians are literally destroying what was unquestionably the greatest country in the history of civilization. I say was because they’ve about brought us to our knees, and they still persist in continuing on the same path, that of placing the welfare of we, the people as a united entity second to the whims of the special interest groups that support their campaigns.

Meanwhile, again unconstitutionally, they’ve voted themselves salary increases, elite health benefits and even six digit retirements (pretty good, that, considering that politics was not intended to be a career field); all, according to the Constitution, the kind of stuff we, the taxpayers, are supposed to decide as initiatives on the voting ballot.

They’ve also now been reported to be profiting via investments made based on privileged insider information they possess as part of their jobs, a criminal offense if we rank and file citizens do it. Politicians in the House and the Senate are becoming millionaires through insider information generated portfolios.

Oh, of course they’ll see justice done for these dastardly deeds: They merely introduce toothless legislation to prevent themselves from reaping the rewards of their malfeasance, then go back to business as usual.

I fear that our government’s become as corrupt as that of any third world country, and like in those dictatorships, the people are powerless to do anything about it, except…

…except that this is the United States of America, where we can vote them all out and replace them with patriotic, honest man and women, non-politicians who will serve six years or less and then return to the private sector, depending on their own private resources for building retirement incomes, acquiring the levels of healthcare they require, etc.

But we won’t vote them out, will we?

No, of course not. Everybody (not, however, those of us here at Hard Astarboard) will continue to support the Romneys, the Gingriches, the Obamas, the Pelosis, the Reids, the Perrys… and the politics will continue, along with our own downward spiral until there is little left to distinguish between the United States of America and any third rate country you care to name.

I say this: If we continue allowing the career politicians to stay in office, we will thoroughly deserve the price our children and grandchildren will be paying down the road, because we will have begged for it via our own stupidity.

Like Seth would say, “the government needs an enema.”

And he’d be right.

Where the presidential primaries are concerned, Herman Cain is still our man, and let the opposition keep on throwing fabricated sexual harrassment charges at him. The best thing Cain could do would be to minimize these innuendos, treat them as he might a fly buzzing around and forge ahead with his message.

And that, said Mrs. Wolf, is that.

by @ 10:54 am. Filed under Election 2012, Just Talking