A few weeks ago, a British national newspaper was visited by a detachment of national security agents who demanded that its computers and hard drives be destroyed. The security men then stood over its staff while they smashed their equipment to pieces. In the peace-time history of a free country, this incident is about as shocking as it gets. [Snip] The reasons that this scene--which looks, on the face of it, like something out of East Germany in the 1970s--is apparently perfectly acceptable seem to be: a) the data in the computers was a threat to the national security of
Tomorrow we hear who has won this year´s Nobel Peace Prize. Of course, many of the previous recipients have been deserving. Others less so. When Henry Kissinger was awarded it in 1973, Tom Lehrer quipped that the prize, "made political satire obsolete." The same could be said about the award that went to Barack Obama in 2009. It summed up his whole political career--celebrated before he´d actually don´t anything, the jar into which millions of liberals poured their dreams, and, most importantly, an utter disappointment when in office. Barack Obama deserves a peace prize in the way that Pat Robertson
The last sizeable British force to be sent to Helmand province in southern Afghanistan begin their mission later as 7th Armoured Brigade--the "Desert Rats"--take over from 1st Mechanized Brigade. The Afghan operation is codenamed Herrick, but Herrick 19 is unlike any that have gone before. British troops were once in more than 130 bases here, but are now down to five, and that will reduce still further. They rarely patrol. The formation of the brigade has changed too. The Desert Rats have enough armour and infantry to protect themselves and take the war to the Taliban if need be
A Mount Pleasant resident’s single-handed effort to prop up a broken government hit some government red tape Wednesday, but he’s not giving up. Chris Cox, a professional chain-saw artist, has been working in Washington, D.C., on some commissions lately. He was dismayed to see trash piling up around the Lincoln Memorial before the Million Vet March on the National Mall this weekend. [Snip] Cox decided to help. A little more than a week ago, he told park officers he wanted to start a movement called the Memorial Militia to clean up the grounds. A sergeant sat him down for an
Egypt has criticised a decision by the US to suspend a large part of the $1.3bn (£810m) in aid it receives. Foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said the decision was wrong and Egypt would "not surrender to American pressure and is continuing on its path towards democracy". The US announced on Wednesday it was suspending the delivery of large-scale military systems and withholding cash assistance to the Egyptian government. It follows months of political turmoil. Since the Egyptian army ousted Mohammed Morsi as president in July, the authorities have clashed repeatedly with his Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been released, several hours after being seized by militiamen, say government sources. Mr Zeidan was taken from his hotel in the capital, Tripoli, by armed men in the early hours of Thursday morning. A former rebel group loosely allied to the government said it had arrested Mr Zeidan on the orders of the prosecutor general. The justice ministry had denied an arrest warrant was issued.
Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has largely kept out of the limelight since losing the election to Barack Obama last November. (I had the privilege of co-chairing Governor Romney´s working group on Europe.) Aside from an appearance at CPAC in February, he has rarely been seen in public. He gave one of his first major interviews since the presidential race to Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News last night. A remarkably humble man despite his considerable personal wealth, Romney is the first to admit that he made a number of mistakes during his campaign, and said some things he
America has learned a lot about itself during the shutdown. For one, it´s discovered that certain words have lost their meaning. Barack Obama said yesterday that he will compromise but he won´t negotiate, that he´s prepared to discuss the budget but won´t actually talk about it with the GOP. [Snip] Boehner was so confused that at his press conference he slurred a few of his words and swayed from side to side. Someone should buy the guy a beer. Another thing that Americans have found is that even when government has been shutdown it´s still too darn big. The shutdown
The leak of thousands of GCHQ files by CIA spy Edward Snowden was welcomed by Barack Obama, the Guardian has claimed, just a day after the head of MI5 warned the exposure was a ´gift´ to terrorists. [Snip] In August, Mr Obama said the leaking of the files had "put people at risk" and he had called for a "thorough review" of the operations before the leaks were made public in June. He admitted the leaks had prompted "a much more rapid and passionate response" than if he had just declared a review of the policies. But he insisted: "We
Frozen fruit and vegetables can be healthier, with higher levels of vitamins and cancer fighting antioxidants, than leafy ‘fresh’ produce. Two independent studies found more beneficial nutrients in everything from frozen broccoli florets and carrots to blueberries. In two out of three cases frozen fruit and vegetables scored better on antioxidant-type compounds--including Vitamin C, polyphenols, anthocyanins, lutein and beta-carotene. Consumption of these anti-oxidant compounds is considered beneficial in preventing cancer and supporting the working of the body, brain, skin and eyes. Produce bought from the supermarket greengrocer section is full of colour and crunch, while many stores even use fine
As the US government shutdown enters its ninth day the closure is threatening to leave America’s craft brewers nursing a serious hangover. While stores across the country will continue to stock a range of beers and ales on their shelves, the shutdown has closed an obscure agency, which quietly approves new breweries, recipes and labels. Its closure could halt the rapidly growing craft industry in its tracks, creating huge delays for customers who expect a constant supply of inventive and seasonal beers. The federal government shutdown began on October 1 after a group of House Republican lawmakers blocked a budget
Republican opposition to President Barack Obama´s healthcare law is at the heart of the government shutdown in the US. [Snip] Nearly 40% of the generic drugs used in the US now come from India, and industry insiders say sales will grow as the reforms collectively known as Obamacare roll out. Muralidharan Nair of Ernst and Young says Obamacare envisages savings of $150bn (£935m) per year from drug cost reductions. That is also the size of opportunity for people who work in the industry. "Obamacare will be a harbinger of a tectonic change in the way generic consumption is going to
Here´s the BBC news report (above) on the ferocious speech by new MI5 chief Andrew Parker about terrorists taking advantage of the Snowden leaks. It carries the byline of BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner. It begins: MI5 chief Andrew Parker warns of Islamist threat to UK public Thousands of Islamist extremists in the UK see the British public as a legitimate target for attacks, the director general of MI5 has warned. [Snip] Now it´s time for Gardner to mention, as we did in our report this morning, that the Snowden files were published by the Guardian, despite pleas from
Families of fallen military service members usually receive a "death gratuity" of $100,000 for interment and expenses within days, but not during government shutdown. They paid the ultimate price serving their country — but their government can’t spare a cent to cover their funerals. The stooges on Capitol Hill added insult to tragedy Tuesday when it was revealed that the families of four soldiers and a Marine who were killed in Afghanistan have not received a $100,000 “death gratuity” because of the government shutdown....
From its earliest days, the Obama Administration has operated from a “community organizer” worldview, characterized by an “us” against “them” perspective. The President has repeatedly and in a variety of circumstances said, “Elections have consequences, and I won” as an excuse for yet another executive order, non-Constitutional decision, or “in-your-face” arrogant action. The President goes through the motions of listening to others: he claims to be bipartisan; he hosts White House confabs and talks about the need for compromise, but he always ends up saying, “I won,” and ends any pretense of discussion or negotiation. He explains that, as President,
I was born at the beginning of the Second World War into a family of high school teachers who were members of the Communist Party, and therefore were actually part of a vast conspiracy dedicated to the destruction of this country, although they would never have looked at it that way, and so-called liberals would be the first to deny it. (Snip) It is also an unhappy but hugely important fact that the conspiracy to which my parents belonged has steadily migrated into the heart of the Democratic Party until it now occupies the Oval Office in the person of
WASHINGTON — Starting in about a decade, Kingston, Jamaica, will probably be off-the-charts hot — permanently. Other places will soon follow. Singapore in 2028. Mexico City in 2031. Cairo in 2036. Phoenix and Honolulu in 2043. And eventually the whole world in 2047. A new study on global warming pinpoints the probable dates for when cities and ecosystems around the world will regularly experience hotter environments the likes of which they have never seen before. And for dozens of cities, mostly in the tropics, those dates are a generation or less away. "This paper is both innovative and sobering," said
I’m tempted to call it a clown show but that would be insulting to clowns:(Snip for graphic) It ran for one hour and six minutes, with 12 different reporters being called on — although, notably, not Ed Henry of Fox News — and between them they couldn’t muster one question about the catastrophe that is Healthcare.gov or the spectacle of National Park Rangers locking senior-citizen tourists out of war memorials and/or inside their hotels. I admit that, near the end of it, when Twitter was already starting to buzz about the oh-fer on this week’s two unhappy topics, I started
Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed AB 154 on Wednesday, legalizing non-physician abortions in the state. The legislation, which had been pushed vigorously by Planned Parenthood, had been strongly opposed by pro-life groups and some physicians, arguing that it amounted to legalizing back-alley abortions for profit. In a statement, Gov. Brown boasted that AB 154 was one of seven bills signed Tuesday "to support the health and well-being of women in California."
The National Park System has a budget of $2.6 billion, much of it raised by concession and attendance fees. Even if it were entirely taxpayer-funded it would represent only .00068 of every federal dollar in our $3.8 trillion budget. Nonetheless, hardball-playing White House strategists have made it the most conspicuous instrument of pain inflicted by the federal shutdown. The Republican House has tried to fund the park system during the struggle over Obamacare funding, but without success. Even park funding offers by states have been rejected by the feds. Almost every day brings fresh examples of unnecessary annoyances and hardships visited
Tyranny, being as endemic to the human condition as other similar privations of the human good such as ignorance, vice, or sickness, is as old as mankind. What may be new, however, is the uniquely intractable form of tyranny that is currently metastasizing throughout the world, namely the rule of an authoritarian plurality of societal parasites. Our next thousand years of darkness, if such be our fate, will begin under the governance of a "parasitocracy." The modern West has defied ancient wisdom on so many fronts, introducing new modes of existence and coexistence, spreading prosperity and promise in hitherto inconceivable measures,
The Obama administration insisted Tuesday it had no choice but to withhold death benefits to relatives of 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno, a 25-year-old soldier born and raised in San Diego, and four other soldiers killed since the partial government shutdown began Oct. 1. This is ridiculous and perverse. President Barack Obama has used an expansive — and some legal scholars believe extreme — interpretation of his powers to unilaterally rewrite key provisions of the No Child Left Behind law, the sweeping 2002 measure that drastically reshaped federal education policies. In similar fashion, the president has unilaterally rewritten key provisions of
I am just wondering if Miriam Carey, the mentally ill mother who drove her black Infiniti down Pennsylvania Avenue after she rammed a White House barricade, was read her Miranda rights before she was shot dead in a fusillade of gunfire by a gang of well-armed police who surrounded her car at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. The information has not been released, though as I write almost a week has passed since the lethal event. Why could not those crack shots have aimed at her car’s tires. Then they could have waited for her next move. It looks
The State Department announced Wednesday that it was cutting hundreds of millions in military and other aid to Egypt, and make no mistake: this was not a government shutdown move. This was the President of the United States blackmailing a sovereign state to force it to restore the Muslim Brotherhood government he favors. With the Egyptian economy in crisis and Egypt strongly dependent on this aid, Obama has just effectively cast his vote for the Muslim Brotherhood’s return to power – and his vote outweighs that of millions of Egyptians.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I also told [Speaker Boehner] that having such a conversation, talks, negotiations, shouldn´t require hanging the threats of a government shutdown or economic chaos over the heads of the American people. Think about it this way, the American people do not get to demand a ransom for doing their jobs. You don´t get a chance to call your bank and say, ´I´m not going to pay my mortgage this month unless you throw in a new car and an Xbox.´ If you´re in negotiations around buying somebody´s house, you don´t get to say, ´well let´s talk about the