Patterico's Pontifications


Al Gore: “Civil Disobedience Has a Role to Play”

Filed under: Environment,Politics — DRJ @ 8:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Al Gore thinks his global warming opponents are quacks:

“Gore’s new book, Our Choice: A Plan To Solve The Climate Crisis, gives global warming deniers short shrift, and shows little concern for displays of political bipartisanship: he likens the doubters to the “birthers” intent on proving that Obama is a Kenyan – not just mavericks, but fantasists who inhabit a different version of reality.”

Gore also thinks true believers are justified in pursuing civil disobedience to save the planet:

“When making his Oscar-winning 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, Gore arguably had it easy: it’s fairly straightforward to grip an audience when you’re portraying scenes of apocalyptic destruction. The new book pulls off a considerably more impressive feat. It focuses on solving the crisis, yet manages to be absorbing on a topic that is all too often – can we just come clean about this, please? – crushingly boring. Importantly, it seeks to enlist readers as political advocates for the cause, rather than just urging them to turn down the heating. “It’s important to change lightbulbs,” he says, in a well-burnished soundbite, “but more important to change policies and laws.” Or perhaps to break laws instead: peaceful occupations of the kind witnessed recently in the UK, he predicts, are only going to become more widespread. “Civil disobedience has an honourable history, and when the urgency and moral clarity cross a certain threshold, then I think that civil disobedience is quite understandable, and it has a role to play. And I expect that it will increase, no question about it.”

Gore feels like God is on his side:

“It’s a blessing to have work that feels fulfilling,” he says. “There’s a passage in the Bible – not that I wear religion on my sleeve; I do not – but there’s a passage that’s long had meaning for me: ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might’… There’s that wonderful old English movie, Chariots Of Fire, when the runner says at one point, ‘When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.’ He was expressing a universal human emotion that I think is applicable.”

Gore the crusader has found his crusade.


Apparently It’s Easy to Amaze Robert Gibbs

Filed under: Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 7:41 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is amazed people would protest President Obama’s policies with Hitler signs. Mary Katharine Ham responds.


Iran’s Nuclear Breakthrough?

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 7:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Guardian reports Iran has had a breakthrough in its nuclear weapon program:

“The UN’s nuclear watchdog has asked Iran to explain evidence suggesting that Iranian scientists have experimented with an advanced nuclear warhead design, the Guardian has learned.

The very existence of the technology, known as a “two-point implosion” device, is officially secret in both the US and Britain, but according to previously unpublished documentation in a dossier compiled by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iranian scientists may have tested high-explosive components of the design. The development was today described by nuclear experts as “breathtaking” and has added urgency to the effort to find a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis.”

Despite this report, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs seemingly hasn’t even been briefed on the subject:

[Fox News correspondent Major] Garrett: Two publications, the Guardian and the Weekly Standard, are both reporting about IAEA possession of documents that suggest Iran has tested what they called an advanced nuclear warhead, or a two-point implosion device, and has brought this to the attention of the Iranians in the most recent conversations not only about trying to find out if they’re in favor or not in favor of the low-enriched uranium transfer to Russia, but about this apparent new technology breakthrough. And also, they suggest that the intelligence committees in the House and the Senate have been briefed about this.

I’m curious. Is the White House aware of this? Is it concerned about it in any way, shape or form?

Gibbs: Let me check with NSC on that. I don’t have anything on that. (The NSC staff informed Fox later it would have no comment at all on this matter)”

Where is Iran’s nuclear weapon program on the Obama Administration’s list of priorities? It’s pretty clear that talking to Iran is high on the list but are the details of Iran’s weapon program even on their radar?


Criminal Penalties in House Health Care Bill

Filed under: Health Care — DRJ @ 4:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Pelosi Care — “Buy a $15,000 Policy or Go to Jail”:

“Today, Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee Dave Camp (R-MI) released a letter from the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) confirming that the failure to comply with the individual mandate to buy health insurance contained in the Pelosi health care bill (H.R. 3962, as amended) could land people in jail. The JCT letter makes clear that Americans who do not maintain “acceptable health insurance coverage” and who choose not to pay the bill’s new individual mandate tax (generally 2.5% of income), are subject to numerous civil and criminal penalties, including criminal fines of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.”

Criminal penalties apply when a person willfully fails to pay a health care tax, i.e., the government must prove the taxpayer had the ability to pay but intentionally refused.


The People at Fort Hood (Updated x4)

Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 3:58 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The stories of the Fort Hood victims are starting to be told:

  • Kham Xiong, 23, of St. Paul, Minn., a 2004 graduate of Community of Peace Academy, enjoyed hunting and fishing.

    “The sad part is that he had been taught and been trained to protect and to fight. Yet it’s such a tragedy that he did not have the opportunity to protect himself and the base,” his father, Chor Xiong, told KSTP-TV through an interpreter.

  • Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, of Kiel, Wis., joined the Army after the 2001 terrorist attacks and had vowed to take on Osama bin Laden, her mother, Jeri Krueger said.
  • Spc. Jason Dean Hunt, 22, of Frederick, Okla., went into the military after graduating from Tipton High School in 2005 and had gotten married just two months ago, his mother, Gale Hunt, said. He had served 3 1/2 years in the Army, including a stint in Iraq.
  • Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka, 19, of the Salt Lake City suburb of West Jordan, Utah, chose to join the Army instead of going on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his uncle Christopher Nemelka said.
  • Pfc. Michael Pearson, 21, of the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, Ill., quit what he figured was a dead-end furniture company job to join the military about a year ago.
  • Francheska Velez, 21, of Chicago, was pregnant and preparing to return home. Velez had recently returned from deployment in Iraq and had sought a lifelong career in the Army.
  • Michael Grant Cahill, a 62-year-old physician assistant, suffered a heart attack two weeks ago and returned to work at the base as a civilian employee after taking just one week off for recovery, said his daughter Keely Vanacker.

    “He survived that. He was getting back on track, and he gets killed by a gunman,” Vanacker said, her words bare with shock and disbelief.

  • Seven stories of lives cut short, with six more yet untold, and thirty [thirty-eight ?] stories of lives changed because of this shooting. There’s also the story of Sgt. Kimberly Munley, the police officer who responded within 3 minutes and wounded the shooter “four times despite being shot herself.”

    But, unfortunately, the real story is Nisan Malik Hasan, the man who reportedly screamed Allahu Akbar before he began shooting:

    “The Army psychiatrist who went on a shooting rampage that left 13 people dead and 31 wounded at a Texas Army base yesterday screamed “Allahu Akbar” before he opened fire, witnesses said.

    Maj Nidal Malik Hasan strode into a Fort Hood deployment center, shouting “God is great” in Arabic, before targeting military personnel and warning civilians to get out of the way.

    He killed 13 people and wounded 31 others …”

    The shooter is a coward but he isn’t the only one. Ralph Peters is right. Politically correct military, media and citizens who won’t stand up to Muslim terrorism are cowards, too.

    — DRJ

    UPDATE: Hasan has been moved to Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. I’m sure Hasan will receive competent care but, fortunately, there’s no PC-talk at Brooke:

    “Hospital spokeswoman Maria Gallegos says Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is in stable condition in the intensive care unit at the hospital on Fort Sam Houston outside San Antonio, about 150 miles southwest of Fort Hood.

    Gallegos said Friday that the “shooter is here.” She would not provide more details.”

    UPDATE 2: According to this Houston Chronicle article, Colorado Senator Udall said Senators were told in a briefing that there are 38 wounded.

    UPDATE 3 — ABC has a report on some of the wounded:

    UPDATE 4: More about Sgt Munley — Munley is a certified firearm instructor and had also completed advanced rapid response training. She and her partner were the first law enforcement to arrive at the scene and she encountered the shooter as she came around a corner. Munley, who is 5’2″ tall, was shot at least 3 times.

    MSNBC Twitter account hacked

    Filed under: General — Karl @ 2:31 pm

    [Posted by Karl]

    Obviously, hacking is wrong and is to be condemned.  Even when you get this.

    Kudos to Twitter for suspending the account so it can be cleaned up.


    Orlando Police Hunt Suspect in Office Shooting (Updated)

    Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 10:06 am

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Another day, another mass shooting:

    “The Orlando Fire Department said two people were killed and eight injured in a shooting Friday at an office building in Orlando, reported.

    Police have surrounded a Florida high-rise after gun shots were reportedly fired.

    The Legions Place office building in downtown Orlando was ordered on lockdown Friday afternoon as officers began a floor-by-floor evacuation.”

    — DRJ

    UPDATE: The suspect has been caught. It was reportedly a workplace shooting committed by a former employee with money problems.

    L.A. Times Flushes Embarrassing Version of Fort Hood Story Down Memory Hole . . .

    Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:03 am

    . . . and replaces it with a new version that mentions the shooter’s very devout Muslim faith and his statements of support for suicide bombings. The old version of the story? It never existed. You got that? Never existed.

    Except that it did. And I can prove it.

    Many of you probably saw my post last night noting the L.A. Times‘s politically correct failure to mention these important facts about Hasan’s support for Islamic terrorism. As I said in my original post: “The L.A. Times will bury this as long as they can — probably until they’re embarrassed into revealing it due to its clear relevance.”

    Then Instapundit linked my post (thanks!), and thousands of people saw this paper’s burying of significant facts in obeisance to political correctness. Meanwhile, as I predicted, evidence mounted that this information was highly relevant. So what did the paper’s editors do? Why, they simply whisked the old story down the memory hole and replaced it with a new story at the same Web address. The new version has no notice of the change.

    Thing is, I knew they would do that. Because they have done similar things so very many times before. So I saved the old versions of the story, to prove that the original versions omitted all this information, and concentrated instead on irrelevant statistics about suicides caused by post traumatic stress disorder.

    As I have recounted in my UPDATE x4 to my post from last night, I saved the text of the original story as it appeared when I first wrote my post. You can read that version here. Then, when the story was changed at 6:46 p.m. to reflect the fact that Hasan was still alive. I copied that version too. Read that version here.

    Both of these earlier versions suppressed any mention of Hasan’s raving about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his support for the shooting at the Army recruitment base in Little Rock, and his statements (both to colleagues and his alleged Web postings) supporting suicide bombings. This information was being widely reported elsewhere, but not in the Los Angeles Times.

    L.A. Times editors buried this information. And now they’re trying to hide the fact that they buried it.

    Unemployment Hits 10.2%

    Filed under: Economics — DRJ @ 6:00 am

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Unemployment was 9.8% in September. October 2009 unemployment is 10.2%:

    Nearly 16 million people can’t find jobs even though the worst recession since the Great Depression has apparently ended. The Labor Department said Friday that the economy shed a net total of 190,000 jobs in October, less than the downwardly revised 219,000 lost in September. August job losses were also revised lower, to 154,000 from 201,000.

    But the loss of jobs last month exceeded economists’ estimates. It’s the 22nd straight month the U.S. economy has shed jobs, the longest on records dating back 70 years.

    Counting those who have settled for part-time jobs or stopped looking for work, the unemployment rate would be 17.5 percent, the highest on records dating from 1994.”

    In more bad news, the average work week stayed at 33 hours — “a disappointment because employers are expected to add more hours for current workers before they begin hiring new ones.”

    — DRJ

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