Monday, October 31, 2011

Rewarding Failure

As noted in today's Quick Hits, Jon Corzine, the former Goldman Sachs CEO, the former Governor of New Jersey, and the CEO of MF Global failed in his efforts to obtain a bailout for MF Global over the weekend.  MF Global filed for bankruptcy protection this morning.  Jon Corzine is now going to receive a $12 million severance package from the company his mismanagement bankrupted.  Nothing like rewarding failure.

Corzine, who was once touted as a candidate for Treasury Secretary under President Obama, pretty much did the same to the State of New Jersey as he did to MF Global.  The progressive / liberal tax and spend policies contributed significantly to New Jersey's substantial fiscal challenges - which includes one of the highest tax burdens in the country.  The only real winners of his fiscal mismanagement were the public sector unions of New Jersey.

Don't hold your breadth for #OccupyWallStreet to march on his home or complain about his actions.

While the Palestinians Fire Rockets into Israel - UNSECO grants Palestinians full membership

UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) earlier today voted to grant full membership to the Palestinian Authority even as the Palestinians in Gaza continue to fire rockets / missiles into Israeli cities and towns.

The vote apparently was not even close as far too much of the United Nations and it's affiliated organizations seem to have willing blinders on when it comes to Israel and in particular the actions of the Palestinian Authority.  It is, basically, a recognition of a terrorist organization and one of the steps towards granting those terrorists their request to be recognized by the UN as a state.  It also continues the pattern of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic votes, rulings, and actions by the UN and it's affiliated organizations.

Under a long existing US law, the US is obligated to not fund the UN or any affiliated organization that grants the Palestinian Authority the status of a state or state-like authority (ie full membership in UNESCO).  For UNESCO, if the President remains willing to support and uphold the US law, that means they stand to lose about $70 million in annual funding.  If the UN reacts favorably to the Palestinian application that is pending, the US, under that law, would withhold it's share of the total UN budget.  That share represents 22% of the total UN budget.

The UN is an increasingly irrelevant and dysfunctional organization.  While it moved quickly to condemn Qaddafi in Libya and authorized the use of force to protect the Libyan civilians from air and helicopter assault by the Libyan military (which significantly helped the rebels overthrow Qaddafi's regime), the UN Security Council remains at an impasse as to taking similar action to prevent Syria's Assad from killing more than the 3,000 civilians he already has.

Quick Hits - October 31, 2011

#OccupyWallStreet Exposed

Is this really a surprise given the efforts by far too many scientists to make 'science' fit their ideological viewpoints....No Global Warming in last 11 years...

Former NJ Governor, Former Goldman Sachs CEO, and current CEO of MF Global does to MF Global what he did to New Jersey...MF Global expected to file for bankruptcy protection early this week...

Then we have these stories on the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi...Obama: Nancy Pelosi "was one of the best speakers of the House this country ever had"... Is this one of the reasons why?  Nancy Pelosi supports NLRB decision telling Boeing where to build its factories.  Ideological loyalty has its rewards. 
Of course, given the President's less than stellar record providing endorsements to Democrat elected officials, Nancy would probably be worried if she wasn't in such a safe seat representing the idiotarians of San Francisco.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Quick Hits - October 30, 2011

Ideological cluelessness - Bill Clinton: "No country on earth believes government is the problem"
I'm reminded, this Halloween season of Reagan's comment on the scariest words ever spoken - "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help"... Bigger government is not better government.

In 2005, Democrats in Congress blocked GOP proposals to fix Social Security - Today, Social Security is officially in the red.  Our biggest fiscal budget bombs are our entitlement programs - Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.  These programs represent the largest increases in the budget over the next 10 years.  Some are projecting that by 2020, the costs for these programs will equal or exceed Federal Tax Revenues.  At that point, we are Greece.

#Occupy - The Nutty and Dangerous Ideology behind the #Occupy Movement...

Big Peace's World View - October 29, 2011

Defeat in Iraq - President Obama's decision to withdraw U.S. troops is the mother of all disasters.

On the 'Lighter Side' - A regular feature from 'Hot Air' - Poll: What was the Obamateurism of the Week?  The Mainstream media doesn't report many of the gaffes, mistakes, and missteps of their President - so Hot Air started early in the President's term a poll to allow readers to vote on the amateurish actions of this President.  Visit the site and cast your ballot.

George Will wrote a column this week that has opened up quite a level of discussion in the GOP circles regarding the GOP Presidential candidate that many believe is the 'given' nominee for Presidnt - Mitt Romney.  Based on this column, Hot Air asks Is Mitt Romney the GOP's Michael Dukakis? 

Now, some local news from 'The Ranch' - Festival for Frights at Richard Rioux Park

A final thought - connecting back to Bill Clinton's quote and the #Occupy movement....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekend Photo Gallery

For the weekend - some scenic images I've taken...

Washington DC

Washington DC

Ventura, California

Santa Cruz Island, California

Technology Thoughts

A column in today's LA Times asks the question - Will tablet computers save newspapers?

This link reflects a story and analysis of actions being taken by the Philadelphia Media Network, publishers of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, to enter the hardware market, and develop their own tablet computer and customized apps / content for the tablet.

The conclusion of the LA Times James Rainey is that the solution is “more like a silver BB than a silver bullet”.

For publishers, the internet has been a paradox.  Many see the advantages of using the internet for promoting their brands, disseminating information, and expanding their marketplace – but they have also been fearful of giving away for free what they used to charge for.  They have yet to develop a viable advertising process that matches the advertising revenues they get from their print editions.   They cannot provide prospective advertisers with real numbers on the numbers of times their ads have been viewed – and efforts to ‘force’ page views of adverts have a tendency to tick off the readers. 

Some have tried to establish a pay wall for their products and content.  The New York Times is on its second major attempt at a pay wall.  The first was not very successful as the subscriber numbers were even more anemic than the print edition. For me, the challenge was the cost versus the quality of the product.  There wasn’t enough unique or valuable content being provided to be worth the price of subscription. 

However, there are some successful efforts at creating a pay wall / online subscription model.  The Wall Street Journal is perhaps the most successful.  Their secret? They have compelling, viable, and valuable content being offered within their subscription content that is worth the price of subscription.

The New York Times, and other newspapers, is getting a little smarter in their second / third efforts towards an internet subscription market.  The NYT touts the numbers of people who have downloaded their apps for the iPad, iPhone, and other smart portable devices.  But this doesn’t fully reflect the real measure – of those apps that were downloaded, how many people took the step to subscribe for content beyond the free ‘teaser’ content that is provided?  For me, the NYT app still doesn’t offer the value to get me to subscribe.

The other aspect that publishers are starting to get right – and this is a combination of their efforts as well as major improvements in the capabilities of the devices is to increase the amount of content they are providing and improve the appearance of the content.

When I got a Kindle 2 years ago, I subscribed to the Wall Street Journal.  At first I was disappointed.  The subscription didn’t have the same benefits as a digital subscription to the WSJ and the amount of content (stories) available, while more than the free online version was limited.   While I still don’t have the same benefits as digital edition subscribers direct through the WSJ, the amount of content provided each day has quadrupled.  I now am getting value from this.

Quick Hits - October 29, 2011

#OccupyWall Street

From JammieWearingFool - Good news re OWS - Only three or four incidents of sexual assault at Zuccotti Park

Zombie Report Alert - The Right to Poo and Van Jones Skepticism: Just Another Day at OccupySF

From Powerline - Occupy St. Paul's   For the first time since the Blitz of World War 2, St. Paul's Cathedral has been forced to close its doors to the public.  This time its courtesy of the Occupy movement.  Powerline has a link / commentary to a story in London's Daily Mail newspaper where one of the Mail's reporters and a photographer visit the Occupy St. Paul's group.

From HotAir - Information and analysis of a Poll taken of OccupyWallStreet participants.
The bad news for the President - 73% of the OWS protesters disapprove of Obama's job performance.  But, looking at the analysis and data in the HotAir post it appears that this level of disapproval is because the President is not governing far enough to the left.  39% of the respondents describe themselves as 'Extremely Liberal' and 33% describe themselves as 'Liberal'.  More analysis at the link.

#OccupyWallStreet - The Rap Sheet of the movement through October 28, 2011.

Other items of interest.....

Embattled Attorney General Eric Holder to testify to Congress regarding the Fast and Furious program on December 8, 2011.
AG Holder finally agrees to return before Congress to testify regarding the Fast and Furious program which resulted in the Administration running over 2,000 assault and sniper weapons to Mexican Drug Cartels where they were used for over 200 murders - including those of an American Border Patrol Agent.  The DoJ has been actively working to cover-up significant details of this program and the AG's past testimony has been far less than truthful.

Mark Steyn: Self Reliance to Self Pity: The Road Now Most Traveled

Victor Davis Hanson - Liberal Indulgences

In a nutshell, our American elites, even if well-meaning with real concern for the less fortunate, have adopted the medieval practice of compartmentalization. Loud demonstrations of general progressive piety exempt one from consistency. Our medieval ancestors could practice usury if they helped repair a collapsed nave or joined a Crusade, as traditional Christianity tried to deal with an imperfect world of important Christians who did not wish to live by their doctrine.

Will Tablet Computers save Newspapers? With very few exceptions, newspapers are experiencing declining subscription levels.  With over double the population in it's marketplace, the LA Times is currently at the same subscriber number levels as they were in the mid-1960's.  Almost all major newspapers are in financial trouble.  Part of this is because of changes in how the people get their news.  Part of this is also because of dissatisfation with the quality (ie Media Bias) of the product they are being asked to purchase.  Can tablet computers like the iPad2 or the Kindle Fire or the Android-based tablets stop the decline of US newspapers?  As a technologist, I will try to answer this question in a future post.

Friday, October 28, 2011

NBC and ABC Tout Injured Protester as 'Rallying Cry' for Occupy Wall Street

NBC and ABC Tout OccupyWallStreet Protester Injured During Oakland Riots as a 'Rallying Cry' for the movement.

On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed: "Protesters across the country and a lot of Americans who are sympathetic to this Occupy Wall Street protest movement are tonight rallying around a 24-year-old Iraq war veteran who was seriously injured during a violent confrontation with police in Oakland, California on Tuesday."

On ABC's World News, fill-in anchor George Stephanopoulos echoed that sentiment: " young man has become a symbol of their resolve." Correspondent Abbie Boudreau followed by declaring: "With tensions mounting daily, the name Scott Olsen has become a national rallying cry for Occupy Wall Street....injured Tuesday night, as police began firing tear gas during the Oakland crackdown."

In a tragedy that is yet to be fully explained, the 24 year-old Iraq War veteran, Scott Olsen, suffered a fractured skull during the riots in Oakland earlier this week.  His friends and fellow protesters claim he was struck in the head by a projectile fired by Oakland Police during the riots.  The Oakland PD doesn't accept that, saying that it remains possible that he was struck by some item or projectile (rock, bottle, etc) thrown by other protesters as they attempted to return to the plaza outside Oakland City Hall.  Nonetheless, the serious injury is a tragedy.  He was admitted to the hospital in critical condition - but thankfully, his condition has since been upgraded.

As noted by in the above link and quotes, NBC News and ABC News are using Mr. Olsen's injury, and status as a Iraq War veteran as a 'rallying cry' supportive of the Occupy movement and the violence that they are embracing.  Yet, they are also leaving out some interesting details about Mr. Olsen. 

As noted in this post on Gateway Pundit,  Scott Olsen is less than proud of his service, being the founder of the website, ''.  But even more worrisome, particularly with the level of support from Nazi and neo-Nazi organizations and sympathetic individuals, combined with the numerous examples of anti-Semitism that is rampant (but under reported) in many of the Occupy demonstrations, is his embracing of anti-Semitism as evidenced by the update in the Gateway Pundit post.  Olsen's words as quoted on the site are disturbing. 

I still wish him a quick recovery from his injuries - but he's not the rallying cry or hero that the media is trying to spin him as.  He is a person who holds reprehensible viewpoints and is one of far too many models available of what is fundamentally wrong with the Occupy movement.

US Debt in Terms We Can Understand

The US National Debt in terms we all can understand...

• U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
• Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
• New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
• National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
• Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000

Let’s remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget.
• Annual family income: $21,700
• Money the family spent: $38,200
• New debt on the credit card: $16,500
• Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
• Total budget cuts: $385

Hat Tip - Ace of Spades

Hot New Democrat Party Talking Point - The 'Republican Congress'

The excellent website 'Hot Air' has highlighted in this post what is one of the new campaign talking points from the Democrat Party.  It's a talking point meme that is based on failure, misdirection, and heavily depends on both the active assistance of the mainstream media as well as the lack of interest / attention / knowledge that is unfortunately too ingrained in too many American citizens.

“I’m the first one to acknowledge that the relations between myself and the Republican Congress have not been good over the last several months, but it’s not for lack of effort,” Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos earlier this month…
Hot Air's article by Allahpundit highlights more examples that are promoting the talking point that the real problems being faced by the Obama Administration are related to the challenges they are getting from the 'Republican Congress'.  Allahpundit notes that this is a shrewd strategy since the approval ratings of Congress are far lower than the President's approval ratings.  It also provides a target for the finger point of blame that is coming from the President and his Administration for the failure to create a viable and robust economic recovery over the last three years.

Effectively, the Administration, through the assistance of the media to support this meme, is going to be campaigning on the fact that a 'do-nothing' 'Republican Congress' is the barrier to the Government enacting the programs needed to stimulate the economy, reduce unemployment, and end the stagnant recovery.  They will be pointing to the defeat of the latest Obama 'Jobs Bill', the one that had to be 'passed right now' in the Senate as Exhibit #1 of the obstructionism of the 'Republican Congress'.

Exhibit #2 will likely be the efforts and possible failure of the Debt Reduction Supercommittee to try to identify $1.2 Trillion of spending cuts over the next 10 years (out of about $38-$40 Trillion of spending over the next decade) in order to fulfill their mandate.  The latest Democrat proposal calls for over $1 Trillion in new tax increases to accompany any spending reductions - which Republicans on the committee have pretty well rejected.  The fault - according to the Democrats and their active media supporters is entirely on the 'unreasonable' Republicans.

The mainstream media bias goes a long way to help promote these memes.  The target of these efforts are those independents and middle of the spectrum American's who aren't political junkies.  They don't follow these issues closely and when they get their news, it comes from TV news or newspapers or word of mouth from someone else who pays attention to those elements.  Because they don't follow the political issues closely - do they really know and understand that for the first 2 years of the Obama Administration, it was a Democrat Congress.....the party of the President held dominate majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate?

Are they aware that even with these dominating majorities, the passage of many legislative elements of the President's radical agenda was extremely difficult.  While a $817B Stimulus, Obamacare, and Dodd / Frank were passed on a party line vote, other initiatives like Cap and Trade failed. Then there were the 'regular' duties of Congress that were dropped - like the failure to pass a Highway Appropriations Bill in 2009, or even a formal Federal Budget for FY2010, FY2011, and FY2012.

After the mid-term elections of 2010, the Republican record setting gains in the House provided them with control of the House of Representatives.  However, they fell 4 seats short of gaining the majority in the Senate.  That means that the Democrats still control the Senate.  This isn't a 'Republican Congress' but a split Congress. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) controls the Senate agenda.  He is the one who, when faced with the President demanding 'pass this bill now' referencing his latest Jobs Bill, refused to schedule the bill for debate or a vote for over a month because he lacked the votes in his Democrat caucus to move the bill forward.  He is the leader responsible for the Senate's inability to pass a Federal Budget for almost 950 days.  He is the leader responsible for the setting of the Senate's scheduling - and is failing to do so in order to support the meme that the obstructionism comes from the Republicans.  The facts that the challenges in the Senate come from the inability for the Senate Democrat majority, 22 of whom are up for re-election in 2012, are unable to agree on major elements of the President's agenda are dismissed.

The effort to disprove the fallacy of the 'Republican Congress' takes very little effort or attention.  The solution and answer is quite open for anyone to see if they open their eyes and look beyond the newsbite / mainstream media propaganda.  The fact that so many American's don't have the basic interest to do so says a lot about our society and interests....none of which is very commendable.

Quick Hits - October 28, 2011

#OccupyWallStreet - So much about this movement around the country.....and very little of it is good.  For an overview is the website -  Self-described as "Revealing the truth about the 'occupier' movement.  The violence, the anarchists, the endorsements by CPUSA and the American Nazi Party, the anti-semitism, the Neo-Nazi militias, the Jacobins....this site is a good starting point for seeing the truth around the Occupy movement.

Flyer at the Occupy Phoenix demonstration asks "When Should You Shoot A Cop".  The Occupy movement is like the Tea Party Movement? 

That's a common meme from the Mainstream Media, but with the hypocrisy of the Media can we believe this?  Media Hypocrisy?  When an African-American Tea Party member appeared at a Phoenix, AZ Tea Party event complying with Arizona's Open Carry Law (he was carrying an AR-15 slung over his shoulder), the media hyperventilated.  But when a Neo-Nazi group shows up at Occupy Phoenix in cammo fatigues and openly carrying assault rifles and pistols, the media is silent.  Or they are burying the lede when an Occupy Atlanta demonstrator is carrying an AK-47....

More on the Occupy movement....Fox Reporter threated with stabbing by OWS demonstrator...and in an update, the NYPD and FDNY seize generators being used at the OWS park in the Financial District of NYC as 'fire hazards'.

Why hasn't Government spending worked?

Latest fallacy being foisted on the American people - Complaints of the "Republican Congress"  Republican Congress?  Did Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) turn over operation and control of the Senate to the Republicans?

Big Peace - October 28, 2011 World View.... Pakistan threatens to sue the BBC for a documentary showing that Pakistan is actively assisting the Taliban - The Taliban confirms report that they are getting assistance from Pakistani Government....Pakistan declares American drone attacks are War Crimes....

Massachusetts Democrat Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, the 'Matriach of Mayhem'... who last week was quoted in the Daily Beast saying the following about the OccupyWallStreet movement, "I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do.  I support what they do.", is now walking back her comments. "What I meant to say was, I've been protesting Wall Street for a long time now", said the Harvard Law School professor and consumer 'advocate'.  More to follow on this and Elizabeth Warren.  Massachusetts has the opportunity to elect someone even further to the left than Teddy Kennedy.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Quick Hits - October 27, 2011

Video Report - What Public Sector Unions don't want us to know - the Wisconsin Budget and Union reforms are working!

Economic Recovery? GDP growth estimated at 2.5% for 3rd Quarter up from 2nd Quarter’s 1.3% Weekly Jobless number 402,000 still well above what’s needed for maintaining pace with population growth...

CNN suggests that President Obama should bypass Congress on the Economy and Rule by Executive Fiat - Hasn't the President already started down this path?

Euro-financial crisis and Occupy Wall Street: More Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme…NOW! - There are clearly common roots between the demonstrations / riots in Europe over the challenges of the Euro-Socialist model and the Liberal Fascists of OWS...

October 27, 2011 World View from Big Peace….Euro Financial Summit achieves 4am Agreement; Paksistan’s ISI supports Taliban terrorists… - I think the latter item is a candidate for today's Captain Louis Renault Award....'I'm shocked, shocked...."

Ann Coulter commentary – "If I Were A Liberal"  - The Fallacy of the Biden Argument on the latest Tax & Spend (or is it Spend & Tax) "Jobs" bill.....

Victor Davis Hanson commentary – "Global Warming RIP"

From the commentary:

While the Obama administration was subsidizing failed or inefficient green industries, radical breakthroughs in domestic fossil-fuel exploration and recovery -- especially horizontal drilling and fracking -- have vastly increased the known American reserves of gas and oil. Modern efficient engines have meant that both can be consumed with little, if any, pollution -- at a time when a struggling U.S. economy is paying nearly half a trillion dollars for imported fossil fuels. The public apparently would prefer developing more of our own gas, oil, shale, tar sands and coal as an alternative to going broke by either importing more fuels from abroad or subsidizing more inefficient windmills and solar panels at home.

We simply don't know positively whether recent human activity has caused the planet to warm up to dangerous levels. But we do know that those who insist it does are sometimes disingenuous, often profit-minded, and nearly always impractical.

Hugh Hewitt commentary – "The Decline and Despair President":  I am reminded of something said often by VDH - that decline is a decision, not a destiny...and this direction is part of the direction President Obama is taking the country.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rioting in Oakland - Link with Updates

Another blogger who started a long time ago on LGF, Zombie, has provided exceptional reporting and photo-journalism on actions of the hard left in California - particularly the Bay Area. 

This is an exceptional report submitted by Zombie on PJ Media covering last night's riots in Oakland. 

These riots occurred as the Occupy sycophants attempted to return to the plaza outside Oakland's City Hall were they camped for several weeks as part of the astroturf movement.

The rioters confronted the police and began throwing rocks, bottles, and other debris towards the police as they charged the barricades in place to prevent the marchers from re-occupying the plaza.  The police responded with tear gas and flash bang grenades in their effort to disperse the rioters.

These photos and videos provide a stark contrast between the actions of the Occupy movement and those of the Tea Party - despite all of the efforts of the media to depict Occupy as being just a left of center mirror of the Tea Party.

Keep checking Zombie's reports for new information...and I will be opining more on the fallacy of the Occupy movement.....and it's links to the extreme left - or as I refer to them, the modern day Jacobins.

As a tease, here are some photos from some of these same groups marching in Hollywood in 2005...

Quick Hits - Tuesday Oct. 26, 2011

Riots Erupt in Oakland as Occupy Jacobins try to return to the plaza outside City Hall

More on the Oakland Riots as activists attack Oakland Police - Police use tear gas on that they also used 'flashbang grenades'.  Rioters used rocks,bottles on police.  

Congressman Paul Ryan speaks out against Class Warfare

California's Economic Suicide

From Big Peace - Oct 26 World View - EU Finance Minister's Meeting is Cancelled

However, is there a Merkel Miracle at work? - German Parliament Approves Boosting Bailout Fund

Pollution Czars Plan to Choke California

Welcome to the Islamist Middle East and It's Not Going to Be Moderate

ACORN playing a major behind the scenes role in Occupy movement

Former New York office for ACORN, the disbanded community activist group, is playing a key role in 'leaderless' Occupy Wall Street movement, organizing 'guerrilla' protest events and hiring canvassers to collect money for various causes while spending it on protest-related activities, sources tell

For a definition of 'Astroturf' when it comes to politics, one needs to look no further than the Occupy movement.

Transparency and the Lack Thereof

One of the early proclaimations of the Obama Administration was that it would be the most open and transparent Administration, particularly in comparison to the previous Administration.  However, in reality, this Administration has been far from open and transparent in many of it's actions and operations.  In fact, one can write quite extensively, as others have, on the hypocrisy of this Administration when it comes to openness and transparency in its decision making processes as well as in it's operations.

One of the most troubling Departments within the Obama Administration is the Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder.  Ranging from the unexplicable (except for the political motivations) decision to drop voter intimidation charges against several members of the New Black Panther Party from their actions in Philadelphia on Election Day, 2008, to the Operation Fast and Furious gunrunning initiative and the resulting cover-up, to the politicization of the DoJ by exclusively hiring hard left ideologues (in the hundreds) for key branches of the DoJ (as exposed in this first of a series from PJ Media), the DoJ has been at the forefront of offering decisions that demand investigation and oversight.

Throughout all of these investigations and exposes of DoJ missteps, critical to the delivery of information about these missteps, was the use of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by journalists and bloggers.  Even with these steps, and those via subpoena by Congress, the DoJ has been reluctant to provide information.  PJ Media needed to take the DoJ to court to gain the data for their series on DoJ hiring practices.  Thousands of pages of information provided to Congress are effectively useless because they are severely redacted.  Other requests are simply ignored by DoJ officials.  But despite the efforts to hide compromising information, valuable insights into the mismanagement of the DoJ has come to light.

These revelations have created additional challenges for AG Holder, officials in the DoJ, and even reaching to the White House.  However, rather than embrace the announced intent to be the most open and transparent Administration, the DoJ today is announcing proposed new rules that will enable them to withhold documents from FOIA requests if they deem the documents as being sensitive in nature.

From the above link....
"A longtime internal policy that allowed Justice Department officials to deny the existence of sensitive information could become the law of the land -- in effect a license to lie -- if a newly proposed rule becomes federal regulation in the coming weeks.

The proposed rule directs federal law enforcement agencies, after personnel have determined that documents are too delicate to be released, to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests "as if the excluded records did not exist." "

This decision runs contrary to any concept of transparency and openness.  Rather, it reflects a knee-jerk decision that is a belated effort to bring to a stop any effort towards the Administration being accountable and responsible to the public for their decisions and actions. 

As opposed to stopping the decisions and actions that create political firestorms, the hubris and arrogance of this Administration is to award themselves the ability to hide materials that expose not only bad decisions, but criminal decisions.

Bad policy is not corrected by implementing more bad policy...but that seems to business as normal for this Administration.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Start

I've been commenting on blogs and some selected membership / subscription sites related to local, state, and national politics, elections, national security, international relations, and the economy since early 2002.  I started slowly as a way to interact post 9/11 - and ultimately started to comment extensively on LittleGreenFootballs from late 2002 until I stopped going to the site late 2008.  The hard left turn of LGF drove me from the site - although I never flounced or was part of the numerous purges that took place on that blog as it lurched to the hard left.

Since then, I've been adding content and commenting / opining on various topics on several subscription sites, as well as done a number of essays under my real name for some other blogs. 

After some thought, I've decided to start my own blog.  On this blog, I will comment on subjects that both interest and concern me.  I will provide some quick posts using links to some of my favorite blogs in addition to posting some essays that reflect my observations, opinions, and commentary regarding these favorite subjects.

On the right of this blog, you will find a blog-roll of some of the blogs that are regular reading destinations for me.  For many, these blogs may also be familiar stops - and I do add commentary to their posts when comments are allowed. 

I am also a voracious reader / follower of the news - reading / scanning a number of papers from around the world as part of my daily web-surfing habit.  So there may be times when the commentary and topics could be considered a little eclectic.

My schedule may not permit daily postings, but my goal is to try to have at least one substantive post per day.

My handle comes from a nickname that I picked up many years ago - based on a resemblance to a certain character...and my activity in fencing. 

I hope you will find my posts here informative, thought provoking, and entertaining.