1. You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to liquor.

2. You own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can’t afford shoes.

3. You have more wives than teeth.

4. You wipe your butt with your bare hand, but consider bacon “unclean.”

5. You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.

6. You can’t think of anyone you haven’t declared Jihad against.

7. You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.

8. You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.

9. You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least four.

10. You’ve always had a crush on your neighbor’s goat.

11. Your cousin is president of the United States

Capitalism Fingered as Fiend of the Past Decade

Capitalism Fingered as Fiend of the Past Decade
Reducing “capitalism” to its alleged sins.

By Jonah Goldberg

On the last day of 2009, that awful year, I was listening to a report on National Public Radio (yes, I’m a listener). Reporter Tamara Keith presented a by-now-familiar recap of the worst financial and corporate scandals of the decade, from Enron and Martha Stewart to Tyco and Bernie Madoff. It was a depressing slog of greed, venality, and theft. When the report was over, Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep summarized the report with a tart: “The decade in capitalism.”  

I don’t want to single out Inskeep, since he was doing what pretty much the entire media establishment has done, particularly of late: reducing “capitalism” to its alleged sins.

And that’s the point. There are few areas of life where a thing responsible for so much good gets so little credit for it.

Imagine if I were to collect the most infamous deeds of African Americans over the last decade — say, Michael Vick’s dog-fighting scandal and O. J. Simpson’s most recent criminal exploit — and then put a bow on it with the phrase “the decade in black America.” What if I did the same thing with Jews? Bernie Madoff, the face of Jewish America! Do the scandals of Rod Blagojevich, Charlie Rangel, and John Edwards define the Democratic party from 2000 to 2010? Do Abu Ghraib and the balloon boy sum up America?

Consider NPR. As a brand, it claims to be standing athwart capitalism because it’s “public.” What that means exactly is a bit unclear, since it still allows corporations to fund its programming in exchange for audio endorsements none dare call commercials and relies on the kindness of listeners to keep it afloat — listeners who, one way or another, make their money from you-know-what.

Indeed, speaking of the decade in capitalism, National Public Radio failed to mention that Joan Kroc, widow of Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, left more than $200 million to NPR in 2003. Mrs. Kroc’s generosity of spirit was her own, but the wampum is all capitalism’s, baby.

In a similar vein, the decade of capitalism saw one of the world’s richest men, Warren Buffett, pledge more than $30 billion to a foundation created by another offspring of capitalism, Bill Gates, for the purpose of aiding the world’s poor. Surely capitalism should get some of the credit, since the book on philanthropy in non-capitalist systems is shorter than the guide to cities without Starbucks.

Capitalism doesn’t just create generous wealthy people, but generous poor people, too. Americans give twice as much to charity as the most generous European nations, and the most generous Americans are, in fact, poor Americans.

But forget philanthropy. Since 2000, hundreds of millions of people in China and India — home to a plurality of the world’s poor — have lifted themselves out of poverty and illiteracy thanks to capitalism.

China started to embrace markets as a last resort in the late 1970s. And by last resort, I mean last resort. First they tried murdering tens of millions of their own people through collectivism and oppression. When that didn’t work, they embraced markets, and the poverty rate dropped from 64 percent to around 8 percent today.

As it always does, capitalism drove innovation over the last decade. The BlackBerry was introduced in 1999, but the iPhone didn’t exist in 2000, nor did the iPod. YouTube was a fantasy, and no one could even imagine why you’d ever need something like Facebook or Twitter (in fairness, some people still ask that question). iTunes was launched in 2003, and five years later it was outselling Wal-Mart as the No. 1 music retailer. Government-funded basic research in medical science deserves some credit for breakthroughs, but it’s worth remembering that lots of countries invest in basic research. America, with its markets, stands alone as the leading, arguably sole, source of medical innovation. Breakthrough drugs are as American as apple pie.

Every good thing capitalism helps produce — from singing careers to cures for diseases to staggering charity —  is credited to some other sphere of our lives. Every problem with capitalism, meanwhile, is laid at her feet. Except the problems with capitalism — greed, theft, etc. — aren’t capitalism’s fault, they’re humanity’s. Socialist countries have greedy thieves, too.

Free markets are in disrepute these days, particularly by the people running Washington. For them, government is the solution and capitalism is the problem. If they have their way over the next decade, they won’t cure what allegedly ails capitalism — people will still steal and lie — but they will impede everything that makes capitalism great. And that will be bad for everyone, even NPR. 
Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and the author of Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning. © 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc. 

National Review Online – http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NGJkZDM1MDE1NDhkNWFlYzVjOTM0MDY0OTM2N2RkNjA=

The Joke’s on Us

The Joke’s on Us
The Pantybomber wasn’t the big joke. We are.

By Mark Steyn

On Christmas Day, a gentleman from Nigeria succeeded (effortlessly) in boarding a flight to Detroit with a bomb in his underwear. Pretty funny, huh?

But the Pantybomber wasn’t the big joke. The real laugh was the United States government. The global hyperpower spent the next week making itself a laughingstock to the entire planet. First, the bureaucrats at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) swung into action with a whole new range of restrictions.

Against radical Yemen-trained Muslims wearing weaponized briefs? Of course not. That would be too obvious. So instead they imposed a slew of constraints against you. At Heathrow last week, they were permitting only one item of carry-on on U.S. flights. In Toronto, no large purses.

Um, the Pantybomber didn’t have a purse. He brought the bomb on board under his private parts, and his private parts weren’t part of his carry-on (although, if reports of injuries sustained in his failed mission are correct, they may well have been part of his carry-off). But no matter. If in doubt, blame the victim. The TSA announced that for the last hour of the flight no passenger can use the toilets or have anything on his lap — not a laptop, not a blanket, not a stewardess, not even a paperback book. I can’t wait for the first lawsuit after an infidel flight attendant confiscates a litigious imam’s Koran as they’re coming into LAX.

You’re still free to read a paperback if you’re flying from Paris to Sydney, or Stockholm to Beijing, or Kuala Lumpur to Heathrow. But not to LAX or JFK. The TSA were responding as bonehead bureaucracies do: Don’t just stand there, do something. And every time the TSA does something, you’ll have to stand there, longer and longer, suffering ever more pointless indignities. Last week, guest-hosting The Rush Limbaugh Show, I took a call from a lady who said that, if it helps keep her safe, she’s happy to get to the airport “four, five, whatever hours” before the flight. Try to put a figure on “whatever” and you’ll get a sense of where America’s transportation system is headed. Ten years ago, you got to the airport 45 minutes, an hour before the flight. Now, thanks to the ever more demanding choreographers of the homeland-security kabuki, it’s two, three, four, whatever. Look at O’Hare and imagine the size of airport we’ll need. And by then the Pantybomber won’t even need to get on the plane; he can kill more people blowing up the check-in line.

And remember, this was a bombing mission that “failed.” With failures like this, who needs victories?

Joke, joke, joke. The only good news was that the derision was so universal that the TSA promptly reined in some of their wackier impositions a couple of days later. But by then Janet Incompetano, the homeland-security secretary, had gone on TV and declared to the world that there was nothing to worry about: “The system worked.”

Indeed, it worked “smoothly.” The al-Qaeda trainee on a terrorist watch list, a man banned from the United Kingdom and reported to the CIA by his own father, got on board the plane, assembled the bomb, and attempted to detonate it. But don’t worry ’bout a thing; the system worked.

Twenty-four hours later, Secretary Incompetano was back on TV to protest that her words had been taken “out of context.” No doubt, the al-Qaeda-trained CIA-reported cash-paying crotch-stuffed watch-list member’s smooth progress through check-in was also taken “out of context.”

But by then the president of the United States had also taken to the airwaves. For three days, he had remained silent — which I believe is a world record for the 44th president. Since Jan. 20, 2009, it’s been difficult to switch on the TV and not find him yakking — accepting an award in Oslo for not being George W. Bush, doing Special Olympics gags with Jay Leno, apologizing for America to some dictator or other . . .  But across the electric wires an eerie still had descended. And when the president finally spoke, even making allowances for his usual detached cool, he sounded less like a commander-in-chief addressing the nation after an attempted attack than an assistant DA at a Cook County press conference announcing a drug bust: “Here’s what we know so far. . . . As the plane made its final approach to Detroit Metropolitan Airport, a passenger allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device. . . . The suspect was immediately subdued. . . . The suspect is now in custody and has been charged.” Etc, etc, piling up one desiccated legalism on another: “Allegedly . . . ” “suspect . . . ” “charged . . . ” The president can’t tell an allegedly alleged suspect (which is what he is in Obama fantasy-land) from an enemy combatant (which is what he is in cold hard reality). But worse than the complacent cop-show jargonizing was a phrase it’s hard to read as anything other than a deliberate attempt to mislead the public: The president referred to the Knickerbomber as an “isolated extremist.” By this time, it was already clear that young Umar had been radicalized by jihadist networks in London and fast-tracked to training in Yemen by terror operatives who understood the potentially high value of a Westernized Muslim with excellent English from a respectable family. Yet President Obama tried to pass him off as some sort of lone misfit who wakes up one morning and goes bananas. Could happen to anyone.

But, if it takes the White House three days to react to an attack on the United States, their rapid-response unit can fire back in nothing flat when Dick Cheney speaks. “It is telling,” huffed the president’s communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, “that Vice President Cheney and others seem to be more focused on criticizing the administration than condemning the attackers.”

“Condemning the attackers”? What happened to all the allegedly alleged stuff? Shouldn’t that be “condemning the alleged isolated attacker”? The communications director seems to be wandering a bit off-message here, whatever the message is: The system worked, so we’re inconveniencing you even more. The system failed, but the alleged suspect is an isolated extremist, so why won’t that cowardly squish Cheney have the guts to condemn the attacker and his vast network of associates?

The real message was conveyed by Fouad Ajami, discussing the new administration’s foreign policy in the Wall Street Journal: “No despot fears Mr. Obama, and no blogger in Cairo or Damascus or Tehran, no demonstrator in those cruel Iranian streets, expects Mr. Obama to ride to the rescue.” True. Another Iranian deadline passed on New Year’s Eve, but the United States will set a new one for Groundhog Day or whenever.

And, just as the thug states understand they now have the run of the planet, so do the terror cells. A thwarted terror attack at Christmas is bad enough. Spending the following week making yourself a global joke is worse. Every A-list despot and dimestore jihadist got that message loud and clear — and so did American allies already feeling semi-abandoned by this most parochial of presidents. Expect a bumpy twelve months ahead. Happy New Year.
Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is author of America Alone. © 2010 Mark Steyn

National Review Online – http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=N2M4ZjFlMDUzZDAxZGNlYjdiMzc3NjNjZDhjNjJlN2Y=

History Is Knocking for Obama

History Is Knocking for Obama

By James Lewis

Gimme a “health care” bill…any health care bill! Even if it kills the old and the sick by compulsory rationing. See, if somebody has only a statistical ten years to live, then his or her life is worth only one-seventh of an infant who has seventy years to go. There’s only so much pork sausage in the national pie.

So we have to put the kids before the old, just like the Eskimos used to do during the Arctic winters. Let the old walk out of the igloo into the frozen night to keep the babies alive. That’s why Sarah Palin is exactly right in talking about “death panels.” Depriving the old and sick of medical care is what death panels do. They do it all the time in Euro-socialism. It’s one of the amazing miracles of that system — just read the British papers on the web. It’s coming to your neighborhood soon. This is not “health care”; it’s SickoCare, because it’s been planned and passed by some real sickos.
Gimme a stimulus package…ummm, say, just a tetch less than a trillion bucks…for buying friends just in time for my reelection in 2012. Eight hundred and seventy-five billion sounds like a lot less than one trillion. We’ll sell it to the suckers as a Green Jobs package. 
Copenhagen? Climate Fraud? Listen, my buds at the Chicago Carbon Exchange need the dough, and so do I. I’m going to rescue Copenhagen. Get Hillary over there with a hundred million bucks for starters.
Greek columns for my Denver speech? Why not? They make me look like a Greek god. Listen to all those cheers from the suckers! There really is one born every minute. A speech from the Prussian Victory Monument in Berlin, built out of Napoleon’s French artillery pieces? Love it!
How about a Peace and Love Speech to all the world’s Muslims from al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo? Peace, brothers! Peace! Do I look good or what?
I’m so cool, Dude! Doesn’t everybody get it? OK, lay down your arms, yo.
Tell you what: I’m gonna lay down my arms first, and then smile, everybody…
A Nobel Peace Prize? Gimme that sucker! Sorry, King and Queen, can’t stop, I’m in a hurry. Gotta save that planet from the riiiiising of the seas!
Ten percent unemployment? Well, it’s structural, see. We’re going to have ten percent as far as the eye can see. It’s not my fault. That’s just reality, baby. We’ll give you some more handouts. Extend that unemployment money.
(Do you see a pattern here yet?)
But now we come to War and Peace. The Left is really erudite on War and Peace. Their basic delusional belief is that “we do Peace, they do war.” (We’re talking about Pol Pot, Stalin, Lenin, Castro’s nuclear missiles in 1962…the whole gang of crooks and thugs, going back all the way to Karl Marx. Marx didn’t mind war; he just wanted to make the really bloody war happen between the workers and the bosses. That’s what “revolution” means. Lenin convinced the Left that there was never any Soviet imperialism. It couldn’t be imperialism, because only capitalists are imperialists. Honest. They still believe that, after a hundred million dead from Communist regimes. Yes! Ask ’em.) 
Afghanistan does look different when you see it from the White House, doesn’t it? So does Iraq. For one thing, you actually have to look at a map of the world, and you don’t want to get blamed for the results of a U.S. defeat — what’ll happen to Pakistani nukes if the Taliban take over Afghanistan, for example, or what’s going to happen with Iranian nukes by 2011? Because see, there’s no border between those two ‘stans. None. It’s all Pashtun tribes…no border at all. Af-Pak is just one territory when it comes to war and peace.
The Democrats don’t know nothin’ ’bout history, they don’t know nothin’ ’bout jee-ography, and their total ignorance is their source of total confidence. John Kerry thinks he can talk the mullahs into giving up nukes even today…just like Jimmy Carter, who knows who’s really to blame for the mullahs. (It’s not Jimmah, but it starts with a “J.”)
It’s obvious by now that the Democrats also don’t know ’bout ‘rithmetic — see the budget, for example. The budget in D.C. is so top-heavy that it’s keeling over — but it does that wherever the Left rules, like California and New York. That sick-making “health care” fiasco was never supposed to add up. Arithmetic is for suckers. Tell the CBO to make those numbers add up twice! So they actually did. The Congressional Budget Office confessed to double-counting, but only after the bill passed the Senate.
Are you beginning to see a certain lack of…moral seriousness here? Well, nothing is a sharper moral dilemma than peace and war. We’re talking about real peace and real war, not the kind the Lefties sing those campfire songs about. These are the real ones you have to get right, and it doesn’t matter if the New York Times likes it or not. The NYT will never have to make a moral choice that even approaches a single street cop facing a single armed bank robber. That’s why they can preach from 42nd Street and blame everybody. That’s our Obama, straight from the editorial pages of the NYT. It’s his natural home.
So after six months of Hamlet the Prince of Denmark dithering and dithering at the White House, guess what? Obama is now doing exactly what Bush was doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Everything you’ve heard to the contrary is spin and whitewash. We have 100,000 soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. We have 140,000 fighting in Iraq. Al-Qaeda is still blowing up hundreds of civilians in Baghdad. Yes, they talk about getting out, but that’s just their way: The whole election was one lie after another, and the media swallowed every single one and loved it. So now the Os think they can do the same thing in office. They will postpone a military withdrawal over and over, and after next year it’ll be the same thing — because the strategic logic of those places is locked in hard granite, and it’s not going to change. Leave Afghanistan, and you might see Paki nukes in the hands of al-Qaeda. Leave Iraq, and you will certainly see nukes in the hands of the Twelver Cult of Iran, right next door to the biggest oil fields in the world, and also next door to Mecca, which the mullahs have always cast their covetous eyes on. 
Liberals hate oil unless it’s in their own cars. Liberals love windmills unless they’re off Cape Cod. No War for Oil! It’s always the same. Oil is the lifeblood of civilization, and when you really start bleeding bad, you keel over very quickly. Then you’re gone. Oil is the same. No oil, no economy, no hospitals, no electricity, no transportation, no food, no military, no industry, no civilized world.
In foreign policy, Obama = Bush. The only difference is that the hopelessly corrupt media haven’t made headlines about Obama’s Wars. But then they are the last to ‘fess up to anything — like their own malfeasance over the last thirty years. Still, even Cindy Sheehan isn’t deceived anymore. But Mother Sheehan, who walked straight out of Stalin’s agitprop posters of the ’30s to whip up the media against Bush — well, Ma Sheehan isn’t getting any headlines any more. Bye, Mom.
And yet that puffing steam locomotive of history is heading our way. You can hear it whistling in the distance and getting closer. At some point you can no longer be president and run from it. Jimmy Carter tried and failed. LBJ tried and failed.
Bill Clinton gave us 9/11 by sabotaging any serious fight against terrorism — and he managed to evade responsibility with a solid media Phalanx of Lies. But 9/11 was Bill Clinton’s failure. It was Clinton’s Justice Department that invented that impenetrable wall between foreign and domestic intelligence, so that a phone call from Al-Qaeda in Yemen was protected by U.S. law as soon as somebody picked it up in New York City. Yes, really.
Well, today, Islamic Fascist Terrorism is knocking on Obama’s door. So far, it’s knocked twice.
Knock. Knock. 
KNOCK: Fort Hood Muslim military psychiatrist kills twelve soldiers and shoots another thirty-plus. This guy has been sending Muslim holiday e-mails to Islamofascist radicals for years, he’s been talking jihad against the Great Satan right in front of other soldiers, he’s got a business card that says “Soldier of Allah” — and on and on. He just shot unarmed people over and over, shouting “Allahu Akhbar” like they always do. He was a well-known danger, and therefore the result of a gigantic command failure at Fort Hood. But the chain of command goes all the way up to Army General Casey, who is in charge of PC-whipping the military for Obama. It’s been twisted by now to bow down to Mecca. It all comes from the Commander in Chief, who has reinstalled the PC reign of terror in the armed forces.
Obama’s reaction to the Fort Hood massacre:
“We don’t know all the answers yet. And I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.”
But we did know the facts. Everybody knew it except the White House.
KNOCK: Christmas Day Bomber on Northwest Flight 253 almost sets off a bomb right above the fuel tank. He’s a known danger: His dad, the former Minister of Finance of Nigeria, said so. He was head of the Muslim Student Union at University College London, a well-known center for radical recruitment. He attended the infamous Bomber Mosque in East London, where all the radicals hang out and preach to each other. He’s a 23-year old engineering student who knows how to build simple bombs. He just came back from Yemen, where al-Qaeda has been setting up for years. This guy was covered with red flags, but nobody noticed? Twenty-four hours later, we know all about him — so it seems that we’ve been blinded again as a matter of policy. The Wall is back.
Obama’s reaction to Xmas Day near-massacre:
1. Say nothing for three days, and send Janet Napolitano and Robert Gibss out to tell the press with a straight face that “[t]he system worked.” Two administration people saying the identical thing — amazing. Then when everybody laughs at them both, Janet ‘fesses up. You can see the strings running from her mouth to the White House. She’s fronting for the Big Guy and trying to see if the biggest lie will be accepted first. Then she backs down.
2. After four days of silence, body-surfing, and snorkeling at Oahu, Obama has a statement for the world:
“President finally admitted yesterday that ‘a systemic failure has occurred. And I consider that totally unacceptable.”’ But notice that it was obvious to the world for four whole days, and they first tried to peddle a flagrant lie.
Still, Obama is doing the Bill Clinton shuffle.
Heritage writes that he told “the American people that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was “an isolated extremist” and that he had already “been charged with attempting to destroy an aircraft.” Continuing to treat the incident like a common law enforcement problem, Obama referred to Abdulmutallab as the “suspect” five times and promised he would “not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable.”
He’s getting away with it, but people are holding their breath. Tony Harnden, the UK Daily Telegraph‘s U.S. editor, writes: “Barack Obama gets an ‘F’ for protecting Americans.”
Next KNOCK? Wait for it… it’s coming.
Our Hero is either in Deep Denial or Deep Doo-Doo. He can’t decide which it is.
But the world will decide for him very soon.
Everybody knows it’s coming. It came to London, it came to New York City, and it came to Madrid. It came to Fort Hood and Detroit. Who’s next? Washington, D.C.? Flight 93 almost hit the White House, or maybe it was going to crash into the Capitol. Everybody died in that plane, so we will never know where it was supposed to crash.  The Brooklyn Bridge has already been tried, but these characters are nothing if not persistent. Remember, 9/11 was the second time they tried to blow up the Twin Towers, almost ten years apart. They really believe in martyrdom. (Question to Ahmadinejad: What is the greatest thing a Muslim must do? A’jad: To kill and die for Allah.)
But we will read them their Miranda rights if we catch ’em.
Hoo boy, we’ve been lucky so far. If we’re lucky, we don’t have to be good, right? We don’t even have to be competent. We’ll just keep whistlin’ past the graveyard. Obama’s trying to get away with deep denial, but the longer he tries, the more likely he is to land the country in deep…yes.
That’s what moral seriousness means, folks. Bush had it. Cheney had it. Even JFK had it. Obama doesn’t. They don’t do moral seriousness in Chicago politics.
Al-Qaeda is sensing Obama’s moral weakness. Ahmadinejad is absolutely sure about it by now — if you doubt that, you can watch A’jad’s interviews with U.S. news media. He’s probing, probing, all the time — where’s their weak spot? That’s why he was such a great interrogator for the Ayatollah Khomeini. It was the start of a stellar career for A’jad. A lot of the time, you didn’t even need torture. You could just execute them by their own words. Probing, probing. Why do you think A’jad appointed a known torturer to be the Minister of Justice in Tehran? Yes, that’s why.
Hell, even the President of France is sending out public warnings about America’s moral weakness. Moral weakness means an inability to make the hard choices and then follow them up even when things get tough. George W. Bush was the most morally serious president we’ve had in the last twenty years. Bush is like Harry S Truman: He recognized 9/11 and prioritized it. Everything else came second, and he kept the country safe. Bush and Cheney got it.
Obama and Bill Clinton are the two most grossly irresponsible presidents we’ve ever had — bar none. But between those two, Obama looks even worse. Even Bill Clinton didn’t go around like Daffy Duck picking up all the ego goodies here, there, and everywhere.
The only thing that will save us is the strength and resilience of the American people, the fundamental soundness of the U.S. Constitution, and the strength of our armed forces in defensive warfare — since preemptive attacks have now been ruled out. They are not politically correct. The Israelis will have to do that job for us.
We have let our citizens become fools by failing to teach them our own history, and they naturally elected somebody just like them to the highest office in the land. He looks good on TV if he’s got that teleprompter turned on. Nero fiddled while Rome burned, and Obama goes body-surfing in Waikiki. Aloha, Dude!
The good news is that Mad magazine is publishing again.
The bad news is that in the White House, “what, me worry?” explains national security policy.

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