Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Larry Flynt: Palin Should Have Had an Abortion

In an interview with The Independent, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt unleashed his nastiness towards Sarah Palin.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Winnipeg Jets Reborn

As Joe Lawler noted this morning, the NHL and True North Sports are set to announce that the Atlanta Thrashers are going to move to Winnipeg next season. The Winnipeg Jets have been reborn.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bruins & Canucks Face Off in Stanley Cup

On Friday, the Boston Bruins reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1990 with a 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Right-winger Nathan Horton scored the game's only goal with a little over seven and a half minutes left to play in the 3rd period. The Bruins will face the Vancouver Canucks for Lord Stanley's Cup
starting Wednesday night.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Jeff Conaway, 1950-2011. R.I.P.

Actor Jeff Conaway died today after being taken off life support by his family. He was 60.

To read the rest of this obituary, please check out The American Spectator.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wasserman Schultz: Reasonable?

I must confess that I never thought I would see the day where I find the word reasonable in the same sentence with DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. As one can see from this debate last fall with Paul Ryan, she is anything but reasonable.

Joe Klein's Hysterical Rant Against Netanyahu

Earlier this week, I made the following observation concerning Jewish support for President Obama:

Quite frankly President Obama could appear in full Nazi regalia, sporting a toothbrush mustache with his arm extended shouting, "Sieg Heil!" and still get a majority of the Jewish vote in this country.

Exhibit A: Joe Klein.

To continue reading this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Does Canada's Liberal Party Have a Rae of Hope?

Yesterday, Bob Rae was chosen to be the interim leader of Canada's Liberal Party by its remaining MPs and Senators.

Earlier this month, the Liberals lost more than half their seats in Canada's federal election which saw Stephen Harper's Conservatives get a majority in the House of Commons and also saw the NDP supplant the Liberals as the Official Opposition.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yes, I Watched The Whole Game

The Philadelphia Phillies just defeated the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 in 19 innings.

I watched and kept score of the whole game. The game took six hours, eleven minutes to play.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Paul Splittorff, 1946-2011. R.I.P.

Former Kansas City Royals pitcher Paul Splittorff died this morning of complications of melanoma and oral cancer. He was 64.

To read this rest of this obituary, please check out The American Spectator.

Thoughts on Oprah

With Oprah Winfrey officially ending her long running show today let me share a few thoughts.

To start with I do not consider myself a fan of Ms. Winfrey. Of course, I am well aware that millions of people in the United States and Canada who do not share this view (my 91-year old maternal grandmother amongst them.)

To read the rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

God Couldn't Save The Queen From Obama

What can one say about President Obama talking over "God Save The Queen" in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II and The Royal Family at Buckingham Palace last night?

To read the rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Netanyahu to Abbas: Accept Israel as a Jewish State

I second Jim Antle's sentiments on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address before a joint session of Congress.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Randy "Macho Man" Savage, 1952-2011. R.I.P.

Former professional wrestler Randy "Macho Man" Savage died this morning of an apparent heart attack while driving near his home in Tampa, Florida. He was 58. Savage's wife, Lynn, sustained minor injuries in the accident.

To keep reading this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Since When is Obama Above Criticism?

John Guardiano informs us he is "taken aback" by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "dissrespect for President Obama."

Disrespect for Obama?

To read the rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Obama Parties Like It's 1967

What can I say about President Obama's remarks concerning Israel? At best, they were steeped in moral equivalence. At worst, he demonstrates his profound ignorance of the history of The Jewish state.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Ronald McDonald: Public Enemy #1

The Wall Street Journal has reported on efforts to force McDonald's to retire Ronald McDonald in the ongoing campaign to stop marketing junk food to children.

To read this rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Outrageous! Obama administration banning potatoes in schools

I am so sick and tired of overweight Michelle Obama telling us what we can and can't eat. Potatoes are healthy. Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is going to ban potatoes from school cafeterias. This is absurd considering most schools still sell cookies, pop and chips in snack machines. Did a lobbyist for a competing food item get to someone in a high position of power at the Dept. of Agriculture? Here she is hypocritically showing off potatoes grown in the White House garden. Here is more from Ed Morrissey on how the USDA is banning food stamp recipients from buying potatoes (whatever happened to potatoes being considered the most basic food source?)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Harmon Killebrew, 1936-2011. R.I.P.

Harmon Killebrew, one of baseball's greatest sluggers, died this morning of esophageal cancer. He was 74.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Publicity Stunt or Not, Trump Folded

John Tabin could be right. Maybe it was a publicity stunt all along and Trump fooled some of us into thinking he was actually going to run. Hey, he convinced Charles Krauthammer.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

No Trump on The Stump

At this point, I am not surprised by Trump's decision.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jack Richardson, 1929-2011. R.I.P.

Record producer Jack Richardson passed away on Friday. He was 81. His cause of death is not known although he had been in poor health in recent years.

Richardson is best known for being to The Guess Who what George Martin was to The Beatles. Richardson produced fourteen Guess Who albums at Nimbus 9 studios in Toronto between 1968 and 1975. This collaboration yielded such hits as "These Eyes", "No Time" and "American Woman." Indeed, when "American Woman" hit number one on the U.S. Billboard charts in 1970 it marked the first time that chart position had been achieved by a Canadian act.

This success gave Richardson the opportunity to work with the likes of Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, Poco and The Irish Rovers. In later years, Richardson imparted his knowledge to students at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. In 2003, Richardson was named to the Order of Canada.

As it happened, former Guess Who lead singer Burton Cummings was performing in London, Ontario last night and dedicated the show to Richardson. And why not? If not for Richardson, chances are Cummings would not still be singing these songs in front of audiences more than forty years after they were recorded.

Paul Simon Lets a Fan Play On Stage

My roommate Christopher sent me a link from NPR.

(Yeah, OK, I know it's NPR. But bear with me.)

When Rayna Ford went to see Paul Simon play in Toronto earlier this month the last she probably expected was that she would be invited on stage to play "Duncan." Yet this is exactly what happened when Simon motioned her out of the audience when she said she knew how to play the song after she asked Simon to play it. Ford did a great job with "Duncan" to the delight of Simon, his band and the fans.

Suffice it to say it will be a night Rayna Ford will never forget.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sarah Silverman Isn't Funny

FOX should fire the executive who thought it was a good idea to put "comedienne" Sarah Silverman in the broadcast booth with Tim McCarver and Joe Buck for a half inning during tonight's Red Sox-Yankees game at Yankee Stadium.

I mean it's bad enough I have to listen to McCarver and Buck. Silverman's musings are about as pleasurable as having your gall bladder disintegrate.

During her shtick, Silverman brought up the late Dock Ellis, the late Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher who once threw a no-hitter while under the influence of LSD. She said she thought it would be a great idea to disseminate LSD to big league pitchers. To Buck's credit, he wasn't having any of it and moved the proceedings forward. Thankfully, Silverman's act came to a merciful end when Yankee outfielder Brett Gardner grounded out to Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to conclude the inning.

However, to be fair to Silverman, I did think it was a bit silly for FOX to bleep her use of the word "Masshole." For those of you who are unfamiliar with this vernacular, "Masshole" is a term of affection residents of New Hampshire (Silverman was born there) use mostly to describe Massachusetts liberals who have moved to the Granite State so they do not have to pay state income tax.

Still, it doesn't change the fact that Sarah Silverman isn't funny.

Who Would Want to Pluck Huck?

Quin Hillyer believes that Mike Huckabee wants to be Vice-President of the United States.

Lets assume Quin is right. The problem is that Huckabee would be operating under the assumption that the eventual Republican nominee would want him to be his or her running mate. Somehow I can't imagine Huckabee wanting to be Mitt Romney's number two. Or for that matter Romney's anything.

The only scenario under which I can see the GOP nominee picking Huckabee would be if that nominee needed to shore up support amongst social conservatives. That certainly wouldn't apply to someone like Sarah Palin.

If there is a Republican who could use Huckabee's help it might be Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. After all, Daniels did raise the ire of social conservatives when he called for a "truce" on social issues last year. If social conservatives still had reservations about Daniels, Huckabee could prove a useful asset. But, of course, this assumes that Daniels will run.

Personally, I am inclined to think that Huckabee wants neither to be President nor Vice-President at this time. Why give up playing bass to play second fiddle?

Huckabee Isn't Running

I flipped the channel in between innings of the Red Sox-Yankees game to see Mike Huckabee announce he would not seek the GOP nomination for President in 2012.

I can't say I'm surprised. He has a popular show in which he gets to paid to play bass.

Why would he give up that gig?

While Huckabee is an affable fellow he does occasionally show lapses of judgment (i.e. misplaced compassion for convicted killers, saying Obama grew up in Kenya, Natalie Portman.) He also lacks the instinct necessary to go after the jugular. Let's face it. President Obama plays for keeps and by the time he got through with Huckabee there wouldn't have been any bone left.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mel Queen, 1942-2011. R.I.P.

Former big league pitcher turned pitching coach Mel Queen passed away today at the age of 69. His cause of death is unknown.

To read the rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Ron Paul: bin Laden Raid Absolute Not Necessary

Now that Ron Paul has formally announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for the White House, it is worth scrutizining his position on the raid which killed Osama bin Laden. While in Iowa earlier this week, Paul called the raid "absolutely not necessary."

To read the rest of this post, please check out The American Spectator.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jinxing Jacoby Ellsbury

In my latest article I have written about the enduring magnificence of Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak which began seventy years ago this month. I also make the point of arguing that DiMaggio's streak becomes more impressive with every player who has a hitting streak that falls short.

At the end of the article, I note Boston Red Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury's 19-game hitting streak. Well, his streak was snapped in Wednesday's night game against the Toronto Blue Jays as Ellsbury went 0 for 4. The Yankee Clipper's record is once again safe and its stature further enhanced.

Perhaps I jinxed Ellsbury by mentioning his streak in the article. Of course, it might have also had something to do with the quality of the Blue Jays pitching.

Finally! A prolife cancer organization: Respect Life Cancer Foundation

Join the facebook page here

The Respect Life Cancer Foundation is an organization focused on curing cancers by respecting ALL life. We will recommend and donate funds to cancer research facilities that DO NOT support abortion and DO NOT support EMBRYONIC stem cell experimentation. We believe strongly that all life should be respected at all levels of development.

Several national cancer curing organizations fund/and or support abortion, and most, sadly, support experimenting on embryos. We find this appalling, particularly because the information is often hidden from the donating public. We seek to change that...with your help! (read less)
General Information
The Respect Life Cancer Foundation was founded by David Roney, a three year survivor and life-long pro-life advocate. Appalled that so much money was being raised to help people while hurting the most defenseless among us, David saw a need to inform the public about where their money was going, as well as provide a safe way for people to donate without creating moral and ethic conflicts.
To cure cancer by respecting ALL human life.
Cancer Foundation

Monday, May 9, 2011

About Those Wait Times in Massachusetts

As Jim Antle informs us, as a consequence of Romneycare, patients in Massachusetts have to wait "as long as a month and a half for non-urgent physician appointments."

To read the rest of this blog post, please check out The American Spectator.

John Maus (a.k.a. John Walker), 1943-2011. R.I.P.

John Maus, a member of The Walker Brothers, passed away on Saturday of liver cancer. He was 67.

To continue reading this blog post, please check out The American Spectator.

Pakistani PM Denies Harboring bin Laden

Today, Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani formally denied his government had harbored Osama bin Laden.

To read the rest of this post, please go to The American Spectator.

J Street to Netanyahu: Offer Peace or Prepare for Violence

Jeremy Ben Ami, Executive Director of J Street (a so-called pro-Israel organization) has said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must offer a two-state solution when he visits Washington D.C. later this month or face more Palestinian violence.

To read the rest of this blog post, please check out The American Spectator.

Thoughts About Obama on Osama on 60 Minutes

I watched the 60 Minutes interview with President Obama last night. While I thought Obama perhaps gave one of this strongest interviews there were several things which jumped out at me.

To read the rest of this blog post, please go to The American Spectator.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Another No-Hitter for Verlander

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander no-hit the Toronto Blue Jays this afternoon en route to a 9-0 victory.

Verlander's no-hitter comes only four days after Minnesota Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano threw one against the Chicago White Sox.

However, unlike Liriano who walked six batters, Verlander was nearly perfect. He had a perfect game going for seven and one third innings until he walked Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia in the eighth inning.

This is the second no-hitter of Verlander's career. He no-hit the Milwaukee Brewers in June 2007.

Intelligent Opposites: Condi Rice & Lawrence O'Donnell

I appreciate Joe Lawler for providing us with the link to Lawrence O'Donnell's "interview" of Condoleezza Rice.

After watching the interview I would use Mae West's term "intelligent opposites" to describe Rice and O'Donnell. Condoleezza Rice is intelligent, Lawrence O'Donnell is opposite.

On a separate matter, doesn't O'Donnell bear a strong resemblance to Kevin Butler in the Sony Playstation commercials?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Is Mays Better Than Ruth?

To read this post please check out The American Spectator.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Top Canadian Socialist Says bin Laden Photos Don't Exist

To read this blog post please check out The American Spectator.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jackie Cooper, 1922-2011. R.I.P.

Actor Jackie Cooper died yesterday at the age of 88. He lived a full life as a little rascal with a Oscar nomination under his belt by the age of nine before a tour of duty in the South Pacific during WWII which to led to careers as a military man, director, studio executive and a song and dance man. Why he even found the time to edit The Daily Planet.

Now that's a super man.

Meet One of Canada's New Socialist MPs

Today, in my post-mortem on the Canadian election I noted that a number of the newly minted New Democratic Party (NDP) MPs were quite young and inexperienced and that this might very well come back to haunt them.

I, of course, mentioned Ruth Ellen Brosseau, the English speaking assistant bar manager elected in a rural francophone riding who did some of her best campaigning in Las Vegas. Now there are questions about some of the signatures on her nomination papers.

But let me draw your attention to another of these whippersnappers. Alexandrine Latendresse is a 27-year-old recent graduate of Laval University in Quebec City. How recent? Well, she just graduated last week. Here is a picture of Latendresse sporting a water gun and "I Still Hate George Bush" t-shirt.

Ah yes, youthful idealism in its full bloom.

Then again this is what happens when you have paper candidates. As I mentioned in my article, the NDP had only one seat in Quebec and in most elections it doesn't win any seats in Quebec. So most people who run for the NDP don't have campaign offices, don't participate in candidates debates, don't talk with voters or even set foot in the constituency. It gives the NDP the ability to say they have a full slate of candidates. But now that the Quebecois have elected these paper candidates, the NDP now finds itself in way over its head. NDP leader Jack Layton and his Quebec lieutenant Thomas Mulclair are going to have to spend a lot of time sharing babysitting duties. This could impede them from being an effective opposition never mind a viable alternative to an adult Conservative government.

A Couple More Reasons To Oppose The Hamas-Fatah Pact

Matthew RJ Brodsky has provided us with an excellent analysis of the Palestinian National Accord between Hamas and Fatah and why the United States should steer clear of it.
And if Brodsky cannot persuade you then let me offer another reason to oppose the Hamas-Fath pact.

Former President Jimmy Carter has given it his blessing.

Let me offer one more. No sooner than Hamas and Fatah sign a unity accord they agree to condemn the killing of Osama bin Laden.

On the G. Gordon Liddy Show discussing the financial catastrophe being brought on by the financial part of Obama's administration

Almost no one is talking about the most serious financial catastrophe taking place in the U.S. today. Instead everyone is focused on reigning in Congressional spending, particularly in areas like entitlements and Obamacare. Listen as I discuss with G. Gordon Liddy here. The article I wrote on it is here.

"U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" vs. "Death to America"

Some clergy have come out to publicly condemn our "celebration" of Osama bin Laden's death.

Father Edward Beck, a Catholic priest in New York City, has stated, "I am uncomfortable with the killing of Osama bin Laden being celebrated like a Superbowl win." Last night, he went on The O'Reilly Factor to discuss his views. When O'Reilly asked him how the response to the death of bin Laden was any different than the response to the end of WWII on VE Day or VJ Day, Beck replied, "But when you watch these people celebrating how does it make us any better than those in the Mideast who celebrate when America falls?"

Beck's views of moral equivalence are echoed by George Pitcher, an Anglican priest in London. Writing in The Telegraph, Pitcher argues:

We have to be very careful about our response to the killing of Osama bin Laden. The West was appalled and deeply offended by the street celebrations in Tehran and elsewhere after 9/11, but how do rednecks in Washington DC chanting "USA! USA!" after the shooting of Osama and other members of his household compare with that?

Absolute rubbish.

Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States by telling Muslims it was their solemn duty to kill Americans be the military or civilian. Members of bin Laden's organization carried out his fatwa on September 11, 2001. The response to the death of bin Laden was in part to praise the bravery of our soldiers and in part to remind evildoers that they reap what they sow. Those in the Middle East who danced in the streets following the attacks of September 11, 2001 chanting "Death to America!"did so out of hatred of people they deemed to be infidels. They delighted in the deaths of men, women and children.

I cannot help but think of the celebrations which broke out in the streets of Rafah following the murder of the Fogel family in the West Bank settlement of Itamar back in March. If neither Beck nor Pitcher can discern between the death of Osama bin Laden and the death of a three month old baby who had her throat slit and was decapitated because she was Jewish then I am left with no choice but to declare that both men are unworthy of the cloth.

The Dalai Lama Sheds No Tears Over bin Laden

It amuses me to no end that the Dalai Lama is shedding no tears over the death of Osama bin Laden.

During an appearance at USC yesterday, the Tibetan spiritual leader said, in response to a question about bin Laden's death, "Forgiveness doesn't mean forget what happened. ... If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures."

I wonder if The Dalai Lama's response had anything to do with the Taliban's blowing up two Buddhist statues in Afghanistan back in March 2001. I'm sure he hasn't forgotten.

Baseball & DUI

I was reading National Review Online's new sports blog, Right Field, when I learned that Cleveland Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was arrested on Monday night for drunk driving.

Choo is the sixth MLB player to be arrested for a DUI offense since the beginning of this calendar year. Just last week, Atlanta Braves pitcher Derek Lowe was arrested and was actually racing other vehicles on the road. When Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera (who has a well documented problem with alcohol) was arrested for DUI last February, Cabrera is alleged to have said, "F#*k you. Do you know who I am?" Other MLB players to have been arrested this year for impaired driving include Oakland Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp, Seattle Mariners infielder Adam Kennedy as well as Choo's teammate Austin Kearns.

The obvious question is, "What are these guys are thinking?" The obvious answer is that they are drinking instead of thinking. If they were thinking, they might remember that St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock was killed in a traffic accident in 2007. Not only was Hancock impaired at the time of the accident but he was talking on his cell phone and had marijuana in his vehicle. If they were thinking, they might remember that Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two of his friends were killed by a drunk driver in 2009. The driver had a previous conviction for DUI and was on probation at the time of the accident. Last December, he was sentenced to 51 years in prison.

MLB ought to suspend any player arrested for DUI. If they don't, sooner or later, one of these players is going to end up killing someone.

Those "Inflammatory" bin Laden Photos

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney made the case that releasing photos of the deceased Osama bin Laden could be "inflammatory."

Carney's sentiments were echoed by Republican Congressman Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Rogers told George Stephanopoulos, "If you're a sergeant in a town in Ghazni, Afghanistan and you're trying to get some local elder to cooperate about what's happening in your village, are you going to do it if this inflames into some kind of trophy - we have a trophy of Osama bin Laden?"

But if the Obama Administration and Congressman Rogers are concerned about "inflaming the Muslim world" didn't they think the singular act of killing bin Laden would be sufficiently inflammatory? I'm afraid that train has already left the station.

For crying out loud, release the photos.

UPDATE: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced earlier this afternoon that President Obama has decided not to release the bin Laden photos. Carney quote Obama in an interview he did earlier today with Steve Kroft which will air this Sunday on 60 Minutes. Obama told Kroft, "We don't trot out this stuff as trophies. This is somebody deserving of the justice he received. But we don't need to spike the football."

So President Obama will instead take a knee.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Liriano Tosses No-Hitter

Minnesota Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano no-hit the Chicago White Sox tonight en route to a 1-0 victory.

Liriano has pitched with the Twins since the end of the 2005 season. The no-hitter marked both Liriano's first big league complete game and shutout in his 95th career start.

Prior to this start, Liriano had been struggling with a 1-4 record and an astronomical 9.13 ERA and was on the verge of losing his spot in the starting rotation. Even tonight his control was not pinpoint as he walked six batters.

Nonetheless, Liriano's no-no gives the Twins something to cheer about. The Twins, who have won the AL Central Division six times in the past nine seasons, entered tonight's game with the worst record in Major League Baseball at 9-18. Well, no more. With tonight's triumph, the White Sox now have the worst record in MLB as they have lost 16 of their last 20 games.

It should be noted that the losing pitcher was Edwin Jackson. Last season, Jackson tossed a no-hitter when he was a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Tampa Bay Rays. In that performance, Jackson walked eight batters.

Canada's Conservatives Win Majority

Good news from Canada. The Conservative Party finally won a majority government last night under Stephen Harper. The NDP supplanted the Liberals as the official opposition while the sovereigntist Bloc Quebecois was nearly decimated. Also, the Green Party won its first ever seat in the House of Commons. Here is the seat breakdown as of this writing:

Conservatives - 167
NDP - 102
Liberals - 34
Bloc Quebecois - 4
Green - 1

I plan to have a more extensive analysis of the election which hopefully be on the main site tomorrow. In particular, I will focus on the fall of the Liberals, an entity that was once regarded as "Canada's natural governing party."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Another Dumb Reaction to bin Laden's Death

Over at National Review Online, Jonah Goldberg scolds David Sirota of Salon "for having the dumbest reaction to bin Laden's death so far." Sirota views bin Laden as the victor:

This is bin Laden's lamentable victory - he has changed America's psyche from one that saw violence as a regrettable-if-sometimes-necessary act into one that finds orgasmic euphoria in news of bloodshed. In other words, he's helped drag us down into his sick nihilism by making us like too many other bellicose societies in history - the ones that aggressively cheer on killing, as long as it is the Bad Guy that is being killed.

Well, allow me to nominate Neil Macdonald, Washington senior correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) who echoes a remarkably similar sentiment arguing that bin Laden "in so many ways, Osama bin Laden died the victor." McDonald elaborates:

But when bin Laden directed those airplanes at civilians ten years ago, he stole a lot more from this nation than the lives of 3,000 of her citizens.

He taught this country the consequences of operating an open, free society. Literally, he showed Americans the price of their liberty, how many of their principles they'd be willing to cast aside, and how quickly they would do it.

In other words, bin Laden showed American exceptionalists how unexceptionally they behave when faced with horrors most older nations have endured.

Beginning the day after the attacks, the United States became a meaner, more paranoid, more impoverished place.

Before I go further, I should note that Macdonald is the older brother of comedian and former Saturday Night Live alumunus Norm Macdonald - only far less funny.

Macdonald then proceeds to bash the United States for Islamophobia, the Patriot Act and George W. Bush:

But bin Laden didn't just prod Americans into disregarding their own laws and principles when dealing with their real and supposed enemies; he goaded them into turning on each other.

Bush, on the night of the attacks, declared that there were only two choices: you were with America, meaning him, or with the terrorists. No middle ground.

Unfortunately, Macdonald doesn't let the facts get in the way of his argument. First, Bush didn't utter "either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists" on the night of September 11, 2001. He did so nine days later on September 20, 2001 before a joint session of Congress. Here is what President Bush actually said:

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on television, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.

If Macdonald had bothered to exercise the most basic diligence he would know that Bush was directing his comments at nations which harbored terrorists, not Americans who didn't agree with his policies.

Macdonald has spent eight years in Washington but obviously knows precious little about this country.

Will Canadians Vote for Taliban Jack?

Today, Canadians vote for a new Parliament.
As I have written previously, the New Democratic Party (NDP) is poised to make unprecedented gains and it is not implausible that NDP leader Jack Layton could end up as Canada's next Prime Minister.

As a former card carrying NDPer, I would like to put out a word of caution to those Canadians who are considering voting for the NDP for the very first time. Canada has been in the thick of the fight in Afghanistan from the outset and the NDP has opposed Canada's involvement every step of the way. It should not be forgotten that in September 2006 Layton advocated direct negotiations with the Taliban. It earned him the nickname "Taliban Jack."

In light of the killing of Osama bin Laden, let us remember it was the Taliban who provided him sanctuary in Afghanistan. Let us also remember that life comes cheap to the Taliban. It was only last summer they flogged and executed a pregnant woman for having sex out of wedlock. The Taliban do not care about gender parity.

The idea that Jack Layton thinks the Taliban are amenable reason should give Canadians pause when they go to the polls today.

Obama's Re-Election Prospects

With regard to the political implications of Osama bin Laden's killing, Jim Antle writes, "I don't think it guarantees President Obama a second term as it would have done for George W. Bush from 2001-04, but it has certainly strengthened his hand."

Jim is right to say this doesn't guarantee Obama's re-election. After all, the election is still 18 months away and anything could happen. But barring a catastrophe it becomes increasingly difficult to see how Obama can lose. And by catastrophe I am talking about an even bigger financial meltdown than the one experienced in 2008. If there was another terrorist attack in this country on the scale of 9/11 or greater in retaliation for bin Laden's killing I believe the nation would rally around Obama (unless he were to handle it abysmally.) The electorate is more likely to turn on Obama over our pocketbooks rather than over our security.

The magnitude of bin Laden's killing is such that it makes Donald Trump's efforts to question Obama's legitimacy look petty and stupid. The emotional outpouring that has come about as a result simply cannot be ignored. The spontaneous celebrations will, of course, soon pass. Nevertheless, people will invariably associate bin Laden's demise with President Obama. As long as that is the case the electorate will be strongly inclined to give Obama another four years in office.

Hamas Condemns bin Laden Killing

Well, this is interesting. Ismail Haniyeh, the Prime Minister of the Hamas government in Gaza, has condemned the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Praising bin Laden as "a Muslim and Arabic warrior", Haniyeh calling bin Laden's killing "the continuation of the American oppression and shedding of blood of Muslims and Arabs."
In light of Hamas rapprochement with Fatah last week, I wonder if Salam Fayyad and Mahmoud Abbas share Haniyeh's point of view. Assuming Hamas and Fatah do form a unity government does President Obama expect Israel to make peace with a Palestinian entity which views Osama bin Laden as "a Muslim and Arabic warrior"?

I wouldn't put it past him.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Thoughts on bin Laden's Death

I learned that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. forces while watching the Mets-Phillies game on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. No sooner than Dan Shulman had made the announcement chants of "U.S.A.!!! U.S.A.!!!" could be heard throughout Citizens Bank Park. News really does travel fast. (UPDATE: Here's a first-hand account from Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.)

I told my roommate Christopher that Mets pinch hitter Daniel Murphy appeared bewildered at the chant. Shulman along with his colleagues Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine noted soon after that the players and coaching staff of both teams were probably the only people in the ballpark who hadn't heard the news.

This development is personally noteworthy because on Saturday, while I was in New York visiting with my father, we decided to take a cab down to Ground Zero. Although there is a lot of construction going around the area, the WTC site itself remains void as it has been for nearly a decade. Under the circumstances, bin Laden's death helps to fill that void and does bring some measure of comfort. However, I am also under no illusions that our fight against Islamic fundamentalism is over. Far from it.

With this in mind, I found little reassurance in President Obama's statement. Once again he insisted "the United States is not - and never will be - at war with Islam." Such a sentiment utterly misses the point because a not so insignificant segment of the Muslim world is at war with us and Obama does us a disservice to pretend otherwise. Indeed, bin Laden is now a martyr to his followers and they will have a greater resolve to see to it that bin Laden's 1998 fatwa declaring war against the United States is implemented. Under that fatwa it is the duty of all Muslims to kill Americans be they military personnel or civilians.

Obama's message was also contradictory. On one hand, Obama said that bin Laden's death "marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's efforts to defeat al Qaeda."
But then Obama went on to say that bin Laden "was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims." Well, if bin Laden wasn't a Muslim leader then what does that make Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs in Iran or Assad in Syria?

Moreover, there will be those who will question the timing of bin Laden's demise given that Obama made a point of stating, "And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take immediate action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice." There will be those who will wonder aloud if Obama authorized this operation the same day or following the release of his long form birth certificate although I will not be amongst them. President Obama gave our forces had a job to do and they did it.

So, in the grand scheme of things, John Guardiano is absolutely right when he states "the psychological effects of bin Laden's confirmed death cannot be overstated." The world is a better place without him.