A rope, a light pole, some assembly required.

Not so long ago, the anti-war left and the media (but I repeat myself) were all outraged, OUTRAGED over the Iraq War and ChimpyBu$Hitler’s evil overlord, Darth Cheney, were (allegedly) lining their pockets over the misery of others

We all by now know that Dick Cheney retired from the Pentagon in 1993 to accede to the throne of Halliburton, an oil field services company based in Houston. Under Mr. Cheney’s reign, Halliburton acquired Dresser Industries which included the Kellogg Company (the K of KBR), a major engineering firm. True to form, Mr. Cheney’s acquisition did not include much due diligence. After Mr. Cheney left Halliburton with tens of millions of dollars in his pocket largely earned because of his connections to Middle East dictators, Halliburton had to cough up $2.3 billion in cash, about $1.2 billion in stock and another $55 million in IOUs to help pay off the tens of thousands of people in this country who had suffered and/or died of asbestos poisoning at the hand of Dresser, which Mr. Cheney had acquired and for which Mr. Cheney was (and apparently still is) handsomely compensated. If this sounds a bit like Mr. Cheney’s due diligence with respect to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, it should. He never bothered to look at what Dresser had before he bought it for Halliburton and he never bothered to look at what Iraq had before he broke it for the U.S.

As Messrs. Cheney and Rumsfeld planned the war in Iraq beginning during the first year of the Bush Administration, Mr. Cheney’s Halliburton was the contractor of choice to do the work that the military had always done in past wars. This time, though, the war would be privatized to suit the ideology and obfuscation of the Bush team, which wanted to pretend that the number of people we’d need in Iraq would be small (so outsource it) and that the government can be privatized (so outsource it to friends). 

No word if they signed the contracts with blood literally squeezed out of the veins of the children of Mosul or not, but we must, as responsible journalists, assume that was the case. 

Flash forward 7 years, and the Democrats have spent BILLIONs on failed government loans to “green” energy companies and Al Gore sold out to MidEast Oil sheiks later, both of which is TOTALLY different than what Cheney did(n’t do), because shut up, that’s why.

Now, after all of that, we get to see what war profiteering is REALLY like

A millionaire businessman conned buyers around the world into thinking novelty golf ball finders were bomb detectors.
Jim McCormick, 56, was found guilty at London’s Old Bailey today of three counts of fraud after jurors heard the devices did not work.
McCormick made an estimated £50 million from sales of his three models to Iraq, Belgium and even the United Nations for use in Lebanon.
But, the court heard, the Advanced Selection Equipment devices had no scientific basis and were based on a £13 American novelty golf ball finder.
Some of the detectors were sold for £27,000 each and McCormick is thought to have made about £37 million from sales to Iraq alone. 

I wonder how many British soldiers have been killed or maimed by McCormick’s mendaciousness, and others in Great Britain are wishing that drawing and quartering was still the law of the land?

 

 

 
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April 27th, 2013 by exurbankevin

Keep Dope Alive

Just a reminder: In the name of imposing restrictions on “assault weapons” here in the U.S., the Justice Department of the United States gave aid and comfort to the Mexican drug cartels by illegally sending thousands of rifles across the border, resulting in hundreds of deaths in Mexico and the United States. 

We have not forgotten that, and neither has Congress

A U.S. Justice Department lawyer said on Wednesday that if a judge agreed to consider a Republican bid to get administration documents related to a botched operation against gun-trafficking it would prompt a flood of requests for courts to referee Washington political disputes.
President Barack Obama is resisting a congressional subpoena for documents related to how the administration responded to the revelation of the failed operation known as “Fast and Furious” on the U.S.- Mexican border. It has already turned over thousands of pages of documents about the operation itself.
Justice Department lawyer Ian Gershengorn told a hearing the matter was best left to the give-and-take of the U.S. government’s two elected branches, the president and Congress, and should not be a matter for the courts.
“That is how it has worked for 225 years,” said Gershengorn, referring to the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson was skeptical and told Gershengorn, “There are three branches here, not just two.” She did not say how she would rule, but questioned Gershengorn for more than twice as long as she did House of Representatives lawyer Kerry Kircher.
Kircher told Jackson that if she did not intervene, presidents could withhold documents from Congress at will with no consequence and thwart oversight of government agencies.
The fear about more subpoena cases is overblown, he added. “You will not be flooded by lawsuits,” Kircher said.
Both sides agree that the question of whether Jackson will step in goes to the heart of how the U.S. president and Congress interact with each other. 

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Ego custodire custodes. (Who are they who watch the watchmen? I myself.)

 
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April 24th, 2013 by exurbankevin

Human Rights For Me but Not For Thee

Why, it’s almost as if a progressive’s commitment to human rights is masking their own inner loathing of humanity or something

When an earthquake rattled the nation’s capital in 2010, the former head of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordered her frightened staff to stay inside their shaking building so they could attend a ceremony she had organized for herself, says a withering new report.

Brushing aside the concerns of her employees during the earthquake is among the more egregious allegations of “gross mismanagement” levelled against Shirish Chotalia in a report released Thursday by the public sector integrity commissioner.

Mario Dion’s two-year investigation concluded that Chotalia’s behaviour towards some employees and members of the tribunal constituted harassment and abuse of authority.

“In my soon-to-be two-and-a-half years as public sector integrity commissioner, this is the worst lack of respect vis-as-vis individuals that you are responsible for,” Dion said during a teleconference.

The report cast Chotalia as a tyrant who belittled and insulted her staff to the point of tears. 

After all, white liberal guilt has to come from somewhere: Show me a person who’s inflicted themselves with a case of  liberal guilt, and I’ll show you a person with a reason to feel guilty about how they treat others. 

 
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April 22nd, 2013 by exurbankevin

The Illogical Conclusion Of The Matter

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Victor David Hanson points out the obvious: Smart people can and will disagree. Danger lurks, however, when we start to label those who don’t agree with us as “shameful” or “lying”. 

“The current sophistry of using catastrophic current events to rush legislative agendas or build political capital is as natural as it is also dangerous — and can rebound in unexpected ways. If those who are skeptical about the legality and utility of infringing on the Second Amendment through legislative action are reduced to being slandered as shameful liars, and (if we believe what is now being written) they are in part culpable for the sort of carnage at Sandy Hook, then almost any event in the news becomes political fodder.”  

This is the end game for the ‘If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” crowd. Knowledge is only knowledge if it provokes an emotional response, and only responses pre-approved by the gatekeepers of “diversity”. My first response to Sandy Hook (and Aurora and Tucson before was, in fact, emotional. I felt angry that humanity could do such things against humanity, which then morphed into fear for my family’s safety if confronted with similar situations.

Having emotions like fear is a good thing, but emotions will express themselves into actions in many different ways. My response to potential threats to my family is to pay attention to what’s out there and be prepared to deal with them as they may (or may not) appear, and that includes the option to meet lethal force with lethal force, an option that Obama, Biden, Pelosi and Reid would prefer I not have. 

I have the same emotions that progressives do. I just prefer to put them into action in ways that Obama and his ilk would like to legislate out of existence. 

Which of us, then, is truly tolerant and diverse? 

(Photo courtesy of Oleg Volk

 
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April 18th, 2013 by admindude

Churlish In Charge

The one thing I don’t understand about Obama’s foot-stomping temper tantrum yesterday was, what did he EXPECT to happen? We all knew that going into this that gun control was toast in the House, so why did he act so upset yesterday that he didn’t get his way? I half-expected him to announce he was going to hold his breath and turn blue unless the Senate banned all guns right away. 

Anything that the Senate passed yesterday was doomed to failure, it wasn’t a question of IF, it was only a question of WHEN. So why did he seem so upset when it happened? Did he truly think that the House GOP caucus would betray the combined will of law enforcement and the American public and enact legislation to register gun owners? 

I mean, it’s not like Obama’s made a habit of wasting his precious political capital on useless crusades meant to pump up his precious ego, right? 

Oh, wait…. 

Nevermind. 

 
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April 18th, 2013 by exurbankevin

Topical Delusion

With friends like these, who needs enemas

Mark Kelly, husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, said he might use their gun control advocacy group to work toward the ouster of Sen. Jeff Flake in 2018 if the Republican senator from Arizona votes against firearm legislation.

Flake, a former U.S. congressman, and Giffords are known as longtime friends, Kelly said.

“You know friendship is one thing … saving people’s lives, especially first-graders’, is another,” Kelly said at a Washington breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. 

Shorter Mark Kelly: I can’t be your friend anymore Jeff Flake, because it’s for the children. Of course, I don’t have kids myself and you do, Jeff, but I, Mark Kelly, know more about how to protect them than you do. So there. 

After the shooting of Gabby Giffords, there arose such a clatter for “civil discourse”, which was thought to be the reason why Jeard Laughner went crazy. 

Now, I’m not an expert on civil discourse (heck, being a blogger means I’m pretty darn uncivil at times), but it seems to me that if you think your cause is so holy and so just that you have to end friendships over it, you’re helping divide the country, not bring it together. 

Mark Kelly would do well to leave his New Jersey attitudes towards self-reliance and self-protection back in the Garden State and leave Arizona to those who embody the spirit of the West. 

 
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April 17th, 2013 by exurbankevin

Maybe speculation, maybe not.

    1. The bombs at the Boston Marathon used pressure cookers to contain the explosions.
    2. Pressure cookers aren’t all that common in sea-level areas like Boston.  
    3. Pressure cookers are common, however, in the high altitude regions of Nepal, Afghanistan and Pakistan…
    4. … where they’re used to make bombs and IED’s.
    5. Terrorists groups tend to stick with bomb-making techniques that they already know how to build.
    6. Lashkar-e-Taiba (the group behind the Mumbai hotel attacks) has deployed pressure cooker IED’s on numerous occasions with devastating effects. 
    7. The L.A. Times reported back in 2010 that Lashkar-e-Taiba was making inroads into Massachusetts.

      In recent years, the camps that Lashkar once used primarily to train Pakistanis to fight for Kashmir have increasingly become a training ground for other militant groups and extremists who come from around the world to learn guerrilla warfare, according to current and former U.S. and allied counter-terrorism officials.
      And as its ranks have swelled along with anti-U.S. sentiment, they say, there is evidence that the group is working more closely with Al Qaeda and other extremist groups and may be getting more directly involved in militant activities against the West. Counter-terrorism officials cite evidence in recent years of fundraising or recruiting efforts in Canada, Britain, Australia and the United States. Inquiries are ongoing in Massachusetts and Lodi, Calif. (emphasis mine)
      Lashkar-e-Taiba was designated as a terrorist organization by the United States in December 2001 and was soon outlawed by Pakistan. It disbanded, but its founders created another group named Jamaat ud-Dawa, which functions openly in Pakistan as an officially recognized humanitarian organization. 

    8. Lashkar-e-Taiba operates with the implicit permission of the Pakistan Intelligence Service.

Buckle up, people. Things are about to get interesting. 

Update

“Several family members of LET leader, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, moved to the U.S. in the past couple of decades and have been arrested for various charges.  Saeed’s brother, Muhammad Masood, and his brother-in-law, Abdul Hannan, reportedly moved to the U.S. in the late 1980s and late 1990s, respectively, and worked as imams inRhode Island and Boston before they were arrested on visa fraud charges in November 2006. 

 Another one of Saeed’s brothers, Hafiz Muhammad Hamid, an imam at the Islamic Centre of Greater Worcester, Massachusetts, was deported to Pakistan in June 2007 on visa irregularity.  One of the reasons he was deported was because of his alleged former involvement in running a LET safe house in Moon Chowk, Lahore.” 

 
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April 16th, 2013 by exurbankevin

It takes a village (idiot).

It’s funny how people like Melissa Harris-Perry think that “the community” should raise my kids, but then turn around and tell me it’s up to us parents to censor the sex and violence in movies, tv and video games: The “community” isn’t responsible for policing moral standards, we parents are. 

“We’ve never invested in public education as much as we should have”!?  

Reality disagrees with you, Mz. Perry. The U.S. spends the most per student of all the developed countries, yet our math scores stink. If only we could account for where all that money went, rather than raising student test scores. 

Oh wait, we can. 

K-12 administration bloat

“America’s public schools are bloated with bureaucracy and skinny on results.  Nationwide since 1950, the number of public school administrative and non-teaching positions has soared 702 percent while the student population increased just 96 percent. Over that same period, teachers’ numbers also increased — 252 percent — but still far short of administrators and non-teaching personnel” 

I can speak from personal experience on this. Mrs. ExKev has been a middle school math teacher for over fifteen years now, and the one thing’s she’s consistently told me is that the parents who show up to parent-teacher meetings are the ones whose children are doing well, and the children whose parents can’t be bothered to take an interest in their kid’s education are the kids who are failing her classes. 

It doesn’t take a village to raise a kid: It takes committed parents who act as adults, not behave like children raising children. 

 

 
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April 9th, 2013 by exurbankevin

Disposable Heroes Of Hypocrisy

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Photo courtesy of Robb Allen

My friend Sebastian makes a great point

I guess Governor Malloy doesn’t want to ever be President either. How much more of the Democratic bench are Bloomberg and Obama going to waste on gun control? Despite what Malloy thinks of the school security report funded by NRA, polls show people support the idea of armed security in schools. 

Malloy. Hickenlooper. O’Malley. Cuomo. The current list of Democratic governors was never long to begin with, and now with Bloomberg and Obama forcing the purple state governors to go blue and the blue state governors to go Socialist, the odds of a Democratic governor emerging as a contender to (slow) Joe Biden and Hillary just got longer, and I haven’t even talked about the damage that this irrational and unneeded push for gun control has done for the future Presidential hopes of Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin. 

And to top things off, if Arizona’s John McCain decides to sell out his constituents and vote to restrict the rights of the law-abiding because criminals break the law, his career in Arizona politics is OVER, and it won’t end on high note, either. 

 
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April 9th, 2013 by exurbankevin

RIP Baroness Thatcher

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land

 
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April 8th, 2013 by exurbankevin