"...everyone is bored,and devotes himself to cultivating habits..these habits are not peculiar to our town.." Albert Camus "The Plague"

Friday, December 28, 2007

Mrs. Clinton and the 22nd Amendment....

It sure will feel like 3 terms of Clinton if Mrs. Clinton is elected. The more she touts the 8 years as First Lady as "experience", the more the public perceives her as the extension of her husband she really is. Had she left Bill, and struck out on her own, she might be coming across as more honest and legitimate, however less formidable a candidate she might then be sans Bill. The ultra left Huffington Report ran an interesting piece today by Stephen Kaus which concludes:

....The more Hillary tries to use Bill's presidency as experience, the more we feel like it is the same old, same old and the closer it approaches the 22nd Amendment situation, as Ann Althouse points out at the end of this clip. The idea that we have had enough of the Clintons and the Bushes is deeply rooted in our feelings about government. If Hillary had left Bill and were striking out on her own, we would feel less this way, but that is not what she is doing. She is campaigning for a third term while invoking executive privilege as to what she did during the first two.

It is now apparent that Hillary will have trouble surviving this and being nominated Ironically, if she does, the Republicans, the party that has been in almost total power for the past eight years, will have landed jelly side up. Hillary will seem like the continuation of the same old, same old and the GOP will have a fresh face unfettered by the ghost of administrations past.

Source: Huffington Report

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Great Christmas Night Raid: 1776

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“My brave fellows, you have done all I asked you to do, and more than could be reasonably expected, but your country is at stake … The present is emphatically the crisis which is to decide our destiny.”
Gen. George Washington in an appeal to his troops following the surprise attack on the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776

A must read is this article by W. Thomas Smith Jr. about the "special operation" that changed the course of history and turned the war in favor of the continentals 230 years ago. Excerpts:

Continental Army General George Washington’s celebrated “Crossing of the Delaware” has been dubbed in some military circles, “America’s first special operation.” Though there were certainly many small-unit actions, raids, and Ranger operations during the Colonial Wars – and there was a special Marine landing in Nassau in the early months of the American Revolution – no special mission by America’s first army has been more heralded than that which took place on Christmas night exactly 230 years ago........The factors in Washington’s favor were clear: The weather was so bad that no one believed the Continentals would attempt a river crossing followed by a forced march, much less at night. The Continentals were numerically – and perceived to be qualitatively – inferior to the British Army. The Hessians, mercenaries allied to the British and who were garrisoned in Trenton, had a battlefield reputation that far exceeded their actual combat prowess. And no one believed the weary Americans would want to attempt anything with anyone on Christmas.

Here is an illustrated account of the Battle of Trenton from the BritishBattles.com website.

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Listen to an excerpt from the stirring conclusion to David McCullough's "1776" read by the author. Here he tells of the perilous crossing of the Delaware and the victory over the Hessians at Trenton. Battle of Trenton MP3 35:00

Monday, December 24, 2007

There Must Be a Santa Claus....

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Hillary Clinton predicted Saturday that just electing her President will cut the price of oil.

When the world hears her commitment at her inauguration about ending American dependence on foreign fuel, Clinton says, oil-pumping countries will lower prices to stifle America's incentive to develop alternative energy.

"I predict to you, the oil-producing countries will drop the price of oil," Clinton said, speaking at the Manchester YWCA."
Source: Daily News (NY)

Folks, if you can believe this you will certainly believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy! Further proof that a Clinton will say anything to get elected.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Mrs. Clinton Presents: PRESENTS

The "present" you're going to get from Mrs. Bill Clinton is SOCIALISM folks! That plus your bonus "president/present"; "Slick Willie's" third term. It's really all about Bill and not about her. So let's face facts here. It will be a co-presidency. Hell, according to one reading of the statutes der Schlickmeister could be elected Vice-President , although without the legal ability of succession to the Presidency.So here is what you get with Mrs. Clinton:
1 - Universal Health Care (socialized medicine). Oh, and universal does not mean FREE; Someone's got to pay for it.
2 - Alternative Energy. This a pipe dream and is years away from actuality. We need to be recovering our own plentiful resources of fossil fuels which are going to be the main fuels for years to come.
3 - Bring the Troops Home. This is not going to happen in any full scale manner in the next administration, no matter who is elected. She know this and has stated this.
4 - Universal Pre-K: (more socialism); again, universal does not mean FREE.

Oh, and what about her socialist scheme to cripple our oil industry. Remember the "We'll take those profits" speech?

I've put up a little poll on one of my blogs, so go here and cast your ballot. Sorry, only 2 choices in this one! OK, if you really need to choose someone other than those 2 you can email me your pick.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

VFF's Person of Year: David Petraeus

General David Petraeus, who earlier this year made complete fools of his inquisitors in Congress, is Vets For Freedom organization "Person of the Year". The amazing success of the troop surge under his leadership has even the blatantly liberal Washington Post taking notice. (". It’s looking more and more as though those in and outside of Congress who last month were assailing Gen. Petraeus’s credibility and insisting that there was no letup in Iraq’s bloodshed were - to put it simply - wrong.")

See Steady Habits (9/15/07) and Washington Post (12/8/07)

General Petraeus was also one of several runners-up in Time magazine's annual assessment of the most influential personages world wide, settling on V. Putin for the top spot. The VFF blog comments...
"Time magazine .... announced its pick for “man of the year” yet, but we certainly know ours: Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the multinational force in Iraq and architect of the surge strategy that is turning the tide in the war. Petraeus formulated a brilliant counterinsurgency plan. He executed it with care and diligence. And when much of the country didn’t want to notice the security gains that the surge had wrought, he took the national media spotlight to defend his strategy and his honor. In all this, he was nothing less than masterly."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Santa Groped in Danbury + No HO's

A woman on crutches is alleged to have groped Old St. Nick while sitting upon his lap at the Danbury Mall. How one inappropriately touches a heavily dressed Santa while sitting on the bearded one's lap needs some explanation from the authorities who have arrested the miscreant, one Sandrama Lamy who police said:
....inappropriately touched a 65-year-old worker dressed as Santa on Saturday while sitting on his lap, police said. She is charged with fourth-degree sexual assault and breach of peace, both misdemeanors.
Source: Hartford Courant (12/17/07)
The accused has rejoined in an update that:
...(she)denies she even sat on the man's lap.

"I don't know what's going on. I don't know if he was confused, it was a false report," Sandrama Lamy, 33, said this morning.

In other Santa woes:

Earlier this month in Missoula, Mont., a mall Santa was assaulted with a pumpkin pie.

Meanwhile, a department store Santa in Australia claims he lost his job earlier this month because he said "Ho, ho, ho."

His bosses had asked him to say "Hi, hi, hi."

Another funny account at Right Pundit

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Joe Lieberman to Endorse John McCain

Breaking from Politico:
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Conn.), who was on the national Democratic ticket in 2000, will cross the aisle to endorse Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) tomorrow, Republican sources said.

The two will appear together on NBC's "Today" show tomorrow, then at an 8 a.m. town hall in Hillsborough, N.H.

The move, which will help cultivate McCain's moderate status, is an effort to draw attention to the McCain campaign, which needs a splash. Otherwise, it does not make sense for McCain because it will only remind core Republicans why they distrust him.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Vets for Freedom Wash. Post Op-Ed

Vets for Freedom published a column carried by The Washington Post last Saturday. The authors are Maj. Gen. (Ret.) John Batiste, who commanded the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq from 2004 to early 2005 and, Lt. Pete Hegseth who served in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division from 2005 to 2006 and is executive director of Vets for Freedom. Is an important statement and analysis and is quoted here in full.

Getting Beyond Stalemate to Win a War

By John Batiste and Pete Hegseth
Saturday, December 8, 2007

Congress has been entangled in a war-funding debate that pits war "supporters" against antiwar "defeatists." With all sides seemingly entrenched, a stalemate looms. The Pentagon, meanwhile, will soon begin stripping money from its training budget to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our military men and women deserve better than partisan politics; they deserve honest assessments of our nation's performance in fighting the Long War.

We are veterans of the Iraq war with vastly different experiences. Both of us commanded troops in Iraq. We, too, held seemingly entrenched, and incompatible, views upon our return. One of us spoke out against mismanagement of the war -- failed leadership, lack of strategy and misdirection. The other championed the cause of successfully completing our mission.

Our perspectives were different, yet not as stark as the "outspoken general" and "stay-the-course supporter" labels we received. Such labels are oversimplified and inaccurate, and we are united behind a greater purpose.

It's time to discuss the way forward rather than prosecute the past. Congress must do the same, for our nation and the troops.

Overall, this will require learning from our strategic blunders, acknowledging successes achieved by our courageous military and forging a bold path. We believe America can and must rally around five fundamental tenets:

First, the United States must be successful in the fight against worldwide Islamic extremism. We have seen this ruthless enemy firsthand, and its global ambitions are undeniable. This struggle, the Long War, will probably take decades to prosecute. Failure is not an option.

Second, whether or not we like it, Iraq is central to that fight. We cannot walk away from our strategic interests in the region. Iraq cannot become a staging ground for Islamic extremism or be dominated by other powers in the region, such as Iran and Syria. A premature or precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, without the requisite stability and security, is likely to cause the violence there -- which has decreased substantially but is still present -- to cascade into an even larger humanitarian crisis.

Third, the counterinsurgency campaign led by Gen. David Petraeus is the correct approach in Iraq. It is showing promise of success and, if continued, will provide the Iraqi government the opportunities it desperately needs to stabilize its country. Ultimately, however, these military gains must be cemented with regional and global diplomacy, political reconciliation, and economic recovery -- tools yet sufficiently utilized. Today's tactical gains in Iraq -- while a necessary pre-condition for political reconciliation -- will crumble without a deliberate and comprehensive strategy.

Fourth, our strategy in fighting the Long War must address Iran. Much has been made this week of the intelligence judgments that Iran has stopped its weapons program. No matter what, Iran must not be permitted to become a nuclear power. All options should be exhausted before we use military force, but force, nonetheless, should never be off the table. Diplomatic efforts -- from a position of strength, both regionally and globally -- must be used to engage our friends and coerce our enemies to apply pressure on the Iranian regime.

Fifth, our military capabilities need to match our national strategy. Our military is stretched thin and will be hard-pressed to maintain its current cycle of deployments. At this critical juncture, we cannot afford to be weak. Numbers and capacity matter.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, America was not mobilized for the Long War. This was an opportunity lost, but it is not too late. Many Americans are frustrated by the war effort, the burden of which has been shouldered by less than one percent of our citizenry. Our country is accustomed to winning. We deserve a comprehensive strategy that is focused on victory and guided by decisive leadership. America must succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we also cannot focus too narrowly on those conflicts. We need a regional and global strategy to defeat worldwide Islamic extremism to ensure a safer world today and for future generations.

The day after his famous Pearl Harbor speech, President Franklin D. Roosevelt again addressed the nation. "I was about to add that ahead there lies sacrifice for all of us," he said. "But it is not correct to use that word. The United States does not consider it a sacrifice to do all one can, to give one's best to our nation, when the nation is fighting for its existence and its future life." His words inspired the "Greatest Generation," and they should inspire us again today.

Americans must mobilize for the Long War -- bolster our strained military, galvanize industry to supply troops with what they need right now and fund the strategy with long-term solutions. We have no doubt that Americans will rally behind a call to arms.

America's veterans -- young and old -- are resolved to support and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. This commitment, and nothing less, should compel us to stand together, in and out of uniform. Would that Congress finds the courage to bury its pride and do the same.

Thank the Troops Message Form

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Nonchalance: At the Heart of Good Manners

"Nonchalance....this is why people always seem to be on their best behavior right before they commit suicide." P.J. O'Rourke

Audio read by Tony Randall

Friday, November 30, 2007

How the Dem's Tune Doth Change (Murtha Version)

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. John Murtha today said he saw signs of military progress during a brief trip to Iraq last week, but he warned that Iraqis need to play a larger role in providing their own security and the Bush administration still must develop an exit strategy.

"I think the 'surge' is working," the Democrat said in a videoconference from his Johnstown office, describing the president's decision to commit more than 20,000 additional combat troops this year. But the Iraqis "have got to take care of themselves.
Source: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07333/837824-100.stm

Thursday, November 29, 2007

CNN-You Tube Republican Debate

Some quick thoughts here; this was the first such debate that I watched all the way through....

Moderator Anderson Cooper was superb at the controls. The questions were so-so but about what one would expect from a format limited to You Tube submissions. One or two of the You Tube submitters were in the audience apparently because the producers thought their questions added exceptional interest to the proceedings. One of these, an openly gay, retired U.S. Army General, was featured in a You Tube question and then given the spotlight from his place in the audience. Romney was urbane and polished. The opening fireworks between him and Rudy Giuliani were instructive with Romney clearly cleaning Rudy's clock. McCain was in great form as, well, John McCain. One cannot fault him for his steadfast position against intense interrogation. His treatment at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors has made it impossible for him to sanction such actions regarding any prisoner whether it be be deemed "torture" or not. Fred Thompson was well organized in his responses but did not make any waves; he comes across as a fatherly figure, not as a dynamic action type. Huckabee has the instincts of a snake oil peddler; a true salesman, quick with the apt anecdote, moves in quickly for the kill with his folksy approach. Of the remaining three, Hunter is the more complete candidate. Tancredo, on the other hand is a one issue candidate, and Ron Paul is hopelessly out of touch. Of the latter three Paul did get the most questions and the most face time in answering.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hillary's Taste in Women Better Than Bill's!

Bill had Monica, and who knows how many others, but Hillary has Huma! Huma Huma,mmmm mmmm Huma!

More: Stay tuned at Drudge

Friday, November 23, 2007

PC Spoils the Christmas Party

Christmas Party Memos
Body: Subject: Christmas party announcement


FROM: Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: Everyone
RE: Christmas Party
DATE: December 1

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas
Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon
in the banquet room at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue.

No-host bar, but plenty of eggnog! We'll have a small
band playing traditional carols...feel free to sing
along. And don't be surprised if our CEO shows up
dressed as Santa Claus!


FROM; Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 2
RE: Christmas Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our
Jewish employees. We recognize that Chanukah is an
important holiday which often coincides with
Christmas, though unfortunately not this year.

However, from now on we're calling it our "Holiday
Party". The same policy applies to employees who are
celebrating Kwanzaa at this time.

Happy now?


FROM; Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 3
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of
Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking
table...you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to
accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a
table that reads, "AA Only"; you wouldn't be anonymous

How am I supposed to handle this?



FROM; Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 7
RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse company we are! I had no idea that
December 20 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan,
which forbids eating, drinking and sex during daylight
hours. There goes the party!

Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon this time
of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees'
beliefs. Perhaps Luigi's can hold off on serving your
meal until the end of the party -- the days are so
short this time of year -- or else package everything
for take-home in little foil swans.

Will that work?

Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Overeaters
Anonymous to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and
pregnant women will get the table closest to the

Did I miss anything?


FROM; Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 8
RE: Holiday Party

So December 22 marks the Winter Solstice...what do you
expect me to do, a tap-dance on your heads? Fire
regulations at Luigi's prohibit the burning of sage by
our "earth-based Goddess-worshipping" employees, but
we'll try to accommodate your shamanic drumming circle
during the band's breaks.



FROM; Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
Date: December 9
RE: Holiday Party

People, people, nothing sinister was intended by
having our CEO dress up like Santa Claus! Even if the
anagram of "Santa" does happen to be "Satan," there is
no evil connotation to our own "little man in a red
suit." It's a tradition, folks, like sugar shock at
Halloween or family feuds over the Thanksgiving turkey
or broken hearts on Valentine's Day.

Could we lighten up?


FROM; Pat Lewis, Human Resources Director
DATE: December 10
RE: Holiday Party


I've had it with you people!!!

We're going to keep this party at Luigi's Open Pit
Barbecue whether you like it or not, so you can sit
quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of
death", as you so quaintly put it, and you'll get your
#$%^&*! salad bar, including hydroponic tomatoes...but
you know, they have feelings, too. Tomatoes scream
when you slice them. I've heard them scream, I'm
hearing them scream right now!


FROM: Teri Bishops, Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: December 14
RE: Pat Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Pat Lewis a
speedy recovery from her stress-related illness and
I'll continue to forward your cards to her at the

In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our
Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the
23rd off with full pay.

Happy Chanu-Kwanzaa-Solsti-Rama-Mas!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

You Can Be Too Thin....

On a Hollywood street, Zsa Zsa Gabor sees a wretched man with a sign that says, "Haven't Eaten in Three Days." She says, "Darlink, I admire your villpower."
Zsz Zsa would also have said, "You can't be too rich or too thin". However that theory has been challenged by new research:

This startling research flies in the face of all the food police propaganda that's been spewed the last few years. Our CDC scientists have concluded that being a little or somewhat overweight is good. Of course gross obesity is another matter not be discounted as a factor in morbidity.

A new study by medical researchers in the United States has caused consternation among public health professionals by suggesting that, contrary to conventional wisdom, being overweight might actually be beneficial for health.

The study, published recently in the respected Journal of the American Medical Association, runs counter to almost all other advice to consumers by saying that carrying a little extra flab – though not too much – might help people to live longer.
Source: The Independent (U.K.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Honoring Vets For Freedom: Nov 11 2007

Veteran's Day is the day , when once a year, we particularly note the contributions made by our military veterans, past and present. Without their sacrifices none of the prosperity and freedom we enjoy would be possible. This posting focuses on the efforts of Vets for Freedom whose mission, founders and organizers are described below.

Vets for Freedom
is a nonpartisan organization established by combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our mission is to educate the American public about the importance of achieving success in these conflicts by applying our first-hand knowledge to issues of American strategy and tactics -namely "the surge" in Iraq. We support policymakers from both sides of the aisle who have stood behind our great generation of American warriors on the battlefield, and who have put long-term national security before short-term partisan political gain.

Vets for Freedom is the leading voice representing troops and veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Vets for Freedom Leadership

Pete Hegseth, Executive Director

First Lieutenant Pete Hegseth served in Iraq with the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division for their deployment to Iraq from 2005-2006. Lt. Hegseth served as an infantry Platoon Leader in Baghdad during the nationwide elections in October and December 2005, and as a Civil-Military Operations officer in Samarra. Lt. Hegseth also served in Guantanamo Bay for a year on a security mission with his National Guard unit and currently serves in the 1-69 Infantry, New York Army National Guard. He holds the Bronze Star for his time in Iraq. Pete is a graduate of Princeton University and plans to pursue a Masters in Public Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton in the fall of 2008. Lt. Hegseth originally hails from Minnesota, but now lives in New York City with his wife.


Vets for Freedom Founders

David Bellavia
David is a former Army Staff Sergeant who served in the First Infantry Division (Task Force 2-2). David has been recommended for the Medal of Honor for actions he took in a fierce urban firefight in the Battle of Fallujah. He and his platoon were the subject of a Time magazine cover story title, Into The Hot Zone. David has also been nominated for the Distinguished Service Cross, and received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for valor, and the Conspicuous Service Cross. Recently he was invited to attend the President's State of the Union address as an honored guest. He has been inducted into the New York Veterans Hall of Fame. David returned to Iraq in June 2006 as an embedded reporter with the Iraqi Army. Bellavia's memoir of his time in Iraq, House to House, will be released by Simon & Schuster in September 2007. He lives Western New York.
Read more about David here.

Knox Nunnally
Knox is a former Marine Infantry Captain who served three consecutive deployments to Iraq with Second Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. He holds a Bronze Star for valor and a Purple Heart. Knox is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and lives in Austin, Texas.

Mark Seavey
Mark Seavey is a former Army National Guard Sergeant. He served in Afghanistan for over a year as an infantry squad leader in the Third Battalion, 116 Infantry, based in Woodstock, Virginia. He works for a veterans' organization in Washington and lives in Virginia. He is a graduate of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.

Joe Dan Worley
Former Hospitalman Third Class (HN3) Joe Dan “Doc” Worley served in Iraq as a US Navy Corpsman. He was an infantry platoon medic in Second Battalion, First Marines in Fallujah in 2004. In September 2004, Worley was targeted in a coordinated ambush as he was running to the aid of two comrades mortally wounded by an IED. Worley was hit by a secondary IED that blew off his leg, and he was shot five times in the attack. Miraculously, Worley survived and he was able to tie his own tourniquet and begin shouting instructs to aid in the treatment the other wounded Marines. After 18 months of rehabilitation at Bethesda and Walter Reed, he now lives in Georgia with his wife and daughter. He holds a Bronze Star for valor and a Purple Heart.
Read more about Joe Dan here.

Wade Zirkle
Wade Zirkle is a former Marine Lieutenant who served two deployments to Iraq, first with Second Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (Camp Lejeune, N.C.) and most recently with the Camp Pendleton, California-based infantry unit Second Battalion, First Marines (2/1) in 2004. Zirkle fought in the invasion of Iraq and the First Battle for Fallujah and is a recipient of The Purple Heart. In 2006 Zirkle returned to Iraq for the third time -this time as a civilian reporter- where he was embedded with the Iraq Army in Ramadi. Wade is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and is from Shenandoah County, Virginia.

See more about Wade's platoon here.
Tags: veterans day,vets for freedom,Iraq war,surge

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Soldiers Cheating on Brain Injury Tests

With highly motivated individuals, be they athletes, be they our service members in harm's way, there is a motivation to stay with the unit and stay on the job or stay in the game,"

So says
Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Jaffee of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center on why soldiers cheat on brain injury tests.

The tests, administered by medics in the field, are the military's primary means of uncovering subtle signs of brain injuries from exposure to blasts. Reports of cheating began surfacing in Iraq during the summer, says Col. Brian Eastridge, a trauma surgeon who supervises medical care in Iraq and Afghanistan from his office in Baghdad.

Troops had obtained copies of an older version of the test and memorized key words used to gauge short-term memory, Jaffee says. Those who fail areas of the test undergo more sophisticated exams for diagnosing brain injury.

If symptoms persist, soldiers are sent home. If symptoms get better in days or a few weeks, patients can be sent back into combat, doctors say.

h/t WSJ Best of Web Today

Source:USA Today

Lets say "THANKS" To Our Military Men and Women! Select a free card here.

Tags: iraq war,troops cheat brain tests,combat injury

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Blue Dress Democrats and Clinton Inc....

You've heard of Blue Dog Democrats? Now we have Clinton-supporting Blue Dress Democrats who will vote for Hillary and the return of Bubba to power.
"Doesn't matter what she (Mrs. Bill Clinton) says. The Dems will vote for her in droves just to please Bubba. They might as well all wear blue dresses to the polls next year."

On Mrs. Clinton playing victim....

If she could play victim to a Ken Starr figure again there is no telling how many percentage points she might pick up. Don’t underestimate the power of the Blue Dress Democrats and the ability of a Clinton to turn a scandal into an advantage.

Incredible frumpyness from The Gap!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Another Blue Dress Moment....
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

On Clinton double talk and perfect parsing....

h/t American Thinker

Lets say "THANKS" To Our Military Men and Women! Select a free card here.
Tags: blue dress,blue dress democrats,blue dog democrats,mrs clinton,bill clinton

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

So I'm Jingoistic....

Very well then, I'm a Jingo*. I was called Jingoistic in another forum after posting the above photo and a description of the event, where Barack Obama stands idle, while the others have right hands over hearts.

You can see a video of the event here; which, incidentally, plays the most hideously sung rendition of the national anthem I have ever heard. I am not talking PC here, but common decency and respect for our flag and our national anthem. I don't think the iconoclastic approach taken by Obama here and elsewhere is indicative of a personal character capable of leading our nation.

A section of U.S. Code pertaining to the national anthem and flag reads as follows:

a) Designation.— The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.
(b) Conduct During Playing.— During a rendition of the national anthem—
(1) when the flag is displayed—
(A) all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart;
(B) men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and
(C) individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; and
(2) when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.

As a practical matter however no one is suggesting penalties here, rather that we recognize the custom of respect, honored more often in the breech than in the observance, for our national symbols. By the way, in all fairness, if the pictured individuals had strictly obeyed the above code they would have to be facing the flag behind them, unless of course there was another flag near the music source. See Snopes for more detail on this controversy.

By Jingo, I'm Jingoistic; I don't think I've ever been called that; although I recall using the word years ago as a misguided lefty. A little well directed jingoism now and then can do a world of good. In the 1960's to 1980's period there was a spate of spoken word records which I suppose one could label hyper-jingoistic, and I mocked them at that time. The progenitor of this genre might be Victor Lundberg's "Letter to a Teenage Son"(1967 MP3). An interesting discussion of hyper-jingoism can be found on the web site of WFMU, Jersey City, NJ. with many more examples. From the site:

The grand-daddy of them all, and the pathetic answer song it inspired. Lundberg was briefly the spokesman of the American Libertarian Party in the Sixties. The success of this single inspired Lundberg to record an entire album of such material, but no track came close to that majestic moment when Victor declares to his son "When you burn your draft card, burn your birth certificate too, because from that moment on, I have no son." Now that's the way this genre is done!

Oh, as to the origin of the term; it apparently derives from this ditty about the Russo-Turkish war (1877-8):

We don't want to fight,
But by Jingo if we do,
We've got the ships,
We've got the men,
And got the money too.
We've fought the Bear before,
And while we're Britons true,
The Russians shall not have Constantinople.

Jingo originated as a word from the patter and jargon of 17th century conjurers, possibly yet another euphemistic form of Jesus. The term Jingoism came in use after the above popular music-hall song by G. W. Hunt, which appeared at the time of the Russo-Turkish War (1877-8), when anti-Russian feeling ran high and Disraeli (theBritish Prime Minister of the day) ordered the Mediterranean fleet to Constantinople. The Russophobes became known as Jingoes, and any belligerent patriotism has been labeled jingoism ever since.
Source: http://ingeb.org/songs/wedontwa.html

An earlier use of the term is found in the poem "French and English" (1839) by Thomas Hood.
Never go to France,
Unless you know the lingo,
If you do, like me,
You will repent, by jingo.

Jingoism defined: ....advocacy of a policy of aggressive nationalism....an aggressive attitude combining excessive patriotism and contempt for other countries.. (2 sources)

Tags:jingo,jingoism,jingoistic,victor lundberg,snopes,us flag code,wfmu radio,belligerent patriotism,patriotism

Monday, October 29, 2007

"Bury Me.... on the Lone Prairie"

"In a narrow grave, just six by three
We buried him there on the lone prairie"
American funeral practices are undergoing rapid changes with so called "natural" and "green" options becoming more common methods of dealing with the deceased. Religionink.org lists several increasingly popular practices including "Celebrations", "Cremation", "Going Green", and "Do-it-Yourself Funerals". The Portland Press-Herald (ME) reported yesterday about "green" cemeteries:

(an) alternative that is just emerging in Maine is natural burial in a green cemetery: wooded graveyards that ban chemicals and caskets that won't easily decompose.

Two such cemeteries are now preparing to do natural burials in Maine, in Limington and in Orrington. There are only about six operating green cemeteries in the United States, but many more are planned, according to those tracking the trend.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Some organizations and companies active in "natural burial" are Native Woodland, operating in the U.K., the Natural Burial Association (Canada), and Kinkaraco, a San Francisco (U.S.) dealer in "Green Burial Shrouds"(see photograph).
Green Burials (U.S.) (motto: "Return Naturally"} has much information regarding newer burial practices.
What is Green Burial?

Simple and natural. Green burial, or natural burial, ensure the burial site remains as natural as possible in all respects. Interment of the bodies is done in a bio-degradable casket, shroud, or a favorite blanket. No embalming fluid, no concrete vaults.

The Natural Burial Company (U.K.) sells biodegradable caskets made of recycled paper, sea grass or bamboo. Their willow casket illustrated:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

On Caring for Your Own Dead web site we find much information about the old American tradition of home burial and the laws of various states regarding this practice today.

The laws in Connecticut are in conflict with each other, begging for a law suit. The laws specifically provide that the custody and contol of remains . . . shall belong to the surviving spouse . . . or . . . next of kin . . . [Sec. 45-253]. On the other hand, a funeral director's signature is required on the death certificate, and only a funeral director or embalmer may "remove the body of a deceased person from one town to another" when a person dies in Connecticut, but towns and ecclesiastical societies may provide a hearse and pall for burial of the dead. Go figure. A licensed embalmer must be in charge when death is from a communicable disease. Because the laws are conflicting in this state, a family wishing to care for its own dead may wish to seek the help of legal counsel. The FCA office may be able to help by filing a friend of the court brief.

While in Massachusetts:

In 1996, the Memorial Society here convinced the State Board of Health that Commonwealth laws permitted families to care for their own dead. It was left to the discretion of the individual boards of health whether or not to comply with the state's opinion. Although many towns have agreed to do so, a court case will be pursued if difficulty arises. Personnel in the Department of Health have been very helpful with recalcitrant local officers.

In Michigan:

A 1995 court decision affirmed a family's right to possess a body "for the purpose of preparation, mourning and burial." This state also has one of the best home burial statutes. Families wishing to care for their own dead in this state may run into officials who are not aware of the court case.

Returning to the Portland Herald Press story:

Klara Tammany's mother didn't want a typical American funeral. No embalming, no metal casket, not even a funeral home.

When she died after a long illness a couple of years ago, family members and friends washed and dressed her body and put it in a homemade wooden casket, which was laid across two sawhorses in the dining room of her condo in Brunswick.

Then, for two days, friends and family visited, brought cut flowers, wrote messages on the casket's lid and said goodbye.

"We had this wake, and it was wonderful," Tammany said.

The home funeral is part of an emerging trend that some believe will change the way Americans deal with death. Send-offs like the one Tammany planned with her mother are called "green" funerals because they avoid preservative chemicals and steel and concrete tombs, all designed to keep a body from decomposing naturally.

After the wake, Tammany's mother was cremated and her ashes buried near the family's camp in Monmouth.

"It makes no difference, so I've been told
Where the body lies when life grows cold
But grant, I pray, one wish to me
O bury me not on the lone prairie"

I say, "Do bury me on the lone prairie, or better yet, in the warm green woods!
To hear a very folksy version of this traditional song click here

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Sleeve Sneeze....

The germ phobia sweeping the nation, not to mention all the other alarms, has resulted in the widespread appearance of hand sanitizers. A blogger at Wesleying is "all for hand sanitizing, and stations everywhere".

Illustrated left is "the politically correct and patriotic method of sneezing and/or coughing". According to a humorous? video produced by CoughSafe we need to "develop appropriate coughing and sneezing strategies consistent with our our clothing and accessories choices each day". Expelled germs will be trapped in fabric where they will dessicate and die. (dying germs below)
More information: Infection Control @ WES

h/t Mullings and Wesleying

Friday, October 19, 2007

Blues for Grim Reaper....

Citing a dearth of death the Grim Reaper has postponed purchase of new scythes and laid off hundreds of staff.

Turning good news into bad, leave it to the main stream media. A sharp drop in the numbers of Iraqi deaths due to the improved military situation there has caused concern among the nation's cemetery workers:

NAJAF, Iraq — At what's believed to be the world's largest cemetery, where Shiite Muslims aspire to be buried and millions already have been, business isn't good.

A drop in violence around Iraq has cut burials in the huge Wadi al Salam cemetery here by at least one-third in the past six months, and that's cut the pay of thousands of workers who make their living digging graves, washing corpses or selling burial shrouds.
Source: Yahoo News

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

McCain Touts Longevity Genes..


Republican presidential candidate John McCain is certain that his age is no barrier to election because he has inherited longevity genes from his mother, who at 95 is active in his campaign. In the photo above she is shown at her retirement home proudly wearing her McCain badge! McCain, who is now 71 years old, if elected president would be the oldest to attain that office.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Dogged by suggestions he's too old to be president, John McCain often says he should bring his mother to campaign stops to demonstrate his good genes. On Wednesday he did.

"I am so happy to be here. I think I'm going to cry," 95-year-old Roberta McCain said as she introduced her son to about 200 seniors at a retirement community. She said three generations of McCain women are supporting his campaign.

Source: MyWay News

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wesleyan (CT) Library Concert....

"you know you go to wesleyan when:
concerts happen at the library"

A humorous look at higher education!

h/t Wesleying

Saturday, October 13, 2007

More Gore....More War

Image: Paul Atroshenko

Quotes for today:

Parson Al winning the Nobel Peace Prize was as predictable as his Oscar for Best Documentary, and represents the final debasement of a once-prestigious award. It used to be that the award went to people of genuine humanitarian or diplomatic accomplishment, like Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer or Doctors Without Borders. Now it goes to frauds and poseurs like Rigoberta Menchu, Yassir Arafat, the U.N. (three times now, counting Gore’s co-winner, the U.N.’s climate change panel), and Jimmy Carter. About the only way to top this would be to give the next Peace Prize to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. More likely the Nobel committee will, one of these days, simply pat itself on the back and give the award to . . . themselves... Steven F. Hayward, NRO (10/12/07)
Also from NRO comes these interesting observations on Americans at war....

Why Are We Winning? [Michael Ledeen]

As I am often vilified for claiming that America is the homeland of "creative destruction," these two quotations (lifted from some comments on The Long War Journal make me palpitate:

"The reason Americans do so well in war, is war is chaos, and Americans practice chaos on a daily basis." Rommel 1942

"The difficulty in planning against American doctrine is that Americans neither see fit to follow their doctrine nor even read their manuals." KGB Document

To which one should add Churchill's observation that Americans always do the right thing after having exhausted all the other possibilities.

And it follows, I think, that the impulse to screw up is ever present, and so while things may look pretty good today, tomorrow is always another day. We still have no Iran policy, do we?

Monday, October 08, 2007

30 Millions Here Illegally?

Immigration Controversy Continues.....
"If it is noble and laudable for immigrants to come to American to "make a better life" for themselves and their families, then it must be equally noble and laudable for ordinary Americans to oppose mass immigration that erodes the prospects for a better life for themselves and their families." John Tanton
The Houston (TX) Chronicle reports today:
Californians for Population Stabilization released a study claiming there are 20 million to 38 million illegal immigrants in America, not the 12 million the federal government says.

"Immigration is in a state of anarchy," organization member James Walsh, a former Immigration and Naturalization Service lawyer, fervently told the room. "Not chaos, anarchy."

The web site NumbersUSA has interesting graphics and statistics that illustrates the national crisis resulting from mass immigration and overpopulation. Meanwhile Mexican President Felipe Calderone is critical of our border fence proposal saying; "The world is open in new ways, we are building fences instead of bridges."

Also see Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

Click the box below to see where the Presidential candidats stand on immigration.

Find out where candidates stand on immigration issues

Monday, October 01, 2007

Domination: Pay By The Lash....

This could quickly add up to serious money!

h/t The Stranger-Seattle's Only Newspaper

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Gingrich: Dizzy Path to Non-Candidacy

Is Newt Gingrich running for President or is he not! Apparently, finally, he is not. Only yesterday his organization was poised to begin a pledge campaign designed to raise some $30 million to establish the feasibility of a Gingrich candidacy. Today the announcement came that he is not running, period. The Republican field now appears to be set with no other newcomers on the horizon. The decision was first reported by CNN this afternoon and reported by Politico as follows in part:
"The decision will bolster the contention of several key Republicans that Gingrich's repeated flirtation with a presidential run was a publicity stunt designed to keep him in the news and sell his books. These Republicans said Gingrich has a loyal following and lots of good ideas, but contended that what one called his "on-again, off-again" approach had undermined the seriousness of a potential candidacy. Rick Tyler, Gingrich's spokesman, said lawyers told Gingrich that dabbling in a presidential campaign could endanger the non-profit status of his nonprofit group, American Solutions for Winning the Future, which is holding a workshop in Cobb County, Ga., on Saturday. 'He had to make a choice between being a citizen-activist, raising the challenges America faces and finding solution to America’s problems, or exploring a potential candidacy,' Tyler said. 'It’s legally impermissible to do both. It was the necessary choice. It was the only choice.'”

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cider Time in Connecticut!

This is the time of year when a trip to a cider mill is called for. My very favorite is B.F. Clydes Cider Mill in Old Mystic. "Cidermaster" and proprietor Harold Miner sells half a dozen varieties of serious, and delicious, hard apple cider. This is oldest continuously operated cider mill in the United States. Information and directions

Originally published 9/24/06 but just as valid today!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for President

Quote for the day:
Democrats should run Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for president. He's more coherent than Dennis Kucinich, he dresses like their base, he's more macho than John Edwards, and he's willing to show up at a forum where he might get one hostile question -- unlike the current Democratic candidates for president who won't debate on Fox News Channel. He's not married to an impeached president, and the name "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad" is surely no more frightening than "B. Hussein Obama."
Ann Coulter

Thursday, September 13, 2007

NY Times, Moveon.org & Rudy Giuliani

Moveon.org received a sweet discount for their despicable full page "General Betrayus" ad in Pinchy's NY Times. Now Rudy Giuliani is demanding a similar discount for an ad of his own.

Giuliani, calling MoveOn.org’s controversial “General Betray Us” ad “abominable,” said his campaign is asking the paper for a comparable rate for an ad to run following President Bush’s speech on Iraq.

The former mayor said his ad “will obviously take the opposite view” from MoveOn.org, which argued in its ad that Gen. David Petraeus is “cooking the books” on Iraq and cherry-picking facts that support his recommendation to keep a large number of troops in Iraq for some time.

According to blogger Confederate Yankee Moveon.org received a $100,000 discount in the price for their libelous ad.

WSJ's Best of the Web Today blog referring to a NY Post story notes:

A spokesman for MoveOn.org confirmed to The Post that the liberal activist group had paid only $65,000 for the ad. . . .

A Post reporter who called the Times advertising department yesterday without identifying himself was quoted a price of $167,000 for a full-page black-and-white ad on a Monday.

[Times PR director Abbe] Serphos declined to confirm the price and refused to offer any inkling for why the paper would give MoveOn.org such a discounted price.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Clinton Capers (continued)...

h/t Mark Dean Mark Levin Fan

Does anyone really believe that Hillary doesn't know about this man's record and whence came his funny money? The most important question, as Rush Limbaugh has noted, is what favors was Norman Hsu, or whatever his real name is, expecting in return for his massive cash donations.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Steve Jobs: Doing the Right Thing!
Steve Jobs says he's read all of the complaining email sent by original purchasers of the iPhone in the early boom days. These folks have not lightly taken the news that Apple is lowering the iPhone price by $200.
....we have decided to offer every iPhone customer who purchased an iPhone from either Apple or AT&T, and who is not receiving a rebate or any other consideration, a $100 store credit towards the purchase of any product at an Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store. Details are still being worked out and will be posted on Apple's website next week. Stay tuned.
He lists three reasons for his largess:
....iPhone is a breakthrough product, and we have the chance to 'go for it' this holiday season. iPhone is so far ahead of the competition, and now it will be affordable by even more customers..... ....There is always change and improvement, and there is always someone who bought a product before a particular cutoff date and misses the new price or the new operating system or the new whatever. This is life in the technology lane. If you always wait for the next price cut or to buy the new improved model, you'll never buy any technology product because there is always something better and less expensive on the horizon..... ....Third, even though we are making the right decision to lower the price of iPhone, and even though the technology road is bumpy, we need to do a better job taking care of our early iPhone customers as we aggressively go after new ones with a lower price. Our early customers trusted us, and we must live up to that trust with our actions in moments like these.....


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Future of Health Care
John Edwards says about his universal health care (socialized medicine) plan:

"It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care," he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK."...
Source: YahooNews

Now look at what conservatives in the U.K. have to propose in order to rein in the horrific costs of the NHS.

Failing to follow a healthy lifestyle could lead to free NHS treatment being denied under the Tory plans.

Patients would be handed "NHS Health Miles Cards" allowing them to earn reward points for losing weight, giving up smoking, receiving immunisations or attending regular health screenings.

Like a supermarket loyalty card, the points could be redeemed as discounts on gym membership and fresh fruit and vegetables, or even give priority for other public services - such as jumping the queue for council housing.

Source: This is London

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Swiss Deportation....

Expelling the Black Sheep!
Creating Security in Switzerland
Below is a photo of Swiss People's Party (SVP) President Ueli Maurer in front of a poster depicting the pariy's campaign to force the expulsion of entire families if any of their children commit certain crimes crimes.By the way, the SVP is Switzerland's largest political party.

(photo caption) Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss People's Party SVP, smiles in front of a campaign poster reading "create security", during a press conference in Bern, Switzerland, in this July 13, 2007 file picture. A proposal by Switzerland's biggest political party to deport delinquent foreigners has angered anti-racism campaigners who say it evokes Nazi-era practices and unfairly blames minorities for crimes. In the run up to October elections, the nationalist SVP's campaign poster showing three white sheep kicking out a black sheep "for more security" has heated the national debate over the proposal to expel whole families of children convicted of a violent crime and drug offenses. (AP Photo/Keystone, Peter Klaunzer)
MyWay News h/t Drudge

Monday, August 27, 2007

Quote of the Day.....

We're not out to get plumbers whose pants creep down while they're working on your pipes," O'Neal said.
Stratford councilman Alvin O'Neal on his proposal to ban low riding trousers.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Laugh of the Day:
The U.S. Broke the Law by Letting Her In!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Democrat Turnabout on War Continues....

Five term Dem. Congressman Brian Baird (Wash-3rd CD) was interviewed in The Olympian shortly after his return from his 5th trip to Iraq and the Middle East. Despite voting against the war he has come to believe that precipitous withdrawal would be a disaster.

U.S. Rep. Brian Baird said Thursday that his recent trip to Iraq convinced him the military needs more time in the region, and that a hasty pullout would cause chaos that helps Iran and harms U.S. security.

"I believe that the decision to invade Iraq and the post-invasion management of that country were among the largest foreign-policy mistakes in the history of our nation. I voted against them, and I still think they were the right votes," Baird said in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C.

"But we're on the ground now. We have a responsibility to the Iraqi people and a strategic interest in making this work."

He states in conclusion:

.... the United States tore up Iraq with its invasion in 2003, dismantling civil government and industries and tossing a half-million people out of work, but that three years of U.S. help is not enough to let Iraq rebuild.

Baird said he would not say this if he didn't believe two things:

"One, I think we're making real progress."

"Secondly, I think the consequences of pulling back precipitously would be potentially catastrophic for the Iraqi people themselves, to whom we have a tremendous responsibility … and in the long run chaotic for the region as a whole and for our own security."

As James Taranto points out in Best of the Web Today (8/20/07):

The distinction Baird makes is a crucial one, and one that war opponents usually elide. Whether Congress made a mistake in authorizing Iraq's liberation is a separate question from what to do now. Yet war opponents act as if favoring a precipitous withdrawal logically and necessarily follows from regretting the decision to liberate.

Why? Part of it, we suppose, is a sort of binary simplemindedness: It was bad to go in, ergo it would be good to get out. Real life is more complicated. It may be that it was a mistake to go in but a precipitous withdrawal would compound the error.

But maybe those who argue for withdrawal seek precisely to compound the error. Failure in Iraq would vindicate the position of those who originally argued that the war would be a mistake. Likewise for those who supported the war but later changed their minds--they may be cynical opportunists, but they may also have the zeal of a convert. If America loses the war, they win the argument.

And defeat in Iraq would vindicate not only opposition to Iraq but an entire worldview--what we've called the worldview of baby-boom liberalism. America's defeat in Vietnam was a triumph for baby-boom liberalism--a triumph that some seem never to have given up trying to relive.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Peggy Noonan and NYPD:
The Homegrown Jihadist Threat

We make it too easy for those who want to hate us to hate us. We make ourselves look bad in our media, which helps future jihadists think that they must, by hating us, be good. They hit their figurative garbage bin lids on the ground, and smirk, and promise to make a racket, and then more than a racket, a boom.
Peggy Noonan (Wall St Journal 8/17/07)
In the above linked article columnist Peggy Noonan takes note of the New York Police Department's Intelligence Division report on the radicalization of Muslim youth and the growth of jihadism in our homeland. (The 90 page report titled "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown threat" (PDF} can be found here ) Ms. Noonan comments on the report:

The report suggests an evolution in thinking. "We're very good at capturing these guys after a terror incident," John McLaughlin, former deputy CIA director, told me, "but in the past we haven't spent as much time at the front end--how do they get to be terrorists." He said terrorists "are changing their profile. . . . Al Qaeda knows what we're looking for. They're not dumb." The terrorists of our future will likely be more credentialed, and here legally; they will be "integrated into American life."

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told me, "I want a better understanding on the part of all law enforcement as to how radicalism takes place. This report connects the dots." It is also meant to heighten awareness. If the terror of the future is homegrown, local eyes will see it first. Cofer Black, former director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, told me that an important message of the report is similar to the signs on New York subways and in train stations: "If you see something, say something."

Here is an excerpt from the NYPD report:
The NYPD’s understanding of the threat from Islamic-based terrorism to New York City
has evolved since September 11, 2001. While the threat from overseas remains,
terrorist attacks or thwarted plots against cities in Europe, Australia and Canada since
2001 fit a different paradigm. Rather than being directed from al-Qaeda abroad, these
plots have been conceptualized and planned by “unremarkable” local residents/citizens
who sought to attack their country of residence, utilizing al-Qaeda as their inspiration
and ideological reference point.

Some of these cases include:
• Madrid’s March 2004 attack
• Amsterdam’s Hofstad Group
• London’s July 2005 attack
• Australia’s Operation Pendennis (which thwarted an attack(s) in November 2005)
• The Toronto 18 Case (which thwarted an attack in June 2006)
Where once we would have defined the initial indicator of the threat at the point where a
terrorist or group of terrorists would actually plan an attack, we have now shifted our
focus to a much earlier point—a point where we believe the potential terrorist or group of
terrorists begin and progress through a process of radicalization. The culmination of this
process is a terrorist attack.

Where once we would have defined the initial indicator of the threat at the point where
terrorist or group of terrorists would actually plan an attack, we have now shifted our
focus to a much earlier point—a point where we believe the potential terrorist or group
terrorists begin and progress through a process of radicalization. The culmination of this
process is a terrorist attack.

Understanding this trend and the radicalization process in the West that drives
unremarkable” people to become terrorists is vital for developing effective counterstrategies
and has special importance for the NYPD and the City of New York. As one
of the country’s iconic symbols and the target of numerous terrorist plots since the
1990’s, New York City continues to be among the top targets of terrorists worldwide.
In order to test whether the same framework for understanding radicalization abroad
applied within the United States, we analyzed three U.S. homegrown terrorism cases
and two New York City based cases:
• Lackawana, New York
• Portland, Oregon
• Northern Virginia
• New York City - Herald Square Subway
• New York City – The Al Muhajiroun Two

The same radicalization framework was applied to a study of the origins of the Hamburg
cluster of individuals, who led the September 11 hijackers. This assessment, almost six
years after 2001, provides some new insights, previously not fully-grasped by the law
enforcement and intelligence community, into the origins of this devastating attack.