THE OTHER SHOE DROPS: Updates To Previous Posts
† Is Obama Already A Lame Duck?: The Washington Post notes: “President Obama's inability to secure a free-trade agreement with South Korea reveals in sharp relief the limits of his leverage overseas after a devastating midterm election. That’s just a long-winded, pompous way of saying he’s a … wait for it … lame duck! The WaPo also describes Obama as “politically weakened,” and points out that South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and other leaders in Seoul for the Group of 20 summit did not “appear eager to … ingratiate themselves with the American president, as they had a year ago.” Worse, Obama’s supporters voted for him because they thought he would enhance America’s standing in the global community but his disastrous policies have instead diminished us:
[T]he G-20 … defined the boundaries of the United States's influence in the aftermath of an economic crisis that many blame on U.S. policy. The group has produced consensus around a set of core principles, but the details of how to implement them have been more elusive.
"There does seem to be a kind of leadership vacuum, and it's a surprise," said Yoon Young-Kwan, a professor of international relations at Seoul National University and a former foreign affairs minister. "People are recognizing that the U.S. can't go it alone, that they need other countries' help."
As the G-20 summit began, Obama was facing criticism - even from some close allies - over U.S. monetary policy. …
In the run-up to the meeting, countries such as inflation-wary Germany said the Federal Reserve's decision to pump $600 billion into the economy would undermine Obama's ability to pressure China over its undervalued currency, which keeps its exports cheaper and imports from the United States and other countries more expensive.
† What Freedom Of Speech Means To Muslims: John Hayward of Human Events comments on an Associated Press article about Palestinian blogger Walid Husayin, who is charged with a variety of religious crimes:
When the Palestinian government clicks “dislike” on a Facebook page, they don’t mess around. … Husayin, who ran an anonymous page where he claimed to be God and insulted the Prophet Mohammed, has been arrested after the staff at his favorite Internet café turned him over to intelligence officers.
The 26-year old Husayin is charged with a string of unspeakable religious crimes, including advocacy of atheism, and calling Islam "a blind faith that grows and takes over people's minds where there is irrationality and ignorance." He faces a life sentence if convicted, and when Islamic religious courts say “life”, they really mean “life”, except when they mean “death.”
The Palestinian government receives a great deal of money from the United States. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recent announced another $150 million is on the way. American taxpayers will be relieved to know this money helps to fund a top-notch Thought Police.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post takes the Obama administration to task for tacitly supporting Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s repressive regime with its silence:
Mubarak has launched a crackdown against his opposition and independent media; he also has rejected a direct appeal from President Obama to allow international observers at the polls. So when Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit visited the State Department on Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton might have been expected to press him about the repression - and also to make clear to Egyptians where the United States stands. …
Ms. Clinton said nothing; not one word. …
The message for Egyptians - quickly reinforced by Egyptian officials and media - was that the Obama administration either supports Mr. Mubarak's autocracy or doesn't much care one way or the other.
† Harvard: Only Muslim Women Are “Modest” Enough To Warrant Special Accommodation (second item): Inside Higher Ed reports that another top-tier university is accommodating Sharia law:
At the request of the university's Muslim Students' Association, George Washington [University] began offering a once-weekly, female-only swim hour in March. …
The Lerner Health and Wellness Center pool closes to men for one of the 20 hours it's open each week, with a tarp blocking the view through the glass door and a female lifeguard on duty. The university declined to comment for this article beyond a two-sentence statement that said its officials are reviewing the closure while they establish a formal recreational swim policy. …
Sisters' Splash, as it's called, is not the only special accommodation that a college has made for Muslim students. George Washington already has foot baths for pre-prayer rituals, and a handful of other institutions - including the University of Michigan-Dearborn and George Mason University - have them as well. In 2008, at the request of female Muslim students, Harvard University ran a one-semester pilot program that reserved six hours a week for female students only at one of its lesser-used gyms, though the program was discontinued after that semester. …
There is more to the issue than religion, though. Erin E. Buzuvis, an associate professor of law at Western New England College and co-founder and contributor to The Title IX Blog, said it's unclear whether barring men from the pool constitutes a violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the law requiring gender equity in educational programs at federally funded schools and colleges. Men can still swim 95% of the time, so they're not completely excluded. And if the program's purpose is to accommodate a religious group, rather than women in general, that could work in the university's favor.
† Restorative Capital Punishment: A Gallup poll finds that 64 percent support the use of the death penalty in cases in which a defendant has been convicted of murder, while 29 percent oppose it. “Since 2002, the level of support for the death penalty has largely stayed in the 60-70 percent range, while the level of those opposed has mostly stayed in the 20-30 percent range,” reports The Wall Street Journal.
† Updates To Previous Posts (sixth item, The TSA Emperor Wears No Clothes: Part II): It's not just pilots - now flight attendants are objecting to being gaped at or groped by a TSA agent. Deborah Volpe, Vice President of the Association of Flight Attendants Local 66, says that the union is upset over what it calls "invasive pat-downs," reports KNXV-TV (Channel 15-Phoenix
According to a union email obtained by ABC15, it tells flight attendants if they opt out of using the body scanner through security and are required to undergo a pat-down to ask the pat-down be conducted in a private area with a witness. [Editorial Note: This is the tack that The Stiletto plans to take, regardless of the consequences.]
"We don't want them in uniform going through this enhanced screening where their private areas are being touched in public," said Volpe. "They actually make contact with the genital area."
Some passengers have told ABC15 they've already encountered flight delays due to crew members having problems with TSA employees.
"It (delay) was over three hours when they finally found a crew member to take her place," said Les Johnson who says his Charlotte bound flight was delayed. "She (flight attendant) felt that she was groped and supposedly filed a claim."
According to Volpe, complaints from flight attendants are expected to continue to increase and said some flight attendants are planning to file lawsuits.
If air transport professionals are in revolt over intrusive and humiliating searches that do nothing to protect us against Muslim terrorists, then why should the traveling public agree to be abused? Enough is enough.
The Washington Times wonders “how much longer it will be before the majority of Americans decide they'd be better off hitting the highways” and predicts that “the overreach may well prove to be the agency's undoing.”
† Updates To Previous Posts (tenth item, Is Hasan A Crazy Terrorist, Or A Terrorist Crazy?): Yet another examination of the murders of 13 soldiers at Fort Hood by a Muslim officer who wore a U.S. Army uniform while being a committed jihadi, finds that the DoD Was unprepared to identify the threat posed by Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan. However, this internal report is notable in that the it’s "the closest the Army has come to referring to Fort Hood as a terrorist attack," although it "made no mention that Maj. Hassan, who is paralyzed and awaiting a military trial, had become a radical Muslim," reports The Washington Times:
The report said that Pentagon policies and procedures for identifying "indicators of violence" in personnel "are outdated, incomplete and fail to include key indicators of potentially violent behaviors."
To fix the problem, the report recommends programs to educate troops on indicators "that signal when individuals may commit violent acts or become radicalized."
The report also said the Army has revised its regulations on identifying internal and external threats to troops to include "additional observable indicators for espionage, terrorism and extremism." …
Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, issued a statement on reports by the Army and other services made public on Tuesday, saying the reports "fall short of explaining why 13 Americans were killed over a year ago - namely that we are threatened by violent Islamist extremism and that an Army major who made public statements supportive of this murderous ideology was not stopped by his superiors."
"It is disappointing that these final reports fail to mention violent Islamist extremism and do not offer explicit policies or procedures to make sure that service members who become radicalized to violent Islamist extremism are identified, reported, and discharged," Mr. Lieberman said in a statement.
Mr. Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said his panel is conducting an independent probe of the attack and will soon issue its own report. He said the report will include calls for the Pentagon "to deal directly and effectively with the deadly threat that violent Islamist extremism poses to our service members."
† Updates To Previous Posts (seventh item, There's No Such Thing As Free Healthcare): At a meeting of trade group America's Health Insurance Plans in Chicago, Department of Health and Human Services official Joel Ario said: "You could say Obamacare was Romneycare before it was Obamacare." So much for the strenuous efforts of once and probably future presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) to convince conservatives that Romneycare was not the father of Obamacare. Ario said something else that suggests that the “reform” in healthcare reform has largely spared insurance companies: “Thirty-two million new customers. Everybody has to buy the product and many of them come with subsidies. I really just don't know what's not to like in that for you guys. It's a pretty big opportunity."
† Updates To Previous Posts (fourth item, Never Mind Marxism. Will An Obama Administration Be Totalitarian?: Part II): Mitchell L. Frost, 23, who had pleaded guilty to causing damage to a protected computer system and possessing unauthorized access devices after he used the University of Akron's computer network to hack into Bill O'Reilly's Website, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and must pay the site $40,000, reports The Associated Press. Frost had also shut an Ann Coulter site and a Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign site.