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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Do You Feel Safer?

Boehner, Hoekstra Release Web Video Asking “Do You Feel Safer?”

Video below:

The Politico reports the video is causing blowback.

Boehner's website highlights the release of the video above stating:

Congressman John Boehner (R-OH) and Intelligence Committee Ranking Republican Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) released a web video highlighting the Administration’s lack of a comprehensive strategy to confront and fight the terrorist threat. The web video underscores why the American people are growing more worried about the Administration’s political decisions on national security – including closing a terrorist detention camp with no plan for where to put the terrorists and selectively releasing information on interrogation programs. Boehner and Hoekstra released the following joint statement on the web video, which is available here.

“Over the last 100 days, it has become clear that the Administration has no comprehensive plan to confront the threat from radical jihadists. From the decision to close a terrorist detention camp with no plan for what to do with the terrorists housed there to the decision to selectively release information about interrogation programs, the Administration’s policies have been driven by politics, not by an overarching strategy to protect our nation. On day 101 of this Administration, the American people are beginning to ask some serious questions about what Democrats in Washington are doing to keep America safe. Republicans want to work with the White House and Democrats in Congress to protect our nation, but the Administration first must make a commitment to a comprehensive plan to fight the terrorist threat. So far, we haven’t seen that.”

NOTE: A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll showed that a majority of Americans oppose the Administration’s political decision to selectively release memos detailing advanced interrogation techniques used on terrorists and oppose the President’s plan to close a terrorist detention facility with no plan for what to do with the terrorists housed there.

I do not have a problem with the GOP hitting Obama and the Democrats on national security, the latest actions from the obama administration regarding the memos, was not popular with 58 percent of Americans saying they endangered the country.

I do think Boehner, Hoekstra and others should also hammer home the spending, the budget, the bailouts, the waste and the earmarks aka pork, slammed against the American people.

Not just one front, but take the fight to them on all fronts.


Barack Obama--Meaningless words celebrating a meaningless milestone

Yesterday the first blatherer in chief offered meaningless words to mark a meaningless milestone. He is pleased with his job performance.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

World Health Organization Swine Flu Update #5

[Update- 5/1/09]Confirmed cases in 19 states in U.S. and 11 countries.

The CDC has new figures up and the confirmed cases fro the U.S are up to 109.

Arizona 1
California 14
Indiana 1
Kansas 2
Massachusetts 2
Michigan 1
Nevada 1
New York 50
Ohio 1
South Carolina 10
Texas 26 1 death
TOTAL COUNTS 109 cases

From WHO:

29 April 2009 -- The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 18:00 GMT, 29 April 2009, nine countries have officially reported 148 cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 infection. The United States Government has reported 91 laboratory confirmed human cases, with one death. Mexico has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection including seven deaths.

The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Austria (1), Canada (13), Germany (3), Israel (2), New Zealand (3), Spain (4) and the United Kingdom (5).

Further information on the situation will be available on the WHO website on a regular basis.

WHO advises no restriction of regular travel or closure of borders. It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention, in line with guidance from national authorities.

There is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products. Individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness.

Previously, most recent on top:

U.S. Human Cases Of Swine Flu Infection- 91

U.S. Cases of Confirmed Swine Flu At 64

Number of Swine Flu Confirmed Cases Continues to Rise.

Swine Flu Update

"Swine Flu: U.S. Declares Public Emergency"

"Swine Flu: Pandemic Potential"


Chrysler Filing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

It has been confirmed by the Obama administration that automaker, Chrysler, will be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Obama, again, will be speaking to the people about the auto industry.

Wall Street Journal:

An Obama administration official said that Chrysler LLC, after failing to convince all of its lenders to agree to a debt-reduction deal, will file for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

President Barack Obama will deliver remarks on the auto industry at noon.

Earlier Thursday an administration official said the restructuring of Chrysler LLC will go forward even though a handful of hedge funds have refused to accept the Treasury Department's offer to cut the auto maker's debt.

"Their failure to act in either their own economic interest or the national interest does not diminish the accomplishments" by Chrysler, its planned alliance partner Fiat SpA and other stakeholders in the company, the official said, "nor will it impede the new opportunity Chrysler now has to restructure and emerge stronger going forward."

The administration's auto task force tried to get all 46 of Chrysler's secured lenders to agree to a debt-reduction deal until talks broke down late Wednesday. President Obama is expected to announce that Chrysler is now going to seek reorganization in bankruptcy court.

CNN Money
, NYT, and AP all on this story.

No commentary at this time, will try to link Obama's comments on this after he speaks.


Even When Telling The Truth Biden Manages To Gaffe?

Not a fan of Joe Biden, but he had some good advice for people when he told them he "would not recommend taking any commercial flight or riding in a subway car “at this point” because swine flu virus can spread “in confined places.”

He also said he would tell family members to "stay off subways" during this Swine Flu outbreak.

Video below:

I would take it a step farther personally, by saying, "during regular flu season, confined spaces with a lot of people, will get you sick!!!

This apparently didn't fly too well with the White House though, because immediately after this statement was made, the White House arranged for a statement from Biden's spokesperson:

"On the Today Show this morning, the vice president was asked what he would tell a family member who was considering air travel to Mexico this week. The advice he is giving family members is the same advice the administration is giving to all Americans: that they should avoid unnecessary air travel to and from Mexico. If they are sick, they should avoid airplanes and other confined public spaces, such as subways. This is the advice the vice president has given family members who are traveling by commercial airline this week. As the president said just last night, every American should take the same steps you would take to prevent any other flu: Keep your hands washed; cover your mouth when you cough; stay home from work if you're sick and keep your children home from school if they're sick."

(Emphasis mine)

Biden did make that point also, but it wasn't his only point.

For once Biden didn't gaffe, he spoke the unvarnished truth and yet, somehow, in the world of Washington politics, the truth is the real gaffe.

As a sidenote- Obviously Biden didn't get the word about U.S. officials wanting people to stop using the term "Swine Flu", something about the "Swine" being taken out of the term.

Previous pieces written about Swine Flu:

U.S. Human Cases Of Swine Flu Infection- 91

U.S. Cases of Confirmed Swine Flu At 64

Number of Swine Flu Confirmed Cases Continues to Rise.

Swine Flu Update

"Swine Flu: U.S. Declares Public Emergency"

"Swine Flu: Pandemic Potential"


Dem Deal With Specter Causing Reid Headaches With Other Dems

Harry Reid, only caring about have another "Democrat" in his caucus, made a deal with Arlen Specter to keep his seniority, which would jump him ahead of other Democrats in the caucus for committee seats for such things like Appropriations and Judiciary committees.

This has Democratic sources seething according to The Hill, in two separate stories covering this issue.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) deal to allow Sen. Arlen Specter to retain his seniority after he switches to the Democratic Conference has not been received well by senior senators in the party.

Several Democrats are furious with Reid for agreeing to let Specter (Pa.) keep the seniority accrued over more than 28 years as a Republican senator. That could allow him to leap past senior Democrats on powerful panels

Before getting to the meat and potatoes of those two articles, we look to right before Specter made his highly public "switch."

April 24, 2009 from Rasmussen on the Pat Toomey/Arlen Specter Republican primary:

Incumbent Senator Arlen Specter trails former Congressman Pat Toomey by 21 points in an early look at Pennsylvania’s 2010 Republican Primary. Fifty-one percent (51%) of Republican voters statewide say they’d vote for Toomey while just 30% would support Specter.

Specter is viewed favorably by 42% of Pennsylvania Republicans and unfavorably by 55%, according to a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of voters in the state. Those are stunningly poor numbers for a long-term incumbent senator. Specter was first elected to the Senate in 1980.

Toomey, who served in the House from 1999 to 2005, earns positive reviews from 66% and negative comments from just 19%.

Specter was getting his proverbial butt kicked to high heaven in the Republican challenge.

All this hype about Specter switching parties and all this anger from the Democrats about Harry Reid offering Specter this deal, will be a moot point by the time the election rolls around because Specter thinks by running as a "Democrat" he will all of a sudden jump in the polls and overtake Toomey.

According to the Rasmussen report, linked and quoted above, 42% of Pennsylvania Republicans viewed Specter favorably, he might have been behind, but he had a base at least.... now what does he have?

No base, his Republican supporters, as they were, gone- and Democrats that do not trust him as far as they can throw him. He is not and truly never was, a conservative Republican, and Democratic voters won't see him as a liberal Democrat either.

Specter should have become an Independent, he might have stood a chance to salvage his politically declining career then.

Toomey was right when he made it clear that Specter's switch was nothing but a political ploy, video below:

The question won't be whether Specter jumps passed senior Democrats for powerful committee seats, it will be whether top Democratic Senators forgive and forget how Harry Reid was willing to sell them out to get that extra body.


U.S. Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection- 91

[Update- 5/1/09]Confirmed cases in 19 states in U.S. and 11 countries.

[Update]4/30/09- CDC has confirmed US cases to 109.

The number of Swine Flu confirmed cases has reached 91, with one fatality so far, a child, which we discussed earlier this morning.

The breakdown:

Arizona 1
California 14
Indiana 1
Kansas 2
Massachusetts 2
Michigan 2
Nevada 1
New York 51
Ohio 1
Texas 16 1 death

TOTAL COUNTS 91 cases 1 death

From the CDC:

The outbreak of disease in people caused by a new influenza virus of swine origin continues to grow in the United States and internationally. Today, CDC reports additional confirmed human infections, hospitalizations and the nation’s first fatality from this outbreak. The more recent illnesses and the reported death suggest that a pattern of more severe illness associated with this virus may be emerging in the U.S. Most people will not have immunity to this new virus and, as it continues to spread, more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths are expected in the coming days and weeks.

CDC has implemented its emergency response. The agency’s goals are to reduce transmission and illness severity, and provide information to help health care providers, public health officials and the public address the challenges posed by the new virus. Yesterday, CDC issued new interim guidance for clinicians on how to care for children and pregnant women who may be infected with this virus. Young children and pregnant women are two groups of people who are at high risk of serious complications from seasonal influenza. In addition, CDC’s Division of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) continues to send antiviral drugs, personal protective equipment, and respiratory protection devices to all 50 states and U.S. territories to help them respond to the outbreak. The swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir. This is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated guidance and new information as it becomes available.

Keep track of the latest news stories about Swine Flu across the globe at here.


U.S. Cases of Confirmed Swine Flu At 64

Number of Swine Flu Confirmed Cases Continues to Rise.

Swine Flu Update

"Swine Flu: U.S. Declares Public Emergency"

"Swine Flu: Pandemic Potential"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Morality in a Totalitarian State: A Personal Revisionist History

Opinions, in my opinion, unlike principles, are not sacred possessions to be protected, locked away and defended from all intruders. Rather, they are, or should be, living and evolving attitudes, constantly subjected to rigorous revision and adjustment — or, when necessary, quickly abandoned for some more plausible or cogent truth.-- Wrestling With Mohammed - 12/9/0

'-- or, when necessary, quickly abandoned for some more plausible or cogent truth.'

The Third Reich. Hitler's Germany. World War Two and the good German volk. Mein Kampf. How many books have I read on this immense subject? How many documentaries have I watched? Too many to remember but enough to form an opinion. In thinking back over all these books, over all these years, perhaps one of the most influential books I have ever read on this subject -- after Mein Kampf -- was Daniel Goldhagen's blockbuster bestseller "Hitler's Willing Executioners". His research was so thorough, his arguments so compelling, that they proved irresistible. He had statistically proven, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the 'good German people' were not only cognizant of the prosecution of the Holocaust, but had either directly or indirectly participated in its ghastly mission.
The Germans voted Hitler into power and sanctioned his every move enthusiastically. They continued in their loyal support for Der Fuhrer from the heady victories of 1940 to the horrid devastation of 1945. The idea that the German people had somehow been held hostage, that Germany had in effect been hijacked by some small fanatical gang of Nazis, was therefore ludicrous and self-serving. In short, the German people got what they had asked for in WWII. Despite our own post-war government wanting to quickly change the subject, more interested in building up a strong ally in Western Germany to offset the Communist takeover of the East than in pointing fingers -- despite all of their efforts, it was, in my opinion, the German people and not just the Nazis, who were deeply complicit in their own fate. This was perfectly obvious.

I have just come away from watching "Hitler's Germany: The People's Community 1933-1939", from the award-winning television classic "The World at War". I was riveted to the screen. I was especially moved by the personal interviews of Germans who lived under the Third Reich, people who had survived, who had made whatever accommodations were necessary. Their stories were compelling. They were straight-forward, apparently completely sincere. Could I have been wrong all these years? Was it possible that an entire nation could be held captive? Was it really possible that they just didn't know what Hitler had planned for them, and that by the time they did know, it was too late?

The German people were propagandized daily, in every conceivable form. But did the average German really live in fear? Could they really not protest? I had come to accept the theory that 'people get what they deserve' in a government. Especially if they voted that government into power, and continually ratified that power. It made sense. They loved Hitler and they loved his bloodless conquests of 1938-1940. They loved him until the bombs started falling on Berlin. Many love him still.

How easy it's been to sit here comfortably in my living room and pass judgement on a whole people, a whole generation. And how arrogant. Never having experienced all the small daily terrors of tyranny, I felt assured in the wisdom of my opinions. Assured of the veracity of the many articles I had written on this subject. The German people were guilty as hell.

But now?

Just a few days ago I wrote about longing for a strong leader. A brave, manly patriot who could save this imperilled nation from the disastrous grip of the Left. Perhaps these thoughts recurred to me while watching that powerful documentary. Perhaps my previous strongly-held opinions were shaken. Perhaps all these years I had got it wrong. Not wrong about the horrors of Nazism or the inconceivable tragedy of the Holocaust. But wrong nonetheless. Wrong in that favorite maxim -- that people get the government they deserve.
Read the rest at Radarsite

Arlen Specter--Blame Everyone

The Arlen Specter debacle provides plenty of blame to go around.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Re: Specter's Change- “He’s becoming a Republican?”

Yesterday I said, in regards to Arlen Specter officially announcing he was changing party affiliations, "Good riddance to bad rubbish."

One oh my email subscribers sends me an email saying:

I got a msg from a friend who’d heard specter was changing parties and he said, “He’s becoming a Republican?”

Hysterical but appropriate.

Via Hot Air, we have a video, where approximately at 8:20 into it, you see the true reason for this switch, internal polling show Specter he was going to get wiped in the next election.

William Kristol writing at PostPartisans thinks this is good news for the Republicans.

Last word goes to Newt Gingrich, who makes a valid point of just how wide the gap was between Specter and even a moderate Conservative to begin with.

When Sen. Specter voted for a $787 billion big-spending bill no elected official had even read, he widened the gap between himself and the tax-paying small-government conservatives who are the base of the Republican Party.

It is clear that Specter concluded he would lose the coming Republican primary, and he admits in his statement on switching parties that the vote for the $787 billion spending bill was the final straw.


U.S. Cases Of Confirmed Swine flu At 64

[Update- 5/1/09]Confirmed cases in 19 states in U.S. and 11 countries.

[Update]4/30/09- CDC has confirmed US cases to 109.

[Update- 4/29/09] CDC reports 91 cases confirmed in the U.S..... update found here.

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now has the total of confirmed Swine Flu cases at 64 and each day that number seems to be rising.

California 10 cases
Kansas 2 cases
New York City 45 cases
Ohio 1 case
Texas 6 cases
TOTAL COUNT 64 cases

These figures are as of As of April 28, 2009, 11:00 AM ET.


The human swine flu outbreak continues to grow in the United States and internationally. Today, CDC reports additional cases of confirmed swine influenza and a number of hospitalizations of swine flu patients. Internationally, the situation is more serious too, with additional countries reporting confirmed cases of swine flu. In response to the intensifying outbreak, the World Health Organization raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 4. A Phase 4 alert is characterized by confirmed person-to-person spread of a new influenza virus able to cause “community-level” outbreaks.” The increase in the pandemic alert phase indicates that the likelihood of a pandemic has increased.

Unfortunately, reports also show that the U.S. also has it's first death from this rapidly spreading Swine flu.

A 23-month old Mexican boy died after the family brought him to Houston for treatment.

Richard Besser, acting director of the CDC says that more deaths are suspected, stating "I fully expect we will see [more] deaths from this infection"

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, has also stated the same thing, saying "It is very likely that we will see more serious presentations of illness and some deaths as we go through this flu cycle."

Mexico has been the epicenter of the outbreak, with more than 150 suspected deaths and at least 2,000 infected with the virus.

The number of confirmed cases of the illness continued to inch higher in the United States and Europe on Wednesday. In France, the health minister took the extraordinary step of calling for a suspension of all flights from the European Union to Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak, even as a Mexican health official said that the death toll appeared to be stabilizing.

Hundreds in New York sick and Swine Flu has gone global.

While the numbers above, from the CDC, show 45 confirmed cases in New York, other reports say hundreds of people from a New York school, St. Francis Preparatory, have become ill, and the numbers of confirmed cases are expected to rise fast.

Cuba also suspended flights to and from Mexico, becoming the first country to impose a travel ban to the epicenter of the epidemic. Confirmed cases of swine flu were reported for the first time as far away as New Zealand and Israel, joining the United States, Canada, Britain, Spain, and Germany.

Current WHO phase of pandemic alert.

Phase 4 is characterized by verified human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus able to cause “community-level outbreaks.” The ability to cause sustained disease outbreaks in a community marks a significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic. Any country that suspects or has verified such an event should urgently consult with WHO so that the situation can be jointly assessed and a decision made by the affected country if implementation of a rapid pandemic containment operation is warranted. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a forgone conclusion.

Statement by WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan 27 April 2009 below:

The Emergency Committee, established in compliance with the International Health Regulations (2005), held its second meeting on 27 April 2009.

The Committee considered available data on confirmed outbreaks of A/H1N1 swine influenza in the United States of America, Mexico, and Canada. The Committee also considered reports of possible spread to additional countries.

On the advice of the Committee, the WHO Director-General decided on the following.

* The Director-General has raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from the current phase 3 to phase 4.

The change to a higher phase of pandemic alert indicates that the likelihood of a pandemic has increased, but not that a pandemic is inevitable.

As further information becomes available, WHO may decide to either revert to phase 3 or raise the level of alert to another phase.

This decision was based primarily on epidemiological data demonstrating human-to-human transmission and the ability of the virus to cause community-level outbreaks.

* Given the widespread presence of the virus, the Director-General considered that containment of the outbreak is not feasible. The current focus should be on mitigation measures.

* The Director-General recommended not to close borders and not to restrict international travel. It was considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention.

* The Director-General considered that production of seasonal influenza vaccine should continue at this time, subject to re-evaluation as the situation evolves. WHO will facilitate the process needed to develop a vaccine effective against A(H1N1) virus.

* The Director-General stressed that all measures should conform with the purpose and scope of the International Health Regulations.

You can keep up with the latest news about Swine Flu, on Google News, key words Swine Flu and listed by date so the newest is shown on top.

As a side note: U.S. officials want "Swine" taken out of the flu name.

That ship has sailed, good luck with that.

The American Society of International Law has this to say:

News reports on April 26, 2009, also indicated that possible cases had been identified in Australia, France, Hong Kong, Israel, New Zealand, and Spain.The actual and possible appearance of this new virus in multiple locations in Mexico, the United States, and Canada and in North America, Europe, and Asia indicated that geographical containment of the virus is not possible.


Number of Swine Flu Confirmed Cases Continues to Rise.

Swine Flu Update

"Swine Flu: U.S. Declares Public Emergency"

"Swine Flu: Pandemic Potential"


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Specter Switches Party- Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish

Finally and about time.

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and announced today that he will run in 2010 as a Democrat, according to a statement he released this morning.

This will give Democrats a filibuster proof majority... good.

Now when their big government, massive spending screw-ups take the spotlight, the American people will have no doubt who is responsible.


Worse Than Arianna Huffington

I will deal with the Arlen Specter neutron bomb tomorrow. Today I am shocked to admit that I encountered a human being worse than Arianna Huffington.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Nancy Pelosi's Amnesia

A must read in the Wall Street Journal, listing all the things Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, has managed to "forget."

Including, but not limited to;

**As ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, she was one of four members of Congress who were briefed by the CIA about the interrogation methods the agency was using on leading detainees;

"Unfortunately, we are not living in times in which lawyers can say no to an operation just to play it safe," said Democrat Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during the 2002 confirmation hearing of Scott Muller to be the CIA's general counsel. "We need excellent, aggressive lawyers who give sound, accurate legal advice, not lawyers who say no to an otherwise legal opinion just because it is easier to put on the brakes."

** People not asking if too much was being done, but whether enough was being done at the time;

"I asked the president whether he and the country had done enough for the war on terror," writes Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in his book "Bush at War." "The possibility of another major attack still loomed. . . . Was it not possible that he had undermobilized given the threat and the devastation of September 11?"

**What Pelosi and other ranking members of Congress knew and when they knew it;

Read the entire piece, but I do like the concluding paragraph:

The speaker and her partisans are the current beneficiaries of this politics of amnesia. It won't be so forever. And when the time comes to pay the price for their forgetfulness, it will not be small.

I wonder if Obama is regretting the release of those memos yet.


Number Of Swine Flu Confirmed Cases Continues To Rise

[Update- 5/1/09]Confirmed cases in 19 states in U.S. and 11 countries.

[Update]4/30/09- CDC has confirmed US cases to 109.

[Update- 4/29/09] CDC reports 91 cases confirmed in the U.S..... update found here.

[Update]4/29/09, 64 confirmed cases in the US.

Swine Flu goes global. Taking Tamiflu can cause another set of problems according to reports.

An update on the Swine Flu from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the total U.S. cases confirmed at 40, while other reports claim the number is at 50.

In Mexico, where investigations have some believing it all started with a four-year old boy, there is now 152 dead and 1,600 believed to be infected.

Cases have been reported in Spain and now Israel.

Canada has reported six cases confirmed.

From the CDC:

California 7 cases
Kansas 2 cases
New York City 28 cases
Ohio 1 case
Texas 2 cases
TOTAL COUNT 40 cases


The number of deaths believed attributable to swine flu climbed to as many as 152 on Tuesday — all of them in Mexico — as news agencies reported the number of confirmed cases of infection in the United States stood at 50 after further testing at a New York City school.

Other cases have been reported in Ohio, Kansas, Texas and California. In addition, The Associated Press reported that preliminary tests by health officials in New Jersey had identified five “probable” cases — four people who were recently in Mexico and one who had been in California.

Spanish Health Minister Trinidad Jiménez on Tuesday said Spain had confirmed a second case of swine flu, in the eastern province of Valencia, but that the patient was recovering well.

Israel’s Ministry of Health on Tuesday reported the first case in the country. Smadar Shazo, a Health Ministry spokeswoman, said the man who contracted the illness, a 26-year-old, had recently returned from Mexico. Ms. Shazo said he is in good health now and is likely to be released from hospital Wednesday.

About 1,600 people in Mexico are now believed to have swine flu.

The World Health Organization raised its global pandemic flu alert level on Monday while recommending that borders not be closed nor travel bans imposed. But in a possible precaution to be taken by other nations, Japan said Tuesday it would no longer allow Mexican travelers to obtain a visa upon arrival.

According to another report, Scotland has two confirmed cases and seven suspected, 11 confirmed and 43 suspected in New Zealand, one suspected in France and one suspected in South Korea.

Here is the kicker, I found this report while searching Google news for Tamiflu, which is one of the antiviral medications given to those with Swine Flu or suspected cases of Swine Flu.

OSAKA, Japan, April 19 (UPI) -- Researchers from Japan's Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry say Tamiflu apparently increases abnormal psychological behavior in young influenza patients.

The team, led by Osaka City University Professor Yoshio Hirota, said its study revealed influenza patients between the ages of 10 and 17 were more likely to exhibit serious abnormal behavior if they consumed the antiviral medication, The Daily Yomiuri reported Sunday.

Tamiflu was banned by the Japanese ministry in 2007 for use on 10- to 19-year-olds after delirious behavior was observed in some children taking the drug.

The new study focused on nearly 10,000 influenza patients under the age of 18 diagnosed after the 2006 fiscal year.

They stated in their report that those patients ages 10 to 17 who took Tamiflu had a 54 percent greater chance of exhibiting abnormal behavior than those patients who did not take the medication.

The reason I search for Tamiflu was new reports on the local news where I live were reporting that while there have been no confirmed cases in Arizona, Tamiflu was sold out in certain areas of AZ.

Customers are calling to ask questions about the new virus, pharmacists said.

“We're seeing some increased calls from patients,” pharmacist Eric Sredzinski said.

“The one concern is people have been dying in Mexico. And if this happens in the United States, what are we going to see?” he said.

He said there also concerns about how to detect swine flu and how to avoid getting sick.

Sredzinski also said the Scottsdale branch of “The Apothecary Shops” sold out of Tamiflu, an antiviral drug, Monday.

It is one of the two only known treatments for swine flu. The other is another antiviral drug, Relenza.

Sredzinski said a doctor ordered the few boxes they had on hand.

The store usually sells a few boxes a year.

Since the news of Swine Flu became public, the White House was found to be missing some key people, namely a secretary of health and human services, so news shows the U.S. Senate is going to get off their duffs and vote to confirm Obama's choice, who is Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

On a side note, that position is only one of 15 health positions that Obama hasn't gotten around to filling as of yet.

The president has yet to fill 15 top positions at the health department or name a full-time director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and five more nominations -- including that of former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to be HHS Secretary -- are waiting to be confirmed by the Senate, officials at the department said.

The top post at the CDC remains open but is being filled by an acting director. And at the Department of Homeland Security, which is leading the federal government's response to the swine flu outbreak, the functions of nearly 20 senior-level posts are being temporarily performed by career civil service employees.

The government's medical response is being coordinated by a temporary team including acting CDC director Richard E. Besser, acting HHS secretary Charles Johnson, a Bush assistant secretary previously approved by the Senate, and Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Rear Adm, W. Craig Vanderwagen, another Senate-confirmed holdover.

Feeling warm and fuzzy yet?


Swine Flu Update

"Swine Flu: U.S. Declares Public Emergency"

"Swine Flu: Pandemic Potential"


White House Photo Op Panics Manhattan

I am not sure whether to call this a ridiculous item of the day or create a new series called "stupidest stunts".

A low-flying 747, used as a back up for Air Force One, buzzed the skyscrapers in Lower Manhattan as a photo op for the White House which would show Air Force One against the New York Skyline.

The NYPD was told of the planned event, but no one bothered to share the information with the Mayor, Bloomberg (Seen in above video) or the residents of the state.

So, when the Air Force One look-alike, followed by two fighter jets, performed this stunt, people panic and started streaming out of their buildings thinking it was another terrorist attack on New York.

Bright huh?

A jumbo jet being chased by a F-16 fighter jets buzzed Lower Manhattan this morning, panicking New Yorkers, many of whom were forced to evacuate their office buildings.

It was not a terrorist attack, however, but a photo opportunity for Air Force One, sources told the Post.

President Obama was in Washington at the time, but the low-flying 747 circling the Statue of Liberty was one of the planes used as Air Force One, sources said.

The NYPD and the city were notified of the planned flight, but did not share that information with Mayor Bloomberg and other New Yorkers, many of whom said they were terrified.

Mayor Bloomberg was furious and called it "poor judgment". His exact words were "First thing is I'm annoyed - furious is a better word - that I wasn't told. Why the Defense Department wanted to do a photo op right around the site of the World Trade Center catastrophe defies imagination. Poor judgment would be a nice ways to phrase.

Had I known about it I would have called them right away and asked them not to. The good news is it was nothing more than an ill considered, badly conceived, insensitive photo op - with the taxpayers' money."

Of course the White House issued an apology and ABC reports that Obama was also "furious" at the obvious communication issue.

It seems that while the FAA was notified, they were told it was classified, therefore didn't warn the citizens of the planned event, thereby causing the panic that ensued.

An explanation was forthcoming in a mea culpa statement issued from the White House.

“Last week, I approved a mission over New York," Louis Caldera, director of the White House military office, said. "I take responsibility for that decision. While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.”

When President Obama was told about the incident, he was "furious," a White House official says.

The New York Post gets headline of the day with "Plane Dumb."

Hot Air has more videos, so take a look at a few.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bea Arthur--Farewell to a likable feminist

Bea Arthur has passed away.

She made a liberal feminist come across as likable, which proves what an outstanding actress she was.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Pelosi's Own Denials Put Her On Defensive

When the Obama administration released the memos on the harsh interrogation tactics used by the Bush administration on terrorists to obtain information on pending attacks against the U.S., Obama didn't realize the can of worms he was opening, not only for his administration, but for members of his own party that were part of the classified briefings on those tactics, who they were being used against and what they were accomplishing.

Nancy Pelosi was present for those briefings and when the memos were released, she made some public statements that opened the door to more questions about her and other congressional members that say one thing now, but didn't speak up at the time of those briefings.

Via Politico:

Many Republicans obliged, led by former CIA chief Porter Goss, who is accusing Democrats like Pelosi of “amnesia” for demanding investigations in 2009 after failing to raise objections seven years ago when she first learned of the legal basis for the program.

“As soon as the president made the decision to release [the memos], I was telling people that the Republicans were going to come after us, saying she knew about it and did nothing,” said an adviser to Pelosi (D-Calif.), speaking on condition of anonymity. “And I’m sure we’re going to get hammered again when they release all those new torture photos,” the person said.

But Pelosi’s allies were less prepared to confront the fallout from her convoluted answers during three sessions with reporters last week — answers that raised new questions and handed Republicans a fresh line of attack on a speaker at the height of her power.

“I’m puzzled, I don’t understand what she’s trying to say,” said Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), former chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and currently the committee’s ranking minority member.

“I don’t have any sympathy for her — she’s the speaker of the House; there should be some accountability. She shouldn’t be given a pass,” added Hoekstra.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) promised to keep up the heat, telling reporters last week, “She and other leaders were fully briefed on all of these interrogation techniques. There’s nothing here that should surprise her.”

Read the full 2 page report.

All of the hype is for nothing, perhaps understanding, finally, the can of worms he has opened, Obama appears to be set to reject the idea of an independent commission to investigate.... perhaps he is finally :getting" that his own people, his own party leaders, might just get their asses handed to them during any investigation.

Pelosi's own denials about what she knew and when, after it was already publicized that she and others were made aware of everything at the time, has put her in the spotlight.

She dug this hole for herself and watching them all try to dig their way out, is the height of entertainment.

When trying to get out of a hole this deep, one piece of advice to Madam Speaker... put the shovel down and stop digging.


Swine Flu Update

[Update- 5/1/09]Confirmed cases in 19 states in U.S. and 11 countries.

[Update]4/30/09- CDC has confirmed US cases to 109.

[Update- 4/29/09] CDC reports 91 cases confirmed in the U.S..... update found here.

[Update]4/29/09, 64 confirmed cases in the US.

Most Recent Update 4/28/09- Number Of Swine Flu Confirmed Cases Continue To Rise.

Updated numbers on the cases of Swine Flu in the U.S., which started in Mexico, are listed at the CDC (Center of Disease Control and Prevention) and that is being updated continuously as new cases are confirmed.

California 7 cases
Kansas 2 cases
New York City 8 cases
Ohio 1 case
Texas 2 cases
TOTAL COUNT 20 cases

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. now has 40 cases, no offered reason for the differences in the CDC numbers compared to the WHO numbers as of yet.

The World Health Organization says there are now 40 confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States and that it «very concerned» about the disease's spread.
WHO says none of the cases in the U.S. have been fatal.

But the U.N. agency says it could decide in a matter of hours whether to raise its pandemic alert level as a result of the increasing number of confirmed swine flu cases in Mexico and elsewhere.

In Mexico, the numbers continue to rise as well, ranging (depending on what article you read)from 1,300- 1,600 infected and from 81 to 100 dead, from this latest outbreak of Swine Flu.

In New Zealand there are three reported cases of students, returning from Mexico after spending Spring break there.

Spain has also become the first country outside North America that has confirmed a case of Swine Flu.

According to the Press Association, one Canadian woman is being tested for Swine Flu.

Statement by WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan:

In response to cases of swine influenza A(H1N1), reported in Mexico and the United States of America, the Director-General convened a meeting of the Emergency Committee to assess the situation and advise her on appropriate responses.

The establishment of the Committee, which is composed of international experts in a variety of disciplines, is in compliance with the International Health Regulations (2005).

The first meeting of the Emergency Committee was held on Saturday 25 April 2009.

After reviewing available data on the current situation, Committee members identified a number of gaps in knowledge about the clinical features, epidemiology, and virology of reported cases and the appropriate responses.

The Committee advised that answers to several specific questions were needed to facilitate its work.

The Committee nevertheless agreed that the current situation constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

Based on this advice, the Director-General has determined that the current events constitute a public health emergency of international concern, under the Regulations.

Concerning public health measures, in line with the Regulations the Director-General is recommending, on the advice of the Committee, that all countries intensify surveillance for unusual outbreaks of influenza-like illness and severe pneumonia.

The Committee further agreed that more information is needed before a decision could be made concerning the appropriateness of the current phase 3.

Listed below are the recent reports on this sometimes deadly Swine Flu.

"Flu Outbreak Raises a Set of Questions"

"Countries race to contain swine flu outbreak"

"As flu hits, holes in W.H. health team"

"Europe Urges Citizens to Avoid U.S. and Mexico Travel"

"Stocks Fall Amid Swine Flu Concerns "

"As fear of flu spreads, all key Health and Human Services jobs still unfilled"

"European Union Revives Pandemic Plan"

Resources: Keep up with the latest official numbers at the CDC and WHO websites.

Make sure to also read the Q & A page from the CDC, which answers many of the most commonly asked questions concerning this latest concern.

There will be updates as new cases are confirmed.


"Swine Flu: U.S. Declares Public Emergency"

"Swine Flu: Pandemic Potential"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

NFL 2009 Draft Recap

The last 24 hours have been fun for me. At the UCLA Book Festival, I got to chat with Hugh Hewitt for about 30 minutes. He has been very kind to me. I also got to meet Bob Barker, and he still looks fabulous.

Yet this weekend is about football. The 2009 NFL Draft is upon us.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Swine Flu: U.S. Declares Public Emergency

[Update- 5/1/09]Confirmed cases in 19 states in U.S. and 11 countries.

[Update]4/30/09- CDC has confirmed US cases to 109.

[Update- 4/29/09] CDC reports 91 cases confirmed in the U.S..... update found here.

[Update]4/29/09, 64 confirmed cases in the US.

Most Recent Update 4/28/09- Number Of Swine Flu Confirmed Cases Continue To Rise.

[Latest Update 4/27/09]

First Mexico, now the U.S. have both declared public emergencies because of the new Swine Flu.

The U.S. declared a public health emergency Sunday to deal with the emerging new swine flu, much like the government does to prepare for approaching hurricanes.

Officials reported 20 U.S. cases of swine flu in five states so far, with the latest in Ohio and New York. Unlike in Mexico where the same strain appears to be killing dozens of people, cases in the United State have been mild — and U.S. health authorities can't yet explain why.

"As we continue to look for cases, we are going to see a broader spectrum of disease," predicted Dr. Richard Besser, acting chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We're going to see more severe disease in this country."

At a White House news conference, Besser and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano sought to assure Americans that health officials are taking all appropriate steps to minimize the impact of the outbreak.

Top among those is declaring the public health emergency. As part of that, Napolitano said roughly 12 million doses of the drug Tamiflu will be moved from a federal stockpile to places where states can quickly get their share if they decide they need it. Priority will be given to the five states with known cases so far: California, Texas, New York, Ohio and Kansas.

SOP they say. Standard Operating Procedure. No panic needed, just follow instructions from the CDC and watch for more reports.


Those Angry Young Men

The laws of primogeniture and the First Crusade

What in the world, you might well ask, could the First Crusade and some rather obscure Medieval "laws of primogeniture" have to do with our current civilizational crises? Perhaps quite a bit. First, what exactly is "primogeniture"?
Primogeniture is the common law right of the firstborn son to inherit the entire estate, to the exclusion of younger siblings. It is the tradition brought by the Normans to England in 1066. According to the Norman tradition, the firstborn son inherited the entirety of a parent's wealth, estate, title or office. In the absence of children, inheritance passed to the collateral relatives, in order of seniority of the collateral line.

The effects of these laws on the noble warrior class -- and on the poor commoners as well -- were enormous. Those sons born second in line were often highly trained and well-equipped combatants instilled with a strong warrior ethos -- but with no appreciable income. A dangerous situation, highly trained warriors with nothing to do. All too often these disenfranchised, less-than-glorious knights resorted to internecine fighting or common brigandage. But what could be done about them?

In March 1095 at the Council of Piacenza, ambassadors sent by Byzantine Emperor Alexius I called for help with defending his empire against the Seljuk Turks. Later that year, at the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II called upon all Christians to join a war against the Turks, promising those who died in the endeavor would receive immediate remission of their sins.

There has long been conjecture among medieval scholars that a major part of Pope Urban II's calling for the Crusades (just thirty years after the introduction of the primogeniture laws) was that it presented a perfect opportunity to gainfully employ these troublesome errant knights and give Europe a well-deserved respite from the wanton violence.

Perhaps it shouldn't come as too great a shock to realize that this poor old wounded world of ours has all too often been ruled by men just out of their adolescence. More than one teenager ascended to the Imperial Roman throne (among them the notorious Caligula). Here's some interesting statistics.

The world
Population: 6,602,224,175 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 27.4% (male 931,551,498/female 875,646,416)
15-64 years: 65.1% (male 2,174,605,518/female 2,124,494,703)
65 years and over: 7.5% (male 217,451,123/female 278,474,917) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 28 years
male: 27.4 years
female: 28.7 years (2007 est.)

Life expectancy in Imperial Rome:
Tombstones show that the life expectancy of women was 34 years as contrasted with 46 years for men because women often died in childbirth.
Resource: Encarta
Or as low as this:
[Roman] life expectancy at birth [was]in the range of 20–25 or less (Macchiarelli et al., 1998)
CIA World Fact Book
So, somewhere between 20 and 46 years life expectancy.

Angry young men. To see them in action just watch a world cup soccer match in South America or Brussels. Or more to the point, take a closer look at those inflamed Arab streets. What do you see? Angry young men with nothing to do. Angry young men, overflowing with testosterone, just itching for a fight. And of course a notable absence of women. Here's some more interesting statistics.

Gaza Strip
1,551,859 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 44.4% (male 353,489/female 334,770)
15-64 years: 53% (male 420,618/female 402,297)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 16,483/female 24,202) (2009 est.)
Median age:
total: 17.4 years
male: 17.2 years
female: 17.5 years (2008 est.)
Resource: CIA World Fact Book

And this --

The median age of the Israeli Arab is 14 and just entering his reproductive years... anxious to make BOTH Love and War! Another way of looking at this is that half of all Israeli-Arabs are under the age of 14!
Resource: Masada 2000

So the angry young men are still with us, and they are still angry. Our world is replete with them. And nowhere is this more evident than in the Arab world. That volatile hyper-masculine, often adolescent, world of generational revenge, brutality and violence, that self-destructive warrior culture which the good pope tried, somewhat successfully, to ameliorate. But this time it's the angry young Muslim men who are on a Crusade, a worldwide jihad against the West. Perhaps we can learn from the lessons of history. Perhaps we can better recognize our foes, and realize that they are predominantly angry adolescents. Unfortunately, the cynical, hate-filled mullahs have, it appears, successfully harnessed all that testosterone. It is aflame on the Arab street. Can we somehow find a way to extinguish this terrible flame before it engulfs our world?

Must Read: Obama Administration's Assault on the American Warrior

I will show an exceprt or two, but you have to read the entire thing.

To say Steve Schippert, at The Tank, is angry is a massive understatement.

The assault is relentless. It is enraging. And today, the Obama administration's assault on those who dare to defend America from terrorist thugs who rejoice in publicizing beheadings, mass murder, and pure evil are on notice: "You will be punished. We're coming after you."

The target audience now includes the American Warrior. The Obama administration has abdicated the Warrior's defense, refusing to appeal the 2nd Circuit's decision that more photos should be released from investigations of the detention of enemy fighters from the battlefield. The Obama administration has sided with the ACLU and abandoned our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. This cannot stand.

That is a very small snippet of his piece, grab your coffee, click the link and be prepared to become as angry as he is.

Perhaps Obama should take a look at what America wants and what Americans do not want.


Swine Flu: Pandemic Potential

[Update- 5/1/09]Confirmed cases in 19 states in U.S. and 11 countries.

[Update]4/30/09- CDC has confirmed US cases to 109.

[Update- 4/29/09] CDC reports 91 cases confirmed in the U.S..... update found here.

[Update]4/29/09, 64 confirmed cases in the US.

Most Recent Update 4/28/09- Number Of Swine Flu Confirmed Cases Continue To Rise.

[Latest Update 4/27/09]

[Update] U.S. Declares Public Emergency for Swine Flu.

(April 24, 2009: Women wear masks as they walk past a closed school in Mexico City.) Photo lifted from Fox News

Swine Flu in Mexico:

Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared an emergency over the rapid rise of Swine Flu that has hit Mexico, shutting down public events and canceling all levels of school.

“The federal government under my charge will not hesitate a moment to take all, all the measures necessary to respond with efficiency and opportunity to this respiratory epidemic,” Calderon said today during a speech to inaugurate a hospital in the southern state of Oaxaca.

According to that same report. the first case of Swine Flu was noticed on April 13, 2009 and on April 16, 2009, Barack Obama visited an anthropology museum in Mexico City. Also in attendence was Felipe Solis, an archeologist, who died the following day from flu like symptoms.

Those were the early reports, as of the most recent reports, Mexico has seen 81 deaths from Swine Flu and there are over 1,000 cases reported.

The World Health Organization (WHO)convened an emergency meeting to plan a response to what they are calling a "pandemic potential" of the new swine virus.

WHO is making information on what they are doing and pertinent information to Swine Flu, available at their website, found here.

WHO is coordinating the global response to human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) and monitoring the corresponding threat of an influenza pandemic. Information on this page tracks the evolving situation and provides access to both technical guidelines and information useful for the general public.

Due to some sort of communication issue, we find out the U.S. was slower to learn of this issue than Canada was and already the U.S. is seeing cases documented.

Swine Flu in the United States:

From the Center of Disease Control (CDC) we see there has been 7 cases documented in California, 2 in Texas and 2 in Kansas, but the figures on their page are expected to rise with word, via the New York Times, that eight students at a Queens, NY, high school have fallen ill and the likely cause is Swine Flu.

According to the general Director of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, "The situation is evolving quickly. We do not yet have a complete picture of the epidemiology or the risk, including possible spread beyond the currently affected areas." She goes on to assert "In the assessment of the WHO, this is a serious situation that must be watched very carefully. It has pandemic potential."

KWCH gives us a general overview of the symptoms, which are similar in nature to a seasonal flu:

* Fever greater than 100 degrees
* Body aches
* Coughing
* Sore throat
* Respiratory congestion
* In some cases, diarrhea and vomiting

Safety measures offered by the CDC include actions that can be taken to stay healthy and they recommend avoiding contact with sick people:

There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.

* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

* Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
* If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed the U.S. cases and that acknowledged that it cannot be contained, via Fox News.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the virus has spread widely and cannot be contained, Reuters reported.

"It is clear that this is widespread. And that is why we have let you know that we cannot contain the spread of this virus," Reuters quoted the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat.

This will be updated as further news comes out today and tomorrow I will start a new thread if further reports continue to come in, as they are expected to.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Interrogations: Who Knew What And When

Despite Nancy Pelosi's prevarications about what she and other members of congress were briefed on regarding harsh interrogation tactics, the truth usually comes to light as it just has, via Peter Goss and written in the Washington Post.

Mr. Goss was chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 1997 to 2004 and then director of the CIA from September 2004 to May 2006 .

A disturbing epidemic of amnesia seems to be plaguing my former colleagues on Capitol Hill. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, members of the committees charged with overseeing our nation's intelligence services had no higher priority than stopping al-Qaeda. In the fall of 2002, while I was chairman of the House intelligence committee, senior members of Congress were briefed on the CIA's "High Value Terrorist Program," including the development of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and what those techniques were. This was not a one-time briefing but an ongoing subject with lots of back and forth between those members and the briefers.

oday, I am slack-jawed to read that members claim to have not understood that the techniques on which they were briefed were to actually be employed; or that specific techniques such as "waterboarding" were never mentioned. It must be hard for most Americans of common sense to imagine how a member of Congress can forget being told about the interrogations of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In that case, though, perhaps it is not amnesia but political expedience.

Let me be clear. It is my recollection that:

-- The chairs and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, known as the Gang of Four, were briefed that the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.

-- We understood what the CIA was doing.

-- We gave the CIA our bipartisan support.

-- We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities.

-- On a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.

He goes on to state, clearly and for the record that not a single objection was offered at the time.

He also goes on to explain how publicizing the memos and the information contained in them, has endangered America and the citizens of this great country.

The suggestion that we are safer now because information about interrogation techniques is in the public domain conjures up images of unicorns and fairy dust. We have given our enemy invaluable information about the rules by which we operate. The terrorists captured by the CIA perfected the act of beheading innocents using dull knives. Khalid Sheik Mohammed boasted of the tactic of placing explosives high enough in a building to ensure that innocents trapped above would die if they tried to escape through windows. There is simply no comparison between our professionalism and their brutality.

Read the entire article.


Podcasts, Links, and NFL Draft Apologies

This weekend is the NFL Draft.

In less consequential matters, there is the UCLA Book Festival.

Also, I have done several radio interviews recently, and met a ton of new people that I am spreading link love to today.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Obama Supporter About Obama: 'weaseling isn't respected, period'

Via Power Line we are led to The Politico to watch a video and read an email from a very disillusioned Obama supporter.

The video is of Samantha Power, during Obama's campaign for presidency, telling the Armenian-American community that Obama would "commemorate [the Armenian genocide] and certainly to call a spade a spade and to speak truth about it." (Video of her saying that will be below.

Yet another campaign promise that Obama did not keep and it has upset one of his ardent supporters... and man, who Politico says "often complains furiously of anti-Obama media bias."

Obama supporter David Muradyan's email:

Perhaps what stings more is his clever, yet deceitful way to say that his views have "not changed." And his use of "Mets Yegern." It's almost like he wants to appease both sides but can't because of political pressures. I understand that. But I think his statement is really deplorable. You can't in one breath say "my views haven't changed" (e.g., I still consider it Genocide PERSONALLY), but then use the word "atrocity" and not genocide. It really is a dishonest way to talk about the genocide. Either have the balls to call it genocide, or have the balls to not. But weaseling isn't respected, period.

And this is all coming from one of his most fervent supporters who not only donated, but registered voters and volunteered.

Video below can be found at YouTube.

Now to be clear that it is not only Power that said this, let us go back to January 2008, before the election, where Obama does indeed call it genocide, via video again, from YouTube.

At the time Power made those statements, the Armenian National Committee of America, issued a press release, endorsing Barack Obama because of his stand and willingness to "call a spade a spade."

The ANCA officially endorsed Obama in the Democratic Primary this week during a press conference held at its Western Region headquarters, which featured the participation of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and LA City Councilman Eric Garcetti. In its endorsement announcement, ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian noted that "Based on his strong record in office, his bold statements as a candidate, and our judgment as to the policies he will pursue as President, we believe that, among a strong field of Democratic candidates, Senator Obama will best reflect the views and values of Armenian American voters."

In March 2009, Democrats Adam Schiff of California and Frank Pallone of New Jersey, and Republicans George Radanovich of California and Mark Kirk of Illinois, sent a letter to Obama, calling on him to keep his word and make a statement ahead of the 94th anniversary of the killings on April 24.

"As a presidential candidate, you were...forthright in discussing your support for genocide recognition, saying that 'America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides.' We agree with you completely," the letter said.

Did Obama keep his promise, one that garnered him the support of the ANCA?

Times Online answers that question:

Barack Obama found his diplomatic skills tested to the limit today when he was forced to address the Turkish slaughter of Armenians during the dying days of the Ottoman Empire without using the word "genocide".

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed in a systematic campaign of extermination during the First World War, and during his campaign for the presidency Mr Obama declared that "America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian genocide".

Today, during a joint press conference in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul, President Obama said that his views had not changed but he took extreme care not to use the word "genocide" so as not to inflame his hosts, who have always denied the claims.

Instead, he expressed the hope that talks between Turkey and Armenia could "bear fruit very soon" and he wanted to support that process.

“Well, my views are on the record and I have not changed views,” Mr Obama said in response to a question about the genocide and his stance on it.
Mr. Muradyan is right, weasling isn't respected, but hopefully he has learned a valuable lesson... Obama only keeps the campaign promises he wants to keep. People like Muradyan helped him get elected, Obama no longer has use for them now, and perhaps this supporter will remember this during the next election.


Founding Bloggers vs CNN

Founding Bloggers has decided to stand up to CNN filing a DMCA takedown notice with YouTube which then removed a video of an April 15th tax day tea party, where a CNN reported embarrassed the station with her "coverage", by acting as an activist instead of a reporter.

The original video included 1 minute and 20 seconds of CNN footage, to criticize the reporting (which is legal under "fair use" and 2 minutes and 30 seconds of their own footage taken at the tea party.

Founding Bloggers has now filed a counter notice against CNN for misrepresenting the copyright of the video in question.

This is a great test case because fair use clearly contends that if footage is being used in order to criticize or make other points about the actual reporting, then it falls under the fair use law.

Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

The footage in question was specifically used to criticize CNN's Susan Roesgen for her completely unethical and unprofessional behavior at the protest, where she was there as a CNN representative to report the news.

From Founding Bloggers:

Yesterday, we officially filed our DMCA counter-notice in the matter of CNN’s censorship of Founding Bloggers’ coverage of the Chicago Tax Day Tea Party. A copy of the counter-notice is available at Ben Sheffner’s blog Copyrights & Campaigns, where he’s been devoting much of his valuable energy toward documenting and publicizing what CNN has tried to do in this case.

Video above can be found and embedded from YouTube.

Founding Bloggers has more as well as a video downloaded on Blip as well, in case CNN has the first one removed again.

CNN obviously did not want this footage being seen or they would not have filed the take down notice to begin with, but with their actions they have brought more attention to this video as well as to their own reporter's actions and it is great that Founding Bloggers is not backing down but is prepared to take this to court if necessary.

It is the principle of the matter.