Around Town …

  • Over at the Daily Caller, there is a new poll out that gives President Obama low marks on national security matters. Could Libya have something to do with it? The Obama Administration has yet to make a compelling case as to why U.S. involvement in Libya is in the U.S. national interest. Absent finding Libya is supporting al-Qaeda or other radical terrorist groups, I cannot think of what would warrant U.S. meddling in North Africa in this way. The arguments they have used to date apply with equal or more force to bad places around the world including the Ivory Coast, Cuba, North Korea, and Iran, to name a few. They are also putting a lot of pressure on AFRICOM, whose long-term mission is a lot more important to U.S. security than this Libya mission, a European war.
  • The state of American higher education: MTV’s Dr. Snooki will be $32,000 for a guest appearance at Rutgers. Yes folks, Dr. Snooki holds an honorary doctorate degree from Rutgers. As this Princeton philosophy Professor argues, it is “weird to honor people” who have achieved nothing except fame or notoriety for making fools of themselves. Yet that has been the case in America for some time. Losing, the new win. Aspiring to the lowest common denominator, the new excellence. Accolades for the losing team, rather than extolling the virtue of to the victor go the spoils, the new normal.
  • Radical Islamists, and those that support them or just do not know any better, have reportedly slaughtered close to 1,000 Christians in the Ivory Coast. Reaction from the Obama Administration, the United Nations, and those that support them? Tumbleweeds. For two views and additional reporting, visit Atlas Shrugs and the Gateway Pundit. Folks at Foggy Bottom and the Obama NSC would be wise to re-read Thomas Sowell’s piece last week, Measuring Force.
  • The new AAA: Al-Aqaeda of the Americas? Fausta’s blog reports that a Brazilian newspaper has printed a story that al-Qaeda cells are operating in South America. But it is not just Brazilian news sources, Reuters also has a recent piece on “a Lebanese man named Khaled Hussein Ali, who has lived in Brazil since 1998, is an important member of al Qaeda’s propaganda operation and has coordinated extremists in 17 countries.” This is not the first, and certainly will not be the last report, of alleged AAA activities in our own backyard. The question should be, will U.S. policymakers pay more attention to the problem?
  • Ecuador wants to ban bullfighting. Too bad. They should be banning populist strongmen and dictatorial regimes such as what they have today in power in Quito today.
  • No matter how dumb or ill-conceived your actions may be to some folks, so long as it is legal, one of the great things about our country is that you can say or do any thing you want. Take the case of Florida Pastor Terry Jones, the Koran burner. While he did not do so in 2010, the political and media demons possessed Pastor Jones to go ahead with his burning stunt this year. The event has caused an international stir, with radical Islamists and seemingly ordinary folks using it as an excuse for wanton violence that may have resulted in the death of UN workers. On both counts, tragic. All that said, comments on the Sunday talk shows by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Lindsay Graham are not helpful either. Constitutional law is clear, and the Senators know full well that Pastor Jones can burn whatever he wants. The U.S. Congress has no business Jones what to do on this matter or condemning his actions. It is not Jones’s fault that the radical Islamists have hijacked the Muslim faith. Don’t these folks on the Hill have a budget to pass?
  • Senomyx, a biotech company, is using cell lines from aborted babies in food enhancement testing. PETA, anything to say? Oh, wait, groups such as PETA only care about the rights of animals, not humans.
  • The Carter Center reports that a U.S. citizen jailed for 15 years on bogus espionage charges did not know that he was taking U.S.-financed equipment to Cuba. That is not the point. Alan Gross does not belong in prison. Why does the Carter center, as does the left, always take the side of the bad guys (i.e., Cuba) in these things?
  • There are new reports that the Colombian terrorist group, FARC, has new links to the Ecuadorean government of Rafael Correa. UPI reports that “clandestine links between quasi-Marxist armed group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and elements in Ecuador have raised renewed concerns.” Here again, as in the case of AAA, this should come as no surprise. Our State Department annual reports on terrorism, human rights, and narcotics trafficking repeatedly fail to make this link between the Correa regime and terrorists groups such as the FARC. Foggy Bottom keeps thinking Correa is our guy in Quito. Correa is Hugo Chavez and Raul Castro’s pawn, always has been, always will be.
  • The Hoosier Pundit is not happy that their own, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Dick Lugar, is proposing a new START treaty that proposes to share missile defense technology with our Russian “friends.”
  • Stand Up with Arizona reports (video) that legal workers have been showing up for jobs previously held by aliens rounded by by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
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