Why do they hate the the working class? The war on cheap groceries.


**Posted by Phineas

Retail giant Walmart has in recent years moved into the grocery business, bringing its famous pricing power to fruits, vegetables and meats. Good for the consumer, right? You betcha, but some people aren’t happy. Smaller grocery retailers are upset, because they feel they can’t compete. Unions are mad because Walmart isn’t unionized. And Democratic politicians are angry because… well, because their union backers told them to.

Reason.tv takes a dispassionate look at the politics and economics surrounding Walmart’s controversial entry into the New York City and Washington, D.C., areas and asks “Why do they hate cheap groceries?”

Walmart’s no angel(1), but, in hard economic times, you’d think politicians and labor leaders would be interested in anything that lowers food prices and creates jobs.

That is, if they truly cared about the average person.


(1) They’ve been caught benefiting from illegal alien labor and supported ObamaCare because they knew they could handle the added expense better than their competition. In other words, they wanted to game the system to rig the free market.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Krauthammer on Obama and “leading from behind”


**Posted by Phineas

I wrote about this amazing statement of an Obama Doctrine a few days ago. Well, it’s more accurate to say I sputtered in disbelief at it. In today’s Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer actually analyzes it in a penetrating article I could emulate only in my dreams. The whole piece is a must-read, but here is his discussion of the administration’s perceived need to lead from behind because the world hates us:

It is the fate of any assertive superpower to be envied, denounced and blamed for everything under the sun. Nothing has changed. Moreover, for a country so deeply reviled, why during the massive unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan and Syria have anti-American demonstrations been such a rarity?

Who truly reviles America the hegemon? The world that Obama lived in and shaped him intellectually: the elite universities; his Hyde Park milieu (including his not-to-be-mentioned friends, William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn); the church he attended for two decades, ringing with sermons more virulently anti-American than anything heard in today’s full-throated uprising of the Arab Street.

It is the liberal elites who revile the American colossus and devoutly wish to see it cut down to size. Leading from behind — diminishing America’s global standing and assertiveness — is a reaction to their view of America, not the world’s.

Other presidents have taken anti-Americanism as a given, rather than evidence of American malignancy, believing — as do most Americans — in the rightness of our cause and the nobility of our intentions. Obama thinks anti-Americanism is a verdict on America’s fitness for leadership. I would suggest that “leading from behind” is a verdict on Obama’s fitness for leadership.

Leading from behind is not leading. It is abdicating. It is also an oxymoron. Yet a sympathetic journalist, channeling an Obama adviser, elevates it to a doctrine. The president is no doubt flattered. The rest of us are merely stunned.

Three points, nothing but net.

RELATED: More Krauthammer — “Decline is a choice.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Creative smuggling: We build a fence, they fly over it


**Posted by Phineas

Cartel smugglers may be walking pustules who profit by selling poison and wreak havoc on their own nation(1), but give hem credit for adaptability: Border-control advocates have been screaming for years about building a fence along the Mexican border? Fine The drug-smugglers will just find another way across — or over:

The visiting British pilots were training near a naval air station one night this month when their helicopter came within about 150 feet of an ultralight plane flying without lights. The ultralight darted away toward Mexico without a trace.

The near-disaster over the Southern California desert was an example of drug smugglers using low-flying aircraft that look like motorized hang gliders to circumvent new fences along the U.S. border with Mexico. The planes, which began appearing in Arizona three years ago, are now turning up in remote parts of California and New Mexico.

And in a new twist, the planes rarely touch the ground. Pilots simply pull levers that drop aluminum bins filled with about 200 pounds of marijuana for drivers who are waiting on the ground with blinking lights or glow-sticks. Within a few minutes, the pilots are back in Mexico.

“It’s like dropping a bomb from an aircraft,” said Jeffrey Calhoon, chief of the Border Patrol’s El Centro sector, which stretches through alfalfa farms, desert scrub and sand dunes in southeast California.

The Border Patrol has erected hundreds of miles of fences and vehicle barriers along the border and added thousands of new agents, so drug smugglers are going over, under and around.

I particularly like the “bombing run” aspect.

While the use of ultra-lights is perhaps the most unusual development in the chess match along the border, it’s not the only one: cartel smugglers also use tunnels under the border and boats on the Pacific coast to go around it.

In one sense, it’s an illustration of markets in action: with demand so high in the US, the cartels are going to do their darnedest to make sure they get their goods to the buyers.

Move and counter, thrust and parry.

AFTERTHOUGHT: If drugs are being passed over the border via ultralight, what —or who— else is making it across?


(1) In fact, that’s just what they are.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Friday/Weekend Open Thread


Got up early enough today to watch the royal nuptials and thought I’d have been able to get up a couple of posts already this morning but I’ve had some emergency issues pop up that have prevented me from being able to do much of anything else online outside of my early morning tweeting. And this afternoon I’m spending with my dad. Lord-willing, I’ll check back in later this evening.

Enjoy your day, y’all :)

Wills and Kate

Britain's Prince William kisses his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Royal Wedding in London Friday, April, 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Lara Logan: “For an extended period of time, they raped me with their hands”


The CBS News correspondent, who was viciously sexually assaulted back in February, spoke to the New York Times about her horrific ordeal:

Lara Logan thought she was going to die in Tahrir Square when she was sexually assaulted by a mob on the night that Hosni Mubarak’s government fell in Cairo.

Ms. Logan, a CBS News correspondent, was in the square preparing a report for “60 Minutes” on Feb. 11 when the celebratory mood suddenly turned threatening. She was ripped away from her producer and bodyguard by a group of men who tore at her clothes and groped and beat her body. “For an extended period of time, they raped me with their hands,” Ms. Logan said in an interview with The New York Times. She estimated that the attack lasted for about 40 minutes and involved 200 to 300 men.

Ms. Logan, who returned to work this month, is expected to speak at length about the assault on the CBS News program “60 Minutes” on Sunday night.


The assault happened the day that Ms. Logan returned to Cairo, having left a week earlier after being detained and interrogated by Egyptian forces. “The city was on fire with celebration” over Mr. Mubarak’s exit, she said, comparing it to a Super Bowl party. She and a camera crew traversed Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the celebrations, interviewing Egyptians and posing for photographs with people who wanted to be seen with an American journalist.

“There was a moment that everything went wrong,” she recalled.

As the cameraman, Richard Butler, was swapping out a battery, Egyptian colleagues who were accompanying the camera crew heard men nearby talking about wanting to take Ms. Logan’s pants off. She said: “Our local people with us said, ‘We’ve gotta get out of here.’ That was literally the moment the mob set on me.”

Mr. Butler, Ms. Logan’s producer, Max McClellan, and two locally hired drivers were “helpless,” Mr. Fager said, “because the mob was just so powerful.” A bodyguard who had been hired to accompany the team was able to stay with Ms. Logan for a brief period of time.

“For Max,” the producer, “to see the bodyguard come out of the pile without her, that was one of the worst parts,” Mr. Fager said. He said Ms. Logan “described how her hand was sore for days after — and the she realized it was from holding on so tight” to the bodyguard’s hand.

“My clothes were torn to pieces,” Ms. Logan said.

She declined to go into more detail about the assault but said: “What really struck me was how merciless they were. They really enjoyed my pain and suffering. It incited them to more violence.”

She and CBS News are using what she went through to raise awareness of sexual assaults that happen to other female reporters but that ‘are rarely talked about within journalistic circles or in the news media’ according to the NYT. Her interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes airs at 7 pm ET on Sunday.

As much as I think it’s great that she’s speaking out about what she went through in an effort to help give more attention to the similar experiences other women journalists have gone through, I have serious doubts as to whether the underlying issue surrounding what happened – which is the anti-female culture that is Islam (as I and my co-blogger have discussed in detail here many times) will get the much-needed attention that it deserves. Female journalists report all over the world in the middle of crowded streets full of demonstrators, but they’re rarely subjected to sexual assaults like the one Logan suffered through.

Yes, the issue of sexual crimes against female journalists needs to be addressed strongly and condemned roundly, but so do the root causes of why sexual crimes against women happen so often in Middle Eastern countries – where the assaults are not considered “crimes” at all but instead “rights”… according to Islamic law. But to do that means the dangeous political correctness that has prevented a worldwide brutally honest discussion as to the inherently evil “religion” that we know as Islam would have to be thrown by the wayside, and that’s not going to happen, because too many politicos and other prominent public figures have either have turned an ignorantly blind eye to the evils of the Islamic “faith”, and/or have a vested political interest in pandering to the Islamic community and assorted PC types both home and abroad who really believe Islam is a “religion of peace” – contra to extensive evidence that points in the opposite direction.