I have maintained in the past that although you have to do what you have to do in the war on terror it is important to question what is being done to keep yourself honest.

I have questioned the left’s insistence that Gitmo has needed to be closed and the left has misrepresented the place over and over.

I also maintain Waterboarding is not torture, but I can see why some have said so.

The use of prisons in other western countries is a little more iffy since we may not have control but the various western countries have rules to keep things in check.

Now of all the tactics used Rendition is the most iffy, its the one that leaves me the most queasy. Of the left’s arguments this one was the best of the batch. And Obama has decided to keep it and expand it:

Barack Obama exploited that outrage when he promised Hope and ChangeTM, and the Left squealed with joy over the Brave New Obama World in national security. Now they’ll have to squeal again as Obama has had a sudden revelation as President that renditions are more necessary than ever, if the CIA can’t hold these subjects at Gitmo or its own secret sites:

Moe Lane called out leftist bloggers on this but the most amazing thing is reported at Dissenting justice where he calls out Human Rights Watch:

Now that the L.A. Times reports that rendition will continue during the Obama administration, Human Rights Watch has apparently altered its position. According to Tom Malinowski, the organization’s “Washington advocacy director,” the risk of torture and other abuses does not mandate the prophylactic cessation of rendition. Instead (quoting the L.A. Times)

I haven’t seen such a double standard by a “human rights group” since…well every time any of em deal with Israel.

I give full marks to that blog on the left for doing so and being honest enough to be outraged. I actually liked the outrage on the left over Gitmo because although false it produced an irrational fear of the place to the newly captured that might have gotten them talking but now the choices have been reduced to bad ones.

Don’t you wonder what Obama saw in the briefings that changed his mind on this? I’ll give the last word to the Captain:

Frankly, I think the US does a better job of treating its detainees than anywhere a rendition program would deliver them, but without a Gitmo or CIA holding site, that’s the only way to ensure that we can get any intelligence that will protect the US. I’m not surprised that Obama has reached the same conclusion, now that he has the responsibility to keep the nation secure from foreign attack. It’s amazing how clarifying that responsibility can be, and Obama at least must have a little more comprehension of what Bush went through the last seven years.


Update: Whoa! My first Instalance and I didn’t even notice it. Hi. Take a look around, particularly if you are looking for remote tech support. or if you are a Fan of Morning Joe which I tend to liveblog a bit. See the shock of Iranian rejection and learn the ways of the internet scam. I write a bit about Religion, Israel, my current job search and a tad bit of baseball.

Oh and if you are a Doctor Who fan make sure you check out this blog. It isn’t mine but its awesome.

Update 2: Missed the link to Captain Ed at hotair, thanks to commenter Paul for catching it.

Update 3: I guess he gets an Arthur vote for this. Running total Jimmy Carter 6 Chester Arthur 3. An explanation of the Arthur Carter watch here.

Update 4: A disagreement in comments continues here.

Michael Yon is a man who has spent most of the last few years in the middle east in general and in Iraq in particular. No other single reporter has seen what is going on closer. He called in when the strategy in Iraq was failing and he called it when the strategy was working. His reporting has proved to be the most accurate out there and it isn’t even close.

Today he tackles Israel and Iran and wonders why people don’t see what is there:

It is amazing to me, as an American who travels the world on a near-constant basis, that there is so much confusion over who the terrorists are. Hamas is a terrorist organization that condones and facilitates suicide bombings and will kill every Jew on the planet if they have the chance. Meanwhile, Israel is an energetic democracy with a vibrant press. I could sit right here in Jerusalem and write bad things about Israel and Jews, and nothing would happen. Maybe I wouldn’t get invited somewhere or would be called an anti-Semite, but that would be it. Neither the Jews nor the Israelis would harm me, though they likely would write bad things about me. I came to Israel with no press accreditation and at the airport they knew that I was a writer. Yet they let me in and have allowed me to freely roam the country. Today I was in very close proximity to Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Netanyahu talked about how, in this very hotel, Rehavam Ze’evi had been murdered just a few floors above our heads. The security seemed incredibly lax by American standards. Bernard Lewis and other extremely smart people were there.

Israel is a free country that abides by the rule of law. By contrast, if a writer were to go to Gaza or Iran, for instance, and start writing bad words, he might wind up on the news, dead. Israel allows Christians and Arab Muslims to worship freely, while Hamas wants to see us all at the bottom of the sea. Hamas, supported by Iran, is clear about their goals: they want to wipe out Israel completely, utterly, with finality. But it’s not just Israel that Hamas wants to kill; they want to kill all Jews everywhere. Complete genocide.

Read the whole thing. Via Glenn who answers the title of the piece with “because they don’t care what happens to Israel.” Given what I’ve seen over the last several weeks I am forced to agree.

Updates continue at Israellycool.

UPDATE: The Captain comments:

Yes, Europe has come a long way since the Holocaust, but unfortunately, it’s in a circle

I’m pretty hard on the left at this blog so when kudos need to be given they shouldn’t be neglected:

I’ve never cared for Tom Daschle, on substance or politics, but I know so little about health care that I have hesitated to discuss whether Daschle is a good choice for HHS. But in light of this news, why in heaven’s name should President Obama lift a finger for a guy who basically did not tell him the truth:

Kudos for talk left for not letting Daschle off the hook on his taxes. This is a huge mistake on Obama’s part. Believe me when people are in the process of paying their taxes (I’ll be doing mine today or tomorrow) its bad enough that you have a treasure secretary that didn’t pay his taxes how many more are we going to see?

The Sock Puppet deserves credit on this one too.

Scrappleface via Glenn Nails it:

In the month of January alone, Mr. Obama has forced Timothy Geithner, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, to cough up $43,000 he owed the IRS, and former Sen. Tom Daschle to pay off his $128,000 tax obligation. Mr. Geithner will put his tax-paying experience to good use, overseeing the IRS as Secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Daschle hopes his recently-good behavior will garner Senate confirmation as the next Secretary of the Health and Human Services.

“With the IRS underfunded as it is,” said Mr. Gibbs, “this collection method is much more efficient than dispatching field agents. Arresting these men, or compelling them to pay penalties would take years, and make them feel bad about themselves. The president’s method not only gets more money to the government to help our economy, but provides a self-esteem boost by giving these wealthy men important-sounding titles.”

I think I’ll add a category called “honorable left” to give a thumbs up for situations like this.

Well the latest batch of acceptance letter has come in and now a big decision has to be made.

Anna Maria is the #1 choice of the kid at the moment. That would leave us counting the college fund with about 9k to come up with.

Fitchburg State College however has offered him a full boat including all fees.

He would also be in a position to live at home, that is not necessarily a good thing.

The question is can we come up with enough funds or scholarships to make up the Anna Maria difference? Will another college (offers at the moment run from 2k-12k but leave a gap as large as Anna Maria).

We have some serious thinking to do but at least if a job isn’t forthcoming it won’t keep him out of college.

And a note to teenagers who read this blog. This guy does his homework every night and hasn’t partied at all. This is why he is in this spot. You could be too if you put your mind and effort into it.

Actually every time of year is scam time but with tax time approaching and various stimulus programs being talked about its a good time to think about the many online scams out there to nail you One example:

Economic Stimulus Payment Scams
Perpetrated via a phishy email or a fraudulent phone call, these scams capitalize on confusion surrounding the federal government’s economic stimulus package. By now you probably know that you may be getting a stimulus payment in the coming months but may not know how or when the payment will arrive. Potential victims of this scam are told that they’ve qualified for their stimulus “rebate” and are asked to provide their bank account number to receive the payment electronically. In reality, you won’t have to do anything more than file a federal tax return to receive your payment, and the IRS will never call or email you about the economic stimulus payment.

The Cyberstreetsmart site is a good one. Go there and read the whole thing. If you are a person with a kid about to enter college check out their phony scholarship section here.

Don’t forget to take their IQ quiz to see how much you already know.

…to that paragon of the left George Soros. I want to quote something from Jay Nordlinger’s Davos Journal part 2:

Lunch is with George Soros. He speaks to a group of journalists in a Davos hotel. His subject is the financial crisis, and he is very good on it: sober and analytical. I must say, I like him better on economics and finance than I do on politics and foreign policy. Obviously, in this field—finance—he knows what he’s talking about. His authority is real.

He makes the observation that, last September, “the real economy fell off a cliff”—not just a paper economy (if I have interpreted him correctly). He also says that nationalization is “politically unacceptable at the moment”—words that strike me as ominous. (Soros sounds rueful.)

Something interesting, and entertaining, happens in the Q&A. A journo asks him, “Did you see this crisis coming, and have you profited from it?” Soros answers that he did not quite predict the crisis, but he came close to doing so—he predicted aspects of it. Certainly the “super-bubble,” as he termed it, had to burst. As to the second part of the journo’s question, Soros says, “I was able to protect my capital.”

I love that sentence: “I was able to protect my capital.” Wish all of us could say that!

Now it is the job of a capitalist to protest his capital and Soros shouldn’t be blamed for it, but shouldn’t it strike people on the left a bid odd that their patron took steps to protect himself while not alerting his friends on the left to help save their fortunes? Isn’t this what the left is all about? Note the outcry as the oil companies report record profits. No outcry from those guys about Soros protecting his capital.

Of course the fact that is capital is protected and others are not makes them more dependent on his funds and more receptive to his opinions. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

Oh BTW Nordlinger reports from Davos every year. Part 3 of his series is here.

CNN seems to think that democratic attack ads featuring Rush Limbaugh are going to scare republican Senators into voting with Obama:

The commercials blast House Republicans for refusing to vote for Obama’s stimulus proposal this week, claiming that the GOP lawmakers took marching orders from conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh not to support it.

The ad, paid for by the liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change, targets Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, and Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio. Specter is seeking re-election in 2010, while Voinovich is retiring when his term expires at the close of that year.

Very Silly. Nevada is not a liberal state, Harry Reid is in more danger of losing election than Ensign does. Voinovich is retiring so any kind of advocacy ad is useless.

Specter is seeking re-election but he had a tough primary battle last time, what do you think will happen in the primary’s if he goes along with Obama on this one when even McCain isn’t going for it?

As for the other batch mentioned Maine and New Hampshire have become more socially liberal as Massachusetts residents migrate north, but people who have relocated due to stupid tax policies are unlikely to be supportive of Obama’s economic plan. In Alaska Palin’s popularity is still large and I suspect Murkowski isn’t anxious to appear on the side of fiscal indiscipline.

As for Iowa, I must confess I have absolutely no idea, but hey spend the dough Soros has plenty.