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There seems to be some global confusion about just where Russian dictator (call him for what he is) Vladimir Putin? stands and what it is that he wants. Instead of looking at his contradictory public positions, let’s look instead at the most honest indicator of just what he wants: where he spends his TV and movie dollar.

In the arena of television, the Kremlin sponsors an entire English broadcast network in America called RT. It is about as far left as it is possible to get. Today’s headlines: “Modern capitalism has reached the end of its rope.” “Occupy Wall Street – is mass civil disobedience the only way?” “Putin promotes ‘Eurasian Schengen’ in first program article.” Who hosts the shows on RT? Thom Hartmann, the hard left radio host, who just this week gave “his take on why the global economic system is becoming a legion of psychopaths,” interviewed atheist Richard Dawkins?, complained about “the issue of rising healthcare premiums in America,” asked whether “America is getting carried away in the ‘War on Terror,’” and jumped on Republican “resistance to passing legislation which would add millions of jobs to the US economy.”

....But what’s more disturbing is where the Russians spend their entertainment cash. Over the weekend, I streamed the Russian nominee for the 2006 Academy Award for Best Language Film, 9th Company. This film was handed the Golden Eagle Award for Best Feature Film by the Russian Academy of Cinema Arts. It was co-produced by the Russian Federal Agency of Culture and Cinema & The Ministry of Culture. Putin himself praised it as “close to life” and said that it was a “very good film.” “This is a tragic story from the life of our country and our people,” said Putin. “But people who fought [in Afghanistan] for their ideals did a good job.” Putin actually invited the film’s director to his residence to watch it.

....Where the movie truly takes its communist turn is about halfway in. Two of the recruits think about dropping out. They decide not to while looking up at the Soviet flag. The whole troop then goes to visit “Snow White?,” the local town soldier groupie, who sees every troop off by having sex with all of them.... In the Soviet Union, it’s share and share alike.

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Russia owner Vladimir Putin and his dreams of past glory
Rep. Frank Wolf calls out Grover Norquist: What's up with that?
On Tuesday, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), in a speech delivered on the floor of the House, Wolf excoriated anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist?, the leader of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and author of that organization’s anti-tax pledge. The group, founded in 1985 at the request of president Ronald Reagan?, has spent more than two-and-a-half decades pushing GOP politicians to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which asks them to oppose “any and all tax increases.” Yet Wolf made it clear that taxes were not the issue. It was Norquist’s association with “a number of unsavory people and groups out of the mainstream” that formed the foundation of his criticism.

“My issue is not with ATR’s goal of keeping taxes low,” Wolf contended. “Like Ronald Reagan said, and I believe, ‘the problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.’ I want to be perfectly clear: I do not support raising taxes on the American people. My concern is with the other individuals, groups, and causes with whom Mr. Norquist is associated that have nothing to do with keeping taxes low.”

Who are those groups and individuals? Wolf began by illuminating Norquist’s association with former lobbyist Jack Abramoff?, who pleaded guilty to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials in 2006. Abramoff, who received a 70-month sentence in a Florida fraud conviction, was given an additional 48 months in September of 2008. Aside from the fallout that snared Congressman Robert Ney and seven other people, Abramoff had drawn attention to himself largely due to the fact that he and his partner took in $82 million from Indian tribes in the casino business. Abramoff’s relationship to Norquist? “Mr. Abramoff essentially laundered money through ATR and Mr. Norquist knew it,” Wolf contended.

Next up was Mr. Norquist’s association with Islamic terrorist financiers. They included Abdurahman Alamoudi?, who was sentenced to 23 years in prison in 2004 for his role in a plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. Alamoudi pleaded guilty to illegally moving $1 million in cash from Libya to pay conspirators in the plot. Prior to his conviction, Alamoudi had headed the American Muslim Council, which met with senior officials in the Clinton and Bush administrations to promote Muslim political causes. Wolf then referred to terrorist sympathizer Sami Al-Arian?, who was sentenced to 57 months in prison in 2006 after pleading guilty to conspiring to perform services for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad? (PIJ). The PIJ is a designated terrorist organization, which has conducted several attacks against Israel, and remains dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish State. Norquist was “an outspoken supporter of Al-Arian’s effort to end the use of classified evidence in terror trials,” Wolf noted.


Elizabeth Warren and liberalism, twisting the ‘social contract
By George F. Will

Elizabeth Warren, Harvard law professor and former Obama administration regulator (for consumer protection), is modern liberalism incarnate. As she seeks the Senate seat Democrats held for 57 years before 2010, when Republican Scott Brown impertinently won it, she clarifies the liberal project and the stakes of contemporary politics.

The project is to dilute the concept of individualism, thereby refuting respect for the individual’s zone of sovereignty. The regulatory state, liberalism’s instrument, constantly tries to contract that zone — for the individual’s own good, it says. Warren says:

“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. .?.?. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea — God bless, keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

Warren is (as William F. Buckley described Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith) a pyromaniac in a field of straw men: She refutes propositions no one asserts. Everyone knows that all striving occurs in a social context, so all attainments are conditioned by their context. This does not, however, entail a collectivist political agenda.


A blog salue on the 10th anniversary of 9/11
At 8:46am this morning, ten years ago, murderous jihadists crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

At 9:03am this morning, ten years ago, murderous jihadists crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

At 9:37am this morning, ten years ago, murderous jihadists crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

At 10:15am this morning, ten years ago, the official notification of the downing of United Airlines Flight 93 into a field at Shanksville, Pa. by murderous jihadists was received by the feds.

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Perry: Fixing to jump all over Obama in 2012
Gov. Rick Perry officially declared his candidacy for the presidency on Saturday, August 13.

.... And today, August 16, Gov. Perry has an 11% lead over Romney in the polls and a 16% lead over Bachmann.

Let’s face it folks, since Perry announced we’ve had 72 hours of watching him shake hands in the heartland and giving speeches in the Texas dialect. The speeches have been focused on tax cuts, jobs creation, getting government out of the people’s business, and labeling Obama the greatest threat facing our country.

The speeches have also contained a heavy dose of Perry’s love for God and country (two things noticeably absent from the speeches Obama’s been reading off teleprompters since taking office). Perry connects with Americans because he is an American. By that I mean he is salt-of-the-earth America. He wears boots, wears jeans, says grace before meals, and draws his own pistol to shoot coyotes if they bother his dogs during his morning jog.

Seriously folks: Can you imagine watching Obama or Biden or any number liberal democrats trying to figure out how to load a pistol, much less draw one and shoot? On the other hand, Perry can shoot on the run.


Perry's Bernanke slam and the value of the U.S. dollar
Gov. Rick Perry scorched the political pot on Tuesday with a red-hot rhetorical attack on Fed-head Ben Bernanke. When asked about the Fed reopening the monetary spigots, Perry said, “If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don’t know what y’all would do to him in Iowa, but we — we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.”

And that wasn’t all. In a more controversial slam, Perry said, “Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous — or treasonous — in my opinion.” (Italics mine.)

Pretty rough stuff. Very aggressive language. And undoubtedly way too strong. It was poorly received in the financial world.

No, Ben Bernanke is not a traitor. This is a policy dispute; it’s not a matter of patriotism. However, and this is an important however, the rest of Perry’s statement suggests that his analysis of Fed policy is right on target. In other words, wrong words, right analysis. The Texas governor, who by some polls is the new Republican presidential frontrunner, went on to say, “We’ve already tried this. All it’s going to be doing is devaluing the dollar in your pocket. And we cannot afford that.”

Well, to me that is exactly right.


 
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