This is a really cool way to direct money to your favorite charity. I clicked on Soldier's Angels, but there are many others as well.
This is a really cool way to direct money to your favorite charity. I clicked on Soldier's Angels, but there are many others as well.
It is a special treat when I get to sit and read an entire book these days. You know, a REAL book, with paper pages and a spine. Especially one that is not about politics. Recently I sat down with Bob Hamer's book, The Last Undercover, and had trouble putting it down. Hamer tells the story of his life as an undercover FBI agent for 26 years, but focuses on the last big undercover assignment he did -- infiltrating NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association).
Speaking with Hamer by telephone I learned his reason for writing the book was to inform the public about the danger posed by child predators and specifically to make them aware that pedophiles don't all look like the boogeyman. He said that some of those he encountered looked like they came "straight from central casting," but others were your dentist, your psychiatrist, your child's teacher or coach. He said most appear to be normal, and are highly functioning in society.
To tell the story of how he was able to infiltrate NAMBLA posing as a member of the organization, he interspersed experiences from his 26 year undercover career. He said those experiences prepared him for what he described as the hardest role he ever played, posing as a pedophile. Some of the stories Hamer shares in the book are of his assignments working cases involving drug dealers, counterfeiters, gangs, mafia, horse race gambling and female circumcision. They read like a season of a television detective show, only more interesting.
Hamer tells some of the back story about how undercover operations work -- including how, when wearing a wire, he always had to think about how recorded conversations would sound to a jury and choose his words carefully. He writes about things that went wrong in some of the investigations and recounts some really close calls. Sometimes he actually grew to like the people he eventually was responsible for putting in jail, which made it easier for him to pass as one of them. It was interesting to learn some of the ways he was able to gain the trust of criminals that were so much different than him.
He writes about how he balanced a family with his undercover work. He had a "bad guy phone" in his house where he received calls from those he was investigating. His daughter feared that one day a stranger would come home posing as her dad so she would check behind his head when he came home to make sure he didn't have a string back there holding on a mask. I asked Hamer how his wife was able to live that life, knowing that he was often in danger, and associating with such dangerous characters. He said she was a strong woman of faith, but joked that it didn't hurt that he was worth more dead than alive.
Hamer describes the NAMBLA operation as the hardest of his career because of the emotional toll it took on him. He was sickened by much of what he heard and saw, but had to maintain his act. One scene from the book that I will probably never get out of my head is of a group of NAMBLA convention attendees going to the Toys R Us in New York City and pointing out little boys they would like to abuse. None of them approached any of the children, but the thought that right there, under the noses of the parents, a group of men was using their children to feed their sick fantasies is something I will probably think of anytime I am in a public place with my children.
While discussing possible locations for an upcoming convention the deciding factor in choosing one city was that it was home to Legoland. That made me shudder. The book is not hard to read though. Hamer omitted the really graphic details, although one description of his encounter with the "world's most premiere body modification expert" in a female circumcision case left me with a mental image I don't think I'll ever be able to scrub clean.
The book is great and I would not be surprised to see it on the big screen one day. It certainly has all the elements of a great crime drama and personally, I would love to see Hamer play himself. He has certainly had plenty of practice.
If you would like to hear Bob Hamer discuss the book, he is currently scheduled to appear on the Michael Reagan Show today at 7:30 pm (Eastern) and on The O'Reilly Factor on September 24. Sample chapters of the book are available at BobHamer.net.
John Hawkins has compiled a list of 20 "most obnoxious" anti-Palin statements and they are most foul. What is surprising when you see them all together like that is how many of them come from well known people -- Hollywood actors, high profile Democrats, etc. It would be easy to compile a list of top thousand outrageous anti-Palin quotes made by anonymous moonbats from the comments at Democratic Underground or Daily Kos, but most all of the ones John lists are from people who are named and are in the public eye.
It is not really the most outrageous, I think Amanda Marcotte or Randi Rhodes might take that prize, but I think my favorite has to be that Matt Damon quote about the Disney movie and the dinosaurs. I don't know if comes across quite as silly in print, but it is hilarious on video. I know it has been posted before, but here it is again because it gets funnier every time I see it.
Jeff Jacoby says enough with the Palin feeding frenzy.
In other Palin news, for all the criticism Palin has taken over her foreign policy experience, the Boston Globe has a story today about Palin's trip to Canada where she "advocated for a proposed oil pipeline and discussed mutual border concerns."
Update: Jeffrey Lord has an excellent piece in the Spectator with more anti-Palin quotes. Lord writes about how Palin is being used to bash God and Christianity.
Update II: Shocking Palin revelations!!! From Hockey Moms for Truth.
I wondered when John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate why the so called "Troopergate" scandal did not scare him off. I mean, why pick someone under a microscope with an ethics investigation hanging over her head? As I heard the specifics of the Walt Monegan firing, supposedly because he would not fire Palin's ex-brother-in-law who had so many problems of his own, it made more sense. The brother-in-law trooper was far from just "going through a messy divorce" as those in the media continually describe. He tasered his stepson, threatened Palin's family, etc. and was a trooper with a badge and a gun, so it would not have been unreasonable for her to want him fired. But all along Palin maintained that was not the reason Monegan was let go anyway -- that it was over disagreements over budget and policy. Maybe McCain was shown the memos/emails that have now been released to the public.
I received a copy of the documents last night and could only wonder how the media completely missed this story? (Okay, I know the answer.) The documents clearly show Monegan as someone completely out of control. He disagreed with Palin's budget, and went behind her back, and attempted to go over her head, to get his way, pushing a program that Palin had vetoed. He even took an unauthorized trip to Washington. Remember, he was a political appointee. The governor was his boss and he was off pushing an agenda that was at odds with hers. It was completely within her rights to fire him. Ed Morrisey reviewed the documents and has written an excellent summary of the story they tell. What is amazing, as Ed also says, is not that she fired Monegan, but that he was able to hang onto his job as long as he did.
Here is an excerpt from Ed's post at Hot Air:
According to the papers filed by Palin's legal team, that was not the only instance of insubordination from Monegan:
12/9/07: Monegan holds a press conference with Hollis French to push his own budget plan.
1/29/08: Palin's staffers have to rework their procedures to keep Monegan from bypassing normal channels for budget requests.
February 2008: Monegan publicly releases a letter he wrote to Palin supporting a project she vetoed.
June 26, 2008: Monegan bypassed the governor's office entirely and contacted Alaska's Congressional delegation to gain funding for a project.
From this presentation, it looks like Monegan had decided from the start to be a loose cannon in the Palin administration. The wonder of this isn't that he got fired -- it's how he managed to hang onto his job as long as he did. The response calls Monegan's trip to Washington the "final straw", and it's not difficult to see why. Monegan even admitted it in his valedictory e-mail to his colleagues, saying that he "had waited too long outside her door for her to believe that I supported her." Nor did Monegan file an ethics complaint, as the law would have required him to do, if he felt his termination violated state ethics laws. (Palin filed the complaint herself to argue the case.)
I don't see how anyone, including those in the media, could read those documents and not see ample reason for Palin to fire Monegan. And when you review the documents you also see the role Hollis French played in all this before there was even an investigation -- and then he was put in charge of it! Remember what the Clintonites said about Ken Starr during the Lewinsky investigation? Well, in the case of Hollis French, that stuff is actually true. It is almost too much to believe. Is there anyone left in the mainstream media that values the truth over the goal of getting their guy elected? I guess we will see.
Sarah Palin has been branded as being "under an ethical cloud" and all but convicted in the court of media opinion for firing Walt Monegan because he refused to fire her poor innocent brother-in-law trooper who was "going through a messy divorce with her sister." Once again the news consumer has been misled and no matter what is reported now, many will forever associate Palin with "ethics problems."
I really hope I am wrong, but I would be completely shocked if anyone at NBC, CBS, CNN or ABC (especially Kate Snow or Charlie Gibson) take the time to actually review these documents and accurately report their contents to their viewers. And don't even get me started on whether or not I believe they will ever devote as much attention to investigating Barack Obama's relationship with William Ayers or ACORN as they have to "Troopergate."
Update: Speaking of Ayers, there is an excellent piece at American Thinker today which does what the mainstream media won't -- investigate the real relationship Obama had with that guy he said just lives in his neighborhood. It is a must read.
My friend Sherie was kind enough to let me post some of the pictures she took this week in Alaska. She returned there with her husband and children to take care of some family business. What timing! She was in Alaska right at the time Sarah Palin was returning. Sherie has a dear family friend (80 years old and still hunts caribou) who has known Palin since she was about 4 years old. Sherie was able to meet Palin's parents, the Heaths, while she was there. I did not post any pictures of people to retain the privacy of her and her family, but thought readers would enjoy the incredible Alaskan landscape.
The road to Wasilla.
Hatcher's Pass just above Wasilla.
A collection of antlers in the Heath's yard made of moose and caribou antlers they've found in the woods over the years.
"The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."
- President George W. Bush, September 11, 2001 Address to the Nation
Republicans take heat from Democrats anytime they remind the country of the attacks of September 11 -- most recently during the Republican Convention. I hope we can all at least agree that on this day we should honor the sacrifice of those who ran into the buildings when everyone else was running out. That kind of bravery and selflessness can be seen in police, firemen, military, and rescue workers serving their communities and country everyday and we can honor those who lost their lives by honoring and supporting those doing such work today.
Whether criticized for it or not, I think it is also important that we remember what it felt like on that day. I was watching the Today Show and saw the second plane hit the tower in real time. I remember shock, disbelief, and sadness, but most of all a vulnerability that did not exist on September 10. That feeling stayed with me for quite some time. I had felt it to a much lesser extent when the WTC was bombed years earlier, but 9/11/01 was, obviously, on a level never before seen in our nation's history. When I heard the announcement that the Pentagon had been hit as well, and then saw video of the gaping hole, my only thought was "we have been attacked and we are at war."
That feeling has faded a good deal over the years, since there have been no new attacks on our soil, but we must remember that there are still people in this world who would like nothing better than to see a repeat of 2001. President Bush said "these acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve." I fear the American resolve has been dented a bit. Hopefully taking time today to remember the events of September 11, 2001 will help firm up that resolve.
There has been much written about the attacks of 9/11 in the past seven years, but one of the statements I most remember came from humorist Dave Barry and I believe it holds true today:
"The people who did this to us are monsters; the people who cheered them have hate-sickened minds. One reason they can cheer is that they know we would never do to them what their heroes did to us, even though we could, a thousand times worse. They know that when we hunt down the monsters, we will try hard not to harm the innocent. Those are the handcuffs we willingly wear, because for all our flaws, we are a decent people." -- Dave Barry.
Update: Ace's account of his experience on September 11 is one that most can probably relate to, and his thoughts about what has happened in the years following 9/11 is very familiar -- having thought much of the same myself.
Update: I am watching the President speak at the very moving dedication of the Pentagon memorial. He is visibly emotional, as he was earlier when listening to others sing and speak. This President's entire term in office was shaped by the events on that day and it is obvious he did not take the responsibilities that came in the aftermath of those events lightly. It has been 2, 557 days without another attack on U.S. soil. It has been seven years since the attack. Here at home and in Afghanistan and in Iraq we still live with that one day.
Desperation was the message coming from MTV Music Awards host Russell Brand and the message on every left wing hate site this weekend. They are flailing, grasping at straws, lashing out at anything they believe threatens the official annointing of the Chosen One. Evidently, these enlightened progressive intellectuals are too stupid to realize that the biggest reason for the shift in the polls that are showing McCain now in the lead is not Sarah Palin. It is their vicious, disgusting, soulless attacks on her and her family. Thank you Kossacks. Thank you DUmmies. Thank you empty-headed celebrities. We could never have jumped to a ten point lead without you!
Michelle Malkin has a transcript and lots of background information on Brand, as well as reaction to his latest performance. Here is the transcript Michelle prepared of the rant which occurred just a few minutes into the program:
BRAND: "Now, as a representative of the global community and a visitor from abroad, I don't want to come across a little bit biased, but could I please ask of you people of America, to PLEASE ELECT BARACK OBAMA. Please! On behalf of the world. (Camera pans to singers Chris Brown and Britney Spears applauding and cheering.) Some people, I think they're called racists, say that America is not ready for a black president. But I know America to be a forward-thinking country, right. Because, otherwise, you know, would you have let that retarded cowboy fellow be president for eight years?
We were very impressed. It was nice of you to let him have a go. Because in England, George Bush wouldn't be trusted with a pair of scissors.
I am obliged by broadcasting law to show some balance in this situation, which means, uh, the Republicans might be alright. Sarah Palin. She's a VILF! A vice president I'd like to...fumble, fondle, I dunno. I do feel a little bit sorry for her daughter, getting pregnant, poor kid. Is it a boy? Is it a girl? It's a P.R. stunt. Come on. Be honest.
And I feel most sorry for that poor teenaged father. Boy. One minute, he's just a teenaged lad in Alaska having joyful, unprotected sex. And the next minute: Get to the Republican convention. I think that is the best safe sex message of all time. Use a condom or become Republican! ...That boy will spend the rest of his life masturbating while wearing a condom...
...New music, new president, and brand new America. And you people deserve it after eight years of Bush. I promise you, you deserve it...
Update: Here is a less sensational, but equally desperate attempt to smear Sarah Palin. There are only about a hundred or so equally lame Palin "scandals" like this floating around on the internet. I expect them to continue to multiply since they are working so well. Ha.
Another day another scandal. Actually they are coming faster than that. The latest Sarah Palin non-scandal has to do with a supposed affair she had with her husband's business partner and his efforts to have his divorce records sealed, but it has already been debunked (via Hot Air):
Nutcase bloggers will have to find another smear against Sarah Palin ... again. Did you hear that Todd Palin's former business partner tried to get his divorce records sealed? Conspiracy theorists immediately began speculating on line that Sarah Palin -- that vixen! -- must have had an affair and broken up the marriage. Why else would the partner suddenly act to seal his records?
As the Smoking Gun discovered, Scott Richter wanted them sealed -- to protect himself from conspiracy theorists...Isn't that an extra dollop of irony? Mr. Richter wants to protect his son from lunatics. What happens? The lunatics use that as "evidence" that Palin had an affair with Richter and descend on him to get the dirt.
If Obama's supporters have not figured it out yet, I'll give them a tip -- their scandal strategy isn't going to work. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Sympathy. They started off with a vile rumor that Palin faked the pregnancy of her fifth child, then turned it into an attack on her 17-year-old pregnant daughter. The fake pregnancy rumor was false. Not only were they shockingly nasty and vicious, they were also wrong. They lost their credibility and created sympathy for Palin in the process. Palin has shown she doesn't want or need anyone's sympathy, but she got it just the same, thanks to those who sought to destroy her.
2. Sarah Palin has connected with the American people. 37 million people heard her speak, in her own words, without interruption or editing from the Obamedia. It will be harder to make a scandal stick to someone America feels they know. Who ya gonna believe? The witty, down-to-earth straight talker with the beautiful family and the inspiring life story or the slimy rumor mongers who already tried to feed you a pack of lies?
3. People want someone to work to solve their problems. Are they going to be more likely to have a good opinion of a campaign that is addressing the problems they have or the campaign that appears to be obsessed with tearing their opponent apart?
4. The Obamedia has been exposed. Over the past year or more the media have fawned over Barack Obama. Over the past week the media have hit Sarah Palin with dozens of accusations based on little more than nutty leftwing hate site rumors. Recent polls show over 50 percent of the American public believe the media is trying to hurt Sarah Palin.
5. They just don't know how to do subtle. Instead of picking one or two really good scandals, they are throwing scores of them out there willy nilly, without fact checking or even, in some cases, bothering to read them in their entirety. One example is the list of books Palin supposedly banned -- the problem is that many of the books on the list were not even published yet when Palin supposedly banned them. Another accusation was that Palin cut funding for pregnant teens. Those circulating that one evidently were not so good at reading or at math. The document they presented as proof, actually showed an expansion of the program, but that did not keep the accusation from being reported by the Washington Post and the New York Times. Yet another accusation was that Palin cut funding for special needs children. Not true, and easily debunked in a matter of minutes with a Google search, yet it also was widely reported as fact and was even cited by Soledad O'Brien on CNN.
Some of the rumors mentioned above were repeated on television and on the front pages of some of the most respected newspapers in America. If the initial fake pregnancy rumor had not backfired so spectacularly, ensuring Sarah Palin the massive audience of 37 million, some of these other rumors reported in the MSM might have really hurt Palin. Even though they weren't true, voters would not likely learn that until they had already formed a negative opinion of Palin. Now that the public has gotten a good first impression of her, and they know that many of the rumors out there are turning out to be false, the scandals to come are likely to hurt Palin about as much as Bill Clinton's scandals hurt him.
Hillary in her smart pantsuit, with her 18 million voters and whatever is left of the Clinton machine behind her, didn't scare Barack Obama. It took a small town former beauty queen in heels, skirt and chignon with a baby on her hip to do that. And there is no doubt that he is afraid of her considering how his supporters have thrown everything, including the kitchen sink, at her over the past week. Considering that in less than a week Sarah Palin achieved a higher approval rating than either McCain or Obama, drew an audience 10 million larger than that of Joe Biden (just 1 million less than Obama) and united and energized the Republican party like no one has since Ronald Reagan, Obama has reason to fear.
He announced yesterday though, that he is not going to be bullied.
"We're not going to be bullied, we're not going to be smeared, we're not going to be lied about," Obama said. "I don't believe in coming in second."
...call a waaahmbulance already, Buttercup.
How is this sissy going to stand up to someone a bit more menacing than Sarah Palin?
Don't worry, Princess. You'll be coming in third, Joe Biden in fourth.
He said this while attending a fundraiser hosted by long-haired ex-prettyboy Bon Jovi, incidentally. Then they went out shopping for "outfits."
He's smeared her in the most vile ways through his surrogates, and claimed she was a fluffybrained muffinheaded chillbilly bumpkin beauty queen from "Wasilly" Alaska, and now he's up there resolutely swearing he won't let a 110 pound woman "bully" him?
What are you afraid she's going to do to you, Stacy? Adorable you to death?
She won't adorable him to death, but what she is doing is shattering the myth of the invincible chosen one and exposing his many weaknesses.
In my column at Townhall today I take a look at the dumb strategy decisions the Democrats (and even the media) made over the past week.
Sarah Palin has a lot to thank Democrats for this week. As a result of relentless attacks from angry far left Democrats assisted by their friends in the media, her speech became the most widely viewed of any speech given by a Vice Presidential candidate in the history of the world and Republicans emerged more energized than anyone could have dreamed...
After stooping to pursuing a 17-year-old pregnant girl more vigorously than they had pursued connections between Barack Obama and domestic terrorist William Ayers, the media created public sympathy for Palin, something that became clear in her speech she did not seek nor require. Women from both sides of the political aisle expressed disgust over the sexist treatment of Palin by the media. A post-speech poll of U.S. voters showed that 51 % thought reporters were trying to hurt Palin with their news coverage, and 24% said that made them more likely to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket in November...
The attacks on Palin and her family were meant to bully her, belittle her and take her out of the equation. Instead they produced possibly the biggest blowback in political convention history, helping Sarah Palin pull an audience of over 37 million viewers (38 million watched Obama). The attacks also garnered sympathy for her - that is until voters saw her speak on Wednesday night and realized this was not a woman to pity, but to admire, and if you are her political opponent, to fear.