Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Napolitano Is Thrown to the Wolves at Fox

Fox News interviewed Janet Napolitano, President Obama's Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security over the weekend. Pajamas Media has a devastating Dan Riehl story that includes the news of the interview, and more importantly, who aired it. Plainly sent specifically to Fox News by the White House to expiate her earlier sophomoric official response to the Flight 253 Undi-bomber incident,  Napolitano was surely cast into this, the vulpine den of cable news as a piece of red meat, knowing its large and talkative audience would be certain to shred her. This will no doubt incline her to understand, going forward, how much easier it will be for her to resign.

Here she is with a shotgun and ear protection, pretending to enjoy shooting at a campaign outing.

Which contrasts with these, those who are not pretending, whom she is, in part, currently charged with protecting us against:


As compared to...Winston Churchill, an iconic bust of whom--a previous gift to the White House from London--President Barack Obama, as one of his first acts upon taking office, repatriated to the British government, while simultaneously hiring Janet Napolitano for the job she will soon be exiting.

 Winston Spencer Churchill, superbly pinstriped homeland security expert and son of a New York mother. Led the British Empire to victory against the Nazis.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Peary Polar Expedition Of 1909: a Forgotten Centennial

The claims of success of the several polar expeditions at the turn of the 20th century were all fraught with the same controversy as to outcome: Did they really make to the Pole? Admiral Robert E. Peary's expedition of 1909 was no different. Peary, after brilliantly studying, and then utilizing Inuit clothing, sleds, and techniques made his 1909 dash for the Pole, on this, not his first expedition, starting on the 1st of March 1909, traversing moving ice and arriving at 90 degrees north latitude on the 7th of April by his reckoning, before turning back to Ellesmere Island on the return trip. That the ice under the feet of his party was moving south as he mushed north was no small factor in their intrepid endeavor.

Peary, a Navy man, was in many ways, a bonafide claimant to the mantel of Christopher Columbus (celebrated at the recent World's Columbian Exposition of 1893) and of John Wesley Powell, the navigator and mapper of the Colorado river through the canyons of the American Southwest. Peary set out with 23 men, 133 dogs and 19 sleds about the cusp of the vernal equinox with a crew of Inuit mushers and former Navy men including Matthew Henson, an intrepid and highly skilled African-American civil engineer.

Despite the subsequent technical arguments made against his claim of success, Peary and Henson will always remain American adventurers of the highest order and iconic exemplars of the American spirit of exploration and courage. Without them it is difficult to imagine either Charles Lindbergh's Atlantic crossing of 1927 or the Apollo mission of the 1960's.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Just Shoot Them

And be done with it. News today is that a US Predator Drone brigade has taken unprecedented offensive military action in the tip of the Arabian peninsula in Yemen against al-Qaeda operatives on the orders of US president Barack Obama. Meanwhile, also today, we learn that Guantanamo Prison will soon be releasing six Yemeni jihadists to their home country, also on the orders of the President. Unless, on the off-chance they have been implanted with tracking devices for larger purposes, would it not make better military, political and economic sense to just shoot them now, while we have them in custody? Why expend the precious carbon to send them home only to spend millions more later to hit them with drones? Yemenis are perhaps the most recidivist of the previously released Guantanamo jihadist prisoners. Bullets are cheap. A clearer message could not be sent to Osama bin-Laden, if the president were interested in sending one. Osama, as a Yemeni himself, would understand.

Update 12/24/09. Another Yemeni Gitmo recidivist dies in the second strike in Yemen this week. Also taken out was Nidal Hassan's Yemeni contact and "spiritual adviser" Anwar al-Awlaki. A small hive is exterminated. Al-Awlaki had just been interviewed by Al-Jazeera. Fame is fleeting.