Of all the coverage given to Anwar al-Awlaki’s targeted assassination this morning, I liked the almost Onion-worthy take Wired magazine (via Gawker) had regarding its consequence:
Yemen Strike Leaves Misfit Metalhead as Al-Qaida’s Last American Voice
The description of Adam Gadahn, “the last terrorist left chatting in an American accent,” is quite pathetic:
Gadahn’s background as a loner and misfit, by contrast, didn’t prepare him to be a particularly effective jihad-evangelist. He grew up isolated, home-schooled on his parents farm. Before he converted to Islam, he dabbled in the Southern California metal scene. Apparently unable to scrape enough friends together for a group, Gadahn formed a one-man metal band, Aphasia (named after a speech impediment). After his conversion, he ran into problems at his Orange County mosque, sleeping on his job as a security guard there and getting expelled after punching his Imam.
n 1998, Gadahn left the U.S. for Pakistan, eventually joining up with al-Qaida as a translator. He never quite racked up the same kind of fan club as Awlaki later did. …Gadahn’s been cranking out videos for seven years now. He’s even recently jumped on the bandwagon of encouraging lone-wolf attacks. And still he’s not the object of fanboy affection. Terrorists haven’t cited him as an ideological catalyst for an attack.
Of course, there are more serious constitutional issues concerning al-Awlaki’s death and that of his compatriot Samir Khan, an American born in Saudi Arabia, who was an editor of the Al Qaeda’s goofy English-language web magazine, Inspire. Do Americans really want their president to be the judge, jury and executioner when it comes to American citizens that have been deemed “enemy combatants” in the GWOT (or whatever they’re calling it these days)?
Update: A deep-thinking Canadian “conservative” weighs in with his elevated discourse on the subject…
Various psychologists talk about the different reasons why people accept the official version of events surrounding 9/11 as opposed to the theories of those who dispute the now generally accepted narrative.
While not subscribing to any particular conspiracy theory advanced by “truthers” about the events of 9/11, I remain highly skeptical about the issue. In addition to all the unanswered questions and contradictory evidence concerning what happened on that fateful day, it’s not in the least bit difficult for me to believe that a government would lie to its people – in fact, in ways both great and small, it happens all the time.
Nick Gillespie of Reason TV talks with British writer and journalist James Delingpole about his new book Watermelons: The Green Movement’s True Colors.
A self-described conservative libertarian, Delingpole claims that anthropogenic climate change is not as extensive as is widely asserted, and links mainstream scientific projections with “the atavistic impulse which leads generation after generation to believe it is the chosen one: the generation so special that it and it alone will be the one privileged to experience the end of the world; and the generation so egotistical that it imagines itself largely responsible for that imminent destruction.”
Richard Dawkins talks to Thom Hartmann about his new book The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True.
The first part of the interview can be viewed here (it deals primarily with genetic matters that will be familiar to most).
The team at Fox News attacks the “radical left-wingers” and “nutjobs” currently protesting the fraud, corruption and lack of accountability on Wall Street (amongst other things the participants see as being horribly dysfunctional in America at the moment).
Do the malicious cretins at Fox News somehow think that Americans are so incredibly stupid that they won’t remember how, just a few years ago, their “news” channel actively promoted the Tea Party at every opportunity and enthusiastically revelled in its inchoate anger, outrage, and lack of any distinct leadership or single unifying message?
I’m hopeful that The Daily Show will juxtapose this flaming hypocrisy far more artfully in the days to come.
Bonus Feature: A rockin’ version of Fox’s schizophrenia.
Okay, so here’s what I propose… Take a shot every time you hear execrable termagant and furious runt Kathy Shaidle casually tell a blatant LIE during this 7:00 minute interview with addlebrained guest-host Mark Bonokoski (to be fair, his cognitive lapses and frequent misstatements of fact get a pass for our purposes).
Advance Warning: Immediately surrender your car keys to a friend before attempting. Also, do not plan on operating heavy machinery, chain saws, firearms, etc. any time soon.
Challenge: Presuming you’re conscious by the end of the exercise, what was your tally of the number of Shaidle’s falsehoods?
Not sure that anyone gives a toss, but here’s a panel of “experts” TVO rounded up to discuss who “won” and “lost” last night’s leadership debate.
If nothing else, it’s always somewhat fascinating to witness how the impressions of people operating in these kinds of political “spin zones” are affected by their own predispositions and sentiments. Especially so if one doesn’t have a dog in the fight and therefore can presumably view the event with a greater degree of objective detachment.
Shorter version: Blah, blah, blah, blah…
I have to confess to finding these “debates” to be incredibly tiresome affairs. After listening to an hour and a half of dubious promises and contradictory gainsaying by the various leaders, one doesn’t really come away feeling better informed. But maybe that’s just me… Perhaps your impressions of the debate are different.
H/T: Blazingcatfur, who is doing a stellar job these days of posting content on YouTube from Sun News. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I enjoy listening to alternative opinions.
Update: An impressionistic recap of the debate…
Following his speech about American Exceptionalism at the Reagan Presidential Library in California last night, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie answered questions from the audience, most of which (predictably) concerned speculation about him possibly running to the U.S. President in 2012.
Spoiler Alert: The answer was a definitive NO.
Despite Christie being the bête noire of the left, I happen to really like this guy and think he could potentially be an effective president – someday. Presuming, of course, that he doesn’t suffer a cardiac arrest in the meantime!
In many ways Christie reminds me of London mayor Boris Johnson (another figure widely despised by the left) in terms of being a “straight-shooter” – which sounds corny, but is applicable in this case and such a refreshing change from the vast majority of politicians.
Well, here’s something rather unusual… Appearing earlier today on BBC, Alessio Rastani, an independent stock trader, confessed to a stunned interviewer that, like most of his colleagues on Wall Street (or in the City of London), they “don’t really care that much” how world leaders claim they’re going to fix the economy as their job is simply to make money from the situation. Quite to the contrary, Rastani admitted that he’d been dreaming of a market collapse for three years. “I go to bed every night, I dream of another recession,” he said.
As if that bit of candour wasn’t sufficiently amazing, Rastani went on to claim that Goldman Sachs rules the world not governments and that Goldman Sachs “don’t care about this rescue package” (i.e., the proposed plan to leverage the EU’s €440bn bail-out fund to €2 trillion to cope with the impending debt crisis in Italy and Spain) because they know “the market is toast… the stock market is finished.”
Rastani dryly concluded by warning viewers to act quickly because “In less than twelve months, my prediction is, the savings of millions of people are going to vanish.”
Update: Is Rastani a fake or a legitimate asshole? Debate and links about this in the comments.