Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bye Bye All You Socialist Creeps

Bye Bye All You Socialist Creeps
(Sung to the Tune of Don McClean's "American Pie")

A short, short time ago
I can still remember
How the stories used to make me irked
But I knew that if we had our chance
We could change the circumstance
And get our nation back to work.
January made me nauseous
The Republicans were just too cautious
Commies in the West Wing
I couldn’t take one more thing
I can’t remember if I shouted
The day the Socialists were outed
The day America died.
So bye, bye all you Socialist creeps
Drove my Prius
Just to see us
Make that Communist leap
Them good old boys were taking methamphetamine
Singing America has now up and died,
America has gone up and died.
Did you write the book of Marx
With the preface inked by Rosa Parks
Because old Darwin told you so…
Do you believe in pop and rap
Can you hear music in this crap
And can you get me on to Dance with the Stars?
Well I know that you voted for Obama
I saw you hooked on his campaign drama
You both bowled a couple of frames
Man I love those Special Olympic Games
I was a middle age Banker in an SUV
With shoes and jacket by Guc-ci
But I thought that I would never see
The day America died.
I started singin’
Bye, bye all you Socialist creeps
Drove my Prius
Just to see us
Make that Communist leap
Them good ol’ boys was being anything but green
Singin’ America has gone up and died,
Yes, America has gone up and died.
For three months now we’ve been on our own
With the President right outta Rolling Stone
But that’s not how it’s supposed to be,
When the jester named king and consort
In a pair of Leon Trotsky’s shorts
And a voice that came from 1984…
And while the king was reading script
From the teleprompter, sounding hip
The press conference was delayed
By Barney Frank’s babble and spray,
While Leahy read a book on Engle
Gays and lesbians began to mingle
Chris Mathews’ leg began to tingle
The day
America died.
We were singing
Bye, bye all you Socialist creeps
Drove my Prius
Just to see us
Make that Communist leap.
Them gold ol’ boys were planning CIA leaks
Singin’ this’ll be the day America dies
America has gone up and died.
Climate change was all that mattered
And Al Gore just kept getting fatter
8 feet wide and full of gas
The kicker tried for an extra point
While Dems pushed for legal joints
And the jester on the sideline peddling grass
Now the half-time air was thick with smoke
As Obots got their legal tokes
We all got up to leave
But the RINO’s got a reprieve
The soldiers tried to take the field
But the bean-counters refused to yield
Did you recall Obama’s New Deal
The day
American died.
We started singin’
Bye, bye all you Socialist creeps
Drove my Prius
Just to see us
Take that Communist Leap
Them good ol’ boys refused to be beat
Singin’ America ain’t gone up and Died,
No, America ain’t gone up and died.
Oh then Pelosi spent all our dough
A trillion has how many zeroes?
And the O generation will get the check,
Come on, Barack be nimble Barack be quick
Barack just lit the burning wick
And the tea-parties are just where it all begins,
Each time I watch him read his lines
I think what a terrible thing a mind
Is to waste
And we’ve only had 2 months taste
As the debt piles high and outta sight
In a Socialistic pagan rite
I saw George Soros laughing with delight
The day
America died.
He was singin;
Bye, bye all you Socialist creeps
Drove my Prius
Just to see us
Make that Communist leap
Them good ol’ boys are storing gold in their teeth
Singin’ America ain’t gone up and died
No, America ain’t gone up and died.
I met a girl whose shirt said “Vegan”
And asked if she knew Ronald Reagan,
But she just turned and passed some gas.
Then I went down to the Humanist store,
Which replaced the churches from days of yore,
But the sign there hanging said “No mas.”
And in the streets the children chanted
Dear Leader’s name as they recanted
The sins of their lovely capitalist days.
Nothing left for buyin’
The markets all were dyin’
And the three men we admired least
Obama, Biden and that Hillary Beast
Sat down to dine on a royal feast
The day
America died.
We started singin’
Bye, bye all you Socialist creeps
Drove my Prius
Just to see us
Make that Communist leap
Then good ol’ boys are takin’ cover and deep
Saying this won’t be the day that we die,
We won’t let American die.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Donee from Connecticut

Ever more compelling evidence continues to surface that the Obama administration’s formerly cozy relationship with fellow AIG campaign donation beneficiary http://www.newstimes.com/latestnews/ci_11941866 , Chris Dodd (D-Countrywide) was a case of letting the fox write policy for the henhouse. Of course, now Dodd claims to be returning those unseemly donations.
Well what about the income Mrs. Dodd received as a director of IPC, an AIG-controlled, Bermuda based company http://www.newstimes.com/latestnews/ci_11941866 ? Jackie Clegg Dodd received $12,000 per year plus $1,000 per director’s meeting attended and was a prolific attendee, appearing at over 75% of the company’s meetings.
Senator Dodd already has tire tracks on his back from his new position under the Obama bus. Revelations of the Dodd family’s rather intimate connection to the media’s banking & insurance scapegoat can only increase the sour taste left by the The Donee from Connecticut.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Department of Defense Starts Ammo Control

If you need further proof that this current crop of liberal Democrats is the sneakiest we have seen, take a look at the latest Department of Defense position on once-fired brass. This term refers to spent ammunition casings that have historically been collected and sold at a premium to ammunition manufacturers.
The reuse of bullet casings is a thoroughly “green” process, recycling a valuable metal and eliminating the costly and potentially environmentally troublesome process of manufacturing new shell casings for ammunition. It is also economical, with the DOD collecting nearly $2.00 per pound of once-fired casings as opposed to a mere $0.35 per pound for demilled brass scrap http://blogostuff.blogspot.com/2009/03/dla-no-longer-selling-once-fired-brass.html .
So why have the bureaucrats at the Pentagon discontinued the sale of once-fired brass? According to Confederate Yankee http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/284397.php , the DOD directive originated in the Obama administration and appears to be an end-run on the issue of gun-control. It really won’t matter that you have a gun if you can’t get ammunition for it.
Insightful gun-owners continue their long run on guns and ammo purchases in anticipation of anti-2nd amendment activity by the Oh Bambi’s. Sales are reported to have increased by 20% or more with some dealers hanging Obama’s photo in their displays hailed as “Salesman of the Year” http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090208/OPINION03/902080310/1008/OPINION01 .
Additional consequences of this politically correct directive that show no common sense include:
· directly caus(ing) the firing of workers at ammunition factories who cannot get the brass cases they relied upon as a key material
· purposefully undermin(ing) the reloaded ammunition market, and forc(ing) federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to buy top-of-the-line ammunition for training qualification, meaning either departments will have to get by with less training for their officers, or citizens will have to pay even more in taxes. (ibid Conf. Yankee)
I wonder if these eliminated jobs will count as “jobs lost” or simply “jobs not created?” Second Amendment proponents are just beginning to gin up a grass roots campaign to expose the perfidy of the Obambi’s regarding once fired brass. Apparently the B.O. administration failed to poll-test this issue as the best advice available on 2nd Amendment advocates is: “Don’t Tread on These Guys.”

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Teleprompter

With a resume thinner than Joe Biden’s pubic-ly reinforced hairline, it has been demonstrated of late that the reason Barack Obama finally left his last real job was because, like Mortimer Snerd http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAO7ucHerWc , he got too big for the guy’s lap.
Thank God for technology. Now we are regularly entertained by the unholy strains of the politically correct choir providing Obama’s policy pronouncements filtered through David Axelrod’s tinklings on the idiot board. Besides, Barry wouldn’t look quite so sleek and Presidential propped up on Axelrod’s lap.
Obama’s campaign manager has proven to be a brilliant manipulator in the mold of Colonel Tom Parker. When Parker was notified of the death of his most famous client, Elvis Presley, he chillingly stated: “This changes nothing!” http://blocprojects.co.uk/programme/exhibitions/2006/this-changes-nothing-anachron-gen/ At least Axelrod’s success effectively reduced the puling serial losers, Terry McAuliffe and Bob Shrum, to murmuring cameos as tinpot Democrat shills. Tweedledim and Tweedledumb. But the former Chicago newspaperman and Hitler doppelganger couldn’t possibly be the source of all the far-fetched, goofball leftist ideology flowing from the B.O. teleprompter.
Only an old-fashioned urban political Machine getting cash transfusions from mobsters and union goons and ideological support from avid students of Karl Marx http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul_Alinsky could produce a cast of characters capable of providing the panoply of crack-pot Trotsky-isms pouring from the Obama autocue. It’s as though Chicago and our current Presidential administration survive in a time warp belched up from the days of Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethel_and_Julius_Rosenberg during the rise of the American Communist Party in the 1950’s. None of these Obamacons would have escaped the intense scrutiny of Joe McCarthy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army-McCarthy_Hearings and his pair of martinet point men: Bobby Kennedy http://books.google.com/books?id=_QpECR5E7_0C&pg=PA75&lpg=PA75&dq=kennedy+joe+mccarthy&source=bl&ots=HwMuik0wJH&sig=HzYiB-lijMx3-hFu3cQYRFAaWU8&hl=en&ei=ncW_SeCbOMavtwfvqORc&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result and Roy Cohn. And today these two would be liberals.
Like Philip Alden Robinson’s Field of Dreams http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_of_Dreams , Barack Hussein Obama’s Chicago provided the perfect setting to attract the sinister consortium of peace-at-any-price creeps http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2169 , sanctimonious race-baiters http://video.google.com/videosearch?sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4RNWE_enUS308US308&q=reverend+wright&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=ic6_SdjXNKCytweR3eFR&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&resnum=4&ct=title# , union weasels, windmill fetishists, pimps for Gaza http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/10/and-another-one-bites-the-dust-charles-freeman-out/ , alternating warming and cooling alarmists, queer marriage touts, abortion and suicide-assistance mongers, and death-to-the-Western-Alliance hack diplomats necessary to start the pendulum swinging back Reagan-ward. Axelrod built it and here they come. Now if we can get them to come out from behind the teleprompter long enough, we can start swatting them back to their inverted ivory towers mired upside down in the amoral swamps of Chicagoland.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The God Particle-Let There Be Hubris

"We live - as Madonna reminds us - in a material world. What then, we might ask, is the material of the material world made out of?"
Paraphrasing a line from noted metaphysician and quantum cosmologist, Madonna Ciccone http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna_(entertainer) , Christopher Potter takes a whimsical and unserious tact in reporting the progress physicists have made in their search for the so-called “God particle.” Notwithstanding the release of his new book on the subject, Mr. Potter seems particularly excited about the Nobel prizes expected to result from the scientific quest to confirm the standard quantum model of the universe. The fact that the Nobel prize has become a politically correct reward for adherence to a leftist political and quack scientific agenda (see Al Gore-he’s hard to miss) hasn’t dampened Mr. Potter’s enthusiasm for Nobellian accolades or cash.
The author’s conclusions unfortunately hinge upon a number of assumptions to which all readers are not ready to concede. Particularly not this reader.
The God Particle is the colloquial term used to describe the Higgs Boson: In particle physics, the Higgs boson is a massive scalar elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model.
The Higgs boson is the only Standard Model particle that has not yet been observed. Experimental detection of the Higgs boson would help explain how massless elementary particles can have mass. More specifically, the Higgs boson would explain the difference between the massless photon, which mediates electromagnetism, and the massive W and Z bosons, which mediate the weak force. If the Higgs boson exists, it is an integral and pervasive component of the material world. (my italics) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_boson

Now if is a mighty big word: if the queen had balls,for instance, she would be king. Non-materialists would likely posit a different theoretical construct as the source of mediated electromagnetism and the weak force and everything else for that matter: for instance, God.
Thus, the vernacular description of the Higgs boson as the God particle. The term originated in Nobel-prize winning particle physicist Leon Lederman’s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_M._Lederman book: The God Particle: If the Universe is the answer, What is the Question?
Returning to Mr. Potter’s update on the state of the quest for this posited particle, we find the New York Post’s presumptuous headline:
The article reviews the race to discover this elusive boson between two teams of quantum physicists using particle accelerators: the Tevraton in Illinois and the much larger machine known as the Large Hadron Collider located in Geneva.
Pardon my skepticism, but teams of 99th percentile Thomas Dolbys smashing neutrinos into quarks in a glorified Jimmy Neutron particle bowling alley just doesn’t seem likely to yield much useful information about the origin of the universe! Most cultures have texts which are considered sacred and provide equally feasible alternative ideas about the origin.
While the Big-bang theory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang seems plausible enough once a considerable string of assumptions are conceded, it is still a theoretical construct. Mr. Potter appears to be afflicted like the other Dolbys-“She Blinded Me with Science!”
Like so many other rational thinkers and materialists, Potter has unwittingly made what Soren Kierkegaard calls the Leap of Faith:
Kierkegaard's point is that no matter how rigorous your logical system, there will always be gaps. As these gaps are logical gaps, it is futile to try and bridge them. Instead, they can only be breached by a leap of faith. What characterizes a leap of faith is the absolute uncertainty that underlies it. Faith is by definition that which cannot be proven or disproved. http://www.philosophers.co.uk/cafe/phil_sep2001.htm

The rationalist’s faith in the scientific method, and the power of human intellect, allows him to bridge gaps that more spiritually inclined thinkers might consider unbridgeable. The concept of a “God particle” reveals one such gap.
From a more spiritual perspective, one might make the leap to believe that all particles are God particles. From this same perspective, the idea that we are material beings might seem less conceivable than the idea that we are spiritual beings, temporarily enjoying a material experience. One need not have a creationist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creationism bent to be satisfied with the idea that the miracle of our existence and the splendor of this amazing universe might just be beyond explication via the human intellect. Explaining the origin of the universe by parsing the results of particle collisions with human consciousness is akin to measuring the radiation emitted from distant black holes with a ruler: the tool is simply not up to the job.
So when Christopher Potter makes a declarative statement such as: “The story of the universe begins with a Big Bang - a very hot and dense spot of radiation of almost no size that expands rapidly,”
His leap of faith has already been extended. How about starting that sentence with a qualifier, like: “Scientists believe” or “Quantum mechanics suggest?” In the same paragraph Potter goes on to inform us that the initial creation of matter suggested by the BB theory
“ has evolved into all the structures of matter we find in the universe, including observers like ourselves who tell this story.”
So not only is the Big Bang Theory established fact according to Potter, but the fact of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is assumed as easily as NBA players assume Muslim names. I would like to hear Mr. Potter debate Ann Coulter about that:
“This beady-eyed fly-torturer (Darwin) gave us a conclusionary theory that has become a crucial part of how we are programmed to think in nonspiritual terms.”
Evolution, Alchemy, and other “Settled” Scientific Theories, page 106 from If Democrats had any Brains, They’d be Republicans, Ann Coulter
Although Potter’s article is lively and interesting, it remains replete with similar assumptions that suggest that modern science has nearly all the answers and that we are running out of questions:
Particle accelerators recreate the conditions of the universe as it was close to the Big Bang.
Is this according to eye-witness accounts?
The Higgs boson tells us how light became stuff.
And then God said “Let there be Stuff.” But here is Potter’s clincher:
The story of science as we understand it today can now trace our descent - and the descent of all things - back to the origins of the universe. Surely that makes science the greatest story ever told.
It seems unlikely Potter selected this turn of phrase in a vacuum. I seem to recall a 1965 movie of the same name http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greatest_Story_Ever_Told that was about Jesus of Nazareth.
I just don’t recall the men in lab coats with pocket protectors.
I am not carrying a brief for the creationists here, just the need to admit the assumptions that underlie our various leaps of faith. I believe Ken Wilber, in A Brief History of Everything, gets it right:
“Calculations done by scientists from Fred Hoyle to F.B. Salisbury consistently show that twelve billion years isn’t even enough to produce a single enzyme by chance. In other words, something other than chance is pushing the universe…..chance is what the universe is laboring mightily to overcome…. Creativity, not chance, builds a universe. But it does not follow that you can then equate creativity with your own favorite and particular God…..I prefer “Emptiness” as a term for Spirit because it means unbounded or unquantifiable.”
“The Pattern that Connects” page 25, from A Brief History of Everything, Ken Wilber
Nothing like 12 billion year-long, nearly infinite parade of “light and stuff” to provide a sense of our small and simple place in this universe. Unless you are one of the Potterish guys who’s got it all figured out.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Real Compassion

"Real compassion kicks butt and takes names, and it is not pleasant on certain days. If you are not ready for this fire, then find a new-age, sweetness-and-light, soft-speaking, perpetually smiling teacher, and learn to relabel your ego with spiritual-sounding terms. But stay away from those who practice real compassion, because they will fry your ass, my friend. What most people mean by "compassion" is: please be nice to my ego. Well your ego is your own worst enemy, and anybody being nice to it is not being compassionate to you."
One Taste, page 93, Ken Wilber

Friday, March 6, 2009

IRS Pension Plan Form Fun

This article originally appeared at The American Thinker on March 1, 2009

My brother-in-law manages his own pension-funding company, helping small to middling businessmen to develop and maintain retirement programs for themselves and their employees. Needless to say, it has not been a banner year for pension-funders or their clients. But of course the appropriate forms must be completed and filed with the IRS.
In the course of completing IRS Form 5500 Schedule I question 4f regarding his company pension plan, a wry client was faced with the following question:
"Did the plan have a loss, whether or not reimbursed by the plan's fidelity bond that was caused by fraud or dishonesty?"
The client circled "Yes" but these yes-or-no questions on the government tax form require an explanation if the answer is yes. In the space provided for explanation the client had cryptically printed:
"Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer."
Hat tip: Ed Ferguson

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Are Jewish Americans Ready to Bail on Barack?

Contrary to the experience of other ethnic groups such as the Irish and Italians, the ascent of Jews up the economic and social ladder has not been accompanied by a political move to the right. As Milton Himmelfarb noted some three decades ago, Jews earn money like Episcopalians but vote like Puerto Ricans. http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9812/reviews/shapiro.html
Finally, we detect a tepid ripple from Jewish leaders in response to the Obama administration’s clear diminution of American support for Israel. Not surprisingly that indignation is directed at Hillary Clinton who is rapidly becoming the lightning rod for Jewish displeasure with the Obama administration’s Hamas-ward lurch:
Hillary had Mrs. Arafat here and she invited Mrs. Arafat for lunch when she was the first lady," (said) Babak Chafe of Great Neck. "She is pro-Palestinian 100 percent, really. Of course, we always knew it."

This belated indignation belies the fact of overwhelming Jewish support for her boss, Barack Obama, as a Presidential candidate, despite significant evidence of his similar predilection for the Palestinian cause.
Just what did American Jews expect from a Democrat administration with friends and advisers like Rashid Khalidi, http://therealbarackobama.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/obama-and-pro-palestinian-supporter-rashid-khalidi/, Anthony Lake, Susan Rice, Zbigniew Bzrezinski and Robert O. Malley? According to Sammy Benoit, editor at Yid with Lid :
“Obama has assembled a veritable all-star team of Israel haters as his chief foreign policy experts.” http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com/2008/01/obamas-scary-anti-israel-advisors.html

One has to admire Obama’s adroit deployment of Hillary as a sort of human-shield against the onset of Jewish vitriol. Meanwhile his lower profile pro-Palestinian policy wonks can proceed to effectively dismantle the American-Israeli alliance.
The question remains: why weren’t these leaders of the Jewish-American community sounding the alarm while Obama was peddling Hope & minimizing attention to his intended Israeli Policy Change? Fully 78% of Jewish voters supported Barack Obama in November 2008: does this mean that 78% of American Jews are indifferent to the continued existence of the nation of Israel?
In his book, Jews Against Prejudice, American Jews and the Fight for Civil Liberties, Stuart Svonkin suggests that American Jews continue to consider themselves primarily as likely victims of oppression, even today in America. Perhaps this self-image renders any identification with the Israeli nation as a secondary consideration:
American Jews, despite their remarkable social and economic ascent (before and after) the Great Depression, continued to see themselves as victims threatened by malevolent forces, whether these emanated from town hall, the military, the White House, or the corporate boardroom. As a result, they identified their interests with other oppressed groups such as blacks, the working class, and the falsely accused.
The focus of Jewish political organizations exacerbated this perception:
Jews Against Prejudice chronicles the activities of the three major national Jewish "defense" organizations: the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, and the American Jewish Congress. After World War II, they refocused their work from the defense of purely Jewish interests to a broader assault on all forms of prejudice. They now argued that anti-Semitism was not unique but part of a broad phenomenon involving bigotry and authoritarianism, and that the fate of America’s Jews was inextricably tied to that of other minority groups, particularly blacks.
World history since WWII however, suggests that anti-Semitism, is, in fact, unique in both its power and scope. There is no doubt that Anti-Semitism is embedded deep in the theological underpinnings of the Muslim religion. The celebrated “Islamic Personality of the Year for 2006,” Abdul Rahman Ibn Abdul Aziz as-Sudais an-Najdi(Hanbali, lead imam at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, for instance:
has been decried as an anti-Semite for publicly praying to God to ‘terminate’ the Jews,[6] and as a result has been barred from conferences in America,[6] and been refused entry to Canada.[7]
On April 19, 2002, in his sermon Al-Aqsa Is Crying Out For Help! Al-Sudais called the Jews "monkeys and pigs" among other invective.[8]
Al-Sudais has been listed as an example of theological anti-Semitism by the Anti-Defamation League, when he called curses down upon Jews and labeled them “scum of the earth” in his sermons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Rahman_Al-Sudais
While the deep-rooted animus of Europeans toward the Jews was seemingly stifled after WWII, the passage of time combined with the influx of Muslim immigrants into European societies has allowed the open hatred of Jews to become resurgent. Manfred Gerstenfeld, among others, has suggested that anti-Semitism is “integral to European culture.” http://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas-19.htm In fact the increasingly radical left-wing, quasi-socialist governments of Europe have linked arms with Muslim nations to effectively institutionalize anti-Semitism at the United Nations, the Red Cross and Amnesty International among other examples of multi-national organizations whose policies drip with the poison of anti-Semitism.
It’s obvious that American Jews have been unduly complacent, living in the great freedom-loving melting-pot of the United States, where anti-Semitism has truly been limited. Only in the last 12 months have we begun to see demonstrations of anti-Semitism in public, especially in New York and San Francisco http://zombietime.com/gaza_war_protest. While American Jews have chosen to throw in their lot with blacks, the ACLU, and other minorities, the nation of Israel continues to face an escalating series of existential threats on a near daily basis.
Hopefully this stirring of anti-Hillary sentiment in the American Jewish community is an indication that Jews now recognize that the support they have provided for American blacks throughout the Civil Rights movement, is hardly reciprocated. Recall Jesse Jackson’s Hymietown rant http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/frenzy/jackson.htm , Louis Farrakhan’s long history of anti-Semitism http://www.adl.org/special_reports/farrakhan_own_words2/farrakhan_own_words.asp ,and Barack Obama’s serial associations with anti-Semites like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnI431s1r6s , the afore-mentioned Khalidi http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/5917 , and a litany of other anti-Israeli Democrats http://conservativecolloquium.wordpress.com/2008/02/28/barack-obama-israel-and-anti-semitism/.
The Democrat party in general, and American blacks in particular, appear ready to stow support for Israel beneath that bus carrying all the baggage for the Obama administration and to a lesser extent, the Clintons. Is the American Jewish community finally signaling that it is no longer reluctant to stand up for its family in Israel, even if that means breaking up the old Civil Rights alliances?