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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Another update on the Six Burned Iraqis and "Captain Hussein".

From Flopping Aces:

This latest dustup over Capt. Jamil Hussein and the Burning Six story just illustrates the need for the American public to be aware of this propaganda. We now know the AP, and have for sometime, is printing what these propagandists say and passing them off as facts when most or all of the stories cannot be corroberated.

Newt Gingrich: Re-Thinking Free Speech

From the Corner at NR:

Newt & the First Amendment [Andy McCarthy]

Captain Ed offers an uncharacteristically overwrought analysis of Newt Gingrich’s sensible argument that the current threat – jihadists plotting mass-murder in a world where weapons of mass destruction are increasingly accessible – requires a rethinking of First Amendment principles.

The Speaker is right, and the fact that he is treading on this third rail is further indication that he will be formidable as a presidential candidate. Plainly, he understands that the modern threat environment requires going back to first constitutional principles rather than simply accepting the law as sculpted by the Warren Court.

As Judge Bork has often pointed out, as late as the 1942 case of Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, the Supreme Court unanimously decreed:

There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem. These include the lewd, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or “fighting” words—those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. [emphasis added]

The contention that speech inciting violence and lawlessness cannot be regulated is a legacy not of the Constitution but of the Warren Court, which held in Brandenberg v. Ohio (1969) that government could not proscribe advocacy of the use of force (or of other violations of law) “except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action” (emphasis added). There is no reason why the current Supreme Court could not reconsider whether Brandenberg is faithful to the original understanding of the First Amendment.

But even if – for argument’s sake – we concede that it is, what was “imminent” in the 1960s was far different from what is imminent with today’s technology. What seemed “likely” before the World Trade Center was built is not the same as what is “likely” now that the World Trade Center no longer exists.

Captain Ed says, “The remedy for bad speech is more speech.” This, effectively, is the Holmesian “marketplace of ideas” trope that is just an excuse for not thinking. If someone’s bad speech is a fatwa that sets a WMD attack in motion, my ability to speak out against the fatwa will be cold comfort to the dead. The First Amendment does not countenance commands to murder, and Speaker Gingrich is entirely correct to challenge us to think through these principles.

McCain/Feingold says the political speech that was the core of the original First Amendment protection can be regulated. Are you really telling me that we can stop someone from speaking out on behalf of a candidate for public office but we have to allow jihadists to call for mass murder? I don’t think so.

Here's how the story was first reported. According to The Sun, Gingrich also said this:

"We should propose a Geneva Convention for fighting terrorism, which makes very clear that those who would fight outside the rules of law, those who would use weapons of mass destruction, and those who would target civilians are, in fact, subject to a totally different set of rules that allow us to protect civilization by defeating barbarism before it gains so much strength that it is truly horrendous," he said.

I could not agree more.

And for a complete version of Newt's speech, click HERE


The November 29, 2006 column:

The six imams removed from a US Airways flight last week have apparently adopted my suggestion that if they really want to protest the airline, instead of boycotting US Airways, they should start flying it frequently.

The spokesman for the imams — or as I believe it's phrased in their culture, "designated liar" — Omar Shahin, staged a protest at Reagan Washington National Airport on Monday, after which, according to The Associated Press, "he and other religious leaders boarded a US Airways flight to demonstrate their determination to continue praying and flying."

The original six imams removed from the flight last week first attracted attention when they said prayers to Allah on traditional Muslim prayer rugs in the boarding area. After boarding, they changed seats, spreading themselves throughout the plane. They were also overheard spouting anti-American rhetoric. Witnesses said the six men appeared to be either Islamic fanatics or U.S. Army chaplains on leave from Guantanamo.

Following the lead of FEMA in keeping Americans safe, the Homeland Security Department's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is investigating the removal of the imams from the US Airways flight. (Talk about coincidences — I'm currently investigating the removal of the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties from the Department of Homeland Security!)

Imam spokesman Shahin is a great example of why airport security ought to be profiling Arabs. Shahin's predecessor at the Islamic Center in Tucson was Osama bin Laden's financier and head of logistics — until he was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2002.

Instead of aggressively distinguishing himself from his terrorist predecessor, judging by news reports, Shahin spent the five years after 9/11 denying that Muslims were behind the attacks and complaining of phony anti-Islamic "hate crimes" — as opposed to the pro-Islamic hate crimes he presumably endorses.

In 2003, for example, Shahin alleged that a woman in Arizona had thrown shoes at children at the mosque.

This is the most transparent hoax I've heard since, "If I did it, here's how I would have done it." This is like the joke about a speaker at an American communist rally opening with: "Workers and peasants of Brooklyn!" Shahin has so little insight into this country, he can't even invent a believable hate crime.

It's Arabs who have a thing about shoes being a sign of disrespect, not Americans. When Iraqis toppled the statue of Saddam Hussein, the crowd immediately pelted it with shoes. Saddam installed a mosaic of the first president Bush's face on the ground floor of his palace so that visitors would be forced to disrespect Bush by walking on his visage in their shoes.

Shahin himself couldn't get away from this pan-Arabic shoe fetish, adding: "The incidents of Muslims being attacked kind of shocked me in my shoes." Note to imams trying to fabricate hate crimes against Muslims: Americans don't share your shoe neurosis.

At Reagan National this week, Rabbis joined the Muslims at the prayer protest — though one imagines they did not share this prayer from the Hadith: "And the Jews will hide behind the rock and tree, and the rock and tree will say: 'O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!'" In fairness, they usually save that one for the high holidays, like the "Festival of the Six Dead Jews" or "Honor Killing Week."

Nor this one, also from the Hadith: "The Prophet said: 'The Hour will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Muslims kill them. The Muslims will kill the Jews. Rejoice! Rejoice in Allah's victory!'" (Is it just me, or might some fanatic twist those words into an excuse to kill Jews?)

Also strange was that the NAACP has piped in to complain about racial profiling of Muslims. The only reason Americans feel guilty about "racial profiling" against blacks is because of the history of discrimination against blacks in this country.

What did we do to the Arabs? I believe Americans are the victims in that relationship. After the attacks of 9/11, profiling Muslims is more like profiling the Klan.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Evolution of a Myth: "Six Iraqi Men Burned"

Here is how the wire services can take a lie and turn it into something the “everybody knows.”

The AP appears to have been using a fictional character to report fictional events. When called on it, they adamantly “stand by their story.”

Mary Katherine Ham shows how it’s done.

It’s chilling.

For more on the story see my previous posts HERE, HERE, HERE.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cheerleading for the Terrorists

The media, in all of its glory, wholeheartedly participating in the celebration of a new weapon designed to kill Jews...

For those of you who might be new to Snapped Shot, this is not the first time that the press has coddled up to terrorist "press conferences." Just close your eyes for a second and see if you can picture the media showing up to a press conference organized by the Klu Klux Klan, and reporting on the Klan as glowingly as they do these murderous scum. After seeing photos like these, that picture really isn't all that hard for me to picture any longer. How about you?

Click on the link for the pictures...

Day by Day

Willful Suspension of Disbelief

And from Protein Wisdom on the AP's Captain Hussein:

From Curt at Flopping Aces comes the news many of us quietly expected: Centcom has confirmed that Capt. Jamil Hussein, the primary source for the recent kerosene mosque murder reports—and for a whole host of reports of Shia massacres recounted by the AP—is neither an employee of Iraq’s Ministry of Interior nor is he a police captain.

In short, the AP has been relying on a bogus source for much of its reporting on Shia violence against Sunnis since at least April.

For those who continue to suggest that the mainstream press has a negligible impact on elections, consider that the majority of Americans who bothered to pay any attention whatsoever to this story will be left with an account of horrific sectarian violence against women and children—and the belief that sectarian strife in Iraq is not only inexorable and savage, but pandemic.

Bombshell: Centcom says AP’s Iraqi police source isn’t Iraqi police; Update: Fake cop linked to AP reporter?

Update: See-Dubya wants to know (a) who is Qais al-Bashir and (b) why is his byline on (almost) every AP story that quotes phony police captain Jamil Hussein?

Not All the News From Iraq Is Fake ... Just Some. The Question is: Which Part?

We are all familiar with atrocity stories out of Iraq, so when the next one comes along about, say six men being doused with gasoline and set afire, we agree that it’s all part of the rapidly deteriorating situation in Iraq. The faster we get out of this hellhole the better, right?

Well suppose some of the atrocities did not happen. Suppose part of the stories coming out of Iraq are fabrications created by … oh, I don’t know … maybe people who want us to think that the situation is totally out of control. Who want us to think that Arabs are animals focused on killing each other and us. Suppose some of the “reports” come from people who don’t really exist; people whose name and titles are fictions.

But surely a reputable organization like the aP would not do such a thing? Surely they would check on a report by of six people being burned to death.

Well, let’s find out:

Doing a search via Google I began reading the stories printed about the burned six and each and every one had one thing in common. The only person stating that this incident happened was one Capt. Jamil Hussein. Every news report printed this man as the source of the information.

But who is Jamil Hussein? In fact, is there a Jamil Hussein? Read on…

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Is there a Civil War in Iraq

Patterico has a blog posting that relates to this. But the best discussion I have seen so far is found at Prospect.

Read the whole thing. Excerpt:

What is civil war? The question is often raised about the disorders in Iraq. Does the violence between Iraqi religious and political factions amount to civil war, or is it best described another way? The US-led coalition's spokesmen, echoing the views of the White House and Downing Street, refuse to call the disorders civil war. Presumably they believe that to do so would be to admit defeat in their project to set up a stable, legitimate new Iraq.

To assess the situation in Iraq, it is helpful to understand how a civil war differs from an inter-state, cross-border war. There are three principal defining aspects of a civil war, each with numerous subsidiary requirements. The basic formula is simple: the violence must be "civil," it must be "war," and its aim must be either the exercise or the acquisition of national authority.

The "civil" part of the definition means the struggle must be conducted within a national territory, and that it must be carried on largely by the people of that territory, fighting between themselves. It must also involve a significant degree of popular participation.

A civil war also has to be a war—what the dictionary calls a "hostile contention by means of armed forces." Does this definition require formal battles and campaigns? Or does factional or regional struggle suffice? For us the baseline is a minimum degree of organisation, formality and identifiability of the combatants. The battles do not have to be organised, in other words, but the people do. A civil war requires leaders who say what they are fighting for and why, and a public that understands what it is all about—the divisions, the people and the goals.

The third principal condition, authority, is just as important. The point of the violence must be sovereign rule: combatants must be trying either to seize national power or to maintain it. This is the difference between, for example, the Russian civil war and the tribal rebellions now taking place in 14 of India's 28 states, or the late 1990s insurgency of Subcomandante Marcos in Mexico. Revenge, struggles for rights, mass criminality and positioning for economic gain are not sufficient, individually or severally. The opponents must be fighting to rule.

To call something a “civil war” simply because there is a high level of violence is lazy thinking. Is the genocide in Darfur a “civil war?” There is certainly a high level of violence but no one seems to call the violence in Darfur anything but “genocide.”

The Russian invasion of Afghanistan and the tribal fighting there was not a civil war even though some Afghans sided with the Russians and fought other Afghanis.

An important feature of the conflict in Iraq is the lack of public rhetoric against the enemy by popular leaders. All of Iraq's leaders call constantly for unity, tolerance and an end to the violence. This was far from the case with Lenin, Franco, Cromwell or even Lincoln. To the extent that Iraq's violence involves separatist and regional tendencies, the lack of any public aspect to the factional desires extends to an absence of explicit territorial ambitions. (The Kurds do not feature much in Iraq's civil war scenario. They are essentially separate from the Arab Iraqi state, and should they move to formalise this status, no Arab Iraqi player will be strong enough to stop them.)

Could Iraq be the first civil war ever without battles, generals, explicit war aims, the use of partisan public rhetoric by civilian leaders, mass public participation and targets of a predominantly military nature? Even if Iraq today possessed these characteristics, it would still lack something even more important: the struggle for authority. In Iraq, the state actors are fighting for authority. But the others are not, which is probably why we do not hear from them. The Shia militias are the armed wings of the two biggest parties in parliament, and their people own the top ministries. Neither Badr nor the al-Sadr movement is big enough or strong enough to own the state itself. They balance each other while the Sunnis, whose violent actors are far smaller, provide the final guarantee against a full grab for power by either. It is no coincidence that the only player, apart from the state, that acknowledges war aims is the only player whose war aims constitute the traditional aspiration of exclusive control: the religious element of the Sunni insurgency. The aspiration to a new Baghdad caliphate frees the Wahhabis and Salafists from the pragmatic calculations of al-Sadr or the Baathists, and lets them dream of control, and talk about it on their websites.

Objectively, it must be concluded that the disorders in Iraq do not constitute a civil war but are nearer to a politico-military struggle for power. Such struggles in Muslim countries defy resolution because Islam is irreconcilably divided over the issue of the succession to Muhammad. It might be said that Islam is in a permanent state of civil war (at least where there is a significant minority of the opposing sect) and that authority in Muslim lands can be sustained only by repression if the state takes on a religious cast, since neither Shia nor Sunni communities can concede legitimacy to their opponents.

This is funny!

Peter Marshall: Paul, can you get an elephant drunk?
Paul Lynde: Yes, but he still won't go up to your apartment.

Peter Marshall: According to Cosmo, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think he's really attractive, is it okay to come out directly and ask him if he's married?
Rose Marie: No, wait until morning.

Peter Marshall: Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.

Peter Marshall: In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say "I love you"?
Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.

Peter Marshall: Prometheus was tied to the top of a mountain by the gods because he had given something to man. What did he give us?
Paul Lynde: I don't know what you got, but I got a sports shirt.

Peter Marshall: What are "Do It", "I Can Help" and "Can't Get Enough"?
George Goebel: I don't know but it's coming from the next apartment.

Peter Marshall: As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while you are talking?
Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing older question, Peter...and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget!

Peter Marshall: According to Zsa Zsa, does black look sexy on a woman?
Redd Foxx: I wouldn't have it any other way...

Peter Marshall: What are "dual purpose" cattle good for that other cattle aren't?
Paul Lynde: They give milk and cookies... but I don't recommend the cookies!

Peter Marshall: If you find someone lying unconscious in the street, should you do anything?
George Goebel: I'd probably crawl around him I guess.

Peter Marshall: Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Peter Marshall: Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during your first year?
Charley Weaver: Of course not, Peter. I'm too busy growing strawberries!

Peter Marshall: In bowling, what's a perfect score?
Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.

Peter Marshall: Eddie, according to the Institute of Motivational Research, a wife should be beware if another woman takes an interest in a certain item of her husband's clothing. What item?
Ed Asner: Well, shorts immediately springs to my mind...

Peter Marshall: It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics. What is the other?
Paul Lynde: Tape measures.

Peter Marshall: True or false...a pea can last as long as 5,000 years.
George Goebel: Boy it sure seems that way sometimes...

Peter Marshall: Is there a weight limit for bags on airline flights in this country?
Charley Weaver: If she can fit under the seat, she can fly.

Peter Marshall: During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet?
Rose Marie: Unfortunately, Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.

Peter Marshall: Can boys join the camp fire girls?
Marty Allen: Only after lights out.

Peter Marshall: When you pat a dog on its head he will usually wag his tail. What will a goose do?
Paul Lynde: Make him bark.

Peter Marshall: True or false, George...experts say there are only seven or eight things in the world dumber than an ant.
George Goebel: Yes, and I think I voted for six of 'em.

Peter Marshall: If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?
Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.

Peter Marshall: According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?
Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army!

Peter Marshall: Is it possible for the puppies in a litter to have more than one daddy?
Paul Lynde: Why, that bitch!

Peter Marshall: It is the most abused and neglected part of your body-what is it?
Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused but it certainly isn't neglected!

Peter Marshall: Charley, what do you call a pig that weighs more than 150 pounds?
Charley Weaver: A divorcee.

Peter Marshall: Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
George Goebel: Get it in his mouth.

Peter Marshall: According to Movie Life magazine, Ann-Margret would like to start having babies soon, but her husband wants her to wait a while. Why?
Paul Lynde: He's out of town.

Peter Marshall: Dennis Weaver, Debbie Reynolds, and Shelley Winters star in the movie "What's The Matter With Helen?" Who plays Helen?
Charley Weaver: Dennis Weaver - that's why they asked the question.

Peter Marshall: Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?
Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?

Peter Marshall: When a couple have a baby, who is responsible for its sex?
Charley Weaver: I'll lend him the car. The rest is up to him.

Peter Marshall: James Stewart did it over twenty years ago when he was forty-one years old. Now he says it was "one of the best things I ever did." What was it?
Marty Allen: Rhonda Fleming.

Peter Marshall: Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they?
Charley Weaver: His feet.

Peter Marshall: If you're going to make a parachute jump, you should be at least how high?
Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.

Peter Marshall: Do female frogs croak?
Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water.

Peter Marshall: You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?
Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.

Peter Marshall: Your baby has a certain object which he loves to cling to. Should you try to break him of his habit?
Joan Rivers: Yes. It's daddy's turn.

Gloria Allred and Legal Extortion

From Captain's Quarters:

Gloria Allred has threatened Michael Richards with a lawsuit unless he came through with an apology and some cash.

Perhaps I missed this in the never-ending press coverage that accompanies the legal profession, but when did extortion become legal? Allred has publicly threatened Richards, telling him to bring his checkbook or she will file a lawsuit against him. For all intents and purposes, this is extortion, and Allred should be facing an ethics investigation for her bald-faced threats.

Is there anything, anything, that lawyers are not allowed to do that ordinary mortals would be put in jail for?

A tense time for a papal visit: Turkey and Islamofascism.

An excellent review of the power of Islam in Turkey and the persecutionof Christians in that "secular" nation.

To reach Turkey's most important Roman Catholic church, a visitor must scour a traffic-choked street to find the metal doors, walk down a flight of stairs, cross a courtyard and finally step into the consecrated basilica.
Inside the Holy Spirit Cathedral here, the lights remain low until a minute before evening Mass, and then reveal frescoed ceilings with gold-trimmed arches, 22 crystal chandeliers and blond-marble columns. On this night, 14 worshipers dot the pews.

In the Turkish capital, Ankara, the only Catholic church is even more discreet: It is marked simply by a French flag.

Why do they have to cower and hide in modern, forward-looking, European, secular Turkey?

When Pope Benedict XVI travels to Turkey next week, he will be making his first trip to a predominantly Muslim country at a moment of diplomatic fragility.
He also will be traversing some of the most ancient and revered milestones of Christianity, in a land where Christianity is disappearing and where non-Muslim minorities complain of systemic discrimination, harassment and violence against them.

Mood Indian; Dartmouth and Indians as a Political Correctness Runs Amuck

A "must read" from Powerline as Dartmouth, ever in the running for the title of Political Correctness Champs carries off the title.

Certainly the highlight of this installment of Dartmouth's Indian wars is athletic director Josie Harper's apology for the inclusion of the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux in the upcoming hockey tournament at Dartmouth, and for all other travails ever suffered by Native Americans at Dartmouth. Ms. Harper seems to have been inspired by the apologies offered by Bill Clinton in days of old, for offenses he had not committed to those who had not suffered them. Thus spake Josie on behalf of the Pussycats in her letter to the editor of the student newspaper on Tuesday:

I am writing to strongly denounce the historical and recent affronts to the Native American community at Dartmouth and to offer the support of the athletics department in playing a leading role to combat racial, ethnic and sexist ignorance and intolerance on our campus.

At the same time, I must offer a sincere apology to the Native American community, and the Dartmouth community as a whole, for an event that will understandably offend and hurt people within our community. In late December, we will host a men's ice hockey tournament that includes the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux. UND is one of 14 colleges or universities that continue to maintain a Native American name and image to represent their athletic teams.

Let me state clearly that UND's position is offensive and wrong. When we scheduled UND nearly two years ago to participate in our tournament, we did so without considering their team's nickname and symbol. Perhaps we should have, but I deeply regret that we didn't.

On Friday, as I was traveling on College business, a member of my staff met with the Native American Council to discuss our hockey tournament and to offer our apology for the pain that it will cause. In the days and weeks ahead, I will develop a specific and continuing plan to address issues of respect and tolerance within the athletic department as well as considering a policy for scheduling athletic contests against institutions that support offensive nicknames and symbols.

Ann Coulter on the Six Imams

by Ann Coulter
November 22, 2006

Six imams removed from a US Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix are calling on Muslims to boycott the airline. If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether.

Witnesses said the imams stood to do their evening prayers in the terminal before boarding, chanting "Allah, Allah, Allah" — coincidentally, the last words heard by hundreds of airline passengers on 9/11 before they died.

Witnesses also said that the imams were talking about Saddam Hussein, and denouncing America and the war in Iraq. About the only scary preflight ritual the imams didn't perform was the signing of last wills and testaments.

After boarding, the imams did not sit together and some asked for seat belt extensions, although none were morbidly obese. Three of the men had one-way tickets and no checked baggage.

Also they were Muslims.

The idea that a Muslim boycott against US Airways would hurt the airline proves that Arabs are utterly tone-deaf. This is roughly the equivalent of Cindy Sheehan taking a vow of silence. How can we hope to deal with people with no sense of irony? The next thing you know, New York City cab drivers will be threatening to bathe.

Come to think of it, the whole affair may have been a madcap advertising scheme cooked up by US Airways.

It worked with me. US Airways is my official airline now. Northwest, which eventually flew the Allah-spouting Muslims to their destinations, is off my list. You want to really hurt a U.S. air carrier's business? Have Muslims announce that it's their favorite airline.

The clerics had been attending an imam conference in Minneapolis (imam conference slogan: "What Happens in Minneapolis — Actually, Nothing Happened in Minneapolis"). But instead of investigating the conference, the government is now investigating my favorite airline.

What threat could Muslims flying from Minnesota to Arizona be?

Three of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 received their flight training in Arizona. Long before the attacks, an FBI agent in Phoenix found it curious that so many Arabs were enrolled in flight school. But the FBI rebuffed his request for an investigation on the grounds that his suspicions were based on the same invidious racial profiling that has brought US Airways under investigation and into my good graces.

Lynne Stewart's client, the Blind Sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman, is serving life in prison in a maximum security lock-up in Minnesota. One of the six imams removed from the US Airways plane was blind, so Lynne Stewart was the one missing clue that would have sent all the passengers screaming from the plane.

Wholly apart from the issue of terrorism, don't we have a seller's market for new immigrants? How does a blind Muslim get to the top of the visa list? Is there a shortage of blind, fanatical clerics in this country that I haven't noticed? Couldn't we get some Burmese with leprosy instead? A 4-year-old could do a better job choosing visa applicants than the U.S. Department of Immigration.

One of the stunt-imams in US Airways' advertising scheme, Omar Shahin, complained about being removed from the plane, saying: "Six scholars in handcuffs. It's terrible."

Yes, especially when there was a whole conference of them! Six out of 150 is called "poor law enforcement." How did the other 144 "scholars" get off so easy?

Shahin's own "scholarship" consisted of continuing to deny Muslims were behind 9/11 nearly two months after the attacks. On Nov. 4, 2001, The Arizona Republic cited Shahin's "skepticism that Muslims or bin Laden carried out attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon." Shahin complained that the government was "focusing on the Arabs, the Muslims. And all the evidence shows that the Muslims are not involved in this terrorist act."

In case your memory of that time is hazy, within three days of the attack, the Justice Department had released the names of all 19 hijackers — names like Majed Moqed, Ahmed Alghamdi, Mohand Alshehri, Ahmed Ibrahim A. Al Haznawi and Ahmed Alnami. The government had excluded all but 19 passengers as possible hijackers based on extensive interviews with friends and family of nearly every passenger on all four flights. Some of the hijackers' seat numbers had been called in by flight attendants on the planes.

By early October, bin Laden had produced a videotape claiming credit for the attacks. And by Nov. 4, 2001, The New York Times had run well over 100 articles on the connections between bin Laden and the hijackers — even more detailed and sinister than the Times' flowcharts on neoconservatives!

Also, if I remember correctly, al-Qaida had taken out full-page ads in Variety and the Hollywood Reporter thanking their agents for the attacks.

But now, on the eve of the busiest travel day in America, these "scholars" have ginned up America's PC victim machinery to intimidate airlines and passengers from noticing six imams chanting "Allah" before boarding a commercial jet.

Remarks by the Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff at the Federalist Society's Annual Lawyers Convention

Chertoff addresses International Law and how it affects the US and other coutries:

In 2004, the International Court of Justice waded into a thicket that is probably one of the most difficult of all in the area of international relations, and that has to do with Israel and its activities in the West Bank of the Jordan River. There, in a case entitled Legal Consequences of Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the ICJ issued a very broad advisory opinion concluding that the construction of a wall that was specifically designed to keep suicide bombers out of Israel, where they were blowing up people on a regular basis, violated international law, had to be dismantled, and reparations had to be made because the wall was put up.

Part of that reasoning process was the ICJ concluding that Israel could not use the threat of terrorist attacks emanating for the Palestinian territories to justify the wall because the attacks were not attributed to a state. In other words, using what I would consider a very hyper-technical reading, the court was relatively dismissive of what most of us would regard as a very compelling, fundamental attribute of state sovereignty -- the right to protect your citizens from being killed by people coming in from outside.

And I think this sequence of decisions shows an increasing tendency to look to rather generally described and often ambiguous "universal norms" to trump domestic prerogatives that are very much at the core of what it means to live up to your responsibility as a sovereign state. Now who interprets these laws? Of course, to the extent we're dealing with the text of treaties, if this country is party to a treaty we have consented to it -- if it's been ratified by the Senate -- and it's fair that we live up to the letter of the agreement we have signed.

But often the letter of the agreement is not what controls; it is, in fact, what we have not agreed to that people seek to impose upon us. And of course this begins with the judges and justices of various international courts, not, of course, appointed by or ratified by our legal -- our political process, that looks to customary international law, that is often considered to be described by what they say are the opinions of international law experts. That basically means professors.

Friday, November 24, 2006

From Rummy to Gates

By R. Emmett Tyrrell who has know Gates for 20 years.

I have known Mr. Gates for almost two decades and I can tell you whose guy Mr. Gates was originally. It must have been sometime in 1985 when my friend, Director of Central Intelligence Bill Casey, had me to lunch at his office and introduced me to someone he thought very highly of, a protege of his, Bob Gates. Bill always had proteges, but Mr. Gates was one of his favorites. Bill recognized that Mr. Gates was intelligent, principled, and understood the Soviet Union. In fact, Mr. Gates had done graduate work in the same department as I had, Indiana University's Department of History, under a distinguished Soviet specialist who became a mentor to me and to the American Spectator's Editorial Director Wladyslaw Pleszczynski.

From that point on, I watched Mr. Gates with especial interest and dined with him from time to time. Anyone who thinks Mr. Gates lacks grit or an independent mind is mistaken. He was clear-headed on the Soviets and will be clear-headed on the Islamofascists.

Assassination: So cool, it's the new black! And a Bizarre Response from Someone at The European Court of Justice

So, the KGB has successfully whacked a Putin critic in Great Britain. I'm sorry, the KGB has allegedly successfully whacked a Putin critic in Great Britain. This comes after about two years after they allegedly nearly successfully poisoned Yushchenko in Ukraine, in an attempt to whack the leader of the Orange Revolution.
The Syrians successfully whacked... whoops, there I go again. The Syrians allegedly successfully whacked a critic in the Lebanese cabinet, less than two years after they allegedly successfully whacked the Lebanese Prime Minister. (I expect any minute now to hear the news that Bashir Assad signed a deal with News Corp. for a book entitled, "I Didn't Order Hariri Assassinated, But Hypothetically If I Did, Here's How It Went Down.")

Saddam Hussein got the death penalty in a two-year-and-change trial that the organization Human Rights Watch has deemed "fundamentally unfair" and "unsound." I suppose we may have the wrong Iraqi dictator; perhaps it was some other Saddam Hussein who slaughtered all those people.


UPDATE: So not long after this initial post, I got quite the response from a reader in Europe:

There is no such thing as the KGB, so such an organization could not "whack", or even "allegedly whack" anyone, whether in London or elsewhere.

Semantics. The Russian secret police and spy network can change the letterhead, but they’re the same bunch of cold-hearted SOBs. If it bothers you so much, print out the posting, cross out KGB and write “FSB” above it.

Indeed, the British police are not even certain the man was deliberately poisoned and have downgraded the investigation to "suspicious death", which suggests they're moving away from that theory. He ate sushi just before he fell ill.

Interesting. The man is on his deathbed, pointing the finger at Putin, and the insistence is, “the fish did it.” Round up the usual sushi chefs. Of course, eating bad sushi often leaves diners with their hair falling out, their throats swelling, severe damage to the nervous and immune systems and sudden heart failure. Happens all the time, right?

I’m sure it’s strictly coincidental that he had tea with a former KGB bodyguard before falling ill.

The interesting thing is why he was investigating this woman journalist's death and on behalf of whom. Since the neocons/Israel Lobby have been screeching from day 1 that it was Putin who did it, finding evidence to support that claim would be nothing new. However, if he had uncovered evidence that she had been murdered by someone else, and was too honest to suppress it, that would be a sensation that the guilty parties might not want to come out. A qui profite le crime?

It was Neocons! Honest to God, this is like a parody of inane lefty conspiracy

Read the whole thing.

Is the L.A. Times reporting unconfirmed enemy propaganda from an Iraqi stringer with ties to the insurgency? Or is the paper simply misreporting.

Great reporting from Patterico; it's what the Drive By Media wish it were.

A well researched analysis of what the LA Times reported and what actually happened.

The soldier claimed that there were no airstrikes in Ramadi that day, while the L.A. Times stringer claimed there had been an airstrike. When I checked into it, the weight of the evidence indcated that the soldier was right and the L.A. Times was wrong.

The military flatly denies that there was an airstrike — a denial that the L.A. Times has failed to report to this day. Several other media reports state that civilians died from small-arms fire and tank fire, and not an airstrike.

The soldier claimed that only insurgents were killed in the fighting, while the L.A. Times claimed that women and children were killed. Once again, the soldier’s claims appeared to be true, and the L.A. Times claim false.

Other than the L.A. Times report, there is no evidence that women or children were killed in the attack. The available evidence, including other media reports and information through a contact at a Ramadi hospital, indicates that the bodies brought into a Ramadi hospital were all adult males. This fact is suggestive of the possibility that those killed were insurgents, not innocent civilians.

The soldier claimed: “No houses were destroyed and only one courtyard wall was damaged”; by contrast, the L.A. Times stringer claimed that “at least 15 homes were pulverized by aerial bombardment.” There are no media reports with reliable firsthand accounts of pulverized homes.

Indeed, I found only one story (published by Reuters) in which a journalist claims to have been on the scene to report observations of the damage firsthand, and he said: “One small structure was burnt out in that street.” Once again, the objective evidence seemed to favor the claims of the soldier.

If men were angels.

There is a very disturbing video that is making the round on the internet. It is an actual video of a Texas highway patrolman being shot and killed by a 72 year-old man who was being stopped for not wearing his seat belt. The patrolman cannot be seen, but the shooter can and the patrolman’s death can be heard. The website it NOT workplace friendly due to sexual content surrounding the site and the sounds are chilling; be warned. Click HERE for the video.

The shooting of a 92 year-old woman by police during a raid on a suspected drug house brought this to the fore. The immediate assumption was that the cops had shot an obviously innocent person. Until it came out that she had shot and wounded three of the police before herself being shot.

The shooting became a cause celebre especially among the Libertarian side of the political spectrum, partly because the police had a no-knock warrant for the house. What seems to have Libertarians riled up is that no-knock raids are very often associated with drug busts and Libertarians despise the illegal drug laws.

The Web site Patterico’s Pontifications brought this subject to my attention, and I followed a number of links to become familiar with the subject. I was interested in the comments that followed the posting. What I found interesting and extremely offensive among the responses was the dismissal of the crime and a focus on the seatbelt laws.

I have nothing against the police officer, but he died doing something valueless and counterproductive that should not be what law enforcement is about. It should be about public safety — protecting people from external dangers, not their own safety equipment choices — enforcing public morality as in not harming others (good vs. evil), enforcing court orders to protect, not take away, free citizens’ rights.

If he had at least shot the man aiming a rifle at him I might acknowledge some value in his final actions. While undoubtedly the officer was brave and held off firing either due to decency or shock (many people freeze when confronted with aggression), police officers in free countries should not be enforcing helmut or seatbelt laws. These laws should be struck down.
Then I realized what this reaction reminded me of. It was the Muslim reaction to 9/11 and its aftermath.

The larger American community is asking why the Muslims community is not expressing more outrage at the horrific carnage that their co-religionists are committing throughout the world. Instead, after a pro-forma denunciation of whatever murders have been committed by Muslims, we get immediate cries or racism and discrimination against Muslims. See the Six Imams story as a perfect example.

However, we have to look no further than Patterico’s blog to see exactly the same reaction by our Libertarian friends. “Too bad, he’s dead; now let’s talk about the evils of seatbelt or drug laws.”

I once had sympathy for Libertarianism as some people had sympathy for Communism. As an ideal, it may have some merit. The only problem with either philosophy is people. As Madison said in Federalist #51: :If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary." But human history testifies to human infallibility, human desire for dominance and human evil. We live in a fallen world in which neither Libertarianism nor Communism will lead to any result except a state of nature, red in tooth and claw, and one in which the compromises found in a representative republic may be the best we can do.

Libertarians pretend that there was once a time when men were left alone to govern themselves for the most part and want a return to that state of freedom. But it is a freedom that never was and never will be. They dream of Utopia and will deliver a Dystopia in which 72 year old men in old cars shoot and kill a young husband and father to avoid a traffic ticket.

When Victory is Not Optional

The situation in the Middle East appears to get direr each day. And in the US it appears that radical Muslims are making test runs to see what it takes to set up their next terror bombing.

But for most of us, the terror is far from our doors. And even in the midst of war-torn countries, most people live their lives, keeping their heads down, trying to get enough food to eat and a place to stay.

That’s why there is a debate today in the US about the course in Iraq – and throughout the world: a withdrawal to “Fortress America” where every day is filled with Thanksgiving abundance and where poor people are not thin, but morbidly obese. Where “Black Friday” is not a memory of destruction and death, but a day where the entire population goes shopping in wretched excess.

Wretchard at the Belmont Club makes the point exceptionally well:

Lady Luck sometimes deals the enemy stinkers in the short run, but long-term luck is made by stacking the odds in our favor and playing with deep reserves. When you really think about it, many of Hezbollah's opponents are playing against them on guts. If they hold their own it may be due to a determination not to lose that guys in Washington may not have. When victory seems optional then it always seems like there are better things to do. When you've got your back to the wall it concentrates the mind wonderfully.

For many in America, victory appears optional. But it’s an optical illusion.

Mona Charen on the Six Imams

When you hear about "flying while Muslim" remember:

Is it discrimination? Well, of course it is. But that cannot be the end of the discussion. We are so robotic in America whenever the word “discrimination” is used that we shut down thought and all genuflect in the direction of whoever is complaining. But the proper question is not whether it is discrimination but whether it is justified.

Of course passengers would not be nervous in the presence of six priests or six rabbis. Neither of these groups has any history of blowing up innocent people. Nor do Americans despise those who pray. In fact, uniquely among Western democracies, we are great fans of religion.

But Islam is problematic. While we would love to think that Islam is as pacific as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, or Hinduism, the facts suggest otherwise. Time and again, terrorists who have committed or attempted to commit murder on a large scale have done so after becoming serious Muslims.

This is a hijacking of a great faith you say? Maybe so. I’m inclined to believe it since I do not think that a billion people would be drawn to a religion of hate. But that much having been said, the haters within Islam are certainly having a heck of a run at the moment. Maybe they are only ten percent of the worldwide total of the umma, but that still leaves us with 100 million very religious fellows who believe they have divine sanction to blow us up.

The Elite Snobbery of many liberal Jews

I hate the headline I just wrote. I am not shy about my Jewish heritate, but the truth must be faced. Charles Krauthammer, himself a Jew, makes the point that the most talked about movie of the season, perhaps the year, "Borat" is one long example of
...a supreme display of elite snobbery reveling in the humiliation of the hoaxed hillbilly.

But it is one thing more, something Brooks alluded to in passing but which requires at least one elaboration: an unintentionally revealing demonstration of the unfortunate attitude of many liberal Jews toward working-class American Christians, especially evangelicals.

And more:

Sacha Baron Cohen, the creator of Borat, revealed his purpose for doing that in a rare out-of-character interview he granted Rolling Stone in part to counter charges that he was promoting anti-Semitism. On the face of it, this would be odd, given that Cohen is himself a Sabbath-observing Jew. His defense is that he is using Borat’s anti-Semitism as a “tool” to expose it in others. And that his Arizona bar stunt revealed, if not anti-Semitism, then “indifference” to anti-Semitism. And that, he maintains, was the path to the Holocaust.

Whoaaaa. Does he really believe such rubbish? Can a man that smart (Cambridge, investment banker and now brilliant filmmaker) really believe that indifference to anti-Semitism and the road to the Holocaust are to be found in a country and western bar in Tucson?

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world.

With anti-Semitism re-emerging in Europe and rampant in the Islamic world; with Iran acquiring the ultimate weapon of genocide and proclaiming its intention to wipe out the world’s largest Jewish community (Israel); with America and, in particular, its Christian evangelicals the only remaining Gentile constituency anywhere willing to defend that besieged Jewish outpost — is the American heartland really the locus of anti-Semitism? Is this the one place to go to find it?

In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez says that the “descendents of the same ones that crucified Christ” have “taken possession of all the wealth in the world.” Just this month, Tehran hosted an international festival of Holocaust cartoons featuring enough hooked noses and horns to give Goebbels a posthumous smile. Throughout the Islamic world, newspapers and television, schoolbooks and sermons are filled with the most vile anti-Semitism.

Baron Cohen could easily have found what he seeks closer to home. He is, after all, from Europe where synagogues are torched and cemeteries desecrated in a revival of anti-Semitism — not “indifference” to but active — unseen since the Holocaust. Where a Jew is singled out for torture and death by French-African thugs. Where a leading Norwegian intellectual — et tu, Norway? — mocks “God’s Chosen People” (“We laugh at this people’s capriciousness and weep at its misdeeds”) and calls for the destruction of Israel, the “state founded ... on the ruins of an archaic national and warlike religion.”

Yet amid this gathering darkness, an alarming number of liberal Jews are seized with the notion that the real threat lurks deep in the hearts of American Protestants, most specifically Southern evangelicals. Some fear that their children are going to be converted; others, that below the surface lies a pogrom waiting to happen; still others, that the evangelicals will take power in Washington and enact their own sharia law.

This is all quite crazy. America is the most welcoming, religiously tolerant, philo-Semitic country in the world. No nation since Cyrus the Great’s Persia has done more for the Jews. And its reward is to be exposed as latently anti-Semitic by an itinerant Jew looking for laughs and, he solemnly assures us, for the path to the Holocaust?

Look. Harry Truman used to tell derisive Jewish jokes. Richard Nixon said nasty things about Jews in government and elsewhere. Who cares? Truman and Nixon were the two greatest friends of the Jews in the entire postwar period: Truman secured them a refuge in the state of Israel and Nixon saved it from extinction during the Yom Kippur War.

It is very hard to be a Jew today, particularly in Baron Cohen’s Europe, where Jew-baiting is once again becoming acceptable. But it is a sign of the disorientation of a distressed and confused people that we should find it so difficult to distinguish our friends from our enemies.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Carlson vs. CAIR and the Airport Imams

Click on the link for the video.

Military Not "So Poor And So Black"

From Villanous Company:
Today, we address the persistent notion that the military is over-recruiting from poor, minority, urban areas and that today's recruits are less educated than their civilian peers. Unsurprisingly, like almost everything else Representative Rangel has said, these allegations turn out to be completely unsupported by the facts.

Outstanding analysis that utterly destroys Rangel. Read the whole thing.

US To Withdraw From Lebanon

(2006-11-22) — A day after the assassination of Lebanese Christian politician Pierre Gemayel, Democrats in the U.S. Congress called on President George Bush to pull U.S. troops out of Lebanon as a way of ending the strife that threatens to descend into civil war.

“As everyone knows,” said Rep. Jack Murtha, D-PA, a former Marine, “the American military is the cause of terrorism and sectarian tensions around the world. We can’t win in Lebanon, so we need to begin a phased redeployment immediately.”

Sen. John Kerry, D-MA, a professional Vietnam veteran, said, “There’s no reason that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Lebanese people in the dead of night terrorizing kids and children and women, breaking historical customs, religious customs. Lebanese soldiers should be doing that.”

The former Democrat presidential nominee added, “if American young people would study hard, do their homework and make an effort to be smart, they wouldn’t get stuck in Lebanon.”

House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, said the recent U.S. elections in which Democrats swept to a majority in the House and Senate, “were a mandate from the voters to get out of Lebanon and liberate those people from the oppression of the U.S. occupation that causes them to act out like this.”

Asked when the president would submit to the will of the people and pull the military from Lebanon, an unnamed White House spokesman said, “1984.”

In related news, Iran and Syria today offered to mediate the crisis by holding a summit meeting with the president of Lebanon and Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah to discuss ways of preventing foreigners and Muslim fanatics from upsetting Lebanon’s

Miss Brussels Dreams of Genocide

Last September Halima Chehaïma, the 18-year old daughter of a Moroccan father and a Flemish mother, was elected Miss Brussels. Until next week Ms Chehaïma was also the absolute favorite of the bookmakers for the election of Miss Belgium next month. She was thought to be an excellent candidate to symbolize the multicultural paradise that Belgium has become. However, a girl’s dream was shattered.

Halima Chehaïma was a controversial candidate. Last October she stood for the Marxist-Leninist Labour Party in the local elections in Molenbeek, the predominantly Muslim Brussels borough where she lives. The party is so marginal that she did not get elected, but her declaration that Israel must be wiped off the map raised the eyebrows of the organizers of the Miss Belgium pageant. What really seems to have ruined her chances, however, is her connection with Bilal Ould Haj, a Belgian criminal of Moroccan origin.

Read the rest...

Syria, Lebanon and Assassination

Right Wing Nuthouse has a roundup.

Those Airport Imams

Kudos to US Airways. Risking fines and a boycott, it did the right thing this week by removing a group of Muslim men from a flight to protect its crew and passengers.

By most accounts, the six bearded men were behaving suspiciously at a time when airports were on high alert for sky terror during the holidays. "There were a number of things that gave the flight crew pause," an airline spokesman said. According to witnesses and police reports, the men:

• Made anti-American statements.

• Made a scene of praying and chanting "Allah."

• Asked for seat-belt extensions even though a flight attendant thought they didn't need them.

• Refused requests by the pilot to disembark for more screening.

Also, three of the men had only one-way tickets and no checked baggage.

Police had to forcibly remove the men from the flight, whereupon they were taken into custody. A search found no weapons or explosives, and they were released to continue on their journey.

Within hours, the men enlisted a Muslim-rights group to make a stink in the press, insisting they were merely imams returning home from an Islamic conference in Minneapolis. They say they were "harassed" because of their faith.

But were they victims or provocateurs?

All six claim to be Americans, so clearly they were aware of heightened security. Surely they knew that groups of Muslim men flying together while praying to Allah fit the modus operandi of the 9/11 hijackers and would make a pilot nervous. Throw in anti-U.S. remarks and odd demands about seat belts, and they might as well have yelled, "Bomb!"

Yet they chose to make a spectacle. Why? Turns out among those attending their conference was Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who will be the first Muslim sworn into Congress (with his hand on the Quran). Two days earlier, Ellison, an African-American convert who wants to criminalize Muslim profiling, spoke at a fundraiser for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim-rights group that wasted no time condemning US Airways for "prejudice and ignorance."

CAIR wants congressional hearings to investigate other incidents of "flying while Muslim." Incoming Judiciary Chairman John Con-yers, D-Mich., has already drafted a resolution, borrowing from CAIR rhetoric, that gives Muslims special civil-rights protections.

While it's not immediately clear whether the incident was a stunt to help give the new Democratic majority cover to criminalize airport profiling, it wouldn't be the first time Muslim passengers have tried to prove "Islamophobia" — or test nerves and security.

Two years ago a dozen Syrian men caused panic aboard a Northwest Airlines flight by passing bags to each other as they used the lavatory. As the plane prepared to land, they rushed to the back and front of the plane speaking in Arabic.

Then there's the case of Muhammed al-Qudhaieen and Hamdan al-Shalawi, two Arizona college students removed from an America West flight after twice trying to open the cockpit. The FBI suspected it was a dry run for the 9/11 hijackings, according to the 9/11 Commission Report. One of the students had traveled to Afghanistan. Another became a material witness in the 9/11 investigation.

Even so, the pair filed racial-profiling suits against America West, now part of US Airways. Defending them was none other than the leader of the six imams kicked off the US Airways flight this week.

Turns out the students attended the Tucson, Ariz., mosque of Sheikh Omar Shahin, a Jordan native. Shahin has been the protesters' public face, even returning to the US Airways ticket counter at the Minneapolis airport to scold agents before the cameras.

In an Arizona Republic interview after 9/11, he acknowledged once supporting Osama bin Laden through his mosque in Tucson. FBI investigators believe bin Laden set up a base in Tucson.

Hani Hanjour, who piloted the plane that hit the Pentagon, attended the Tucson mosque along with bin Laden's onetime personal secretary, according to the 9/11 Commission Report. Bin Laden's ex-logistics chief was president of the mosque before Shahin took over.

"These people don't continue to come back to Arizona because they like the sunshine or they like the state," said FBI agent Kenneth Williams. "Something was established there, and it's been there for a long time." And Shahin appears to be in the middle of it.

CAIR asserts the imams are peace-loving patriots. "It's inappropriate to treat religious leaders that way," a spokesman said.

Yeah, they all wear halos. Omar Abdul-Rahman, a blind sheikh, is serving a life term for plotting to blow up several New York landmarks. Imam Ali al-Timimi, a native Washingtonian, is also behind bars for soliciting local Muslims to kill fellow Americans. Imams in New York were recently busted for buying shoulder-fired missiles. Another in Lodi, Calif., planned an al-Qaida terror camp there.

We could go on and on. Imams or not, US Airways did right by its customers. Shahin is calling on Muslims to boycott the airline; that might actually work in its favor. US Airways has been flooded with calls from Americans saying it just became the safest airline.

What Happens When You leave your Friends in the Lurch?

Pretty soon you run out of friends.

From The Belmont Club...

Max Boot details the history of "cutting and running" throughout American history. The consequences were often tragic and somegimes wide-ranging. The inevitable rhetorical question is asked. Why should any ally trust America?.


And in response to a long, rambling, Posting by an Israeli hater named "Cedarford" who stated that "the Iraqis are not our allies"... here is a reasoned response:

"the Iraqis are not our allies". But individuals are, and whatever we undertake, whichever individuals come in on our side, whatever their political status or citizenship may be, they are our allies. And they are less likely to do that when one has a record of leaving them in a lurch.

At one level the question is entirely practical. I'm sure many readers have had the experience of trying to convince someone in the field to take a risk. You are more likely to succeed if they know you either a) will not ask them to get in over their head; b) stand by them. Or you can ask yourself what the greatest fear of a locally recruited intelligence agent is. It is being sold out.

Criminal organizations understand the prestige that comes with a reputation for being a "stand up". It has less to do with morals than credit. When you let people down, you use up your credit. And one day you have none left.

Saudi Slaver Gets Prison, Saudis Upset

From the Denver Post:

"Guys, you simply can't keep slaves over here ... nope, not even sex slaves."

And that's exactly what an unfortunate 24-year-old Indonesian woman, brought to the U.S. by Al-Turki to be family nanny and housekeeper, was: a slave. Al-Turki had confiscated her passport, paid her less than two bucks a day, kept her in a basement and sexually assaulted her.

Even his high-priced lawyers - likely paid for, as was his $400,000 bail, by the Saudi government - couldn't save Al-Turki from richly deserved jail time.

At sentencing, Al-Turki refused to apologize but did claim that prosecutors were attacking his "traditional Muslim behaviors." Not exactly a feminist, then.

Suthers' task couldn't have been easy over there. This "no slaves" business was probably tough to digest for folks who not so long ago may have owned a couple of humans themselves. Saudi Arabia only officially outlawed the practice of slavery in 1962. According to human rights organizations, the country still has plenty around - especially women.

Read the whole thing...

What American journalists should be thankful for

Via Michelle Malkin whose views on this issue I heartily endorse. A message to the people who inhabit the sewers known as the Drive By Media:

In between breathless condemnations of the Bush administration for stifling its free speech, endless court filings demanding classified and sensitive information from the military and intelligence agencies, and self-pitying media industry confabs bemoaning their hemorrhaging circulations (with the exception of the New York Post), my colleagues in the American media don't have much to time to give thanks.

Allow me:

Give thanks we don't live in Bangladesh, where you can be put on trial for writing columns supporting Israel and condemning Muslim violence. Just ask Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, editor of Blitz, the largest tabloid English-language weekly in Bangladesh. He is currently facing a sedition trial for speaking out about the threats radical Islam poses in Bangladesh. He has been imprisoned, harassed, beaten, and condemned. In court last week, his persecutors read these charges against him: "By praising the Jews and Christians, by attempting to travel to Israel and by predicting the so-called rise of Islamist millitancy in the country and expressing such through writings inside the country and abroad, you have tried to damage the image and relations of Bangladesh with the outside world." For expressing these dissident opinions, he faces the possibility of execution.

Read the rest, there's lots more...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Disrupting Mike Adams, UMass Shows Its Colors.

Professor Mike Adams was invited to the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, to give a speech on feminism by the Republican Club. Mike is an acerbic and provocative speaker and writer. He is also a tenured professor at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington where he is openly at odds with the administration and, I suppose, a great many of the faculty because Mike is an outspoken Conservative.

His speech at U Mass was interrupted and he was heckled as evidenced by the video which you can access through the links.

Defenders of the denial of Mike’s rights to give a speech and the students to hear him will either claim that Mike's view are so repugnant that he deserves to be shouted down, or will claim that the students who disrupted his speech were not “typical” of students at this campus or of students in general.

The first argument is simply indefensible in a nation that values the rights of free speech. The second argument may be true, but it is irrelevant. Very few radical movements have been represented by by the “typical” member of society. Lenin’s Communists were not a mass movement, but a well organized cadre who were able to highjack a society. At the height of Stalin’s power, member of The Communist party were a small minority of the Russian people, representing at most 10% of the Russian people.

Hitler’s Brown Shirts were no more representative of the German people. But there were enough of them and they were bold enough to intimidate the vast majority, allowing the Nazis to eventually take over.

It is not enough to say that these student don’t represent our community and turn our backs. They have broken the rules of comity and the rules of the University which, I assume does not condone disrupting speakers. There must be some punishment and this must not be allowed to continue.

One other point is worth making. The kind of disruption that the University allows to go on seems to be unidirectional. It is tolerated when the speakers being assaulted at people like Mike Adams or Anne Coulter, not Roger Moore or Professor (“Little Eichmanns”) Churchill. It is telling who the University community protects and who it allows to be disrupted, threatened and attacked.

Terrorists Dressed As UPS Men?

Got this in an e-mail from a friend. No idea if it's true or not.
UPS Uniforms

Government Warning regarding purchase of UPS uniforms:

There has been a huge purchase, $32,000 worth, of United Parcel Service (UPS) uniforms on eBay over the last 30 days. This could represent a serious threat as bogus drivers(terrorists) can drop off anything to anyone with deadly consequences! If you have ANY questions when a UPS driver appears at your door they should be able to furnish VALID I.D.

Additionally, if someone in a UPS uniform comes to make a drop off or pick up, make absolutely sure they are driving a UPS truck. UPS doesn't make deliveries or pickups in anything, except a company vehicle. If you have a problem, call your local law enforcement agency right away!

TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY! Tell everyone in your office, your family, your friends, etc. Make people aware so that we can prepare and/or avoid terrorist attacks on our people! Thank you for your time in reviewing this and PLEASE send to EVERYONE on your list, even if they are friend or foe. We should all be aware!

Kimberly Bush-Carr
Management Program Specialist
U.S.Department of Homeland Security

Bureau Customs and Border Protection

Washington, DC20229

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Fart for Ramadan

Please don't behead me, this was written by a Muslim. But Like Dan Schorr comments re the Mohammad cartoons, this should not have been published.
This past Ramadan was very nice, it was very enjoyable, a release of a well anticipated break from my immergence in this dunya. But little did I know that this Ramadan I would receive one of the biggest shocks of my life. It all begain one evening at the masjid, which will remain nameless, however I will say it is one of the more beautiful masajid here in New York City. It was after iftar and during sajdahtun fi salatutarawih that a brother farted!

I couldn’t believe my ears, it was such a strange occurence because one moment I was prostrating to God, “glorifying the most high”, and the next moment I was accosted by the most nefarious sound ever to grace my ears during a prayer and during Ramadanutarawih prayers!

The Swiftboating of Jack Murtha


If we’ve learned anything from the annual jingo-rama known as “Veteran’s Day”, it’s that Americans are too quick to bestow "hero" status upon any uneducated moron who puts on a uniform and fights for his country. Anybody can pick up a gun and shoot someone, but true heroism comes from having the raw courage to sell out your fellow soldiers as well as the American People in order to obtain the power necessary to help them – whether they like it or not. A few such heroic individuals come to mind: Scott Ritter, Janis Karpinski, John Kerry, Benedict Arnold, and Rep. John “Jack” Murtha.

When a couple of nameless Sunni sock merchants informed him that a platoon of Marines went a wild shooting rampage, gleefully killing scores of innocent Iraqi civilians and blowing up a baby milk factory as hundreds of babies were being milked, Murtha didn’t waste any time waiting for an “investigation”, “evidence”, or other pointless distractions such as the Marines’ own version of events. In a display of unblinking honesty one usually only witnesses from members of Al-Qaeda, he quickly branded the Marines as “war criminals” and called for a Phased Redeployment of all U.S. forces. NOT a "retreat" – and right-wingers are only encouraging the terrorists by insisting on calling it that – but a phased redeployment, godammit! A PHASED REDPLOYMENT!! To “retreat” is to flee the battlefield with one’s tail tucked between his legs. “Phased Redeployment”, on the other hand, is simply taking your ball and going to Okinawa, where the REAL terrorists are.

Where is the opposition to the war coming from?

I disagree with the author that this is the reason, but it is "a" reason:

Forget all the articles about incompetence, failed plans to "win the peace" and all the rest of it. Americans don't care about that and never will; nor do they care about Iraqi schools or share the President's obsession with some foreign people's craving for "democracy". What they cared about was the war they were sold on, i.e. that the United States was taking the gloves off and from this point forward would wage war against international terrorist organizations and the governments that sponsor them.

Had Bush waged that war, the support would have held. Given how badly Bush has strayed from the "Bush" Doctrine, I'm frankly surprised that the support for him didn't wane earlier. In fact, given the "Islam means peace, the Saudis are our friends, and we must respect women of cover" rhetoric coming out of the White House, tied to the fact that our military obviously is fighting with one hand behind its back, it's *amazing* Bush's support held out as long as it did.

"Mirror, mirror.."

Ever wonder what's on Kos?

European Sales Tax Rates

Got this from You Bitch:

Country Sales Tax %
Austria 9.09-16.67%
Belgium 21%
Denmark 25%
Finland 17-22%
France 5.21-16.38%
Germany 7-16%
Greece 11.5-15.25%
Ireland 17.36%
Italy 4-20%
Luxembourg 15%
Netherlands 15.97%
Portugal 19% (13% in Madeira and Azores)
Spain 16%
Sweden 25%
Switzerland 7.6%
United Kingdom 17.5%

Daniel Schorr should apologize

Daniel Schorr is a superannuated idiot. As one of the leading lights of that part of the American people who happily consigned millions of people for Viet Nam and Cambodia to torture and death, he should be ashamed to show his face in public. However, he has landed a cushy job on NPR from which perch he takes cheap shot and repeats lies about the people who protect his fat ass.

It never hurts to remind those who have something to say about this walking, talking disgrace just what we think of him

Someone just did:
Reader David R. (he prefers anonymity) shared with us a letter he sent to NPR over the on-air behavior of Daniel Schorr. Since NPR receives tax money, it has an obligation to be both fair and accurate. Here is the letter:

Dear Mr. Scott Simon,

Daniel Schorr almost got through a news analysis on your Saturday morning show without a cheapshot at the President, but could not resist concluding with a snide and irrelevant remark about how Mr. Bush had “tried so hard” to avoid going to Viet Nam in his youth.

In this regard I would like to make two points to you and to NPR:

1. In this and in many other instances Mr. Schorr has made it clear that he has strong personal biases, and also that they color his reportage. Your own transcripts will offer hundreds of examples, by my memory. His value as an honest source of news analysis is highly questionable, and in giving him standing as your “Senior News Analyst” you cheapen the NPR brand profoundly.

2. Secondly, it is a fact that the young Mr. Bush did volunteer for duty in Viet Nam after he had completed his flight training, but that at that point in time, the aircraft he was trained to fly was being retired from overseas combat, and his thus there was no demand for his skills there.

The whole meme of the future President “avoiding” Viet Nam is based on the fact that he would not (and could not) volunteer for overseas duty when reporting for flight training, because it would have rather obviously conflicted with the flight training he HAD volunteered for. It may comes as a surprise to the NPR staff, but in order for the Air Force to make the investment of nearly a million dollars to “make” a pilot, a young man had to commit to the going through the training! I might as well ask you, Scott, why you are sitting in a warm studio fulfilling your contract, instead of out on the cold streets comforting the homeless! By the same logic the media applies to Mr. Bush’s actions, this proves that you are a mean-spirited, greedy person!

George W. Bush qualified for that training by virtue of having a college degree, being in excellent health, and being willing to commit several years of his life to a role for which there were constant shortages. He did not jump to the front of any line: for what he was qualified to do, there was no line! Yes, there was a line for non-degreed enlistees wanting to be in the ANG, but in the officer positions required of pilot trainees, the ANG was begging for applicants. No doubt most of the recent Yale grads were out helping the poor.

Mr. Schorr is well aware of these facts, but slyly keeps re-playing the canard that Mr. Bush somehow exhibited cowardice and took advantage of family connections when he volunteered to undergo several years of full-time, dangerous as hell, flight training. I would wager that Mr. Schorr has never done anything half so brave – I know I haven’t – and it is about time he and NPR apologized for the knowing slander he is allowed to utter on your radio network nearly every week.

Oh, and on the question of press freedom and free speech, Daniel Schorr is much more ... "nuanced?" for example, he came down firmly on the side of "discretion being the better part of valor" as the Islamofascists went berserk following the Mohammad cartoons. Follow the links and you can hear this weasel explain why the cartoon should not be shown, although our military secrets should be published.

Pelosi Declares Victory in Murtha-Hoyer Battle

Scott Ott has the REAL sory on the Murtha/Hoyer fight:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, said yesterday’s 149-86 vote against the man she publicly endorsed for House Majority Leader was the first victory in her historic reign as the first female Speaker of the House.

“I endorsed Jack Murtha because I knew he would lose to Steny Hoyer,” said Rep. Pelosi, “and I also knew that after years of suffering low self-esteem due to our minority status, my colleagues needed another confidence booster.”

By defeating the Speaker’s apparent choice, she said, “149 Democrats experienced the adrenaline rush that comes from rebelling against authority and speaking truth to power.”

Rep. Pelosi said teaching Democrats to oppose her leadership is just part of her strategy to prepare them to stand up against the dictatorial rule President George Bush.

Kiss goodbye to a liberal Middle East

I don't believe this will neccessarily be the case, but it is instructive.
...the historic mistake of Arab liberals was to stand elbow to elbow with the despots oppressing them in condemning the American democratic project for the region, instead of exploiting it. Rather than drawing on the Americans' presence in their midst for their own benefit, far too many of liberals fell back on a restricting cliche that the US was practicing a new form of imperialism. Perhaps it was, but early on it became painfully clear that that imperialism was as soft and malleable as a warm slug; that if the Americans could bend before the frail figure of Ayatollah Ali Sistani, they would probably listen to, even assist, those like the Lebanese who had decided to rid themselves of previously unassailable oppressors.

The incredible narcissim of the media.

The members of the media are nothing if not self absorbed. They are continually giving each other prizes, exclaiming their fairness and objectivity, their courage, their character. And as we have seen in their reaction to Islamofascism they are, on the whole, craven cowards. In fact, they are perfectly willing to give up freedom of expression at the first opportunity, if that expression disagrees with their personal viewpoint.

If not the first, the most widely recognized example is their cowardice when it came to publishing the Mohammad cartoons.

Since I have no great respect for the denizens of the den of iniquity that is the media, I am pleased to bring this delicious tidbit to your attention.

Click on the link for the whole story.
Yet there lingers some delusion in segments of the press that the jihadist campaign is just another civil rights movement. A questioner at an international gathering of editors I attended in Edinburgh in May suggested that blame for the murders of journalists in Iraq — most of them Iraqi — rested with President Bush's refusal to acknowledge the Geneva Conventions. Jonathan Swift said it well. You cannot reason someone out of a position he has not been reasoned into.

Perhaps my beloved Britain has endured some of the worst excesses. When I spoke at the Hay-on-Wye literary festival a couple of years back and criticized newspapers that headlined suicide bombers as martyrs, I was told by two angry leading intellectuals that I had lived too long in America.

Something similar happened at this year's Hay-on-Wye festival, sponsored by the Guardian, where a five-person panel discussed "Are there are any limits to free speech?" One of the Muslim panelists said if anyone offended his religion, he would strike him. A lawyer, Anthony Julius, responded that Jews had lived as minorities under two powerful hegemonies, Christian and Muslim, and had been obliged to learn how to deal nonviolently with offense caused to them by the sacred scriptures of both. He started by referring to an anti-Semitic passage in the New Testament — which passed without comment. But when he began to list the passages in the Koran that denigrate Jews, describing them as monkeys and pigs, the panelists went ballistic. One of them, Madeline Bunting of the Guardian, put her hand over the microphone and said words to the effect, "I am not going to sit here and listen to any criticisms of Muslims." She was cheered, and not one of the journalists in the audience from right or left uttered a word about free speech — not hate speech, mind you, but free speech of a moderate nature.

An Ordinary Dutch Life

I think that this story may be behind the subscription wall, so I'll reproduce it in full. It illustrates the sheeplike passivity of Europeans as they are led to Muslim slaughter.

THE HAGUE -- When Geert Wilders rose from his desk, his head almost touched the narrow ceiling. The tiny corner office underneath the parliament's roof wasn't selected for space but security. Possible assassins can only come from one direction, making life easier for the two bodyguards outside.

Mr. Wilders has been living under 24-hour police protection ever since the assassination of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh two years ago. The Dutch-Moroccan who stabbed and shot van Gogh in Amsterdam left death threats behind against him and the Netherlands' other, more famous critic of Islam: Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Like the Somali-born politician, Mr. Wilders has had to take refuge in army barracks, safe houses, even a prison cell.

The lawmaker's life is in danger because of his criticism of radical, or, as he calls it, "mainstream" Islam. In Mr. Wilders's view, Islam hasn't been "hijacked" by radicals. Rather, radicalism is embedded in the faith. "It's a violent religion, an intolerant religion," he said matter-of-factly in an interview.

This Wednesday, the Dutch go to the polls and Mr. Wilders's Party for Freedom is expected to pick up about six seats in the 150-seat parliament. His provocative thesis and calls for a five-year moratorium on non-Western immigration make it easy for his political opponents to dismiss him as a racist. But he will have none of that. "I make a distinction between the religion and the people. I believe in the people, I believe that Muslims can integrate in society. But I don't believe in a European, moderate Islam to come in the next 10,000 years."

Thus accused of violent tendencies, radical Muslims are calling for his head. "Videos on Islamic Web sites show my picture and name to the sound of what appears to be knives cutting through flesh while a voiceover says I will be beheaded," Mr. Wilders said calmly. "You never get used to it but you learn to live with it." Harder to accept is that his wife is suffering as well. "Everything I do, even if people strongly disagree with me, I do within the boundaries of democracy. And even though I know that I'm not responsible [for this situation], I know it's the result of the things I say, the things I do. It's not, though, the result of what my wife does. She often even doesn't agree and still she is in the same situation. I find it difficult to bear that everything is happening to her as well."

Is there outrage in the Netherlands about his situation? He first avoids a direct answer. "This is now, today, my problem but in a larger sense it is also a problem for democracy, the rule of law," he said. When pressed on the point, his response paints a troubling picture. "Real outrage? No. There was more outrage when a major paper once wrote how much the security for Ayaan and me costs," he said. "There were times when Ayaan and I said to one another and sometimes to the public, 'In what country do we live that things that are clearly not normal are almost being seen as normal or more or less ignored in public discussion and public life?'"

You don't have to share Mr. Wilders's views to realize that the threats against his life also threaten Dutch democracy. And yet the Dutch seem indifferent to his plight. Wednesday's elections in the Netherlands will choose the first new parliament since van Gogh's murder and the start of Mr. Wilders's ordeal. You'd expect these events to feature high on the national agenda. But the most remarkable aspect about the major parties' campaign is the absence of any serious discussion of terrorism, Muslim integration, or the Dutch troops in Afghanistan. It's mostly about tax breaks, pensions and health care. Quite rightly, the economy is always on voters' minds -- but to the near-exclusion of national security? According to a survey from this summer, terrorism is only the fifth-most-important issue for the Dutch. The country's antiterror coordinator recently warned of the continuing radicalization of young Dutch Muslims. Just two weeks ago, six people were arrested on terrorism charges.

Any sense of urgency the Dutch may have had after van Gogh's murder is lost. Back then, Deputy Prime Minister Gerrit Zalm declared "war" on radical Islam. Van Gogh's murder was even referred to as "our Sept. 11." Visitors to the Dutch "Ground Zero" will search in vain, though, for even a simple sign indicating the spot of van Gogh's near-decapitation. The second anniversary of his murder a couple of weeks ago passed without any official ceremony. Antiterrorism and immigration laws may have been tightened, but the latter measures in particular often lack the necessary finesse to address the country's real threats.

Understandably, the Dutch long for the days when their small country only consumed international news without making any. The rest of the Continent is not much different. Each terror attack or death threat briefly fills the airwaves before Europeans again pretend everything is normal. Meanwhile, the list of dissidents like Mr. Wilders is growing. Recent additions include Robert Redeker, a French philosophy teacher, in hiding since his September op-ed criticizing Islam, and Ekin Deligöz, a German member of parliament of Turkish descent. She has been put under police protection last month after receiving death threats for suggesting that Muslim women abandon the veil.

Europeans can keep pretending all this is normal. But only until the day they find their names on that dissident list as well.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Who's Generous? Conservatives

The book's basic findings are that conservatives who practice religion, live in traditional nuclear families and reject the notion that the government should engage in income redistribution are the most generous Americans, by any measure.
Conversely, secular liberals who believe fervently in government entitlement programs give far less to charity. They want everyone's tax dollars to support charitable causes and are reluctant to write checks to those causes, even when governments don't provide them with enough money.

[L]iberals give less than conservatives in every way imaginable, including volunteer hours and donated blood.

Liberals tend to specialize in giving away other peoples' money.

Blair "Disaster"

From Powerline:

But this is one of those "all headline, no story" episodes that we often see nowadays. What happened was that Blair was being interviewed on al Jazeera by David Frost:

Mr Blair was challenged by Sir David over the violence in Iraq, saying it had "so far been pretty much of a disaster".
Blair replied:

It has, but you see what I say to people is why is it difficult in Iraq?
It's not difficult because of some accident in planning.

It's difficult because there's a deliberate strategy - al-Qaeda with Sunni insurgents on one hand, Iranian-backed elements with Shia militias on the other - to create a situation in which the will of the majority for peace is displaced by the will of the minority for war.

Which is what Blair, like President Bush, has been saying for a long time. Blair didn't say that Iraq was a mistake; or that the war has been mishandled; or that our efforts there are doomed to failure. Those are the "admissions" the BBC desperately wants to hear, and tried to suggest through its coverage of Blair's inconsequential exchange with Frost

Religion on campus: A secular society that demands tolerance should also show tolerance

Secularists are showing increasing hostility to Christianity. There are cases in Canada where Christian ministers have been taken to court for stating their views on sin. On English college campuses

Three cases have acquired prominence. Birmingham University Christian Union was banned from the list of accredited societies after it refused to amend its constitution to permit non-Christians to become executive committee members. The Exeter Univers-ity Christian Union has been ordered by its student union to rename itself the Evangelical Christian Union and has been suspended until it complies. At Edinburgh University, the Christian Union faces sanctions after it was accused of adopting a Bible-based programme on human relationships that deems homosexuality to be un- desirable. These prohibitions mean that the organisations concerned are denied access to money, union facilities and a forum to publicise their activities.

And here in the US, the cross has been removed from the Wren Chapel in the
College of William and Mary
"In order to make the Wren Chapel less of a faith-specific space, and to make it more welcoming to students, faculty, staff and visitors of all faiths, the cross has been removed from the altar area,"

Friday, November 17, 2006

Alan Colmes and Mark Furman on O.J. Simpson

“I dealt with people like this for 20 years. They will get up every day, they will kill somebody, and go have some chicken at KFC. You will catch them eatin’ chicken and drinkin’ a beer…”

Ann Coulter Makes Fun of the Media Hysteria about Pelosi: the First Woman Speaker of the House.

by Ann Coulter
November 15, 2006

In the past week, there are 476 documents on Nexis heralding the magnificent achievement of Nancy Pelosi becoming the FIRST WOMAN speaker of the House.

I thought we had moved beyond such multicultural milestones.

The media yawned when Condoleezza Rice became the first black female secretary of state (and when Lincoln Chafee became the first developmentally disabled senator).

There were only 77 documents noting that Rice was the first black woman to be the secretary of state, and half of them were issues of Jet, Essence, Ebony or Black Entrepreneur magazine.

A New York Times profile of Rice at the time waited until the last sentence to note in passing that Rice was "only the second woman, and the first black woman, to hold the job." (In a separate column by me, it was noted that Rice was the "first competent woman" to hold the job.)

Not everyone ignored Secretary Rice's achievement. Gore's campaign manager, Donna Brazile — the last black person to hold a prominent role in any Democratic presidential campaign — told Newsweek that when she watched President Bush nominate Rice, "I had chills up and down my spine." Brazile said: "I never thought in my lifetime I'd see an African-American woman being nominated as secretary of state. George Bush made that happen."

On MSNBC's "Hardball," even Al Sharpton said of Rice's appointment, "I don't think you can sneeze at the fact that she has made a tremendous achievement as the first black woman in history to be a State Department head."

Rice was not the first black secretary of state because Bush had already made Colin Powell the first black secretary of state. That was back during Bush's first term, when Rice was the first female national security adviser.

Bush also named Alberto Gonzales the first Hispanic attorney general. He made an Arab-American, Spencer Abraham, secretary of energy; a Cuban-American, Carlos Gutierrez, secretary of commerce; an Asian-American, Elaine Chao, secretary of labor; and a retarded-American, Norman Mineta, secretary of transportation. It was as if Mariah Carey and Tiger Woods had children and they all joined the Bush Cabinet.

The whole place has been lousy with women since the first Bush term, including Gale Ann Norton, secretary of the interior, Ann Veneman, secretary of agriculture, and Margaret Spellings, secretary of education. For a while there, it looked as if Bush might become the first president whose entire Cabinet's menstrual cycles were synchronized.

In a rare article taking note of Bush's "Benetton-ad presidency," Time magazine's Joe Klein said of Bush's second-term appointments: "It took Bush a month before he named a standard-issue white male."

By contrast, John Kerry hired only white males for top positions in his presidential campaign, a fact so embarrassing that even the media eventually took notice. In Kerry's defense, almost all of his and Teresa's domestic servants appear to have been people of color, although we still don't have a final head count on the place in Aspen.

But when Nancy Pelosi — another Democrat who married a multimillionaire — achieves the minor distinction of becoming the first female speaker of the House, The New York Times acts like she's invented cold fusion.

There were two major articles breathlessly reporting Pelosi's magnificent achievement as first female speaker and an op-ed by Bob Herbert, titled "Ms. Speaker and Other Trends." Beatifying Pelosi as "the most powerful woman ever to sit in Congress," Herbert began: "Sometimes you can actually feel the winds of history blowing." There was a major Times profile of Pelosi, gushing that Pelosi was "on the brink of becoming the first female speaker." (Isn't she just the most independent little gal?)

So in addition to bringing back a cut-and-run national security strategy, tax-and-spend domestic policy and a no-enforcement immigration policy, the new Democratic Congress is apparently ushering in a return to feminist milestones.

I warned you people about what might happen if "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" ever caught on, and now you've got no one but yourselves to blame. Happy now?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

White guilt doesn't help blacks

Good article by John Stossel.

Steele says too many blacks and whites are stuck in the old conversation, as though it was 1950. And he thinks there are questionable motives for this on both sides: "If we can get a big discussion going about what white privilege is, we never have to look at what blacks themselves are doing. And black responsibility. How are we contributing to our own problems? How are we holding ourselves back? Why don't our children do better in school than they do?"

Whites' preoccupation with guilt and compensation such as affirmative action is actually a subtle form of racism, Steele says. "One of the things that is clear about white privilege, and so many of the arguments for diversity that pretend to be compensatory, is that they advantage whites. They make the argument that whites can solve [black people's] problems. ... The problem with that is ... you reinforce white supremacy all over again. And black dependency."

Steele says that when blacks make racism their central focus, they mire themselves in destructive victimization -- and sabotage their own chances for advancement.