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Monday, December 31, 2007

Fred's Message to Iowa Voters

Fred, in his own words to Iowa voters, makes the case for why he's the best man to America's next Commander in Chief.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Rules for living

Rules of living:

"Never get into a wrestling match with a pig. You both get dirty -- and the pig likes it."

Jill Lawrence and Why Reporters are both Despicable and Stupid

Jill Lawrence, a "reporterette" for USA Today tells us that Fred Thompson:
... doesn't like modern campaigning, isn't that interested in running for president and "will not be devastated" if he doesn't win.

Well, then what is he doing on the campaign trail? Perhaps the answer can be found in what Fred actually said:

Question: (Courtesy ABC News) My only problem with you and why I haven’t thrown all my support behind you is that I don’t know if you have the desire to be President. If I caucus for you next week, are you still going to be there two months from now?

Fred Thompson answer: That is a very good question, not because it’s difficult to answer, but I’m gonna answer it in a little different way than what you might expect.

In the first place, I got into the race about the time people normally get into get into it. The fact of the matter is people get into it a lot earlier than they used to. For some of them, they were juniors in high school.

The first place, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t. I wouldn’t be doing this. I grew up in very modest circumstances. I left government and I and my family have made sacrifices to be sitting here today. I haven’t had any income for a long time because I figured to be clean, you’ve got to cut everything off. I was doing speaking engagements and I had a contract to do a tv show. I had a contract with abc radio…and so forth. A man would have to be a total fool to do all those things and to be leaving his family which is not a joyful thing if he didn’’t want to do it.

I am not consumed by personal ambition. I will not be devastated if I don’t do it. I want the people to have the best president they can have.

When this talk first originated from people around the country both directly and through polls, liked the idea of me stepping up and of course, you always look better form a distance.

But most of those people are still there. I approached it from the standpoint of a deal. A kind of a marriage. If one side of a marriage really has to be talked into the marriage, it probably ain’t going to be a good deal. But if you mutually decide it’s going to be a good thing. In this case, if you think this is a good thing for the country, then we have an opportunity to do some wonderful things together.

I’m offering myself up. I’m saying that I have the background, the capability and concern to do this and do it for the right reasons. I’m not particularly interested in running for president, but I think I’d make a good president.

Nowadays, the process has become much more important than it used to be.

I don’t know that they ever asked George Washington a question like this. I don’t know that they ever asked Dwight D. Eisenhower a question like this. But nowadays, it’s all about fire in the belly. I’m not sure in the world we live in today it’s a good thing if a president has too much fire in the belly. I approach life differently than a lot of people. People, I guess, wonder how I’ve been as successful as I’ve been in everything that I’ve done. I won two races in TN by 20 point margins in a state that bill Clinton carried twice. I’ve never had an acting lesson. I guess that’s obvious by people who’ve watched me…

When I did it, I did it. Wasn’t just a lark. Anything that’s worth doing is worth doing well. But I’ve always been a little more laid back than most. I’m only consumed by very, very few things. Politics is not one of them. The welfare of our country and our kids and grandkids is one of them.

If people really want in their president super type-a personality, someone who has gotten up every morning and gone to bed every night and been thinking about for years how they win the presidency of the united states, someone who can look you straight in the eye and say they enjoy every minute of campaigning, I ain’t that guy. So I hope I’ve discussed that and didn’t talk you out of anything. I honestly want – I can’t imagine a worse set of circumstances [than] achieving the Presidency of the United States under false pretenses. I go out of my way to be myself.

So,, Jill, does a man who does not want to be president give up a good job and subject himself to the anal exams that cretins like you perform ... why?

Follow up question: do you always write a story after you decide what the spin is going to be and without doing some fact checking?

More commentary from Railtank, Flopping Aces, Bob Krumm, and Red State.

See, this is what I don't understand. The flow of information is no longer uni-directional. There are more fact checkers out there than ever before. The quality control of the drive-by-media practitioners has never been high. Now the quality checkers are swarming around the Jills of this world, and the putrid product they produce looks less and less appetizing the longer it's examined. They claim to have "fact checkers" and, in fact, disdain the blogosphere for not having them. So why do the "fact checkers" (the MSM QC people) let this sort of junk get published? The answer is simple, really, the fact checkers are as clueless as the Jills of the world. The sort of idiocy that Jill wrote would strike a reasonable person as highly suspect and worth checking out. But to the sort of people who "fact check" this trash, given their ideological homogeneity, this sort of thing is, to their mind, "natural," coming from a Conservative. To them, conservatism is uncharted territory and they have no feel for what real conservatives say or do.

It does not have to be this way. But like the US auto industry, it's going to take the bankruptcy of some of the news "manufacturers" before the rest of them understand, really understand, that the old business model no longer works. Fox has found a niche and is willing to try a newer model. Rush Limbaugh has created a who new genre of broadcasting filling this untapped market. But the old MSM is convinced that its customers have no where else to go. They could not be more wrong. Detroit auto makers found the Japanese eating their lunch, but they were a long time adapting. Same for the MSM.

Limbaugh on Fred Thompson

From RedState Rush discussing Thomson's appearance on the Charlie Rose Show.


Let's go to the audio sound-bites. Last night on Charlie Rose's show on PBS. Former Senator Fred Thompson is the guest. Charlie Rose says "You constantly say in this campaign that you are a conservative. What does that mean today?

plays clip from Charlie Rose interview:

Fred Thompson:

It means things that are consistent with God's design for man, is consistent with human nature, it's consistent with the lessons of history, the lessons of ages. They found form in the Constitution I think and what our founding fathers believed. They understand that man can do great and wonderful things, but man is prone to error and sometimes do terrible things. That too much power in too few hands is a dangerous thing. That power is a corrupting thing.

Charlie Rose:

In all of that you didn't mention abortion, gay rights, all things that have been part of recent presidential elections.


Those... Well you are talking about different things there. Those are issues that are before us, which derive FROM principles.

end clip


Now this is just fabulous to me. This is just great. Here Charlie Rose asks Fred Thompson 'Well what is a conservative today anyway?'. And so Fred gives his definition of a conservative and Charlie says 'Well wait a minute I didn't hear anything about abortion or gay rights, all the things that have been a part of recent presidential elections.' Here's how Fred answered that, because Charlie Rose came back and said 'Principles? What do you mean principles?'.

start next clip

Fred Thompson:

Principles are what guide you in coming to positions with regard to issues. You know the Declaration of Independence said that our basic rights come from God and not from man. The founders talked about you know life, liberty and the importance of that. And that everything is based on those basic principles. And I take those principles and you know for example I come to a pro-life conclusion there. And when we had issues you know for 8 years when I was in the United States Senate about whether or not the federal government should be funding, for example, abortion related activities and things of that nature you know, the application of those principles in that instance told me the answer was no properly.

end clip


I guarantee you Charlie Rose is clueless here. None of this...this is...he's a listening to uh you know mongolese as Fred Thompson's going through all this. [laughing] Sometimes you just have to laugh at these poor clichéd liberals who just live in the most closeted cocooned world, while thinking they are the most worldly and uh erudite among us.

I agree with Rush. Thompson's answers were not just smart, they were wise. He has thought about the difference between principals and positions. Who else among the candidates would know the difference and be able to tell people plainly what the difference is?

Pakistan: Bhutto Died of Skull Fracture

Bhutto was killed when she tried to duck back into the vehicle, and the shock waves from the blast knocked her head into a lever attached to the sunroof, fracturing her skull.

If this is confirmed, the bomb can be blamed.

Pizza Hut Commercial Has Kucinich Backers Mad

The Best-Laid Five-Minute Plans of Bill Richardson.

Mark Steyn gives us clear-headed view of Pakistan. It's worth a read.

Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who is apparently running for the Democratic presidential nomination, was in no doubt about what needs to happen in the next, oh, 48 hours:

“President Bush should press Musharraf to step aside, and a broad-based coalition government, consisting of all the democratic parties, should be formed immediately... It is in the interests of the U.S. that there be a democratic Pakistan that relentlessly hunts down terrorists.”

Wow. Who knew it was that easy?

Except maybe it isn’t. A “broad-based coalition” of “all the democratic parties” would be a ramshackle collection of socialists, kleptocrats, tribal gladhanders and Islamists. Whether this is the horse to back if you’re looking for a team that “relentlessly hunts down terrorists” is, to say the least, uncertain.

But, since Governor Bill Richardson brought it up, it’s worth considering what exactly “the interests of the U.S.” are in Pakistan. The most immediate interest is in preventing the country’s tribal lands from becoming this decade’s Afghanistan – a huge Camp Osama graduating jihadist alumni from all over the world. That ship, if it hasn’t already sailed, has certainly cast off and is chugging out the harbor.

Move Over, Politics. It accounts for only a fraction of our lives.

Politicians and the MSM should get over themselves:

Jonah Goldberg:

Washington pundits and politicians have a habit of equating America’s collective political mood with our feelings about our own lives. When Americans say the country is “on the wrong track” — as three-quarters of us now say — the pundits proclaim that Americans are in a “funk” or a “sour mood.” When approval ratings for Congress or the president are in the toilet, news reports call Americans “angry” and the climate “poisonous.” But walk along any American Main Street during Christmas week and you’ll find the atmosphere is hardly poisonous, the mood far from sour.

Obviously, dissatisfaction with the government is hugely important in political terms, and politics are significant. But Washington needs to get over itself. Very few people define their lives politically — a fact for which we should all be grateful.

Imagine if the consumer research division of McDonald’s found that a majority of Americans were dissatisfied with the golden arches or felt that the fast-food industry was on the “wrong track.” No one at Hamburger University would conclude that Americans were in a foul mood. So when voters say they’re unhappy with government, why does that mean Americans are in a bad mood?

What's more important? The list is very long: family, health, God, friends and neighbors, work, travel, good books, good food and the internet come to mind in no particular order.

The 2007 Darwin Awards

  • Yes, it's that magical time of year again when the Darwin Awards are bestowed, honoring the least evolved among us.

    And now, the honorable mentions:

    The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat-cutting machine and, after a little shopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger. The chef's claim was approved.

  • A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

  • After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days.

  • An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

  • A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer... $15. [If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?]

  • Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.

  • As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."

  • The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti , Michigan , at 5 A.M. , flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away. [*A 5-STAR STUPIDITY AWARD WINNER]

  • When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his siphon hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.

    Here is the glorious winner:

    When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach , California , would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.

    In the interest of bettering mankind, please share these with your friends and family... unless of course one of these individuals by chance is a distant relative or long-lost friend. In that case, be glad they are distant and hope they remain lost.

    *** Remember... They walk among us!!!

Teacher Chooses Political Activism over Teaching in the Classroom

We don't teach history any more. It takes away from political indoctination.

In what is yet another example of liberal agenda indoctrination via academia, an Olentangy Liberty High School Spanish teacher, Erica Vieyra, has assigned her kids an assignment where they are told to try and immigrate.

When the students fill out the paper work, she stamps them “Denied” and then tells them how to do it illegally. Of course she claims this is not political indoctrination. As reported by the Columbus Dispatch:

Read the whole thing.

Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007

Just on case you missed it:

Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called "consensus" on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore.

The new report issued by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s office of the GOP Ranking Member details the views of the scientists, the overwhelming majority of whom spoke out in 2007.

Read the whole thing.

Jokes my wife sent me

Have you ever heard that a dog "knows" when an earthquake is about to hit.

Have you ever heard that a dog can "sense" when a tornado is stirring up, even twenty miles away?

Do you remember hearing that, before the December tsunami struck Southeast Asia , dogs started running frantically away from the seashore, at breakneck speed?

Do you know that dogs can detect cancer and other serious illnesses and danger of fire?

Somehow they always know when they can 'go for a ride' before you even ask and how do those dogs and cats get home from hundreds of miles away?

I'm a firm believer that animals - and especially dogs - have keen insights into the Truth.

And you can't tell me that dogs can't sense a potentially terrible disaster well in advance.

Simply said, a good ol' hound dog just KNOWS when something isn't right . when impending doom is upon us . . .

Jokes my brother sent me

How important does a person have to be before they are considered
assassinated instead of just murdered?
Why do you have to "put your two cents in". but it's only a "penny for
your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going to?
Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were
buried in for eternity?
Why does a round pizza come in a square box?
What disease did cured ham actually have?
How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a
good idea to put wheels on luggage?
why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up
like every two hours?
If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?
Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?
Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars
to look at things on the ground?
Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you
naked anyway.
Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?
Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible
which no decent human being would eat?
If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about
Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane ?
If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut,
why can't he fix a hole in a boat?
Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both
If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn't
he just buy dinner?
If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables,
what is baby oil made from?
If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?
Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?
Why did you just try singing the two songs above?
Why do they call it an asteroid when it's outside the hemisphere, but call
it a hemorrhoid when it's in your butt?
Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at
but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Dutch fireworks safety ad uses 'terrorist' theme


Tradition vs. Reason

"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig"

Many of our traditions are unexamined. When they come under assault, people who accept these traditions are ill equipped to defend them. That is why the chattering classes are able to experiment on society so easily. Take the assault on traditional marriage.

The intellectual conservative of our day excels in good arguments. His policy positions are reasoned and based on well-documented evidence. If he supports a cultural tradition, it is not because of his blind and irrational attachment to the tradition in question, but because he has come up with a solid reason for adhering to the tradition. This line of argument can be traced back to the great Jewish thinker, Moses Maimonides, who used his encyclopedic knowledge of contemporary medicine in order to justify the hygienic rationality of the Hebrew dietary code. Pork, for example, was forbidden because it caused trichinosis, a frequently fatal disease. Yahweh, in forbidding the Chosen People the flesh of swine, was not acting arbitrarily, but with prudent economy. Knowing, as he did, that the ancient Jews lacked sufficient medical knowledge to prohibit the eating of pork on the basis of reason alone, he supplied them with a revealed commandment: "Thou shalt not eat pork!"

But there is a problem with Maimonides' approach. As I argued in my Policy Review essay, "The Future of Tradition," those who seek to justify a cultural tradition by appealing to reason are unwittingly subverting the authority of the very tradition they are trying to bolster.
The same principle applies not just to eating pork, but to any of the traditional imperatives passed down from generation to generation. If traditional marriage needs to be defended by good arguments, then it stands or falls on the validity of these arguments, and where good arguments can be put forward to justify alternative "experiments in living," then the authority of tradition as tradition is overthrown, and whoever comes up with the best argument carries the day. The end result of this process is that intellectuals, trained to be good at arguing, inevitably gain an undue influence in the shaping of public opinion, while those who adhere to traditions simply because they are their tradition are left vulnerable to attack and ridicule because they have difficulty defending positions they have never found cause to question. In such a case, the traditionalist must either abandon his sacred ground, and learn to argue, or else he must be prepared to accept the derogatory label fixed upon him by the intelligentsia. In short, he must not mind too much being called stupid.

In a world that absurdly overrates the advantage of sheer brain power, no one wants to be seen as a member in good standing of the stupid party. Yet stupidity has been and will always remain the best defense mechanism against the ordinary conman and the intellectual dreamer, just as Odysseus found that stuffing cotton in his ears was his best defense against beguiling but fatal song of the sirens.

Sometimes it is simply better to ignore the rationalizations of the intelligentsia rather than try to rebut them.

Rudy's Latest Message. It's Good.

I commented on the bankrupt Democrats here. The Republicans, on the other hand, have several men who are good, solid, and worthy candidates to occupy the Oval Office.

Rudy is one, Fred Thompson (my personal favorite) is another. I would like to see them run as a team.

The Democrats' Bankruptcy

The Democrats are giving the American people the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel. In the primary season all kinds of weird and improbable people pop up and offer themselves as the next President. Names like Kucinich, Paul and Huckabee pop up. Members of the over-the-hill gang are perennial runners: Dodd and Biden come to mind.

But to have the Democrats offer us a choice between the wife of a disgraced former President and a man who has barely graduated from the Illinois legislature shows how bankrupt the Democrats are in offering leadership to the American people.
Here’s the headline from Obama's Character, Clinton's Experience Split Early-Vote States.

And here are the perceived issues:

Clinton, 60, is viewed as most experienced, best prepared to be president and most qualified to handle a range of important issues, including Iraq, terrorism, the economy and health care.

She also is viewed as the least honest candidate and less likely to produce change in Washington than Obama, 46. By contrast, Obama, is viewed by both Iowa and New Hampshire voters as an agent of change, the more honest candidate and most likely to tell voters what he thinks rather than what they want to hear.

Still, Obama, a one-term senator, gets the lowest grades on experience, with almost half of Iowa Democrats and 41 percent of those in New Hampshire saying he needs a ``few more years'' of political seasoning before he is ready to be president.

Clinton touts “experience” but people really understand that she and Bill are running for Bill’s third term. Obama promises “change” but people really understand that he is running as the “not Clinton” candidate.

What this election will be about is whether the American people want to give the Clintons another shot at running the country, this time with the shrew instead of the rapist at the head of the ticket.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ghosts of Anbar, Part III of IV

Michael Yon tells how Anbar is being won.

Scroll toward the bottom and you see images of Iraq you have never seen before: peace.

These pictures are amazing. Not pictures of desert. Not pictures of burning cars or dead bodies. Pictures of life returning to normal. Pictures of tended lawns. Amazing pictures.

One Hed Fits All: It's always a "crisis" in housing, isn't it?

Mickey Kaus points to the news under a Republican administration. Whatever is happening is a "crisis." Price of housing goes down, it's a crisis. Price of food and clothing goes down, it's a crisis for farmers and clothing manufacturers. And there's never a silver lining. But if this happens when there's a Democrat in the White House and prices for food, clothing and shelter go down we have a triumph of government policy for the poor and the children.

Got it?

One Hed Fits All: Are you impressed with a drop in home values of 6.6% over a year? It doesn't seem like such a big correction, given the dramatic run-up in prices over the last decade or so. ... And don't declining prices make housing more... what's the word? ... affordable? ... This evening NBC Nightly News billboarded a "housing CRISIS." (Link available here.) I thought a "housing crisis" was when people couldn't find housing, not when it got cheaper. (NBC's expert: "It's very, very difficult to find any silver lining." No it's not.) ...

Kaus also reports on reduced illegal immigrants from Mexico and much more.
P.S.: Instapundit suggests that the press may (in the words of a reader) "scupper Main Street confidence" in the economy when all it really wants to do is scupper the Republicans. You'd think the Fed or someone would address this structural issue by creating a reliable way for reporters to sabotage Republicans directly, without having to go through the intermediate stage in which they drag the entire economy down too. Sort of an earned "path to partisanship": For every sensible, non-hysterical story about the economy's perturbations under a GOP president, Dem-leaning reporters get to apply an anti-GOP double standard in a non-economic story

I support Fred Thompson

There, I've said it. and for anyone who reads this blog, here's an idea from Right Wing Nuthouse...

Dear Friends,

I am writing to ask for your help.

All of us know the long odds faced by Fred Thompson in his efforts to win the GOP nomination for president. I’m sure you are all aware that Fred has undertaken pretty much of a do or die bus tour of Iowa in order to finish strongly in the Caucuses on January 3.

Many of you have already taken steps to support the Thompson campaign in a tangible way by placing fundraising widgets on your sidebar and writing about the campaign. In this way, each of us alone has done whatever we can to support Fred in his efforts.

But at this, the 11th hour of the campaign in Iowa, I think it would be a very effective fundraising tool if as many of us as possible were to participate in an old-fashioned Blogburst, writing a post asking readers to donate to the campaign while embedding a fundraising widget in the post for convenience.

I propose Thursday, December 27 for the Blogburst. If you have an email list, I would urge you to ask your subscribers to donate. If you know of other bloggers who support Fred, please forward this email and ask them to participate as well.

Not expecting a “money bomb” but even a few tens of thousands of dollars would help, I’m sure. Given the number of readers represented in the blogs listed here (where I got all of your email addresses) and your cooperation, I feel confident we can give a real shot in the arm to the campaign.

I don’t think any of us believe that our endorsement of Thompson alone means that much in the long run. But working together, uniting for one day and speaking with one voice, I think we could make a significant impact on Fred’s chances in Iowa. After all, when the candidate you support rolls the dice as Fred has, the least we can do is back his play to the best of our ability.

No need to respond to this email. Just do it.

Merry Christmas,

From Glenn Reynolds:
A FRED THOMPSON blogburst.
UPDATE: More here.

Here's Fred's contribution site.

Click to play

Persecuting Steyn

Mark Stey is being investigated by an Canadian Human Rights Commission for an article he wrote in Maclean's magazine.

Here's my bottom line: I don't accept that free-born Canadian citizens need the permission of the Canadian state to read my columns. What's offensive is not the accusations of Dr Elmasry and his pals, but the willingness of Canada's pseudo-courts to take them seriously....

This is a political prosecution and it should be fought politically. The "plaintiffs" certainly understand that, ever since the day they went in to see Ken Whyte and demanded money from Maclean's. I want the constitutionality of this process overturned, so that Canadians are free to reach the same judgments about my writing as Americans and Britons and Australians and it stands or falls in the marketplace of ideas. The notion that a Norwegian imam can make a statement in Norway but if a Canadian magazine quotes that statement in Canada it's a "hate crime" should be deeply shaming to all Canadians.

This morning I spent 20 minutes mulling over a couple of offers for overseas rights to America Alone from the Islamic world. It seems that Muslim publishers from Turkey to Indonesia are more robust than Osgoode Hall law students. What a sad comment on the decayed Dominion.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Dana Milbank gives us an historical overview of 'waterboarding" from the Inquisition through Pol Pot's Cambodia to the CIA today.

And it's all historically interesting. But like anything, the use of terms changes over time.

At one time, a "Liberal" was a person who wanted small, non-intrusive government. Today, the opposite is true.

At one time, Fascist and Communist governments were allies, and invaded Poland together. Today we are told they were polar opposites. What is the truth?

One example of waterboarding given by Milbank:
a prostrate man having his nose pinched and water poured down his throat. Nearby, a woodcut showed an executioner from the Spanish Inquisition spraying a hose into an inverted woman's mouth. Across the room: another painting of a torture scene and a photo of the torture implements.

So is that what we are doing?

Or how about this:
Another water-torture survivor, Henri Alleg, called in from France. Alleg has written a book about being tortured by the French in Algeria describing how a wooden wedge was put in his mouth and water poured in. He lost consciousness and one of his interrogators "was hitting my stomach with his fist to make me throw out the water I had swallowed."

"They went on with electricity, burning with torches of paper, and so on,"

If Milbank is to be believed, this is what the CIA has been doing ... using
a weapon perfected by Torquemada

What is Dan Milbank saying? While the article is probably a fair summary of the meeting he attended, I don't believe that the groups sponsoring this event planned to give an evenhanded account of interrogation techniques. The references to the Inquisition are simply an appeal to emotion.

Milbanks states:
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition
But then goes out of his way to suggest that is exactly what is happening. It's dishonest and repulsive, and par for the course.

Catastrophic War?

Beldar links to an article by journalist Mat Bai in which he casually refers to the war in Iraq as "catastrophic."

It's a common formulation on the Left, which makes a virtue of hyperbole.

If one plugs the phrase "catastrophic war" into Google, its mysterious search engine algorithms will indeed rank references (mostly from politicians and pundits) to the Iraq War very prominently among the top few dozen returns. But the inhabitants of Carthage during the Third Punic War (149-146 B.C.) would certainly have sooner been able to grasp the technology behind internet search engines than they could the mind-set of those who could label, from an American point of view, the Iraq War as "catastrophic." There are no more Carthagenians, because after their besieged city of between a quarter and a half million people was finally captured by the Romans, the 50-odd thousand Carthaginians remaining alive were all sold into slavery and the city was methodically leveled back to pastureland. That was a "catastrophic war."

From the perspectives of Germany, the Soviet Union, or the European countries in between or around the two, World War II was certainly a catastrophic war. There wasn't just "regime change, although there was certainly lots of that. Nation-states were erased from the map; others were partitioned and/or occupied by foreign armies for decades thereafter. And tens of millions of soldiers and civilians were slaughtered. Even the United States, which unquestionably emerged victorious and, relatively, unscathed by World War II, suffered thousands of soldiers killed in battle in a single day, sometimes for obscure specks of coral so lost within the vastness of the Pacific Ocean that Americans both then and now couldn't accurately locate them on the globe within a distance of 10,000 miles.

Any rational student of history would conclude that America has had at most only one truly "catastrophic war" — that being its own Civil War, in which something on the order of 620,000 Americans were killed. Yet most Americans, and most serious students of history around the world, think that the "catastrophe" of that war would have been if the Union had been permanently sundered, instead of only temporarily split. Even the grim KIA figures from the American Civil War are dwarfed by the death toll from the Battle of Stalingrad alone from World War II. And there were dozens of individual battles in either World War II or the American Civil War in which more American soldiers were killed in one single day than have been killed in battle in Iraq and Afghanistan in all the days put together since 9/11/01.

If it's your husband or son or sister who's killed or wounded, then of course any war may be "catastrophic" for you and your family. For some (blessedly small) number of Americans, the rescue that Ronald Reagan effected on the island of Grenada in 1983 was a "catastrophic war."

But from a national point of view, "catastrophic war" — to have any meaning at all — seems to me to be a term that ought to be limited to those wars in which, at a minimum, the country has incurred comparatively large numbers of killed and wounded, using other actual wars as a basis for comparison. And it probably ought also be limited to those wars that a country has actually lost.

Such is the breath-taking historical ignorance of the Democrats, however, that their candidates, their partisans, and the members of the press who cover them can all presume — without giving the matter a second thought — that the Iraq War is a "catastrophic war," and that all further interesting debate and analysis, and all primary elections and party nominations, must proceed from that premise of fact and judgment.

So the question I'm left to ponder — as I prepare for a quick holiday trip back to my hometown, where I'll give thanks this Christmas for God's boundless blessings upon me, my family, and my nation — is this: I think America can, if need be, survive the occasional presidency like Jimmy Carter's or Bill Clinton's. But is the historical ignorance of the Democrats becoming so pronounced that it's beginning to run the risk of becoming "catastrophic ignorance"?
As I was driving home this evening I pondered on the incredibly low cost to America and its people of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is not to make light of the sacrifice of those who have been killed or wounded, or the effects it has had on their families. But wars always have these sacrifices and this one has been very light. It has allowed us to go to the mall while the volunteers in the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force fight the war.

Pray for victory and peace.

Christianity in America

About 82% of Americans in 2007 told Gallup interviewers that they identified with a Christian religion. That includes 51% who said they were Protestant, 5% who were "other Christian," 23% Roman Catholic, and 3% who named another Christian faith, including 2% Mormon.
Because 11% said they had no religious identity at all, and another 2% didn't answer, these results suggest that well more than 9 out of 10 Americans who identify with a religion are Christian in one way or the other.

Holiday Sales up 3.6%; Good News? Not If You are the New York Times.

The recession we’re not in has struck, according to the NY Times. First, this Christmas season was supposed to be worse for retailers than the last. It was also supposed to be the year that on-line sales were supposed to hit a brick wall.

First the facts among the opinion:

Spending between Thanksgiving and Christmas rose … 3.6 percent over last year…online spending rose 22.4 percent
So how do you make records sales for both brick and mortar as well as virtual retailers look bad? Well, that’s why they pay the writers and editors for the NY Times the big bucks.

Begin with the headline:

Disappointing Sales During Holiday Season

Follow with an editorial comment telling the reader how to interpret the data:

American consumers, uneasy about the economy and unimpressed by the merchandise in stores, delivered the bleak holiday shopping season retailers had expected, if not feared, according to one early but influential projection.
Then make comparisons to years in which spending rose more:

By comparison, sales grew 6.6 percent in 2006, and 8 percent in 2005.
But read the whole “newsitorial” yourself and see why Micheal Barbaro works for the NY Times…and why the entire Times can be purchased by the petty cash in most people’s change cups.

And who is Barbaro? Here is a sample of his other holiday headlines:

Holiday Spending Is Weak, as Retailers Expected

Disappointing Sales During Holiday Season

How the Cooling Economy Is Stealing Target’s Christmas

Retailers Face an Ominous Holiday Sign

Never Mind What’s in Them, Bags Are the Fashion

Some Gains, but Stores Are Worried

Meteorologists Shape Fashion Trends

Sears Profit Plunges; Cost Cuts Get Blame

Retail Sales Rise, but Stores Relied on Discounts

Bargains Draw Crowds, but the Thrill Is Gone

UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds takes note:

CHRISTMAS RETAIL SALES UP, BUT BY A MODEST 3.6% -- but online sales were up 22.4%. The New York Times calls those numbers "bleak," a term that's more accurately used in reference to its stock prices . . . .

Reader, and hedge-fund manager, George Zachar emails:

Investors now have to gauge not only the reality of economic data, but its predictable willful misrepresentation by the press. We therefore have to speculate not only on underlying conditions, but on the effectiveness of the effort to scupper Main Street confidence.

And more from Glenn Reynolds and Ed Morressey:


Retailers expected a boost between 4-5% on "Black Friday". They got
almost twice that, as shoppers flooded the malls on the day after Thanksgiving, the traditional kickoff of the Christmas shopping season. Consumers shrugged off the credit crunch and the rhetoric of the doom-and-gloom Democrats, who promise that poverty lurks just around the corner.

One might think that this would make headlines -- but despite the
AP's report, few of its clients appear to have selected it for the Sunday

Hmm. This sounds familiar. Where have I heard something like it before? Oh, yes, right here:

I have found over the years that there is often a huge disconnect between belief about the economy and the true economic state of affairs. Until the statistics are actually published, people tend to assess the economy through the eyes of the national media. In 1992, when Bill Clinton won the presidency based on worries about the economy, the statistics that came out after the election showed that the period leading up to November had actually been a period of record growth. . . . In his 1996 State of the Union speech, President Clinton said we had the best economy in thirty years -- a statement that sent a flurry of reporters to check actual statistics rather than popular political
movements and sweeping, politically motivated statements. The more people looked at the facts, the more they agreed, and six months later, there was near-unanimity that the economy was in good shape. Had the economy changed? No, what had changed was knowledge about the true facts of the economy.

Wildly incorrect ideas about the state of the economy in 1992. A focus on facts
that showed the good economic news in 1996. What could account for that change?
And why does it seem to have worn off in the 2008 season?

Monday, December 24, 2007

First let the lawyers kill us all

A follow-up to a previous post on over-lawyering the Israeli military. of course it's not just their problem, our military also has the lawyers overseeing the war.

The problem with Israel's High Court of Justice applying standards of international law to Israel is that, at best, international law embodies noble sounding but ultimately empty slogans, at worst, it is actively hostile to Israel's existence.

When Israel's High Court co-opts these standards it is not elevating itself, but rather co-opting the views of Israel's enemies. It is, in fact, forcing to abide by standards that are meant to be inimical to Israel's interests. There is nothing enlightened by such an approach.

Here's an example of "international law"
In these ways the General Assembly explicitly affirmed that the permission which had been granted national-liberation movements to use "all necessary means" included terrorism and hostage taking. And in case anyone doubted that the permission was serious, the support offered to Abu Z. Ein in 1982 showed vividly that the General Assembly majority meant precisely what it implied: throwing grenades into a crowded Israeli supermarket - killing and maiming shoppers - was an act of "political dissent" and "self-defense" and was not punishable by law. For when, after two-and-a-half years of legal battles, the U.S. courts finally agreed to honor Israel's request for extradition of Abu Ein (who had been represented by a former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clark), the General Assebly condemned the United States and Israel. Abu Ein, it said, was a "freedom fighter" and Israel had no right to put him on trial.

In Minnesota, It's Getting Cold

Since the mid-19th century, the mean global temperature has increased by 0.7 degrees Celsius. This slight warming is not unusual, and lies well within the range of natural variation. Carbon dioxide continues to build in the atmosphere, but the mean planetary temperature hasn't increased significantly for nearly nine years. Antarctica is getting colder. Neither the intensity nor the frequency of hurricanes has increased. The 2007 season was the third-quietest since 1966. In 2006 not a single hurricane made landfall in the U.S.

South America this year experienced one of its coldest winters in decades. In Buenos Aires, snow fell for the first time since the year 1918. Dozens of homeless people died from exposure. In Peru, 200 people died from the cold and thousands more became infected with respiratory diseases. Crops failed, livestock perished, and the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency.

Unexpected bitter cold swept the entire Southern Hemisphere in 2007. Johannesburg, South Africa, had the first significant snowfall in 26 years. Australia experienced the coldest June ever. In northeastern Australia, the city of Townsville underwent the longest period of continuously cold weather since 1941. In New Zealand, the weather turned so cold that vineyards were endangered.

Last January, $1.42 billion worth of California produce was lost to a devastating five-day freeze. Thousands of agricultural employees were thrown out of work. At the supermarket, citrus prices soared. In the wake of the freeze, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked President Bush to issue a disaster declaration for affected counties. A few months earlier, Mr. Schwarzenegger had enthusiastically signed the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, a law designed to cool the climate. California Sen. Barbara Boxer continues to push for similar legislation in the U.S. Senate.

In April, a killing freeze destroyed 95 percent of South Carolina's peach crop, and 90 percent of North Carolina's apple harvest. At Charlotte, N.C., a record low temperature of 21 degrees Fahrenheit on April 8 was the coldest ever recorded for April, breaking a record set in 1923. On June 8, Denver recorded a new low of 31 degrees Fahrenheit. Denver's temperature records extend back to 1872.
Recent weeks have seen the return of unusually cold conditions to the Northern Hemisphere. On Dec. 7, St. Cloud, Minn., set a new record low of minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit. On the same date, record low temperatures were also recorded in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Extreme cold weather is occurring worldwide. On Dec. 4, in Seoul, Korea, the temperature was a record minus 5 degrees Celsius.***

In defense of waterboarding

Here's a radical idea: people should not be killed by terrorists, even people who don't believe terrorism is a problem and want to prevent us from uncovering terrorist plots.

When captured in Pakistan in 2002, Zubaydah was one of the world's most notorious terrorists. The 31-year-old Saudi had compiled in his young life 37 different aliases and was under a sentence of death in Jordan for a failed plot to blow up two hotels jammed with American and Israeli tourists. The evidence was not hearsay: Zubaydah was overheard on the phone planning the attacks, which were then thwarted. He was a key planner of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, was thought to be field commander of the attack that killed 17 U.S. sailors on the USS Cole, and was involved in planning a score of other terror attacks, successful and unsuccessful. He was considered to be a primary recruiter and manager of al-Qaeda training camps.

He was, in short, a highly successful, fully engaged, career mass murderer. Think back to those pictures of workers crouched in windows high up in the burning World Trade Center towers, choosing whether to jump to their death or be burned alive. This was in part Abu Zubaydah's handiwork.

At the time of his capture in 2002, just six months after the Sept. 11 attacks, there was strong reason to believe Zubaydah knew virtually the entire organizational structure and agenda of al-Qaeda around the world. He was supervising ongoing plots to kill hundreds if not thousands of people. He was, for obvious reasons, disinclined to share this knowledge. Subjected briefly to waterboarding - less than a minute, according to published reports - he became cooperative and provided information that, according to the government, resulted in preventing planned attacks and capturing other key al-Qaeda leaders.

In the six years that have passed since the Manhattan towers collapsed, we have gained (partly through the interrogation of men like Zubaydah) a much clearer understanding of al-Qaeda and the threat it poses. While the chance of further murderous attacks is always with us, it is fair to say few of us feel the same measure of alarm we did then. The diminishment of this threat is at least in part due to the heroic efforts of the CIA, the military, and allies around the world in targeting terrorist cells.

In the process, the menace of Zubaydah himself has deflated. Today, he is just another little man in a orange jumpsuit at Guantánamo. Our national concern has shifted from stopping him to figuring out what to do with him.

And to second-guessing what was done to him. Waterboarding is a process by which a detainee is strapped down and forced to ingest and inhale water until he experiences the terror of drowning. It is not torture in the traditional sense of inflicting pain; it inflicts fear, intense, visceral fear, without doing physical harm. It is a method calculated to straddle the definitions of coercion and torture, and as such merely proves that both methods inhabit the same slippery continuum. There is a difference between gouging out a man's eyes and keeping him awake, and waterboarding falls somewhere in between.

No, waterboarding does not fall somewhere in between. Unlike being shot with a Tazer or tear-gassed, there is no record of anyone being injured by waterboarding. Ever.

"Torture" inflicts pain, it leaves scars, in many cases it results in permanent disabilities and - frequently - death. Just as the Left has managed to capture the meaning of Fascism, they have now re-defined torture as anything that causes terrorist to talk.

Book Selection of the Month: “Liberal Fascism” by Jonah Golderg

This is one I'm going to get.
Happy Kwanzaa — or should I say fascist Kwanzaa? At least, you may come away from this book worrying that all ethnic-solidarity political movements (like the one that concocted Kwanzaa in fairly recent times) smack of the fascist desire to overcome the complexity and confusion of modernity through “solidarity,” whether individualism is to be suppressed in the name of the race, the state, or a revolutionary class.

While readers might disagree about how much of our politically-correct era smacks of fascism, they will not be able to dismiss the much clearer and more explicit ties between the Progressives of a century ago and fascism. As Goldberg documents — in detail that will likely prove excruciatingly embarrassing for many who (like Hillary Clinton) style themselves Progressives today — Woodrow Wilson, Mussolini, and later FDR and Hitler constituted a veritable (and vocal) mutual admiration society (as did fascists and their close kin the Communists until their Non-Aggression Pact fell apart). However, once fascism became associated with the Holocaust, the left scrambled to paint fascism as a right-wing phenomenon and deny that the left itself had ever been entwined with fascism.

Yet it was under Woodrow Wilson — a racist and imperialist precisely because he was a Progressive who wanted to remake and reform the world, eliminating poverty, alcoholism, and low-IQ humans — that war fever and “patriotic” censorship were at their peak in the twentieth-century U.S. Under Wilson, not only were antiwar publications shut down but you could be arrested for discussing the president’s errors in your own home, or for insulting designated “patriotic” organizations, such as the Red Cross.

As Goldberg puts it (with only the subtlest hint of the frat-guy humor we thought we knew him for on, here subordinated to serious scholarship that will surprise his friends and foes alike), the Progressives, such as William James, were always searching for “the moral equivalent of war,” to eliminate individualism in the purifying fire of collective purpose — and sometimes that “moral equivalent of war” turned out, in fact, to be war.

Read the rest.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

There Are Several Ways to Lie; One Way is to Say Nothing.

Another way to lie is to change the subject. That's among the most often used ways the media lies to us. Now we have a study, believe it or not, done by the Pew Research Center (not a conservative in sight).

Via Captain Ed:

Pew Research Center issued a stinging indictment on Wednesday regarding the press coverage of Iraq this year, one that shows a subtle but clear editorial bias. The news media gave plenty of attention to the war in Iraq when they could show it as a failing enterprise, with half of all their coverage focusing on anecdotal stories of violence. When the success of General David Petraeus made even that coverage difficult, media outlets simply stopped reporting on Iraq (via Wake Up America)

Editorial bias comes in several guises. Stories written with a particular slant only comprise a part of how news gets manipulated for political agendas. The most insidious form is when media outlets simply don't report on stories at all.

That has become apparent with Iraq. As the violence receded, one might have expected journalists to have more flexibility in reporting from the communities rather than from the understandable impulse to remain secure in the Green Zone. Instead, most did neither.

In May, nearly 18% of all stories reported involved Iraq. In July, it had fallen by two-thirds, even though Harry Reid insisted on an all-nighter over war strategy. By September, that fell to slightly over 4% -- in the same month when Petraeus testified before Congress.

Silence is not always golden. The use of the editorial pen seems clear and damning. As the US began to succeed, the media stopped reporting it.

Note that the media rarely gave us "straight facts"

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Israel Lost the War in Lebanon Because of the Lawyers

Carolyn Glick in the Jerusalem Post:

While the soldiers and general public view the war as a failure, one sector of Israeli society sees the war as a great triumph. For Israel's legal establishment, the war was a great victory. It was a war in which its members asserted their dominance over Israel's political and military leadership.
What has changed is the focus of military and political leaders in conducting war. Before the advent of legal dominance, commanders and political leaders devoted themselves to winning wars. Today they concentrate their efforts on avoiding criminal indictments.

Fred Thompson's Christmas Message

Ronald Reagan's "Time for Choosing" Speech

If this does not move you, nothing will. From NR Online>

Some Thoughts on the Speech Police in Canada by Steyn

Re my chastisers at the Canadian Islamic Congress and their enablers at Canada's "Human Rights" Commissions, the great George Jonas weighs in:

They wouldn't have complained to the Human Rights Commission about Mark Steyn writing in Maclean's that many Muslims are "hot for jihad," say Nasseem Mithoowani and three fellow complainants, had Maclean's agreed to publish a rejoinder "from a mutually acceptable source."

No, this wasn't an offer to invest in the magazine or to buy ad space, but an exercise in free press, Islamic-style. "If Maclean's wants to publish articles alleging that many Muslims are 'hot for jihad,' " explain Mithoowani & Co., "it has to provide an opportunity to respond."

Has to? Well, actually no, not in this hemisphere. At least, not yet.

Here's more.

UPDATE: Free Mark Steyn

And the "horribly offending article..."

And here's a picture of the Grand Inquisitor herself.
Chief Commissioner Jennifer Lynch, Q.C.,
Canadian Human Rights Commission

The Hillary Who Stole Christmas: Holiday hogwash.

Jonah Goldberg comments on Hillary's video where she is shown giving "presents" to the American people. Even here, Nurse Ratchet makes an appearance at the end when she says: "I'm Hillary Clinton and I approve this message."

Well, the most disgusting, craven, shameless political ad of the election season has just come out in time for Christmas — and, no, it’s not from Mike Huckabee. It’s from Hillary Clinton.

Huckabee’s ad has gotten all of the attention because of its alleged “floating cross” masquerading as a bookshelf (or vice versa) and its overall 700 Club Christmas Special feel. But you know what? There’s no public policy involved in his ad. Sure, there’s a dose of Christian identity politics — more than a dose according to some — but no one following the race is particularly stunned to find out that Mike Huckabee is a committed Christian. His ads say he’s a “Christian leader” and that his faith “defines” him.

I’m not thrilled by the explosion of Christian piety in Republican politics, particularly with Huckabee’s version of it, but nobody’s fooled by it either.

Now look at
Clinton’s ad. Gussied up a bit like Martha Stewart, a chipper Hillary sits on her couch, arranging all of her Christmas presents to put under the tree. “Carol of the Bells” is playing on a harpsichord in the background. She’s trying to find the right cards to put on the right packages. One is labeled “Universal Health Care,” another is “Alternative Energy,” another is “Middle Class Tax Breaks.” And then the supposedly hilarious kicker. Wringing her hands and furrowing her brow with maternal angst, she exclaims, “Where did I put universal pre-K?”

And then, scanning the giant pile of presents — all for you, the voter, of course — a warm smile comes over her face and she says, “Ah, there it is!” She tucks the card under the ribbon, the music fades away, and the screen turns oddly black with a ghostly and gothic “Happy Holidays” message. (In fact, there’s something about the harpsichord music that gives the whole thing a Vincent Price spookiness.)

Of course, pandering is nothing new in American politics. “If there had been any formidable body of cannibals in the country,” H.L. Mencken complained of Harry Truman’s 1948 presidential campaign, “he would have promised to provide them with free missionaries fattened at the taxpayers’ expense.”

But if you take Hillary’s ad remotely as seriously as many are taking Huckabee’s, you’re left with a disturbing glimpse of not just Hillary’s politics but her vision of government. Her programs, which would cost billions and billions of dollars by even the most generous accounting, are simply “gifts” for the American people. No sacrifice, no cost, no strings attached at all — save the price of your vote.

The implication is that the only thing standing between you and Hillary’s trinkets is a president who doesn’t want you to have ’em. This is monarchical thinking; good ruler throws loaves of bread to the peons and asks for nothing but love in return.

The truth, as Clinton knows very well, is that it’s not so easy. To govern is to choose. “Give” the people X and it will come at the expense of Y. Indeed, until recently, Clinton’s whole schtick has been to emphasize that change is hard work, requiring sacrifice and compromise. She’d lecture Iowa audiences that real change comes from fighting for it. Now that she’s on the ropes, it’s all yours for the asking.

It’s a profound commentary on the state of our political culture that Huckabee’s ad is the controversial one. Huckabee promises nothing, Hillary everything.

The contrast between the Candidate of God and the Candidate of Goodies should remind everyone of P. J. O’Rourke’s timeless book Parliament of Whores.

“I have only one firm belief about the American political system, and that is this: God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat,” wrote the indispensable O’Rourke.

“God” he explained, is “a stern fellow, patriarchal rather than paternal and a great believer in rules and regulations. He holds men strictly accountable for their actions. He has little apparent concern for the material well being of the disadvantaged. ... God is unsentimental. It is very hard to get into God’s heavenly country club.”

P. J. continues: “Santa Claus is another matter. ... He’s nonthreatening. He’s always cheerful. And he loves animals. He may know who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, but he never does anything about it. He gives everyone everything they want without the thought of a quid pro quo.”

“Santa Claus is preferable to God in every way but one,” O’Rourke concluded. “There is no such thing as Santa Claus.”

P.J.’s right. But you won’t be hearing that from Hillary this holiday season.

Harry Reed Recognizes the Obvious


'...the surge certainly hasn't hurt. It's helped. I recognize that' --- Sen. Harry Reid, 12/21/07'...this war is lost and that the surge is not accomplishing anything' --
Sen. Harry Reid, 4/19/07

'...this war is lost and that the surge is not accomplishing anything' --
Sen. Harry Reid, 4/19/07

Via Drudge

From the PBS New Hour:

RAY SUAREZ: Well, at the beginning of this year, the Democrats returned to the majority after 12 years in the minority. You and Speaker Pelosi announced a very ambitious agenda. Now that one year has passed and you look back, how has it gone?

SEN. HARRY REID: Well, we've been able to accomplish quite a bit, but not very much, certainly not as much as I wanted to. I'm kind of frustrated, like the American people.

Only Harry Reid manages to contradict himself within a single sentence of fewer than a dozen words. I'm glad he's on their side.

More from that interview:

How much longer are we going to be asked to spend $12 billion a month on this war,
But we recognize that spending $12 billion a week -- I'm sorry, a month, is what we are spending in Iraq,
But this war is costing us $12 billion a month in borrowed money.
I had a long planned trip to go to Walter Reed today. I didn't know I was going to be on this show. And I went there today for lunch and met with staff and some of the soldiers who are wounded and some who weren't wounded.

This goes down in the history books as one of the great Democrat dunces. Just smart enough to be bribed.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Left Wing Radio

If you wonder why no one on the Left has made it on talk radio, click on the link and listen to the violent fantasies of Mike Malloy.

Here and here.

Rush does his show with great good humor. He's having a good time with his audience. Malloy spews a verbal form of sulphuric acid that is painful to listen to.

hat tip to Radio Equalizer

Shutting Up Christians in Canada

They said that if George Bush was re-elected free speech would be silenced, including free speech in Canada.

TORONTO, December 20, 2007 ( - Another Canadian publication has come under attack for its opinions through the agency of the government-funded Canadian Human Rights Commissions (HRC). Closely following an uproar in the media against government-sponsored censorship via HRC against Maclean's magazine and columnist Mark Steyn and an Alberta HRC judgment ordering Alberta news media to not publish any comments on homosexuality by a Christian pastor, Toronto's Catholic Insight magazine has reported they stand accused in an HRC complaint of "targeting homosexuals".

It's a dead give-away. If a country is named a "People's Republic" you know it is a Stalinist hell hole. When an organization has "Human rights" in its name you know they want to shut you up and keep you down.

From National Review Online:
Catholic Mag Latest Canadian Target [Stanley Kurtz]

Perhaps under the influence of the Steyn case, a Canadian Catholic magazine now reveals that it, too, is the target of a "human rights" complaint. While it will take time to form a judgement on this case, the initial report is disturbing. We may indeed be witnessing the death of free speech in Canada. Again, the problem here will not go away if the charges are dismissed. This is systematic intimidation, and it works regardless of the final verdict.

U.S. Senate Report: Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007

Senate Report Debunks "Consensus"

Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called "consensus" on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore.

The new report issued by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s office of the GOP Ranking Member details the views of the scientists, the overwhelming majority of whom spoke out in 2007.

Even some in the establishment media now appear to be taking notice of the growing number of skeptical scientists. In October, the Washington Post Staff Writer Juliet Eilperin conceded the obvious, writing that climate skeptics "appear to be expanding rather than shrinking." Many scientists from around the world have dubbed 2007 as the year man-made global warming fears “bite the dust.” (LINK) In addition, many scientists who are also progressive environmentalists believe climate fear promotion has "co-opted" the green movement. (LINK)

This blockbuster Senate report lists the scientists by name, country of residence, and academic/institutional affiliation. It also features their own words, biographies, and weblinks to their peer reviewed studies and original source materials as gathered from public statements, various news outlets, and websites in 2007. This new “consensus busters” report is poised to redefine the debate.

Many of the scientists featured in this report consistently stated that numerous colleagues shared their views, but they will not speak out publicly for fear of retribution. Atmospheric scientist Dr. Nathan Paldor, Professor of Dynamical Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, author of almost 70 peer-reviewed studies, explains how many of his fellow scientists have been intimidated.

“Many of my colleagues with whom I spoke share these views and report on their inability to publish their skepticism in the scientific or public media,” Paldor wrote. [Note: See also July 2007 Senate report detailing how skeptical scientists have faced threats and intimidation - LINK ]

This new report details how teams of international scientists are dissenting from the UN IPCC’s view of climate science. In such nations as Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, Russia, New Zealand and France, nations, scientists banded together in 2007 to oppose climate alarmism. In addition, over 100 prominent international scientists sent an open letter in December 2007 to the UN stating attempts to control climate were “futile.” (LINK)

Clinton says wife a 'world-class genius'

About 40% of the electorate will believe this.
"The reason she ought to be president, over and above her vision and her plans is that she has proven in every position she has ever had in life, whether it was in elected office or not, that she is a world-class genius in making positive changes in other people's lives," he said.

Because they want to. Because they want to give Bill a third term.

This is really Bill's re-election bid, without his name on the ballot.

Does this remind you of Argentina and the Perons?

Rush Limbaugh:
But, really, I want to reiterate a point that I made earlier this week. You know, with Bill Clinton all over the place out there, this is actually a referendum -- these early primaries -- on him. He is actually the one running for a third term while his name is not on the ballot. We all know -- well, you should know -- that Mrs. Clinton cannot win this by herself. She tacitly admitted it by bringing Clinton out and making him front and center, and they don't care. Their quest is power. They don't care how they get back in there. It doesn't matter to them. There's no ego involved here in that sense. Mrs. Clinton, despite what you might think, is not running around all jealous and worried that Bill is stealing her thunder. It doesn't matter. Getting there is the objective. How they get there is irrelevant. If they have to use Bill to get people to think they're voting for him when they vote for Hillary, that's what they're going to do, and that's what they are doing -- especially in Iowa and probably in New Hampshire, too.

Putin, the Kremlin power struggle and the $40bn fortune

Is Putin worth $40 billion?

When you run, or own, a country is personal wealth really important?

How much was Stalin worth? How do you put a value on the USSR?
The claims over the president's assets surfaced last month when the Russian political expert Stanislav Belkovsky gave an interview to the German newspaper Die Welt. They have since been repeated in the Washington Post and the Moscow Times, with speculation over the fortune appearing on the internet.
Citing sources inside the president's administration, Belkovsky claims that after eight years in power Putin has secretly accumulated more than $40bn (£20bn). The sum would make him Russia's - and Europe's - richest man.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Al-Qaeda Torture Center Discovered

It could be that AQI has taught Iraqis a hard lesson in violence and depravity. Iraqis tipped the US to the torture center, where the terrorists indulged their every cruel whim in the name of radical Islam. They provide an extreme example of what happens with extended insurgencies, and the Iraqis want stability and quiet. They want the torture rooms closed -- and now they know who to call to accomplish that.

Via Captain Ed.

Day by Day

Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee and Fascism

Jim Pinkerton of Newsday gets it right:

Is Mike Huckabee a fascist? That's the insinuation from Ron Paul, one of Huckabee's rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.

And it's a cheap shot. One needn't agree with, or even like, Huckabee to know that throwing around the f-word "fascism" is a low blow.

This story is important, because it speaks to the larger question of whether Christians can fully participate in politics without being slurred. Here's the context: Huckabee ran a TV spot in which the former Arkansas governor wishes Americans a "Merry Christmas." And in the background, there's a windowpane, or some shelving, that looks a bit like a cross.

On Fox News Tuesday morning, Paul was asked his opinion of the spot. The Texas congressman declared: "It reminds me of what Sinclair Lewis once said. He says, 'When fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross.'"


Here's what's really going on: Paul & Co. despise the federal government so much they can barely see the difference between the modern welfare state and incipient fascism. Fair enough.

That's their right - and that's their problem. But it's not right for Paul to hurl fighting-word epithets at his political rivals. Republicans, and all Americans, should reject such reckless rhetoric.

Prior to this campaign, I had heard many flattering things about Ron Paul via the Internet; primarily from Libertarian sources. After being exposed to the Paul in "full frontal political nudity" I am appalled that this nut is a member of Congress and even more appalled that he is running as a Republican. I don't want people like that on my side.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Conservative Hate Crime Hoax

It is slowly dawning on the public that fake hate crimes, like the one just perpetrated by Princeton student Francisco Nava, are quite common on college campuses. Perhaps some aspiring academic, casting about for a PhD. thesis, will try to explain why these hoaxes - mostly imaginary rapes or fake attacks on black students - have come to seem so routine.

I have been following the phenomenon and writing occasional columns on the subject for ten or twelve years. When my eldest daughter was at Oberlin, the campus was propelled into uproar by anti-Asian graffiti in the campus quad. Someone had written "Death to Chinks" and other racial slurs on the monument to members of the Oberlin community who had died in the Boxer rebellion in China. Anger, various demands and a few scuffles went on for weeks until an Asian-American student announced that she had written the graffiti to make manifest the racism she thought was inherent in the monument. This turns out to be a popular rationale for faking hate crimes - the need to create a fictional outrage adequate to express the feelings of an angry student. The more campus voices are raised against "institutional racism" and the alleged sexual dangerousness of all males, the more fake race crimes and fake rapes there will be. Look into the hoax reports and you will see an endless parade of students painting racist graffiti on their own cars, tearing their clothes and writing hate phrases on their own bodies or sending themselves politically useful death threats.

The Volokh conspiracy has some thoughts: someone named "aardvark" dismisses the violence and physical threats that prevent conservatives from speaking...
Malkin is simply not credible on this issue. The "attacks" on conservative speakers tend to be inane annoyances, like not letting them speak. Other anti-Right "attacks" involve idiotic vandalism of a different sort--like stealing a bunch of free publication from distribution boxes

A response
"The "attacks" on conservative speakers tend to be inane annoyances, like not letting them speak."

Heh. Is that all? Well, that's okay then.


Why one Muslim girl became a born-again virgin for her wedding night.

From Little Green Footballs:
When Aisha Salim marries her fiance in Pakistan next March, it will be the wedding of her dreams.

Wearing a veil and gown, she will be every inch the fairytale virgin bride and as befits her strict Muslim religion, after the ceremony, she will hand her blooded wedding-night sheets to her in-laws as proof of her virginity.

But far from being the traditional untouched bride that many Muslim families demand, she is a modern-day university graduate who has smoked, drunk, made love to - and even lived with - a previous English boyfriend. To disguise the fact that she has had sex, she has paid for painful surgery to “restore” her virginity.

It is a drastic and costly measure but as she takes her husband’s hand in marriage, she knows it is one which may - quite literally - save her life. The horror and outrage that would ensue if it was discovered she had already slept with a man would be so damning that her own strictly religious relatives might kill her rather than face public shame.

Apparently the Pakistanis have not taken our school sex ed classes.

Case Lays Bare the Media’s Reliance on Iraqi Journalists

The NY Slimes makes a big admission, the stringers they hire to "report" the news in Iraq (because they are afraid to leave the safety of the hotels) are not telling the truth. But then, the American reporters are not either, so what's the issue?

Several editors and reporters overseeing Iraqi coverage for Western news organizations said they worked hard to vet their local hires for sectarian and political ties that could slant their coverage, and offered extensive training in the rules of Western journalism. But there are no official background checks that can be conducted, as American and European companies routinely do when making domestic hires. Rather, news organizations try to get to know their prospective Iraqi hires in person and then judge them by the work they produce.

Sounds Ok so far...but then:

The reporters and editors said that they often had to filter out obvious sectarian biases from news copy, and, as a matter of policy, would not run statistics like death counts from the field without official confirmation from the military.

That last sentence, by the way, is a lie.

Is Fred Surging?

Mike Huckabee's surge may not be the final chapter in Iowa, the Des Moines Register's David Yepsen warns, and Barack Obama may still get an unpleasant surprise. The longtime political analyst has detected signs of life from Fred Thompson and John Edwards in the Hawkeye State, and believes that the unsettled nature of both races may provide yet another surprise or two

There's a lot of buzz about the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for Democratic caucus votes in Iowa. And there's also a lot of talk about the fight between Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee on the Republican side.

Can Clinton recover and overtake Obama's narrow lead? Can Romney stop Huckabee to reclaim the top spot in the GOP race? Buzzzzzz.

All that tends to overlook two other candidates: Democrat John Edwards and Republican
Fred Thompson. They're both showing real potential to come up fast here at the end.

The Adversarial Campus

Academics claim the campus is their last redoubt... heh!

Against repeated accusations of leftwing bias on campus, professors have mounted many rejoinders disputing one or another item in the indictment. They claim that the disproportion isn't as high as reports say. Or that reports focus on small pockets (women's studies, etc.). Or that party registration is a crude indicator. Or that conservatives are too greedy and obtuse to undergo academic training.

The denials go on, and sometimes it's hard to tell whether professors really believe in their own neutrality or whether they just hope to brazen out the attacks. One response, however, stands apart, precisely because it doesn't deny a darn thing in the bias charge. Indeed, it concedes every empirical point - "Yes, left-wing people, left-wing ideas, and left-wing texts dominate," but it adds, "And that's exactly as it should be."

It's a refreshingly straightforward assertion. I heard it at an MLA Convention session awhile back when a young man in the audience talked about getting shot down by his professor when he voiced in class a conservative opinion. One of the panelists replied by telling him to quit complaining, then enlarged the rebuke to all conservative critics. "Look," he grumbled, "conservatives have taken over every where else [this was before the 2006 election], and now they want the campus, too, the one place where liberal values can still prevail."

I'm paraphrasing from memory, but the implication was unmistakable. We need the campus to remain solidly liberal to keep conservatism from swamping the entire present. We might call this the Adversarial Campus Argument. It says that the campus must contest the mainstream, that higher education must critique U.S. culture and society because they have drifted rightward. For the intellectual and moral health of the nation, the professoriate must drift leftward. Kids come into college awash in the three idols that, in the eyes of the teaching liberal, make up the American trinity: God, country, and family. Instruction meets its mind-opening duty by dislodging their acculturation, dismantling the dangerous corollaries of each one, namely, fundamentalism, patriotism, and patriarchy/homophobia.

Several points against the Adversarial Campus Argumetn spring to mind, but a single question explodes it. If Democrats won the White House in 08 and enlarged their majorities in Congress, and if a liberal replaced Scalia on the Supreme Court, would adversarial professors adjust their turf accordingly? Would Hillary in the White House bring Bill Kristol a professorship or Larry Summers a presidency again?


It is remarkable how many of those "one place, standing against the mainstream" there are: academia, journalism, entertainment, hierarchies of mainstream denominations, advocacy groups, social workers and psychologists, government bureaucrats - why there's hardly anybody speaking up against the frightening conservative monolith that has squeaked out bare majorities in a few recent elections. How lucky we are to have the courageous few willing to confront The Man!

Blue-on-blue catfight: Kos turns on Harry Reid

Don't interfere when your enemies are killing each other.
Mwrrrrooowr. Nutroots King Kos has turned on Harry Reid–yes, the same Harry Reid who brought down the house at the Kos convention last year.

Lost: The traditional pleasures of everyday life by the sea

Feeling sorry for the people that want to kill jews and drive them into the sea.

Charles Johnson takes his patented note of the glorified terrorist propaganda that routinely passes for news and analysis in the mainstream media. Charles is somehow immune to the pathos Washington Post reporter Scott Wilson evokes for the citzens of Hamastan in "Sealed off by Israel, Gaza reduced to beggary."

It is the burden of Wilson's story to document the extreme depredations inflicted by Israel on the citizens of Hamastan. The depredations extend even to the deaf children of Gaza. For them, hearing aid batteries are no longer avaitable; they are now reduced to sign language. Wilson's photo above accompanies his story and carries the caption:

First-graders at a Gaza school for the deaf have had to rely on sign language since Israeli import restrictions caused the school to run seriously low on hearing-aid batteries. The isolated strip is also short of antibiotics, fuel and food.

In short, according to Wilson, Israel is reponsible for the inability of Hamas "to maintain an effective public health system, administer public schools or preserve the traditional pleasures of everyday life by the sea." Charles observes:
This sob story comes on the same day that tens of thousands of deprived beggars enjoyed one of their traditional, everyday pleasures—a massive Hamas rally, featuring genocidal hate speech and flag burnings.
Charles finds the journalistic counterpoint to Wilson's article in the bloodthirsty braggadocio on display in Khaled abu Toameh's Jerusalem Post article "Hamas: We will never recognize Israel." Charles concludes his report with a photograph brought to us by "the media swarming over one group of disenfranchised beggars, as they enjoy the traditional seaside burning of US and Israeli flags."