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Saturday, March 31, 2007
Sunni insurgent groups that were previously allied with Al-Qaeda in Iraq have turned against it, killing its leaders, attacking its supporters and vowing to drive it out of the country.
At least two Al-Qaeda commanders have been killed by Iraqi insurgents in Baghdad. Others have been forced to flee after insurgents passed their details to US and Iraqi commanders. Fierce fighting has broken out between insurgent groups and Al-Qaeda in Anbar province, west of Baghdad.
Until the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, in a US airstrike last summer, the groups cooperated with it in their bloody struggle with the coalition forces. But the insurgents have come to believe that Al-Qaeda in Iraq is destabilising the country by the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, often with truck bombs.
It's about time.
Gare du Nord, a vast transportation hub where trains from the banlieue—housing projects and lush suburbs juxtaposed—meet buses and métros that fan into all corners of the city.
Rioting breaks out again in Paris and quickly draws France’s Presidential campaign into its maw.
24 hours after the punk jihad riots, the media delivered a profile of the “kid” whose arrest sparked 8 hours of mayhem in the bowels of the Gare du Nord.[snip]
The “kid” is one Angelo H. He is, it turns out, 32 years old, an illegal Congolese immigrant, and subject to a deportation order 1993.
The “kid” has been in trouble since he came to France at the age of ten—twenty-two registered condemnations for violent incidents and many that went unreported.
The cops initially went to arrest a little cheater and found they had bagged a hardened criminal. Instead of paying for a ticket like millions of law-abiding passengers Angelo H. jumped the turnstile and was, exceptionally, arrested. In a matter of seconds he had head-butted—or slapped—one of the RATP agents. When the agents wrestled him to the ground, Angelo screamed bloody murder, a small crowd gathered in protest against the agents’ brutality. And the call to battle rang out.
Almost instantly Angelo became a thirteen year-old boy whose arms were fractured by the cruel agents (shades of Mohamed al Dura). Then a pregnant woman was added to the list of victims of police brutality. All that was missing was “the infidels set fire to the mosque.”
Police reinforcements arrived, tried in vain to calm the situation, resorted to the use of tear gas. The crowd swelled to an estimated three to four hundred, battled the police until 1:30 AM (the incident began at 4:30 PM) when calm was restored.
The Gare du Nord vandals, the Iranian hostage takers, the killer shahids, the beheaders, the mass murder masterminds, the ultimatum peace planners, and the fellow traveling anti-warriors are attacking us on all sides with whatever weapons they can grab, combined and reinforced by the lethal narrative of their victimhood—crusades, colonisation, neocolonialism, discrimination, humiliation, occupation—and our guilt.
The statement proposed by the Organization of Islamic Conference addressed what it called a "campaign" against Muslim minorities and the Islamic religion around the world since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.
The resolution, which was opposed by a number of other non-Muslim countries, "expresses deep concern at attempts to identify Islam with terrorism, violence and human rights violations."
It makes no mention of any other religion besides Islam, but urges countries "to take resolute action to prohibit the dissemination of racist and xenophobic ideas and material aimed at any religion or its followers that constitute incitement and religious hatred, hostility, or violence."
Prosecuting him now has UN approval.
U.S. soldiers from the 5th Squadron 73rd Cavalry 82nd Airborne were accompanying Iraqi forces on a routine joint patrol along the border with Iran, about 75 miles east of Baghdad, when they spotted two Iranian soldiers retreating from Iraqi territory back into Iran. A moment later, U.S. and Iraqi forces came upon a third Iranian soldier on the Iraqi side of the border, who stood his ground. As U.S. and Iraqi soldiers approached the Iranian officer and began speaking with him, a platoon of Iranian soldiers appeared and moved to surround the coalition patrol, taking up positions on high ground. At that point, according to the Army's statement, the Iranian captain told the U.S. and Iraqi soldiers that if they tried to leave they would be fired on. Fearing abduction by the Iranians, U.S. troops moved to go anyway, and fighting broke out. Army officials say the Iranian troops fired first with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades, and that U.S. troops fell further back into Iraqi territory, while four Iraqi army soldiers, one interpreter and one Iraqi border guard remained in the hands of the Iranians.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Members of the House left Washington on Friday for their two-week spring break without weighing in on the international crisis tormenting the nation's closest ally: the capture of 15 British sailors and marines by Iran.
The omission by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is being noted by some Republicans, who say they should have gotten the chance to join the Senate in denouncing Tehran's bold actions.
"I am very disappointed that the speaker chose not to act," said Rep. Charles Dent, R-Pa.
"I believe it's important for us as Americans to show our solidarity with the Britons," he added in a phone interview Friday. "The British are our closest allies, and I think we have to stand next to them in a moment like this."
The Senate on Thursday, before adjourning for its one-week break, passed a resolution condemning the act "in the strongest possible terms" and calling for the sailors "immediate, safe and unconditional release."
Pelosi's spokesman Brendan Daly said the speaker was reluctant to weigh in on the incident without knowing that such a message would do more good than harm. Daly said the British government had not asked Congress to try to pressure Tehran.
"The leadership discussed it and agreed that inserting Congress into an international crisis while ongoing would not be helpful," Daly said.
Pelosi is traveling in the Middle East, where she plans to visit Syria, Israel and the West Bank.
Randy gives a great speech; he always does.
The second thing that endeared him to me was a mean-spirited editorial (read lie) that ran in the Virginian Pilot that was basically a hatchet job on Randy.
U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes seemed a bit confused when he took to the floor of the House of Representatives last week.This is what passes for sarcasm or wit among the Pilot's editorial staff.
Apparently believing that a resolution under consideration forbade the allies from invading Normandy, and gave comfort to the traitors at DailyKos.com and to anti-war turncoats, Forbes unleashed a five-minute tirade designed to save America from the Nazis.
Today the Pilot wrote a small correction on the editorial page that sort-of retracted the smear. As with all MSM retractions, it was barely noticeable and much shorter. In fact if you did not know the original editorial you wondered what the retraction was about. But that’s the way things are done in that dying dinosaur known as the “drive-by media.” No link is available because the Pilot did not put this retraction on-line. So the original smear is there and the "correction" is on the dead tree version.
After I referred to the Pilot editorial, Randy told me a little story. It seems that the Pilot asked him to appear before the editorial staff during one of his campaigns. He rejected their offer. They asked “don’t you want our endorsement?” He told them that an endorsement by the Pilot would swing about 18% of the voters toward a candidate … but would swing 19% against the candidate.
Based on a poll of one – myself – an endorsement from the Pilot almost invariably means that I vote against that candidate unless I know them personally.
And if the Pilot sopports them and I support them, I begin to question my judgement.
It's nice to know why the Pilot decided to smear Randy in that editorial. You can't diss the people who buy ink by the barrel. If that happened, the universe would fall into confusion.
The fact is that the Pilot mainlines raw sewage – toxic waste – into the veins of the body politic on a daily basis. The sooner that dinosaur becomes extinct the better.
The Sydney Morning Herald notices that after David Hicks showed up overweight at his hearing, the charge that Americans were starving him changed to the accusation that they were making him a 2.5X American.
Prisoners in Guantanamo Bay are offered a diet of up to 5000 calories a day, 2½ times the recommended daily intake for Americans. David Hicks' father, Terry, has criticised the food his son has been given while in captivity.
David Hicks has put on weight while in the prison and at Monday's hearing observers were surprised by his chubby appearance - he looked nothing like the photos that had become familiar to Australians.
The US military on Thursday showed off the selection of meals that it offers the prisoners in an attempt to show how well it treats suspected terrorists. Prisoners could choose regular, vegetarian, vegetarian with fish, bland (with no salt or seasoning), high fibre, or "soft" food meals. There were also fruit juices (but no straw, because of concerns about self harm), fruit and nuts. And to eat these meals they get a plastic "spork".
As an artists, I find this offensive, not because it mocks religion- which is always a positive (as the power elite shd always be humbled), but because it’s just bad, bad art. It also shows the artist as an incorrigible child, and not someone with real ideas. Let’s eat the lord- real brave and original. Really makes one think, eh?
Same for the Dung Mary and Piss Christ.
And there is a double standard, which shows how cowardly these folk are. I openly state I’m against all religion, I’m pro-abortion, pro-drug legalization, etc. And if lunatics wanna start with me they will get more than they bargained for. But these ‘artists’ are children with no creativity nor balls.
Another example of the worst of a segment in society getting their 15 mins. for the worst possible reasons.
Michelle Malkin has a round-up including the crap the MSM spouted when they refused to show the Mohammed cartoons - not out of fear, OH NO - but because:
"We have standards about language, religious sensitivity, racial sensitivity and general good taste." ...(which we will never invoke when insulting Christianity) and
"newspapers ought to refrain from publishing offensive caricatures of Mohammed in the name of the ultimate Enlightenment value: tolerance."Right! Now pull the other one. This kind of in-your-face hypocrisy is by MSM pukes makes my gorge rise.
And the editors of Der Spiegel appear to agree with me.
Forty-eight percent of Germans think the United States is more dangerous than Iran, a new survey shows, with only 31 percent believing the opposite. Germans' fundamental hypocrisy about the US suggests that it's high time for a new bout of re-education.
The Germans have believed in many things in the course of their recent history. They've believed in colonies in Africa and in the Kaiser. They even believed in the Kaiser when he told them that there would be no more political parties, only soldiers on the front.
Not too long afterwards, they believed that Jews should be placed into ghettos and concentration camps because they were the enemies of the people. Then they believed in the autobahn and that the Third Reich would ultimately be victorious. A few years later, they believed in the Deutsche mark. They believed that the Berlin Wall would be there forever and that their pensions were safe. They believed in recycling as well as in cheap jet travel. They even believed in a German victory at the soccer World Cup....For us Germans, the Americans are either too fat or too obsessed with exercise, too prudish or too pornographic, too religious or too nihilistic. In terms of history and foreign policy, the Americans have either been too isolationist or too imperialistic. They simply go ahead and invade foreign countries (something we Germans, of course, would never do) and then abandon them, the way they did in Vietnam and will soon do in Iraq.
Worst of all, the Americans won the war in 1945. (Well, with German help, of course -- from Einstein and his ilk.) There are some Germans who will never forgive the Americans for VE Day, when they defeated Hitler. After all, Nazism was just an accident, whereas Americans are inherently evil. Just look at President Bush, the man who, as some of SPIEGEL ONLINE's readers steadfastly believe, "is worse than Hitler." Now that gives us a chance to kill two birds with one stone. If Bush is the new Hitler, then we Germans have finally unloaded the Führer on to someone else. In fact, we won't even have to posthumously revoke his German citizenship, as politicians in Lower Saxony recently proposed. No one can hold a candle to our talent for symbolism!
Anti-Americanism is the wonder drug of German politics. If no one believes what you're saying, take a swing at the Yanks and you'll be shooting your way back up to the top of the opinion polls in no time. And on the practical side, you can be the head of the Social Democratic Party and endear yourself to the party's hardcore with a load of anti-American nonsense, and still get invited back to Washington -- just look at Gerhard Schröder. In fact, you could, like leading German politicians in the debate over the planned American missile shield in Europe, be accused of having "an almost unbelievable lack of knowledge" by a former NATO general, and even that wouldn't matter. It's all about what you believe, not what you know.
Anti-Americanism is hypocrisy at its finest. You can spend your evening catching the latest episode of "24" and then complain about Guantanamo the next morning. You can claim that the Americans have themselves to blame for terrorism, while at the same time calling for tougher restrictions on Muslim immigration to Germany. You can call the American president a mass murderer and book a flight to New York the next day. You can lament the average American's supposed lack of culture and savvy and meanwhile send off for the documents for the Green Card lottery.
Not a day passes in Germany when someone isn't making the wildest claims, hurling the vilest insults or spreading the most outlandish conspiracy theories about the United States. But there's no risk involved and it all serves mainly to boost the German feeling of self-righteousness.
Not so safe
Iran is a different story. The last time someone made a joke on German TV about an Iranian leader, the outcome was not pleasant. Exactly 20 years ago, Dutch entertainer Rudi Carell produced a short TV sketch portraying Ayatollah Khomeini dressed in women's underwear. Carell received death threats. The piece, which lasted all of a few seconds, led to flights being cancelled and German diplomats being expelled from Tehran. Carell apologized. Jokes about fat Americans are just safer.
Read the whole thing.
Africa's Ills: Famine, disease, crumbling infrastructure, poor education, shrinking incomes — these are just a few of Africa's afflictions. And, as Zimbabwe shows, many are self-inflicted.Read the whole thing, and then click HERE."For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!"
African leaders often point fingers at the West for "not doing enough." But last week's meeting of the Southern African Development Community shows why sensible wealthy nations are reluctant to give aid.
For at that meeting, some of Africa's so-called leaders disgraced themselves by endorsing the brutal, murderous regime of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe's 27 years of misrule have taken a country that was once prosperous — the breadbasket of Africa, it was called — and turned it into a poverty-stricken hellhole rife with famine, genocide and terror, and lacking rule of law.
The Heritage Foundation's recent Index of Economic Freedom ranked Zimbabwe 154th out of 157 countries in terms of economic freedom — and dead last in Africa.
"Corruption is endemic, inflation is in triple digits, most economic activity is informal, and controversial land reform has seriously undermined agricultural production," the report said. Gee, tell us what you really think.
Good catch by Don Surber:
Dana Milbank’s page two-er today, “Senate’s Bold Proposal for Iraq: Sugar Beets and Rural Schools — in the U.S.” in the Washington Post, broke down some of the items added to the emergency spending bill for the war on terror.
Milbank did not tell readers the Democratic Senate used this bill to ladle out its annual $20 billion in pork.
In fact, the word “pork” did not appear even once in his story.
He called it “pet projects.”
That has a much nicer sound, doesn’t it?
It is as if congressmen and senators were adopting animals from the local shelter.
Who could oppose pet projects for schoolchildren? Only those mean Republicans, right?
Milbank is not alone in the media shilling for congressional Democrats.
“Conservatives Oppose Pet Projects” read the headline over the March 27 story by Andrew Taylor. The word “pork” was never used.
“Senate GOP Will Not Block Iraq Bill” by Ann Flaherty of AP on March 26 also called the waste “pet projects.” She too did not use “pork” once.
Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times also deployed the “pet projects” euphemism in his March 27 story, “Republicans to Rely on President Bush’s Veto to Block Troop Withdrawal Plan.” He did use “pork” once, but only in a direct quote from one of those bitter Republican senators.
So there you have it. When Democrats lard up an emergency bill, Washington reporters say it is for “pet projects.”
When Republicans do it, it is pork.
Put that alongside calling tax-exempt groups “non-profits” and calling lobbyists for liberal causes “activists.”
This is all on the same shelf as the journalism rule that when a Republican is a crook, you identify his party immediately. If Democratic, disclosing the party affiliation is optional.
Friday, March 30, 2007
In this New York Times flashback, Charles Schumer is complaining about Al D'Amato's role in investigating Whitewater while running the NRSC. Today, of course, Schumer is hot on the U.S. attorneys mess in the Senate, while running the DSCC.October 18, 1998, Sunday, Late Edition - Final
THE 1998 CAMPAIGN: THE SENATE;
Schumer and D'Amato Look for an Edge
BYLINE: By ADAM NAGOURNEY
..."Do you know what he did right after he got elected?" Mr. Schumer said. "He became chairman of the national Senate Republican Campaign Committee, the most blatantly political position you can hold. Then, shortly after that, he embarked on his partisan and political inquisition of the First Family....
By Joseph R. Biden and Chuck Hagel
The United States will face enormous challenges in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, as well as broad regional questions that must be addressed. These are both matters that members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have been focusing on for some time. During a week-long trip to the region, we came away with a better understanding of the possibilities and perils that lie ahead.
In northern Iraq we saw the extraordinary potential of Iraqis once they are out from under Saddam Hussein's murderous hand. New hospitals, schools, roads and lively media are testimony to the determination of Iraqi Kurds and to the bravery of coalition air crews patrolling the no-fly zone. Just a few hours' drive from the oppressive rule in Baghdad, a freely elected regional government and legislature (which we were honored to address) are embarked on a path of clear-eyed realism. While neighboring countries fear an independent Kurdistan, Kurdish leaders appear committed to working together for a united Iraq. They realize they could lose everything they have built in the past decade by pursuing independence.
Although no one doubts our forces will prevail over Saddam Hussein's, key regional leaders confirm what the Foreign Relations Committee emphasized in its Iraq hearings last summer: The most challenging phase will likely be the day after — or, more accurately, the decade after — Saddam Hussein.
[Read the whole thing...]
And now they vote for defeat.
On March 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an epochal ruling. The court found that the Second Amendment actually protects the right to bear arms for individuals.
Now, that in and of itself is huge. For decades, the courts, the legal and academic establishments, the press and all right-thinking people everywhere have been arguing that not only is the Second Amendment a chestnut from a bygone age, but that enlightened judges should just go ahead and void the darn thing like a bad parking ticket.
No, the real victory is that liberals are starting to accept the fact that the constitution has a meaning separate and distinct from what the most pliant liberal judge wants it to mean.
...as conservatives have argued for decades, [changing the Constitution] ...the ideal method is democratic debate and legislative deliberation, not judicial whim.
The Constitution is too important to be left to the tender mercies of the lawyers.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
So part of today's Investor's Business Daily is worth quoting:
We can't imagine the uproar if he had been an aide to a GOP senator. No doubt we'd have been bombarded with file footage of Columbine and every other mass shooting in memory. Instead we have stony silence from those who were happy to exploit Webb's position on the Second Amendment to get him elected.
Either they support his position or they don't. If not, where's the condemnation?
So far in the Pilot this incident has gotten a passing mention on the inside pages next to the auto ads. Of course we have to remember the Pilot motto: : "True to the Democratic Party in victory or defeat.")
Ah, the myth of the hard hitting, skeptical reporter. To be honest, I have never met a more ignorant, biased, gullible bunch of rubes in my life.
Some clod with a British title gives a speech to the National Press club about US autos not being allowed into China because they don’t meet Chinese emission standards has been repeated by this same schmuck several times and echoed by the brain trusts in Hollywood – the people who pretend to be someone else for a living.
And the room believes him!
I even wrote a post on it here.
And why not? They believe in man-made global warming based on a sci-fi movie made by a failed seminarian and Presidential also-ran.
It would not be so bad, but you don’t have to travel to China to find out that this is total BS. A quick Google search will expose the lie. Or call General Motors. But here we have people making hundreds of thousands if not millions a year, the conduit through which millions of Americans get their “facts,” and these jackasses swallow this one whole!
Thank God for Rush Limbaugh… and Tim Blair.
From Belmont Club:
One way to recognize a failing state is to examine the extent to which its cities are subdividing into gated communities. ...
The Poor Man's gated community is secured by creating a neighborhood watch, often manned by former military men, as happens in Baghdad. The Rio militias that the Washington Post describes are just simply one way poor people pull up the drawbridge around their patch of turf. They chose a local warlord and in some respects transfer allegiance to him, while maintaining a separate relationship to a High King in the capitol.
...It is often forgotten that the Dark Ages were also the heyday of multiculturalism. Each valley held its petty lord and it was possible for places separated only by a few miles to speak totally different languages. But it can't happen again, can it?
Convenient for AP's reporting, that is. Now that's it's British captives rather than Islamic terrorists behind bars:The third Geneva Convention bans subjecting prisoners of war to intimidation, insults or "public curiosity." Because there is no armed conflict between Iran and Britain, the captives would not technically be classified as prisoners of war.Yet somehow, the fascist jihadists in Guantanamo deserve both Geneva Convention treatment and the rights of an American citizen who has been accused of a crime.
Webb even hinted that he ignores the District law requiring handguns to be registered. Asked if he considered himself above D.C. law, he said: "I'm not going to comment in any level in terms of how I provide for my own security," he said.That's the Jim Webb that we elected to the Senate from Virginia thanks to the unrelenting hard work of the editors and reporters of the Virginian Pilot.
The senator was less forthcoming in his defense of Thompson. "He is going to be arraigned today," Webb said. "I do not in any way want to prejudice his case and the situation that he's involved in."
Prejudice the case? But wasn't it Webb's gun that his aide was carrying for him?
Webb wouldn't even acknowledge it was his gun. "I have never carried a gun in the Capitol complex, and I did not give the weapon to Phillip Thompson," he stipulated.
Webb had kind words for his aide -- "a longtime friend" and "a fine individual" -- but he seemed to be trying to cut Thompson loose as he spoke of the incident. "I find that what has happened with Phillip Thompson is enormously unfortunate," Webb reported. "I was in New Orleans from last Friday until yesterday evening. I was not in town. I learned about this when I was in New Orleans."
To read more about "Born Fighting, Real Man" Jim Webb, click here. and here.
SEN. Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee. As previously and extensively reviewed in these pages, Feinstein was chairperson and ranking member of MILCON for six years, during which time she had a conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum's ownership of two major defense contractors, who were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by Feinstein.
As MILCON leader, Feinstein relished the details of military construction, even micromanaging one project at the level of its sewer design. She regularly took junkets to military bases around the world to inspect construction projects, some of which were contracted to her husband's companies, Perini Corp. and URS Corp.
UPDATE: via Michelle Malkin:
Will she also be resigning from the Senate Rules Committee?
Germans, in a recent poll, believed that the US presented a greater threat to world peace than Iran. Forty-eight percent of Germans agreed with that statement, opposed by only 31%, and the number goes to 57% among younger Germans.
That's because it's safe to hate Americans:
Iran is a different story. The last time someone made a joke on German TV about an Iranian leader, the outcome was not pleasant. Exactly 20 years ago, Dutch entertainer Rudi Carell produced a short TV sketch portraying Ayatollah Khomeini dressed in women's underwear. Carell received death threats. The piece, which lasted all of a few seconds, led to flights being cancelled and German diplomats being expelled from Tehran. Carell apologized. Jokes about fat Americans are just safer.
...it's safe to hate America. We don't set off bombs in discotheques or mass in front of embassies whenever anyone insults us or our leadership.
The vaulting ambition of America's Lady Macbeth: Hillary Clinton’s shameless political reconstructive surgery
There are many reasons people think Mrs Clinton will not be elected president. She lacks warmth; she is too polarising a figure; the American people don’t want to relive the psychodrama of the eight years of the Clinton presidency.
But they all miss this essential counterpoint. As you consider her career this past 15 years or so in the public spotlight, it is impossible not to be struck, and even impressed, by the sheer ruthless, unapologetic, unshameable way in which she has pursued this ambition, and confirmed that there is literally nothing she will not do, say, think or feel to achieve it. Here, finally, is someone who has taken the black arts of the politician’s trade, the dissembling, the trimming, the pandering, all the way to their logical conclusion.
Fifteen years ago there was once a principled, if somewhat rebarbative and unelectable politician called Hillary Rodham Clinton. A woman who aggressively preached abortion on demand and the right of children to sue their own parents, a committed believer in the power of government who tried to create a healthcare system of such bureaucratic complexity it would have made the Soviets blush; a militant feminist who scorned mothers who take time out from work to rear their children as “women who stay home and bake cookies”.
Today we have a different Hillary Rodham Clinton, all soft focus and expensively coiffed, exuding moderation and tolerance.
To grasp the scale of the transfiguration, it is necessary only to consider the very moment it began. The turning point in her political fortunes was the day her husband soiled his office and a certain blue dress. In that Monica Lewinsky moment, all the public outrage and contempt for the sheer tawdriness of it all was brilliantly rerouted and channelled to the direct benefit of Mrs Clinton, who immediately began a campaign for the Senate.
And so you had this irony, a woman who had carved out for herself a role as an icon of the feminist movement, launching her own political career, riding a wave of public sympathy over the fact that she had been treated horridly by her husband.
After that unsurpassed exercise in cynicism, nothing could be too expedient. Her first Senate campaign was one long exercise in political reconstructive surgery. It went from the cosmetic — the sudden discovery of her Jewish ancestry, useful in New York, especially when you’ve established a reputation as a friend of Palestinians— to the radical: her sudden message of tolerance for people who opposed abortion, gay marriage, gun control and everything else she had stood for.
Read the whole thing.
In the U.S., Hirsi Ali may be safer from physical attack than she would be in Europe. But nothing can protect her from the attempts at character assassination emanating from the pages of the Economist, Newsweek, The Washington Post and other elite publications.It may be true that the is safer here than in Europe, but she is now under guard because of credible death threats she has received here in the US.
Ali believes that just as the West long ago “freed itself from the grip of violent organized religion” so, too, must Muslims today “hold our dogmas up to the light, scrutinize them, and then infuse traditions that are rigid and inhumane with the values of progress and modernity.”
Those are revolutionary ideas. No wonder Muslim totalitarians plot to kill her and Western apologists for Islamism conspire to discredit her.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
And why are we surprised? The Left dominates the MSM and they will always excuse the nutters on the Left by pointing out a nutter on the Right. Bring up the subject of a Leftist mob burning a soldier in effigy in Seattle (Bye, Bye GI In Iraq You're Gonna Die), Code Pink demonstrators spitting on veterans in Washington DC, or San Francisco demonstators holding signs saying that Imperialist America is Humanity's Number One enemy, and they MSM hauls out the every-handy abortion doctor sniper. The latter gets dragged out of the closet whenever he is needed ... and he is needed a lot. That doll is getting fairly ragged from being handled by so many of the Left's children.
So it was interesting that someone finally did a quick study and found that the Left is 18 times more profane than the Right.
18 to 1.
Those numbers are good enough for the MSM to ignore. Right Howie Kurtz?
By the way, right after Kurtz blamed Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs of being "ugly, racist and violent" Johnson return the compliment by linking to the Washington Post's own website comments; this time in response to the announcement of Tony Snow's recurring cancer:
Example (read the whole thing):
Tony Snow....I hope you die from this cancer, no I hope you suffer terribly andThose Washington Post subscribers. Kurtz must be proud. They are his readership; his audience, his "peeps"!
then die like a dog from this cancer. Dont keep Satan waiting.
When will Republicans learn to stop apologizing?
The Bush administration is embroiled in the most ridiculous non-scandal scandal in human history — set off when the administration stupidly apologized for firing its own employees.
U.S. attorneys are political appointees who serve at the pleasure of the president. The president may fire them for any reason at all. That includes not implementing the president's policy about criminal prosecutions. It also includes being in the way of someone else whom the president wants to appoint for patronage reasons.
Why wasn't a fuss made when Bush fired Donald Rumsfeld? He is every bit as much a political appointee as the U.S. attorneys are.
Democrats have the breathtaking audacity to claim that Bush's replacing his own political appointees is "politicizing prosecutions."
They say this as Sandy Berger walks free after stealing and destroying top-secret national security documents — but Lewis "Scooter" Libby faces decades in prison for )not outing a covert agent. (Let's hope he's learned his lesson!)
They say this as Rep. William "The Refrigerator" Jefferson sits on the Homeland Security Committee while waiting for the $100,000 found in his freezer to thaw — but Tom DeLay remains under an indictment by some hick prosecutor in Texas for an alleged accounting violation.
They say this as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid draws interest on the sale of a property he sold in a complicated land swindle — but American hero Randy "Duke" Cunningham rots in prison.
Saying "I'm sorry" is a confession of guilt. The problem is that if you are not guilty, saying "I'm sorry" makes matters worse; it makes both you and your accusers complicit in a lie.
Read the rest.
Sen. Jim Webb on Tuesday called the arrest of a top aide on weapons charges "extremely unfortunate" after the aide was stopped as he brought the senator's loaded pistol into a Senate office building.
Webb declined to comment on details of Thompson's case but called him "a longtime friend" and "a fine individual."
"He has worked for me since the beginning of the campaign last year," he said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. I think this is one of those very unfortunate situations where, completely inadvertently, he took the weapon into the Senate yesterday."
Webb, who has a concealed handgun permit in Virginia, said he handed his gun off to aides before getting on a plane Friday to New Orleans, Louisiana. He said he did not give Thompson the weapon directly and was unsure how it ended up with him.
That is one ringing defense from "born fighting" (his campaign slogan as he wore his son's combat boots) Jim Webb.
I never expected much from this blowhard, but this fits right in with Jim Webb's use of George Allen's Macaca comment. Jim Webb is a sissy and he left his nads in Viet Nam.
Perhaps you’ve heard about the schools that have banned tag. Or dodgeball. Or stories about pigs.
If so, you won’t be surprised to hear that the Hilltop Children’s Center in Seattle has banned Legos.
A pair of teachers at the center, which provides afterschool activities for elementary-school kids, recently described their policy in a Rethinking Schools cover story called “Why We Banned Legos.” (See the magazine’s cover here.)
It has something to do with “social justice learning.”
After “months of social justice exploration,” the teachers finally agreed it was time to return the Legos to the classroom. That’s because the children at last had bought into the concept that “collectivity is a good thing.” And in Hilltop’s new Lego regime, there would be three immutable laws:
All structures are public structures. Everyone can use all the Lego structures. But only the builder or people who have her or his permission are allowed to change a structure.
Lego people can be saved only by a “team” of kids, not by individuals.
All structures will be standard sizes.
You can almost feel the liberating spirit of that last rule.
Note: Earlier this month, six publicity-seeking imams filed a federal lawsuit against US Airways and the Metropolitan Airports Commission in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The Muslim clerics were removed from their flight last November and questioned for several hours after their suspicious behavior alarmed both passengers and crew members. Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten reported last week that the imams, advised by the grievance-mongers at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, also plan to sue "John Does" -- innocent bystanders who alerted the authorities about their security concerns. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., has introduced legislation to protect John Does who report suspicious behavior from legal liability. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty; talk show host Michael Reagan; Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, who heads the American Islamic Forum for Democracy; and Minnesota lawyer Gerry Nolting have all stepped forward to offer free representation to the imams' targets.
Dear Muslim Terrorist Plotter/Planner/Funder/Enabler/Apologist,
You do not know me. But I am on the lookout for you. You are my enemy. And I am yours.
I am John Doe.
I am traveling on your plane. I am riding on your train. I am at your bus stop. I am on your street. I am in your subway car. I am on your lift.
I am your neighbor. I am your customer. I am your classmate. I am your boss.
I am John Doe.
I will never forget the example of the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 who refused to sit back on 9/11 and let themselves be murdered in the name of Islam without a fight.
I will never forget the passengers and crew members who tackled al Qaeda shoe-bomber Richard Reid on American Airlines Flight 63 before he had a chance to blow up the plane over the Atlantic Ocean.
I will never forget the alertness of actor James Woods, who notified a stewardess that several Arab men sitting in his first-class cabin on an August 2001 flight were behaving strangely. The men turned out to be 9/11 hijackers on a test run.
I will act when homeland security officials ask me to "report suspicious activity."
I will embrace my local police department's admonition: "If you see something, say something."
I am John Doe.
I will protest your Jew-hating, America-bashing "scholars."
I will petition against your hate-mongering mosque leaders.
I will raise my voice against your subjugation of women and religious minorities.
I will challenge your attempts to indoctrinate my children in our schools.
I will combat your violent propaganda on the Internet.
I am John Doe.
I will support law enforcement initiatives to spy on your operatives, cut off your funding and disrupt your murderous conspiracies.
I will oppose all attempts to undermine our borders and immigration laws.
I will resist the imposition of sharia principles and sharia law in my taxi cab, my restaurant, my community pool, the halls of Congress, our national monuments, the radio and television airwaves, and all public spaces.
I will not be censored in the name of tolerance.
I will not be cowed by your Beltway lobbying groups in moderates' clothing. I will not cringe when you shriek about "profiling" or "Islamophobia."
I will put my family's safety above sensitivity. I will put my country above multiculturalism.
I will not submit to your will. I will not be intimidated.
I am John Doe.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I've been working on coming up with just the right phrase for answering perjury-trap questions. The problem with "I do not recall" is that if you do recall, it's perjury. The problem with "I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that it would incriminate me" is that it admits something criminal. So here's my current formulation:
I exercise my 5th Amendment right to refuse to say anything that contradicts what a Democrat wishes is true.
Jim Webb defends his carrying a gun where none are permitted - by law - (Washington DC) by stating that:
"I believe that it's important — it's important for me, personally, and for a lot of people in the situation that I'm in, to be able to defend myself and my family," Webb said. "Since 9/11 for people who are in government I think in general there has been an agreement that it's a more dangerous time. Again, I'm not going to comment, again, with great specificity about how I defend myself, but I do feel that I have that right."
Reader Christopher Fox emails: "Well, Senator, that might be your perception, but as far as I can tell, domestically speaking, we've lost around 3,000 civilians and 0 Senators to the post-9/11 dangers of which you speak. It's a more dangerous time for all of us, and civilians seem to be shouldering the majority of that risk. So maybe we can, I don't know, all get to carry unregistered firearms around wherever we like? No? Why not?"
WE HAVE LOST ABOUT 3000 CIVILIANS AND ZERO SENATORS ON 9/11. WHY SHOULD YOUR LIFE BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT OF THE OTHER CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY.
EITHER OBEY THE LAW ... OR CHANGE IT. YOU ARE NOT ABOVE IT!
Super expert global warming researcher Sir Nicholas Stern claims:
“You can’t export an American car to China: it does not satisfy the emissions standards.”
Really? That’ll be news to DaimlerChrysler and Cadillac, both of which maintain outlets in China. This idea that Chinese automotive standards are higher than those in the US turns out to be another leftist item of faith; here’s Seattle’s Joel Connelly:
We can’t sell American cars in China because they don’t meet the Middle Kingdom’s fuel efficiency standards.
And the HuffyPost’s Laurie David:
You can’t even sell many American cars in China because they don’t meet that country’s higher fuel standards. That’s right, China demands better mileage from its cars than we do!
For sure, Laurie and Joel and Sir Nick! When not banning US vehicles entirely, China apparently limits its intake of American road metal to fuel-sipping Caddy econopods:
During a ceremony at Beijing’s Imperial Ancestors’ Temple, a symbol of ancient China, General Motors officially launched Cadillac, its premium luxury brand for modern China.
Three new Cadillac models that will be sold in China - the CTS, SRX and XLR - were unveiled at the ceremony. All three products embody Cadillac’s distinctive bold design, purposeful innovation and balanced performance ...
All three models will start as imports from GM’s North American Operations. They will be built at the company’s Grand River manufacturing facility in Lansing, Michigan, and at its facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
One of the bangs was this tidbit (Dow Jones newswires):
BAGHDAD (AP)--U.S. soldiers foiled two suicide truck bombings against their base in a small town west of Baghdad and killed as many as 15 attackers, the U.S. military reported Tuesday.
The attacks began when a water truck tried without permission to drive into the base just north of Karmah, a small town not far from Fallujah, about 2 p.m. Monday. A soldier opened fire and the truck bomb exploded.
The military said 30 insurgents then opened fire with small-arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars. Five minutes into the firefight, a dump truck following the same path as the exploded water truck tried to smash into the base but the driver was shot and that truck load of explosives blew up as well.
The military estimated it killed 15 insurgents in the fight and said eight soldiers were wounded. Seven of the wounded returned to duty after treatment by medics on site. One soldier required hospitalization.
Karmah is 50 miles west of Baghdad.
Reuters put out this series of stories, each one slightly different report on the same incident:
Reuters @ 10:40 AM:
Car bomb kills 15 in northern Iraq - police
BAGHDAD, March 27 (Reuters) - A car bomb killed 15 people and wounded another 30 when it exploded in the middle of the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar on Tuesday, police Brigadier Karim Khalaf al-Jubouri said. Jubouri said the bomb targeted civilians on a central street in Tal Afar, which is near the Syrian border.
((Editing by Myra MacDonald))
Reuters at 12:40 AM:
Toll in twin Iraqi truck bombing rises to 45-police
BAGHDAD, March 27 (Reuters) - Two truck bombs killed 45 people and wounded 103 in the northwestern Iraqi town of Tal Afar on Tuesday, police Brigadier Karim Khalaf al-Jubouri said.
One of the blasts was detonated by a suicide bomber who lured victims to his truck to buy wheat that was loaded on the back, Jubouri said. A second truck bomb exploded in a car park.
((Editing by Elizabeth Piper))
By the end of the day, Reuters had merged all the bangs in Iraq into one big bang that would be carried by the evening news broadcasts:
(Updates Tal Afar death toll, changes dateline) By Claudia Parsons and Mussab Al-KhairallaAnd added their in-story editorial for those who don't get it: the only things that happen to the 20 million people in Iraq is "BANG." The only thing: "BANG." To the exclusion of everthing else: "BANG."
BAGHDAD, March 27 (Reuters) - Bomb attacks killed 75 people in Iraq on Tuesday, including 48 who died in twin truck bombings in the northwestern town of Tal Afar, police said.
Among other attacks, suspected al Qaeda militants killed 21 people in bombings targeting police and Sunni Arab tribes who have formed an alliance against the militants, officials said.
The attacks follow an upsurge in violence in recent days. U.S. and Iraqi security forces have deployed thousands more soldiers in Baghdad to try to stem a sectarian war that threatens to tear the country apart.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Selena Roberts is a pig. No, we're not talking primarily about her weight, her piggishness goes much deeper. She is a misogynistic pig. She has a problem with white males, or at least those white males who play lacrosse.
Now as this tragedy turns to farce, there is apparently no sense of remorse on the pigs in the MSM who see their victims escape their snares.
Click on the link and you will see just what passes for Liberal, racist (but I repeat myself) thought.
Captain Ed notes that Iran has blatantly announced it is going to violate the Geneva Conventions, but no one in the press or the human rights community seems to notice.
No of course not. As currently interpreted the Geneva Conventions only apply to individuals bent on destroying America. Individuals who blow up elementary schools, kidnap children, attack churches and mosques, kill invalids in wheelchairs, plan attacks on skyscrapers in New York, behead journalists, detonate car bombs with children to camouflage their crime, or board jetliners with explosive shoes -- all while wearing mufti or even women's clothing -- these are all considered "freedom fighters" of the most principled kind. They and they alone enjoy the protections of the Geneva Convention. As to Americans like Tucker and Menchaca or Israeli Gilad Shalit -- or these fifteen British sailors for that matter, it is a case of "what Geneva Convention?" We don't need no steenkin' Geneva Convention to try these guys as spies. That's the way the Human Rights racket works. Don't go looking for any Geneva Convention in Somalia, Darfur, Basilan or Iran. Try Guantanamo Bay.
Islamic terrorists are encouraging their supporters, who can write in English, to get on American web sites and pretend to be friends or family members of American soldiers or marines. The "media jehadis" are instructed to tell stories in line with the anti-war tone of American and European media. Things like soldiers committing suicide because they were forced to take part in atrocities in Iraq. Or wounded soldiers suffering, or killing themselves, because of the poor care and abuse they have received from the army. The media jihadis are told to make it sound like they are simply passing on what a soldier said, not to pretend to be a soldier or marine. Media jihadis are told not to discuss anything from the Moslems side, and Moslems should only be referred to as innocent victims. Never mention the Sunni-Shia conflict or Islamic terrorism. Posters should not stick around for discussions, lest they be found out. Care should be taken to select screen names similar to other English speaking posters. Keep messages simple, so as not to betray the fact that you are not a native English speaker.
Until now, the people who told us heart wrenching stories about wounded suffering soldiers who commit suicide has been left to the American MSM and the denizens of the internet via Kos or DU. These people will now get help.
Of course they really don't need help because the NY Times is already in their corner and is busy writing stories about women soldiers who are subject to multiple rapes and war injuries in Iraq even though they have never been to Iraq.
The March 18 Sunday New York Times Magazine cover story was a gripping account of the emotional problems some female veterans suffer as results of their war experiences, sexual assaults or both.
One of the women featured in the story was a former builder constructionman Amorita Randall, 27, who served six years as a Seabee. Randall told the Times that while in the Navy, she was raped twice — in 2002 while she was stationed in Mississippi, and again in Guam in 2004. She also told the Times that she served in Iraq in 2004, which the Times reported as fact but which it now appears was not the case.
Here's NR's take.
From Michelle Malkin:
There seems to be a lot of inconsistencies with the news reports coming out about whether or not Senators & Congressmen are exempt from our federal "disarmed victim" zones, in particular the Capitol and the associated offices of our elected representatives. What is the law? Even if all of the other DC possession laws aren't the issue, would Jim Webb be legally able to bring a firearm into the Capitol?and..
In reading the text of the recent federal court ruling that overturned a portion of the D.C. gun ban (which ban still remains in effect pending appeal), I learned some details about D.C. gun laws.
Sen. Webb's pistol is illegal anywhere inside the city limits of Washington, D.C. unless Mr. Webb registered the gun with the D.C. police department prior to the 1976 registration deadline. The only people who have been allowed to register privately-owned handguns in D.C. since 1976 are retired D.C. police officers. Active-duty D.C. cops cannot legally own a handgun unless they registered it prior to the 1976 deadline, though they can carry a department-issued sidearm
while on duty. Thus, if Sen. Webb's pistol is less than 30 years old, it would not have existed in 1976 and he would not have been able to register it.
As for the separate issue of a concealed-firearm permit, a private citizen in D.C. can still obtain such a permit if the D.C.P.D. happens to feel like issuing it to him, but he can only carry a registered handgun, which makes it a moot point for people who moved to D.C. after 1976.
Interviewer: But there was an operation, for which Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility - the bombing of the Twin Towers in America, and what was described as terrorist attacks against the Americans. In this case, for example, are you with him or against him? Were you happy when you saw the towers collapse?
Fathi Yakan: If we examine the ideology of Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden in depth, we see that he has become completely convinced that the only way to curb the disease that is afflicting the Islamic world... The only way to stop this octopus is to crush the serpent’s head.
Interviewer: Do you share this opinion?
Fathi Yakan: It’s fine with me. I might have crushed the serpent’s head in a different way. I might have crushed it by means of the Islamic resistance in South Lebanon, by attacking Israel. But Bin Laden said: “No, I will strike it in its own home. I will strike it in the World Trade Center, and shake its economic status.” This is his methodology, and he should bear responsibility for it, but I am not sad or depressed that this happened, and I do not condemn it. In all honestly, I have never condemned this. Just like it had negative ramifications, it had positive ones as well.
As currently interpreted the Geneva Conventions only apply to individuals bent on destroying America. Individuals who blow up elementary schools, kidnap children, attack churches and mosques, kill invalids in wheelchairs, plan attacks on skyscrapers in New York, behead journalists, detonate car bombs with children to camouflage their crime, or board jetliners with explosive shoes -- all while wearing mufti or even women's clothing -- these are all considered "freedom fighters" of the most principled kind. They and they alone enjoy the protections of the Geneva Convention. As to Americans like Tucker and Menchaca or Israeli Gilad Shalit -- or these fifteen British sailors for that matter, it is a case of "what Geneva Convention?" We don't need no steenkin' Geneva Convention to try these guys as spies. That's the way the Human Rights racket works. Don't go looking for any Geneva Convention in Somalia, Darfur, Basilan or Iran. Try Guantanamo Bay.
Beldar on Goldberg and Beinart on whether Democrats have paid a political price for opposing the Vietnam War
...for purposes of the current debate over Iraq, what's important about the history of American involvement in Vietnam, and especially the American abandonment of South Vietnam, is the blank spot in the American consciousness that continues to leave most Americans (most of whom now have come of age after 1975) serenely ignorant of what I believe to have been the single most shameful event in 20th Century American history. Millions of people died in Southeast Asia as the direct result of those votes by the anti-war Congress in 1973-1975. Almost none of the dead were Americans, though, and the American public was still distracted by Watergate and thoroughly exhausted by bitter arguments over Vietnam that by then dated back more than a decade. And as a result, for most Americans, those horrifying and eminently preventable events simply didn't happen.
That's what I mean when I say that the Democratic Party never paid a price for its opposition to the Vietnam war.
When we're talking now about cutting and running from Iraq, with a risk of regional and world consequences that may well dwarf the bloodbaths in Southeast Asia after March 1975, we must, as a nation, manage to see and to appreciate — and to remember with appropriate horror and regret and, yes, shame — the blood of those millions that will forever stain American history.
Note well: I am not arguing that the piles of corpses in Cambodia's killing fields and the drowned Vietnamese boat people were intended by the Democratic Party as an institution. It wasn't the Democrats from the "Watergate Class of '74" who herded families into reeducation camps and tiger cages. Our guilt and shame ought be as enablers of madmen; our guilt and shame ought to be for failing to prevent that which we could and should, as a nation, have foreseen that the madmen would do. And in discussing the current alternatives regarding Iraq, for example, I do not think that it's particularly productive, nor even very precise, to talk about the Democratic Party's collective historical responsibility, as an institution, for the consequences of those 1973-1975 Congressional votes.
But without slapping party labels around, it is altogether appropriate — it is essential, it is a moral imperative at the risk of our collective and individual souls — that Americans finally grasp and then come to grips with what happened in Vietnam and Southeast Asia in the last half of the 1970s as a direct result of the anti-war, cut-and-run, and cut-off-the-funds politicians of either party who forced this country to abandon our allies there. The lessons here need to be learned by our nation, not just by one or the other of its political parties. In that regard, I'll appropriate Sen. McCain's comment: It's not political parties who win or lose wars; it's entire nations who win or lose wars, and it's nations who bear the consequences.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Dennis Gartman has brought our attention to an interview by Mr. Shikwati in the German Magazine, Der Spiegel.
The Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati, 35, says that aid to Africa does more harm than good. The avid proponent of globalization spoke with SPIEGEL about the disastrous effects of Western development policy in Africa, corrupt rulers, and the tendency to overstate the AIDS problem.
SPIEGEL: Mr. Shikwati, the G8 summit at Gleneagles is about to beef up the development aid for Africa...
Shikwati: ... for God's sake, please just stop.
SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.
Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.
SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?
Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn't even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.
SPIEGEL: Even in a country like Kenya, people are starving to death each year. Someone has got to help them.
Shikwati: But it has to be the Kenyans themselves who help these people. When there's a drought in a region of Kenya, our corrupt politicians reflexively cry out for more help. This call then reaches the United Nations World Food Program -- which is a massive agency of apparatchiks who are in the absurd situation of, on the one hand, being dedicated to the fight against hunger while, on the other hand, being faced with unemployment were hunger actually eliminated. It's only natural that they willingly accept the plea for more help. And it's not uncommon that they demand a little more money than the respective African government originally requested. They then forward that request to their headquarters, and before long, several thousands tons of corn are shipped to Africa ...
Click on the link to see the rest.
4. Traffic Santa Bloggers:
Some bloggers are known as "traffic santa's" as a single link from their widely read blog to your lesser known blog can bring in a virtual avalanche of new readers. Unfortunately, these bloggers know about their standing and seem petty about when, and to whom, they will give the gift of linkage.
As the 'sphere is all about gathering traffic, this can, inevitably, lead to tensions erupting into the open. Rather than complain that "I have to write 150 posts on razor blades and nanotechnology before some hick from East Tennessee will link me", take a deep breath and remember: civility.
Instead, you should take a few moments and write a complimentary e-mail introducing yourself, your blog, and what you think this particular "Traffic Santa" might be interested in reading. It wouldn't hurt to add a line complimenting his ability to distill your 7,500 word post into a single word like "Heh", either. Perhaps you should say he "perfectly captured the essence of the point being made, and reframed the argument in a way that illuminated it for all to see."
Civility is a wonderful thing.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Thabo Mbeki is a typical African leader, and he has been busily turning South Africa into a typical African nation, marked by support for other thugocracies, a paranoid, unscientific AIDS policy and support for the murderous Mugabe regime. That doesn't leave much room for moral exceptionalism.
I have never had much use for the moral posturing of the South African black leaders and I'm rather surprised by the surprise of those who had. The reason that the ANC was able to take power bloodlessly was because the old - Apartheid - government handed the reins over without a civil war. I am not persuaded that - in 50 years - this will turn out to have been a good thing for either white or black inhabitants of Africa.
Sadr has been a force for rebellion and violence. If he has lost control and his “army” is splintering, that would be a good thing. It is certainly a good thing that he has left the country and this no longer has direct control of the thugs that made up his militia.
On the question of how he is dished up to the American people, we have two apparently disparate versions.
How is Moktada's excellent Iranian adventure going? "Al Sadr has been in Iran since early February," wrote the AP on March 21, "apparently laying low during the U.S.-Iraqi offensive, according to the U.S. military." Yet poor Moktada's been homesick. "Al Sadr tried to return to Iraq last month," says the wire story, "but turned back before he reached the Iraqi border upon learning of U.S. checkpoints on the road to Najaf, the Shiite holy city south of Baghdad where he lives."
An anonymous Sadr aide appeared to confirm the account. "Conditions are not suitable for him to return," he told the AP. "His safety will not be guaranteed if he returns."
Now, let's cut to the front page of the Washington Post on March 15. That's six whole days earlier. Sitting above the fold that day was a headline that proclaimed, "For U.S. and Sadr, Wary Cooperation," and a subhead that explained, "Radical Shiite Cleric Seen as Crucial To Success of Baghdad Security Plan."
In that story, we learned that "Sadr and the Americans are cooperating uneasily," and that "[t]he collaboration represents a remarkable shift for two adversaries who control the largest armies in Iraq and who fought some of the fiercest battles since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion." Most wonderfully, we learned that, "For Sadr, it is the latest stage in an evolution from populist cleric to guerrilla fighter to political kingmaker and now to power broker."
I guess we'll soon be reading that Moktada has evolved into one of the Eight Immortals, but never mind that for now. If the AP account is accurate, then even as the WaPo reporter was keyboarding the words, p-o-w-e-r- b-r-o-k-e-r, Moktada had already scurried away from the Iraqi border at the prospect of encountering a U.S. checkpoint. That's some impressive power brokering, no? The Post actually writes that U.S. officials now "view [Al Sadr] as a political catalyst who can help keep Iraq together -- or implode it." Would that be the same frightened Moktada last seen speeding deeper into Iran?
Now it’s clearly known that neither the AP nor the Washington Post supports the US effort in the Middle East. But to have two so-called “credible news organizations” dish up two totally different versions of reality heavily underscore the point that the “news” being fed to the American people is mental poison, akin to the poisonous pet food that has also hit the headlines in recent days. The difference is that the pet food killed a relatively small number of pet animals. The sort of poison fed to us by the MSM can – and has – killed millions.
While not doubting that the world is getting warmer he is convinced that this is part of a natural cycle that is dictated not by an evil mankind, but my much more powerful forces, primarily the sun.
After years of having the stage to themselves, the Eco-Left if finally finding the stage crowded. For the first time in our memory, those who take exception to man-made global warming are being heard...and listened to.
The February  issue of National Geographic reports that:
Simultaneous warming on Earth and Mars suggests that our planet's recent climate changes have a natural—and not a human-induced—cause, according to one scientist's controversial theory.
Earth is currently experiencing rapid warming, which the vast majority of climate scientists says is due to humans pumping huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. [This is a bit of National Geographic editorializing. As recent evidence has shown, and more climate scientists come forward, the "vast majority" is shrinking faster than the polar icecaps.]
Mars, too, appears to be enjoying more mild and balmy temperatures.
In 2005 data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide "ice caps" near Mars's south pole had been diminishing for three summers in a row.
Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of space research at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, says the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun.
"The long-term increase in solar irradiance is heating both Earth and Mars," he said.
Unless the Mars probes that NASA has sent to Mars have caused warming on that planet, it is the sun's natural change in heat output, the heating and cooling, that are the reasons for both earthly and Martian temperature changes.
Greenhouse gases are on the rise on Mars, and have been apparently for centuries, as the sun's cycle of sunspot activity is on the rise. As the atmosphere heats, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and in the oceans and in the water, rises, for warmer atmospheres and water are able to hold greater volumes of CO2. That is a scientific fact, and those greater volumes lag behind the heat increases that create the circumstance.
This risk is that the Eco-Left will panic the world's legislatures into implementing anti-global warming policies that will not only have no effect on global warming, but will doom millions of poor people throughout the world to miserable death. And lest I be accused of exaggerating, let me remind all that the DDT ban, which most people still reflexively support, saved countless numbers of eagles but also allowed for the recurrence of malaria resulting in hundreds of thousands of human deaths in the Third World. We banned DDT, saved the eagles and killed numberless human beings in the process. I would rather not go that route again.
UPDATE: Welcome Freepers. Feel free to look around.
Friday, March 23, 2007
One of the reasons liberal solutions don't work is that they fail to take into consideration the nocturnal aspect of history. And one of the reasons they fail to do so is that leftism in general consists of a meme-pool of the over- and undereducated -- or maternalistic elites (the dreaded "vaginocracy dentata") and the losers for whom they know what's best. Furthermore, this pathological dance creates a "night time" influence of its own, in that the solutions and programs enacted by the elites inevitably make the problems worse, thus creating a greater need for maternalistic elites (an odd conglomeration of "men with breasts" and women without them, e.g., feminists).
Thus, we should not be surprised if we see in leftists the same pattern of projection, condescension, and sanctimony. Can I get an witness? Thank you. Where would the left be without their projected racist fantasies of the po' hepless negro? It is quite striking how blacks can tolerate the utter contempt that liberal politicians and the MSM have for them. They are infantilized, held to lower standards, excused of behavior that would not be tolerated in others, and worse. Only on the left could a low life thug such as Al Sharpton run for president without provoking comment, much less deep soul-searching. It is not ironic. It is inevitable.
But it takes two to tango to a tangle of pathology, and it is always tempting to overpathologize the abuser and underpathologize the abused, when the dysfunctional system needs both parties in order to function as a national rescue party -- to party heartily (or in the end, heartlessly). Masochists are on the lookout for sadists, driven to find their missing half just as much as the sadist seeks the weak masochist.
For example, we all know how loving and compassionate liberals are, especially toward the terrorists who wish to destroy our civilization. The terrorists are given a pass because liberals project "victimhood" into them -- e.g., they are victims of poverty, or of imperialism, or of Jews, or of Big Oil, or of George Bush. And this codependent "idiot compassion" simply creates more terrorists.
On the other hand, no such compassion is felt toward Scooter Libby or Dick Cheney. Just a couple of days ago there was another primitive hatefest at huffingandpissed when Vice President Cheney was taken to the hospital because of a blood clot. The primitive projection is quite palpable, which is nothing new if one has any acquaintance with the base base of the left.
What is so incomprehensible -- incomprehensible in the absence of psychoanalytic knowledge, anyway -- is the hatred directed toward a public servant such as Cheney but the absence of hatred toward the terrorists. When something this illogical is going on, you know that it is governed by night-time unconscious processes of which the person is unaware. How can it be that Cheney is the one deserving of denigration, death, suffering, and hellfire, while admitted terrorists at Gitmo are deserving of the full panoply of civil rights -- even the presumption of innocence despite having admitted their crimes?
A truly fascinating article. Read the whole thing.
But for those 88 professors - what consequences will they experience?Read the whole thing.
Consequences? Don't make me laugh.
The tenured ones will continue to enjoy their aristocratic installment in Durham. The untenured will be supported in their efforts to find similar perches elsewhere by the rest of the Gang of 88, because that's how academic politics works.
How about even the loss of even a single night of sleep?
Oh, no. Not these folks. They're fighting the white patriarchy. They're on the side of the dispossessed and oppressed. They're giving voice to the voiceless. They're giving hope to the hopeless.
They're fools at best and monsters at worst - and neither fools nor monsters are much troubled by attacks of conscience.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
In other words, the people who tell us what to think are deathly afraid of being in the minority. Couple their juvenile fears of being left out of the ”in-crowd” with a truly staggering ignorance of any smattering of science, or even math, and you have people who can be led to believe in virtually anything by anyone.
Which explains their willingness to advocate the death of the planet by global cooling in the 1970s to the death by warming in this decade.
And now we see the beginning of another shift. This time it’s cause by climate scientists who were perfectly willing to take grant money from the government to prove the politically popular anthropomorphic global warming thesis become a little worried that ridiculous charlatans like Al Gore are making claims that make them look ridiculous.
Look, Al Gore may have been a moderately successful politician, but this drop-out from the seminary and law school is making climate science an object of ridicule.
The icing on this particular cake is the indisputable fact that other planets in our solar system are also experiencing rises in temperature. It cannot be claimed by anyone not wearing a tinfoil hat that Mars is warming due to human activity. The literally only thing that the Earth and Mars have in common regarding temperature is the sun. The sun being the cause of global warming and cooling cycles is indisputable and uncontroversial. I know of no one who finds this the least controversial, unless it’s Al Gore mopping his brow showing that the Earth has a fever.
At his point Al Gore is so deeply embedded in his global warming theories that it is impossible to extricate his corpulent ass from that particular pit. Ditto with NASA’s James Hansen. But others see the reality of the “USS Global Warming” hitting an iceberg and the rats are beginning to leave this particular ship.
What I find particularly delicious is that the two groups that almost always jump on an opinion train just before it plunges over the cliff are Liberal clergy and politicians. And just now we have perfect evidence of that particular observation.
"It appears we have appointed our worst generals to command forces, and our most gifted and brilliant to edit newspapers!
In fact, I discovered by reading newspapers that these editor/geniuses plainly saw all my strategic defects from the start, yet failed to inform me until it was too late.
Accordingly, I'm readily willing to yield my command to these obviously superior intellects, and I'll, in turn, do my best for the Cause by writing editorials - after the fact."
-Robert E. Lee, 1863
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
How many times have you heard that President Bush's approval ratings are low? Guess what: the Democratic Congress's approval rating is lower.
For some reason, this hasn't been getting much press. But the low esteem in which voters held Congress prior to November's election barely changed after the Democrats took power in January. Today, Gallup notes that the modest bounce Congress experienced in January and February is now gone:
The modest uptick in approval of the job being done by Congress has dissipated for the most part after only two months.
According to Gallup's monthly update on job approval of Congress -- in a March 11-14, 2007, national poll -- 28% of Americans approve of the job being done by Congress and 64% disapprove.
Where have you read this? Not in your newspaper, I'll bet. This is why the Internet is so important to the intelligent citizen.
By the way, the press (especially the Virginian Pilot: "Required Reading For Dummies") has roughly the same approval rating as congress. And well deserved.
Get ready for the Dems complaining about Bush beating up on them.
From behind the scenes on Capitol Hill: Former Vice President Al Gore, despite being given major preferential treatment, has violated the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee’s (EPW) hearing rules.
Read the rest.
And from the NYC debate:Scientific Smackdown: Skeptics Voted The Clear Winners Against Global Warming Believers in Heated NYC Debate
Some comments (read the whole thing):
Skeptical quotes from Novelist Michael Crichton:
"I would like to suggest a few symbolic actions that right—might really mean something. One of them, which is very simple, 99% of the American population doesn’t care, is ban private jets. Nobody needs to fly in them, ban them now. And, and in addition, [APPLAUSE] "Let’s have the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), the Sierra Club and Greenpeace make it a rule that all of their members, cannot fly on private jets. They must get their houses off the [electrical] grid. They must live in the way that they’re telling everyone else to live. And if they won’t do that, why should we? And why should we take them seriously? [APPLAUSE]"
"I suddenly think about my friends, you know, getting on their private jets. And I think, well, you know, maybe they have the right idea. Maybe all that we have to do is mouth a few platitudes, show a good, expression of concern on our faces, buy a Prius, drive it around for a while and give it to the maid, attend a few fundraisers and you’re done. Because, actually, all anybody really wants to do is talk about it."
"I mean, haven’t we actually raised temperatures so much that we, as stewards of the planet, have to act? These are the questions that friends of mine ask as they are getting on board their private jets to fly to their second and third homes. [LAUGHTER]"
"Everyday 30,000 people on this planet die of the diseases of poverty. There are, a third of the planet doesn’t have electricity. We have a billion people with no clean water. We have half a billion people going to bed hungry every night. Do we care about this? It seems that we don’t. It seems that we would rather look a hundred years into the future than pay attention to what’s going on now. I think that's unacceptable. I think that’s really a disgrace."
Skeptical quotes of University of London’s emeritus professor of biogeography Philip Stott:
"What we see in this is an enormous danger for politicians in terms of their hypocrisy. I’m not going to say anything about Al Gore and his house. [LAUGHTER] But it is a very serious point."
"In the early 20th century, 95% of scientists believe in eugenics. [LAUGHTER] Science does not progress by consensus, it progresses by falsification and by what we call paradigm shifts."
"The first Earth Day in America claimed the following, that because of global cooling, the population of America would have collapsed to 22 million by the year 2000. And of the average calorie intake of the average American would be wait for this, 2,400 calories, would good it were. [LAUGHTER] It’s nonsense and very dangerous. And what we have fundamentally forgotten is simple primary school science. Climate always changes."
"Angela Merkel the German chancellor, my own good prime minister (Tony Blair) for whom I voted -- let me emphasize, arguing in public two weeks ago as to who in Annie get the gun style could produce the best temperature. ‘I could do two degrees C said Angela.’ ‘No, I could only do three said Tony.’ [LAUGHTER] Stand back a minute, those are politicians, telling you that they can control climate to a degree Celsius.”
“And can I remind everybody that IPCC that we keep talking about, very honestly admits that we know very little about 80% of the factors behind climate change. Well let’s use an engineer; I don’t think I’d want to cross Brooklyn Bridge if it were built by an engineer who only understood 80% of the forces on that bridge. [LAUGHTER]”
Skeptical quotes of MIT’s Professor of Atmospheric Science Richard Lindzen:
"Now, much of the current alarm, I would suggest, is based on ignorance of what is normal for weather and climate."
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Four years in and the people of the Perfect World ramble through the avenues of Washington, stamping their feet and holding their breath, having their tantrums, and telling all who cannot avoid listening that "War is bad for children and other living things." They have flowers painted on their cheeks. For emphasis. Just in case you thought that war was good for children and other living things.
There were children and other living things on the planes that flew into the towers. They all went into the fire and the ash just the same. But they, now, are not important. Nor is the message their deaths still send us when we listen. That message is to be silenced. The rising brand new message is "All we are say-ing is give...." And it is always off-key.
Four years in and they are upset that their party of the 90s has been so long interrupted; that their raves are foreshortened; that their sleep is persistently shaken by car bombs beyond the far horizon; that their time at the mall can not be entirely, completely, and utterly without guilt.
Four years in and the clear and present danger to the nation must be closeted in favor of the unclear and distant end of the world if we insist on exuding, as all life does, carbon dioxide. Send the nation and its armies and its wards and protectorates to the block, but keep the polar bears cold.
"Can't you see that worldwide wall of water sweeping in to inundate all life in 30, 50, 100, 500 years?"
"No. I cannot see it from here."
"Ah well, you are a warmonger, an evil person, a vile Christian, a shameless, shameless American.
Read it all.
A NASA scientist who said the Bush administration muzzled him because of his belief in global warming yesterday acknowledged to Congress that he’d done more than 1,400 on-the-job interviews in recent years.
James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who argues global warming could be catastrophic, said NASA staffers denied his request to do a National Public Radio interview because they didn’t want his message to get out.
But Republicans told him the hundreds of other interviews he did belie his broad claim he was being silenced.
“We have over 1,400 opportunities that you’ve availed yourself to, and yet you call it, you know, being stifled,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican.
Chilled! Scientist "Silenced" By Bush Gave 1,500 On-The-Job Media Interviews In Recent Years
Imagine what a Chatty Kathy he'd've been had someone not blown an ill wind chilling dissent at him:
In related news, Lindsey Lohan's, Paris Hilton's, and Britney Spears' pooters all held a joint press conference declaring they had been "made all but invisible'" by Bush Administration thugs.
1400 interviews in the past few years? When does the silly bastard actually do his job?
Mr. Hansen yesterday said the Bush administration threatened him and his orifice if he didn’t actually do some productive work! The type of work for which he had been hired!
Additionally, Mr. Hansen reported,
“It was an oral threat made to an alien in Area 51 and relayed to me via telekenesis,” said Mr. Hansen, who is listed as a senior adviser to Mr. Gore and a prospective suitor for Amanda Marcotte
Citing what he called a “growth of political interference, which is just below VHF on the electro-magnetic spectrum” Mr. Hansen said he was forced to wear his gucci custom fit tin-foil helmet and shorts (briefs) because press officials believed the network to have a liberal bias and “Amanda kinda likes the cruchy sound of tinfoil shorts.”
I hope you’re happy now!! Bastards!