Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Bah-nanada


The Drudge Report today linked to this story: USA is exporting its violence to Canada, says Canadian PM...

Lo and behold, Prime Minister Martin must be right, because in 2004 Canada’s rate of violent crime per 100,000 people was 946. That same year, continuing a decline that began in 1994, the US recorded 465 violent crimes per 100,000.

Not only that, but US Homicide rates recently declined to levels last seen in the late 1960s and have been stable since 2000.

While gun ownership is up, US rates of nonfatal firearm crime have declined since 1994, reaching the lowest level ever recorded in 2004.

Violent crime in general has also declined in the US.

Where did all this crime go? To Paul Martin, Prime Minister of a country where the national homicide rate increased 12% in 2004, the answer is obvious – it was exported to Canada. It must be NAFTA, the North American Firearm Trafficking Arrangement.

Toronto Mayor David Miller is facing the fact that gun deaths have doubled in his city since 2004 and won’t be left out of any scapegoating:
"The U.S. is exporting its problem of violence to the streets of Toronto," he said.

Miller said that while almost every other crime in Toronto is down, the supply of guns has increased and half of them come from the United States.
Hizzoner is apparently unaware of his own police department’s statistics on the supply side of the equation. By October 2005, Toronto police had seized 1,782 guns compared to 2,128 in 2004.

So where’s the increased supply? Even if Miller is right about the source, he looks wrong about an increase.

Actually, he’s also blowing smoke on the source. Nobody knows where these already illegal guns come from and since handguns have been effectively banned in Canada since 1930, it suggests one consider the possibility that what we have here is an enforcement problem.

The Mayor claims that Toronto is awash in guns that the Toronto Police cannot find, but insists that if they were found the guns would have come from the United States.

Where there are solid numbers it shows less than half of the Mayor’s “half” of the guns in question originate in the US. In 2004, the Toronto Police Gun and Gang Task force had the following breakdown on sources of guns:
Toronto Police Service records show that in the period of January 01st to September 9th, 2003 a total of 1468 firearms have been submitted to the Property Evidence Management Unit for a variety of reasons, including evidence, held for investigation, safekeeping and destruction. Of these, 183 have been determined to meet the definition of a crime gun. It is this number, one hundred and eighty-three (183) crime guns, that presents the only opportunity for analysis to determine how many smuggled firearms are actually used in Toronto crime.

The Gang and Gun Task Force have determined that one hundred and thirty-nine (139) of these crime guns fall into the following categories:

- 26 long barrelled firearms
- 11 firearms registered in Canada
- 5 reported as stolen
- 4 firearms were never issued a serial number by manufacturer
- 16 were too old to be traced for ownership
- 32 had their serial numbers obliterated
- 45 are still under investigation

…[Forty-four] (44) of the one hundred and eighty-three (183) crime guns have been submitted for tracing to the United States Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). To date 30 of the 44 submitted guns have been traced to a United States based first retail purchaser. Therefore, assuming that all 44 submitted guns are successfully traced to a United States origin, only 24% of traceable known crime guns, as previously defined, have been smuggled into Canada.

…Overall, the Service seized 2020 firearms during 2003, including the 80 guns seized by Gangs and Guns and Street Violence Task Forces during its 4 months existence. The Gangs and Guns Task Force and the Street Violence Task Force have arrested 353 persons facing 1,017 criminal charges, mostly dealing with firearms and drugs offences. There are 73 street level youth gangs of various descriptions operating in the City, involved in dealing drugs, intimidation, extortion, firearms crimes, and disputes and battles over territorial supremacy whose members are ruthless and predisposed to violence including gun play in very public places without regard for human life. In spite of the impressive success achieved by the Gangs and Guns and Street Violence Task Forces during 2003 gunplay in the City rose by an alarming 35% over the previous year.

During 2003, it became more obvious than ever that the current system of criminal justice is virtually broken and in need of a major overhaul. Be it the inadequate sentencing provisions, the high recidivism rate of violent criminals, the extraordinary labour intensive bureaucratic requirements and processes imposed on police, the unreasonable disclosure demands, the protracted criminal trials, the lax bail and parole provisions, and much more are all factors that compromise the effectiveness of the current criminal justice system.
Sounds more like an enforcement question to Toronto cops, too; as it does to John Lott writing at National Review Online. He discredited the claim that the US is responsible for the Toronto street gangs or the Canadian justice system last August, reminding us that Australia and Britain have also experienced large increases in gun crime since banning firearms.

An American example would be Washington D.C.. The most gun-restrictive city in the United States, it has the highest rate of gun crime.

Finally, I noted in the story about yesterday’s shootings that one of those wounded was a police officer who is banned from carrying his firearm while off-duty. Perhaps if he had had his weapon there’d be one less murder in Toronto this year. Perhaps Mayor Miller should ponder that before he starts mewling.

Update: 5:46PM Bill Strong points out, in a comment at Dust My Broom, that Rudy Giuliani's success (New York’s murder rate plummeted by 70%) in New York didn't come from whining anti-Americanism and also has a good post on this topic.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

More on Wiretaps

Additional links worth reading:

Unwarranted Complaints
By DAVID B. RIVKIN and LEE A. CASEY

Dubious 'domestic spying' charges
By Tod Lindberg

The New York Times' Christmas Gift
By Michael Barone

NYT Job Approval Plummets


Down to the tune of $2 billion.

Serial Abuse of Shareholders

G-Uncontrol


Gunfire at Toronto's Eaton Centre? One dead?

The only question I have is whether the shooters are listed on the Liberal staff rolls as campaign workers.

Well, actually I have one more. Is the penalty for possession of an unregistered handgun higher or lower than that for murder?

Update 5:53PM 26-Dec-2005
from Lost Budgie Blog - Toronto Boxing Day Shootings - Wimp Politicians & Police Leadership Eunuchs.

For those who don't know Toronto or The Eaton Centre, it is a huge upscale shopping center on Toronto's main N-S street. In downtown Detroit you might think the Ren Cen, or Hudson's 30 years ago.

It is amazing the gangs in Toronto are so brazen, but then
I did not know off-duty police officers weren't allowed to carry. How asinine is that?

One answer would be: Not asinine enough for the Grits.

Monday, December 26, 2005

All the News that Fits, We Print


Here's an accumulation of some analysis and opinion on the latest New York Times reporting scandal.

First, note that the NYT defense for revealing national security secrets depends upon a claim of a "reversal of policy" regarding National Security Agency electronic intercepts.

Reporter James Risen and the NYT were less concerned about this problem in a 1999 article playfully entitled "The Nation: Don’t Read This; If You Do, They May Have to Kill You." They didn't see much problem with warrantless searches under President Clinton

Risen's most recent national security breach is one the NYT held for more than a year. They released it on the day of the Iraqi elections and the day before the Senate took up renewal of the Patriot Act. The essence of the story is that George Bush issued executive orders, requiring renewal every 45 days, that authorized the NSA to intercept some electronic communications terminating in foreign countries involving suspected Al-Quaeda sympathizers.

It is clear that the timing of the NYT reporting had 2 consequences: 1) It served to hystericalize Congressional debate regarding the renewal of the Patriot Act on the very day cloture was up for a vote, and 2) it marginalized a World Historical event - Iraqi voting for a representative government.

Were these consequences intentional? You decide.

The NYT sat on this story for many months. It is clear they had no concern for the potential damage to the United States of such a security breach: they admit the President asked them directly not to publish it. Maybe the explanation is as simple as amoral running-dog-capitalist promotion of the reporter's forthcoming book.

However you choose to interpret the NYT timing, Harry Reid's glee in repeating, "we killed the Patriot Act", proves it to be a boon for the Democrats. However you choose to to interpret the story's poorly researched content, it has proved to be a rallying point for left-wing spam generators to call for impeachment of the President. Perhaps not co-incidentally Bush's approval ratings are back up to 50%.

By now, the charge of "illegality" has been debunked for anyone not possessed of Afflicted Democrat Disorder. Senator Carl Levin, for example, asks where in the Constitution would this authority exist? Apparently, Levin is unfamiliar with Article 2, recent case law and the opinions of at least two Democrat
Presidents and their Departments of Justice.

The Clinton Justice Department is defending the warrantless searches in the person of John Schmidt (Associate Attorney General of the United States - 1994 to 1997). Both C
linton and Carter authorized warrantless searches via executive order, and we were not at War when they did so.

The courts have upheld Bush's view of the legal authorizations in the Constitution and in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, as John Hinderaker
points out at Powerline. A must read.

The Democrats are claiming they objected to the executive order for a long time, but Sen. Jay Rockefeller's (D-WV) disingenuity is exposed here. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) dodges the question of what he knew and when he knew it: "
Were you ever briefed on this?", here.

Many other links are worthwhile. Since I know not everyone can take the time to track them down, I include some following.


Bush is within rights
.
Everything I Know is Wrong blog.

Presidential Wiretapping: Disaggregating the Issues
Unversity of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog

Live and Let Spy
By Ann Coulter

Impeachment Nonsense
By Charles Krauthammer

Congress Should Give Bush Power To Tap Terrorists
By Mort Kondracke

Please add any links you find important in the comments.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Speaking Truth to Bullshit


Late last week, as noted in the post immediately below this one, Nancy Pelosi was telling us "[positions on Iraq are] matter[s] of individual conscience... differing positions within the caucus are a source of strength for the party."

The Democrats apparently didn't get the memo, because Fox News today reports that a purge is being contemplated:
"It's at the point where he's [Joe Lieberman] no longer interested in his own party's opinion, he's really out of touch with reality," said Mitchell Fuchs, chairman of the Fairfield Democratic Town Committee in Connecticut. "For me, he's crossed the line a number of times."

Passions flared after Lieberman's recent trip to Iraq. Upon his return, the three-term senator pointed to what he views as progress on the ground there and suggested that Democrats should avoid harsh criticisms of President Bush's Iraq policy.
Look out, Joe, for speaking your conscience you're an enemy of the people. Remember what Stalin had done to Trotsky. And look out Mitchell Fuchs; reality is what Nancy Pelosi says it is.

Apparently, conscience and free choice are not a "strength of the party" if you disagree with the position the party claims not to have.

See also Chris Muir, here, here and here.

Friday, December 16, 2005

A REALLY Big Tent

Nancy Pelosi says we don't need a plan for Iraq. "We", in this case, being Democrats. After months of demanding that George Bush explain himself, the Dems are explaining that they don't have to.

Apparently, the Democrat position on Iraq can be summarized as "Bush is bad no matter what he does. Ignore the man behind the curtain." This position, if one can so dignify it, admittedly does resonate with the core of the Democrat Party.


The Washington Post reports today that:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said yesterday that Democrats should not seek a unified position on an exit strategy in Iraq, calling the war a matter of individual conscience and saying differing positions within the caucus are a source of strength for the party.
This is a transparent ploy to keep the Rabid Moonbase on side (Nancy needs their money) without alienating voters who recognize that a timeline for pullout from Iraq is a really bad idea.
And not only should the Democrats not actually have a position, they should not seek one. After all, what is a political party if not a collection of like minded individuals attempting to affect governance?

These people can't even govern themselves.

Nancy's rock is the core Democrat constituency, and her hard place are those sentient life forms who recognize that they cannot trust a party that refuses to acknowledge a position on the most important national security issue we face.
Pelosi said Democrats will produce an issue agenda for the 2006 elections but it will not include a position on Iraq. There is consensus within the party that President Bush has mismanaged the war and that a new course is needed, but House Democrats should be free to take individual positions, she said.
Italics mine.

House Democrats should be free to take individual positions on the War in Iraq, just like Senate Democrats were free to take individual positions on judicial nominees?

To summarize the Democrat Defense Policy: We demand a plan from George Bush that's different from the plan he has explained to us. We cannot even suggest what a plan would be. Trust us.
"There is no one Democratic voice . . . and there is no one Democratic position," Pelosi said in an interview with Washington Post reporters and editors.

Pelosi recently endorsed the proposal by Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) for a swift redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq over a period of six months, but no other party leader followed, and House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) publicly opposed her.

She said her support for Murtha was not intended to forge a Democratic position on the war, [good thing, apparently] adding that she blocked an effort by some of her colleagues to put the Democrats on record backing Murtha.
Her position as leader, apparently, requires that she not lead. She supports immediate withdrawal, but she's not about to let anybody follow her principles. While I think this is good advice, it is not clear how she can hold this position: "George Bush has the responsibility to lead. He has to explain his plan. As Democrat House Leader, I do not have a responsibility for either leadership or policy."
Her comments ruling out a caucus position appeared to put Pelosi at odds with some other party officials. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean recently said Democrats were beginning to coalesce around a strategy that would pull out all troops over the next two years. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said on the day Murtha offered his plan, "As for Iraq policy, at the right time, we'll have a position."
Except for the preannounced timeline for withdrawal, the lack of a timeline for even having a policy, and Dean's conviction that we "can't win" - Dean's strategy looks a lot like Bush's: Significant drawdowns probably in a couple of years. This would be in time for the 2008 elections, if I do not miss my guess.


It would be nice if we had an opposition party in this country.
How about a bipartisan House resolution demanding that the Democrats have a policy by January or that they shut up about it until they do?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Support the Mission - The Iraqis did that Today


Whenever I hear someone say they "support our troops", but "not the mission", that person is going to have a less than optimal next several minutes.

This construct is intellectually untenable when applied to a volunteer force that is winning a war that will grant a good chance at some form of democracy to a formerly totalitarian state. Ask Japan and Germany.

Oh, and as a bonus this mission is thus far keeping Islamofascist mass murder away from the United States.

Nonetheless, regarding any war as criminal can be an honorable position. However, to simultaneously claim that one supports the troops "committing" it is another matter. If the mission is evil, then those who carry it out are either evil or brainwashed or both.

"Supporting the troops" therefore requires picking "brainwashed."
What this parses out to is: "We really feel sorry for you guys, fighting BushChimpHitler's war. We know what a crock it is, no matter what you might think. We have to get you out of there before you commit more atrocities. The Iraqis can commit their own. [John Kerry]"

This thinking
is protected by the Bill of Rights. You can even advertise it and collect money to support it. The Bill of Rights, fortunately, insists on neither individual logic nor self-preservation.

We also have real-world examples of mission-perpetrators. The perps even tell us why they committed the mission - aside, that is, from the fact that as a nation we asked them to.

Here's a deluded troop defending the mission:

David Bellavia earned the Silver Star in Iraq and has been recommended for the Medal of Honor.

He has some thoughts about what "supporting the troops" means in general and about Rep. John Murtha, et. al., in particular.

Bellavia's last paragraph is telling, and I would excerpt it but I want you to read the whole thing.

The figurative spitting
on our military by American senior politicians - "terrorists", "broken", "can't win" * - is unforgivable and sickening. The fact that Democrats held press conferences today and castigated George Bush about Valerie Plame without even mentioning world-historical voting in Iraq is clear evidence that they care more about US elections in 2006 and 2008 than the long term interests of the United States. *(Kerry, Murtha, Dean)

They urge timelines that vary all the way from immediate to some unspecified time shortly thereafter, for a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq. They often refer to polls “proving” the American people, and/or Iraqi voters, agree.

Today Iraqi voters proved them wrong. Not that the Iraqis don't want us to leave. Not that we don't want to leave. But if we'd begun withdrawal when John Murtha and his fellow travellers called for it, what voter turnout would we have seen today? What country would ever again think of America as an ally? What power would accrue to Al-Quaeda? Who would volunteer for US or Iraqi military service? What would happen to Iraqis?

What George Bush knows, and the poll-obsessed Dems don't, is that victory in Iraq is more important than elections in 2006 or 2008. Bush's “cut and run” critics think their fate in future US elections justifies threatening to desert the Iraqis on the eve of their first Parliamentary election.

These deliberate attempts to erode American national will will be judged by history. If the erosion is successful that history will be written by Islamofascist scholars.

232


For context: The American Revolution began in 1775. Our Constitution was signed in 1787.

On December 15th, 1791 the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution were ratified by Virgina causing the Bill of Rights to come into effect.

On December 15th, 2005 Iraqis voted in their third election in a year, despite threats to their lives. In 2 years, 9 months the United States has fostered a fledgling Democracy in a region of despots mired in the 7th century.

Tomorrow, December 16th, is the 232nd anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.

Coincidence? I think not.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Fight Fiercely, Havahd


Constitutionally, the US military is subservient to civilian dictates. One controversial civilian policy, originating during the Clinton administration, is known colloquially as “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Basically, it means that if you are a soldier, sailor, Marine or airman carnally interested in others of your own sex; stay in the closet. The wisdom and fairness of this may be open to debate but, in practice, the military follows the letter of this policy only when some gay soldier really gets in their face.

Many public universities object to this policy so strenuously as to deny military recruiters access to their campuses. They do so despite the Solomon Amendment which requires educational institutions accepting federal money to permit such access. The question of whether universities, and one assumes all public educational institutions, can defy this law is now before the Supreme Court.

Let us note here that if you are in the US military and if you are interested in a member of the opposite sex, but of different rank; the military also requires you to stay in the closet. Discrimination is indiscriminate.

Let us also note that whatever its sexual preference profile, we have a military consisting entirely of volunteers. Homosexuals in the military were not forced to enlist, nor is anyone being press-ganged now.

Interference with the free choice of prospective volunteers would not normally seem to fall within the purview of an education vendor funded by students and especially by taxpayers. We would not accept similar interference from any other peddlars, and most especially not from any that advertise the freedom of ideas as their fundamental defense.

Harvard, for example, does accept federal subsidy. Nonetheless, they assert a right to ban military recruiters, ostensibly because they do not like the way civilians require the military to treat homosexuals.

Since no one is proposing overturning civilian control of the military, the only honorable solution for Harvard would be to refuse federal money. A few freedom loving institutions, like Hillsdale College, have chosen this route. Not that Hillsdale uses their intellectual liberty to ban recruiters; they just don’t want to have control of their students’ education turned over to government. In other words, if Hillsdale did decide to exclude military recruitment from their campus they would be entirely and unquestionably within their rights. Unlike Harvard.

There are 3 main themes here. 1- Large amounts of money from a government. 2- Strings are attached. 3- Distaste for discrimination on the basis of sexual preference.

Given that synopsis, can you predict what Harvard would do if it were offered, say, $20 million by an autocratic, virulently homophobic, fundamentally misogynist, rabidly religious fundamentalist government official?

I won’t keep you in suspense. Harvard is using the money to establish the chair of “Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor in Contemporary Islamic Thought and Life. “

We can have high confidence that such ideas as asserting academic freedom of thought by naming it the “Simon Wiesenthal Chair of Comparative Atrocity” were not considered.

Prince Alwaleed’s country does not allow women to drive, much less vote. It gives a wink and a nod to collapsing a wall on homosexuals as the appropriate treatment. It massively funds anti-American mosques, and its promotion of Wahhabism is how we came to have 14 Saudi Arabian citizens out of 19 9/11 terrorists.

Prince Alwaleed is that same oil-enriched person who offered to donate $10 million to the Twin Towers Fund, simultaneously demanding that America "re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause." Mayor Rudy Giuliani turned the Prince down. Rudy 1, Harvard 0.

Harvard can accept anyone’s money - but when it comes to Prince Alwaleed’s millions or taxpayer’s billions –the Prince will end up with a building named after him and the Marines won’t be allowed into it.

TOTH to OpinionJournal.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ohhhh... Canada?


Apparently, UN Ambassador John Bolton was cloned after his recess appointment. The clone was put into the Ambassador Protection Program, and has emerged as a man named David Wilkins.

See Dust My Broom's report.

Monday, December 12, 2005

GI Joe


Seantor Joe Lieberman is regarded by his partisan comrades as a pariah, because after several trips to Iraq, he is defending the position of the United States in the War. No other Democrats in leadership are doing so. Instead, they are pandering to the MoveOn cut-and-run faction in the very hours before the Iraqis vote for their own government.

The Washington Post reports that:
Many Democrats were appalled by Lieberman's comments, although few were willing to reprimand him publicly.

"Senator Lieberman is past the point of being taken seriously in the caucus because everything he does is seen as advancing his own self-interest, instead of the Democratic interest," said a senior Senate Democratic aide, who described discontent in that chamber as "widespread."
The only hint of "self-interest" here would be the possibility of becoming Donald Rumsfeld's replacement as SecDef. This is what the members of the party who nominated Leiberman for Vice-President think is a plum job? Is a refusal to "reprimand him publicly" a statement of the principle they will apply to Al-Zarqawi if they can force a timetable for retreat in Iraq?

If the discontent is "widespread", why don't they give it voice? Because it doesn't serve their self-interest.

The self interest here is all on the Democrat Party side. Lieberman has had the courage to resist it instead of riding it for purely political gain. It's easy to see who's "past the point of being taken seriously."

Global Whatever


Direct to you from the "Global Warming" Conference, COP 11, in Montreal.

Stephen Guilbeault, the director of the Greenpeace movement for Quebec, describes "Global Warming" from the Enviromenshevik standpoint:

"Global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter, that's what we're dealing with."

What we're dealing with is bullshit.

Trotsky would recognize the technique - your opponents can't possibly win if every possible counter-example is predefined as evidence supporting your position.

Every climate condition or weather event is, ipso presto, not only evidence of human caused "Global Warming", but evidence we can actually fix it via Kyoto.

Where are the actual proletariat when you need them?

BTW, "enviromenshevik", and its variations, do not appear on Google as of this post. I'm claiming it.

Letter to the Editor of the Washington Times

Stephen Harper, leader of the Canadian "right" scores right up there with conservative Republicans like Lincoln Chafee and Olympia Snowe. The worse news is that he's the best candidate, and, to govern, he'll very likely have to form a coalition with the true socialists in the NDP.
Stephen Harper, for the record

Patrick Basham of the Cato Institute calls me "pro-free trade, pro-Iraq war, anti-Kyoto, and socially conservative" ("Gift from Canada?" Commentary, Dec. 2). While I certainly consider myself to be a friend of the United States, I am afraid this greatly oversimplifies my positions.

For the record: While, unlike the current Liberal government, I have always supported free trade, there is a deep concern in Canada about the commitment of the current U.S. administration and Congress to free trade. The United States is withholding some $5 billion in duties held from Canadian softwood lumber producers, despite the fact that a NAFTA panel has ruled that these duties are illegal.

In a recent speech, I stated that Canada must determine "the willingness of the United States to strengthen the dispute resolution mechanism and to subordinate domestic political pressures to a shared system of rules" and that "if this is not a direction in which the United States wishes to go, then Canada will have to make other long-term choices in its economic infrastructure," including expanded trade relationships with Asian countries such as India, Japan, and China.

On Iraq, while I support the removal of Saddam Hussein and applaud the efforts to establish democracy and freedom in Iraq, I would not commit Canadian troops to that country. I must admit great disappointment at the failure to substantiate pre-war intelligence information regarding Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction.

While I think that the Kyoto Treaty is deeply flawed, I support developing a plan, in coordination with the United States and other countries, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by developing new technologies and energy conservation.

And while I have promised a free vote in Canada's parliament to reconsider the recent change of law to allow same-sex marriages in Canada, and will vote myself for a return to the traditional definition of marriage, I have said any changes must protect the existing status of same-sex couples who have been legally married. As well, a new Conservative government will not initiate or support any effort to pass legislation restricting abortion in Canada.

Despite my differences on many issues with some American conservative politicians, I look forward to a cooperative, constructive relationship with the United States as our principal trading partner and ally under a new Conservative government.

HON. STEPHEN HARPER
House of Commons
Ottawa
Harper's position is "nuanced."

The worst thing about his election would be a deflation of Alberta separatists. Alberta needs neither Canada nor the US to be a successful country on its own.

Shocked, Shocked!


A supplement to my post Agitprop is where you find it. I noted:
The only regret the United States should have about placing propaganda in Iraqi papers is that its revelation damages the effort to continue to counter-balance Al-Jazeera and The New York Times.

Western standards of journalism, in any case, are not being violated. First, it happened in Iraq; second, this is routine in France or Germany or Canada, and for AP and Reuters; third, when the Bush administration actually did it in this country ... it raised a firefly, not a phoenix.

On the regrets front, we can be sure the exempt media won’t have any - even if such behavior would have been called treason in WWII, and even if it keeps our troops in harm’s way longer than necessary.
Paul Greenberg is Shocked, Shocked! by US temerity in paying for favorable news stories in Iraq.
Back in the fall of 2001, when September 11th was still fresh in American minds, George W. Bush told us what to expect in the war he proposed to wage against terror: "Our response involves more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success."

This president has been as good as his word — or as bad if what he promised to do in 2001, which now seems so distant, shocks more delicate sensibilities. For it is one thing to declare war on terror just after a devastating attack on this country and quite another actually to wage such a war year after year, with all that involves in blood and suffering and, yes, secrecy even in success.

Critics of such a secretive war, like those who would have been shocked to find that the Congress for Cultural Freedom was a CIA front, live in an imaginary world where good can triumph over evil without ever getting its hands dirty. In that unreal world, the West should be able to prevail against enemies who operate from the shadows without conducting covert operations, including a secret propaganda war. Such a world doesn't exist — and never did.
Greenberg gives a fine example that this isn't the first time US taxpayers have subsidized anti-totalitarian propaganda - the press just didn't interrupt in mid psyop.

Apparently they never heard of that Churchill fellow and his comment: "In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies."

I'd recommend they read Bodyguard of Lies by Anthony Cave Brown.

TOTH to J.R.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Gray Lady Demonstrates Cluelessness

...Not that this is unusual, but the pattern is always worth noting for its most egregious examples. I quote the entire article so that those refusing NYT registration are not left out:
Conservative Blogs are More Effective
By MICHAEL CROWLEY

When the liberal activist Matt Stoller was running a blog for the Democrat Jon Corzine's 2005 campaign for governor, he saw the power of the conservative blogosphere firsthand. Shortly before the election, a conservative Web site claimed that politically damaging information about Corzine was about to surface in the media. It didn't. But New Jersey talk-radio shock jocks quoted the online speculation, inflicting public-relations damage on Corzine anyway. To Stoller, it was proof of how conservatives have mastered the art of using blogs as a deadly campaign weapon.

That might sound counterintuitive. After all, the Howard Dean campaign showed the power of the liberal blogosphere. And the liberal-activist Web site DailyKos counts hundreds of thousands of visitors each day. But Democrats say there's a key difference between liberals and conservatives online. Liberals use the Web to air ideas and vent grievances with one another, often ripping into Democratic leaders. (Hillary Clinton, for instance, is routinely vilified on liberal Web sites for supporting the Iraq war.) Conservatives, by contrast, skillfully use the Web to provide maximum benefit for their issues and candidates. They are generally less interested in examining every side of every issue and more focused on eliciting strong emotional responses from their supporters.

But what really makes conservatives effective is their pre-existing media infrastructure, composed of local and national talk-radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh, the Fox News Channel and sensationalist say-anything outlets like the Drudge Report - all of which are quick to pass on the latest tidbit from the blogosphere. "One blogger on the Republican side can have a real impact on a race because he can just plug right into the right-wing infrastructure that the Republicans have built," Stoller says.
The obvious, to anyone but an NYT writer, is that the starting lineup for "pre-existing media infrastructure" is exemplified by broadcasters such as CBS, NBC and ABC. The airwave bench includes CNN and the government funded PBS. In print, we can go back to the
legendary Stalinist coach Walter Delanty - who won a Pulitzer by writing Communist apologia for the "newspaper of record."

It is only since free speech became available to non-exempt mainstream broadcast media - with the demise of "fairness in broadcasting" regulations - that any opinion except the Liberal mantra has even become generally available.

The amazing part here is that the "pre-exisitng" media Crowell claims has "taken over" - if it did so in the face of hugely powerful incumbents - did so because there is a market for it. Unlike NPR, Rush Limbaugh is not subsidized.

The self-proclaimed
commercial, Liberal-focused broadcast venue, Air America, is failing. Why? Because it has to compete in the market and the market is already saturated with statist viewpoints. Who needs another?

Of course conservative blogs are more effective, and not because of some juggernaut takeover of the media. The market was underserved.

As the article notes, Howard Dean took advantage of the blogosphere. The problem is that his message was incoherent. It continues to be incoherent to this day.

There are a limited number of Americans who respond to incoherence. Most all of those Americans already send money to MoveOn. MoveOn can't grow except through plutocrats like George Soros. A billionaire currency speculator's primacy as a
donor to a "grassroots" movement presents, to say the least, a mixed message.

I read many Conservative blogs and as many Libertarian blogs. I read the major Leftwing-statist blogs. The facts of this matter:
Liberals use the Web to air ideas and vent grievances with one another, often ripping into Democratic leaders. (Hillary Clinton, for instance, is routinely vilified on liberal Web sites for supporting the Iraq war.)
...merely illustrate how far out of touch with reality Liberal denizens of the Web are. The "grievances" are so far outside common sense as to require a special place, like The Daily Kos, to provide any sense of community for the outliars (I know what an outlier is) in daily attendance. Read Kos, and the comments, for a few days. This is the America of Michael Moore and Barbra Streisand. It is an America Osama bin-Laden loves - an America that hates itself.
Conservatives, by contrast, skillfully use the Web to provide maximum benefit for their issues and candidates. They are generally less interested in examining every side of every issue and more focused on eliciting strong emotional responses from their supporters.
More thoughtful and incisive blogs than Amy Ridenour, The American Thinker, Captain's Quarters, Powerline, Democracy Project, Small Dead Animals, and The Belmont Club, to name very few, are hard to imagine. Conservatives generally present arguments which are not predicated on acceptance of the idea that the United States is a
"Bushchimphitleraburton" State. Instead, conservatives usually present arguments that are in some way connected to reality. Libertarians do this with even greater frequency. Check out a few sites on The Other Club blogroll.

The contention that so-called "conservative" blogs support the President is undermined by the criticism regarding spending, immigration, trade, free speech and SCOTUS appointments. If you want to see a so-called "conservative" blog ripping the GOP - just browse through The Other Club archives. One example.

That "conservative bloggers'" success is "counterintuitive" is correct in the same way the Mencheviks considered any opposition to Lenin as "counterrevolutionary". This eventually earned Trotsky an ice-axe in his brain.

Crowell would like us all to accept a more subtle lobotomy:
a conservative Web site claimed that politically damaging information about Corzine was about to surface in the media.
The fact that something does "not surface" in "the media" is circular and self aggrandizing BS. Corzine's affair with the boss (female - now a necessary qualifier in NJ) of a Union contributing to his campaign did "surface." It just wasn't "politically damaging" enough to convince New Jersey voters to reject a sexist billionaire of low moral character.

Mr. Crowell's implicit interpretation of freedom of speech requires not only that we deplore the existence of a free market in information, but that we accept the fact that The First Amendment was a bad idea in the first place.

Blogroll Addition


Eye on the UN

Check it out.

Canadian Election


I have not been passing on news about the Canadian election since this is being well handled by a number of excellent Canadian blogs. Nonetheless, Americans should be aware of the goings on North of 49 if only, as I've stated many times, to learn how not to run a country.

From banning handguns to electoral finance shenanigans to stock market manipulation to a level of corruption not seen outside the United Nations; Canada has it all.

On Friday, we were treated to the spectacle of Bill Clinton pulling a Jimmy Carter by calling the US refusal to ratify Kyoto "plain wrong" in Montreal before a gathering of UN climate control alarmists.

Prime Minister Martin was there to bask in Slick Willie's glory - continuing a proud tradition of anti-Americanism, especially during elections. Private citizen Clinton failed to mention that he never presented the treaty for Senate ratification because the Senate had already voted 95-0 to reject it.

Clinton spoke on behalf of the William J. Clinton Foundation. There's no mention I can find of what he was paid for this, or what donations he received.

Canada, BTW, has utterly failed to meet its Kyoto targets (24% increase from 1990 baseline). The US has acheived a lower (18%) rate of increase with a small drop between 2000 and 2003.

Please visit the "Canadian Content" blog roll links, especially Small Dead Animals, Angry in the Great White North, Canada's John Galt, Dust my Broom, Strong World, NealeNews, and Captain's Quarters (the US blog that broke the Gomery story) to keep abreast of this election.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Caliphates and CO2


There's quite a bit I've read today which should be general knowledge, so this post covers two topics in case you've not seen those items.

First, Debbie Schlussel has a must read article which goes a long way toward explaining why Sami Al-Arian is in the process of escaping from charges of aiding and abetting Islamofascist terror (see and hear the Professor in action) from his position as a Professor at the University of South Florida.
Why? Because our Justice Department, while desperate for victories, is really not serious about the War on Terror. In fact, more important to Gonzalez and Company (and before that, Ashcroft and Company) is outreach to radical Islamic individuals and groups that support terrorists like Al-Arian and prosecution of anything they perceive as "hate crimes" against those Muslims.
This is of a piece with "PC Norm" Mineta's insistence on cavity searches of 80-year old, wheelchair bound females-of-pallor at a rate equal to pat-downs of swarthy 25 year old males, travelling on Jordanian passports, issued in the name of Zarqawi, and carrying Korans bookmarked everywhere the killing of infidels is mandated.

Its of a piece with the President inviting CAIR to the White House and speaking of a "War on Terror" instead of a "War on Islamofascists." It's of a piece with FBI field agents being denied permission to examine the computer of 20th 9-11 highjacker Zacarias Mousssaoui just weeks before the WTC towers were destroyed and his resulting civil trial.


The second topic is the death rattle of the Kyoto Protocols, currently being highlighted at Amy Ridenour's National Center here, here, here, here and here.

Don't miss Tech Central Station's comments either. Here, here, and here.

Also, the always instructive and entertaining Mark Steyn.

These seemingly disparate items are, in fact, connected by irrational anti-Americanism. The supporters of Professor Al-Arian probably had a hard time deciding to forgo the chance to protest the evil of the United States vis-a-vis Kyoto, where the object is to severely damage Western economies. The Greenpeace enthusiasts were likely disappointed they could not support the more direct actions, bombing civilian commercial centers and such, being promoted by Al-Arian.

Restoration of a 14th century Caliphate would definitely reduce carbon emissions.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Peace Democrats

It is amazing how little substitution would be needed to make this relevant to events of the last few weeks.

Copperheads:
Republican Abraham Lincoln was able to win the 1860 presidential election largely because the Democratic party had torn itself into several factions and could offer no united opposition. In the North the Democrats divided into two factions- the War Democrats and the Peace Democrats. Neither group agreed with the way the Republican administration conducted the war, but the War Democrats at least supported the fight for the Union.

The Peace Democrats were opposed to the war and would have accepted a negotiated peace resulting in an independent Confederacy. Most Peace Democrats were from the midwestern states of Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana, but political dissent was widespread throughout the North. Midwesterners had close economic and sentimental ties with the South, and many of them bitterly opposed the Union's war against what one of them called "the injured, incensed, downtrodden people of the South."

In 1861, Republicans started calling antiwar Democrats "copperheads", likening them to the poisonous snake. By 1863, the Peace Democrats had accepted the label, but for them the copper "head" was the likeness of Liberty on the copper penny, and they proudly wore pennies as badges.

The Copperheads mounted a forceful and sustained protest against the Lincoln administration's policies and conduct. The most popular of the Copperheads was Democratic Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham, who in 1862 introduced a bill in Congress to imprison the President. Instead, Vallandigham and a host of other Democrats, including judges, newspaper editors, politicians, and antiwar activists, were arrested and imprisoned without trial on the orders of Lincoln and Secretary of War Stanton, who had decided to take off their gloves in dealing with persons "guilty of any disloyal practice".

Fascinating Fact: At the 1864 Democratic convention, Vallandigham persuaded the party to adopt a platform that declared the war a failure and called for negotiations with the Confederacy.
Sadly, Joe Leiberman appears to be a solitary War Democrat in present circumstances and George Bush has not suspended Habeas Corpus in order to bring Howard Dean to trial.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Howard Dean to Commemorate 7-Dec-1941

Yesterday, December 6th, 2005 - a date which will live in infamy – the Democratic Party, some of us at least, were suddenly and deliberately attacked by the navel-gazing and air-head forces of the GOP.

Democrats would appease anyone but those bastards, and at the solicitation of certain GOP Senators, we were still in conversation with the Administration looking toward the maintenance of our perfect record of peace at any cost. Indeed, only hours after I commenced informing our troops and our enemies that we could not win in Iraq, and denigrating our mission there, the President of the Senate delivered to the American people a formal reply to the recent Democrat message calling for “immediate withdrawal”, or as the Senate calls it, “premature evacuation.” While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing negotiations for imminent capitulation, it contained no guarantee of surrender by the United States.

It will be recorded that the short distance from now until the Iraqi elections makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Administration has deliberately sought to deceive American citizens with false statements of support for our troops and even of hope for victory over Islamofascist terrorists.

The attack yesterday on the DNC has caused severe damage to our enemies’ morale. Very many American lives have been lost, though not enough to get our message out. In addition, Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President has been reported torpedoed in the high empty places between the ears of washed up political hacks.

Yesterday the GOP also launched attacks against Democrat strategic malaise, i.e., our utter disarray on Iraq policy. Last night GOP forces attacked the DNC Chair. Last night GOP forces attacked our rhetoric. Last night GOP forces attacked NEA members in Michigan. Last night the GOP forces attacked Ramsay Clark. This morning the GOP attacked our media.

This Administration, therefore, has undertaken a surprise defense against Islamofascist sympathizer cadres. The facts speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation. [I know, I know. I’m trying!]

As Commander-in-Chef of MoveOn and ANSWER, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the DNC people in their righteous might … AAARRGGH! … are going to New Hampshire, and to to to … Baghdad!!

[Pause for applause]

I believe I interpret the will of the moonbats and Chomskyites when I assert that we will not only debase ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger Saddam again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our donors, our credibility and our naked partisan interests are in grave danger.

With no confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounded determination to lay down our arms - we will gain the inevitable defeat - so help us Cindy Sheehan.

I ask that the Congress declare that since these unprovoked and dastardly attacks we must immediately determine a date certain for the United States to withdraw from Iraq.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Agitprop is where you find it

The exempt media and the Defeaticrats (TOTH to Mark Steyn) are keening in their echo-chambers about alleged Department of Defense payments to Iraqi newspapers. These payments are said to have secured column-inches for stories supportive of American and Iraqi military forces. They also encouraged Iraqi civilians to vote 10 days hence.

The reaction here? “Western standards of journalistic integrity are being violated! THIS IS PROPAGANDA!!” The New York Times had this to say (emphasis mine):

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee summoned top Pentagon officials to a closed-door session on Capitol Hill on Friday to explain a reported secret military campaign in Iraq to plant paid propaganda in the Iraqi news media. The White House also expressed deep concerns about the program.

Senior Pentagon officials said on Thursday that they had not yet received any explanation of the program from top generals in Iraq

After reports about the program circulated this week, General Casey initially protested that it should not be discussed publicly because it was classified. …

At a time when the State Department is paying contractors millions of dollars to promote professional and independent media, the military campaign appeared to defy the basic tenets of Western journalism.

Tell that to Dan Rather and Mary Mapes, or Jason Blair, or Walter "we lost during Tet” Cronkite. Somebody, for heaven’s sake, tells the ^%&# White House: Paying foreign publishers isn’t a moral dilemma when we’re at war. Paid propaganda is not morally inferior to ideological propaganda.

The justification for ideological propaganda is actually more difficult; a) when there’s a war on, and b) when you impugn others for behavior morally identical to your own.

Propaganda is aimed at influencing the opinions of people, rather than to impartially provide information. It is intended to influence people's opinions actively, rather than to merely convey facts.

Everything, therefore, aside from advice to the lovelorn or recipes that you read in the pages of The New York Times or Washington Post is propaganda.

“[A]ppeared to defy basic tenets of Western journalism”, my ass.

The only difference between a DoD story placed in The Baghdad Daily Barrage vs. a full page ad in The Lansing State Journal, for example, would be the 6 point type at the top of the LSJ page: “Paid Advertisement”, that the LSJ runs when they’re actually paid directly. They do not run that disclaimer above the AP or Reuters propaganda they print every day - while actually paying AP and Reuters for the privilege! Go figure.

Oh, I guess there would be one other difference - the LSJ ad would be for a miracle surgical procedure or a hair loss palliative; the DoD ads touted individual liberty.

Next we’ll hear it wasn’t that we paid those Iraqi editors - who, BTW, are by definition responsible for their own integrity - but that we tortured them into doing it.

The integrity being violated here is the integrity of a psyop intended to help get our troops home. It’s being violated by the likes of Reuters and AP, abetted by the Defeaticrats.

Put it into the context of war, even if our vaunted MSM can’t: We’d have given our eye-teeth to have planted such stories in German newspapers during WWII, and I’m sure we did exactly that during our occupation of both Germany and Japan after WWII.

The difference is that our press doesn’t believe we’re at war now. But we are.

We’re at war, and the best the “Western press” can think to do is to pretend that something they abandoned years ago - journalistic “integrity” – matters more in wartime Iraq than it does here?

The press are the ones who defend the integrity of the press. It’s nobody else’s job. In this country the ramparts have long since been overrun.

You can always turn down a bribe, be it cash or an ideological opportunity. I’d prefer the former; it comes with a lower sanctimony quotient. See reference to Dan and Walter, above.

Rest assured this story isn’t being pushed by the Western exempt media because they’re concerned about the ethical purity of Iraqi publishers. No, it’s about an opportunity to damage George Bush while holding themselves up as paragons of integrity. What twaddle.

Should we be PO’d that our Federal Government used our tax dollars to propagandize us about one of its programs? Damn straight we should be. Should Armstrong Williams be ashamed and should he be fired for it? Yes. He was.

Should we be PO’d if the DoD uses our tax dollars to publish stories helpful to Iraqi confidence in advance of a vote for their first democratically elected government in history? A vote that, not coincidentally, advances the time table for the departure of our troops from a war zone?

If we’re “Western media” should we hammer on this story? If we’re Congressmen or Senators who have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution should we blather about it in public?

The only regret the United States should have about placing propaganda in Iraqi papers is that its revelation damages the effort to continue to counter-balance Al-Jazeera and The New York Times.

Western standards of journalism, in any case, are not being violated. First, it happened in Iraq; second, this is routine in France or Germany or Canada, and for AP and Reuters; third, when the Bush administration actually did it in this country (see Armstrong Williams, above) it raised a firefly, not a phoenix.

On the regrets front, we can be sure the exempt media won’t have any - even if such behavior would have been called treason in WWII, and even if it keeps our troops in harm’s way longer than necessary.

One conclusion

...you can draw from Bush’s approval rating going from 43% on 15-Nov to 48% on 5-Dec is that Americans are unprincipled, unreliable and uninformed.

I am open to hearing how a single Presidential speech effected this swing among a principled, informed people - or to any explanation other than that gasoline prices matter more to most Americans than the fact that we’re at war.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Imaginot Line


With Paris still gently smoldering, the French Department of Culture has taken time out from socialist hand-wringing over the living conditions of the “youths” who burned Parisian exurbs for 2 weeks in order to tell programmers they will not be allowed to give their own software away.
[The Department of Culture] has told Free Software authors: "You will be required to change your licenses." SACEM add: "You shall stop publishing free software," and warn they are ready "to sue free software authors who will keep on publishing source code" should the "VU/SACEM/BSA/FA Contents Department"… bill proposal pass in the Parliament.
In protest, some programmers give up Brie and truffles, threaten to bathe more often, to be less snotty to foreigners and to demand that their few female friends shave armpits and legs, “You want a culture war? We’ll give you a culture war!” Others ask; “When was the last time France won any dispute? The French are ready to fight, so we know the winning side.”

France can’t defend its cities against imported Islamists, but they think they can defend their culture against a bunch of geeks by supressing free speech. Obviously, they do not understand the definition of the word "culture."

And you wonder why UN control of the Internet would be a bad thing?

One cannot but help be reminded of this bit from Monty Python and The Holy Grail:
French Soldier on Ramparts: We don't wanna talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

King Arthur: Is there someone else up there we could talk to?

French Soldier: No, now go away or we shall taunt you a second time!
Distributed Denial of Service attack on .fr follows. New riots begin in protests over lack of access to Al-Jazeera website.

Some culture.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Enviromensheviks


Check this "unintended consequence" out at Amy Ridenour's National Center Blog:

I grant the benefit of the doubt here because 94% of the environmentalists who are causing rainforest destruction also probably support PETA in their killing of animals. It's like the Wizard gave the Scarecrow the heart.
Scarecrow: I haven't got a brain... only straw.
Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven't got a brain?
Scarecrow: I don't know... But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking... don't they?
Dorothy: Yes, I guess you're right. ...

Wizard of Oz: Why, anybody can have a brain. That's a very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the Earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain. Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven't got: a diploma. ...

Scarecrow: The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side. Oh joy! Rapture! I got a brain! How can I ever thank you enough?
Wizard of Oz: You can't.
Add to that that they are clueless about systems of any sort, much less anything as complex as a biosphere or a market.

They "mean well", but they are not blameless - 94% of Lenin's Bolsheviks thought he was worth following. He, like the statists in charge of environmental wackodom, intend every negative consequence. You've got to completely destroy any vestige of the existing order to ensure the revolution's survival. The logical conclusion is that humans have to go.

It is an example of political manipulation of a market by the intelligentsia leading the clueless, though it's difficult to tell them apart.