Friday, June 30, 2006

Earthowners' insurance


Even though, after Kelo, it is hard to figure out who owns anything worth insuring.

Roy Spencer at TCS Daily presents an observation on an AP story wherein Al Gore's belief that "it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations*" is celebrated. Spencer:
..."Doing something" about global warming has been likened by many to buying insurance. But while it would be stupid not to have homeowners insurance, it would also be stupid to buy homeowners insurance when the price is more than your home costs.
The whole thing.

To strain the insurance analogy - AM Best's Long-Term "Credit"ability Rating for Al Gore is "c" - Extremely Speculative.


* Gore may have learned the idea of using English in this manner from Bill Clinton, but Al is unable to execute.
"Over-representation of factual presentations" is too easy to parse. It does not even hint at the Clintonian invitation to ponder the meaning of "is" - which was at least as clever as some of the excuses we gave our mothers when we were 10. Gore's best is a crossword-puzzle, newspeak clue for "lie."

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hokey Stuck


The Chicken-Little federal grant attraction industry has the advantages of religiousity*, disingenuousness, the "hockey stick" curve, and the populist appeal of the precautionary principle fallacy.

In addition, these captains of anti-capitalism enjoy the support of Hollywood celebrities, baby seals, and the United Nations. Add to that the blessing of the editorial board of the New York Times, and you have to ask, "How can they go wrong?"

Well, their problem is a shortage of fact. See the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works press release:
AP INCORRECTLY CLAIMS SCIENTISTS PRAISE GORE’S MOVIE

...and, at Tech Central Station,

The Real News About Mann-Made Global Warming

*Church of Our Lady of Kyoto the Futile

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Copperheads and Know-Nothings


In response to the New York Times sorry excuses for publishing the SWIFT banking story, U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow wrote a letter to the editor in order to reveal the extensive, non-partisan attempts that were made to dissuade
the NYT from publication:
...Your charge that our efforts to convince The New York Times not to publish were "half-hearted" is incorrect and offensive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Over the past two months, Treasury has engaged in a vigorous dialogue with the Times - from the reporters writing the story to the D.C. Bureau Chief and all the way up to you. It should also be noted that the co-chairmen of the bipartisan 9-11 Commission, Governor Tom Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton, met in person or placed calls to the very highest levels of the Times urging the paper not to publish the story. Members of Congress, senior U.S. Government officials and well-respected legal authorities from both sides of the aisle also asked the paper not to publish or supported the legality and validity of the program.
Whole letter here.

The Times knew that appropriate members of Congress had been briefed. It was aware of the safeguards that had been put in place, and that they had been strengthened over time. Their story even acknowledged that no laws had been broken and that the program was effective against terrorism.

So, why inform the world? The Times response is, "This could, maybe be a threat to Americans' civil liberty and the terrorists obviously already know, so what's the big deal?"

Here's an alternate thought: since the program was effective, it is obvious that at least some terrorists did not know. In fact, terrorists almost certainly did not know, until the Times explained it to them.

The
Times' arrogation of the decision about this program's national security importance - especially in the face of what they knew - is breathtaking. Either they truly believe they are all-knowing or they think terrorism is a lesser threat than George Bush. Possibly both.

(Note to NYT: Bush can't run again, and you just demonstrated that you tend more toward A.D.D. than omniscience. Even than microniscience.)

If one accepts the idea that one's civil liberties cease when one is dead, or are reduced in direct proportion to a disabling injury, then one can probably make the connection that there will be more damage to civil liberties - for both the military and civilians - because of the Times publication of secret information than there would have been without it.

Worse, from the Times point of view, it has caused more damage to their credibility than to George Bush's.

Finally, their
selective amnesia is amply demonstrated by their own words. See this PowerLine excerpt from the September 24, 2001 New York Times editorial "Finances of Terror."

More and more that phrase is becoming defined by the act of buying a copy of the NYT.

Update: 8:53PM. A 9/11 commission co-chair laments the killing of the SWIFT program.

Update: 30-Jun, 6:33PM. Welcome to readers of Dean's World.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The price of free speech


By a 6 to 3 vote SCOTUS has just struck down a Vermont law that limited political campaign contributions to $200.

In an earlier case they had decided that it was fair to restrict campaign contributions to $1,500 or less.

It will be interesting to see what this decision means in Senator "Shut-up I'm an Incumbent" McCain's home state of Arizona.

Meanwhile, The Boston Globe reports reaction from the Vermont anti-First Amendment crowd:
Public interest groups called the decision a blow to their goal of reducing the importance of campaign-fund-raising. Pat Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, a leader in the push to make Vermont's election law a reality, called the decision "incredibly disappointing."

"Instead of allowing us to level the playing field, the justices have pushed average folks to the sidelines and preserved a clear path to power for wealthy donors," Burns said in a statement. "This ruling undermines Vermont citizens and all Americans who are working to protect the integrity of their democracy and participate equally in the political process."
Couldn't "average folks" be those who might want to contribute the $201 they raised in the George Soros Block-Party bake sale?

It is possible to trace 7.57% of the total contributions to the Vermont Public Interest Research & Education Fund; the charitable arm for Vermont Public Interest Research Group, to Mr. Burns' pocket as its Executive Director. In 2004, this was only about $34,000, but VPIRG is a local affiliate of a national organization.

More research into the cash flows and political contributions of his organization would be useful. I'll pursue it as I get the time. Meanwhile any info would be appreciated.

What have we learned? First, the Supreme Court acknowledges that money equals speech in the case of political campaign contributions. Second, SCOTUS believes political speech is capped at $1,499.99, but that it is unconstitutional to restrict it below $200.01.

I think this decision is a good sign. The Supremes have acknowledged that money and speech are congruent, First Amendment-wise, and we'll be able to depend on inflation to raise the amount even if they don't ever recognize the contradictory aspects of their decisions.

BTW it was Justices Souter, Stevens and Ginsburg who voted to cap freedom of speech at $200.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Mealy-mouthed dissembling


Hugh Hewitt fisks NYT's Executive Editor Bill Keller's sorry excuse for an excuse.

Read it.

Saddam and The Taliban

Newly declassified documents captured by U.S. forces indicate that Saddam Hussein's inner circle not only actively reached out to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan and terror-based jihadists in the region, but also hosted discussions with a known Al Qaeda operative about creating jihad training "centers," possibly in Baghdad.
More...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Loose Lips Sink Ships - You NYT Twits


While driving on my recent vacation, I happened upon an NPR program that dealt with the topic of the New York Times’ latest violation of national security, revelation of information valuable to our enemies, willingness to endanger us all to sell some newspapers, unreasoning hatred of the current president, public service in exposing the Evil Bush Administration.

I had never heard The Diane Rehm Show before, and I paused the scan on my radio because the guests included Eleanor Clift and Tony Blankley. I enjoy it when Ms Clift’s presumptions are challenged. Also, I was intrigued by the host’s speech patterns.

The context: the Bush administration had been presenting a case to the Washington Post, LA Times and Wall Street Journal against publication of certain secret information. These discussions were rendered moot by the New York Times – which published the story despite similar representations from the government. NYT registration required.

On NPR, Eleanor Clift’s first concern was that the NYT had violated some code of proper behavior (I cannot go so far as to say "ethics") among newspapers by publishing while their peers were still contemplating arguments about possible damage to national security. She was secondarily concerned about national security, per se. The phrase “Honor among thieves” leapt readily to mind.

The story in question was about examination by United States security agents of a Belgian database of financial transfer messages. An examination conducted in compliance with US and EU law and with the co-operation of the private enterprise involved. This was a secret method of an announced policy to track the financing of terror. In the Time’s own description:
The Bush administration has made no secret of its campaign to disrupt terrorist financing, and President Bush, Treasury officials and others have spoken publicly about those efforts. Administration officials, however, asked The New York Times not to publish this article, saying that disclosure of the Swift program could jeopardize its effectiveness.
Duh.
Bill Keller, the newspaper's executive editor, said: "We have listened closely to the administration's arguments for withholding this information, and given them the most serious and respectful consideration. We remain convinced that the administration's extraordinary access to this vast repository of international financial data, however carefully targeted use of it may be, is a matter of public interest."
The “public” with the greatest “interest”, of course, consists primarily of Al-Qaeda sympathizers, Iraqi Baathists, Saudi madrassa financiers, Iranian madmen and Senate Democrats.

The Times has revealed details of how the United States had been able to track transfers of money between and among terrorist organizations. It is little wonder the Times' sources prefer anonymity.

What is wrong with the Times' story is neatly encapsulated in the story itself. See if you can add your own emphasis to the following:
Nearly 20 current and former government officials and industry executives discussed aspects of the Swift operation with The New York Times on condition of anonymity because the program remains classified.
There is, of course, more than one definition of “public interest”. One might be national security. Another might be selling more of “the newspaper of record”, especially where it furthers the war against the war on terror. Apparently, there are also several definitions of “classified.”

The Times acknowledges that the program is was useful:
Among the successes was the capture of a Qaeda operative, Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, believed to be the mastermind of the 2002 bombing of a Bali resort, several officials said. The Swift data identified a previously unknown figure in Southeast Asia who had financial dealings with a person suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda; that link helped locate Hambali in Thailand in 2003, they said.

In the United States, the program has provided financial data in investigations into possible domestic terrorist cells as well as inquiries of Islamic charities with suspected of having links to extremists, the officials said.

The data also helped identify a Brooklyn man who was convicted on terrorism-related charges last year, the officials said. The man, Uzair Paracha, who worked at a New York import business, aided a Qaeda operative in Pakistan by agreeing to launder $200,000 through a Karachi bank, prosecutors said.

…Like other counterterrorism measures carried out by the Bush administration, the Swift program began in the hectic days after the Sept. 11 attacks, as officials scrambled to identify new tools to head off further strikes.

One priority was to cut off the flow of money to Al Qaeda. The 9/11 hijackers had helped finance their plot by moving money through banks. Nine of the hijackers, for instance, funneled money from Europe and the Middle East to SunTrust bank accounts in Florida. Some of the $130,000 they received was wired by people overseas with known links to Al Qaeda.
There is a better explanation of the SWIFT program than you will find in the NYT here (H/T Captain’s Quarters).

To summarize. The New York Times discovered, apparently from leaks by certain officials of a government at war, the particulars of a program that said government announced it would pursue and that the Times acknowledges to be legal. The Times decided to aid and comfort publish based on “public interest.”

The interest of the public in this matter diverges from that of the New York Times. The leaks here are of the same form that had placed journalists in some jeopardy (as yet incompletely resolved) in the Valerie Plame teapot-tempest. I am open to suggestions about the common denominator, but it seems to me to be anti-Americanism.

Finally, I'd like to ask if the Times considers Internal Revenue Service access -
not to your large foreign fund transfers, but to every detail of your bank accounts and salary - a similar threat to civil liberty.

I just can't remember an NYT article about it, or an ACLU protest.

Sally Jacobsen boldly goes where no gender feminist has gone before

This story seems to have ended happily.

Former NKU professor Sally Jacobsen abjectly apologizes for her utter ignorance of the First Amendment, and for calling her victims Nazis while occupied as an über-busybody in the suppression of their speech and the destruction of their property.

As TOC commented in April:
Throw the book at her. She can write a feminist manifesto, an apology for the arrogant presumption that she is qualified to think for others, and an analysis of the First Amendment while she's in Martha Stewart's old cell.
Given her statements at the time of her offense:
"Any violence perpetrated against that silly display was minor compared to how I felt when I saw it. Some of my students felt the same way, just outraged," Jacobsen said.
...the cynics among us will likely conclude that she isn't all that sorry about her actions, but now "feels" a bit differently due to the necessity of dodging the book that was thrown.

That, and paying a $1,000 donation to "a Northern Kentucky crisis pregnancy shelter for expectant mothers", will do.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

San Francisco


Where else?

Mark Steyn on the World Naked Bike Ride in San Francisco:
"RE-ELECT GORE" was the slogan on one man's bottom, as fetchingly dimpled as a Palm Beach chad, while beneath the "GORE" of his butt his upper thighs proudly proclaimed "NO WAR" (left leg) "FOR OIL" (right). "I'D RATHER HAVE THIS BUSH FOR PRESIDENT" read one lady's naked torso with an arrow pointing down to the presidential material in question. What a bleak comment on the bitter divisions in our society that even so all-American a tradition as nude bicycling down Main Street should now be so nakedly partisan.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Notes


Bill Roggio on the Princess Pats in Afghanistan: The Road to Tarin Kot and Reflections on Haditha.

Musings on Marines in Iraq from Democracy Project: Is our media a strategic enemy? and Letter from a Marine in Fallujah.

Please note that I am on my way tomorrow morning to vist a Marine at Camp Lejeuene, my oldest son, posting will be sporadic to non-existent until around June 25th.

Gotta go pack.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Great work: Canadians in Afghanistan


Why aren't we hearing anything in the U.S. press? Because it doesn't involve rumors of Americans jumping on Zarqawi's chest.

Oh, and because the context is a relentless pursuit and dispatch of the bad guys in Afghanistan by those nice Canadians, not crazed Marines.

The Canadians are not responsible for all the success mentioned below, but they have been a major factor.

CTV has today's battle news:
Two Canadian soldiers are in a serious condition after they were shot
during a fierce gun battle involving coalition troops and Taliban
militants in southern Afghanistan.

Canadian forces spokesman Lt. Mark MacIntyre said the two soldiers had
"undergone surgery" for their wounds and were in a "serious condition"
in hospital.

"These are combat related injuries...the two soldiers were wounded by
small arms fire," MacIntyre told reporters Monday.

"This was a deliberate operation to root out Taliban fighters that had
recently returned to the area."

...12 suspected militants were killed in the battle.

...Other battles

Earlier Monday, Afghan and coalition forces killed 15 suspected
militants, including Taliban leader Mullah Omar's brother-in-law, in
Uruzgan province, the Associated Press reported.

...10 militants were killed in neighbouring Helmand province in a
gunbattle involving Afghan and British forces.

...On Thursday, coalition and Afghan troops killed 10 insurgents outside a
village in the Deh Rawod District in Uruzgan Province north of
Kandahar.

And last Monday, coalition forces killed more than 30 Taliban in a
firefight in the nearby western Arghandab District of Zabul Province.
Earlier (May 18)
In total, as many as 87 Taliban fighters were killed in the fighting
Wednesday and Thursday, U.S. and Afghan officials said. The deadliest
combat since the fall of the Taliban was in June 2005, when 178 people
died in an offensive between Afghan forces and militants in the Miana
Shien district of Kandahar province.
In summary:
The surge in fighting has killed more than 500 people, mostly
militants, since mid-May. ... the rebels have stepped up attacks
to scare NATO countries from deploying troops there.
Emphasis mine.

Given the relative casualty rate - 16 Canadian troops and one diplomat have died in Afghanistam since 2001 - I am wondering how these scare tactics are working out from the Taliban POV? Well, I hope.

H/T Nealenews

Murtha's campaign for Majority Leader: More obstacles?


Maybe. For one thing, the Democrats have to win the House first, and if Murtha's wrong with his charges of atrocity in Haditha, it will diminish their chances.

Sweetness & Light is doing some fine work exposing the: Cracks at the Edge of Time.

A Science Fiction reference may therefore be appropriate.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Majority Leader Murtha


Well, I'm sure he's "leading" a majority at democraticunderground, DailyKos and MoveOn anyway.

Congressman Jack Murtha has led the cheering against our troops for several months now. He started by calling for their immediate (his word) withdrawal from Iraq, because the "military is broken" and "we can't win." This hyperbole is unworthy of a Congressman and doubly unworthy of a former Marine. Even if he really believes it, his choice of words and forum argue more for calling it a PR stunt.

We now have more evidence to support the supposition that Murtha's motivation is personal gain. For a few weeks he's been reviving his credentials as a dove by calling for some Marines, who appear to have been involved in civilian deaths at Haditha, to be convicted of murder without the presentation of evidence or the inconvenience of a trial.

Last October, nobody had ever heard of Jack Murtha, now he's mounting a premature run for the position of House Majority Leader - after the Democrats regain control of the House in November, of course. He's interviewed on national TV all the time now. I guess depicting our troops as burned-out mass-murderers is working out for him.

We still do not know what actually happened at Haditha. Neither does Murtha, but his comments have already done more damage to the United States than would result from all his charges being true. If Murtha's hyberbole proves false, the terrorists will still be able to quote him for years. He'll be on al-Qaeda recruiting posters.

We are hearing the first faint suggestions that Murtha's suppositions are indeed false. TOC noted some yesterday.

Today, we hear a little more. The Washington Post published a story based on the account of Marine Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, who -
led a squad of Marines during the incident in Haditha, Iraq, that left as many as 24 civilians dead said his unit did not intentionally target any civilians, followed military rules of engagement and never tried to cover up the shootings, his attorney said.
Let's wait for more information, shall we? I mean, the troops in Iraq deserve at least the same consideration as Murtha's colleague Congressman William Jefferson.

Peace, Order and Good Government - Not.


Three security agents of the United States government were surrounded by insurgents and dragged from their vehicle. The vehicle was then used in an attempt to run down a police officer.

This happened in a foreign country. No word yet on U.S. reaction.

CTV report here.

Similar crimes have been committed against the press. See also.

Where did this happen?

The country was Canada. The insurgents, who have caused millions of dollars in property damage, were Mohawk Indians who have held an entire community hostage - a bridge has been burned, rail traffic has been brought to a halt and a power station was put off-line with a crude car bomb.

This has been going on for months while Ontario Provincial Police are, apparently, forced to merely observe.

H/T Nealenews

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Hitchens on Zarqawi

If we had withdrawn from Iraq already, as the "peace" movement has been demanding, then one of the most revolting criminals of all time would have been able to claim that he forced us to do it. That would have catapulted Iraq into Stone Age collapse and instated a psychopathic killer as the greatest Muslim soldier since Saladin. As it is, the man is ignominiously dead and his dirty connections a lot closer to being fully exposed. This seems like a good day's work to me.
Read it all.

Minute-ahdi


I just remembered that Michael Moore has called people of Zarqawi's ilk morally equivalent to American Minutemen.

I apparently missed the history lesson where we were supposed to learn that the Minutemen staggered into Tory eating establishments carrying kegs of black powder and blew themselves up. Maybe Michael was thinking of Guy Fawkes? Though even Fawkes wasn't a suicide kegger.

In an attempt to reduce my confusion I asked myself: "What's Mikey got to say now that a major Minute-ahdi has been dispatched?" I visited his Web-site to find out. As a public service, sort of like the guy who pumps out your septic tank, I reveal the results below.

There are a few links with snarky titles below a picture of the deceased Zarqawi, like "War is Over!", that links to a mundane NYT article that says nothing of the kind. The title of the NYT article is "U.S. Strike Hits Insurgent at Safehouse".

Another link purports to reveal "Perfect Timing". It links to an AP story titled "Poll: U.S. disapproves of war in Iraq".

A third link is to a Reuters' story wherein Michael Berg (father of Nick Berg, whom Zarqawi personally beheaded and video taped) says Bush and Zarqawi are both evil, except Bush is worse. And, BTW, he bears no grudge against Zarqawi, and takes no comfort from his son's murderer's demise.

There's also a post by Cindy Sheehan which I can save you the trouble of reading by giving you the first sentence: "Our American culture is permeated with violence." It's downhill from there coherence-wise.

OK, so the content links appear either to be attempts to deceive or promotions of the left-wing fever swamp. No surprise.

If there is anything here, I can't help. I can only hold my breath so long. We need to hear from the man himself before I asphyxiate. Quickly, then, let's click on "Mike's Letter" and see what he has to say.

Mike's most recent letter is dated February 3rd, 2006. It is a solicitation for people to help make him richer by contributing their health care horror stories to his next fantasy documentary.

Enough.

Haditha


I said I'd wait for evidence before commenting on Haditha.

Here's some information on the story's genesis from the American Thinker.

I think I'll continue to wait, but this does sound familiar.

H/T Strong World and thanks to Sweetness & Light.

The Death of Feminism


Talk about chickens coming home to roost. U.S. Feminists have almost universally refused to acknowledge the rights of women as a principle, and TOC has written about this on many occasions. It is only appropriate to recognize a feminist who can rise above the typical self-serving hypocrisy.

Phyllis Chesler's The Death of Feminism : What's Next in the Struggle for Women's Freedom includes a chapter about her experiences as the wife of a Muslim in Afghanistan.

Part of an Amazon.com synopsis:
Chesler, an active member of the women's movement for four decades, makes a serious charge against her sisters: she feels they have abandoned their commitment to freedom and feminist values, and "become cowardly herd animals and grim totalitarian thinkers." Chesler (Women and Madness) takes liberal feminists to task for not speaking out against what she sees as the most important threat to Western freedom: Islamic terrorism.
I wonder if the book is dedicated to Della Sentilles, who wrote
in defense of the Taliban former-Ambassador now attending Yale:
...as a white American feminist, I do not feel comfortable making statements or judgments about other cultures, especially statements that suggest one culture is more sexist and repressive than another. American feminism is often linked to and manipulated by the state in order to further its own imperialist ends.
H/T Relapsed Catholic

Good news for everybody but Democrats


An Islamofascist imam, Sheikh Omar Bakri, has congratulated Abu al-Zarqawi on the latter’s recent breakthrough in ambient temperature research.
"It is a good news Alhamdulilaah (thank God), his wedding start as shaheed (martyr), and his deputy confirm the news," read a statement attributed to Bakri.
The translation loses something in the wording, but here is the whole report (from which I will quote further later on).

I disagree with Sheikh Bakri’s conclusion regarding Mr. Zarqawi’s heavenly nuptials. I tend more to the idea that Mr. Zarqawi’s brides are not heavenly, not virgin and not female. I imagine them to be homosexual serial killers, cannibals and necrophiles. For the trifecta, imagine 72 Jeffrey Dahmer clones - in drag - riding at Disney World in a little train where “It’s a Small World After All” plays for eternity. Mr. Zarqawi is passed from car to car, periodically wearing a horse-hair burqa with nothing underneath.
Bakri was also quoted as vowing that "the jihad will continue," and expressed gratitude that al-Zarqawi "was not arrested."
It’s highly probable that I’m even more glad than Sheikh Bakri about Zarqawi not being arrested. I can just imagine defense counsel Ramsey Clark calling Ted Kennedy and Dennis Kucinich as witnesses for the defense:
“In your opinion, Senator/Congressman, if Amerikkka had not invaded Iraq would the Z-Man have been forced to discriminately murder thousands of Shiites? Would our troops have suffered either casualties or the horrible mental derangement that caused them to revert to form and commit grievous atrocities? In fact, aren’t these the reasons why you voted against this imperialist war?”

And let’s not forget Jack Murtha’s questions from Mr. Clark:
“Congressman, did you or did you not say that American troops should be withdrawn from Iraq “immediately?” If executed, would not this plan have precluded the capture of Mr. Zarqawi by what is obviously an illegal occupying Army, which in your words, “cannot win?” What then is the point of having left the troops there? Merely to inconvenience my client?”

Clark’s summation could be cribbed straight from the Moussaoui trial:
“Here’s a man who grew up in a dirt-poor, polluted industrial town in Jordan, where dirt-poor really means something. And who did he have to report to? The privileged remittance-man
of a Saudi Arabian construction cartel. Who among us could fault Mr. Zarqawi for trying to succeed by outdoing this cave-dwelling plutocrat?

Mr. Zarqawi came from a dysfunctional family, and was later a victim of the brutality of those otherwise godlike Russian communists in their Afghan quagmire. Ladies and gentlemen, can we not prove that we are better than these totalitarian thugs I normally so dearly love and praise? Ask yourselves, if we cannot bring our compassion to bear for Mr. Zarqawi’s indiscretions, what pitiful shard of America’s already tawdry claim of defending liberty can remain? Are not the design, building, placement and detonation of IEDs protected by the First Amendment? Of course they are, but Mr. Zarqawi was never even read his Miranda rights!”
Another member of the forum posted a statement by The Media Wing of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which read: "We confirm the martyrdom of our mujahid (holy fighter) Sheikh Allah willing, Abu Muab al-Zarqawi on the land of the two rivers (Iraq)."

The statement added: "The death of our leader is life to us and only adds to our determination in continuing in the jihad till Allah's word is the highest."
If the death of your leader is life to you and if you’re really determined, then step right up. We have quite a few more 500 pound bombs with which we can animate the survivors.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Fever Swamp Revealed


Self-Loathing and the Denial of Terrorism
BY JAMES LILEKS

A real hoot. Read the whole thing at the link above, but here's the opener:
You're an enlightened world citizen. Your T-shirt says "9/11 was an inside job." You're pretty sure we're living in a fascist state, that President Bush taps the Dixie Chicks' phones, Christian abortion clinic bombers outnumber jihadis, and the war on "terror" is a distraction from the real threats: carbon emissions and Pat Robertson. Then you learn that 17 people were arrested in a terrorist bomb plot. How do you process the information? Let's take it step by step.
Recommended.

I do think Lileks should have credited democraticunderground, dailykos, and huffingtonpost, however. Oh, and Air America and NPR. It's obviously where he got his material.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

62 years


I'm not quite as old as D-Day, but I am pretty clear on the story. I heard bits of it from my father. I spent quite a bit of my own time studying it. They didn't teach much about it in public schools in the 60's. I suspect they teach far less now.

I can't help but wonder if in another 62 years the average person won't even remember what
"Sword", "Juno", "Gold", "Utah", and "Omaha" signify. If you get your D-Day history from Saving Private Ryan you've seen a good movie, but you are abysmally ignorant of actual history. You could not have named those beaches.

Here's a D-Day logistics synopsis, amazing on its own, followed by reading recommendations -


Just after midnight on June 6, 1944, 1,200 transport planes and 700 gliders delivered over 23,000 American and British paratroops behind the German coastal defense in Normandy.

At dawn, 4,000 transports and 800 warships, plus innumerable smaller craft, began an amphibious assault that landed 130,000 soldiers at beaches code-named Sword, Juno, Gold, Utah, and Omaha.

These names will live as long as mankind studies military theory.

We are not likely to see anything so audacious, so necessary, and so clearly understood by Western civilization ever again.

In remembrance of the men who died at Sword, Juno, Gold, Utah, and Omaha - the soldiers who died there defending the West against totalitarianism - I offer some further reading:

From Encyclopedia Britannica:

D-Day on the Web

You've already paid for this PBS info, check it out.

D-Day Museum

American D-Day

Monday, June 05, 2006

Note to Della Sentilles


Dear Ms Sentilles,

Earlier this year, i
n defense of the former Taliban regime's treatment of women, you wrote that having a former Taliban ambassador (with a 4th grade education) as your fellow student at Yale did not dispose you to comment on Taliban treatment of Afghani women, women whose gunshot-to-the-head executions in a soccer stadium was general knowledge, because:
As a white American feminist, I do not feel comfortable making statements or judgments about other cultures, especially statements that suggest one culture is more sexist and repressive than another. American feminism is often linked to and manipulated by the state in order to further its own imperialist ends.
Judging how the Taliban treated women was beneath you, or above you, or whatever.

You will be glad to know that your forbearance has had positive results. Wife-Beating Is Permitted by Islam in Muslim Countries, but Is Forbidden in the West according to the Mufti of Egypt.

The Mufti has made it official, you no longer even have to explain anything. At least until Sharia is law established here.

H/T Relapsed Catholic

And, by the way, a long overdue H/T to Keith, whose comment got you to display the amoral, narcissist vacuum between your ears to the whole world. Thanks, Keith.

Canada can teach


Charles Krauthammer, who grew up in Quebec, delivers an installment in the "learning from Canada" series.

This one is about language, wherein the United States tries to recreate the Plains of Abraham - a battle that by reasonable estimate should have established the foundation for a unilingual Canada.

I guess that there were just too many unassimilated guest workers.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Steyn on Haditha


Myself, I will wait for the evidence before I comment on the behaviour of some Marines at Haditha.

In the meantime, I would dearly love to use the final sentence of this Mark Steyn piece as a teaser to get you to read it.

However, that would reduce your enjoyment, and you know you want to read it anyway.

Canada at risk


Seems like Rosie DiManno gets it:
...It takes no sophistication to connect non-existent dots, from Mississauga to Afghanistan, from grievances nurtured in the suburbs of Toronto to a so-called global crusade against Islam, as if the West is responsible for the oppression inflicted upon Muslims, in Muslim nations, by Muslim leaders.

It requires, increasingly, little empirical evidence to excuse the radicalism of pupa militants, including those who enjoy the benefits of our own generous, inclusive and hyper-tolerant society. This is the constituency that protects — tacitly encourages — the nihilism of those driven to violent distraction by what they see as endless victimization of their tribe, a purported world-wide Islamaphobia that can only be redressed by random atrocities.

How quickly, do you think, will these arrests — the judicial process only in its infancy — cease to be about them and become primarily about us?
Not long Rosie. Not long.

Environmenshevism


The Sky is Falling productions, in association with Executive Producer C. N. Little, presents:

Environmenshevik Follies of 2006.
"The Bolsheviks formed the "government", but the Environmensheviks are with us still!"

Directed by Al Gore
Based on a story by Karl Marx
Screenplay by the Third Reich Co-operative
Special Thanks to PETA and the Earth Liberation Front

Environmentalist political philosophy explained at the von Mises Institute.

The Rhetoric of the Environmental Movement
...When one refers to "the right to a smoke-free environment," as numerous spokesmen of the anti-smoking campaign often do, surely it makes sense to ask "of just whose environment are we speaking?" While I might indeed have such a right to demand of others that they not smoke on my property, have I the same right when it comes to the property of others? But even put in such bald form, the majority of environmentalists would argue that, in most cases, I would indeed have such a right. Such rights obtain, they argue (and in this they are by no means alone), because most private property is not, in reality, private at all, since members of the public (either all members of the public, as is the case with, say, a department store, or certain specific members of the public, as is the case with a business office) are invited onto the property. By virtue of this fact, nominal private property is transmuted into commonly owned property, the disposal of which can justifiably be determined by political means. Indeed, most environmentalists have extended this notion of public ownership to the whole of the natural world. They write of the "common heritage of all humanity" and of "sharing the world's resources equitably."[6] It is as if each of us, when born, inherits our pro rata share of all the wealth of the world, the land and the oceans of the earth, and all that is on, above, or below it, without regard to the prevailing ownership of these resources. It is apparent that the term "right," as here used, designates something quite different from what is signified in the expressions "right to life," or "right to one's liberty." A "right" to a portion of the world's resources clearly obligates the civil authorities (and the population at large, who ultimately must fund the operations of the civil authorities) to certain positive acts. This is particularly true in this instance since one's "right" is, on examination, not an individual right at all, but rather a "collective" right (if such a perverse notion makes any sense at all) that, by its very nature, can be exercised only by some authority ostensibly representative of the collective.

...Among the charges leveled against modern society, of which primitive societies alone are guiltless, is the institution of private ownership of property. Capitalist institutions particularly contribute to the despoliation of nature and its fragile resources.[44] Doubtless it is for this reason that environmentalism quickly became popular among so many Marxists, who eagerly embraced the ecological movement's glorification of a fictitious primitive communalism.[45] Research undertaken by these eco-socialists has discovered, for example, that before Western colonization, "third world" populations stood in ecological balance with their environment, where "harmony with nature was a feature of their lifestyles"[46] and that "poverty" as it is known today was almost unknown in pre-colonial Africa.[47]
Yes, this is how Al Gore thinks. Remember that internal combustion engines are evil.

And, as to Rachel Carson, Professor Hamowy is very kind in not pointing out an obvious connection: There are 10's of millions of malaria deaths on Carson's head for the banning of DDT. She's right up there with Hitler and Stalin and Mao - and from the same motivations.

There's much more and it is worth reading it all.

H/T CM

Saturday, June 03, 2006

See? Oh! Too.


"Greenhouse effect" 101.

For those who tell you you should see Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

H/T Maggie's Farm

Al-Qaeda in Canada


SDA has a good overview and excellent links relating to the arrest of 17 "Canadians" in an apprehended bomb plot. They had three times the amount of ammonium nitrate as was used by Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma bombing.

Reportedly, one target was the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) subway.
This is being denied by the authorities. The carnage could have been incredible.

GTA, by the way, is Greater Toronto Area.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's statement:
Statement by the Prime Minister on terrorism arrests made in Toronto

June 3, 2006
Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement in relation to the recent arrests made in Toronto, announced earlier today:

“This morning, Canadians awoke to the news that our law enforcement and national security agencies have arrested 17 individuals for terrorism related offences.

“These individuals were allegedly intent on committing acts of terrorism against their own country and their own people.

“As we have said on many occasions, Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism. Through the work and cooperation of the RCMP, CSIS, local law enforcement and Toronto’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET), acts of violence by extremist groups may have been prevented.

“Today, Canada’s security and intelligence measures worked. Canada’s new Government will pursue its efforts to ensure the national security of all Canadians.”
The Canadian press is reporting the would-be mass-murderers are "from a variey of backgrounds." Well, here's the list of those arrested. You decide on the diversity question.
1. Fahim Ahmad, 21, Toronto;
2. Zakaria Amara, 20, Mississauga, Ont.;
3. Asad Ansari, 21, Mississauga;
4. Shareef Abdelhaleen, 30, Mississauga;
5. Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, Mississauga;
6. Mohammed Dirie, 22, Kingston, Ont.;
7. Yasim Abdi Mohamed, 24, Kingston;
8. Jahmaal James, 23, Toronto;
9. Amin Mohamed Durrani, 19, Toronto;
10. Steven Vikash Chand alias Abdul Shakur, 25, Toronto;
11. Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, 21, Mississauga;
12. Saad Khalid, 19, of Eclipse Avenue, Mississauga.
Those arrested are having their first court appearances in Brampton. In the late 70s I lived in a 100 year old house at 51 Union Street, a mile or so from the Hurontario Street courthouse. Lends a note of surrealism for me.

I wonder if Debbie Stabenow will rethink her opposition to requiring ID cards/passports at Canadian border crossings.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Taliban Dude


A recent email from one James Kirchick invited me to read his article - My Fellow Yalie: The Taliban Dude.

I found it interesting for the insight it granted into the thinking of young Yalies. It is worth a read for that purpose, especially considering that Mr. Kirchick is associated with America's Future Foundation whose mission:
...is to find and publish young and undiscovered conservative and libertarian writers.
One thing you will learn is that, much as the word liberal has come to describe socialists when it originally meant what we would today call conservatives, or at least libertarians, conservative now means "anything some leftist does not appreciate."

To wit, Mr. Kirchick acquiesces to the Liberal idea that Bill O'Reilly is a conservative. Liberals base this opinion on their suppositions about O'Reilly's associations rather than his philosophy. McCarthyism Pelosi-ism rampant. Liberals automatically regard any successful Fox News personality as a rabid right-wingnut.

In fact, O'Reilly is a simplistic pandering populist. If he were a politician he'd be Huey Long's evil twin. O'Reilly's reputation as a "conservative" rests, it seems to me, primarily on the fact that he has been able to take apart a few leftists who are not very bright and are so far outside the mainstream that deflating them is easily achieved by just letting them talk. Which they most certainly will.

I mean, and I'm speaking intellectually, could you skewer Madonna or Cher or that blonde ditz, Cameron Diaz, who equated voting for Bush with approving of rape? Could you beat Barbra Streisand in a spelling bee? (Hint, can you spell "Irag"?)

So can Bill. It does not make him a conservative, and certainly not a libertarian.

Michael Moore gets negative mention for his promotion of Hashemi in the fantasy documentary film Fahrenheit 9/11. While I have no respect whatsoever for Michael Moore's honesty, intellect or dietary practices, I did watch him in an O'Reilly interview. O'Reilly was overmatched. This tells me something. O'Reilly has no principles from which to argue. Populists don't need any.

It also tells me that George Clooney, subject of several withering O'Reilly attacks, is a real lightweight - since he refuses to come on the show.

Mr. Kirchick writes:
...most liberals on campus have failed to make any statement in opposition to Hashemi--not because they support his being here, but because they cannot stand those calling for Yale's head.
I think this displays some narcissism and naivete about Yale and academia in general.
The situation was perfectly suited to the right's popular caricature of America's institutions of higher education as incubators of extreme cultural relativism.
Yep, the anecdotal evidence, of which this is a prime bit, is overwhelming. Not to mention that the voting patterns of faculty are damning in this regard. Extreme anti-Americanism manifests in the Sally Jacobsens, Noam Chomskys, Juan Coles, Ward Churchills and a vast host of other professors; and it's fine that students are exposed to such ideas, but when's the last time any classic liberal/libertarian/conservative professor got such attention as these minions of the extreme left? Simon and Garfunkel should reunite to record Where have you gone Larry Summers?

Mr. Kirchick is overly respectful of the left, perhaps because of his environment. The Yale Campus Liberals have not objected to Hashemi partially because to do so bleeds into asking dangerous questions about affirmative action programs, and primarily because to do so would hold the United States up to repute. That is, disrepute is what they desire. If the "conservative" Bill O'Reilly is foaming at the mouth then it's OK to dismiss the conservative John Fund's rational arguments. Taking several weeks to recognize this is possibly just a matter of experience.

Mr. Kirchick's main point is that this sloppy knee-jerk of fevered Liberal sentiment is the cause of conflating the ideas of these men. But, his acceptance of Bill O'Reilly's random populism as even remotely related to conservative or libertarian thought is an undersight. Even bringing it up is disrespectful of Mr. Fund.

Overall, Mr. Kirchick does an excellent job of showing the paucity of principle and the shallowness of thought of fellow students like Della Sentilles, though her name never comes up.

As I say, you'll learn something from reading it. It may not have the conservative intellectual panache of something out of Hillsdale, but it is a more hopeful sign than I would have predicted out of Yale.

Thank you, James Kirchick.