Thursday, August 31, 2006

CA CA


The Governator moves to take the lead in the battle against GLOBAL WARMINGtm.

California declares water vapor to be a "pollutant."

And they're about to implement state run health care. Apparently, the California legislature is unaware of What's Wrong with Healthcare? in Canada.

In ten years we'll be begging Mexico to take them off our hands because of their whinings about all the illegals stressing their health care system. Oh, wait, they're already doing that, but it doesn't stop them from issuing drivers licenses to the same illegals "voters."

H/T National Center

Lakehead recruiting film?


More severe, perhaps, but pandering to the same sentiment and audience.

Who do you think all the congratulatory emails to Lakehead university president Frederick Gilberton on the "Shmale" [sic] ad campaign came from? The same people who will be applauding the assassination.

D.O.A.P.

I'm sure you will be able to figure out the acronym.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lucky Starr and the Fever Swamps of Academia*

...or, as it is known in progressive circles, the "reality based community."

Thermate bombs in the WTC (1, 2) barely scratch the surface of the Witlessness of Mass Delusion, but I think the "Thermate Theory" is a gateway drug. Such thoughts generate serotonin in those
obsessed with a hatred of George Bush. Mark Steyn describes the hard stuff in MacLeans:
Call me crazy. I blame terrorists.

Who is A. K. Dewdney? He's an adjunct professor of biology at the University of Western Ontario, and he has pieced together the truth about what happened on 9/11. You may be familiar with the official version: "To account for the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush White House has produced a scenario involving Arab hijackers flying large aircraft into American landmarks," writes the eminent Ontario academic. "We, like millions of other 9/11 skeptics, have found this explanation to be inconsistent with the facts of the matter."

Instead, he argues, a mid-air plane switch took place on three of the jets. "The passengers of one of the flights died in an aerial explosion over Shanksville, Pa.," he writes, "and the remaining passengers (and aircraft) were disposed of in the Atlantic Ocean." Most of us swallowed "the Bush-Cheney scenario" because we were unaware that, when two planes are less than half a kilometre apart, they appear as a single blip on the radar screen. Thus, the covert switch. Instead of crashing into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the flights were diverted by FBI agents on board to Harrisburg, Pa., where the passengers from all three planes were herded onto UA Flight 175 and flown on to Cleveland Hopkins and their deaths. By then, unmanned Predator drones had been substituted for the passenger jets and directed into their high-profile targets. The original planes and their passengers were finished off over the Atlantic.
Read it all.

H/T Dust My Broom

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucky_Starr_series

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Trew Grits


Because the Liberal Party of Canada has it coming, and because your traffic helps support The Western Standard.

TOC directs your attention to....Drum roll.....
THE HezboLiberals!
And, for good measure, a blast from the past: the Libranos.

Schmakehead Update


The BBC reports on comments by Lakehead university president and vice-chancellor Frederick Gilbert (bio), regarding his university's efforts to gain students by intimating that Yale is, at best, a third rate institution (well, they're telling us it's behind Lakehead) and calling the president of the United States a moron.

Dr. Gilbert told Reuters: "It was literally a tongue-in-cheek way of getting attention."

Either Dr. Gilbert is unfamiliar with the meaning of the word "literally", or he is able to speak clearly despite the pain of biting his tongue with his molars.

Not everyone agrees that the ad campaign was the "we're smart" idea.
Isabelle Poniatowskie, president of Lakehead's student union, said the campaign was "repugnant", "low-brow" and "lacked class." I thought that was the point.

The ad itself makes this statement: "Lakehead is different. We believe the person you become after you graduate is even more important than the person you were when you enrolled." I believe the president of the United States would agree with that.

Dr. Gilbert "holds a B.Sc (Hons) degree from Acadia University and MSc and PhD degrees in Zoology from the University of Guelph." He is, as noted, president of Lakehead university.

Update: 7:41PM. NOW I get it! Lakehead wants the entire student body to be New Democrats. Though Lakehead missed a bet on the Nuremberg reference.
H/T National NewsWatch.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Terrorism charges dropped


TOC referenced a story in the Detroit Free Press on August 10th. The story was titled 2 Dearborn men linked to terrorism

Osama Sobhi Abulhassan and Ali Houssaiky have had terrorism related charges against them dropped. Given the hype surrounding any arrest of those with Muslim connections, this might appear as a complete miscarriage of justice caused by, horrors, PROFILING.

That can't be completely discounted, but as Diogenes Borealis points out even ignoring their religion/ethnicity, there were many good reasons to hold them on charges of terrorism. If they'd been charged with misdemeanors and released, the police would have been failing in their duty. Given the circumstances, I would have expected to be held on the same charges.

I'm glad they have no terrorist connections. Perhaps they'll think more about appearances and lying to police in the future.

New Canadian news aggregator


Nealenews, a link I leave in my blogroll (it 404's) in hope that it will return, is no longer being updated.

SDA suggests that National News Watch may fill the gaping hole. I hope so, and it's been added to the blogroll. Give them some encouragement and visit.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

It's not a joke anymore


We all expect bumbling stupidity and ineffectiveness from the UN. However,
on top of oil for food corruption and food for child-sex scandals, we are now seeing another sinister turn.

Looks like Kofi Annan has more to answer for in the deaths of those 4 UNIFIL soldiers than simple negligence in failing to order their evacuation. The Western Standard notes the following:
...throughout the recent war, it [UNIFIL] posted on its website for all to see precise information about the movements of Israeli Defense Forces soldiers and the nature of their weaponry and materiel, even specifying the placement of IDF safety structures within hours of their construction. New information was sometimes only 30 minutes old when it was posted, and never more than 24 hours old.

Meanwhile, UNIFIL posted not a single item of specific intelligence regarding Hezbollah forces. Statements on the order of Hezbollah "fired rockets in large numbers from various locations" and Hezbollah's rockets "were fired in significantly larger numbers from various locations" are as precise as its coverage of the other side ever got.
...you should read the whole thing.

H/T Small Dead Animals

Lakehead, SChmakehead


Relapsed Catholic points out that Lakehead University has mounted an advertising campaign based on the idea that George Bush is not as bright as... oh, the Communications Director for an obscure Canadian University.

This "bold new marketing campaign" is supposed to convince you that attending Lakehead University makes you smart, while attending Yale does no such thing. As for the boldness or newness of it, it seems to be taken from the tired old Grit political strategy manual. But don't get me wrong, if Lakehead can make a buck from calling George Bush a moron, more power to them. If more students can be educated who are smarter than George Bush, more power to the students.

The question a prospective student should therefore ask, is whether the assertion that Lakehead possesses intellectual advantages over the Ivy League is true. Lakehead does start with some advantages.

They never admitted a former Minister of the Taliban who lacked a high school education, never forced a University president from office for asking reasonable questions about the teaching of science, and probably never toyed with the idea of hiring Juan Cole away from the University of Michigan. Lakehead has probably never even had the opportunity to accept tens of millions in contributions from a misogynist, virulently anti-semitic Wahhabi. They certainly have not had the opportunity to ban ROTC or US Marine recruiters from campus. As far as bashing the president of the United States, Lakehead has a long way to go to even catch sight of the Ivy league. This is all to the good.

However, in the simple message "Yale, Shmale", there is a conspicuous omission that calls the whole message into question.

I recognize that there are legitimate differences in spelling between American and Canadian english. "Centre" is an example both of spelling and in politics. So, maybe when translated to Canadian the prefix for the "reduplicated rhyming compound" found in such phrases as "fancy, schmancy", becomes "shm" instead of "schm." However, since Canadians spell schmaltz, schmooze and schmuck including the "c", this seems an overly charitable supposition.

So, we can establish that there is at least one thing you might learn in the Ivy League that has not yet penetrated to Thunder Bay, and one does wonder about the diversity of the Lakehead student body.

We also probably suspect that Lakehead may not be the best place to study marketing: The fact that their best and brightest use a hackneyed political meme that carries all the implications of Ivy League leftism goes against them just when they should have avoided it. Then, in trying to convince us they're smarter than George Bush, they demonstrate an ignorance of colloquial english
.

You do have to wonder, though, if the free world would be a better place if George Bush had attended Lakehead University. At least he'd have more excuse for malapropism.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Read it


Where are you now, Mr. Goldwater, your nation turns its eyes to you…


The list of truly reprehensible Liberals participating in the described film makes me shudder, but I'll watch.

I wistfully and fondly remember Barry Goldwater. I was at a campaign rally of his in Detroit in 1964. AuH2O was so far ahead of his time it is unbelievable. We can thank him for Reagan's eventual victory.

It was only about a year ago that I sent a copy of Why Not Victory? to President Bush.

Goldwater didn't hype a "Straight Talk Express" like his hypocritical latter day wannabee. Barry just always talked straight.

I still miss him.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Supreme RINO?


Debbie Schlussel has some interesting information about Michigan GOP Supreme Court hopeful Marc Shulman which should cause heavy damage to the Michigan Republicans.

Chutzpah, Inc.: Michigan GOP Recruits Fieger Associate, Trial Lawyer for Supreme Court; Promises Appt. After He Loses

Judge Anna Diggs Taylor update


Jeff A. Taylor (presumably no relation), in Reason, writes an article titled Judge Taylor's Tapped-Out Argument.

I know I said Ann Althouse had the last word, but Judge Anna Diggs Taylor is a gift that keeps on giving.

Jeff A. Taylor points out that Judge Taylor concluded the following:
...the National Security Agency's program violates the First Amendment only because it violates the Fourth Amendment. In essence, Judge Taylor agrees with the Justice Department that citizens have no constitutional right to private conversations, that the government can always listen in provided it has a good enough reason.
Good point. Wonder how the ACLU, who brought the suit, feels about that?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Taxation for misrepresentation


Speaking of taxpayer funded institutions that have a political agenda, Canada has the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and we have The Corporation for Public Brodcasting.

We do not, however, have anything quite equivalent to Status of Women. In Canada this is a government department dedicated to radical feminism. If there were a parallel in the United States, Kim Gandy would be in charge and it would be staffed with mental clones of Rosy O'Donnell, Gloria Steinem and Cynthia McKinney. It would be NOW on steroids.

There are Canadians who think it should be eliminated. You can find some of them here.

H/T Angry in the Great White North

Review, Judicial, II


Ann Althouse, professor of law at the University of Wisconsin, has had the final word on judge Anna Diggs Taylor's slovenly jurisprudence decision regarding warrantless intercepts of calls to foreign suspected terrorists.

Writing in the New York Times, (it must be their "balance" piece for 2006) she points out:
If the words of the written opinion reveal that the judge did not follow the discipline of the judicial process, what sense does it make to take the judge’s word about what the law means over the word of the president? If the judge’s own writing does not support a belief that the rule of law has substance and depth, that law is something apart from political will, the significance of saying the president has gone beyond the limits of the law evaporates.
The whole thing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

In Which I Am Taken to Task...


In today's Lansing State Journal a letter appears (9th) which purports to be a response to my letter of July 24th. In that letter I poked fun at the conspiracy theorists who believe the United States blew up the World Trade Center.

You will find the lead-off conspiracist's letter (Jul-14) and my response here. You will find a letter
congratulating the LSJ for publishing the conspiracy theory here, along with some comments.

Today's bit has more trouble in sticking to the topic than the more focused types preceding him:
Fear is weapon

Duane Hershberger (Letters, July 24) sets up his straw men, ("United States is evil" theorists everywhere), and then vanquishes them with the same veracity [sic] as my 10-year-old son battling the Sith with his plastic light saber.

Life is so much simpler when we can reduce our antagonists to caricatures. All Democrats are "America haters." All those who are pro-choice are "baby killers." All war protesters are "undermining troop morale." All Muslims are "fanatics."

Stirring up public fear with unfounded or exaggerated accusations is the tool of choice for those who have no substance to their political ideology. The sad truth is, this tactic seems to work most of the time.

Lao Tzu said it best 3,000 years ago: "When the country falls into chaos, patriotism is born" (Tao Te Ching, Chapter 18).

Michael Iott
Eaton Rapids
He got my name right. He missplaced the quotes on the only part that was actually a quote. Then it deteriorates rather nastily.

On the matter of "straw men", I do not think this means what Mr. Iott thinks it means. Reasonable people, with even a rudimentary command of English, would agree that those who believe that the United States blew up the Twin Towers think that the United States is evil. The people who believe that are theorizing there was a conspiracy. I mean, it's really their whole point.

You will have noted that I never mentioned Democrats in my letter. However, if Mr. Iott is willing to assume the defense of the Party's patriotism, he is a braver man than I. Methinks he doth protest too much.

I was silent on the pro-choice folks, war protestors and Muslims.

On the issue of "Stirring up public fear with unfounded or exaggerated accusations", I believe the "thermate" conspiracists have me utterly defeated. I did not accuse anyone of anything, unlike the conspiracists I was ridiculing - or as Mr. Iott accuses me.

I admit to questioning the mental state of the people who think the United States government committed mass-murder by blowing up the World Trade Center. Regrettably, Mr. Iott does not tell us his views of this topic. He is too busy inventing an ad-hominem attack on my part to which he can respond in kind.

Mr. Iott has no comment on the issue that was the subject of my letter, but assumes many things about me of which he has exactly zero knowledge.

Mr. Iott, who by all appearances votes Democrat, has stipulated all the negative points about them that I did not make.

"Life is so much simpler when we can reduce our antagonists to caricatures." Indeed. It is even easier when we utterly ignore their arguments.

Monday, August 21, 2006

French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie commented on the mission of the troops heading for Lebanon…

"You can't send in men telling them: Look at what's going on but you don't have the right to defend yourself or to shoot,"


Too bad she was not on the scene in May of 1940.

Al Gore. 100 years late.


Greenland's glaciers have been shrinking for 100 years: study

Conspiracist fact checking


Juxtaposition of this Lansing State Journal letter to the editor...
Foiled attack a ploy?

Just when it seems Bush's ratings couldn't get much lower and the Republican Congress couldn't pull off an election if they paid for it, we suddenly have a new terrorist threat materialize for the Republicans to play as a trump card in the upcoming election.

Gee, how convenient. How much do you want to bet that much of what happened these last couple of days regarding this "foiled attack" was orchestrated by the Bush administration? Think I'm paranoid? Just think back on how often Bush twisted the facts for his own purposes. He wouldn't know how to tell the truth if it flew up his nose.

Vance Boyd
Okemos
...with today's news:
Eleven suspects in the alleged UK airport terror plot have been charged - as police revealed they had found bomb-making equipment and martyrdom videos.
...is instructive in the mental state of far-left conspiracy theorists.

The relatively stable, if more credulous among us, might accept bomb-making material and martyrdom videos as hobbies, or evidence of working toward Jihad-Scout merit badges.

It must be somewhat more difficult, however, to impugn MI5 with concern about George Bush's poll ratings; but Mr. Boyd, in the grip of a snit too powerful to admit any actual evidence, is not inconvienienced in the least.

The Other Club anticipated Mr. Boyd on August 14th:
The LSJ recently lamented that we've lost track of the fact that we're at war. However, the fact that the phrase "We're at war!" has been shouted from the rooftops does not matter to those who hold the following beliefs simultaneously:

a) The United States brought 9-11 on in the first place by oppressing the terrorists.
b) The twin towers weren't destroyed by terrorists, they were bombed by the United States government.
...
c) Therefore, every alleged terrorist plot is a put up job by Britain or the United States in order to cover their tracks.
Please. And, Mr. Boyd, in answer to your question - Yes.

Canada 72, Taliban 0

"So far, we've recovered the bodies of 72 Taliban," Panjwaii police chief Neyaz Mohammad Sarhadi said last night.
Is it just a coincidence that the news-cycle ready tally of jihadi is equal to the number of virgins they each are said to be enjoying
even now? I don't think so, but I hope they had reservations.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Worldwide Jihad has changed things


Click here.

This Gary Larson cartoon becomes incendiary if Jihad Central, or the Daily Kos, find out about it. Larson didn't even mention that it might have been Mohammed's 9 year old "wife" who was out of town.

Review, Judicial


I did know about the March testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee by former FISA judges regarding the NSA intercepts, but it became background for me. It formed part of a nearly subconscious reaction to the
vacuous reasoning of Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in her decision this week.

I belabor the point here because adam, at The Metropolis Times, commented on a TOC post earlier this week in a way that makes me suspect he may not have known about the FISA judges' testimony. E.g., that there are questions of law here with heavyweight Constitutional scholars on both sides. Anna Diggs Taylor paid attention to neither side.

My thinking is that, given even just those FISA judges' opinions, Judge Taylor's decision was so obviously superficial and political that it could not attract a defense on rational legal grounds. Given the precedents she ignored, and given the ongoing debate on the merits of the executive order enabling the warrantless wiretaps, Judge Taylor is at odds with the FISA judges and with legal scholars on both sides of this issue. I will admit that her opinion was so poorly written that one cannot be certain it addressed any point of law whatsoever.

With that percolating, and through a stream of consciousness series of links I can't recall, I bumped into Ron Coleman at Dean's World. He recounts the key element of the testimony.
A panel of former Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges yesterday told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that President Bush did not act illegally when he created by executive order a wiretapping program conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). The five judges testifying before the committee said they could not speak specifically to the NSA listening program without being briefed on it, but that a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act does not override the president's constitutional authority to spy on suspected international agents under executive order.
I recommend the entire post, and I hope this is useful to adam.

Conspiracists and conspirators


Will this convince the moonbats that the plot to blow up airliners was serious? I doubt it.

John Aravosis will probably tell you that the martyr videos were planted by the police, and judge Anna Diggs Taylor would probably say that searching the suspects laptops for such things violates the First and Fourth Amendments. The police searched the computers without FISA warrants and journalists in the United States would have been afraid to recieve the videos in an email because of NSA surveillance.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Judicial restraint II

The reviews are in.

The Washington Post:
A Judicial Misfire
Unfortunately, the decision yesterday by a federal district court in Detroit, striking down the NSA's program, is neither careful nor scholarly, and it is hard-hitting only in the sense that a bludgeon is hard-hitting. The angry rhetoric of U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor will no doubt grab headlines. But as a piece of judicial work -- that is, as a guide to what the law requires and how it either restrains or permits the NSA's program -- her opinion will not be helpful.
The Wall Street Journal:
President Taylor
Before yesterday, no American court had ever ruled that the President lacked the Constitutional right to conduct such wiretaps. President Carter signed the 1978 FISA statute that established the special court to approve domestic wiretaps even as his Administration declared it was not ceding any Constitutional power. And in the 2002 decision In Re: Sealed Case, the very panel of appellate judges that hears FISA appeals
noted that in a previous FISA case (U.S. v. Truong), a federal "court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information." We couldn't find Judge Taylor's attempt to grapple with those precedents, perhaps because they'd have interfered with the lilt of her purple prose.
Powerline:
"Where's the beef?
One begins to note some circularity here. The intercept program violates the Fourth Amendment because (I guess) it was implemented without regard to FISA. It violates the First Amendment (I guess) because it violates the Fourth Amendment. And we don't need a full analysis of whether the program can be reconciled with FISA because it violates the First and Fourth Amendments.
Cox and Forkum
Amended

The New York Times:
Ruling for the Law
But for now, with a careful, thoroughly grounded opinion, one judge in Michigan has done what 535 members of Congress have so abysmally failed to do. She has reasserted the rule of law over a lawless administration and shown why issues of this kind belong within the constitutional process created more than two centuries ago to handle them.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bibi rocks


Nice quote from an interview with the guy who should have been in charge of destroying Hizballah instead of Ehud Olmert - Benjamin Netanyahu.

Judicial restraint

... on proven means of combating terror.

A week ago, we had a terrorist plot to bomb ten airliners and kill thousands of innocents foiled by the work of Britain's MI5 with the aid of our own National Security Agency's telephone intercepts. The program the Democrats and The New York Times have been busy politicizing.

Today, we have a U.S. District Judge, in Michigan I'm ashamed to say, rule that the NSA program is unconstitutional in a suit brought by the ACLU. FWIW, this judge campaigned for, and was appointed by, the worst President since FDR - and 2nd worst of all time - Dhimmi Carter.

I don't know about you, but when it comes to Jihadi terrorism, I'm rather have MI5 and the NSA on my side than our federal courts and the ACLU.

Fortunately, this decision has been appealed and is likely to be overturned by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Climatology Capers


Galileo faced the same sort of consensus.

The Ludwig von Mises Institute has a "memo" that nicely encapsulates what happens to Global Warming apostates.

That links to this Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, which I highly commend to your attention. Some excerpts:
Even among those arguing, there is general agreement that we can't attribute any particular hurricane to global warming. To be sure, there is one exception, Greg Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., who argues that it must be global warming because he can't think of anything else. While arguments like these, based on lassitude, are becoming rather common in climate assessments, such claims, given the primitive state of weather and climate science, are hardly compelling.

A general characteristic of Mr. Gore's [Al Gore, star of the movie An Inconvenient Truth] approach is to assiduously ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse. Regardless, these items are clearly not issues over which debate is ended--at least not in terms of the actual science.

...[However,] there has been an intense effort to claim that the theoretically expected contribution from additional carbon dioxide has actually been detected.

Given that we do not understand the natural internal variability of climate change, this task is currently impossible. Nevertheless there has been a persistent effort to suggest otherwise, and with surprising impact. Thus, although the conflicted state of the affair was accurately presented in the 1996 text of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the infamous "summary for policy makers" reported ambiguously that "The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate." This sufficed as the smoking gun for Kyoto.

The next IPCC report again described the problems surrounding what has become known as the attribution issue: that is, to explain what mechanisms are responsible for observed changes in climate. Some deployed the lassitude argument--e.g., we can't think of an alternative--to support human attribution. But the "summary for policy makers" claimed in a manner largely unrelated to the actual text of the report that "In the light of new evidence and taking into account the remaining uncertainties, most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations."

...the National Academy of Sciences issued a brief (15-page) report responding to questions from the White House. It again enumerated the difficulties with attribution, but again the report was preceded by a front end that ambiguously claimed that "The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability."

...More recently, a study in the journal Science by the social scientist Nancy Oreskes claimed that a search of the ISI Web of Knowledge Database for the years 1993 to 2003 under the key words "global climate change" produced 928 articles, all of whose abstracts supported what she referred to as the consensus view. A British social scientist, Benny Peiser, checked her procedure and found that only 913 of the 928 articles had abstracts at all, and that only 13 of the remaining 913 explicitly endorsed the so-called consensus view. Several actually opposed it.
Emphasis mine. That's your consensus: Weasels' words which translate to, "We don't really know, but we all believe it anyway."

It reminds me of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas writing that “specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.” It seems like the translation would be "there is a soupçon of a hint of a possibility of a faint aura", in both cases.

Thanks to National Center.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Rockets hit Lebanon


This AP story, headlined Rockets Hit Lebanon Despite Cease-Fire, will probably appear in the Lansing State Journal tomorrow.

If so, remember that that headline is under control of LSJ staff, so it will be interesting how much they follow APs lead in distorting the story, which is essentially that Hizballah broke the ceasefire almost immediately even though it's made to appear that Israel did until you get to the second paragraph.

A picture is worth publishing 1000 times


If a picture is worth a thousand words and a lie can race 'round the world while truth is still lacing up its shoes, what is a lying picture worth? In the present example an avalanche of such "fauxtography" seems to be worth a victory for the enemies of civilization.

What does that tell us about those who continue to publish well-known faked photographs from Lebanon?

Reuters published a photo on Jul-22 of a Lebanese woman wailing because Israeli planes had just destroyed her apartment. The AP waited until Aug-5 to publish a similar photo of the same woman, over a caption saying Israeli planes had just bombed her house. She was still crying two weeks later and there is no explanation of why the Israelis would bother bombing the rubble of her apartment... or house. Whichever.

This morning the AP picture appeared on the front page of the Lansing State Journal under the title “Lebanese refugees return to find homes destroyed.”

Either this woman owned three residences, or she needs to explain why she was surprised.

That the AP is engaged in propaganda is no shock, but that certainly does not mean the LSJ should abandon editorial control to AP’s faked up file photos. What conclusion are even semi-aware readers of the LSJ to come to? That the editors are not aware of the fakery, or that they support it?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Distractions


Taking his cue from the Lansing State Journal (or was it the other way around?), Ned Lamont tells Fox News Sunday:
... What this election showed is that a lot of people in Connecticut think that the invasion of Iraq has nothing to do with our War on Terror. It's been a terrible distraction.

Here you are talking about the failed terrorist plot today. It originated in Pakistan, goes through London, and here we have 132,000 of our bravest troops stuck in the middle of a civil war in Iraq.

I think it was that disconnect that a lot of people focused on in Connecticut.
Meanwhile, Michael Barone takes a different view. He explains (Lansing State Journal are you listening?) that it isn't about a couple of pork mongering Michigan Senators being distracted by Canadian garbage. The reason those on the Left are complacent about terrorism is... well they just don't believe in it.
Left-wing bloggers played an important part in Lamont's victory. Here's the reaction of one of them, John Aravosis, to the red alert ordered here in response to the British arrests: "Do I sound as if I don't believe this alert? Why, yes, that would be correct. I just don't believe it. Read the article. They say the plot had an 'Al Qaeda footprint.' Ooh, are you scared yet?"

What we are looking at here is cognitive dissonance. The mindset of the Left blogosphere is that there's no real terrorist threat out there. We wouldn't have any serious problem if we'd just do something different -- raise the minimum wage or reduce the number without health insurance (the first issue Lamont mentioned on election night), withdraw from Iraq or (as some Left bloggers suggest) sell out Israel.
The LSJ recently lamented that we've lost track of the fact that we're at war. However, the fact that the phrase "We're at war!" has been shouted from the rooftops does not matter to those who hold the following beliefs simultaneously:

a)
The United States brought 9-11 on in the first place by oppressing the terrorists.
b) The twin towers weren't destroyed by terrorists, they were bombed by the United States government.
c) This was done in order to seize Iraqi oil (Where is that, anyway?).
c) Therefore, every alleged terrorist plot is a put up job by Britain or the United States in order to cover their tracks.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Civilization and its enemies


If you can't answer this question you should not be voting.

September 11 -- what year? 30 percent of Americans don't know
Some 30 percent of Americans cannot say in what year the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against New York's World Trade Center and the
Pentagon in Washington took place, according to a poll published in the Washington Post newspaper.

While the country is preparing to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives and shocked the world, 95 percent of Americans questioned in the poll were able to remember the month and the day of the attacks, according to Wednesday's edition of the newspaper.
Unfortunately, the control group isn't mentioned - that's how many Americans above the age of 5 know the year in which they were born.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Trash talk


In a valid complaint about Michigan's Federal Legislators conflating Canadian garbage being hauled to Michigan dumps with securing ourselves against Islamofascist terrorists, The Lansing State Journal Friday published an editorial entitled Terror threat: Airline plot a wake-up call to real dangers facing America.

Of the Canadian trash issue, it asked:
...is it really a security issue or simply a politically expedient way to work around the existing agreements regulating cross-border commerce?

Linking vital Homeland Security to trash regulation ultimately weakens our commitment to this serious challenge. We can't afford these sorts of distractions.
This critique appears only after a repetition of the Democrat talking point that the battle of Iraq is a distraction from the war against Islamofascism:
Our national struggle against terrorism has been so clouded by the war in Iraq that it takes the discovery of a terror plot in Britain to reawaken us to the dangers facing America.

...It's far too easy to feel safe nestled here in mid-Michigan. Terrorist threats often seem so removed from our world.
“A discovery of a terror plot in Britain” is supposed to refocus our attention on the "real" issues of terrorism. Too bad the LSJ doesn't know what those are. To the LSJ this plot is apparently qualitatively different from plots hatched in Afghanistan, or Iraq, upon which not just the Brits, but the entire community of international intelligence agencies agreed before our invasion of those countries. It was, for example, the British who warned us of Saddam’s plan to acquire yellowcake in Niger. An opinion reaffirmed by a Royal Commission even after tail-gunner Joe Wilson lied about it in the pages of the New York Times.

That the LSJ gives a nod and a wink to the Lamontist trope of “Iraq is a distraction” is not a surprise. Nor is it a surprise that they have forgotten what they wrote on May 12.
They spy: President needs to explain why NSA tracks millions of phone calls

The newspaper [USA Today] reports tens of millions of Americans' phone calls are being tracked by the government, with the full cooperation of three major phone companies. The government has records of calls made to friends, family members and more.

President Bush has some explaining to do. So do AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon*, which have contracted with the National Security Agency to provide phone records.

Previously, Bush has said the NSA focuses exclusively on calls between the U.S. and other nations. "One end of the communication must be outside the United States," Bush explained when furor erupted last December over warrantless eavesdropping.

The USA Today story illustrates the NSA program is far more insidious.
However, as Time magazine reports, the apprehended plot to blow up airplanes greatly benefited from the fact that the NSA is keeping an eye on threats from abroad:
Britain's MI-5 intelligence service and Scotland Yard had been tracking the plot for several months, but only in the past two weeks had the plotters' planning begun to crystallize, senior U.S. officials tell TIME. In the two or three days before the arrests, the cell was going operational, and authorities were pressed into action. MI5 and Scotland Yard agents tracked the plotters from the ground, while a knowledgeable American official says U.S. intelligence provided London authorities with intercepts of the group's communications.
This would be the NSA program the LSJ was so exercised about in May. Now, there is yet no evidence that any of these phone calls involved a person in the United States, so the LSJ might still argue that their concern was not about calls between London and Karachi where US residents were not involved. This would be sophistry, however, since we cannot know in advance - in time to get the warrants the Democrats have called for - where a terrorist call may originate or terminate.

To whatever extent Iraq is a distraction, it is much more so as a result of far left partisan politics in time of war. As politically expedient distraction goes, Canadian garbage is the least of our worries. It is the trash talk about issues like the NSA intercepts that is designed to distract, and it is that level of distraction that the LSJ endorses. If the LSJ is distracted by Iraq, thank God the NSA is not. It’s obvious which organization is in need of awakening.

*
USA Today, also a Gannett paper, later retracted its charges against the phone companies it accused of cooperation in violating our civil liberties.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lessons in disingenuous photography

Updated and bumped.

Zombietime has a very nice compilation of examples of fake, but innacurate, pictures from Lebanon.

Added to the blogroll.

H/T Powerline

You must see this German film of the green helmet guy staging the loading of a child's body into an ambulance. "Child Abuse - Take 2!" He's been practicing for this shot for at least a decade.

H/T Protein Wisdom

Fordson High School in Dearborn - Hizballah High?


From today's Detroit Free Press - 2 Dearborn men linked to terrorism
Osama Sobhi Abulhassan, 20, and Ali Houssaiky, 20, a former star running back at Fordson High School in Dearborn, were charged in Marietta, Ohio, after they were arrested Tuesday on a traffic violation, said Susan Vessels, assistant prosecutor in Washington County.

In recent months, federal law enforcement officials have been concerned about suspicious customers buying large numbers of cell phones, Vessels said. In this case, police found about a dozen cell phones and more than $10,000 in the vehicle, she said.

Abulhassan and Houssaiky initially were charged with obstructing justice after they were accused of lying to police about why they bought the phones, Vessels said. They later told police they bought them for someone in Dearborn, who may be the focus of an FBI investigation, authorities said.
I'll be interested in some more details about what these two were up to. 20 years old, $10,000 in cash in their car, lied about the cell phones they drove from Dearborn to Ohio to buy. That's not all though.

Michelle Malkin is reporting that it goes well beyond lying about a dozen out-of-state cell phone purchases and 10Gs:
Two men were charged Wednesday with money laundering in support of terrorism after authorities said they found airplane passenger lists and information on airport security checkpoints in their car.

...Abulhassan and Houssaiky admitted buying about 600 phones in recent months at stores in southeast Ohio, said sheriff's Maj. John Winstanley. They sold the phones to someone in Dearborn, a Detroit suburb, Winstanley said.
Passenger lists? Airport security data? Buying cell phones in Ohio for resale in Dearborn? Is there an unregistered cell phone shortage in Dearborn?

Debbie Schlussel has some more on these suspects.
In the face of mounting evidence against her brother, Diana Houssaiky claims the arrest of her brother is discrimination because "his name is Ali and his friends name is Osma.
And, given the other evidence, her point is???

Update: 8:14PM Debbie Schlussel followup. It is not happy news.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

More on the eleven visa violators


From CNN:
"At the present time there are no known associations to any terrorist groups. Approach with caution," the lookout bulletin states.
If, as we were told yesterday, the only thing going on here is that they didn't show up for class, why "approach with caution?" The FBI advises caution to police, but the rest of us are not to worry?

This appears to be the plan, because pictures of:
• El Sayed Ahmed Elsayed Ibrahim, 20
• Eslam Ibrahim Mohamed El Dessouki, 21
• Alaa Abd El Fattah Ali El Bahnasawi, 20
• Mohamed Ragab Mohamed Abd Alla, 22
• Ahmed Refaat Saad El Moghazi El Laket, 19
• Ahmed Mohamed Mohamed Abou El Ela, 21
• Mohamed Ibrahim Elsayed El Moghazy, 20
• Ebrahim Mabrouk Moustafa Abdou, 22
• Moustafa Wagdy Moustafa El Gafary, 18
• Mohamed Saleh Ahmed Maray, 20
• Mohamed Ibrahim Fouaad El Shenawy, 17
... have not been published. Therefore, it must be the case that we don't need to be able to recognize whether caution is required when encountering specific young Egyptian men, but should be suspicious of anyone similar to that description.

That is, the Political Correctness here has potentially the opposite effect of what was desired. Good job, you Feds.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Visa vicissitudes


The New York Post notes that:
Eleven Egyptian students who were supposed to travel to a Montana university after flying to JFK airport late last month disappeared in New York, spurring federal authorities to issue a nationwide alert, officials said yesterday.
Emphasis mine.
The students - who were traveling with six classmates from Mansoura University in Egypt - had their student visas revoked for failing to show up at Montana State University in Bozeman, the officials said.
I'm guessing they don't care about the visas. But the FBI says not to worry.
...[FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko] said there is no reason to believe the missing students, all men around 20 years old, represent a threat.
My question is, are there good reasons not to believe they represent a threat?
"At this point, all they have done is not show up for a scheduled academic program, and their visas have been revoked," Kolko said.
So, I guess I just missed the earlier nationwide alerts for other foreign students who were late for registration. It's OK though
, their visas have been revoked. That makes me feel safe, they wouldn't dare do anything wrong with revoked visas.

The Kennedy Doctrine

In 1961 President John F. Kennedy announced what has become known as the The Kennedy Doctrine warning the Soviets, among others, to stay out of the Western Hemisphere. He then expanded upon this at the height of the Cuban Missle Crisis on October 22, 1962 in a radio and television address:

"It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union."


It seems to me that Israel needs to implement The Olmert Doctrine, and it needs to do so now: "It shall be the policy of Israel to regard any attack on its territory launced from Lebanon as an attack against Israel by Iran requiring a full retaliatory response upon Iran."

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Al-JaReuters


Same photographer responsible for pictures from Qana.

Reuters admits altering Beirut photo

"Reuters has suspended a photographer until investigations are completed into changes made to a photograph showing smoke billowing from buildings following an air strike on Beirut. Reuters takes such matters extremely seriously as it is strictly against company editorial policy to alter pictures."
The editorial policy doesn't actually include doing a reality check, AKA "editing", however.

Update 4:55PM: lgf started the question here Reuters Doctoring Photos from Beirut?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Remember: Joe Schwarz Is A Liberal


You can see why here.

Up a creek without knowing what a paddle is


I received a campaign flyer today from a candidate running for Trustee in my Township. He is either very young or he used his high school graduation picture for the flyer.
From his email address, he is a student at Michigan State University. I point this out not because I do not think a young man could be a good Trustee, but because the substance of the flyer leads to a related point. Remember, this man is asking for my vote.

This sentence from his flyer stands out:
As I have said, these thoughts are strictly my own, but I am a man willing to change my beliefs if they do not meet the criteria of our populous [sic].
Neither the lack of a moral anchor nor the ignorance of English are surprising today, but they are telling. Government schools and unrelenting Liberal pap from the pop-culture media produce relativist mediocities who grow up to be John Dingell.

Victor Davis Hanson notes, in the piece I commend to your attention below, that Rep. Dingell - faced with a question of whether he condemns Hizballah - said, “I don’t take sides for or against Hezbollah.”

The fact that Hizballah takes a side against the continued respiration of most Americans seems not to matter to Dingell. His Dearborn "populous" wouldn't like it if he said that an Islamofascist organization they contribute to "is on the wrong side."

VDH expands on this rampant decadence.
August 4, 2006
The Brink of Madness
A familiar place.
-by Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

...It is now nearly five years since jihadists from the Arab world left a crater in Manhattan and ignited the Pentagon. Apart from the frontline in Iraq , the United States and NATO have troops battling the Islamic fascists in Afghanistan. European police scramble daily to avoid another London or Madrid train bombing. The French, Dutch, and Danish governments are worried that a sizable number of Muslim immigrants inside their countries are not assimilating, and, more worrisome, are starting to demand that their hosts alter their liberal values to accommodate radical Islam. It is apparently not safe for Australians in Bali, and a Jew alone in any Arab nation would have to be discreet — and perhaps now in France or Sweden as well. Canadians’ past opposition to the Iraq war, and their empathy for the Palestinians, earned no reprieve, if we can believe that Islamists were caught plotting to behead their prime minister. Russians have been blown up by Muslim Chechnyans from Moscow to Beslan. India is routinely attacked by Islamic terrorists. An elected Lebanese minister must keep in mind that a Hezbollah or Syrian terrorist — not an Israeli bomb — might kill him if he utters a wrong word. The only mystery here in the United States is which target the jihadists want to destroy first: the Holland Tunnel in New York or the Sears Tower in Chicago.

...It is now a cliché to rant about the spread of postmodernism, cultural relativism, utopian pacifism, and moral equivalence among the affluent and leisured societies of the West. But we are seeing the insidious wages of such pernicious theories as they filter down from our media, universities, and government — and never more so than in the general public’s nonchalance since Hezbollah attacked Israel.
Read it all.

T
his is repeating history that we survived the first time, and the moral fuzziness of world leaders was comparable. This is a small hope when WMD are in play, however. If Hizballah had a nuclear tipped ICBM I do not think they'd waste it on Israel.

Friday, August 04, 2006

So, you think you are becoming surrounded by idiots?


Well, you're right.

One-third of Americans believe that the federal government of the United States was involved in the terrorist attack of September 11th, 2001.

I tend to discount this figure by the number of people included who said it was "somewhat likely." These dilettantes did not seriously consider the question. "Yeah, dude, whatever." That particular percentage is not broken out in the Scripps Howard poll. A serious deficiency in credibility results. Still:
Seventy percent of people who give credence to these theories also say they've become angrier with the federal government than they used to be.
This could mean that thirty percent were already so enraged that just couldn't get any angier. It could mean that. But, if around twenty-five million Americans are at the absolute apex of apoplexy already, one would expect huge demonstations and riots all over the country, and definitely more domestic terrorism than we observe. Where is the Symbionese Liberation Army when you need them?

Further, it just seems unlikely that the State sanctioned murder of three-thousand people would not at least slightly tweak the adrenal glands of even the most jaded moonbat.

The demography would be more interesting if we could see the group overlaps. For example,
age and ethnicity aside, I bet these people all vote Democrat.
The poll found that a majority of young adults give at least some credence to a 9/11 conspiracy compared to less than a fourth of people 65 or older. Members of racial and ethnic minorities, people with only a high school education and Democrats were especially likely to suspect federal involvement in 9/11.
Sadly, these people do vote. Just ask Joe Lieberman.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hokey Stuck II

Hockey Stick Denial: This Time, at the Post

...There is such a thing as pride.

Not at The Washington Post or in Congress, Amy.

Newsflash


Dateline: 03-August-2006 - Beirut, somewhere in the bowels of the Iranian Embassy (or maybe Dateline: Tehran, cowering in a "safe-house". We're not certain where he's hiding).

Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hizballah, today announced Mel Gibson's appointment as Hizballah Press Secretary.

Nasrallah said, "Mr. Gibson is perfect for this job because he is a well known figure in infidel media. His views regarding the scrufolous Jew-pig-occupiers will bring a much needed clarity to the international debate.

I have made this appointment because my own frankness on this subject has been an object of ridicule, of praising with faint damns, on CNN - where they find Hizballah hatred for Jews "absolutely fascinating", as if it is some sort of
piffling Manichean sophistry."
Anderson Cooper: "I think what's been lost in a lot of this coverage is just how anti-Semitic Hezbollah is in the rhetoric."

Jeffry Goldberg: "It's absolutely fascinating, Anderson, the anti-Semitism. There's two things that are fascinating about it. One is how embedded in the core of Hezbollah ideology anti-Semitism is. And I don't mean anti-Israel thinking or anti-Zionism. I mean frank, anti-Semitism. The other thing that's so interesting about it is how blunt they are and how frank they are about their anti-Semitism. They don't hide it. They don't try to mask it in any way. They state very openly to you when you ask their exact feelings about Jews, which are quite extreme."
"I want to say to these dhimmi morons that the annihilation of the Jews is not some effete "fascinating" rhetoric of the camel spit! I seriously want Israel to be destroyed! Then, I want every Jew-monkeydog in the world beheaded! Of course I state it openly!! How many times do I have to do so? Where have these sand-fleas been for the last forty years?

I asked myself, what good is having CNN as the backup propaganda arm to Al-Jazeera if they make such asinine conversation?!??

My hope is that Mr. Gibson can get the point through to these submarginal infidels. They certainly did not find HIS comments "fascinating."

What am I, chopped liver?"

H/T Rush Limbaugh

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Weasels, Skunks and RINOs


Question: Which of the animals in the title does not belong in the group?

Answer: They all belong, as is demonstrated by a Republican Senator who combines all three.

John McCain is a a great war hero, a mediocre Senator (and there is little competition), an enemy of the Constitution and a magnificent self-absorbed hypocrite.

Even so, his turnabout regarding his pet denial of free speech project, Campaign Finance Reform, is astonishing. Real Clear Politics and The NY Sun have commented. Both articles are worth reading in full:
Campaign-Finance Reform Has Been a Bust
By Ryan Sager

The latest McCain-Feingold-Shays-Meehan "reform" recipe is missing a crucial ingredient: the McCain. Feingold et al. have introduced a bill to "repair and strengthen" the presidential public-financing system. But while Sen. John McCain supported a similar proposal in 2003, he apparently wants no part of it now. The reason is pretty simple: The plan is going to be wildly unpopular -- with voters in general, and with conservative Republican primary voters in particular.

The bad news for McCain, though, is that the very existence of this proposal -- with or without his support this time around -- highlights an inconvenient truth: The core of his domestic-policy portfolio, campaign-finance regulation, has been a bust. Politics is no less corrupt than before McCain-Feingold was passed in 2002. And, in the minds of many Americans, things have actually gotten worse.

Campaign Finance Effort Resumes, Without McCain
By JOSH GERSTEIN

A spokeswoman for Mr. McCain, Eileen McMenamin, did not return calls seeking comment for this article, but several people involved in discussions about the legislation said the senator's absence was related to his widely expected bid for the presidency in 2008.

A longtime advocate for campaign finance restrictions, Meredith McGehee, said she believed Mr. McCain's decision stemmed from a desire to avoid criticism if he decides to forgo public financing during the Republican nominating contest.

"He does not want to be caught in a position where he can be accused, rightly or wrongly, of hypocrisy," Ms. McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, said. She said Mr. McCain has pledged to abide by other campaign legislation he has proposed, even before it is enacted.
Note to Senator McCain: On the not appearing hypocritical thing? Too, too late.

Moral suasion


The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs discusses the "Incident in Kafr Qana."

It is worth a look, if for no other reason than the map showing the tracks of the missles launched by Hizballah
from Qana:

EVERY ONE OF WHICH was launched specifically to kill civilians.

EVERY ONE OF WHICH was launched by the initiators of the war, who could already have ended it by returning the Israeli soldiers they kidnapped.

EVERY ONE OF WHICH was launched while hiding behind women and children.

There is something disproportionate in this battle. Morality.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Q&A


Question: Why does Hizballah launch its missiles from sites proximate to UN observation sites and hide itself in civilian infrastructure?

Answer: Because they know Israel makes herculean efforts not to hit civilians, even if The New York Times cannot figure that out. Israel even drops leaflets giving advance warning of attack, despite the obvious advantage it grants their amoral enemies.

Question: Do the people who credit the United States with a conspiracy to bring down the WTC by planting thermate bombs even consider the possibility that Hizballah brought down a building in Qana?

Answer: No, even though Hizballah has a very long history of arranging for civilian deaths for propaganda purposes and even though Hizballah deliberately targets civilians every day.