June 30, 2006
Another day, another dullard...
I just installed this little bookcase (inspired by this style), and all was well, and the customer was happy...except one tiny detail...
I fastened it firmly to the wall with three screws, two of which went right into the sliding pocket-door you see. Ooops. (Fortunately I was equipped with the necessary gear to repair the damage.)
It's now "International Law."
I liked this article on how John Bolton is raising Cain at the UN...
...Nancy Soderberg, who served as the U.S. Alternate Representative to the U.N. from 1997-2001, said that there is a boiling resentment in the international community about the policies of the Bush administration in general. “But,” she added, “the salt in the wound is Bolton and his aggressive, confrontational and ultimately unproductive style.”
Stephen Schlesinger, the director of the World Policy Institute at the New School, puts the blame squarely on Mr. Bolton himself.
“He doesn’t believe in the U.N.,” Mr. Schlesinger said. “His view of the U.N. is that it should be totally subservient to U.S. foreign policy. He’s a man who is basically doing a very poor job of representing the United States.”...
This is wrong, I think. What he wants is for the UN to be subservient to the "Axis of Good." As anyone with a lick of sense would desire. The idea that underlies the UN, that all nations are equal "individuals," like voters in a Republic, is just sick and crazy. It is epitomized by the insane practice of putting countries like Cuba or Libya or Syria on the "Human Rights Commission."
I think the idea of reforming the UN is absurd. But, the basis of reform is obvious. The Bush Doctrine is the principle that national sovereignty is dependent on democratic legitimacy. The reforms that flow from this are patent, and since the Bush Doctrine has now become established International Law, they are mandatory. (Ha ha. Gotcha, lefty fatheads! If you can just pull "International Laws" out of the ether and claim they are binding, so can I!)
June 29, 2006
Activists to protest war crime...
I'll just sit hear and wait for pacifists and leftists and "anti-war" activists to get the old candle-light vigil going for this victim of a brutal and pointless war crime. (Ha ha. I sure am in a silly mood today.)
Jerusalem Post. The IDF confirmed early Thursday a report
the Popular Resistance Committees issued from Gaza that
it had executed Eliyahu Asheri, 18, of Itamar,
who was kidnapped earlier this week in the West Bank.
Asheri's family has been notified.
C'mon, Bolshies. Take a hard look at this guy and tell us how he's a brutal Imperialist aggressor who deserved to die.
The one good thing is that Gaza is no longer Israeli territory. So this attack is a clear-cut cold-blooded act of aggressive war. Israel has a perfect right to retaliate however it sees fit. (Since Israel is led by human beings, it will, like the US, try to conform to the laws of war. But it has no legal obligation to do so against this sort of criminal enemy.)
This guy is evil...
This is the sick-o billionaire who's bankrolling the Democrats (you know, that party of the little people, against the powerful):
...NEWSWEEK: You say that the main obstacle to a stable and just world is the United States. That's a pretty strong statement.
George Soros: Yes, but it happens to coincide with the prevailing opinion in the [leftist anti-democratic elite] world. And I think that's rather shocking for Americans to hear. [Nah. Not shocking. I've been hearing it all my life from you Bolshies] The United States sets the agenda for the world. And the rest of the world has to respond to that agenda. By declaring a "war on terror" after September the 11th, we set the wrong agenda for the world. [And the right agenda is? Appeasement? Hugs and kisses?] This is something that people in America find difficult to understand because war seems like the natural response. [It IS the natural response. Of human beings against atheist anti-humans. Like you. That's the real war, of which the WOT is a small campaign.]
NEWSWEEK: Why is a "war on terror" the wrong response to the attacks on the United States?
First of all because when you wage war, you inevitably create innocent victims. [Whereas appeasing terrorists harms not a hair on an innocent head---they saw them off with great care.] When you wage war on terrorists who don't announce their whereabouts, the danger of hitting the innocent people is even greater. [notice the leftist worldview--only America DOES things. The world is a stage where no one moves or breathes until the protagonist walks on.] We abhor terrorists, because they kill innocent people for political goals. But by waging war on terror we are doing the same thing. [We abhor germs because they kill cells. BUT (always the "but") by using Penicillin WE do the same.]
And the people who are on the receiving end see us in the same light with the same negative attitude as we have towards terrorists. [Right. That's why millions of refugees have RETURNED to Iraq and Afghanistan.] It's also a threat to our democracy. Because when you wage war, the president can appropriate for himself excessive powers. [Like those notorious tyrants Lincoln, Wilson and FDR] He can call anyone who criticizes his policies unpatriotic. That undermines the critical process of an open society and that is how we made this tremendous blunder of invading Iraq... [The critical processes are debate and elections. Soros & Co made the Tranzi anti-patriotic case. Their position was perfectly clear, and it was defeated decisively in... debate and elections.]
The guy is evil.
June 28, 2006
Thought for the day...
...We wish the IDF well in their noble effort to rescue a comrade and to punish the psychopathic terrorists who make life in the region so difficult.
-- John Hinderaker, at PowerLine
June 27, 2006
To restrain the actions of...guess who?
Charlene liked this bit, by David Bernstein, at Volokh Conspiracy:
The Cult of "International Law":
I've noticed in a variety of contexts that there are some rather well-educated, articulate individuals out there who have what seems to me to be a fanatical, quasi-religious belief in "international law", and the idea that it should trump any other conflicting consideration. In the constitutional law field, this is reflected in the argument that the president and the courts should ignore domestic law and the Constitution if they conflict with international law--even if the United States isn't a party to any binding international agreements on the particular subject at hand...
...The point of this post is not to defend the points I made in my email correspondence, but to ask informed readers about when and how "international law" gained such cult-like status that well-educated people believe that merely invoking it (or their interpretation of it) is sufficient to settle even the most nuanced and contentious debates, that it should always trump domestic law, etc. Please restrict your comments to either explaining, or, if you are so inclined, defending, this phenomenon. (Or is "international law" largely invoked to try to restrain the actions of the U.S. and Israel, but largely ignored more broadly?--e.g., I haven't heard of any other nation's besides Israel's legitimacy being questioned because of past or even present real or imagined violations of international law.) [Emphasis added. Thanks to Rand]
"International Law" is the biggest fraud since "dictatorship of the proletariat." There is no such thing. There can't be, because there is no international law-making body that possesses legitimacy. (There are international agreements, which are often quite useful. They are entered into voluntarily by nations.)
And the people who talk about "international law" are the same ones who are always gassing about "peace and justice." And it's always the same hokum: Lefties and terrorists up, America and Jews down.
Treasury Secretary Snow's letter to Mr Keller of the NYT is reproduced here. It is worth reading. Especially, it crushingly, with many details, refutes Keller's claim that Administration efforts to prevent publication were "half-hearted."
That claim is clearly, though Snow is too polite to say it, a filthy liberal lie.
Thanks to Wretchard.
One small skirmsh...
David Cohen has a great post on issue of "signing statements."
....We usually celebrate the genius of our constitution by ticking off our freedoms, or our wealth, or noting the noble goals of American exceptionalism. But in reality the genius of the constitutional system is best illustrated by this trite, less-than-noble jockeying for power. The President claims some power. Congress pushes back. The Framers knew that they were not instituting a government of angels. They knew that office-holders always try to accumulate power. They therefore famously set up a system of checks and balances; one of which is that, if the President is gaining power, Congress is losing power. Congress, regardless of faction and party, is as an institution loath to lose power and will do what it can to stem the tide. Here, the signing statements are a sideshow.
Both the Congress and the Administration know that those statements have no power to change legislation or the President's constitutional powers. This is just one small skirmish in the war between Congress and the President, each of whom keeps the other in check by desiring to capture as much power as possible. [emphasis added]
The pushing and shoving has been going on all through our history. We are currently in a phase of pushback against congressional power-grabbing during the 70's, after Watergate.
June 26, 2006
Pervert the language, then pervert the perverted language...
Our left-drooling press is always ready to twist English into pretzel-English, in order to minimize the faults of any enemy of The Great Satan. But the problem is, people get used to the neologisms, and they come to mean the thing you were trying to hide. An example is referring to terrorist monsters as "militants." After a while, people see "militant" and think "terrorist monster."
So if you are a shill for terrorist monsters, you have to pick a newer and blander term for terrorist monsters. Matthew Hoy found this, from the Agence France Presse:
Three Palestinian activists were killed early Sunday in an attack on an Israeli military post on the border between Israel and the south of the Gaza Strip, the group Committees of Popular Resistance announced.
Military sources in Jerusalem said several Israeli soldiers were also killed or wounded in the attack near the Sufa and Kerem Shalom crossing points.
Palestinian activists fired anti-tank rockets at an Israeli unit protecting the Kerem Shalom crossing point. An armoured vehicle was hit full-on, the military sources said without giving details. [emphasis added]
You watch. When "activist" comes to mean "terrorist monster," then they will switch to "dissident," or "protester," or some-such, to conceal their sympathy for terrorist monsters. When you are living a lie, you have to keep the little shells moving, so no one guesses which one has the pea under it.
The classic example is all those New Deal era socialists who labeled themselves "liberals." Result: "liberal" has come to mean socialist. So they've plundered our history for another word to spoil: "Progressive." Which is rapidly coming to mean.... "socialist." (More accurately, "fake socialist." Lenin or Marx would have spit on today's chip-on-the-shoulder crybabies.)
It's such a pleasure being among those who politically (and in other realms) don't have to hide who we are, and where we came from.
An excerpt, from JunkYardBlog...
NY Times: U.S. Soldier spying on bin Laden
NY Times Special Report, By B. Arnold
WAZIRISTAN—An American soldier, clinging to a cliff face littered with broken shale and animal bones in Waziristan, northwest Pakistan, is currently engaging in direct, unwarranted surveillance of Osama bin Laden, confidential sources have revealed to the New York Times.
The soldier’s conduct raises questions about the Bush administration’s policy of covert surveillance and intelligence gathering in support of his “War on Terror”. Constitutional experts are “troubled” by this and similar unwarranted searches that are designed to gather information on terrorists, but may reveal private information about American citizens instead.
“If there was an American citizen down there sunbathing in that Waziristan village next door to where bin Laden is conferring with his top lieutenants, then the Defense Department would now be passing around her photos,” said Cass Sunstein, a law professor.
Mr. bin Laden, who could not be reached for this interview, is a Saudi-born spiritual leader who, some say, was connected with the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The attack killed nearly 3000 people, many of them women and minorities. He is currently meeting with twelve lieutenants to discuss a worldwide spiritual initiative set to take place in Jakarta, Addis Ababa, Melbourne, and Houston, Texas on July 11th.
Observing the heavily guarded meeting from about fifty yards away is Lt. Thomas “Turk” Dobrovsky, of Houston. Crouched in a camouflaged “ghillie suit”, Dobrovsky adjusted a concealed antenna in an effort to record snatches of Arabic conversation in the mud meeting hall below. He is partially concealed by a rock outcropping, the one with the two scraggly bushes, but is awkwardly positioned and unable to defend himself. A burst of AK fire or an RPG from the guards below could kill him easily.....
The go-to guy...
If you are interested in the NYT perfidy, HH is the guy to read. Amazin' fellow, he's not only a writer and blogger and a successful radio host, he also teaches Con Law....
...It seems increasingly clar that Keller/McManus et al are close to ignorant of the constitutional rules at work here. They have confused the deep suspicion of prior restraint in our constitutional framework with an exemption from the laws governing the disclosure of secrets. It is not a difficult distinction to grasp, but the press lords refuse to acknowledge it, and instead hope to confuse the public on the subject, even in the course of softball interviews...
Liberals are ALL ignorant about this stuff. They snivel on and on about our "Constitutional rights," but they have not a clue what they are. You can cite the actual case law until you are blue in the face, and you will not make the slightest dent in a liberal brain. In the old theological term, they have "invincible ignorance" (bolstered by smug self-satisfaction).
It's just as much murder as putting a bullet in someone's head..
The chairman of the House homeland security committee urged the Bush administration on Sunday to seek criminal charges against newspapers that reported on a secret financial-monitoring program used to trace suspected terrorists.
Representative Peter King cited the New York Times in particular for publishing a story last week that said the Treasury Department was working with the CIA to examine messages within a massive international database of money-transfer records...
..."We're at war, and for the Times to release information about secret operations and methods is treasonous," King told The Associated Press....[Link. Thanks to PowerLine]
Thank God somebody in government has the guts to say the obvious, that when someone openly violates the law, they should be prosecuted. Unfortunately he's in the wrong Branch.
And the really uggle thing is, that in the latest NYT-LAT atrocity, about the financial surveillance, they themselves admit that the program is effective and legal. (And, though they didn't mention it, was only concerned with institutional transfers, not your bank account or mine.) There was not even the coloration of any valid civil liberties concerns. Frauds.
By aiding terrorists, the NYT is killing people just as much as if they went out and gunned them down.
June 25, 2006
sitting here in Pelosiville...
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, in a speech yesterday on the Inheritance Tax...
..."Pope Benedict recently put out his new encyclical. And in his encyclical he quoted Saint Augustine. He talked about the role that politicians have and that a government should be promoting justice: ‘A State which is not governed according to justice would be just a bunch of thieves.’ This is a pope saying this in an encyclical, quoting a saint.
"I ask this Congress: Is it justice to steal from the middle class to give tax cuts to the ultra super rich? It is not just, and it is an injustice that we cannot afford. Americans can no longer afford President Bush and the Republicans. It’s time for a new direction. We can begin by rejecting this estate tax giveaway to the wealthy and insist on a vote to increase the minimum wage – that would be a real values judgment."...
This is idiotic in a dozen different ways, and you can probably figure them out as well as I can. I would just say to Ms Pelosi (and this will bewilder liberals) that it is just as wrong to steal from the rich as it is to steal from the poor.
Better than my poor thoughts, Domenico Bettinelli, who I got this from, quotes the Godfather himself, from the same encyclical...
The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person—every person—needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need...
Is it just me, or does that seem vaguely familiar?
And yet again...
They've done it again. Classified information leaked from within our government, and released by the NYT, to support the terror war against the Free World.
The traditional remedy in wartime was to hang people like them. Since that would be "barbarous" (unless done by terrorists, in which case it's OK with liberals and peaceniks) I will advocate life imprisonment.
June 24, 2006
Can make grass grow, coax lilies up....
THE SECRET LAND
Every woman of true royalty owns
A secret land more real to her
Than this pale outer world:
At midnight when the house falls quiet
She lays aside needle or book
and visits it unseen
Shutting her eyes, she improvises
A five-barred gate among tall birches,
Vaults over, takes possession.
Then runs, or flies, or mounts a horse
(A horse will canter up to greet her)
And travels where she will;
Can make grass grow, coax lilies up
From bud to blossom as she watches,
Lets fish eat out of her palm.
Has founded villages, planted groves
And hollowed valleys for brooks running
Cool to a land-locked bay.
I never dared question my muse
About the government of her queendom
Or its geography,
Nor followed her between those birches,
Setting one leg astride the gate,
spying into the mist.
Yet she has pledged me, when I die,
A lodge beneath her private palace
In a level clearing of the wood
Where gentians grow and gillyflowers
And sometimes we may meet.
Another ill deed...
From an article by Jack Kelly.
...A disturbing anecdote from Col. McMaster illustrates why. His 3rd ACR broke the insurgents' hold of the city of Tal Afar last September in an operation which generated these effusive words of praise from the town's mayor:"To the lion hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets...(you are) not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism."Time magazine had a reporter and a photographer embedded with the 3rd ACR. When the battle was over, they filed a lengthy story and nearly 100 photographs.
"When the issue came out, the guts had been edited out of the reporter's story and none of the photographs he submitted were used," said the admiral, quoting Col. McMaster. "When the reporter questioned why his story was eviscerated, his editors...responded that the story and pictures were 'too heroic.'"...(thanks to Dave Price)
Too heroic! TOO HEROIC! Our troops were heroic, they were generously lauded as heroes by Iraqis, and to our press this is a bad thing. Something that has to be excised from the story.
This is just a little weblog, and so I don't have to be mealy-mouthed and polite and say the press is "biased." They are not biased, they hate America. They are leftists, and like all leftists, they hate this country. They usually try to disguise it in various ways, sometimes even from themselves, but it's always true.
You think I'm exaggerating? Find a leftist and read them the letter from the mayor of Tall' Afar (I blogged it here.) You won't find a single one that is not made uncomfortable, at the least, by that letter--watch 'em wrinkle the lip, and twitch. Or by the idea of an article in which American troops are presented as simply heroic and good, with no countervailing negatives added on for "balance."
How many Moslems are there in India?
Dave T posted a question at this previous post, when I mentioned restrictions on civil liberties ending "when the danger has passed" in previous wars. He asks: When will the danger pass in this so-called war?
Good question! And RJ is always the place to go, for more of an answer than any sensible person would want.
Obviously there will be no Armistice, no signing of papers on the Battleship Missouri. We are in the realm of "fuzzy logic" and fuzzy boundaries, but that should not daunt us. I suspect the ability to judge those to a nicety is part of our evolutionary heritage. skills learned from assessing the situation on the savannah. For instance, we urbanites are twitchily sensitive to crime. We will walk along one block, but not the next--it doesn't feel right. And when crime is reduced, as was done amazingly in New York City under Mayor Giuliani, you read stories about how people are returning to this place or that, or riding the subway later at night...
It's the same with terrorism in Israel. The building of the wall has brought new life and prosperity to various places. People know. They go to their favorite pizza joint not because they think the danger is zero, but because they instinctively calculate that it is now too low to justify missing out on the pleasures of life.
We are making the same calculations right now about the WOT. The loony left probably imagines that conservatives are salivating over the prospect of endless war. But in fact responsible conservative opinion seems to be agreeing that we are a good way along, and maybe even at the halfway point. For instance we have uncovered several ugly bomb plots lately. That says there is still danger. But, the plots are much less impressive in skill and organization than earlier ones. Plus there's the simple fact that we have uncovered them, and also that the successful bombings since 9/11 have not been nearly as deadly as many had feared. I'd say that when we go 2 years with no new serious plots uncovered, we will all start to agree that it looks like the war is ending. And democracy itself is an extremely efficient mechanism for turning millions of people's thoughts and hunches into conclusions.
Our efforts to find terrorists hiding within peaceable countries is one front of the war...
There are two other "fronts," on both of which we have made substantial and fairly measurable progress. First, the roots of most of the terrorism are found in the despotism and hopelessness that exist in many Moslem countries. When people don't have personal opportunities, and can't vote out bad leaders, this combines with certain other frustrations common in the Moslem world into a dangerous brew. It is easy to assess this by asking: How many Moslems are there in India? (about 130 mil.) And how many have joined al Qaeda? None that I've heard of.
Hence the second front, the Administration's push for democracy and better government in the ME. It's not only a good thing, it is an effective war weapon. (Unfortunately our efforts have been sabotaged and undercut by people who claim to want "peace," and many a brutal murdering tyrant is digging in his heels and "waiting Bush out," hoping for his friends to gain the White House.)
But none the less, we are making clear progress. It is important to remember that, in its capacity as a weapon, democratization does not have to work very well. It doesn't have to be like New Hampshire town meetings. Even if the political battles get murderous, they still mean that the focus is internal and political. Even with the violence in certain parts of Iraq, we don't hear of Iraqis heading off to terrorist training camps or madrassas elsewhere. They are focused on their own political scene. And thanks to our friends at al Jazeera, the whole Arab world is watching. This movement isn't going to stop.
The third front is the terror-supporting countries. Here again, we are obviously making steady progress, and the idea that we are faced with endless war is puerile. Libya, and for the most part Afghanistan are out of the game, Saudi Arabia is cracking down, Pakistan is still a mess, but, increasingly, fighting with itself rather than easily exporting terror. (And we are learning much more now about Saddam's support of terrorists, and we now know that chopping him was a bigger victory than we realized.) The big question mark is IRAN (!) which is and long has been the #1 terror-supporting country. Until there is regime-change in Iran, the war can't be ended.
Iran is the clear and obvious next move in the game. And has been so from the beginning (remember "Axis of Evil?") The fall of the Mullahs would be a huge step towards peace, and if it happens we will probably start talking about "mopping up." But any move the administration makes will require political capital. Unfortunately, the President's political enemies are not supporting their country in time of war (although Republicans supported them loyally when they got us into conflicts that make this one look like a little girls tea-party.) SO, what does this political impasse mean? It means that the war will probably drag along for a lot longer than necessary.
Or maybe not. My guess is that Bush will act against Iran. Probably after the next elections. He's a man. And not the sort to kick such a can along to the next administration. The peaceniks will, as always, do their best for war and tyranny, but they've lost too much credibility by their deranged anti-Americanism and transparent partisanship masked with phony peace sentiments.
My guess: Iran neutralized by 2008, the conflict by 2011 reduced to a level of "background noise" that we will all, by common consent, no longer call war.
June 23, 2006
The bastards have done it again..
The NYT has, once again, decided to uncover a classified program used to fight terrorists, because they feel they are the real government of the United States, and know better than mere elected officials what should be done...
...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. They also enlisted several current and former officials, both Democrat and Republican, to vouch for its value.
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."...
It just makes me want to cry, the passivity of the Bush Administration in the face of blatant treason.
And the "threat to civil liberties" argument the Times is making is utter crap. We hear it over and over again from leftists, but it is total BS.
In every major war this country has fought, there have been massive infringements of civil liberties. And every single time we have ended those restrictions as soon as the danger passed. Wilson shut down hundreds of newspapers. Did that become some sort of common thing? Obviously not! And tossed Conscientious Objectors into prison. Did that become a trend?
FDR flung a hundred thousand people into camps on vague suspicions. Did that become the norm? Obviously not. Now is a time when internment would actually be good policy (not of that many people, but certain terror-preaching imams for sure) but we can't even think of it due to our reaction from the first time.
And the argument that this war is different, because it could go on indefinitely, with no clear end, is also stupidity. The Cold War started with HUAC hearings, blacklists, and loyalty oaths. And even though it dragged on for another 40 years (and if leftists and realists had had their way would be going on still) those restrictions were soon dropped, because it became clear they were not needed. And the argument that we will be too stupid distinguish a fuzzy ending is especially stupid. That's what we have human beings for--you know, thinking, judging. That's what we do, that machines can't do.
And there is a process by which we make these corrections. The process is called "elections." The people running things today can be a bunch of outsiders after the next election. And the old critics and outsiders will now be running things. And our tradition, our American tradition, was for both parties to respect the needs of national security above their political interests. (The grand example of this was Governor Dewey's voluntarily giving up his plan to focus his presidential campaign on Pearl Harbor, when he was apprised that this might reveal our breaking of Japanese cyphers.)
The NYT'ers have no love for elections. Their views gelled back in the days when their party--Big Government Liberalism--was elected every time whether the candidates were Democrat or Republican. A time when a conservative such as Barry Goldwater was considered a joke, and had no chance of being president. And at a time when the NYT was consider the "flagship of Eastern Establishment liberalism." I remember those days, I was there. The NYT used to be a quasi-governmental institution, and it thinks it still is...
And while I'm furious that Bush has not clamped down on those filthy traitors, I do take satisfaction from the way he has made it obvious that he doesn't care what they think, and has not the slightest intention of currying their favor, or even reading their lefty rag.
June 22, 2006
...Four years ago there was much excitement over weblogs. Now the fever has broken, the bubble has deflated — pick your metaphor. Blogs are familiar, routine, even (horrors!) dull. A few blogs have become new media outlets with large, growing audiences. The rest have stagnated, according to various articles and commentators.
My own numbers accord with the reported trends. They have drifted slowly, slowly down for two years. It’s disheartening, if I think about it. I rarely look at the stats nowadays. I used to watch them closely, when the rare readership was growing. I also used to read other blogs more than I do now. My own reading habits fit the pattern.
What will become of blogging? It will continue. The big names are established. A decade or two from now, the Y2K period will be recalled as the golden era of blogging, as the Sixties were a golden era of rock....I participated at the far fringe of Sixties music, and at the far fringe of Ought blogging. Few people get to live two such periods in one lifetime. It’s been fun...
I started blogging in 11/01. My numbers rose for a couple of years, then have stayed level since. This isn't surprising--the Power Curve rules here, as in so many places.
Fortunately I do this mostly for my own satisfaction. And for the great pleasure of having a circle of virtual friends. Thank you all!
I have this fantasy of a coffeehouse where people much like me hang out, and I could drop in whenever I liked for good conversation and companionship. That'll never happen! But RJ serves the same function...
One neat thing is that, if you stay mentally young enough to develop new interests, then you discover new blog universes. I've been reading Catholic blogs, which are a whole rich new galaxy. (With fascinating similarities to political blogging, not to mention real life. Such as liberals who can't refute conservative arguments, and resort to accusations of "hate-mongering!")
Update: In response to a comment, I've posted below the fold an image I used in the early days of Random Jottings...
Update: One more posted..
This is from Mr Bass's Planetoid (sequel to The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet), books which had a big effect on my young mind, and in which are found a notebook called "Random Jottings". The glowing object is actually a lantern which is communicating with a similar one on another planet. The illustration is by Louis Darling, who I admire extravagantly. It actually a made a poor banner picture, because it was never clear to readers, and didn't have the necessary horizontal shape, though I just used a slice of it...
These are the detectives from Planetoid...
50 to zip...
From an article by Cap Weinberger and Wynton Hall...
...Case in point: the New York Times and their love affair with the Abu Ghraib prison abuses. To date, the New York Times has devoted over 50 front page articles to the story! Currently, not a single individual chronicled in our book, Home of the Brave: Honoring the Unsung Heroes in the War on Terror, - some of the most highly decorated members of the United States military - has received a front-page story devoted to his or her valorous actions. Even when Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the best the New York Times could muster was a story buried on page 13. A nation that ignores or worse attacks its heroes erodes and disparages its own ethos...
The NYT has no interest in our ethos. America's, that is. They hate this country, because it elects Republicans and is a living breathing refutation of the statism they represent.
A Paratrooper who ran to the aid of a wounded American soldier while under heavy fire could be among the first British troops to be awarded a gallantry medal in Afghanistan.
Pte Peter McKinley has been praised by his commanders for a "massive display of bravery" after saving the life of the US sergeant in one of the most intense battles 3 Bn the Parachute Regiment has experienced during its deployment to Helmand province....Pte McKinley, 21, was part of a 100-strong force of Paras that came to the rescue of an American convoy of 10 vehicles that had been ambushed near the town of Sangin in northern Helmand.
The Americans had taken high ground where the Paras formed a defensive cordon, but as darkness descended a force of 30 heavily armed Taliban crept close to their position and opened fire with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns...
June 21, 2006
Chicks, mother hen...
Here's a fascinating piece on the considerable strides our missile defense systems have made.
Do you remember, O my brothers, do you remember the scorn and derision that was heaped on certain neo-cons when they said that America should lead, and others will follow? Hmmm?
...And this is just a microcosm of NATO's newfound interest in missile defenses: After completing (in May of this year) a four-year, 10,000-page study on missile defense, NATO officially believes the program is technologically and financially feasible. And a growing number of NATO members believe it's necessary. Spurred by events in Iran, governments in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway are cooperating with Washington on elements of missile defense. Turkey is also investing in missile defenses. Stephen Harper, Canada's no-nonsense prime minister, wants to re-engage with Washington on missile defense. The previous government held an agnostic view of the system, opting out of full participation in mid-2005.
Elsewhere, Australia signed a 25-year pact on missile defense cooperation in 2004; Israel has already deployed its link in the IMD chain, the Arrow anti-missile system; and now the US and India are opening the way toward IMD cooperation....
And why, you ask, are the chicks suddenly scuttling under the wings of the little red hen?
...Three decades ago, there were eight countries (not including the US) that possessed ballistic missiles. Today, there are 25. By my count, 15 of them are unfriendly, unstable or uncertain about their relationship to the US. With their twin terror programs that seek to match rockets with nukes, North Korea and Iran fall into that first category. (While their leaders may be unstable, their regimes are anything but: One has held power for almost six decades, the other for almost three.)
Over the past three weeks, North Korea has been methodically preparing to test-fire a missile known as the Taepodong 2 (or TD-2), with a range of perhaps 2,600 miles. That's good enough to hit parts of Alaska...
The things we need to thank President Bush for are many. Just imagine Al Gore in the White House, pinning "kick me" signs on America's back! And consulting with Jimmy Carter about how best to appease N Korea.
June 20, 2006
I'll just wait a bit...
You know all those people who are always complaining about how we treat our prisoners? How we don't handle their Korans with sufficient cringing respect? "Torture" at Gitmo?
Well, I'm just going to sit here and hold my breath (not) while I wait for them to protest how the terrorists treat the prisoners who fall into their hands. Protest some little trifles like real torture, and murder.
C'mon guys, where's the candle-light vigil? I'm waiting....
Also from Penraker:
The History Channel, to its eternal shame, is now showing the leftist propaganda film "The Fog of War"
It features interviews with Robert McNamara. In the first part of the film, McNamara discusses our fire-bombing of Japanese cities.
Its treatment of the matter is grossly immoral. Never once does he mention that all around Japanese conquered Southeast Asia, thousands and thousands were dying every month. The Japanese occupation was one of the most brutal in human history, and Victor Davis Hanson has said that 250,000 people were dying monthly as a result of starvation, disease and other brutalities visited on civilian populations. They killed 10-15 million Chinese during the war alone.
But "Fog of War" does not tell you that. It focuses only on the suffering of the Japanese - and it builds the case that they were the victims...
We see this sort of lie over and over. It pretends to be "pacifist" or "anti-war," or even, God help us, "objective history," but it is always anti-American (or anti-Israel.) And, in fact, pro-war, by excusing any war, no matter how brutal, that is in any way anti-USA. Or anti-Jew.
"Grossly immoral" is exactly right.
June 18, 2006
San Francisco Stairways #5
This is a minor climb to a little spot I like, called Tank Hill. It's easy to miss; I drove past it hundreds of times before I explored the obscure little stair at Twin Peaks Blvd and Graystone Terrace, which looks almost like a stair leading to someone's house...
It leads to a delightful knoll with a great view to the north and east over the City.
This is not a great picture, but these are the first experimental shots with my Father's Day gift, a new Canon Powershot SD-30, which I think I'm going to like very much! It's tiny, so I can just carry it with me all the time. (I'll probably never see another interesting thing in my life!)
This is a view of the hill (the green knoll center right) taken from the stairs I blogged here. Twin Peaks Blvd is the road in the middle. It curves around the hill to the right, and the stair is on the other side. The previous pic was taken near where the white house peaks through a gap in the trees.
The hill at the upper left of the picture is the edge of Twin Peaks...
Quote for Sunday...
A theologian who does not love art, poetry, music and nature can be dangerous. Blindness and deafness towards the beautiful are not incidental: they necessarily are reflected in his theology.
-- Joseph, Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. 1985
200 signing statements!
It is remarkable that the left willl seize at Presidential signing statements - things that have no legal effect, things simply aspirational, defensive, and with no more power behind them than the breeze - to claim that Bush is becoming a dictator.
They didn't even notice them when Bill Clinton was President. He issued 200 of them, if I recall the numbers correctly. Every President since Reagan has used them....
I wish I had known about Clinton's signing statements when a knee-jerk Leftist made the same argument to me, about how he was deeply shocked and worried by Bush's unprecedented dictatorial power-grab. But even if Bush had invented them, the argument is still not respect-worthy. To openly express disagreement with something you don't believe in is democratic, not dictatorial.
And the idea that the Executive Branch must obey any law passed by the Legislative Branch is silly, and is only being pushed at the moment because a Republican is in the White House. Just imagine, if you will, that a President issued an executive order that impinged on the powers of Congress. You can bet there would be statements galore! And Congress would certainly, and properly, not obey.
There has always been in our history conflict between the three branches of government over the extent of each branch's jurisdiction. That is the issue behind the signing statements controversy. And even if we had a 1,500 page constitution, like that EU abomination, there would still be such conflicts. There always will be. What usually isn't mentioned in the discussion is that Congressional Democrats, when they were cock-a-hoop after the fall of Nixon, (besides condemning millions of South Vietnamese to death, exile or socialist slavery) enlarged Congress's powers into areas traditionally Executive. And now there is a push-back...
Update: Here are some links on Presidential Signing Statements. Clinton actually issued 105 of them, Reagan 71.
June 17, 2006
Through corridors of light where the hours are suns...
THE TRULY GREAT
I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul's history
Through corridors of light where the hours are suns
Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
Should tell of the spirit clothed from head to foot in song.
And who hoarded from the Spring branches
The desires falling across their bodies like blossums.
What is precious is never to forget
The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light
Nor its grave evening demand for love.
Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
With noise and fog the flowering of the spirit.
Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields
See how these names are fêted by the waving grass
And by the streamers of white cloud
And whispers of wind in the listening sky.
The names of those who in their lives fought for life
Who wore at their hearts the fire's center.
Born of the sun they traveled a short while towards the sun,
And left the vivid air signed with their honor.
-- Stephen Spender
June 16, 2006
"go to a choice system and break up the monopoly"
June 14, 2006 -- A small gathering in Mid town yesterday got a sneak peek at Rudy Giuliani's formula as he gears up for a likely 2008 presidential run. That formula: one-third leadership, one-third technocratic centrist and one-third radical conservative reformer.
There's a reason Giuliani outpolls Sen. John McCain regularly when it comes to who conservative Republicans prefer for the presidency - while also maintaining great popularity with centrists - and it was on full display in this Manhattan Institute-hosted talk on energy policy...
...Summing up U.S. energy policy since the 1970s, he was blunt: "We haven't done anything." We haven't drilled in Alaska. We haven't built oil refineries. We haven't ordered a nuclear power plant since 1978.
We need to start doing these things, he said, to diversify. Energy independence, he said, is simply the "wrong paradigm," despite the idea's popularity in quarters of both the Left and the Right. Instead, in a global economy, "We have to diversify, that's our strength ...You can be independent by being diversified."...
Good stuff. One important thing is that Rudy has experience running a large and complex entity. There is a good reason why we rarely elect Senators to the presidency--we've never seen them manage anything bigger than an office with a few dozen staffers.
But this is what really grabbed me:
...The red meat for conservatives, however, came in the Q&A: An audience member asked Giuliani what he would do on education as president.
Without deflecting the loaded premise of the question (no announcement yet, folks), the former mayor launched into an impassioned brief for school choice. "A president has to know the role" of the federal government, he said. "It's more of a leadership role." But as that leader, he would emphasize, "choice and vouchers."
As mayor, he said, he thought he could do for the schools what he did for the police department and other city agencies. But he learned he was wrong. The education bureaucracy and the teachers unions were too deeply entrenched. What's needed, he said, "is to go to a choice system and break up the monopoly."
Even if they believe it, "most Democrats can't say to you what I just said," he told the crowd. "They're not allowed to."
What's more, he said, there's not as much support even among Republicans for school choice as one might think. The GOP's electoral base is largely suburban, and suburban schools are doing just fine. Some suburban parents might even see school vouchers and other choice programs as a threat to their cushy status quo. These suburban Republicans simply aren't affected by what's happening to our urban schools.
"They're just not thinking of the good of the country in general," he said - taking a forceful swipe at the selfishness of a group of voters that he may soon be courting.
But he's not going to forget about choice, he said, because it's a civil-rights issue. He recalled when a private philanthropy offered low-income kids in New York City a chance at scholarships to private and parochial schools - a sort of private version of the public voucher program he'd like to see. There were 167,000 applications for a relative handful of spots. The rest of the kids were left stranded.
"I'll never forget that number," he said.
And conservatives are unlikely to forget his political courage.
This is very good news...
Leftists tend to picture America as a warmonger, but in fact our main problem in the WOT is that, like any democracy, we have no enthusiasm for long frustrating campaigns in distant lands. (Which is one of the reasons the terrorists fight the way they do.) Our problem is that we are NOT warmongers, so only self-discipline can enable us to stay the course. From the LAT:
The Iraq war is the most immediate foreign policy problem besetting the Bush administration. But as a political issue, the White House and top Republican strategists have concluded that the war is a clear winner.
GOP officials intend to base the midterm election campaign partly on talking up the war, using speeches and events to contrast President Bush's policies against growing disagreement among leading Democrats over whether to support immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops...
The job of a politician is to both lead and follow. They must both follow the wishes of the voters, but also, especially in grave issues of war and peace, provide clear leadership and ask the voters for their support. I had started to wonder about the Republicans, so I find all this to be very good news indeed.
....Republican lawmakers and strategists said Wednesday that the campaign to frame the Iraq debate would play out over the summer and into the fall, focusing on battleground congressional districts and states with competitive Senate races.
Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman has already sent an e-mail to 15 million supporters asking them to reject "craven, politically motivated demands for instant withdrawal."....
Notice, friends, that there's no "October surprise," no need to be sneaky. The plan is announced. Having "nothing to hide" is the best secret strategy of all. Pure Rove. Thank you Karl.
...Officially, the House debate will be the first time the chamber has argued the pros and cons of the invasion and occupation of Iraq since the war began more than three years ago. But Democrats, who have repeatedly called for debate on the war, have denounced this week's events as little more than a political trap to embarrass them and force acquiescence with the administration's policy...
Whereas the pathetic puke-worthy Democrats have to scurry away from their own strategy, not to mention the Republican strategy. The "calling for a debate" scam is the same silly thing they did in 2003. If you want to debate, turkeys, start a debate! No one is stopping you. You can introduce your own resolutions, you can say whatever you like.
June 15, 2006
War has changed. Utterly. All the fossilized-in-the-70's pacifists and leftists are incapable of seeing it, but we are using the same word to refer to a different beast...
[J.D. Johannes is a former Marine Sergeant and embedded reporter]...Where I was -- with this group of marines in 2005 around the Fallujah AO -- we (the unit) would spend days and weeks trying to get into a shoot out -- attempting to get into a shoot out. I know that sounds absolutely insane, but that's the only way that you can engage the enemy. And when you have an enemy that you have to work so hard to bait out into the open, you're not dealing with a very strong enemy. You're dealing with a very annoying enemy. A very deadly enemy. But not a very strong enemy.
They would have to set up these incredibly complex ambush-bait-and-kill operations where one group would be the bait to lure somebody out so you could actually engage the enemy, and it took a lot of time to do that. What you didn't see were the days and days on end where nothing happens -- nothing more than eating some flat bread, drinking some tea, playing a little soccer, buying some soda pops at the soda stand, hanging out with the locals and getting a sunburn...
We saw it before, but we didn't see it. In Vietnam it was called "jitterbugging." Moving by helicopter from one spot to another in rapid succession, trying to get shot at. Trying to pick a fight. Think about that.
What does it mean? It's not war, by any historical definition. War is gone. The kind of war you read about in the history books, it's gone. The pacifists and anti-war activists must pretend it exists, because their world-view depends on pretending nothing has changed since 1973. But actually it was pretty much gone even then. Even then war had come to mean something different. Not armored corps being flung into Kursk, or the Bulge. Rather, small groups of English-speaking soldiers trying to prevent simple peaceable folk from being slaughtered or enslaved by sneaky commie fuck-head murderers and would-be tyrants (sorry for the language, I've had a couple of drinks) like sheriffs in the Old West keeping the bandits from taking over the town.
War is good. At least war by the Anglosphere powers. It saves lives, it improves all it touches, and it ennobles those (of us on the side of good) who participate. Think High Noon. Think Seven Samurai.
Give war a chance.
And read the J. D. Johannes interview--it's good. (Thanks to Orrin)
They should have just read R.J...
Science works overtime to learn stuff that any ordinary person can just see...
More ink equals more blood, claim two economists who say that newspaper coverage of terrorist incidents leads directly to more attacks.
It's a macabre example of win-win in what economists call a "common-interest game," say Bruno S. Frey of the University of Zurich and Dominic Rohner of Cambridge University.
"Both the media and terrorists benefit from terrorist incidents," their study contends. Terrorists get free publicity for themselves and their cause. The media, meanwhile, make money "as reports of terror attacks increase newspaper sales and the number of television viewers."....
Actually, I think that more than a few newspapers could be sold with items of good news, packaged as something exciting and new. But maybe I just have too high of expectations of human nature (and too low for the news industry).
"The very goodness of life, the goodness of being..."
Charlene and I, normally as simpatico as any couple can be, tend to differ on one point, which comes up like a recurring speed-bump in our conversations. Usually over some new Islamist outrage, usually in Europe, something like the rioting and threats over the Mohammed cartoons.
She thinks it's all part of a movement, a conspiracy, a plot, and must be stopped! I respond that there's no active plot, but rather, that these enormities are being drawn out, summoned, by the moral vacuum in the soul of Western Christian society, especially (but not exclusively) in Europe. And that if a country like Denmark had even a tenth of the moral self-confidence it had a hundred years ago, there is no way a crowd of shit-kicking North African peasant immigrants would even think of making demands and committing blatant crimes.
Which is why I found this quote, from a column by George Weigel, very apposite to my thoughts:
...[Prof. Rémi] Brague, who knows a great deal about Islamic philosophy, knows all about the threat to the West from jihadist Islam. In Vienna, however, he insisted that nihilism – a soured cynicism about the mystery and wonder of being — is the prior enemy-within-the-gates. For nihilism leads to deep skepticism about the human capacity to know the truth of anything; skepticism leads to what Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger described on April 18, 2005, as the “dictatorship of relativism;” and relativism is a solvent eating away the foundations of western self-understanding, western civilizational morale — and the western capacity for intelligent self-defense.
An Enlightenment intellectual, cited by Professor Brague, once said that he didn’t have children because begetting children was a criminal act — a matter of condemning another human being to death, to oblivion. That is the kind of nihilism that lies beneath Europe’s demographic suicide of recent decades. That is the kind of nihilism that occupies some of the commanding heights of American culture. That is the kind of nihilism that makes the defense of western civilization difficult today — and would make it impossible tomorrow, were it to triumph culturally.
The very goodness of life, the goodness of being — that is The Issue beneath all the other issues of the 21st century. So suggested Rémi Brague. I’m afraid he’s right...
"The Issue beneath all the other issues". I too am afraid he is right.
(You can access Weigel's columns here.)
Quote for the morning
John Podhoretz, in The Corner:
Karl Rove won't say it, and his lawyer won't say it, but I'll say it: Patrick Fitzgerald's conduct in the Rove matter has been disgraceful. He kept Rove hanging for eight months with his bizarre game of keeping the Rove case "open" even though he claimed he did not expect any more indictments. I'd guess this cost Rove several hundred thousand dollars in legal fees and months of sleepless nights. Nice work, Patrick. You have once again reminded us why the misbegotten term "special prosecutor" should be considered an obscenity.
June 14, 2006
This is very fine...
As female college activist groups go, the Network of Enlightened Women, or NeW, is a very different breed. They don't distribute condoms on the Quad or march for a woman's right to choose. Instead, they bake chocolate chip cookies and protest campus productions of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, a controversial play about female sexuality that conservatives say degrades women and glorifies rape.
Barely two years old, NeW is a small but fast-growing campus alternative to the Feminist Majority and the National Organization of Women, with a foothold in seven states. More importantly, it has already gained the attention and support of the most powerful conservative women in Washington....
....How to deal with the rise of NeW is on the agenda at this week's National Women's Studies Association Conference. On Thursday, a panel will discuss how traditionally liberal campus women's centers can respond to conservative women and NeW in particular....
"Respond." Yes indeed, how are the harridans going to respond? Isn't this one of those thingamajigs where you deal with it in five stages?
Thanks to Lastango, who adds;
...NeW emphasizes its support for women who want to raise a family in a traditional relationship. A NeW chapter on campus would mean a likeminded, conservative gentleman would have a good idea where he might meet his soulmate. That ought to help NeW build its membership...
Ha ha! Too rich. Choke on it, Chomskys. And all with the publicity they are getting, NeW will probably have another 20 chapters by the end of this month...
Excellent summary in OpinionJournal, on the case law and constitutionality of the news media's claim that they can, with impunity, under cover of the First Amendment, betray our country by publishing classified information. They can't. Period.
There's also another matter covered, of interest to bloggers...
....The second extraordinary claim made by Mr. Keller that needs to be addressed is the notion that the First Amendment's Freedom of the Press creates a special preserve for the institutionalized press, as opposed to ordinary citizens. Although this is a common understanding among reporters and newspaper editors, it is wrong. The Freedom of the Press was designed to protect the published word of all citizens, not just an institutionalized fourth estate. As one of the anti-federalist opponents of ratification of a constitution that did not include a bill of rights noted, the liberty of the press insures that "the people have the right of expressing and publishing their sentiments upon every public measure . . . . "
James Madison's initial proposal for the First Amendment clearly expressed this common understanding, guaranteeing the right of the people "to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments." Roger Sherman's own proposal a month later mirrored Madison's: "The people have certain natural rights which are retained by them when they enter into society, Such are the rights . . . of Speaking, writing and publishing their Sentiments with decency and freedom . . . . Of these rights therefore they Shall not be deprived by the government of the united States." These formulations were drawn from the amendments proposed by several of the state ratifying conventions, and lest their be any doubt that "freedom of the press" was synonymous with the right of the people generally to speak, write, and publish their sentiments, the Pennsylvania proponents of a Bill of Rights made that amply clear: "That the people have a right to the freedom of speech, of writing, and of publishing their sentiments, therefore (emphasis added), the freedom of the press shall not be restrained by any law of the United States."
As my Claremont Institute colleague Thomas West has noted, what is protected is not just the right to use a printing press or to go into the newspaper business, but the right of every citizen to publish, to make and distribute copies of words and/or pictures communicating his or her sentiments to the public. The founders would never have accepted the view that the freedom of the press is limited to members of a particular industry called "the press" or "the media."....
If I ran the circus, Mr K and his colleagues would be treated to sabbaticals, to give them some time for reflection, aided by soft tropic breezes, warm sunshine, three squares a day, and respectful servants who put on gloves before touching any Korans.
Publishing ones ideas, by the way, always requires some expenditure of money. If you are not allowed to pay to get your thought before the public, then you are in effect being forbidden to publish. The legislation know as 'Campaign Finance Reform" is as clearly unconstitutional as anything can be. But you already knew that.
one good piece of news...
SF Chronicle. (AP) --
A state trial judge on Monday overturned a voter-approved city ordinance that banned handgun possession and firearm sales in San Francisco, siding with gun owners who said the city did not have the authority to prohibit the weapons.
Measure H was placed on the November ballot by the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors, who were frustrated by a rising number of gun-related homicides in the city of 750,000. San Francisco recorded at least 94 murders last year, a 10-year high.
The National Rifle Association sued a day after 58 percent of voters approved the law.
In siding with the gun owners, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge James Warren said a local government cannot ban weapons because the California Legislature allows their sale and possession....
That's a morsel of good sense. Of course real good sense would have our local politicians actually doing something to reduce crime, say by imitating the successful efforts of NYC. Ain't gonna happen.
Update: Bill Quick notes: By the way - the "alarmingly high number of gun-related homicides" worked out to about 8 per 100,000, the lowest rate of such crimes in comparable cities in the nation.
June 13, 2006
I recommend this letter, by the President of the University of North Dakota, Charles Kupchella, who is fighting back against PC idiocy by the NCAA, which has demanded they change their team name, The Fighting Sioux.
...We explained that we have a beautiful logo designed by a respected American Indian artist and that we use the nickname with consummate respect – expecting and getting respect for the Sioux culture from our fans. We pointed out that we do not do tomahawk chops, we do not have white guys painted up like Indians, and our fans do not do Indian chants.
In an amazing display of organizational arrogance, Walter Harrison, in answer to the following direct question at a recent news conference:
“Are there incidents the NCAA has recorded where it (UND) appears to be hostile and abusive?” he said, obviously ducking the question entirely:“Today’s decision was to review whether the staff’s original decision was the right one. We tried to confine ourselves to that. We believe the use of the Fighting Sioux and the mascots [he is apparently still unaware that we do not have one] and imagery [ours was designed by an American Indian] that represents (sic) are hostile and abusive and we don’t believe the University has made a case to the contrary.” [emphasis added]Evidence? What evidence? Courts tend to dismiss hearsay and to demand and rely on real evidence.
We invited you to come and see for yourself and you refused.
We now have your letter of May 15 in which you make reference to “substantial evidence,” but nowhere in the letter is this evidence described. ...
This is yet another good example of how organizations get captured by leftists, who become petty tyrants. He's going to take them to court. Good for him.
A bit more:
...Perhaps the most amazing thing is that through all of this – except for stirring things up – you have accomplished nothing. Your stand against Indian nicknames and logos – a stand that seemed to start out against all references to races and national origin – fizzled before it started when you left out Irish, Celtics, Vandals, and a host of other names. Then, for highly convoluted, hypocritical, and in some instances mysterious reasons, you exempted the Aztecs and other American Indian nicknames at the outset and, following that, you exempted the use of Chippewa, the Utes, the Choctaws, the Catawbas, and the Seminoles, leaving the NCAA position on even American Indian nicknames about as solid as room-temperature Jell-O. All of this was, and remains, highly arbitrary and capricious...
The "real sin"
I love the way Howard Dean spotlights the total asininity and incoherence of Democrat positions...
...If Karl Rove had been indicted it would have been for perjury. That does not excuse his real sin which is leaking the name of an intelligence operative during the time of war. He doesn't belong in the White House. If the President valued America more than he valued his connection to Karl Rove then Karl Rove would have been fired a long time ago. So I think this is probably good news for the White House, but its not very good news for America....(Thanks to Dafydd)
So Karl, if this supposed leak was bad for America, wasn't the press being bad for America too? They published it. And what about those other leaks. Like leaking the existence of actual programs that are catching terrorists. I suppose they must be OK, because you never criticize them, but I'd love to hear your reasoning.
And I'm glad to hear that you do think we are in a war, and that those who impede our war efforts should be harshly criticized, and indicted for their crimes. (And if a grand jury fails its obvious duty to indict, then they should be fired!) Somehow I had picked up an impression that your position was somewhat, er, ambiguous, on this vital point.
Glad to have you on board with the war!
June 11, 2006
...Hopefulness, mind you, not optimism. Optimism is a matter of optics, of seeing what you want to see and not seeing what you don't want to see. Hope, one the other hand, is a Christian virtue. It is the unblinking acknowledgment of all that militates against hope, and the unrelenting refusal to despair. We have not the right to despair, and, finally, we have not the reason to despair....
--Richard John Neuhaus, introduction to The Best of the Public Square, Book 2.
Those who equate Haditha with My Lai, and Iraq with Vietnam, would do well to remember the last time we gave peace a chance. For millions of innocents, it was the peace of the grave....
-- Investor’s Business Daily editorial. (Thanks to Tim)
Come to think, we never did find Lucy...
As you are probably already aware, the Haditha story is starting to get some interesting critical scrutiny. A good piece to read is: Haditha: Is McGirk the New Mary Mapes?
....The sum and substance of this thumbnail sketch on the Haditha claims is that it follows so closely the template for the TANG and Plame stories. Take a reporter with an anti-Administration agenda, an interested group (think of the Mashhadanis as the VIPS in the Plame case or Burkett and Lucy Ramirez in the TANG case) and a story too good to be checked and circumstances where the people attacked are limited in what they can quickly respond to and you get a story which smells to me like it will soon be unraveled.
This time, I’m betting the consequences to the press which rushed to judgment will be more disastrous than it was to Dan Rather. I surely hope so....
Me too. Oh Please please please. Even if the Marines are guilty, the actions of our press (with a few honorable exceptions) have been utterly foul and treasonous. They have already convicted, and are already gloating about how this will help put their party into power. And even worse, they are hungry to convict America, and ever eager to minimize the crimes of terrorists and Islamists. They are on the other side.
It makes me want to just spit with fury to see how eager they are to defame our troops, who have acted with more restraint and care than probably any army in history, and suffered many deaths by being careful not to harm civilians. Our guys in WWII would have flattened Haditha with hardly a moment's hesitation. Called in the artillery, or gone in behind tanks, tossing dynamite into basements.
Lafayette Baker, come back, come back, come back. Your country needs you.
Update: TIME is issuing retractions on various details of their big "scoop." The retractions, of course, are buried where no one is likely to see them...except that, these days, there are these things called "weblogs"...Too bad, suckers.
June 9, 2006
Where "realism" makes sense...
Washington scored a significant victory in its contest with Moscow for influence in Central Asia yesterday when Kazakhstan agreed to start pumping oil to the West through a British Petroleum pipeline that bypasses Russia and Iran. [Central Asia. Bet you don't learn a lot about that corner of the globe from the Nightly News.]
The deal, secured largely because of a personal visit to Kazakhstan last month by Dick Cheney, the United States vice-president, will infuriate the Kremlin. [Thank you, Mr Vice President. Yet again.]
But there will be secret relief in European capitals, where there is growing concern over Russia's apparent willingness to use its vast energy supplies as a political weapon. [You know, there's a lot of that "secret relief" stuff whenever America does the heavy lifting. Parasites.]
Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Kazakh president, told an investors' conference in the capital, Almaty, that a formal agreement would be signed next week to begin delivery through an existing BP pipeline that connects Azerbaijan to the Turkish coast. This loops through Georgia, thus avoiding Russia to the north and Iran to the south. [Russia, Iran. Couldn't happen to two nicer countries.]
The deal will give the West greater access to the vast oil fields of the Caspian Sea - estimated to hold the world's third-largest reserves - and ease its growing dependence on energy from Russia and the Middle East. [Third-largest. Fancy that.]
America and Russia are locked in fierce competition for access to Central Asia's vast energy wealth... [Uh huh. And there's also a big part of the WOT going on there. It's a tricky and dangerous region, and of obvious importance to us. So, will right-wing isolationists and left-wing appeasers give the President any support or thanks? Ha ha ha.]
....Mr Cheney, a former oil man who for more than 20 years has highlighted the importance of the Caspian Sea, has grown increasingly skeptical of Russia's intentions towards the West. [We are very lucky to have such a deep old file working on our side. And very lucky to have two oil guys in the White House.]
He launched a scathing attack on the Kremlin last month and caused outrage by flying to Kazakhstan immediately afterwards, where he was fulsome in his praise for Mr Nazarbayev's even more democratically dubious regime. [Smart. This is a case where compromising our push for democracy makes sense. And we are still pushing democracy in the region, and among Kazakhstan's neighbors. Their turn will come.]
President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, the other major oil-producing country on the Caspian to sign an energy deal with the West, was recently entertained at the White House - though he too has been accused of cheating in an election last year. [Journalists love to snark about any compromises made by the President. And then the next minute they complain that he's too rigid and never willing to change his mind or listen to advice.]
The new deal could help to bring down world oil prices, another factor likely to upset Russia, whose energy-dependent economy could wobble if crude falls below $50 a barrel. [And Iran too. But Bush will get no thanks if these distant dealings yield advantages for us.]
Kazakhstan has become a serious rival to Russia as a hydrocarbon exporter. But Mr Nazarbayev is in a tricky situation...[Tough, ain't it.]
My son sent me this link:
Record meteorite hit Norway
As Wednesday morning dawned, northern Norway was hit with an impact comparable to the atomic bomb used on Hiroshima...
....Farmer Peter Bruvold was out on his farm in Lyngseidet with a camera because his mare Virika was about to foal for the first time.
"I saw a brilliant flash of light in the sky, and this became a light with a tail of smoke," Bruvold told Aftenposten.no. He photographed the object and then continued to tend to his animals when he heard an enormous crash.....
I must assume that our government is aware that a large meteoritic impact would have an appearance very similar to the explosion of a nuclear bomb...blinding flash, mushroom cloud ascending into the Stratosphere, deadly X-Rays, etc. Don't push the Button right away, George...
All the little parts work together...
I wrote a comment at Scott's place, and it grew rather long, and then I got a "fatal error" message, so, lazy fellow that I am, I'll just make it a post here instead... Scott wrote (about Republicans being "energized" by the gay marriage issue):
..I’m energized, you fools. By these things — immigration reform, cutting spending, energy policy, de-nuking Iran, the yes-it’s-still-here Global War on Terror, kicking the ass of working hard with the Iraqi government to build their country into a functioning democratic state…you know, the crap that makes a difference.
Oh, never mind…forget it…it’s an election year so nothing gets done in Congress that can’t be handled in 30 minutes. But I have to hand it to them. They at least swatted the time-wasting fly of freaking gay marriage, an issue that’s of vital importance to about 10 or 15 people....
Scott, I think you are being obtuse here.
YOU have enemies (yes, you, lovable cuddly Scott C!) and they mean you harm, and they are very much for gay marriage. And not because they give a damn about gays--if gays all voted Republican they'd be dreaming of killing them by toppling walls on them, like the Taliban.
They want gay marriage because they want to break down ALL the structures that stand between individuals and the state. They are against the traditional family for the same reason they are against business (especially small businesses) and churches and the Boy Scouts and talk radio and Rotary and private charities and faith-based organizations and private schools and the Rule of Law (including Immigration laws) and the NRA...
They want to break down YOUR family, because they don't want you helping each other in time of trouble--that's the job of welfare departments and "social workers."
And much more than attacking families, the design is to make people like yourself, who tend to endorse all sorts of traditional American values, feel guilty and ashamed of being "bigots," and thus unwilling to fight for what they believe in. The template is the Civil Rights Movement, which put anyone who championed "old-fashioned" values or small government on the defensive, and tarred them with "racism." (That was the effect, though the true situation was often the opposite. But that's another tale.)
You are still, in the playbook of your enemies, a racist. You, Mr Southern white guy, are assumed to be Bull Connor (never mind that he was on the DNC). And the purpose of this has nothing to do with leftists actually giving a damn about blacks--if black Americans all voted Republican they would still be getting lynched by Democrats. The purpose was and is to make it easier to raise your taxes, or regulate your business, or make sure your children go to government schools to learn the right (i.e. Left) lessons, or hamstring the WOT.
All the disparate parts work together, and your enemies never forget it, not for an instant.
Update: And, by the way, Phase Two is to make opposition to the gay agenda punishable by law, just as various forms of racism already are. This is happening right now in Europe, where pastors can be sent to jail for preaching that homosexuality is a sin. And again, it has nothing to do with helping gays. They will in the long run be harmed by the policies of the Left as much as any of us. Just as we see blacks being grievously harmed right now by the policies of the Democrat Party.
June 8, 2006
Maybe we'll get our flying cars after all--minus the car...
Pretty neat stuff...
Daily Mail:....Now German company ESG has developed the strap-on rigid wing specifically for special forces use.
Resembling a 6ft-wide pair of aircraft wings, the devices should allow a parachutist to glide up to 120miles, carrying 200lb of equipment, the manufacturers claim.
Fitted with oxygen supply, stabilisation and navigation aides, troops wearing the wings will jump from a high-altitude transport aircraft which can stay far away from enemy territory - or on secret peacetime missions could avoid detection or suspicion by staying close to commercial airliner flight paths.
The manufacturers claim the ESG wing is '100 per cent silent' and 'extremely difficult' to track using radar.
Once close to their target landing zone, the troops pull their parachute rip cord to open their canopy and then land normally.
Weapons, ammunition, food and water can all be stowed inside the wing, although concealing the 6ft wings after landing could prove harder than burying a traditional parachute.
ESG claims the next stage of development will be fitting 'small turbo-jet drives' to the wings to extend range even further....
Apparently some parachutist used home-made wings to "fly" across the English Channel! Of course these gadgets will probably soon pass into general use and be used by terrorists. C'est le Guerre....
The article has a picture. (Thanks to Jimmy Akin)
June 7, 2006
Marshes destroyed by thoughtlessness...
Wretchard points to this invitation to a conference by the Harvard Design School, MESOPOTAMIAN MARSHES & MODERN DEVELOPMENT: Practical Approaches for Sustaining Restored Ecological & Cultural Landscapes
...The Mesopotamian Marshes, located between the Tigres and Euphrates Rivers in southern Iraq, were historically one of the world's most important wetland environments. The area of once over 20,000 square kilometers—thought by some to be the original Garden of Eden—provided habitat for millions of migrating birds and has been inhabited since the time of the Sumerians by thousands of people living on artificial islands of mud and reeds and depending on sustainable fishing and farming. Since the early 1990s, however, this important ecological and unique cultural jewel has been devastated by a series of thoughtless dam constructions and deliberate water diversions that has led to what many have come to regard as one of the most severe “ecocides” in human history...
I guess I'm glad to see anyone helping on this matter, which is near to my heart. And I guess the price we have to pay to enlist the help of the superior beings at Harvard is to never mention Saddam Hussein! No no, the Marshes were spoiled by "thoughtless dam constructions." It's funny how absent-minded people can be, especially when building dams.
I know how to re-build the marshes! We will declare that they were destroyed by a fascist-Republican conspiracy led by George W Bush. The the environmentalist organizations and the Europeans and Al Gore will then fling themselves into a spirited effort at restoration. (The Marsh Arabs would have to give up cigarettes, of course, but that's a small price to pay.)
Wretchard also links to this article which indicates that recovery of those areas that have been re-flooded is better than expected. Fascinating. And it's maddening how little information we get. One of the biggest environmental stories of our time, but news? No way. Our vile news media is on the other side, and the only "enemy" to be fought is the President of the USA. The crimes of Saddam go into the Memory Hole.
June 6, 2006
Wall good for Mexico?
I thought this was interesting: Is the tide finally turning in Mexico? | The San Diego Union-Tribune
...When I was in Mexico last fall, after dozens of visits over the years, people on every political and social level confirmed these accusations, complaining to me of Fox's failures. Forty families still own 60 percent of Mexico. There are no voluntary organizations, no civic involvement, no family foundations – and thus, no accountability, allowing corruption to flourish. Mexico gains $28 billion from oil revenue and $20 billion from immigrant remittances. There is virtually no industrialization, no small business, no real chance at individual entrepreneurship. Under Fox, it has created only one-tenth of the 1 million jobs needed.
Ah, but there are new voices of change, of reason, of self-awareness in Mexico, in place of the hoary anti-gringo rants: the beginnings of a transformation of the debate.
The same week of the Fox visit, for instance, The New York Times ran a stunning article headlined “Some in Mexico See Border Wall as Opportunity.” It quotes men such as Jorge Santibanez, president of the College of the Northern Border, saying: “For too long, Mexico has boasted about immigrants leaving, calling them national heroes, instead of describing them as actors in a national tragedy; and it has boasted about the growth in remittances as an indicator of success, when it is really an indicator of failure.”
Other prominent Mexicans were quoted as saying, for instance, the formerly unthinkable: that a wall would be the “best thing that could happen for Mexico”; the “porous border” allowed “elected officials to avoid creating jobs.”...
It's frustrating, because the current immigration crisis is an opportunity, a chance to do the right thing. A number of right things. One of which is to force reform onto Mexico. Helping them would be helping us. To paraphrase Alfred Sloan, what's good for the hemisphere is good for America....
June 5, 2006
We do this stuff for a reason...
This is ONE of the reasons we need to monitor terrorist communications...
....In short, the network itself has become so decentralized that it is almost as easy as plugging a laptop into a wide-area network jack, figuratively as well as literally. With the demolition of al-Qaeda's functional leadership, the lack of direction has moved the jihadi movement from the hills of Afghanistan to a system of mosques and imams, preaching their own brand of hatred. Young men looking for a cause or an outlet for their frustrations can easily find these Muslim supremacists. If they can't find them physically, they can certainly find them with just a few minutes on the Internet. This particular group found each other, and then found like-minded prototerrorists in five other nations, including the US.
The above is the bad news. The good news is that the rapid decentralization of Islamic terror has led to a rapid decline in the discipline and quality of the jihadis. The Canadians caught up with this group two years ago and have followed them closely, apparently never tipping their hand to the seventeen bright lights they arrested yesterday and the day before. By monitoring their Internet communications, they not only discovered this cell but also others around the world, all of whom have now been neutralized as threats. The increasing reliance on amateurs like the Toronto 17 makes it more likely that we will continue to root out their partners, wherever they may be....
Canadians, and other nations presumably including the US, have been watching these guys for 2 years. And, during that time, when any pomposos denounced the "erosion of our civil rights" due to monitoring communications, those government officials who happened to be in the know would have had to keep their mouths shut and just take the heat.
Under ideal circumstances there should probably have been no public arrests at all. The junior jihadis should have been quietly whisked off to Gitmo, so as not to alert others that they are being watched.
However, the loss of secrecy is counterbalanced by giving ordinary decent citizens a look at the reasons why we are waging a necessarily secret war. Leftists will be unmoved of course; they are opposed to the very idea of fighting for Western (and especially Anglospheric) values of liberty and economic opportunity. They are on the other side.
But honorable people will take note of this, and be more likely to give our leaders the support they deserve.
One other thought. Our leaders are good men, but one does tend to harbor doubts that they have the imagination to really exploit these situations. One hopes that we are setting up our own Internet jihad networks, with our own radical imams, luring the gullible young goofballs off to our own "terrorist training camps," or supplying them with some very special recipes for explosives...
The real American crime in Iraq...
Actually, if you want an American crime, this is the real thing. From an NYT article on those investigating the mass graves of Iraq:
....What happened here is not only a macabre marker in the history of Iraq under Mr. Hussein, but a harrowing footnote in American politics. The victims here, American and Iraqi officials say, died in Mr. Hussein's suppression of the Shiite uprising across southern Iraq in early 1991. It was a rebellion that survivors — and American critics of the President George H. W. Bush — say that the president encouraged after halting American troops at Iraq's southern border with Kuwait at the end of the Persian Gulf war.
For years, Middle East experts have debated Mr. Bush's role in encouraging Iraq's Shiites and Kurds to mount a challenge to Mr. Hussein after the war over Iraq's invasion of Kuwait ended, before ruling out American military action to halt the mass killings of Shiites that Mr. Hussein initiated to crush the uprising. Mr. Bush himself has said that what happened to the Shiites was one of the deepest regrets of his presidency.
For the American forensic experts who came to Iraq after the 2003 invasion, the desert camp is a way station toward holding Mr. Hussein accountable for what many Iraqi human rights experts say was the most merciless passage in his 24 years in power.
Raid Juhi, chief investigative judge for the Iraqi court now trying Mr. Hussein in another case, said during a visit here on Saturday that the court had documentary evidence, and statements from witnesses, showing that at least 100,000 Shiites, and possibly 180,000, died in the 1991 repression....
I have blogged often about why the Iraq Campaign was a smart move, the best second step of the War. I should have emphasized more that it was also a moral necessity.
Neither sort of argument would, of course, make any dent upon the frauds of the "anti-war" movement. Nor do the mass-graves, no matter how many are excavated.
June 4, 2006
Appeasement makes you safer...
This is a good piece on the Canadian terrost arrests...
Be sickened. Be frightened. Be angry. But don't you dare be shocked.
Unless you've been had.
Either way, the time has long passed for domestic bliss born of ignorance, virtue and wilful denial.
For everyone who thought Canada could cower in a corner of the planet, unnoticed and unthreatened by evil men — even when the most menacing of a very bad lot has twice referenced this country as a target for attack — take a good, hard look at what's been presented and what's being alleged.
Three tonnes of ammonium nitrate, thrice the amount used by Timothy McVeigh to demolish a government building in Oklahoma City. Cellphone detonators. Switches. Computer hard drive. A 9-mm pistol. Soldering gun. Camouflage gear.....
F--ing lotta good appeasement and military weakness has done Canada. Oh, and by the way, this is what a ton of Ammonium Nitrate does...
The Oklahoma City bombing. Did you notice the line quoted above? "Unless you've been had." Well folks, the reference to Oklahoma City reminds me that there is a high degree of likelihood that YOU have been had, too. Clinton and the press leaped on the idea that Oklahoma City was a right-wing plot inspired by Rush Limbaugh. The result was that we never got the answers to some sticky questions.
How did Nichols get the money for trips to the Philippines? Why did his paths cross those of Ramzi Yousef? (Remember him? The first WTC bombing.) Why did Oklahoma City use a new bomb formula also found on a captured terrorist's laptop a month before? Here are some more of the questions. Don't expect any answers....
And now we are home again...
Too short a get-away to even feel rested, but we went to Big Sur, and the sights sure were nice. This Acorn Woodpecker can catch peanuts in mid-air...
June 2, 2006
We're away for the weekend...
...but we'll be back Sunday PM. (I expect you all to behave.)
WHAT THE BIRD SAID EARLY IN THE YEAR
I heard in Addison's Walk a bird sing clear
'This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.
'Winds will not strip the blossom from the apple trees
this year, nor want of rain destroy the peas.
'This year time's nature will no more defeat you,
Nor all the promised moments in their passing cheat you.
'This time they will not lead you round and back
To Autumn, one year older, by the well-worn track.
'This year, this year, as all these flowers foretell,
We shall escape the circle, and undo the spell.
'Often deceived, yet open once again your heart,
Quick, quick, quick, quick!—the gates are drawn apart.
-- C. S. Lewis
Let's see, there's Shakespeare, Plato, Chaucer, Aquinas...and Maya Angelou.
Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as “other”, different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers...
There are so many things wrong (and racist) about this that it would be beating on the obvious to point them out. (Andrew will miss the points, but the rest of you won't.) But it is especially fascinating to me as an example, more glaring than the many others we see every day, of the way leftists try to pretend we are still in their glory days of the Civil Rights Era and Vietnam Era. We're forever stuck on Selma, even it that requires re-defining racism as "having a future time orientation."
And it's also an good example of the fantasy, indulged in since the time of Karl Marx, that various poor or disadvantaged or folksy groups would prefer a "collective ideology" over individualism. It's been WRONG EVERY TIME, but that doesn't keep the fantasy from popping up again. It was wrong for European workers, Latin American peasants, Appalachian coal miners, migrant farm workers...
Also, when you are told that the Left has a Jesus-like concern for the poor, remember that there's a teensy little difference. Jesus wasn't hoping the poor would stay poor (and Democrat, and "collective," and without that horrid "future time orientation").
June 1, 2006
PowerLine pointed to this column by Katherine Kersten on historian John Earl Haynes...
...Haynes took his interest in American communism with him. In 1992, he and fellow historian Harvey Klehr gained access to formerly top-secret Soviet archives, with the help of Yale University Press. They discovered more than 430,000 microfilmed pages, which detailed the American party's activities and relations with Soviet intelligence agencies in the 1930s and '40s. "The dust was still on them," Haynes says. "No one had touched them in 50 years."
The documents revealed that the Soviets had infiltrated most major American government agencies, as well as the White House. Haynes' and Klehr's 1995 book, "The Secret World of American Communism," generated headlines around the world.
Their revelations created pressure on the U.S. government to open its own secret records. In 1995, the National Security Agency opened the files of the Venona project, a World War II-era code-breaking effort to identify Soviet spies and their American sources. Haynes' and Klehr's book, "Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America," included "a virtual king's ransom of top-secret bombshells," wrote Michael Barone of U.S. News and World Report.
"It's almost impossible to overestimate the importance of John Haynes' and Harvey Klehr's work," says Jonathan Brent, editorial director of Yale University Press.
Haynes' research has played havoc with much conventional academic wisdom...
That "conventional wisdom" is that American anti-Communism was just McCarthyist hysteria. Well, we know now that that isn't true. We KNOW, we have the FACTS. But the lies live on.
Not to mention the sick double standard, where having some past connection with Nazism renders one forever radioactive (remember the world-wide scandal when Reagan merely visited a cemetery where some Nazis were buried) whereas having in the past aided Stalin or Mao or Castro means that one was a "youthful idealist." What crap. Along with popes and presidents visiting Auschwitz there ought to be a gazillion or so leftists visiting the camps of the Gulag and abjectly apologizing for aiding and encouraging mass-murder and genocide. Instead they are still helping the commies, by minimizing their crimes, and by betraying our country in time of war.