Sunday, October 31, 2004

Blood for Oil

Varifrank has some pictures showing the real blood for oil.

Here is a comment from Frank's place:

The one that got me was the description of excavating mass graves and finding the remains of small children with toys still clutched in their hands.

God forgive us, God forgive me, for not doing more to stop this evil man sooner.

Walter Cronkite drinks the Kool Aid

This man used to get a lot of respect. He helped stop the war in 'Nam. Uh. Walter - ever apologize to the Cambodians?

Probably the guilt from the 2 million dead made him crazy. Just like it has made Kerry crazy. Poor boys.

From Drudge

Former CBSNEWS anchorman Walter Cronkite believes Bush adviser Karl Rove is possibly behind the new Bin Laden tape.


Somewhat smiling, Cronkite said he is "inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing."
Drudge has some more. Go read it.

Looking for a Virus

The doctors in France are trying to figure out what is wrong with Yasser. What could it be? Some type of virus possibly?

What kind of virus messes up the immune system and leads to dementia and/or Parkinsons in its later stages? Yahoo has the whole story here.

CLAMART, France (Reuters) - Yasser Arafat underwent tests for viral infection and other ailments on Sunday after initial checks ruled out leukemia and any life-threatening illness, aides to the Palestinian leader said.
What could it be?
The latest tests have found that President Arafat does not suffer from any life-threatening illness and what he has is curable," senior Arafat aide Nabil Abu Rdainah told Reuters.

"Hopefully soon he will be back with his people," another Palestinian official, Mohammad Rachid, told reporters, adding that Arafat got out of bed on Sunday morning, joked with medics and read the Koran for the first time in 10 days.
Interestingly enough they know what it is. However they will not say until Wednesday. After the American election. Why the delay?
French doctors and authorities offered no comment, having insisted they would speak publicly once analyzes were complete, something that could take until as late as Wednesday. Medical sources said nothing could be ruled in or out until then.

Palestinians have delegated his powers to two deputies temporarily -- Mahmoud Abbas, his number two in the Palestine Liberation Organization (news - web sites), and Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie.

One Arafat aide in France said doctors were now checking the possibility of viral infection or poisoning.

The aide, who declined to be identified, was pressed on what he meant by poisoning and said only that nothing was to be ruled out, including any harm that might have been caused by the use of wrong medicine.
Curiouser and curiouser.

Virus or poisoning?

Yet the doctors know what it is and they are treating it and it is not life threatening.

Now it could just be me but this does not add up.

An Explosive Mess

So I'm reading a number of different blogs and the Kerry supporters are going on about the high explosives missing. Now with 400,000 tons already collected, 400 tons or 4 tons or what ever, 156 minus 78 plus 145 located all around but under the control blah blah.

So that doesn't sound too significant any more or that big a mistake.

So they start in on how those are the kind of explosives you use to make nuclear weapons.

Hmmmmmmmmm. Saddam had a nuke program?

Now here is what I know from open sources. I've never worked on bomb design:

Aside from getting your plutonium or enriched uranium you need very carefully controlled explosions. These kinds of explosions do not need any nuclear material. What you do need is a very high speed camera and very powerful very fast electronically controlled probably water cooled strobe lights. And of course a way to make precision molds for the explosives and then you have to get the detonators precisely placed and timed to go off within microseconds of each other. And you take lots of pictures. Ya got to get the fluid dynamics right. And your explosives casting process.

All this can be tested without access to any plutonium or uranium.

So are we saying Saddam had a program for making nuclear weapons? And maybe he disappeared the material? Rumor has it to Syria? Further rumor has it with Russian help?

I'm just sayin.

What Is the Nature of Victory?

Generral Zinni of the US Marine Corps discusses the nature of victory in 4th Generation Warfare.

And so the question we ought to ask ourselves-if we're going to start thinking about what our military needs to do and what its role is-is why is that happening? It used to be that if you defeated the enemy's forces in the field, what was left was just mopping up or restructuring, and the war was won on the battlefield. That hasn't happened.

It hasn't happened in the time I served, for 39 years. It probably hasn't happened since the end of the Second World War. There's a difference between winning battles, or defeating the enemy in battle, and winning the war. And I think the first question we have to ask ourselves is why is that happening and what is the military's role, then, in taking it beyond just defeating the enemy in battle?

What strikes me is that we are constantly redesigning the military to do something it already does pretty well. I mean, I think you heard from the last panel that breaking the organized resistance in Iraq, even though it may not have been the greatest army in the world, was done extremely well. We've very proud of our troops and very proud of the way that was executed and led. But it wasn't enough.

"Whatever blood is poured onto the battlefield could be wasted if we don't follow it up with understanding what victory is."
As usual Read The Whole Thing.

The General overall is rather pessimistic. He believes there is no strategy and the field forces are not equipped to deal with the aftermath of a war, the rebuilding phase. He is to a certain extent correct. But only to a certain extent. Afghanistan now has an elected government. It is their job to rebuild their own country. The same is true of Iraq. Once elections are held they will have not only the power but the authority to take matters into their own hands.

Healing Iraq shows what the American strategy looks like on the ground. It looks like a bunch of dull boring open meetings where people discuss facts figures and who is or isn't practicing nepotism. The most important part of the war is the least exciting. Self government.

Donald Sensing of One Hand Clapping has some thoughts on what victory means in light of the latest Osama tape.
Syndicated columnist Austin Bay, who just returned from several months in Iraq, wrote about how we are winning in August 2003. To students of this war, it is no surprise that many of al Qaeda's claws have been pulled. I say as always, we must not let down our guard but neither should we relent in the attack to crush al Qaeda now once for all. I think that there is a good chance the new bin Laden tape shows the corner has been turned. President Bush said after 2001 that the war against al Qaeda would occupy several successive administrations after his. I myself wrote in Sept. 2001 that the task ahead would take decades. Now I am more confident than ever. The collapse of Islamist terrorism may well come very quickly, especially as an internationally-coordinated effort. Casual Islamist terrorist groups will still work death, as in Chechnya, but the days of central resourcing and coordination out of al Qaeda are pretty much done. And I would emphasize that the problems of Iran and North Korea must still be resolved, Syria too. But I think that regarding al Qaeda, the bin Laden tape signifies we are no longer at the end of the beginning, but the beginning of the end.
Donald, ex-arty Colonel that he is suggests kicking Osama while he is down. I concur.

Peace for Sale

Here are some folks who claim that peace is for sale. A novel concept.

The peace for sale is Israel/Palestine peace.

They claim it can be bought for only $100 billion.

Who gets to pay?


Israeli moderates like Amram Mitzna have refuted the lie that "there is nobody to talk to" by crafting, with key Palestinian leaders, a ground-breaking peace agreement called the Geneva Accord.
This is a total joke. There are plenty of Palis to talk to. Plenty. Trouble is there are none who can deliver an end to the violence in exchange for "peace". There is no law and order on the Pali side. Who will subdue Hammas? Fatah? The Al and Oscar Brigades? etc.

BTW this was a Google ad that caught my eye.

Google ads get results.

Just not necessisarily the results desired.

Here is the result of another google ad. The take is a little different. It is an article in "Foreign Policy" by Dennis Ross the American envoy (cue up Warren Zevon).
But from the start of the Oslo negotiations in 1993, Arafat focused only on what he was going to receive, not what he had to give. He found it difficult to live without a cause, a struggle, a grievance, and a conflict to define him. Arafat never faced up to what he would have to do—even though we tried repeatedly to condition him. As a result, when he was finally put to the test with former President Bill Clinton’s proposal in December 2000, Arafat failed miserably.
Dennis then asks the question of a lifetime:
Is there any sign that Arafat has changed and is ready to make historic decisions for peace? I see no indication of it. Even his sudden readiness to seize the mantle of reform is the result of intense pressure from Palestinians and the international community. He is maneuvering now to avoid real reform, not to implement it. And on peace, he does not appear ready to acknowledge the opportunity that existed with Clinton’s plan, nor does he seem willing to confront the myths of the Palestinian movement.
I think there is a sign that Arafat is changing. He is in France. Close to death. Now there is a significant change. Here is hoping he makes the change permanent. Soon.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Voices of Iraq

150 DV cameras distributed across Iraq for the Iraqi people to show who they are and what Iraq will be.

Voices of Iraq is a film that needs to be seen by as many Americans as possible.

In a season of political documentaries that take one side or the other on the war in Iraq, a film has emerged whose purpose is not to address American politics but the Iraqi people.
Variety, October 17, 2004
This page has video clips from the film.

Kerry is Mobilizing His Base Somewhat

Kerry is having trouble energizing his base. Things are not looking good for the Johnster.

Kerry spoke from a stage set up on the third base line outside of Roosevelt Middle School. Several hundred crowed onto the outfield in the cold wind and occasional rain, although at least twice as many could have fit into the sprawling space set up by the campaign.

Kerry has had other less-than-capacity turnouts in recent days, including an event Friday in West Palm Beach, Fla., and another in Las Vegas last Tuesday.
Compare that with recent Bush appearances in Florida where Bush had to go from halls to stadiums.

Or the latest Bush rally in Ohio with the governator.
Last night, 24,000 people filled a downtown Columbus arena for a rally with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mr. Bush, and the First Lady.

The crowd roared for nearly eight minutes as Mr. Schwarzenegger — in his only out-of-state appearance on the campaign trail with Mr. Bush since the Republican National Convention — pumped the President’s left arm into the air and waved.

“I love Ohio,” said Mr. Schwarzenegger. “Ohio is like my second home. I won in 1970 right here the Mr. World competition. This city and this state is bringing me good luck. I should come back many more times.”
Other reports I have heard say the shouting went on for a bit longer.
OHIO: ARNOLD [Kevin Holtsberry 10/29 10:24 PM]

Just got back from the Bush Rally at Nationwide Arena here in Columbus Ohio. It is hard to know what to make of these type of things, but the crowd was pumped. If filing a 20,000 plus arena full of screaming supporters who give you a full 10 minute standing ovation means something then I would say Bush is doing well in Central Ohio. When Bush and Governor Schwarzenegger took the stage the crowd simply refused to stop clapping and shouting for some time. Eventually they quieted down and Ah-nold gave a rousing introduction to President Bush.

Kerry In a Landslide

It appears Osama is quoting Democrat talking points in his latest video.

This ought to convince any but the most die hard Republican voters to vote for Kerry.


Kerry in a landslide.


The New Osama Tape

Osama is making new entertainment videos.

Rumor has it he is making them in Iran.

Be sure to inform Kerry and Bush.

News from the Front

An Iraqi Patriot speaks. Winds of Change has a very heavy piece by a 23 year old female Iraqi Patriot. Humalia Akrawy.

Ms. Akrawy is a slender, attractive young woman dressed in Western clothes, passionate as she begins by thanking the United States for having the "leadership, dedication and commitment" both to free her people from Saddam's regime and also to support Iraq as it moves towards being a stable and free country.

She stresses multiple times how much she and most Iraqis admire the United States and the Coalition partners for having the commitment to see things through to success. And she proudly states that Iraqis see strong, committed leadership in the provisional government as well, which gives them hope for their future.

She is, she stresses, an Iraqi first and a Kurd second - and glad of it. Under Saddam that was not possible, but it is possible now and she sees the Kurds embracing the vision of a single Iraq with strong borders and a unified national identity.

As usual: read the whole thing.

Friday, October 29, 2004

After Arafat

Maariv says the choices are chaos or anarchy.

I wonder what the Palis will choose?

Haaretz has more of their usually insipid analysis. Their motto ought to be: strength through weakness.

The Jerusalem Post has reactions from Palestinians.

There Will Be War

Drudge says a tape that ABC possesses has been authenticated as an official Al Q video:

The CIA and FBI have authenticated a new al Qaeda videotape which warns of retribution for Americans electing Bush and Cheney.

"What took place on September 11 was but the opening salvo of the global war on America and that our Lord willing, the magnitude and ferocity of what is coming your way will make you forget all about September 11," the man, whose face is covered by a headdress, warns in the video.

"After decades of American tyranny, now it's your turn to die."

The alarming tape which warns the next terror attack will dwarf 9/11.

The CIA and FBI late Wednesday authenticated the tape, federal sources tell DRUDGE.

ABCNEWS obtained the tape from a source in Pakistan.

"You are guilty, guilty, guilty. You're as guilty as Bush and Cheney. You're as guilty as Rumsfeld and Ashcroft and Powell...," the man states.

He goes on to warn of an upcoming horror: "The streets will run with blood," and "America will mourn in silence" because they will be unable to count the number of the dead.

"People of America, that was the verdict now for the sentencing: as participants and partners in the crimes of the regime, you too shall pay the price for the blood that has been spilled."
I have my own movie answer to Al Q. Naked Gun.

I think the Al Q. guys are trying to see if Americans scare easy. We should all be like US Grant and not scare worth a damn.

Fuck 'em.

Bush in a landslide.

Leslie Nielsen for President

I was just watching The Naked Gun (my first mate made me).

I think we can learn everything we need to about this election from watching the movie.

Consider how Mr. Nielson deals with Terror International.

Nuf said.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Oil Prices Continue to Fall

I was predicting a fall in the price of oil. I predicted that oil had peaked yesterday. I was commenting somewhere on it (if any one sees it drop me a note).

I speculated a few days ago that a drop in demand from China would cause a drop in commodity prices.

AP has the oil story.

Good news for Bush.

Blood cancer

Rumor has it that Arafat may have blood cancer.

Isn't that an euphemism for AIDS?


It turns out that there is a connection.

More speculation from the Jerusalem Post. Note that in this whole article they spend a page and a half to say nothing.

I think that tends to confirm my AIDS diagnosis.

The big hint I have seen is that no one dares to say what it is as long as he is alive. Wink, wink. Nod.

More speculation at Haaretz.

"His blood cells which should normally destroy microbes are currently destroying blood platelets," the doctor said on condition of anonymity.

The disorder could have been triggered "by an inflammation caused by a virus, a cancer or blood poisoning," he said, adding the supplementary tests could not be conducted in Arafat's Muqata headquarters.
Sounds a lot like AIDS to me.

Did I mention that France is one of the leaders in AIDS research?

The hospital Arafat is going to in France, Hopital d'Instruction des Armees de Percy, is discussed in this Haaretz piece.

Hmmm. Pasteur Institue has this to say about the Percy Hospital.

Diagnosing pneumopathies associated with HIV/AIDS and evaluating the risk of the yellow fever vaccine in HIV+ patients.

Again, one could cite an international programme from the ANRS that includes four of the IPIN's institutions (Senegal, Central African Republic, Cambodia, Vietnam-Ho Chi Minh City) with the aim of improving the algorithms for diagnosing pneumopathies associated with HIV infection. This programme which began in 2001, is coordinated in the North by the Percy Hospital in Clamart, France,

Arafat is going to France

Maarariv has a very cute photograph of a smiling Arafat in a wheel chair. All his aids look real happy as well. He is going to France.

Evidently he and his wife of many years have reconciled and they are going to live together again.

Such a happy ending.

I'm happy too.

I can't wait for the fighting to start.

Good news for Bush.

There ought to be a full scale civil war going on in "Palestine" by next Tuesday, now that the Palestinians #1 pal is gone.

Break out the candy.

Kerry is not Bush

Kerry's vision for the future?

I'm not Bush.

In a devastating attack on the Bush Presidency, John Kerry says the Qaqaa was not where it was supposed to be.

Uh, John. It may actually be that the Russians actually got the Qaqaa. I'm surprised you weren't informed. You should read my blog. I'd keep you updated.

As to Kerry's plan for America? He plans to be Not Bush for the forseeable future. But as that great American Yogi once said. Prediction is very difficult. Especially about the future.

Break ins, Shootings? Ya think?

ABC News? is finally getting around to covering the thugishness of the Democrats. As usual they are spinning the story. Both sides do it don't ya know.

Except for one thing. Most of break-ins and shootings and rock throwing were directed against the Republicans.

The Democrat side has very little to report in the way of theft. Hardly anything in the way of major vandalism.

Note also that none of the union thugs intimidating Republican offices is reported. What a surprise.

QaQaa pile gets smaller

It turns out that the 380 tons of missing explosives may only be 3 tons. Instead of .1% of all munitions colleced by the coalition it may only be .001%.

ABC has the scoop.

I don't see how the old media will survive this election. Even if Kerry wins he will be totally unable to govern. As the truth comes out a lot of people are going to feel duped. Fortunatey this is coming out enough before the vote to enable voters to see what is being done.

Bush may be getting the "won't get fooled again" vote.

It turns out the Russians may not be coming. They may already have been gone. Long gone.

His finger prints were all over it

It may be all over for fingerprint evidence. At least for a while.

...the legal system has treated fingerprint comparisons as not simply invaluable, which they unquestionably are, but as essentially infallible - when they are anything but.

Just ask Brandon Mayfield, the Oregon lawyer who was arrested in May, jailed for two weeks and branded a terrorist. FBI experts mistakenly linked his fingerprint to the Madrid train bombing that killed 191 people in March - even though Mayfield has never been to Madrid. The fingerprints were later found by Spanish experts to match a foreign terrorist.

FBI officials have apologized for the error, but they have not yet explained it - which is no surprise to Cole, who has made UCI ground zero for challenging conventional wisdom about fingerprints.

"They can't explain it, because there is a fallacy at work here: the belief that, because all fingerprints are unique, therefore fingerprint evidence is inherently reliable," he says. "It makes sense at first blush, but think about it: No two faces are alike, yet eyewitness identification is difficult and problem-plagued.
The deal is we have no scientific study on how reliable fingerprint examiners are. This is a very big hole. Very big. The article in the Monterey Herald discusses an FBI gag order on the subject. Is this any way to run a legal system which is supposed to work towards justice? So far Ashcroft has nothing to say on the subject. Don't his Christian values require truth over conviction? Maybe not.

BTW there is a similar problem with DNA evidence.


It appears that my 70 million loyal readers are not searching for sex on the net the way they once did.

It turns out sex searches declined fron 20% in 1997 to only 5% today.

I expect you all to do your part today and seach the www for sex. Or at least pictures of it. The real thing being harder to get over a wire or through the air.

So go out and do your part. Search the www for sex.

Ashcroft will not approve. Which I think is the point.

I'm a Jack Ryan Republican and this message was not authorized by Jack.

I wonder what Obama's position on sex is? Given his UC background I'm sure it is something exotic. Hey isn't Ashcroft UC? I guess it takes all kinds.

I started my search and found something to warm ole Ashcroft's heart. An online compilation of sex in the Bible.

HARLOTRY: "A-Whoring after Other Gods"
A harlot (zonah) in ancient Israel was a person to be avoided, according to scripture, for both economic and moral reasons, though prostitution was not illegal (provided the woman was single, that is, not committing adultery, and not a priest's daughter, "profaning her father" [Lev. 21:9]). Thus the Hebrew Bible warns that consorting with prostitutes (zanah being the verb form for sexual intercourse outside of marriage) can leave one broke ("He that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance" [Prov. 29:3]), and the Apocrypha states that right abhors wrong "just as a respectable and virtuous woman abhors a harlot" (2 Esdras 16:49-50). In Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son, a young man's whoring leads to his ruin (Luke 15:11-32), and the Apostle Paul says that a man who is "joined to an harlot" becomes "one body" with her, thus profaning that which belongs to the Lord (1 Cor. 6:13-16). "Whoremongers" are among those who "shall have their part," says the book of Revelation, in the lake of fire and brimstone (21:8; see also Eph. 5:5 and Heb. 13:4; for more on hell and sex, see FORNICATION: "GOING AFTER STRANGE FLESH").

Harlotry or whoredom (zenut) is often used in the Old Testament as a metaphor for the recurring idolatry of the Hebrew people. Thus they are described as "playing the harlot" (Ezek. 16:41) and "a-whoring after other gods" such as Baal of Canaan (Ex. 34:15-16; Judg. 2:17, 8:33; see BAALIM AND ASHTAROTH). The prophet Jeremiah accuses "backsliding Israel" of playing the harlot "upon every high mountain and under every green tree," followed by "her treacherous sister Judah" (3:6-8). The prophet Hosea, decrying "the spirit of whoredoms" that leads Israel to seek counsel from idols (4:12), even marries a whore, to personify how Israel "hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord" (1:2; see HOSEA: "UPON EVERY CORNFLOOR"). (For the long-held view, now seriously questioned, that such biblical passages are not all metaphorical but include references to fertility rites or cultic sex, see PROSTITUTION: IS NOTHING SACRED?.)
There are links in the article (all caps in the above).
Here is my favorite part. The size queens of the Bible:
Like her sister Oholah she had also "played the harlot in the land of Egypt," where her lovers had organs that were mulelike in size, with issue "like the issue of horses." Now she entertained drunken groups from the desert, all manner of "men of the common sort" who "went in unto" Oholah and Oholibah.
Lots of research to do. So little time. Well any way I hope Ashcroft doesn't prosecute. Course if he did it would be great fun. BTW John I was in your Class (I think) I don't remember you. I lived in "East - New Dorms".

The French Really Like Bush

Well you knew I was kidding. They hate him. But they do like Kerry. I like the French. The way Patton liked the French. (Patton spoke good French). He said "I'd rather have a division of Germans in front of me than a division of French behind me." Or some such.

“Paris will do everything to make life as hard for Bush as possible,” says analyst Olivier Marquand. “

If John Kerry is elected, however, Paris may want to signal its joy by adopting a more positive attitude toward Iraq. Such a signal could be a constructive approach to the Sharm El-Sheikh conference, and the ending of French objections to a NATO role in building the new Iraqi army.”

The French want to be very helpful. They think Saddam's old friends, the Baathists - which is Iraqi for National Socialist, should have a say in te new government. Evidently Vichy is still very much honored in France.

The Arab News has the whole sordid story.

The French still have not figured out who her real friends are. Quite gaulling to Americans. Well we are a big country. We can accomodate. I do not think the French will be happy. Not happy at all.

Arafat Dead?

Well current reports (like the reports on Andropov's last days) are ambiguous.

The Haaretz paper and Jerusalem Post have articles.

Also go to the Haaretz and Jerusalem Post main sites for further updates and more commentary.

I also expect a lot of commentary on Al Bawaba forums.

QaQaa Gate

Every one likes a ...gate story.

So I'm going to call it QaQaaGate.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Qaqaa Hits the Fan

It turns out that not only was the UN in on this, it turns out the whole Dem smear machine was in on it too.

NZ Bear has more on this. Lots more. A load. Many tons.

Go read.

Don't Rock the Vote - Steal It

Some strange stuff in Ohio. Abby Hoffman is alive and well. He is not into books this year. He is into votes. Election Hell reports that in Ohio there are some counties with more registered voters than there are people eligible to vote. Hmmmmmm.

Newsmax has the story. And people thought 2000 was bad. This year will be much worse. And we don't even know how close the election will be.

Taft told CNN’s Bill Hemmer that in four Ohio counties, more people have registered to vote than live in those counties and are of voting age.

"We have four counties where you have more voters registered than you have 18 and over population," Taft said.

Taft noted the role of Democrat 527 groups that have inflated Ohio’s voter registeration rolls.

"We've had a lot of fraudulent voter registrations already, mostly by those 527 groups. There will be unprecedented scrutiny of this election on both sides,” he said. Taft noted that many of these new registrations appear to be fraudulent.

"A lot of these voters don't have addresses," he said of the new registrations. "When they send the postcard out to them, after they register, that comes back undeliverable. You're talking about thousands of cases like that all across the State of Ohio."

Now things may not be as bad as they seem. Canvassers may have cheated Soros et. al. out of millions with phoney registrations. That would be good. Very good. On top of that they may have caused the Rs to look at the whole process much closer. More goodness.

This is going to be one hell of an election.

Or one election hell.

Spoons tipped me to this. Who linked me to Spoons? Lost in the fog.

BTW Spoons is in Illinois. He is a Bush/Obama guy too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

China Before the Fall

I get this economic newsletter. It is politically stupid Libertarian. They do understand economics very well.

Since it is unavailable on line I'm reprinting the whole thing. It is very good.


Issue 390 October 26, 2004


Currency traders have to live with this question
continually. He who is on the wrong side of that trade will get
hammered, the way that those who were short the dollar and long
the peso got hammered when the Mexican government floated the
peso in the summer of 1976. I can remember one hard-money
investment advisor who had touted investing in pesos in early
1976, because you could make a safe, guaranteed 200% per annum on
your money. I also remember his "Sell!" notice, sent by first
class mail, mailed a day after his clients lost up to $35,000 per
futures contract. Too late, of course, as he knew when he sent

The Chinese central bank's floating of the yuan -- or more
likely, controlled ("dirty") floating -- will have repercussions
on us when we shop at Wal-Mart or other retail outlets that sell
Chinese-made products. These products will get more expensive,
assuming the yuan moves up, which all commentators assume,
including me.

The question is: How soon?


Fixed currency exchange rates are price controls. But,
unlike most price controls, fixed rates are controls on products
produced by government-licensed monopolies: central banks and
commercial banks.

Price controls produce gluts of those products whose prices
are set above the free market price, i.e., price floors. Price
controls produce shortages of products whose prices are set below
the free market price, i.e., price ceilings.

A price control on currencies is simultaneously a price
floor (the overpriced currency) and a price ceiling (the
underpriced currency).

The Chinese central bank, operating at the discretion of the
Chinese government, has established a price ceiling for the yuan
and a price floor for the United States dollar: 8.3 to one. This
has produced heavy demand for the yuan in terms of the dollar.

To avoid a shortage of yuan -- "Sorry, no yuan for sale at
the official price" -- the Bank of China keeps expanding the
monetary base. It creates yuan, and then uses some of the newly
created yuan to purchase dollars in the open market, with which
it then purchases U.S. Treasury debt.

The alternatives to this policy are these: (1) float the
yuan -- i.e., abolish the price controls -- which will raise its
price in terms of dollars; or (2) allocate access to yuan on a
basis other than open market purchase. In other words, either
"high bid wins" or "stand in line." Currencies are like other
scarce commodities. They are allocated either by price or by
favoritism, i.e., "Get to the front of the line by doing things
my way."

There was a time, prior to August 15, 1971, the day Nixon
(1) unilaterally told the Treasury to stop selling gold, (2)
floated the dollar, and (3) imposed price ceilings on everything
except raw agricultural products, when conservatives argued for
fixed exchange rates "to stabilize the currency markets and
reduce risk." In other words, they argued for price controls on
currencies, even though they also argued for free market pricing
on all other items offered for sale. Today, there are few
economists outside of China's central bank who call for fixed
exchange rates. They have learned their lesson. The free market
works. It lets buyers and sellers set prices, thereby avoiding
gluts and shortages.

Fixed exchange rates never did stabilize the currency
markets. They stabilized the official price of currencies in
relation to each other, but always created gluts and shortages in
the currency markets. Then, from time to time, a central bank
would devalue its currency in an overnight change of policy,
which inflicted huge losses on currency traders on one side of
the transaction and huge profits for those on the other side. It
was official price stability for a while, and then instability on
a massive scale without much warning, other than official
assurances that the change was not being contemplated.

I remember Treasury Secretary John Connally's press
conference on Monday, August 16. He was asked by some reporter
why he had assured everyone that the government was not
contemplating such a policy. He gave an honest answer. If he
had told the truth, he said, the run on the dollar by foreign
central banks to buy gold from the Treasury at $35/oz would have
been even greater.

The Dow rose almost 33 points that day -- a huge increase in
those days.

The Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of
Manufacturers issued positive press releases. No more inflation!

Within a year, shortages were everywhere: the inevitable
effect of price and wage controls. There had been a gasoline war
going on that weekend in California. I can remember prices at 21
cents a gallon. Normally, prices were around 30 cents. Gas
stations ran out of gas and then went out of business. But it
was great for 7-11 franchises. That was the era in which gas
stations set up convenience stores.

Nixon's price/wage control program was abandoned in late
April, 1974, after it had disrupted American markets. The system
had never been enforced vigorously or else the disruptions would
have been worse. Nixon resigned in August.

Treasury gold sales were never restored. In January, 1980,
gold was selling for over $800/oz -- briefly.

The dollar was permanently floated in December, 1973,
although the float has been "dirty" for much of the time: some
central bank intervention by one or another central bank. Today,
only China enforces a fixed rate.


From time to time, I read about "exported deflation" into
the United States and "exported inflation" from the United
States. A recent example of this line of reasoning appeared in
"The Asia Times." The author wrote:

Dollar hegemony emerged after 1971 from the peculiar
phenomenon of a fiat dollar not backed by gold or any
other species of value, continuing to assume the status
of the world's main reserve currency because of the
US's geopolitical supremacy.

This is nonsense. Dollar hegemony emerged after 1945
because the United States was the world's strongest economy. The
Bretton Woods international monetary agreement of 1944 assured
dollar hegemony. When Nixon broke the terms of Bretton Woods by
closing the gold window, he did not undermine dollar hegemony.
There was no other central bank/nation willing to re-establish
gold convertibility. So, the dollar has won by default.
Such currency hegemony has become a key
dysfunctionality in the international finance
architecture driving the unregulated global financial
markets in the past two decades.

This is true enough, but without the cooperation of other
national governments and central banks, this hegemony could not
be maintained. The hegemon is not in a position to force other
central banks from re-establishing the gold standard.

This may be overstated. Because most countries store their
gold in the vault of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, there
may be some pressure: a threat by Washington to confiscate a
nation's gold. If this threat has been made, it has been made
very quietly. If the U.S. ever did this, foreign nations could
torpedo the dollar by selling T-bills in one retaliatory move.
Tit for tat is a well-respected policy internationally.


Our author continues:
China's overheated economy is the result of hot money
inflow caused by dollar hegemony.

This is nonsense. The Federal Reserve System has no
authority in China. The FED has been increasing the U.S.
adjusted monetary base at a mid-single-digit rate. The Bank of
China has been increasing its money supply at rates much higher.
The hot-money inflow of dollars into China has to do exclusively
with China's policy of making available cheap money at a fixed
rate. The old economic rule holds up: "At a low price, more is
demanded." The Chinese central bank is subsidizing the creation
of demand for its own currency by fixing the rate below the
market. Then, in order to meet world demand of yuan in dollars,
it creates fiat money. To blame the FED is ridiculous. Blame
the Bank of China.

By the way, "dollars" do not "flow into" China. They move
from some accounts in large multinational banks into other
accounts. Jones buys yuan with dollars and transfers this money
to Wong, whose account rises. Jones bought yuan from Chen, who
may buy T-bills. Or, more likely these days, Jones bought yuan
from the Bank of China, which now buys T-bills.

While paper dollars do circulate in third-world nations
whose nationals have moved to the U.S. and mail home dollars, the
number of paper dollars in China is minimal, as far as anyone
knows. If they do circulate, they came from Chinese residents in
the U.S. who sent money home to their families. Federal Reserve
Notes do not circulate in China's capital markets.
China's developing economy should be able to absorb
huge amounts of capital inflow, but dollar hegemony
limits foreign investment to only the Chinese export
sector, where dollar revenue can be earned to repay
capital denominated in dollars. Since China's export
sector cannot grow faster than the import demands of
other nations, excessive dollar capital inflow
overheats the export and exported-related sectors,
while other sectors of the Chinese economy suffer acute
capital shortage.

This is also nonsense. Dollar hegemony has nothing to do
with which sector of the Chinese economy is favored by investors.
Investors with dollars in their bank accounts are buying yuan in
order to get in on China's economic boom, which is being
sustained by the Chinese central bank's policy of monetary
inflation. China's economy is a bubble economy. Investors are
willing to buy in to any sector where they can find Chinese
"cousins" to expedite deals.
Overheated economies produce growth-inhibiting
inflation through excessive import of money and sudden
rises in prices for imported commodities and energy.

He has it exactly backward. Central bank inflation of a
nation is what creates an overheated domestic economy. Central
bank inflation can also create a boom in a foreign nation's
economy. How? By lowering foreign interest rates. How? By
purchasing that nation's treasury debt. This is taking place in
the United States today. It is the inflow of capital from the
Bank of China that is subsidizing the U.S. boom, not the other
way around. China is running a $100 billion trade surplus with
the United States. It is buying U.S. assets, mainly T-bills,
with this excess $100 billion.

It is not the excessive import of foreign capital that
causes economic overheating in China. It is the boom created by
monetary inflation, coupled with China's fixed exchange rate
policy, that sucks in foreign investment capital. Investors love
to invest in bubbles.
The imported inflation is then re-exported, causing
inflation in other parts of the global economy.

This man does not understand economic cause and effect.
Imported inflation is not re-exported. What is exported are
cheap products made in China. While it is wrong to speak of
"exported deflation," because deflation is accurately defined as
"a decrease in the money supply," it is legitimate to speak of
price competition. China is surely price competitive. Capital
flowing into China makes Chinese producers even more productive.
Prices fall, or else fail to rise as rapidly as they otherwise
would have, in nations that import Chinese-made products.
Inflation causes interest rates to rise, which in turn
causes unemployment and recession in all economies that
are plagued by it.

But China is price competitive. It is pressuring consumer
goods prices in foreign nations to fall. This causes interest
rates to fall: a lower rate for the price inflation premium that
is built into in long-term loans by lenders who demand
compensation for the threat of depreciating money.

Add to this factor the demand for U.S. T-bills by the
Chinese central bank. It causes American short-term rates to
fall. Rising demand for T-bills from China lowers the rate of
interest because the Treasury can sell T-bills at a lower price.
It is China's central bank, not the FED, that is the main source
on the supply side for today's low interest rates in the United
Dollar hegemony enables the US to be the only exception
from macroeconomic penalties of unsynchronized exchange
rates and interest rates. The US, because of dollar
hegemony, is the only country that can claim that a
strong currency that leads to trade deficits is in its
national interest in a global economy dominated by
international trade. This is because a strong dollar
backed by high interest rates helps produce a US
capital account surplus to finance its trade deficit.

High interest rates? In the United States? Have you
checked your rate of return from your passbook savings account or
money market fund? What has this guy been smoking?

Having misunderstood economics, and having perceived low
interest rates in the U.S. as high interest rates -- i.e.,
imposing bad economic theory on existing economic facts -- the
author then does something remarkable. He draws a correct
The issue is not whether Asian central banks will
continue to have confidence in the dollar, but why
Asian central banks should see their mandate as
supporting the continuous expansion of the dollar
economy at the expense of their own non-dollar
economies. Why should Asian economies send real wealth
in the form of goods to the US for foreign paper
instead of selling their goods in their own economy?
Without dollar hegemony, Asian economies can finance
their own economic development with sovereign credit in
their own currencies and not be addicted to export for
fiat dollars. As for Americans, is it a good deal to
exchange your job for lower prices at Wal-Mart?

The Asia Times has more.

There is one answer to all of these questions: mercantilism.


Asian politicians are the victims of a false economic theory
that was refuted by Adam Smith in 1776. They have been
hypnotized by the success of the post-war Asian tigers in
building their economies through exports to the West, especially
the United States. That legendary success was based mainly on
the increased productivity of Asian industry through the creation
of domestic capitalist markets.

Yet, even here, there was a mercantilist element. Asian
exporters were governed by domestic government bureaucracies.
Only certain products were allowed to be exported. The most well
known of these bureaucracies is Japan's MITI: the Ministry of
International Trade & Industry.

Like mercantilists in the seventeenth century, today's
mercantilists draw a false conclusion. Instead of working to
reduce the control of government over the domestic economy,
especially central bank control, Asian politicians conclude that
government control is the basis of the success of the export
sector. Also like seventeenth-century mercantilism, the
political benefit from catering to a minority sector of the
economy -- exports -- is high. Exporters know where their bread
is buttered: in Parliament. They and the politicians can justify
Parliament's splendid pay-off -- pressuring the central bank to
lower the international value of the currency by inflating it --
by arguing that "exports are good for the economy."

The hegemony of the dollar is indeed one factor in the Asian
governments' willingness to subsidize exports to the U.S. OPEC
governments that control the export of oil -- socialist ownership
-- demand payments in dollars. This is an American payoff to
Middle Eastern sheiks for promised support against domestic
revolution: American-made weapons and training. This is the
hegemon in action.

Nevertheless, the main reason for Asian governments' policy
of subsidizing American consumers through currency depreciation
is domestic mercantilism. There is a sweetheart deal between
Asian exporters, politicians, bureaucrats, and central bankers.
We Americans are the beneficiaries at the expense of Asian

Grab it while you can. The gravy train won't last forever.


There is no question that the Chinese economy is overheated.
This is the exclusive fault of the Bank of China.

The central bank's policy of monetary inflation has created
the boom phase of what Austrian School economists describe as the
boom-bust cycle. Austrian economists blame central bank
inflation for booms and busts. In this sense, Austrian
economists are unique. Their view is not popular.

China has a tiger by the tail, to quote the title of a 1972
collection of articles written by Austrian economist F. A. Hayek.
China's central bank has created the boom phase of the economy.
If it does not cease inflating, there will be a crack-up boom, as
Ludwig von Mises called it: the destruction of China's currency
in mass inflation. On the other hand, if the bank slows the rate
of monetary inflation, there will be a recession or worse. The
bubble will pop.

Bad macro!

Economic causes and effects are not racial. They are not
national. They operate in China, just as they operate everywhere
else. The Bank of China has created a boom that is as artificial
as the yuan's fixed exchange rate with the dollar. This boom
cannot be sustained without negative consequences. It also
cannot be ended without negative consequences.

Politics dominates China. The Communist Party of China is
no longer Marxist in economic theory, but it surely is Leninist
in political power. These aging leaders are not going to risk
losing their power by calling a halt to the boom -- not unless
domestic inflation escalates. The pain of such economic
pressures on politicians will determine the timing of any change
in Chinese monetary policy.

Consider the political pressure of unemployed workers in
huge cities where jobs have disappeared. This pressure is very
different from, and more excruciating than, recessionary
pressures on self-sufficient family farms in distant rural
regions. We are watching 200 million people streaming into
Chinese cities in one decade. There has never been a population
move like this one. These uprooted newcomers are now
concentrated in tight geographical areas. Take away their jobs
and their dreams overnight, and you have a truly revolutionary
situation on your hands. What's a little price inflation
compared to this? What's a whole lot of price inflation compared
to this?

Terry Easton thinks that the Chinese government will keep
fixed exchange rates until after the 2008 Olympics, which will be
held in Beijing. That's as good a political guess as any. Of
course, serious economic pressures can surface before then.

Saving face is higher on most Asians' value scales than
saving money. Capitalism is a new import there. The fear of
shame is deep-rooted. Chinese society is a shame society. This
will add political pressure to maintain the fixed rate. China
wants lots of visitors, and keeping the yuan low will encourage
these visitors to come. Urban discontent in the streets is not
favorable to foreign tourism.

But there are other considerations. China is now running a
small trade deficit with most of the world, even including the
$100 billion trade surplus with the United States. Capital is
flowing into China, and not just dollar-denominated capital. If
domestic prices start rising rapidly, exports will be reduced.
There will be pressure on the Bank of China to slow the rate of
monetary inflation. If the central bankers have not read
Austrian School economics -- this seems likely -- they may not
understand the size of the tiger they have by the tail or how
fast he can turn. The bankers may risk a slowdown, not expecting
a depression.


The political prestige of the Olympic games is high.
China's rulers want to share in the glory of the games, which
will mark China's entry into the world's ruling nations. But
four years of price inflation can add up. So can shortages of
price-controlled items, such as water and electricity, which are
already being rationed politically.

Political power is not democratic in China. The power elite
in China is in a strong position to pursue bad monetary policy.
I do not think most Westerners understand China's political
rulers and the pressures they feel.

I think Chinese politicians understand power better than
American politicians do. Power has been a life-and-death matter
in Communist nations. These men grew up during Mao's cultural
revolution. They survived.

An American retreat from Iraq will motivate China's rulers
to abandon the dollar if they think there will be a switch to the
euro or other currencies by OPEC. It is not losing face to
abandon a sinking ship.

Let us not be naive. China's politicians set central bank
policy. The political dog wags the central bank tail in China,
unlike in the United States.

I expect an end to fixed rates in China within a year after
the United States pulls out of Iraq. If U.S. troops are still
there in 2008, then I would expect floating rates before 2009.
But I don't think we will have to wait that long.


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Joe Katzman at Winds of Change looks at some of China's future possibilities. Nice mention of this piece.

The UN wants a Kerry Win - badly

Today Yahoo has a story on 380 tons of missing Iraqi explosives. Evidently they have been sitting on this story for 18 months.

No mention of the 100,000 tons of explosives and ordinance already destroyed. Or the 200,000+ tons awaiting destruction. [Correction on these numbers from the CNN/NBC link below. Ereli said coalition forces have cleared 10,033 weapons caches and destroyed 243,000 tons of munitions. Another 162,898 tons of munitions are at secure locations and awaiting destruction, he said.]

Ah. But tthe explosives may have been gone before American troops arrived:

from Drudge:

An NBCNEWS crew embedded with troops moved in to secure the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003, one day after the liberation of Iraq.

According to NBCNEWS, the HMX and RDX explosives were already missing when the American troops arrived.

"The U.S. Army was at the site one day after the liberation and the weapons were already gone," a top Republican blasted from Washington late Monday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors last saw the explosives in January 2003 when they took an inventory and placed fresh seals on the bunkers.

Dem vp hopeful John Edwards blasted Bush for not securing the explosives: "It is reckless and irresponsible to fail to protect and safeguard one of the largest weapons sites in the country. And by either ignoring these mistakes or being clueless about them, George Bush has failed. He has failed as our commander in chief; he has failed as president."

A senior Bush official e-mailed DRUDGE late Monday: "Let me get this straight, are Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards now saying we did not go into Iraq soon enough? We should have invaded and liberated Iraq sooner?"

Top Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart fired back Monday night: "In a shameless attempt to cover up its failure to secure 380 tons of highly explosive material in Iraq, the White House is desperately flailing in an effort to escape blame. Instead of distorting John Kerry’s words, the Bush campaign is now falsely and deliberately twisting the reports of journalists. It is the latest pathetic excuse from an administration that never admits a mistake, no matter how disastrous."

Why is the U.N. nuclear agency suddenly warning now that insurgents in Iraq may have obtained nearly 400 tons of missing explosives -- in early 2003?

NBCNEWS Jim Miklaszewski quoted one official: "Recent disagreements between the administration and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency makes this announcement appear highly political."
CNN is now reporting the NBC story.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004 Posted: 3:01 AM EDT (0701 GMT)
(CNN) -- The mystery surrounding the disappearance of 380 tons of powerful explosives from a storage depot in Iraq has taken a new twist, after a network embedded with the U.S. military during the invasion of Iraq reported that the material had already vanished by the time American troops arrived.
The Main Stream Media is now debunking pro-Kerry stories almost in real time. I'd say the Kerry camp is desperate. Running with so many unverified stories.

Bush must be way up for Kerry to be so intemperate.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Are Bush Supporters in Hiding?

Slate has this neat article about passing. Richard Rushfield asks: What is it like to go around ordinary places in republican territory dressed as a democrat. And vice versa.

The short version: the Republican in Democrat Territory gets hassled and called an asshole. When the shoe is on the other foot the Republicans behave like gentlemen and gentlewomen.

Hmmmmm. Could it be Bush in a landslide - because his supporters are nicer?

8 more days.

BTW I got the original link from Pejman . You should go read him and then point out all the places I cribbed topics from him. Without attribution. Muy bad. Give him a read.

Jewish Press Endorses Bush

Now this is a surprise. The Jewish Press endorses Bush.

Economic Output Rises When Taxes Are Lower

Cafe Hayek discusses why Americans do more marketable work than the Germans. Prescott the recent Nobel Winner is cited.

The short version: lower marginal tax rates give higher output because people work more when they can collect more.

And you get Nobel Prizes for this stuff?

Well hey. The grass is green. Ubi est?

[partially revised due to incipient stupidity - the discussion was output not taxes - BTW if you missed the old title and verbiage - too bad - it was flat out wrong. Brain not engaged. A misreading of the article. So if you want to preserve my really bad gaffes - save the screen early and save it often.]

John Kerry: His Heart Is In the Right Place

Even if his mind isn't

Cheating On the Global Test
Kerry - It Happened, Ambasssadors - It Didn't

Was Kerry cheating on the global test? Kerry says he took the test. Ambassadors say he didn't.

U.N. ambassadors from several nations are disputing assertions by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry that he met for hours with all members of the U.N. Security Council just a week before voting in October 2002 to authorize the use of force in Iraq. An investigation by The Washington Times reveals that while the candidate did talk for an unspecified period to at least a few members of the panel, no such meeting, as described by Mr. Kerry on a number of occasions over the past year, ever occurred.
I know what actually happened. And it had something to do with Cambodia. And the magic hat. And the wonder dog. Probably. Well any way he wasnt there when the test was given. But he would have given all the correct answers if he had been there. So he deserves an A+. For sure. His heart is in the right place. Even if his mind isn't.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Rosie attracts 38 - Jealous of Cher

Drudge has it here. It shows a Rosie O'Donnell with 1/5th the popularity of Cher and Kerry with practically no popularity at all. The Dems need to begin renting out bathrooms instead of halls. The crowds will look bigger. Did I mention Bush is moving his venues from halls to stadiums? I think it is crush Kerry time.




Rosie O'Donnell addressed a nearly vacant CLUB OVATION Saturday night in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida during a get-out-the-vote rally for Dem presidential hopeful John Kerry.

"You know, there's only like, you know, maybe 38 of us here and maybe we can just like tap a keg and put on some disco, and totally party," O'Donnell deadpanned.

The debacle came one night after only a couple hundred came out to see Cher rally for Kerry at Miami Beach's CROBAR disco.

"There were supposed to be thousands of people here tonight. I'm not sure why that didn't happen, obviously the people putting on this thing were just not very good at it," an embarrassed Cher explained to the crowd.

A top Florida Democratic party official dismissed the weak back-to-back club turnouts as any indication of voter enthusiasm for the Kerry candidacy.


At CLUB OVATION Rosie endorsed Kerry's assertion in debate that America needs to pass a "global test" before acting in the world.

"The best part to me in the entire debate was when John Kerry said we have to pass a global test before we enter into a war. And you see George Bush got all nervous because frankly the word 'test' terrifies him," O'Donnell said to scattered chuckles.

"He never passed one at Harvard or Yale, but whatever. But there is a global test. It's the global test of decency, of humanity, of integrity. That's what our country stands for as we lead the free world. Let's take back our country. Let's elect John Kerry."

Rosie said the Bush Administration's actions go "against the foundation of what our country was built on," giving example of Administration telling the "United Nations we would ignore their doctrine and their resolutions."


Rosie continued: "Every single thing this White House has done goes against the foundation of what our country was built on. For us to tell the United Nations we would ignore their doctrine and their resolutions, for us to say that we will not adhere to the Geneva Convention during this war. We are America, we are better than that. We were built on the foundation of freedom and truth and equality for all people. And the rich, corporate, horrible, horrible people who have been destructing and ruining everything this country was made on has been really unbelievably damaging to all of us spiritually, emotionally, monetarily."

Rosie advised the audience to ignore any and all media in last days of the election race and to keep telling themselves "Kerry by a landslide!"

"Just remember this, don't believe the media in these last nine days. Tell yourself every day when you wake up and every morning when you have a worry or a doubt or whether you believe FOXNEWS: Kerry by a landslide. Because America knows the difference between genuine and junk."

The Israelis Have A Plan For Iran

This piece ran in the Los Angeles Times a few days ago. It speaks for itself:

JERUSALEM — Increasingly concerned about Iran's nuclear program, Israel is weighing its options and has not ruled out a military strike to prevent the Islamic Republic from gaining the capability to build atomic weapons, according to policymakers, military officials, analysts and diplomats.
Sounds just about unanimous to me.


Mark Steyn has a very good piece over at one of America's more conservative papers the Chicago Sun Times (for those of you from the area - quite a reversal, eh?).

If the present Democratic-media complex had been around earlier, America would never have mustered the will to win World War II or, come to that, the Revolutionary War. There would be no America. You'd be part of a Greater Canada, with Queen Elizabeth on your coins and government health care.
What Steyn leaves out is the history of the Democratic Party when it comes to slavery and the Civil War. Or the War of Southern Stupidity if you prefer.

Copperheads were Democrats who wanted to make a deal with the South and end the endless cost and dying.

Fortunately we had a few good Generals in the field (Grant, Sherman, hell even Meade) and one traitorous Democrat General - McClellan. Well he wasn't a traitor in a legal sense. But, certainly in a moral sense.

There is a reason that the South was Democrat for over one hundred years after the War. There is a reason that most of the KKK resides in the Democrat Party. There is a reason Robert Byrd is in the Senate and David Duke is out on his ear.

Well this time the Democrats couldn't find an acceptable general. So we will have to make do with a Navy Lt. Who served in the war.

Let us look at the Copperheads (Peace Democrats) they hated black equality. Funny, huh?

The Copperheads believed that:
...the Republicans had provoked the South into secession; that the Republicans were waging the war in order to establish their own domination, suppress civil and states rights, and impose "racial equality"; and that military means had failed and would never restore the Union.
Things haven't changed much have they? One point: they now adopt racial equality while still opposing religious equality. They hate Conservative Christians and all pro-Israeli Jews.
As was true of the Democratic party as a whole, the influence of Peace Democrats varied with the fortunes of war. When things were going badly for the Union on the battlefield, larger numbers of people were willing to entertain the notion of making peace with the Confederacy. When things were going well, Peace Democrats could more easily be dismissed as defeatists. But no matter how the war progressed, Peace Democrats constantly had to defend themselves against charges of disloyalty. Revelations that a few had ties with secret organizations such as the Knights of the Golden Circle helped smear the rest.

The most prominent Copperhead leader was Clement L. Valladigham of Ohio, who headed the secret antiwar organization known as the Sons of Liberty. At the Democratic convention of 1864, where the influence of Peace Democrats reached its high point, Vallandigham persuaded the party to adopt a platform branding the war a failure, and some extreme Copperheads plotted armed uprisings. However, the Democratic presidential candidate, George B. McClellan, repudiated the Vallandigham platform, victories by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and Phillip H. Sheridan assured Lincoln's reelection, and the plots came to nothing.

With the conclusion of the war in 1865 the Peace Democrats were thoroughly discredited. Most Northerners believed, not without reason, that Peace Democrats had prolonged war by encouraging the South to continue fighting in the hope that the North would abandon the struggle.
[bold by ed.]
You know you can learn a lot by studying history. And what do we learn:

The Democrats are reverting to form. Except this time overt prejudice (except for Conservative Christians and all Zionist Jews) is out. We instead see the soft bigotry of low expectations on a whole range of issues.

You know: blacks can't compete so they need affirmative action. The wogs are incapable of democracy, so let us install a strong man to our liking and have done with it. People are not smart enough to deal with their own every day medical needs; what we need is total insurance and government control, risk free. We should not be allowed to defend ourselves. The list is endless.

Well any way the Copperheads need to be soundly defeated. Because by giving our enemies hope they are prolonging the war.

Vote Bush.

And back to Steyn just to prove my point with a sledge hammer:
One thousand Americans are killed in 18 months in Iraq, and it's a quagmire. One thousand Quebecers are killed by insufficient hand-washing in their filthy, decrepit health care system, and kindly progressive Americans can't wait to bring it south of the border. If one has to die for a cause, bringing liberty to the Middle East is a nobler venture and a better bet than government health care.

Over at Winds of Change there is a nice piece dealing with whose house the bigots are living in. Especially the comments.


03:21z 02 Nov 2004

Wretchard has done a nice piece on this theme. Have a look.

Al Q. Election attack?

AP has a report on a possible pre-election attack by Al Q.

WASHINGTON (AP) - FBI investigators have made new arrests and developed leads that reinforce concerns that terrorists plan to strike around the presidential election, officials said Saturday, even though the CIA has discredited a person who told its agents of such a plot involving al-Qaida.

A senior FBI official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said some of the leads were culled from interviews with thousands of individuals that agents have conducted in the Muslim community.

The official would not be more specific, but said the FBI continues to have misgivings about possible al-Qaida intentions to launch an attack with the goal of affecting the elections.

Several people have been taken into custody recently on charges not related to terrorism, but officials are investigating whether they may have been involved in terror activities, said another law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
It is hard to believe that Al Q. would make such an attack. If they do they I'd say it was because of a serious misreading of America.

Such an attack would enrage the American people and likely give Bush a fifty state victory.

Well those boys ain't too smart any way. Cunning in a low sort of way. Yes.

Smart? No.

Kerry has friends - guess which ones he favors?

Kesher Talk dissects leftys for Kerry. Not just ordinary leftys, not just moonbats, but intelligent leftys. Leftys with gravitas. Here is the punchline.

The Sullivans and Jarvises and Oxblogians of the world have stars in their eyes, and the cad romancing them isn't even particularly charismatic.
Read the whole thing.

BTW Kesher talk believes that if Kerry wins his friends will be at each others throats.

China is having growing pains

China's economy may be due for a cooling off. This means commodity prices may soon decline. The Sunday Herald of Scotland has more.

The urban landscape of places such as Beijing has altered dramatically in recent years, but, says Ivan Turok, such massive, ambitious expansion simply cannot be sustained
Further signs that the Chinese economy is cooling. Purchasing Magazine says copper futures are down because of suspected lower demand from China.
October 18, 2004

World copper prices dropped last week as a result of massive selloffs by institutional investors who are concerned that economic growth in China is slowing. Copper prices worldwide fell to two-month lows, as indicated by the fact that the price for London Metal Exchange three-months copper (red metal to be delivered in three months) fell to $1.26/lb. at the close on Thursday. This LME futures benchmark had started the week at $1.42/lb. “But, when nonferrous metal prices began to get sold off, they got pummeled, with copper leading the descent,” says Edward Meier at Man Financial’s London office.

Copper and other base metals had hit multi-year highs early this month on strong demand, especially from China, and tight supply after years of underinvestment in new production. Copper demand in China, which consumes around a fifth of the world's supply of the metal, was forecast to rise 9% to 10% next year compared to around 8.5% in 2004. However, China's bubble may burst, as the government in China has begun to limit lending to manufacturers in order to cool the economy.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

It's 1971 all over again

Roger Simon has a really good review of Stolen Honor. Which I have never seen.

The goodness of the review comes not from the film itself but its review of history.

It is a history of lies told on a mass scale. And believed because we hoped that if the lies were true the bleeding would stop. It didn't. It intensified. In a more restrained way it is still going on. Thailand which sided with the west is making economic progress. Vietnam is not. Any way. I was there and believed the lies. I was wrong.

All we are askin for John is an apology. Hell John, I was dupped too. I've apologized. The two million Cambodians are on my concience. I'm not going to make the same mistake twice. All we want to hear is that you learned your lesson.

Is that so hard?

Besides I always heard confession is good for the soul.

If you want to see the movie click the link.

Here is another little bit I wrote on the subject of Democrats keeping the film out of the public eye.

Pot will soon be legal in Illinois

This is outstanding. A Chicago Alderman, and a more honest person you couldn't find, has suggested that taxing the dope trade in Illinois would be a good deal for the city. The Chicago Sun Times has the story.

Just when you thought Mayor Daley's menu of tax increases included just about every item under the sun, a Northwest Side alderman has another novel idea that's certain to raise eyebrows: slap cigarette-style tax stamps on narcotics.

Ald. Ted Matlak (32nd) wants to make it perfectly clear that he is not in favor of legalizing marijuana or any other drugs. He simply wants the city to make money off the drug activity that does exist.
Sure thing. Right on Alderman.

So what do you think the police will be doing? Stopping dope sales or making sure the city gets its cut?

Oh yeah. Don't forget Da MayAh wants to fine pot smokers $500 to $1500 depending on?

This is a trial baloon for legalizing drugs in Illinois. When they start proposing semi-realistic taxes the end is nigh.

Poles Down on Kerry

Besides a lot of Poles in Chicago it turns out there are quite a few in Michigan.

National Review discusses that as part of a Michigan review.

Kerry made another Michigan mistake by belittling the Coalition President Bush put together to depose Saddam Hussein. Macomb County has one of the largest Polish populations in the country. The fact that Kerry was disrespectful of Poland's contributions to the war effort will hurt him dearly with Polish voters.
I also covered the reaction in Poland originally on 5 Oct. here. The short versiion? They didn't like it.

You know I think Kerry's vote totals are going down in Chicago. Bush might even get a few of those votes. Kerry has done his best to make himself unpopular with quite a few people.

I'm still voting for Obama. Why? Keyes' stand on the drug war. He believes drug use is a personal responsibility issue and the government needs to impose longer prison sentences. Say what? Besides his religiosity he is just about as coherent on the rest of the issues.

Yeah I know. Obama is a Communist. But he is a University of Chicago Communist and he is kinda cute. For a guy. Any way the first mate likes him. Probably the one good thing to come out of the dem convention.

The Democrats Have A Secret Plan

I was over visiting Neil Boortz tonight (local time) and found the Democrats Secret Plan for socializing the economy.

Here's the deal. The government grants various tax breaks to these retirement plans. As you know, or as you should know, tax breaks are usually granted to force some individual or corporation to act and behave in some manner pleasing to government. The Democrats plan to change the rules on pension and 401K accounts. Instead of just investing these funds in stocks and bonds, fund managers will be required by the government to invest these funds in certain investments dictated by government -- by Democrats. In this way the governments can fund some of their spending schemes, but without using government funds. The Democrats will simply pass laws requiring fund managers to invest in corporations building low income housing; or companies who are hiring workers off welfare roles. Other "allowed" investments will be in such things as environmental protection, waste recycling and other causes popular with the left. In short order the Democrats will have rules in place which state that these pension funds cannot be invested in companies that are "unfriendly" to unions. To a Democrat ... any company with a non-union workforce is "unfriendly" to unions. Corporations who have affirmative action programs will get the nod. Companies who hire and promote on merit will not.
Sounds like a plan to destroy the economy. And why not? It will help us compete with Europe. Or maybe it is the other way around.

I think I said socialism is dead.

I guess we will have to wait for 3 Nov to find out for sure.

Friday, October 22, 2004

I love a parade

Especially Israeli parades. NOT WORK SAFE. It is also possible your mate will object. My first mate is amused. Sometimes.

Here is a girl in a very special bikini. It is painted on. Emersome.

Emersome more.

via InstaPundit

Monkeys and Swine

VANCOUVER (CP) - The leader of a Vancouver mosque attended regularly by a local man reported killed in Chechnya has preached the virtues of jihad and called Jews "the brothers of monkeys and swine."

In a lecture posted on the mosque's website, Sheik Younus Kathrada tells an audience all real Muslims want to be martyred. "It is inconceivable that a true believer will not desire martyrdom," Kathrada says.
I hope he gets his wish without delay and without a murdering rampage on the part of him or his followers.

Drug Related Racism And Reparations

I wrote this around 13 March 2002. The heat about reparations has died down (except for Allan Keyes here in Illinois, who surprisingly enough is a Republican). The drug war racism is still ongoing.


We have been hearing a lot about reparations for slavery these days. I must admit I have great sympathy for the slaves and their children. But the hurt was done long in the past and most of the people living in this country are descendants of people who had nothing to do with slavery. The same cannot be said of the scourge of prohibition. The Drug War that Cliff Thornton, Jr. of Efficacy says is being waged mainly against the lower class Black and Hispanic communities of America is going on as we speak..

Who is responsible for the crime of prohibition? Government agents enacted it and enforced it. Many still in Congress voted to strengthen the prohibition laws. Certain newspaper chains fired the flames of drug related racism to enhance their prestige and circulation. Those who gave false testimony at the congressional hearings are well known. In fact the government still has a whole stable of false testifiers it trots out any time it needs some headlines. The people of America encouraged it and to a great extent still do. But I give them the benefit of the doubt because they have been lied to by the government at every turn. And then we have the pharmaceutical and tobacco companies who used to give large contributions to the Partnership for a Drug Free America until people started calling them on this sneaky way of holding down the competition. Medical marijuana is a threat to the drug companies and recreational marijuana is a threat to the beer companies. And you thought prohibition was about safety? Not a chance.Prohibition is done in the name of an American war on the users of competitive drugs. Drugs less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco.

Who has directly benefited from prohibition? Police and other government organizations benefited through confiscations of drug related property and cash. Jail corporations have been doing quite well. Every victim of prohibition is a profit center for them. Drug courts supply a ready pool of prisoners to keep the prisons filled. Kicking any addiction may require many tries for some. Some never succeed. This group of "failures" is always ready to fill up a cell when there is an opening. Second chances are given until a place in the prison system opens. Guard Unions benefit from incarcerations because every added prisoner is another addition to job security. Lawyers benefit from drug cases win or lose it is easy money. Individual Americans have benefited by being able to buy forfeited goods for pennies on the dollar. Governments made out by not having to raise taxes. After all highway robbery is easier than raising taxes and more popular too - among the un robbed.

We have as yet to see any great number of people in the mainstream actively working against prohibition. The attitude is "if its not happening in my neighborhood it is not happening". Despite the fact that 70 to 75 percent of Americans say that prohibition is not working and 35 per cent favor legalization.

All America has benefitted from the Drug War through the effect of drug money propping up the economy. The economy advances through the sufferings of those addicted. Drug cartel money has been the backbone of American finance for at least a decade maybe much longer.

Explained by former HUD Assistant Secratary Catherine A. Fitts in this article: Narco Dollars .

We can identify the victims of prohibition both actually and statistically. The actual victims include those arrested. We can identify the prisoners their wives and families. In addition we can identify the neighborhoods most impacted. Statistical measures with high confidence can be figured from locating the arrests of dealers and users geographically. We can also plot heroin deaths.

This gives another method of figuring the impacted neighborhoods.

No significant amount has been paid to any of the victims. What debt exactly are the persecuted drug users and their suppliers actually owed by America? No actual amount of money can pay for the suffering caused to these victims of prohibition. So I think that asking for only one year's worth of American GNP to repay over eighty years of misery is fair. About ten trillion dollars this year. A token payment and acknowledgement of the wrong.

Blacks, Whites, Hispanics and many others are victims of a known lie. The lie that prohibition ever does anything but enrich criminals, corrupt the police and politicians, and destroy neighborhoods wholesale. The lie that the prohibited drugs are more dangerous than tobacco and alcohol. The lie that prohibited drugs are harder to get.

The historical record is so clear from alcohol prohibition in America that no sane person could ever deny the lesson. Alcohol prohibition made alcohol more available to minors, enriched criminals, financed gang wars, corrupted politicians, and destroyed neighborhoods. The only people who still deny the lessons of alcohol prohibition are either profiting from drug prohibition, gain power from it or are incapable of reason. The first time we tried prohibition perhaps the results were excusable. We didn't know any better. We have no such excuse this time.

This weeks saying:

Prohibition is the biggest anti-capitalist, anti-property rights, anti-human rights, racist, government corrupting, taxpayer funded, social engineering program going in America. I don't understand why the right, the left, or the middle supports it.

Ask a politician:

Do you support drug prohibition because it finances criminals at home or because it finances terrorists abroad?

This week's politician:

Senator Dianne Feinstein Phone: ( 202 ) 224-3841 Fax: ( 202 ) 228-3954 TTY/TDD: ( 202 ) 224-2501

And she has one of those obnoxious e-mail forms at:

e-mail Senator Feinstein

M. Simon is an industrial controls designer and independent political activist.

Copyright: 2002 M. Simon - All rights reserved. Permission granted for one time use in a single periodical publication. Permission also granted for concurrent publication on the periodical's www site.

The Score Card in Iraq

Rumsfield said that these are our objectives in Iraq. Let me take them point by point and see how we have done so far.

# "to end the regime of Saddam Hussein by striking with force on a scope and scale that makes clear to Iraqis that he and his regime are finished."

We still have a few dead enders who seem to have avoided the message. Saddam is in jail. That is a definite improvement.

# "to identify, isolate and eventually eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, production capabilities, and distribution networks."

Well, as far as we can tell the WMDs are gone. Their delivery system (which he definitely had) have been collected. The production capabilities including the scientists responsible have either been collected or scattered. The scattering is not so good. Still Saddam is not going to revive the programs. That is a plus. If nothing else we have gained some time.

# "to search for, capture, drive out terrorists who have found safe harbor in Iraq."

The hits just keep on coming on this one. Iraq keeps attracting the terorists. It is not a safe haven. I'd say a pretty good effort so far.

# "to collect such intelligence as we can find related to terrorist networks in Iraq and beyond."

Yep. This is working. Slowly, but working.

# "to collect such intelligence as we can find related to the global network of illicit weapons of mass destruction activity."

Jackpot. Libya and Pakistani networks rolled up. Probably more to come. Very big plus.

# "to end sanctions and to immediately deliver humanitarian relief, food and medicine to the displaced and to the many needy Iraqi citizens."

Done deal. Very big plus.

# "to secure Iraq's oil fields and resources, which belong to the Iraqi people, and which they will need to develop their country after decades of neglect by the Iraqi regime."

Oil secured. Neglect being reversed.

# "to help the Iraqi people create the conditions for a rapid transition to a representative self-government that is not a threat to its neighbors and is committed to ensuring the territorial integrity of that country."

Rapid? I dunno. I'd say under two years is pretty rapid compared to the aftermath of WW2. And Iraq is still in one piece.

Less than two years on and progress or completion on all goals. I'm voting for Bush. For sure. I'd like to see the results two years on in Iran.

Hat tip Just One Minute

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Violent Clashes in Iran

Clashes rock the usually peaceful City of Yazd

Violent clashes opposed, yesterday, hundreds of residents and tens of bikers to the members of the Islamic regime forces in the usually very peaceful City of Yazd.

Protesters and bikers retaliated to the regime forces by smashing windows of public buildings and damaging patrol cars with incendiary devices, pieces of stones and clubs in the Kargar area.

Slogans were shouted by groups of young protesters against the regime and its leaders and especially against Khatami a native of Yazd.
The Boston Globe seems none to happy about promoting a revolution in Iran. It seems that the presence of Michael Ledeen in the mix sours it for them. On the other hand they are considering the options:
Reuel Marc Gerecht, a Farsi-speaking former CIA officer now at the American Enterprise Institute, described them bluntly in a recent interview: "Punt, or strike" -- either let Iran go nuclear (as early as 2006), or strike their nuclear facilities.

Given the grim alternatives, Gerecht says, "I see no reason . . . why the US government cannot develop clandestine techniques for aiding certain Iranian factions. But you cannot do these things quickly. I think the Bush administration is deeply divided on this issue."
No matter who wins on 2 Nov. it will definitely not be the end of history.

Since we have been speaking of Michael Ledeen here are a few words by him on the subject of Iran (besides "faster please" and do we have to get nuked before we act?)
The president dismissed the question about Iran by talking only about the nuclear "issue," while Senator Kerry, incredibly, restated his belief that the same policy that failed to deter North Korea would somehow work with the Iranians. The president knows who the Iranians are, while the senator is an active appeaser. But neither was inclined to deal with the central issue, which is that the Iranians, the Syrians, and the Saudis are killing our men and women in Iraq, and we are playing defense, which is a sucker's game.

Some of the links for the above commentary come from the fine folks at Winds of Change. Visit them often. I do.

Some one is not voting for Bush

Some one out there is not voting for Bush.

Ya gota wonder why.

Go read and find out.

Via LGF.

A very intelligent Maroon

The Maroon of course refers to the University of Chicago. There may be some dumb Maroons. I haven't met any.

A very good read.