Monday, January 31, 2005

The Power of the 'Net

There have been quite a few people keeping an eye on the DU these days. Despite their Stalinist policy of censoring internal criticism they realise they are being watched and judged and some people over there are suggesting that they not present speculation as fact. Observation keeps them honest. Try as they might they can't build a lasting echo chamber. This is good. Let's look deeper:

Peak oil says:

Right now, there are THOUSANDS of right-wing types reading DU, scouring it for anything they can find that is false. Whether they're reading it to find things to use against the Democratic party or not, they're READING THIS STUFF.
Well he sure has my number. Busted. Damn.
I remember the day I decided to pick up a Noam Chomsky book. I figured, I better find out what these commie pinko bastards have to say that's so evil. Well, guess what. Now I'm a radical liberal who's probably closer to Libertarian than Democratic, but probably going to vote Green to save my soul. Unless the D's put somebody up there with a spine, like my main man Howard Mothafuckin Dean. Based on just reading something, my whole life changed.
Chomsky? Well he is starting to lose on his commitment to truth here. Chomsky is a serial liar and denyer of truth. He will say one thing one year and deny he said it another. And the Screamin' Deanmon? His main man? Well lets continue maybe he will get back on the rails.
These guys are reading this stuff. This is your opportunity to show that you have integrity. This is your one shot to convince the vast right-wing conspiracy that YOU are to be trusted before THEY are.
Well that would be a good idea. I'd like to see it. Difficult as it may be.

Peak Oil goes on to say here:
I challenge you and anyone else interested in making sure that debate on DU is fair and true....
Evidently a tall order considering the flack he is recieving from the rest of the denizens.

I do think these snippets prove that it is impossible to isolate the reality based community from reality (eventually) no matter how hard they try. I think this is true for any site of major interest (even if only comedic) on the net. In time the only echo chambers on the net will be lone individuals talking to themselves.

The proof is here. Even the DU is starting to get a clue.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Dennis The Peasant

Dennis The Peasant a frequent commenter at Roger Simon's has started a blog.

As usual he has interesting things to say.

Give him a visit.

Hat tip Instapundit. With a nod to Roger Simon.

Intelligent life at the DU?

Over at the DU ShinerTX who views the terrorists as freedom fighters says:

We have to stand up for what's right, regardless of what other people think, and regardless of the cost. Compromise is what has led us to this point with the Chimp in control. We can't back down. The more we back down--and the more we applaud at all what they do there--the more they will take from us.
Spoken like a true vanguard of the people.

To which redikop3 replies:
You're oh so brave. Regardless of the cost? What cost? What the hell do you risk challenging the government of the US? You want to see courageous people turn on your TV and look at Iraqi women carrying their babies to the polls. You'll belittle it because you're a buffoon, but they're the ones defending what's right while you brag about your courage for posting on a website hardly anyone cares about.
ctaylor gets it as well. The demise of the Democrats as a real party with a warning to real Republicans as well.
If you want to cheer on a bunch zealots who stone gays and beat women or power-mad fascists, then go over to Pat Robertson's or the neo-Nazi's website. It's that kind of anti-democratic Democratic thinking that is turning the DNC into the minority party everywhere.

If what happened today in Iraq is screwing up the world, then we've got to figure out how to screw it up faster. Maybe if we could screw up mainland "company town" China their workers could have real unions and be able to bargin for better conditions. Let's screw up Iran next. After their wars women are enough of a majority there they might could elect some feminists.

Why does Bush say he wants to spread freedom around the world? If that's what American's want to here, then let's get out in front of it and complain from the cutting edge that the conservatives are too slow. Tell people that if they want to make sure its done right then who better than the party of Jefferson and Wilson and Roosevelt.

This short-sighted "the enemy of my political oponent is my friend" obsession is not only going to alienate voters, it's going to destroy an otherwise great opportunity to spread democracy around the world.

It's not enough to say that Bush's inaugural speech sounded pretty but he doesn't mean it, you have to follow it up by saying "BUT WE DO, we have a track record of 2 centuries of success, and if you give us a chance we'll show you again." How many people are going to be inspired by following it up with "and we'll protect your Social Security better?" Deep down people need to be a part of something greater than themselves. Maybe "fighting to blow up hopeful voters" seems great to a few people, but "fighting to make sure the bravery of hopeful voters is not wasted or betrayed" sounds better to me. I'll bet it sounds better to a lot of swing voters too.

As far as people "betraying their country" by wanting to vote... How the (&@(#& is that kind of nationalist thinking progressive?
There is a future for this guy in a real political party. Which unfortunately the Democrats have ceased to be.


You have to be fast over at the DU. Voices of dissent are quickly silenced. redikop3's post has already (21:09z) been removed. Took 'em less than 40 minutes. Down the old memory hole. Fortunately I have the main point recorded here.

Do they really think Stalinism has a future in America?


Welcome Instapundit readers.

They don't represent Iraq

Sheer brilliance at the DU. Emphasis mine.

wadestock #21.
The essential problem still remains that the Shia majority win does not represent Iraq. The administration is narrow minded, interested in other things, and generally incompetent in such matters. They haven't even considered the most elementary ways to divide up power so as to appease the Sunni.
Oh wait. I get it. Bush got a majority and he does not represent the USA. The sheer fookin brilliance of it. From now on only the minority counts. After all isn't that how the Bolsheviks did it? The vanguard of the proletariat and all that.


Sullivan gets one right

I think the anti-war left's failure to believe in democracy is a greater failing than the pro-war right's failure to grapple with some of the serious failings of the endeavor. But I hope today that everyone, whatever their view of the war or occupation, can rejoice in the defeat of evil and terror. It's truly inspiring.

Iraqi Election results

I expect to hear Moore on this later.


The Elections have begun

What an exciting election cycle this is.

Lots of good pictures and comments on the Iraqi elections here.

One Hand Clapping has a Muslim Cleric quoting MLK. Amazing.

Buzz Machine has lots of links.


I will be adding links as I check out various places. Also check out the Iraqi sites on my blog roll. They are grouped pretty much together so once you find one the rest are near by. Search the blog roll for the word "Iraq".

Property Rights break out in Iraq

As some of you know I'm quite passionate about property rights being the foundation of a sound and growing economy. I'm a big DeSoto fan. Which is why this election report from Iraq is so interesting.

Now, and thanks to other humans, not from my area, religion and who don't even speak my language, I and all Iraqis have the real chance to make the change. Now I OWN my home and I can decide who's going to run things in it and how and I won't waste that chance. Tomorrow as I cast my vote, I'll regain my home. I'll regain my humanity and my dignity, as I stand and fulfill part of my responsibilities to this part of the large brotherhood of humanity. Tomorrow I'll say I'M IRAQI AND I'M PROUD, as being Iraqi this time bears a different meaning in my mind. It's being an active and good part of humanity.
The key point is that by owning his own home and ownership in general he has a stake in the future as well as the key to further prosperity. People will fight for what they own.

Could this be the unheralded key to the current and future success of Iraq?

Let us hope so.


Hat tip Power Line.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Palestinian Role in the Holocaust

I think the Palestinians need to stop behaving like Nazis - i.e. teaching their children that the object of their society is the destruction of the Jews.

As long as the Palis have Nazi objectives they should be treated like Nazis.

BTW the history of the Mufti of Jerusalem and Adolph Hitler is interesting. He helped raise several divisions for Hitler's Army. He also may have beenArafat's cousin

The Bet Agron International Center in Jerusalem interviewed Arafat's brother and sister, who described the Mufti as a cousin (family member) with tremendous influence on young Yassir after the Mufti returned from Berlin to Cairo. Yasser Arafat himself keeps his exact lineage and birthplace secret. Saddam Hussein was raised in the house of his uncle Khayrallah Tulfah, who was a leader in the Mufti's pro-Nazi coup in Iraq in May 1941.
or uncle
The grand mufti was not just Arafat's "hero," as he says. Arafat was, in fact, so close to al-Husseini that the young terrorist called him "uncle." Arafat's real name is Rahman Abdul Rauf el-Qudwa al-Husseini, though his actual blood relationship with al-Husseini is in question. His entire career was sponsored by the dreaded Nazi mufti. He was, indeed, Arafat's mentor, his inspiration for 40 years of terror, murder, hatred and international duplicity.

The world's people are too forgetful. This history is well-documented. Now Arafat, in his own words, has reminded us once again about the bloody ties between his movement and the Nazi monsters. He even reminds his own people of why the mufti was scandalized. He knows his own people have no ill feelings toward the Nazis. He knows his movement and the Nazis still share a common goal – the death of all Jews. He knows this history can't haunt him among his constituency.
and is reputed to have trained the young Arafat.
In an interview last week, published in Al Sharq al Awsat, a London Arabic daily, reprinted in the Palestinian daily Al Quds, Aug. 2, and translated by Palestinian Media Watch, Arafat called the Arab leader and Nazi ally, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, "our hero." He drew an analogy between himself and al-Husseini who survived as a leader despite world pressure against him because of his Nazi ties.

"We are not Afghanistan," said Arafat in the interview. "We are a mighty people. Were they able to replace our hero Hajj Amin al-Husseini? There were a number of attempts to get rid of Hajj Amin, whom they considered an ally of the Nazis. But even so, he lived in Cairo, and participated in the 1948 war, and I was one of his troops."

Arafat seldom tells the truth, but, in this case, his facts are correct.

Hajj Amin al-Husseini was the grand mufti of Jerusalem leading up to World War II. He supported the Nazis. He met with Adolph Hitler. He was a strong proponent of the Nazi program for mass murder of the Jews.
The genesis of the modern Palestinian movement is a study in evil origins.

A link with a nice picture.
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, visits Berlin, meets with Hitler and makes Arabic radio broadcasts to Islamic troops fighting for the Nazi Third Reich.

The mufti and some of his aides participate in plans for the destruction of European Jewry and help the German propaganda machine. The mufti works to build his personal stature in the world as a major Arab leader.
A proud moment for Palestinian Arabs. The Mufti reviews Bosnian Muslim troops enlisted in Hitler's Army.
After World War I, the Great Powers of Europe jockeyed for influence in the Middle East's oil fields and trade routes, with France and Britain holding mandates throughout most of the region. In the 1930s, the fascist regimes that arose in Italy and Germany sought greater stakes in the area, and began courting Arab leaders to revolt against their British and French custodians. Among their many willing accomplices was Jerusalem Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini, who fled Palestine after agitating against the British during the Arab Revolt of 1936-39. He found refuge in Iraq – another of Her Majesty's mandates – where he again topped the British most wanted list after helping pull the strings behind the Iraqi coup of 1941. The revolt in Baghdad was orchestrated by Hitler as part of a strategy to squeeze the region between the pincers of Rommel's troops in North Africa, German forces in the Caucuses and pro-Nazi forces in Iraq. However, in June 1941 British troops put down the rebellion and the Mufti escaped via Tehran to Italy and eventually to Berlin.

Arab Mufti Greets Nazis, 1944

Once in Berlin, the Mufti received an enthusiastic reception by the "Islamische Zentralinstitut" and the whole Islamic community of Germany, which welcomed him as the "Führer of the Arabic world." In an introductory speech, he called the Jews the "most fierce enemies of the Muslims" and an "ever corruptive element" in the world. Husseini soon became an honored guest of the Nazi leadership and met on several occasions with Hitler. He personally lobbied the Führer against the plan to let Jews leave Hungary, fearing they would immigrate to Palestine. He also strongly intervened when Adolf Eichman tried to cut a deal with the British government to exchange German POWs for 5000 Jewish children who also could have fled to Palestine.
The Palestinians seem to have an affinity for "Mein Kampf" - still.
Muslim and Arab society is today a failure much as Communism used to be. Muslims and Arabs live under absolute and despotic government which prevents them from enjoying anything like the freedom and prosperity that they see in the West and wish for themselves. On the whole they realize that they have long ago taken their history and destiny into their own hands, and so are responsible for themselves. But so dire are the injustices and the poverty, and so threatening is the tyranny over their heads, that many are lost in pity for themselves, and hatred of everyone else. A slew of racists, radicals, and Islamists share a frame of mind that the West is selfishly conspiring against them, with the Jews once again secretly in charge. Catering to such people since the early '60s, editions of Mein Kampf have been put out in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, and it is reported to be a bestseller in the Palestinian Authority area. It is available in London stores selling Arabic books. As its Arabic translator Luis al-Haj expresses it in his preface, "National Socialism did not die with the death of its herald. Rather, its seeds multiplied under each star."
There is more here:
His greatest achievement was, however, the recruitment of tens of thousands of the Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania to the Waffen SS. His Arab Legions later participated in massacring tens of thousands of partisan Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. In 1943 there were 20,000 Muslims under arms in "his"division of the Waffen SS, the Handschar. (See: George Lepre, Himmler's Bosnian Division. The Waffen-SS Handschar Division 1943-1945, Schiffer Military History, Atglen, PA, 1997). Nevertheless, the Balkan adventure was only his spare-time activity because his main interest was the fight against World Jewry. In the annual protest against the Balfour Declaration, which in 1943 was staged in the large Luftwaffe hall in Berlin, the Mufti attacked the "Anglo-Saxon and Jewish conspiracy" phrase he so frequently used, and said:

The Treaty of Versailles was a disaster for the Germans as well as for the Arabs. But the Germans know how to get rid of the Jews. That which brings us close to the Germans and sets us in their camp is that up to day.

On 1 March 1944 he added in a broadcast from Berlin: "Arabs! Rise as one and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion. This saves your honor." The Mufti did not only intend to massacre the Yishuv Jewry, his hatred of the World Jewry had already driven him to participate in the Nazi Final Solution.
So yeah, by all means, lets give them a state.

The Theo van Gogh Murder Trial

Dutchreport has a report (what else?) on the Theo van Gogh murder trial. They also cover Hirsi Ali who is a Dutch Parliamentarian under death threat from Dutch Islamic fascists for exposing Islamic subjugation of women.

The English is a little fractured but the stories are riveting.

Take this one on the image of Holland in the world. They would rather be known for Sex, Drugs, and Democracy (which they see as tolerance rather than unrestrained libertinism), but instead they are getting a reputation for Islamic fascists gone wild. They point out that the "sex, drugs" thing is not so positive but that the Islamic fascist activity is a real killer.

Check them out.

Via LGF.


Well the voting in the Iraqi elections has started. In America. Powerline has a few words on the subject and a nice photo of a man voting in Michigan. In the photo the man is crying for his son killed in the 1991 uprising against Saddam. (Which I think is a very black mark on GB41).

Reuters has a few nice things to say about voting in Detroit.

Iraqis Brave Long Trips, Cold to Vote in U.S.
Is the headline. Brave Iraqis. Can you imagine that? From Reuters? Maybe that will be the line in the Sunday Iraq voting stories as well.
DETROIT (Reuters) - Emotional and jubilant Iraqi expatriates braved long trips and frigid weather to cast their votes across the United States on Friday, their enthusiasm making up for their low numbers.
Ah, low numbers. I guess they can't do an Iraq story without some ankle biting.
Poll workers applauded, cheered and whistled as a trickle of voters submitted paper ballots in the Detroit suburb of Southgate during the first of three days of voting.

Pointing to his blue-stained finger, dyed with indelible ink to indicate he voted, Khadim Al-Khafaji said: "This is my finger I push in Saddam's eye. The Saddam regime is gone. Thank you United States," said Al-Khafaji, who moved to Detroit from Baghdad six years ago.
And thank you's for the United States, from an Arab Muslim, in a Reuters Story. Has the world turned upside down? Reuters goes on with a report from my neighborhood, Illinois (about 70 miles from where I live):
Besides Detroit, Iraqis in the United States could cast ballots at other sites in the Chicago; Nashville, Tennessee; Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. areas.

Samar Ahmad, 25, a convenience store clerk from Minneapolis, smiled and flashed a "V" for victory sign when he voted at the Rosemont convention center outside Chicago after a five-hour drive.

"It's never happened before," said Ahmad, who wore a red, green and black Iraq soccer jersey under his leather jacket.
You mean the Saddam elections were a sham? Who would have guessed?

A few questions

I was over at the Belmont Club tossing down a few when some questions came up. Here they are:

I keep asking my friends on the farther right these questions:

What is the purpose of making a black market in abortion?

What is the purpose of making a black market for drugs?

What social purpose is served by creating and enriching a criminal class?

What is the lesson of alcohol prohibition?

What is the point of passing laws that will be widely flouted?

What is the difference between passing laws and solving problems?

In fact if passing laws works so good why didn't laws against crashing planes into buildings work on 9/11?

How does multiplying the number of people with experience with violating serious laws help create a civil society?

Is an experienced smuggler class a good idea?

How many agents per mile are required to seal a border?

Do laws against guns really work? (you see this kind of stupidity is not just on the right)

I'm still waiting for answers.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Don't Give Up the Ship

One Hand Clapping has an awesome photo of the damage to the USS San Francisco.

St. Francis must have been looking out for those guys.

Another Sullivan Howler

Andrew Sullivan is ranting on about how security in Iraq must precede democracy because only with a monopoly on violence can democracy and liberal government happen.

Perhaps Sullivan can explain how America had democratic institutions (a Congress even) from 1775 on despite a revolutionary war.

Yeah it is tough in Iraq. Yeah the fascists are doing everything in their power to derail the emergence of democratic institutions.

At this late date what are the chances the fascists will succeed? Aproximately zero.

Why? Because of the will of the Iraqi people.

All this will become evident post Jan 30, 2005.

I expect by 1 Feb the Great Sullivan will change his tune - why?

Victory has one thousand fathers.......


Welcome Instapunditreaders. And Roger Simon readers.

Ted Turner is not well

It seems Ted Turner has gone around the bend at the early age of 66. Either that or he is overcome by jealousy. Or even possibly the dreaded BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome)

LAS VEGAS (AP) - CNN founder Ted Turner has called the Fox television network a ``propaganda voice'' of the Bush administration and compared Fox News Channel's popularity to Adolf Hitler's rise in Germany before World War II.
Does this explain the origin of the Bush = Hitler meme or is Ted just a victim of the disease?

Well lets see if we can get another window into Ted's thinking from the same speech:
``There's one network, Fox, that's a propaganda voice for them,'' the cable news pioneer said. ``It's certainly legal. But it does pose problems for our democracy when the news is 'dumbed-down.'''
Well the Fox having eaten the chicken has something to say about the meal:
Fox News in New York issued a statement saying, ``Ted is understandably bitter having lost his ratings, his network and now his mind - we wish him well.''

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Einstein and the Jewish Identity

Continuing the discussion of reason and education in America:

jinnderella asks:

It is fairly obvious to me that there is a biological basis for belief. But what does one do about it?

I can't tell you what to do about it. I can tell you what I did about it.

Shamanism (A Yaqui Way of Knowledge), living alone in the woods for several years. Working day and night to integrate my personality. Thinking about advanced electronics while visiting other worlds.

Copious study of Aleister Crowley.

Having an intense sense of the extatic while focusing intently on subjects only amenable to rationality.

Crowley liked to have sex while calling out moves in a chess game - now there is a strange way to have sex. A strange way to play chess.

I was talking day before yesterday (Tuesday) to a gentleman I had met for the first time. He pointed out to me without prompting that I was right brain / left brain integrated. I think that is the key.

Gurdjieff says that the prerequisite is a rigorous education in rationality followed by a re-connection to dance, music etc. The initial education must be in logical subjects with only enough music, dance, etc. to keep that section of the brain minimally active.

So there is sort of an outline there. Unfortunately we have given up the rigor for the feel good stuff. So what you get out of that is the lefty half-men we see about us today. The shame is that if the rationality is not done early enough it is very hard to do later.

I might add that efforts at classical music are very important to get started before age 13. They seem critical to the development of mathematical reasoning. Einstein played the violin. I do not think that was a mistake. Condi Rice is an accomplished classical pianists. I think that is a good sign.

The best rock musicians (in general) have been clasically trained. The best mathematicians have a musical avocation.

My boys tell me that "Star Wars" was a great help to their moral understanding.

Our modern day military men (American, Brits, Ozzies) seem to me to be pretty well integrated. They can do the physical stuff at the same time they make rational calculations. Our enemies seem to be less well put together, depending on exhuberance and emotion to make up for lack of technical ability. Ghost Dancers if you will.

So how is that for thinking aloud?

The very best among us still get the required education (gifted programs). It is the average student that is being short changed by the "self esteem" crowd.

Self esteem is built by suceeding in the face of difficulty not by the practice of watering down the course material so that almost all difficulty is gone.

Of course in America the rot runs deep. The only reason we do so well is that it is much worse every where else.

Bush's NCLB is an attempt to bring rigor back to the schools.

The more I look into Bush's programs the more I see true genius at work. He is an order of politician we haven't seen since Jefferson. I think he has the Jeffersonian spirtit if lacking in Jefferson's articulateness.

As part of training my children I did a lot of punning. i.e. mixing subjects and forcing a kind of cross thinking. My father did that with me.

In my family we call it "stupid Dad jokes".

The English language is particularly rich in that area.

It forces a way of thinking of two (or more) disparate subjects at once.

Zen koans are very good here. The Sufis seem to do something similar (thanks Joe of Winds of Change for your weeklys on the subject). Of course in huge parts of the Muslim world the Sufis are considered heretics.

A lot of it is the breaking of orthodoxies.

The Jewish emphasis on book learning seems to accomplish what is required. A lot could be learned from that culture. Part of that is the questioning of every thing. And the requirement to be able to make persuasive arguments on any side of a given subject. One must be able to argue not just for God but also the Devil. And the arguments must be equally well done.

The current Moslem trend is to demand orthodoxy which stunts thinking.

Unquestioning belief stunts the mind. It also stunts the moral sense.

Einstein had a bit to say about all this:

Although Einstein did not observe Jewish rituals, he strongly identified with Jewish tradition: "The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice, and the desire for personal independence—these are features of the Jewish tradition which make me thank my lucky stars that I belong to it." Einstein's strong support for Jewish welfare emerged when he faced anti-Semitism in Germany. Throughout his life, the man whose work the Nazis and German scientists dismissed as "Jewish physics" worked tirelessly against anti-Semitism.

Can you dance to reason?

There is an interesting discussion going on over at Winds of Change. This is one of my contributions to the thread:


Going to protests and actively participating makes you high. At least that was the effect on me when I marched in the 60s.

Too many here are treating what goes on as rational discourse (semi rational any way). The rational is the smallest and least effective part of the human brain.

Brain chemistry designed for animal survival has more to do with human nature than reason. Reason is hard (just try to get the average person interested - let alone capable - in partial differential calculus or quantum mechanics or Maxwell's theories or cross products in vector algebra) feeling good in the company of celebrating (whatever) humans is easier. We were tribal way before the invention of the steam engine.

I wonder if you can dance to reason? Or hum the tune?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Arab Aid to Muslim Tsunami Victims

A cartoon.


Dems revert to Klan roots

It seems that the Democrats are busy this week attacking a black woman who is in line for one of the highest positions in the American government.

"Dr. Rice is responsible for some of the most overblown rhetoric that the administration used to scare the American people," Sen. Robert Byrd , D-W.Va., said.

The Senate set aside most of the day Tuesday to debate the Rice nomination after Democrats revolted against a plan to confirm Rice last week, on the same day that Bush took his oath for a second term.

"We should have been done last week," Frist said. "I was disappointed that we are having to march through the debate today. But ultimately the vote will occur."

Republicans who took the floor to endorse Rice included Sen. Chuck Hagel (news, bio, voting record), R-Neb., who has been a sometime critic of the Bush administration's Iraq policies.

"Dr. Rice has the intelligence, the integrity and the experience for this job. She has the president's confidence," Hagel said.
The Democrats really know how to pick their spokesman. Why if they have complaints against Dr. Rice would would they pick Senator KKK to voice them?

Well let us look into Senator KKK's roots:
Byrd was a local leader of the Ku Klux Klan for a period of time in the early 1940s, holding the title Kleagle; Klan recruiter. In a 1946 letter, he wrote, "The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia." However, when running for Congress in 1952, he announced, "After about a year, I became disinterested, quit paying my dues, and dropped my membership in the organization. During the nine years that have followed, I have never been interested in the Klan." Still, in 1964 he opposed the Civil Rights Act.
Isn't that special. Who to better speak out against Dr. Rice than an anti-Civil Rights Democrat. Who indeed. Well what about Byrd's recent history?
Senator Byrd quit the Klan in the 1940s and has renounced it since. On the other hand, his history is worth revisiting, since it's something Democrats have been willing to tolerate, despite Lott-like remarks that would have ended a Republican's career. Only last year Mr. Byrd told Fox News that "there are white niggers. I've seen a lot of white niggers in my time, if you want to use that word. But we all--we all--we just need to work together to make our country a better country and I--I'd just as soon quit talking about it so much."

Mr. Byrd quickly apologized, but he wasn't denounced by Democrats, much less by the Clintons. Nor did the press corps use the opportunity to wallow in other Byrd racial lowlights, such as the 14 hours and 13 minutes he spent in an unsuccessful filibuster during the debate over the 1964 civil rights act, which he voted against along with 20 other Senate Democrats. The political press also didn't dredge up his votes against both Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, votes that made him the only Senator to have opposed the only two black Supreme Court nominees in U.S. history.
Is the good Senator anti-Black? Could be. Thurgood Marshall was a Democrat.
Which U.S. Senator is a former member of the Ku Klux Klan?

Which U.S. Senator wasn't just a member of the KKK but was a "Kleagle" -- an official recruiter who signed up members for $10 a head?

Which U.S. Senator said he joined because it "offered excitement" and because the Klan was an "effective force" in "promoting traditional American values."

Which U.S. Senator wrote the following, three years after he claims to have ended his ties with the KKK: "The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia" and "in every state in the Union."

Which U.S. Senator also wrote that he would never fight "with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds."
Which Senator indeed.

The Democrats ought to be ashamed of themselves.

If that is possible.

Welcome Instapundit fans. And Roger Simon fans. And Captain's Quarters fans.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Stand up and be counted

I'm over at Al Bawaba again arguing with the leftys and other active and passive supporters of the throat slitters. Al is one of the Leftys. Faust is a Marine who now provides security and other services as a contractor in the war zone.


A letter to Al,

"Who will stop the fascists" is not a pompous question Al.

So far in the last 70 years in every generation men are asked to make that choice. Some times several times in a generation.

To tell the truth in 1971 I sided with Kerry and the fascists. I'm not proud of it but there it is.

By 1980 I had seen where that led. I have the Vietnamese Boat People, the Re-ed camps, and 2 million Cambodians on the debit side of my ledger.

There is no way I'm going down that road again.

The first time I was asked the question I sided with the fascists. When Ronald Regan asked the question again in 1980 I sided with the good guys (not perfect - just good). I have been on the side of the good guys ever since.

A word to the wise Al, actively fighting fascism (you know - the throat slitters) will make you feel better than actively or passively supporting them.

If I had Faust's skills I'd be going where he is going. What I have to do to support the war lies along a different path. I'm a maker. So I help make the tools of war. Software I have written flys on the F-16. I'm working on other stuff as well.

Do I like all of Bush's plans and programs?


The drug war is stupid. Making churches and charities dependent on government is a bad idea. I have several other problems with his positions. But by god he fights the fascists. Their towers are coming down. And even if I can only pull on a thread I wish to add my energy and will to his.

Do you see how it is?

For the really important work men of good will (even those of bad character) will unite and die that other men might live free.

The men and women of Iraq are dying to vote. Bush and our valiant soldiers have given them the opportunity. I must stand with the Iraqi people, Bush, and our brave boys and girls. We don't sing of "the land of the free and the home of the brave" for nothing.

Stand up and be counted Al.

Stand up and be counted.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Signs of the Times

A local company (in the Rock River Valley) is making signs for the Iraqi elections.

MACHESNEY PARK -- Signs made in the Rock River Valley will let Iraqis know their polling places are safe as they vote next week during national elections.

The iridescent signs were printed by Interstate Graphics Inc., a nearly 20-year-old printing company in Machesney Park owned by John Norwood Sr. and his sons, John and Jim.

The U.S. government awarded the Norwoods the job Dec. 29 with a tight deadline -- the 8,000 signs had to arrive in Fort Lewis, Wash., on or before Jan. 7. From there, they would go on a plane bound for Iraq.

"The U.S. government puts out the order, and you roll the dice and bid," John Norwood Sr. said. "Our competitive price and the quick turnaround on the order was a big part of the deal."
The signs will be used to mark and seal polling places that have been inspected for weapons and bombs. The signs which can be seen here. The logo on the signs is a yellow lightening bolt on a red background. The design looked familiar to a local resident.
To his surprise, John Norwood Sr. [President of the Sign company] received a call from Belvidere resident Elaine Huska this week after she saw the signs on TV. The Norwoods didn't know much about the sign's design, but Huska told them the illustration is the symbol for the 25th Infantry Division (Light) from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

The division is nicknamed the "Tropic Lighting," and has fought in every major conflict since World War II. The taro leaf pictured is native to Hawaii, and the red and gold colors are those of the late Hawaiian monarchy, according to the division's Web site.

Huska's son, 25-year-old Sgt. Kenneth O'Dell Jr., is a member of the division. He enlisted during high school and was wounded in September after an explosion in Iraq.

Seeing the signs reminded Huska of her son and gave her renewed hope in the army's efforts.

"I recognized it immediately and said, 'That's Kenny's insignia,'" Huska said. "I told him this is what you were fighting for. It's amazing. He really believes in what they're doing over there."
Now our local paper (The Rockford Register Star) has not been too supportive of the war. But stories like this, the President's recent Democracy and Freedom speech, the picture of election workers killed in the streets of Baghdad, and the Z-Man's announcement about being against democracy has started to turn their thinking.

About time.

Humans prevent ice age

What ever happened to global warming? I did a piece a while back that looked at the latest research. The conclusion of that research is that global warming is probably solar induced.

Well not so fast. Some new research shows that man may be preventing the coming of an ice age.

Anthropologist Dr Benny Peiser, from Liverpool John Moores University, said: "If the research findings are correct, a radical change in the perception of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions will be required.

"Instead of driving us to the brink of environmental disaster, human intervention and technology progress will be seen as vital activities that have unintentionally delayed the onset of a catastrophic ice age."
Instapundit has a link to the article (for Science Digest Readers - free or you can pay $30). You can read an abstract of the article for free. The abstract "A test of the overdue-glaciation hypothesis" is pretty complete with charts graphs and footnotes. Worth a look.

via Instapundit

Capitalist Socialism

The Democrats will continue to lose to the Republicans on economic issues not just in America but in the world for the simple reason that the Republicans have read and assimilated DeSoto and the Democrats have not.

DeSoto (who tried to figure out why capitalism creates wealth in some places and not in others) found that man is a naturally capitalistic animal. Thus the more people who can become capitalists in a society the more wealth created. His prescription was to turn peasants into owners.

Now Bush has turned this understanding of man's nature into a slogan: "the ownership society".

This is all some what surprising because the movement DeSoto espouses is essentially leftist: giving the poor property rights in the land they work and the houses they build in a way that enhances capital formation.

Since there is not much free land left in America what Bush proposes is to give the poor an ownership position in the tax on their labor i.e. Social Security reform.

Socialism that is anti-Capitalist is a dead end.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Social Security - The Big Fix

We tax the people to pay for the government.

How about taxing the government to pay for the people?

The Feds have lots of land.

Why not sell some?


Inspired by Just One Minute. Just say Instapundit sent me.

Armor Geddon

I was doing a review of the mil sites on my blog roll looking for this quote:

"Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

Which I found here.

And I came across Armor Geddon. A very interesting site with lots of good war stories. Armored of course.

And I would have been living at FOB WARHORSE, which is paradise compared to FOB Scunion. The food, the gym, the nice phones, the entertainment that comes there. The only group that came here was the 1st ID Band. And they were damn good. God bless them for being the only ones to visit us. And I would not have had to pull force protection and guard duty on the towers in this FOB. And no more tank maintenance and changing two sides of track every 3 weeks. The tank maintenance was blowing us out of the water at the time. We had put a year’s worth of OPTEMPO on our tanks in 3 months. The BRT, on the other hand, had humvees which are a joke in terms of maintenance. And they did a lot of the high profile raids and missions. They were around for most HIC situations.

Well the only reason I turned it down was because of the men I was with. SGT P made me laugh my ass off every single day of the week. SSG Terry. Well he speaks for himself. But I remember him saying again and again how we were the tightest this platoon has ever been. And we were like a family. I loved my crew. And my platoon sergeant was an awesome NCO to be partners with. Laid back, easy to work with and competent as hell. There was no way I was going to choose to give up this family. Plus, I had only been with my platoon for 6 months at the time. I wanted to be with them longer. Now I’m on month 16 and still running. That’s unheard of these days. I consider myself the luckiest platoon leader in the army. I joined these guys before the mission readiness exercise in October of 2003. I went to a gunnery in January and deployed with them. We've been through major combat and now we are all coming home together in a few months. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Go and browse around. Lots of good stuff. Here is some more:
“Hey Langford, pass me another muffin," I called to my loader. He reached over to his stowage box and pulled a few Otis Spunkmeyer muffins for SGT P and me. This and Gatorade was all we had put in our mouths so far. And for me, plenty of Levi Garret chewing tobacco as well. I never smoked cigarettes, except for that one SGT P gave me right before entering Baqubah. And that was only because in the mad dash of things, I had left my chew behind. But the nicotine helped us all stay awake now. And the muffins kept us full. They were like 300 hundred calories each. And that’s all we had eaten for the past 2 days and 2 nights.

Oh sure, support guys had brought chow out to the LRP. But who had time to eat chow from Camp Fallujah when you were in the middle of battle? Well, the guys on the ammo and fuel trucks did. But we came in to get fuel; there was no time to eat. Our wingmen and scouts were in the fight and we just raced back here to juice up the tanks and get our asses back in the shit. If our pigs didn't guzzle so much JP8, I'd never leave the battlefield.

We had spent the night in our tanks again, observing the eastern side of the city with little activity. There wasn't a soul in sight. For all that hype the intelligence folks warned us about the bad guys having night vision capabilities, they sure didn’t fight much at night.
And more:
The 25mm was like a sledgehammer when you were right next to it. Oh man, it made my head hurt. SGT P didn’t feel a damn thing down in the turret. But I loved loud noises. I stared at the gun. Each round was a red laser beam zipping out of the cannon. The car danced with each round that impacted. It looked like a beast was inside and he was punching his way out. The hood rose up. The door blew out. The tire exploded. The roof bowed out. It reminded me of that scene in Ghostbusters 2 when Ray puts that pink slime in the toaster and it starts dancing to music. The car didn’t detonate. “Ok, that’s enough”

DoD hacked?

I'm trying to look up some stories on the 1ID and other DoD stuff and I keep getting a not found.

Here is the url:

and another

Gun Porn

Gun Porn.

This is work safe. Except in Saudi Arabia.

Start of the American Jihad

I have been thinking about the Bush inaugural speech and what it means.

To me it marks the official opening of the American jihad. That is it is not just a war against evil doers. It is a war for something.

The master stroke by Bush is to declare freedom not just an American ideal, or a Western ideal, but a universal ideal. Who can argue against that? At least in America Bush has co-opted his enemies and given hope to the oppressed of the world. All that is left is the fight over methods.

Natan Scharansky talks about how much Regan's speech on liberty and the Evil Empire meant to him and other freedom lovers in Soviet prisons.

I think this speech to the wider world will have a similar effect. Bush said in his speech:

When the Declaration of Independence was first read in public and the Liberty Bell was sounded in celebration, a witness said, "It rang as if it meant something." In our time it means something still. America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength - tested, but not weary - we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom.

I also note that the actual words on the Liberty Bell are:

"Proclaim liberty throught the land and to all the inhabitants there of."

I suggested a change in the wording over at Winds of Change on 25 Nov. 2003. Here is what I suggested:
I remember the Liberty Bell. "Proclaim liberty throught the land and to all the inhabitants there of." I would add just one thing to it: "Proclaim liberty throught the lands and to all the inhabitants there of." Good words to live by. Good words to die for. Good words to pay for. Being free men here we will find a way or make one.
Do you suppose Bush is a Simon/Winds of Change fan? I hope so.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The French Have a Few Words for Americans

"I want to tell you God bless President Bush and God bless United States of America."

This from a Frenchman?

Well yes. Hard to believe I know.

NewSisyphus tells the whole story here.

He(she?) also has an excellent article on how so many Western governments got captured by the left.


You are probably wondering what that means.

It is another term of learned helplessness that the Democrats love to use. I found it on KOS and a number of left sites and so I went hunting. What could it mean?

It's OK If You Are a Republican.

Kind of like the Republicans are getting away with all kinds of stuff that leftys would be persecuted for.

Kind of like Clinton getting away with Monica. (The thought of that poor Jewish girl down on her knees while Clinton was talking with Arafat. Why its almost enough to make you want to become a Democrat. Its almost enough to make you want to talk to Arafat - he's still dead Jim. Well opportunities lost.)

It is probably true though. Every administration has its little problems that power lets it sweep under the rug. Like the Mark Rich pardon.


I still like it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Emperor On the Net

Jack Herer's "The Emperor Has No Clothes" is now available on the net. In case you are not familiar with it it covers how hemp could solve a lot of our environmental problems. Food, fuel, fiber. He also has chapthers on medical marijuana.

You can get it here:

The Emperor.

I met Jack a number of years ago when he came to Rockford for a rally. He is very passionate. He is also a very nice guy.

Jack is offering a reward if you can find serious factual errors in his book:

Prove us wrong! Prove us wrong! Prove us wrong! And we hereby extend our $100,000 challenge to prove us wrong!

If all fossil fuels and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction, were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the greenhouse effect and stop deforestation; then there is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world's paper and textiles; meet all of the world's transportation, industrial and home energy needs, while simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil and cleaning the atmosphere all at the same time... and that substance is the same one that has done it before . . . CANNABIS/HEMP/MARIJUANA!

Figuring Out How to Win

The Democrats have finally figured out how to win. Kos tells them how:

The Democrats need to offer an alternative agenda over the next four years. It won't be enacted, so they can shoot for the moon. The hell with good policy, make proposals that sound great.
So there you have it. No need to be responsible. No need to give voters good choices. No more offering guidance and doing the do-able. Shoot for the moon.

That will work.

Kos I believe has an unbroken record. All his candidates lose.

I think he is working to extend his streak.

Keep up the good work Kos.

The hell with the Republic. It is not about governing. It is about winning. With promises that cannot be kept.

And people wonder why politicians rate below used car salesmen.

And people wonder why the Democrats rate below the Republicans.


Welcome Instapundit Readers.

Cursing on stage at Inaugural Kids Concert

Using words uttered by Dick Cheney on the floor of the Senate, band Fuel, welcomed every one to the greatest xxx country in the world.

Republicans (and Democrats at the FCC) were outraged.

Well any way I guess they were saved from the evil Republican "Kid Rock".

The Weekly Standard has a nice bit about South Park Conservatives. The kind of people who might be at home at just such a concert. Are there problems in Republican paradise. You bet:

Is there a downside to the rise of South Park conservatism? I ask. "It can be," as its critics claim Anderson notes, "kind of nihilistic, profane, and vulgar." And, of course, "it will offend a lot of people." But, he says, "the biggest danger is that the activism and the attitude might replace an engagement with ideas."

Anderson continues: "You don't want to see it as a whole ethos of life. . . . If there weren't any respect for higher culture, it wouldn't be conservatism."
The Republicans are morphing.

Me? I'm a Jack Ryan Republican.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Lessons of This War - New Every Day

The New Yorker has a really good article on how we are learning to fight this war in real time.

During the early weeks of the Iraq war, the television set in my office was tuned all day to CNN, with the sound muted. On the morning of April 3rd, as the Army and the Marines were closing in on Baghdad, I happened to look up at what appeared to be a disaster in the making. A small unit of American soldiers was walking along a street in Najaf when hundreds of Iraqis poured out of the buildings on either side. Fists waving, throats taut, they pressed in on the Americans, who glanced at one another in terror. I reached for the remote and turned up the sound. The Iraqis were shrieking, frantic with rage. From the way the lens was lurching, the cameraman seemed as frightened as the soldiers. This is it, I thought. A shot will come from somewhere, the Americans will open fire, and the world will witness the My Lai massacre of the Iraq war. At that moment, an American officer stepped through the crowd holding his rifle high over his head with the barrel pointed to the ground. Against the backdrop of the seething crowd, it was a striking gesture—almost Biblical. “Take a knee,” the officer said, impassive behind surfer sunglasses. The soldiers looked at him as if he were crazy. Then, one after another, swaying in their bulky body armor and gear, they knelt before the boiling crowd and pointed their guns at the ground. The Iraqis fell silent, and their anger subsided. The officer ordered his men to withdraw.
The author of this article, Dan Baum, tracks down the officer and asks him where he learned that technique. The answer: he improvised. Further on the article goes into how the net is helping keep the troops up to date.
In March of 2000, with the help of a Web-savvy West Point classmate and their own savings, they put up a site on the civilian Internet called It didn’t occur to them to ask the Army for permission or support. Companycommand was an affront to protocol. The Army way was to monitor and vet every posting to prevent secrets from being revealed, but Allen and Burgess figured that captains were smart enough to police themselves and not compromise security.
Now here is some of the advice you can get excerpted from the site:
Never travel in a convoy of less than four vehicles. Do not let a casualty take your focus away from a combat engagement. Give your driver your 9mm, and carry their M16/M4. Tootsie Rolls are quite nice; Jolly Ranchers will get all nasty and sticky though. If a person is responsible for the death of an individual, they do not attend during the three days of mourning; that is why if we kill an individual in sector, we are not welcome during the mourning period. Soldiers need reflexive and quick-fire training, using burst fire. If they’re shooting five to seven mortar rounds into your forward operating base, whatever you’re doing needs to be readjusted. The more aggressive you look and the faster you are, the less likely the enemy will mess with you. It is okay to tell your soldiers what the regulation is; but as a commander, you should make the effort to get the soldier home for the birth. A single wall of sandbags will not stop any significant munitions. Take pictures of everything and even, maybe more importantly, everyone. The right photo in the right hands can absolutely make the difference. It’s not always easy to reach the pistol when in the thigh holster, especially in an up-armored humvee. If they accept you into the tent, by custom they are accepting responsibility for your safety and by keeping on the body armor, you are sending a signal that you do not trust them. If tea or coffee are offered, be sure to accept the items with the right hand. Do not look at your watch when in the tent. Have the unit invest in Wiley X’s—these sunglasses also serve as sun-wind-dust goggles. Supply each soldier with one tourniquet; we use a mini-ratchet strap that is one inch wide and long enough to wrap around the thigh of a soldier. Cotton holds water. Even with the best socks, and plenty of foot powder, your feet are likely to start peeling like you’ve never experienced. You’re more likely to be injured by not wearing a seatbelt than from enemy activity. You need to train your soldiers to aim, fire, and kill. The average local is terrible at trying to read a map; however they do understand sketches—the simpler the better. The second you see your soldiers start to lose interest, or roll their eyes, or not pay attention, your S2 has failed and you, your soldiers, and the mission are in danger. Vary the departure and return times, vary the routes even if the route includes a U turn, doesn’t make sense, etc. Let’s talk about what not to bring: perishable food, lighter fluid, porn, alcohol, or personal weapons. But you might be able to get away with a Playboy or two as long as you’re not stupid about it. The 9mm round is too weak, go for headshots if you use it.
The rest of the article is really great. Up until the end. Where it goes into the usual uber civilized "the Iraqis hate us and victory is no where in sight. And Oh, by the way its just like Viet Nam". It has way more interesting military stuff, if you can over look their politics. Worth a read.

Via Strategypage

Palis change their minds

Haaretz has an interesting article on the latest polling in the Palestinian polity.

Some 54 percent of the Palestinians support a two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 lines, with border corrections and no massive return of refugees, confirming that there has been a change in Palestinian public opinion since the death of Yasser Arafat.

The findings of a comprehensive public opinion poll among 1,319 respondents conducted at the end of December contrast with those of a similar poll done in December 2003, which showed only 39 percent of the Palestinians supported an agreement with Israel. And a parallel poll, conducted in Israel among a representative sample of Jewish and Arab voters, showed that 64 percent are now in favor of a permanent peace agreement, compared to only 47 percent who supported such a deal in a similar poll last year.
This is good. Perhaps reason is finally getting a chance.
Some 63 percent of the Palestinians support the proposal that after the establishment of the state of Palestine and a solution to all the outstanding issues - including the refugees and Jerusalem - a declaration will be issued recognizing the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people and the Palestinian state as the state of the Palestinian people. Some 35 percent of the Palestinians oppose such a declaration. In June 2003, 52 percent supported such a proposal, and 46 percent were opposed.

On the Israeli side, 70 percent supported the proposal for mutual recognition, and 16 percent were opposed. In 2003, 65 percent supported the proposal and 33 percent were opposed.
Hmmmmm. Israel will recocgnize the Palis but the Palis will not recognize the Israelis until there is "a solution to all the outstanding issues".

I wonder if we can apply that rule to the French?

The Cat is Out of the Bag

Seymour Hersh says American troops are doing recon in Iran. Now there is a surprise. Why would they be doing that? Is it unclear or nuclear? Footballs discusses it. With more here.

Now the thing to figure out is: why was it leaked now? To test public opinion? Prevent an attack? Give Bush an opportunity to warn Iran again: "Nothing is off the table".

Certainly it is no news to Iran that they were being probed.

I think this is part of the run up to war.

It will be called a strike on nuclear weapons facilities. It will develop as an insurrection. American troops will go in to keep order and prevent nuclear materials and other weapons from getting into the hands of insurgents.

Our failures in Iraq will be the reason for going into Iran.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

French reporter - child (al-Durra) not killed by Israelis

Get the whole sordid story of the Mohammed al-Durra affair.

The boy whose "death" helped fuel the stupidfada may not be dead at all. Did I mention the French were involved?

Claiming they didn't want to make money on an innocent child's death, France 2 distributed the dramatic coverage free of charge to the global media. The Israeli army hastily issued a statement saying that the boy may have accidentally been killed in Israeli cross-fire. Only later, maybe too late, did the army authorize a full investigation. It entrusted this mission to civilian physicist Nahum Shahaf, who scientifically proved that -- given the angle of the Israeli position vis-a-vis Mohammed al-Durra -- the soldiers could not have possibly killed the boy. Mr. Shahaf then uncovered an incredible plot: He demonstrated that since the shots must have come from directly behind or next to the cameraman, the whole scene of the supposed infanticide must have been staged -- and that the boy seen in the film was not killed at all. Going through the film in slow motion, he could even see the cameraman's finger making a "take two" sign, used by professionals to signal the repeat of a scene.
So the whole thing was staged? How could that be? One of the reporters stated under oath that the boy was killed. One of only dozens of reporters at the scene who could confirm the boy was dead.
On that Friday, Mr. Rosenzweig, together with Denis Jeambar, editor-in-chief of L'Express, and Daniel Leconte, a former France 2 reporter, was admitted into the office of Arlette Chabot, the head of France 2's news department. Our friend delivered the sentence we had rehearsed so many times: "I came to watch the 27 minutes of the incident mentioned in Mr. Abu Rahma's statement under oath."

A legal clerk for France 2 told Mr. Rosenzweig and his colleagues that they "will be disappointed." "Didn't you know ?" added Didier Epelbaum, an adviser to the president of France Television (the department presiding over all French state-operated TV networks) "that Talal has retracted his testimony?"
So the statement about the boy's death, which is the only definitive proof of death has been retracted? That is interesting. is it possible that France 2 still stands by this story even though it knows it was filmed by someone who gave a false testimony and who, by retracting this testimony, effectively eliminated the whole basis of the report? For four years, France 2 has been holding the "27-minute footage," pretending it contained crucial evidence, knowing full well though that both of their journalists simply lied. France 2 must be held responsible for this manipulation, first for issuing this fabrication and then for not coming clean.
Well, read the whole thing. There is much more evidence. It makes France look bad and the Palestinians worse. Make my day.

How to Save Social Security

I was looking at a site that Instapundit mentioned and I came across this brilliant idea to save Social Security.

It is really so simple.

The government should just raise the interest rate it pays on the bonds in the lock box. So simple really. If the Goverment chooses the rate correctly Social Security will never run out of money.

On the other side

Blackfive has a very nice piece on media bias in the war by LTC Tim Ryan, CO, 2/12 Cav, 1st Cav Div. You should send this in a polite way to every newspaper and TV station you can.

What if domestic news outlets continually fed American readers headlines like: "Bloody Week on U.S. Highways: Some 700 Killed," or "More Than 900 Americans Die Weekly from Obesity-Related Diseases"? Both of these headlines might be true statistically, but do they really represent accurate pictures of the situations? What if you combined all of the negatives to be found in the state of Texas and used them as an indicator of the quality of life for all Texans? Imagine the headlines: "Anti-law Enforcement Elements Spread Robbery, Rape and Murder through Texas Cities." For all intents and purposes, this statement is true for any day of any year in any state. True -- yes, accurate -- yes, but in context with the greater good taking place -- no! After a year or two of headlines like these, more than a few folks back in Texas and the rest of the U.S. probably would be ready to jump off of a building and end it all. So, imagine being an American in Iraq right now.
He goes on to say:
I just read yet another distorted and grossly exaggerated story from a major news organization about the "failures" in the war in Iraq. Print and video journalists are covering only a small fraction of the events in Iraq and more often than not, the events they cover are only the bad ones. Many of the journalists making public assessments about the progress of the war in Iraq are unqualified to do so, given their training and experience. The inaccurate picture they paint has distorted the world view of the daily realities in Iraq. The result is a further erosion of international public support for the United States' efforts there, and a strengthening of the insurgents' resolve and recruiting efforts while weakening our own. Through their incomplete, uninformed and unbalanced reporting, many members of the media covering the war in Iraq are aiding and abetting the enemy.

The fact is the Coalition is making steady progress in Iraq, but not without ups and downs. War is a terrible thing and terrible things happen during wars, even when you are winning. In war, as in any contest of wills with capable opponents, things do not always go as planned; the guys with the white hats don't always come out on top in each engagement. That doesn't mean you are losing. Sure, there are some high profile and very spectacular enemy attacks taking place in Iraq these days, but the great majority of what is happening in Iraq is positive.
He goes on to say how to get educated in guerilla warfare.
So what are the credentials of these self proclaimed "experts"? The fact is that most of those on whom we rely for complete and factual accounts have little or no experience or education in counter-insurgency operations or in nation-building to support their assessments. How would they really know if things are going well or not? War is an ugly thing with many unexpected twists and turns. Who among them is qualified to say if this one is worse than any other at this point? What would they have said in early 1942 about our chances of winning World War II? Was it a lost cause too? How much have these "experts" studied warfare and counter-insurgencies in particular? Have they ever read Roger Trinquier's treatise Modern Warfare: A French View on Counter-insurgency (1956)? He is one of the few French military guys who got it right. The Algerian insurgency of the 1950s and the Iraq insurgency have many similarities. What about Napoleon's campaigns in Sardinia in 1805-07? Again, there are a lot of similarities to this campaign. Have they studied that and contrasted the strategies? Or, have they even read Mao Zedung's theories on insurgencies, or Nygen Giap's, or maybe Che' Gueverra's? Have they seen any of Sun Zsu's work lately? Who are these guys? It's time to start studying, folks. If a journalist doesn't recognize the names on this list, he or she probably isn't qualified to assess the state of this or any other campaign's progress.
There is more. Read it all.

Via Instapundit

Conflicting signals

There is a report of a Palestinian pollster who says:

"The public continues to be split in its attitude toward violence. Many of those who voted for Abu Mazen did so even though they do not reject the use of force. They voted for the whole package that the man presented to the public, which includes reforms in the regime, the elimination of corruption and a challenge to [Yasser] Arafat's style," says Shikaki.

Shikaki is among those who do not believe that violence advances Palestinian interests.

However, Shikaki concludes that the theory that Abbas' victory promises quieter days for the Negev town of Sderot - hard hit by Palestinian Qassam rocket attacks - is off the mark.
And yet a different Jerusalem Post article has this to say:
The Palestinians have already confounded cynics by embarking on a relatively smooth transition of power immediately after Yasser Arafat's death and later holding the Arab world's first free presidential election.

"Today the Arabs are jealous of us," boasted Palestinian political analyst Hasan al-Batal.

After four years of fighting, which have resulted in thousands of casualties and the destruction of the economy and infrastructure, a steadily increasing number of Palestinians are now convinced that the time has finally arrived for real changes. Moreover, a growing number of people in Ramallah, Nablus and Jenin seem to be searching for a ladder on which to climb down from the high tree where Arafat left them. In other words, they are seeking a face-saving solution that will prevent their cause from sinking in the quagmire.

Abbas promised during the election campaign to follow in Arafat's footsteps, but those who know him say they nearly fell off their chairs when they heard him talk so highly of his predecessor.

It's no secret that Abbas and Arafat were at loggerheads for many years. The dispute between the two peaked in 2003, when Arafat, under pressure from the US and various European countries, reluctantly agreed to appoint Abbas the first prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.
Ah, but that is not the only difference of opinion. Haaretz has this about the recent attack at the Gaza Erez crossing:
The deadly terror attack is meant to show the world that Abbas is helpless, both in the political and security fields. It aims to illustrate that Abbas needs "mediators" who will enable him to control the armed groups, and that he cannot quell the anger of Hamas and Fatah.

If Arafat was seen as the leader who could end the armed uprising, but chose not to do so, Thursday's attack portrays Abbas as a leader who may wish to end the armed struggle, but cannot do so.
The Netscape/AP has a different take:
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - Mahmoud Abbas extended his hand in peace to Israel as he was sworn in as the new Palestinian leader Saturday, but he faced a series of crises that imperiled those fledgling moves and raised questions about the elections that brought him to power.

Israeli army fire killed seven Palestinians in the Gaza Strip a day after Israel cut all ties with Abbas until he reins in militants. The boycott came after six Israelis were killed during an attack at a Gaza cargo crossing this week.

Also, 46 election officials resigned Saturday over alleged irregularities in the Jan. 9 balloting that gave Abbas a landslide victory with more than 62 percent of the vote.

In his inaugural speech, Abbas condemned violence, urged an immediate cease-fire and said he was extending Israel his hand in peace.

Officials in Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office called the speech disappointing, saying it did not define how Abbas would end attacks on Israel.
Of course the real question is not how he will do it. It is a question of can he do it at all.

Inside Israel there is disagreement on how to procede.
MK Ran Cohen said Sharon should remember that Abbas's rivals are "dangerous terrorists," and the response to them should be to respond positively to Abbas's peace gestures. Cohen also said Sharon may miss the chance to carry out the disengagement plan bilaterally.
My take is that is exactly what Sharon has done. Sharon says there will be no Israeli exit from Gaza under fire. I'd say that is about as bilateral as you can get.

Friday, January 14, 2005

They are not making things easy

By now you probaly have heard of the attack on the Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza strip.

The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz have the story as does Yahoo/Reuters.

Israel has closed the border between Gaza and Israel to all but humanitarian traffic. i.e. food and medicine.

What is most interesting is this quote from the Haaretz article:

Brig. Gen. Abir Kochavi, commander of the Gaza Division, said Friday that the amount of goods that will be allowed into Gaza will be cut drastically following the attack, but that the army would do what it could to reduce damage to innocent civilians.

"This is a central crossing through which merchandise, medicine and food are brought," Kochavi told Israel Radio. "For a reason that is not clear to us, [the terrorists] are making every effort to destroy our every attempt to allow the Palestinians, their own people, [to lead] easier lives."

Now why would the terrorist be trying to make things harder on their own people?

I thought fighting a war was all about making things easier. No accounting for the Palistinian mind.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

I am not being paid

There seems to be a big scandal going on about commentators and bloggers being paid to flack for campaigns or government programs. We have commentary disguised as journalism in the drug war. In the No Child Left behind Program. Then we have various bloggers being paid by some political campaigns.

At the current time no one is paying me anything for anything. Nada. Zip.

If someone would like to correct that problem you know where to contact me.

I'm for sale. Well for rent at least. Make me an offer.

The Brown Acid - Quality Control in A Free Market

Denis Hamill at the New York Daily News takes drug manufacturers to task about how their products are killing Americans for the sake of company profits.

In 1969, as a hippie kid at Woodstock, I sat in the mud with a score of Brooklyn pilgrims from Prospect Park's Hippie Hill listening to festival organizers shouting over the loudspeakers to the 400,000 zonked-out druggies, "Beware of the brown acid, man! If you've dropped the bad brown acid, report immediately to the medical tent, man!"

And the stampede was on.

Judging by recent events, you get more truth from drug culture than pharmaceutical companies and the Food and Drug Administration.
He goes on to point out that:
On three separate holiday-related occasions, I was sitting around gabbing with friends in Brooklyn and Queens and one of the first topics to arise was the reluctant revelations by the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies that they are literally killing us by the tens of thousands with these deadly prescription drugs they are hawking with less conscience than streetcorner dope pushers.

One young woman had taken Accutane, which we now learn may cause liver damage and birth defects as well as promoting suicide. But, hey, it gets rid of acne!

I spoke with one guy who has been on Prozac for years for his depression, only to learn that Prozac promotes violence toward others and suicidal tendencies - an anti-depressant that sends people to roof ledges to ask, "To be or not to be?"

Eli Lilly and Co. had data to this effect for 15 pill-pushing years, told the FDA, and they both kept it as secret as the books of a Colombian cocaine cartel.
I make a similar point in my article Addiction or Self Medication.
"Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize an undercover dictatorship. To restrict the art of healing to one class of men, and deny equal privilege to others, will be to constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic, and have no place in a Republic. The Constitution of this Republic should make special privilege for medical freedom as well as religious freedom." abridged quote --Benjamin Rush, M.D., a signer of the Declaration of Independence
I go on in that article to say just why the "ethical" drug companies are in the lead in the fight against street drugs.
Natural molecules similar to an active ingredient in marijuana play a part in helping the brain clear fearful memories and keep them from being permanently debilitating. The British journal Nature has reported this discovery by scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, Germany. The scientists of the Institute say that this has implications for the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder and other fear based conditions.

It turns out that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in the United States. They are worth $46 billion a year to the pharmaceutical industry. You don't suppose this fact has any thing to do with the pharmaceutical industries being in the forefront of the Drug Free America campaign do you? Of course not. They are just trying to keep you from being addicted to natural products at the cost of 1/10th of a cent per dose when they are more than willing to sell you an FDA and doctor approved, pharmacy sold product that will do the job for a dollar a dose. They have only your best interests at heart. Just ask their accountants.
There is no doubt that we need an honest robust drug industry. They may through their research have the keys to extending life and reducing suffering. Without honest profits they can not do the research that keeps the pipeline for new medicines full. What is lacking is honest profits. In fact the FDA was invented by the Federal Government to keep the drug companies honest. It hasn't worked out that way. It seems that every Federal regulatory agency eventually gets taken over by the very people it is intended to regulate. See the history of the ICC (The Interstate Commerce Commission) which is fortunately no longer a factor in regulating transportation rates. The same needs to be done to the FDA. What is needed is a private watchdog like UL (for electrical equipment) which came into being around the same time as the FDA. They also regulate a market. The market for electrical equipment. It has worked out rather well with no laws needed and no Federal Regulatory Bureau subject to political pressure. Funny thing is that the UL is a creature beholden to insurance companies.

The free market in action.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Want to Fix the Democrat Party?

Here is your chance:

Calling all Democrats!

We are a group of Democrats from across the country determined to do everything within our power to fix the Democratic Party.

As a first step, we are collecting ideas from December 14th through January 14th. We will take the best 100 ideas and submit it to the new Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman and to every Democratic U.S. Senator, Member of Congress and Governor.

After another disappointing performance by Democrats, it's time to act. It's time for us to stand up and fix this party. Stand up and give us your ideas to fix the Democratic Party.
I'd suggest they drop socialism. And figure out how to help the Iraqi Democracy experiment. What are the odds that those ideas will wind up any where but the trash bin?

LGF fixes

For all you Little Green Football fans: as you know the site is down.

You can still get your fixes here:

Discarded Lies.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Over in Moonbat Land

Well some people just love watching a train wreck. I love watching DU.

And what do the good people at DU have to say about the CBS report on Rathergate?

Evidently there is a lot of learned helplesness going on over there

by tridim Mon Jan-10-05 03:45 PM

Well it's official, apparently CBS made up the entire Bush NG story

I've heard several newsbreaks on a few different radio stations (even AAR), and they all say that the story was and is discredited. The docs were fake and the content was fake. CBS apparently made it all up.

Rove: 1 - Truth: 0

I'm fuming mad right now. They were just busted for bribing Armstrong Williams with tax dollars, yet they still have the gall to close this story out with a mammoth lie. Sigh, I guess it's nothing new. I feel so helpless.
So he thinks the story that once was true is now being branded a lie. I am not sure what makes him feel so helpless. The truth or the fact that his beliefs are not being confirmed. Well he is a denizen of DU (1000+ posts). It could be both.

And then we have the timing is everything crowd. Why is this coming out now? The DU folks have an answer.
by itcfish1 Mon Jan-10-05 04:54 PM

17. Funny This Coming Out Now

When the Armstrong Williams story was growing legs.
CBS held on to this story and then released it just when it could help the Republicans the most. Uh. Huh. It coulda happened that way. Maybe an investigation is needed. LOL.

Ya see it is all the fault of the Republican TV networks. I got proof. Well maybe not proof. I do have a statement:
by TheGoldenRule Mon Jan-10-05 05:40 PM

18. This pisses me off!

Time to let CBS and all the other repuke networks that they've lost a viewer-though actually, I gave up on them all right after the election.

I hope everyone takes the time to do the same!
So there you have it. A Republican plot by the Republican media. Who writes their jokes? It is not a joke? Coulda fooled me.
by mbee Mon Jan-10-05 06:02 PM

21. Hey, it's not their fault since they are not allowed to actually

do investigative journalism. It's against pug law.
Let me see here. The investigation turns up inconvenient facts and it is not investigative journalism. Geeze. I had never looked at it that way before. Probably because I was dropped on my head as a kid. Or the whole lot of them were. Hard to imagine so many clumsy parents. Hard to imagine so many brain damaged kids. Maybe it was the brown acid. Or perhaps there are contacts missing. Like with reality.


Welcome Instapundit readers

Welcome DU fans.

BTW I was a Communist once long ago and far away. Hard to believe I know.

A regional disaster in another place, another time

This is a three hanky read.

America hasn't changed much in 50+ years. And it is a good thing.

Why an Aircraft Carrier?

Sgt Stryker alerted me to this:

Today, during an afternoon conference that wrapped up my project of the last 18 months, one of my Euro collegues tossed this little turd out to no one in particular:

" See, this is why George Bush is so dumb, theres a disaster in the world and he sends an Aircraft Carrier..."

After which he and many of my Euro collegues laughed out loud.

and then they looked at me. I wasn't laughing, and neither was my Hindi friend sitting next to me, who has lost family in the disaster.

I'm afraid I was "unprofessional", I let it loose -

"Hmmm, let's see, what would be the ideal ship to send to a disaster, now what kind of ship would we want?

Something with its own inexhuastible power supply?

Something that can produce 900,000 gallons of fresh water a day from sea water?

Something with its own airfield? So that after producing the fresh water, it could help distribute it?

Something with 4 hospitals and lots of open space for emergency supplies?

Something with a global communications facility to make the coordination of disaster relief in the region easier?

Well "Franz", us peasants in America call that kind of ship an "Aircraft Carrier". We have 12 of them. How many do you have? Oh that's right, NONE. Lucky for you and the rest of the world, we are the kind of people who share. Even with people we dont like. In fact, if memory serves,once upon a time we peasants spent a ton of money and lives rescuing people who we had once tried to kill and who tried to kill us.
There is way more here. You should go and read it all. For it is good.

Welcome Instapundit readers.

A Nimitz Class Carriercan produce 400,000 gallons of fresh water a day. Of course the whole battle group together could produce more. However, this additional capability would not be used for emergency relief except in the direst of circumstances because unlike the carrier which produces the water from nuclear power the rest of the vessels in the task group would have to use fuel oil burned in the boilers to make fresh water. That means naval oil tankers would be required to make more frequent visits to the fleet for refueling. Refueling also means shutting down just about all other deck activity. Not good when getting food and water to those stranded on shore is critical.

I served as a reactor operator on the Bainbridge (DLG(N)-25). Because of nuclear power we could take just about unlimited fresh water showers. Unheard of in the Navy. Fuel oil is expensive and ship captains are graded on fuel economy. Not so important on a nuclear powered ship. No doubt in this emergency the use by ships company of fresh water is probably way down.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Kerry Talks to the Troops

Kerry talks to the troops in Iraq. More like the troops talk to Kerry. Here is the message they gave him to take back to Congress.

Kerry also asked soldiers what he should tell Congress about the war in Iraq and was told that "the good work that they are doing is not getting reported in the United States."
I had read this earlier in the day and couldn't remember where I had originally read it. So I went looking on Google news. I looked at six or seven stories about Kerry and the troops and couldn't find it. Do you suppose the MSM is hiding what the troops really want from the American people? Evidently it is not more personal armor or armor for their vehicles. I wonder why this is not being covered in the American press?

Via Kesher Talk.

Busting the Carnival Line - Jam Cruise 3

Carnival Lines was hosting a cruise called Jam Cruise 3.

At the end of the cruise were drug sniffing dogs. Customer service at its finest. Ya gotta wonder whose bright idea that was. It is possible the government thought it up on its own. It coulda happened.

Well they found six people with drugs on their person. Excellent.

Pot, Xtacy, Cocaine. All were charged with felony possesion.

I wonder if there will be a Jam Cruise 4?

I wonder what the mandatory sentence is for felony pot possesion?

I wonder if they found any terrorists? Probably not their job. More's the pity.

Drug Money

Triticale who is an old friend of mine from my days on Sheffield Ave. (a block up from Armitage) in Chicago. And the CACHE Club. Has a really neat comment on a post of mine.

As for the contribution of drug users to the development of computers? Bill Gates has confirmed the rumor that he got into an argument with a table while tripping at the Microsoft offices. Nolan Bushnell has confirmed that Atari corporate design meetings were intense smokefests. The initial Macintosh project was notorious not for the fact of marijuana use but the amount and openness of it. Bob Widlar, the single most influential designer of analog amplifier chips, altho better known for his drinking, liked to go to Acapulco to binge on the famous gold after every breakthru.
There is more. Go read it for it is good.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Vulture Elite

The Diplomad is ranting. About the UN. He calls them the High Preist Vulture Elite.

He stars out:

The Chief Diplomad is just back from the office. It's 4 am. Mosquitoes are everywhere. The internet is painfully slow. Your "friendly" Chief Diplomad's plan to move on to another set of duties, for now, has fallen by the roadside. He must remain in the current job for now. The local Guardian correspondent has called the Embassy; he is doing a negative story on the US relief effort based on "information" provided by the UN at a press conference. The Diplomad is in a dark, dark mood. So, of course, just as anyone else would do in such circumstances, The Diplomad writes about the UN.
But that is just a warm up. A bit further on he gets rolling:
Seeing these UNocrats perched at the table, whispering to each other, back-slapping, shaking hands, they seemed like a periodic reunion of old cynical Mafia chieftains or mercenaries who run into each other in different hot spots, as they move from one slaughter to another, "How are you? Haven't seen you since Bosnia . . .." As the hours wore on, however, and I nervously doodled in my note pad, shifted in my chair, looked at my watch, and thought about all the real work I had to do that evening, I decided that, no, labeling them mafiosos or mercenaries was much too kind. They seemed more to be the progeny resulting from a mating between a mad oracle and a giant carrion-eater. They were akin to some sort of ancient mythical Greco-Roman-Aztec-Wes Craven-Egyptian-bird-god that demands constant sacrifice and feeding, and speaks in riddles which only it can solve. Yes, I decided, the UNocrats are great hideous vultures, roused from their caves in the European Alps and in the cement canyons and peaks of Manhattan by the stench of death in the Turd World. They leisurely take flight toward the smell of death; circle, and then swoop down, screeching UNintelligble nonsense. They arrive and immediately force others, e.g., the American tax payer, to build them new exclusive nests in the midst of poverty, and make themselves fat on the flesh of the dead. My friends, allow The Diplomad to present to you The High Priest Vulture Elite (HPVE).

These genuinely repulsive, arrogant creatures survive only because the world's rich countries, the non-Turd World, allow them, too. We in the First World find it politically impossible to reveal their pronouncements as the cant they are. For many in Europe and among the New York Times crowd, helping maintain these mad vultures substitutes for genuine action, "The UN is on the job!" In addition, for many senior bureaucrats and minor politicians, there is always the hope that if they play the game right, they, too, can join the High Priest Vulture Elite: We see the ranks of the HPVE full of Scandinavians and leftist Americans, and the occasional pompous Euro-Brazilian, all of whom parlayed mediocre domestic careers of lip-biting humanitarian symbolism into well-paying tax-free sinecures in the HPVE.
It gets better.

Go read the whole thing. This is an order. I expect a salute followed by action. I expect a report on completion of the assignment. That is all. Carry on.