Raging Right Wing Republican

For those of us who are politically informed, and therefore Republican.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Kerry Won't Stop Babbling

Apparently nobody informed John Kerry that he lost the election, because he's still trying to write military policy:
Our military needs a better ally at home
He's one to talk. I bet our military was saying this during Vietnam as he went about his anti-American escapades, undermining their efforts with Jane Fonda.
I introduced the Strengthening America's Armed Forces and Military Family Bill of Rights Act to permanently increase the size of the military by 30,000 to 40,000 in the Army and 10,000 in the Marine Corps to meet challenges of the new century.
Oh, goody, a bill to Google!
No standard web pages containing all your search terms were found.

Your search - "Military Family Bill of Rights Act" - did not match any documents.

Suggestions: - Make sure all words are spelled correctly. - Try different keywords. - Try more general keywords. Also, you can try Google Answers for expert help with your search. *****

Your search - "Strengthening America's Armed Forces Act" - did not match any documents.

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Once again, John Kerry, the liar. He didn't 'introduce' anything, as far as Google's massive internet sweeping reach can find, unless it's still classified as part of his secret Christmas mission to Cambodia. What's got him confused, again, is that he'd been boasting endlessly on the campaign trail that he would introduce such an act. However, just like all his other boasting, our arrogant narcissist forgot that he never got around to it. If it hasn't been proposed, then it's not legislation; it was never proposed - it was just another empty campaign talking point, much like John Kerry himself.

- mAc Chaos

The Makings of a 9/11 Republican

This article has been making the rounds since it's publication last week, and I just got around to reading it. Ms. Stillwell's political evolution is one that is remarkably familiar to many people. The makings of a 9/11 Republican.
As one of a handful of Bay Area conservative columnists, I’m no stranger to pushing buttons. Indeed, I welcome feedback from readers, whether positive or negative. I find the interplay stimulating, but I am often bemused by the stereotypical assumptions made by my critics on the left. It’s not enough to simply disagree with my views; I have to be twisted into a conservative caricature that apparently makes opponents feel superior. They seem not to have considered that it’s possible to put forward different approaches to various societal problems and not be the devil incarnate.

But in some ways I understand where this perspective comes from, because I once shared it. I was raised in liberal Marin County, and my first name (which garners more comments than anything else) is a direct product of the hippie generation. Growing up, I bought into the prevailing liberal wisdom of my surroundings because I didn’t know anything else. I wrote off all Republicans as ignorant, intolerant yahoos. It didn’t matter that I knew none personally; it was simply de rigueur to look down on such people. The fact that I was being a bigot never occurred to me, because I was certain that I inhabited the moral high ground.

Having been indoctrinated in the postcolonialist, self-loathing school of multiculturalism, I thought America was the root of all evil in the world. Its democratic form of government and capitalist economic system was nothing more than a machine in which citizens were forced to be cogs. I put aside the nagging question of why so many people all over the world risk their lives to come to the United States. Freedom of speech, religious freedom, women’s rights, gay rights (yes, even without same-sex marriage), social and economic mobility, relative racial harmony and democracy itself were all taken for granted in my narrow, insulated world view.

So, what happened to change all that? In a nutshell, 9/11. The terrorist attacks on this country were not only an act of war but also a crime against humanity. It seemed glaringly obvious to me at the time, and it still does today. But the reaction of my former comrades on the left bespoke a different perspective. The day after the attacks, I dragged myself into work, still in a state of shock, and the first thing I heard was one of my co-workers bellowing triumphantly, “Bush got his war!” There was little sympathy for the victims of this horrific attack, only an irrational hatred for their own country.

As I spent months grieving the losses, others around me wrapped themselves in the comfortable shell of cynicism and acted as if nothing had changed. I soon began to recognize in them an inability to view America or its people as victims, born of years of indoctrination in which we were always presented as the bad guys.

Never mind that every country in the world acts in its own self-interest, forms alliances with unsavory countries — some of which change later — and are forced to act militarily at times. America was singled out as the sole guilty party on the globe. I, on the other hand, for the first time in my life, had come to truly appreciate my country and all that it encompassed, as well as the bravery and sacrifices of those who fight to protect it.

Thoroughly disgusted by the behavior of those on the left, I began to look elsewhere for support. To my astonishment, I found that the only voices that seemed to me to be intellectually and morally honest were on the right. Suddenly, I was listening to conservative talk-show hosts on the radio and reading conservative columnists, and they were making sense. When I actually met conservatives, I discovered that they did not at all embody the stereotypes with which I’d been inculcated as a liberal.
The rest is worth reading.

- mAc Chaos

Causes Belli

Wizbang lays down the case for war in Iraq and why it was justified, once again.

- mAc Chaos

Professors for Fraud & Terrorism

The Volokh Conspirach has a wonderful summary of the entire Ward Churchill affair. Maybe we should keep him around just to have someone to point at whenever somebody decries the 'right wing extremism' that's 'taking over' the country.

- mAc Chaos

Putin to Bush: You Fired Dan Rather

Perhaps we could call this an act of psychological projection:
George Bush knew Vladimir Putin would be defensive when Bush brought up the pace of democratic reform in Russia in their private meeting at the end of Bush's four-day, three-city tour of Europe. But when Bush talked about the Kremlin's crackdown on the media and explained that democracies require a free press, the Russian leader gave a rebuttal that left the President nonplussed. If the press was so free in the U.S., Putin asked, then why had those reporters at CBS lost their jobs? Bush was openmouthed. "Putin thought we'd fired Dan Rather," says a senior Administration official. "It was like something out of 1984."

The Russians did not let the matter drop. Later, during the leaders' joint press conference, one of the questioners Putin called on asked Bush about the very same firings, a coincidence the White House assumed had been orchestrated. The odd episode reinforced the Administration's view that Putin's impressions of America are often based on urban myths fed to him by ill-informed aides. (At a past summit, according to Administration aides, Putin asked Bush whether it was true that chicken producers split their production into plants that serve the U.S. and lower-quality ones that process substandard chicken for Russia.) U.S. aides say that to help fight against this kind of misinformation, they are struggling to build relationships that go beyond Putin. "We need to go deeper into the well into other levels of government," explains an aide.

- mAc Chaos

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Another Embarassment for the UN

The UN fears that their peacekeepers have been committing sexual abuses worldwide.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.N. officials fear the sex-abuse scandal among peacekeepers in Africa is far more widespread and appears to be a problem in each of the global body's 16 missions around the world.

- mAc Chaos

A Powder Keg About to Go Up

Mark Steyn removes any doubt as to where he thinks Europe's headed:
Most administration officials subscribe to one of two views: a) Europe is a smugly irritating but irrelevant backwater; or b) Europe is a smugly irritating but irrelevant backwater where the whole powder keg's about to go up.


For what it's worth, I incline to the latter position. Europe's problems -- its unaffordable social programs, its deathbed demographics, its dependence on immigration numbers that no stable nation (not even America in the Ellis Island era) has ever successfully absorbed -- are all of Europe's making. . . .

Until the shape of the new Europe begins to emerge, there's no point picking fights with the terminally ill. The old Europe is dying, and Mr. Bush did the diplomatic equivalent of the Oscar night lifetime-achievement tribute at which the current stars salute a once glamorous old-timer whose fading aura is no threat to them. The 21st century is being built elsewhere.
Austin Bay takes a more hopeful view, which we may hope turns out to be true.

Mark Steyn responds to Austin's comments.

- mAc Chaos

Big Brother is Watching

In Sweden and Britain.

(Via The Conservative Philosopher.)

- mAc Chaos

Friday, February 25, 2005

Ward Churchill: Art Plagiarist

Exactly how many skeletons in the closet does this guy have?

- mAc Chaos

Cowboy Capitalism

Let's declare war on the 'War on Poverty':
But if there was a permanent class of poor, the cause was not a failure of capitalism but of the War on Poverty, which reinforced such self-defeating attitudes. Clearly, as the administration understood, American capitalism was a dynamo of job creation and opportunity. President Bush's generation, after all, had seen the astonishing restructuring of U.S. industry in the 1980s, when, in response to foreign competition, companies slimmed down, boosted productivity and quality, and kept their markets and prosperity; while their laid-off workers didn't permanently succumb to paralyzing depression but instead found--or created--new jobs. . . .

The War on Poverty rests on a false premise: that capitalism creates a permanent class of poor. And War on Poverty attitudes have a deeply harmful effect on those entrammeled in America's current welfare state. So the second Bush term is bringing the War on Poverty--demonstrably a cataclysmic mistake--to an end. A glance at the administration's recent budget shows the ongoing dismantling of antipoverty programs: a sharp reduction in the Community Development Block Grant, the main conduit for funneling federal money to cities; the reduction in HUD money for Section 8 subsidized housing vouchers, which abets the formation of dysfunctional single-parent families and destabilizes respectable working-class neighborhoods; and the shrinkage of ever-expanding Medicaid. Welfare is now temporary assistance in adversity, not a permanent way of life; and we can expect welfare reform's conditions to become even stricter when the 1996 Act finally gets reauthorized. . . .
Indeed, one of the biggest flaws in socialism and communism was that they forced an artificial class structure onto society, thus creating the very static class systems which they had hoped to dispel.
It's in this context that we should understand President Bush's campaign for Social Security reform. It is part of the large and coherent world view that has evolved out of compassionate conservatism. What has always made America exceptional is limitless opportunity for everyone, at all levels--the ability to find a job, to advance up the ladder as you prove yourself, and to prosper. The poor especially have flocked to these shores for just this chance, and have proved the promise true. A giant welfare state--whether its clients are the poor, the "lower third of the economy," or a cohort of government-pensioned retirees who almost outnumber the taxpaying workers who support them--hampers the job creation that makes all this opportunity possible. President Bush is determined to keep the dynamism vibrant, and to encourage and empower the poor to take part in it, rather than to suggest they are unequal to the task.

The Europeans call this "cowboy capitalism." If so, then yee-haw!
Right on.

- mAc Chaos

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Death of the West

"The West" is dead, but long live America!

- mAc Chaos

Busted

In case you haven't been following the story, leftist indian college professor Ward Churchill caused a controversy when he declared that the victims of 9/11 weren't innocent, and that they were, "Little Eichmann's". As if this outrageous (and one could say, near treasonous) declaration wasn't enough, he continued to fan the flames, saying that 9/11 was "Right on!" and called for more of them to happen. Openly supporting the terrorists' cause, he also asked why it had taken so long for such an event to happen, when according to him, one should've happened so long ago. Truely the stereotype of an America hating leftist, personified. Well, the rabbit hole continues to go deeper: the position to which he was hired for as a college professor, as an expert on indians based on the fact that he was one, was revealed to be complete hogwash. The man isn't even an indian. Sure, he claims to have an indian ancestor 'some time ago', of which he shares some distant, obscure relation, but he can't even name one. Somehow I doubt I'd go around calling myself an Indian American if I found out that I had 1/28 indian blood.

So, obviously, this man should not only be prevented from speaking of his delusional views on a college platform, but also fired, considering that the primary reason for his original acquisition has turned out to have been false. What were these people thinking when they hired him? He's not exactly bashful about his views. After all, why should parents be paying to subject their children to such vile rhetoric every day in the classroom?

In any case, the revelations don't end there. Apparently he long ago went above and beyond merely supporting the terrorists and calling for more mass murder on his fellow countrymen, to actually training terrorists in the ways of terrorism.
Churchill on Tape Teaching Terrorism

We have uncovered some new taped evidence of CU professor Ward Churchill speaking to a group of Americans at the Left Bank Book Store in Seattle on August 10, 2003. In these recordings he says things such as “right on” is the proper reaction to 9/11 and he explicitly instructs followers on how to commit terrorist acts.
Tough luck, Church.

With this act, he's gone beyond any sort of speech, from borderline sedition to blatantly crossing the line into treasonous action. What will happen? Nothing is clear, yet, but we'll see, as more information continues to come to light about this America hating professor. Before we know it, at this rate, we could find out his name isn't even Ward Churchill and that he's not even an American citizen, no?

- mAc Chaos

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Tainted

It seems that the clusterbomb of scandals rocking the UN have begun to take their toll:
(Angus Reid Consultants - CPOD Global Scan) – Adults in the United States remain split in their assessment of the United Nations (UN), according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports. 37 per cent of respondents have a favourable opinion of the organization, a five per cent drop since November.

- mAc Chaos

Monday, February 21, 2005

Absolutely Outrageous

Our military soldiers are over in Iraq giving life and limb to bravely fight for our country. Obviously, they should be honored for their sacrifices.

And for one soldier's thanks, he received a care package with letters from a group of sixth graders from an elementary school. Anybody out in the front would love such a surprise. And yet, a nasty revelation awaited him, for he had received not letters of support but a litany of abusive letters which butchered the concept of decency itself:
February 21, 2005 -- An American soldier overseas is fuming over letters he received from Brooklyn middle-school children accusing GIs of destroying mosques and killing civilians in Iraq.

Pfc. Rob Jacobs of New Jersey said he was initially ecstatic to get a package of letters from sixth-graders at JHS 51 in Park Slope last month at his base 10 miles from the North Korea border.

That changed when he opened the envelope and found missives strewn with politically charged rhetoric, vicious accusations and demoralizing predictions that only a handful of soldiers would leave the Iraq war alive.

"It's hard enough for soldiers to deal with being away from their families, they don't need to be getting letters like this," Jacobs, 20, said in a phone interview from his base at Camp Casey.

"If they don't have anything nice to say, they might as well not say anything at all."

One Muslim boy wrote: "Even thoe [sic] you are risking your life for our country, have you seen how many civilians you or some other soldier killed?"

His letter, which was stamped with a smiley face, went on: "I know your [sic] trying to save our country and kill the terrorists but you are also destroying holy places like Mosques."

Most of the 21 letters Jacobs provided to The Post mentioned some support for the armed forces, if not the Iraq war, and thanked him for his service. But nine of the students made clear their distaste for the president or the war.

The letters were written as a social-studies assignment.

The JHS 51 teacher, Alex Kunhardt, did not return phone calls, but the school principal, Xavier Costello, responded with a statement:

"While we would never censor anything that our children write, we sincerely apologize for forwarding letters that were in any way inappropriate to Pfc. Jacobs. This assignment was not intended to be insensitive, but to be supportive of the men and women in service to our nation."
So the teacher refuses to comment, and the Principle offers a lukewarm apology, at best. What bullshit. As if we're to buy the notion that these obviously politically savvy sixth graders took it upon themselves to write such letters charged with these assaults against this unfortunate soldier. No, there's just no way possible at all that the teacher had anything to do with this, as if they'd ever try to persuade, promote, or encourage certain beliefs in our schoolchildren.

This is disgusting...

- mAc Chaos

More 'Human Rights Group' Hysteria

Amnesty International jumps onto the 'human rights abuse' bandwagon by claiming that the women in Iraq today are no better off than they were being gassed by Saddam. It concedes that most of the trouble has been from the violence from insurgents and that political parties centering around women's rights have formed, while throwing out the accusation that some of the abuses were done by US soldiers. Even granting that these alleged abuses occured, the general violence of an insurgency, which really only takes place in certain specific areas in Iraq (Fallujah before we took it, for instance), is hardly comparable to Saddam's thugocracy. How can they even compare the two? That's like saying the people starving to death under Stalin's cult of genocide were no worse off than those who may have had hardships after the USSR fell. Quite a bit of contrast, there.

- mAc Chaos

Children Harmed By Vegan Diets

Apparently putting children on a strict vegan diet actually harms them by inhibiting their development, and as such it is unethical, argues a scientist.
Professor Allen said: "There have been sufficient studies clearly showing that when women avoid all animal foods, their babies are born small, they grow very slowly and they are developmentally retarded, possibly permanently."

"If you're talking about feeding young children, pregnant women and lactating women, I would go as far as to say it is unethical to withhold these foods [animal source foods] during that period of life."

She was especially critical of parents who imposed a vegan lifestyle on their children, denying them milk, cheese, butter and meat.

"There's absolutely no question that it's unethical for parents to bring up their children as strict vegans," she told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Interesting findings. Perhaps it could be because we're naturally engineered to require such foods? A biological requirement for meat, you could say.

- mAc Chaos

And Yet...


You know, it's amazing that the brain waves begin to reveal themselves in an infant around as early as six weeks; these are the same signs doctors use to determine if their patients are still alive while in a coma.

And yet...

- mAc Chaos

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Dogsledding

Apparently the chief Canadian activity, when they aren't plotting to overthrow the United States.

- mAc Chaos

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Bush Tapes

One of Bush's old friends secretly taped his conversations with the President and has released them to the public, causing a furor over these Nixon-style proceedings.
Early on, though, Mr. Bush appeared most worried that Christian conservatives would object to his determination not to criticize gays. "I think he wants me to attack homosexuals," Mr. Bush said after meeting James Robison, a prominent evangelical minister in Texas.

But Mr. Bush said he did not intend to change his position. He said he told Mr. Robison: "Look, James, I got to tell you two things right off the bat. One, I'm not going to kick gays, because I'm a sinner. How can I differentiate sin?"

Later, he read aloud an aide's report from a convention of the Christian Coalition, a conservative political group: "This crowd uses gays as the enemy. It's hard to distinguish between fear of the homosexual political agenda and fear of homosexuality, however."

"This is an issue I have been trying to downplay," Mr. Bush said. "I think it is bad for Republicans to be kicking gays."

Told that one conservative supporter was saying Mr. Bush had pledged not to hire gays, Mr. Bush said sharply: "No, what I said was, I wouldn't fire gays."

As early as 1998, however, Mr. Bush had already identified one gay-rights issue where he found common ground with conservative Christians: same-sex marriage. "Gay marriage, I am against that. Special rights, I am against that," Mr. Bush told Mr. Wead, five years before a Massachusetts court brought the issue to national attention.

Mr. Bush took stock of conservative Christian views of foreign policy as well. Reading more of the report from the Christian Coalition meeting, Mr. Bush said to Mr. Wead: "Sovereignty. The issue is huge. The mere mention of Kofi Annan in the U.N. caused the crowd to go into a veritable fit. The coalition wants America strong and wants the American flag flying overseas, not the pale blue of the U.N."

As eager as Mr. Bush was to cultivate the support of Christian conservatives, he did not want to do it too publicly for fear of driving away more secular voters. When Mr. Wead warned Mr. Bush to avoid big meetings with evangelical leaders, Mr. Bush said, "I'm just going to have one," and, "This is not meant to be public."
There is much, much more, on a broad selection of topics, and it is quite interesting. In many aspects, my respect for him has increased. And then, there's this:
"The private Mr. Bush sounds remarkably similar in many ways to the public President Bush."
Who could have ever imagined that he is what he says he is?

- mAc Chaos

Friday, February 18, 2005

Canada Has Free Health Care

Now all they need are some doctors. Town's last six doctors quitting.
Ontario's doctor shortage is taking a turn for the worse as the last six physicians in the town of Geraldton are quitting en masse, presenting another headache for Health Minister George Smitherman.

The move will leave the local hospital and thousands of patients with no physicians when the departures take effect in May — unless months of failed efforts to recruit replacement physicians suddenly pay off.

Losing its doctors will likely move Geraldton to the top of the list of about 140 cities and towns in the province officially designated by the government as being short of doctors. About 100 of those are in southern Ontario.

The Ontario Medical Association estimates one million Ontarians don't have family physicians and says that number is likely to grow with hundreds of doctors — many of them over 65 — within a few years of retiring.

The Geraldton crisis comes at an awkward time for Smitherman, whose ministry is embroiled in contract talks with doctors through the OMA, which has warned that the doctor shortage will grow worse without more incentives.
- mAc Chaos

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Black Wedding


(Cartoon courtesy of Cox and Forkum.)

Iran, Syria partnership raises eyebrows.
Iran and Syria on Wednesday said they would unite against any challenges or threats to their nations' livelihoods, a move that could raise the stakes in the ongoing international dramas involving both countries. ...

Observers said an alliance of any kind between the two nations wouldn't be good.

"They feel the ground shifting under them" as democracy begins to take root in neighboring Iraq, Robert McFarlane (search), who served as national security adviser to President Reagan, told FOX News.

"It's a very misguided effort, this idea of cooperation between Iran and Syria," McFarlane continued. "They've wreaked years and years of devastation to Lebanon and the sponsorship of terrorism."

Syria was invited into Lebanon in 1976 to quell that country's nascent civil war. The war did not end until 1990, and Syria has loosely controlled Lebanon ever since.

Iran has been the main provider of funding and weapons to Lebanese Hezbollah, the fundamentalist Shiite militia, terrorist group and political party that forced U.S. and French troops out of Beirut in 1983 and the Israeli army out of southern Lebanon during the 1990s.

"[Iran and Syria] have been joined for a long time in creating terrorism in the region," Air Force Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Tom McInerney told FOX News. "That shouldn't be any surprise to any of us, they've just now announced it publicly."
- mAc Chaos

The Daily Show On Bloggers

Prepare to laugh.

Still At It

Even with all the abuse we love to pile on Carter, it appears that he deserves more.

- mAc Chaos

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Quote of the Day

P.J. O'Rourke:
If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free.
- mAc Chaos

Attack Submarine Jimmy


(Cartoon courtesy of Day by Day.)

- mAc Chaos

Fighting Another War

Apparently, some POWs, who sacrificed greatly to fight in the first Gulf War and who were tortured in the process have been attempting to get the new Iraq to dish out $1 billion as compensation for their suffering. While I sympathize highly with their problem and greatly respect their service to our country, I am confused as to why Iraq should be the one paying for their compensation - the government that did those horrible things to them no longer exists.

The current government is a representative one, representing the Iraqi people themselves, not their former Ba'athist rulers. In other words, we'd be falsely attributing crimes to the people who were not guilty of committing them - the Iraqi people were held a hostage to Saddam's regime, themselves, and suffered just as much as anybody else, if not the most, under his iron-fisted rule. What remains of Saddam's Ba'athist regime exists in the mountainsides, the shadows, contributing to most of the violence through the insurgency, and carrying out the post-invasion plan Saddam laid out for them to try and outlast us, before we deposed him after a year long 'rush' to war.

And really, how can we expect the rest of the world to forgive Iraq the debt it owes if we are unwilling to do so ourselves, and after telling everybody else to forgive and forget?

- mAc Chaos

Inspecting the Inspection

One of the biggest complaints regarding the war has been that we should've waited for the inspection process to finish, to be completely sure that Saddam did or did not have WMDs.

However, this line of reasoning is flawed; the inspections, if anything, would never allow us to be sure, because Saddam had been playing a game of hide-and-seek with inspections throughout the entire ordeal. Not only that, but we know now, in hindsight, that the UN itself was on the take from Saddam, so the conflict of interest there, alone, should abolish any pretense that the inspections could provide a level of objectivity which we were lacking, or that we should place any trust in it, anymore than we should be placing trust in the word of a madman.

In fact, the inspectors themselves hardly ever did their jobs, much like those who work at any other bureaucracy. Instead of working to find Saddam's WMDs, inspectors spent their time boozing it up in Baghdad.
UN inspectors in Iraq spent their working hours drinking vodka while ignoring a shadowy nocturnal fleet believed to be smuggling goods for Saddam Hussein, a former senior inspector told the US Senate yesterday.

In a move that provoked fury from officials of the Swiss firm Cotecna, an Australian former inspector detailed a picture of incompetence, indifference and drunkeness among the men acting as the frontline for UN sanctions.

Arthur Ventham, a former Australian army officer and customs officer, joined the operation in 2002 and worked at various sites in Iraq and neighbouring states.

He said that at Iskendurun in eastern Turkey, some officials had refused to work.

When he asked one of his bosses why, he was told: "They were friends or relatives of potential clients, and are only in the mission so the company could secure future contracts in Nigeria, Comoros and another African country.

"When I said that this was unfair on everyone else, I was told that it was general practice in Cotecna."

Other inspectors had spent most of the day in hotel rooms while others drank beer and talked to the local people.

Inspectors were supposed to check lorries to make sure the UN sanctions regime was being enforced.

At another monitoring site where the UN was supposed to check humanitarian aid supplies, Mr Ventham noticed "the team leader and his fellow countrymen [the nationality is unstated] spending the majority of their time in each other's rooms drinking vodka as opposed to managing and leading the team".

There he noticed small vessels and barges moving to a small island each night.

"I mentioned this to a number of other inspectors saying there was plenty of scope for smuggling and what were the UN doing about it.

"I was extremely surprised by the response that it was common knowledge smuggling was going on at Um Qasir [and that] the oil was being sold on the black market to augment the regime."
So I guess we could've just gone with the word of a maniac - if that looks like an insane plan, just squint harder.

- mAc Chaos

A Pointless Exercise

By signing up for the Kyoto Protocol, Canadians, Americans, and Australians would be shooting themselves in the foot:
TODAY the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions comes into force. If you believe the climate change propagandists, it is the first step in saving the world from the terrible consequences of global warming. The truth is Kyoto is a joke.

It will do next to nothing to lower the rate of global emissions of greenhouse gas and provides no workable framework for future action. By 2012, when ratifying countries' commitments under Kyoto to cut CO2 emissions expire, we will find key countries have failed to comply and global emissions will be rising steadily as the result of world growth.

For this we can all be thankful. The costs of following a Kyoto-style system of emission caps and timetables would, on most available studies, exceed the benefits. This is not, of course, what you will hear from the legion of scientists, bureaucrats, lobbyists, companies and politicians who have taken seats on the Kyoto gravy train. But privately at least the smart ones know Kyoto is a dead duck.
Perhaps we should be focusing on countries like China instead of hamstringing ourselves to little effect.
"The question is," Langman told the committee, "how can we engage India and China, where most of the growth in the global emissions will take place over the next several decades, in a way that is effective from an environmental point of view? I have very little sense from the negotiations that the [Kyoto] protocol and its approach of binding quantitative caps on emissions, is feasible in terms of engaging those countries."
I wouldn't trust most of the politically motivated pseudo-science that gets peddled around in favor of it, anyway.
Rather than let them alarm you, ask yourself this: do you think people who can't tell you whether it will rain next Wednesday are really capable of building models that tell you what the climate will be like 100 years from now? I wouldn't trust any economic modelling that forecast what the world economy would look like a century hence, and climate models are at least as flawed as economists' ones.

- mAc Chaos

One Step At a Time

Todd Stern admits in the Christian Science Monitor what opponents of the Kyoto Protocol have suspected all along - this is just the beginning of attempts to cripple the economic industry:
The real point of Kyoto was never the size of these first emission cuts, but rather the setting of an initial price on carbon (by capping emissions), thereby forcing businesses and consumers to start considering greater energy efficiency and lower-carbon energy sources.
Nevermind that Kyoto gave a pass to the worst polluters and tried to stick it to the United States, which is why the Senate unanimously voted against it 97-0 during the Clinton era.

- mAc Chaos

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Kyoto Protocol Solves Nothing

The Kyoto Protocol is simply wrong (registration required):
The Kyoto Protocol on climate change, which comes into force this week, represents a massive act of folly by many of the world's industrialized nations. It sets the world on a course to economic disaster while doing nothing to alleviate global warming. It is the wrong solution to the wrong problem at the wrong time.

Kyoto attempts to alleviate what may be a major cause of warming — the emission of greenhouse gases — by suppressing energy use in the developed world. Yet energy use is vital to modern health and wealth. The Kyoto treaty itself recognizes this fact by exempting developing countries, eager to achieve prosperity, from greenhouse gas reductions. As a result, China and India are likely to become the major emitters of greenhouse gases on the planet within a few decades. This means that, even with Kyoto, global emissions of greenhouse gases will continue to increase.

So the Kyoto Protocol will do virtually nothing to halt any possible global temperature increase — the temperature that would have been reached in 2100 will be reached in 2106. Yet independent analyses of the annual cost to the world of complying with Kyoto put it at between $150 billion and $350 billion a year (the global development aid budget is $50 billion annually). The cost of the "solution" vastly outweighs any purported benefits.

Moreover, it is a solution to the wrong problem. There are many problems facing the world that are far more pressing than global warming: 5 million children in poverty, an AIDS/HIV crisis that is devastating sub-Saharan Africa, and the resurgence of vector-borne diseases like malaria (malariologists agree that global warming is not an important factor in their resurgence). For a fraction of the annual cost of Kyoto, we could do much to alleviate these problems — and thereby render any possible effects of global warming much more manageable.

Finally, it is the wrong time to enact energy suppression measures. We do not know what the extent of future warming will be. It would be far better now to adopt "no regrets" policies — measures that will benefit all of humanity whether global warming turns out to be a problem or not.

One key such strategy is to allow and encourage the creation of wealth around the world. For example, when several hurricanes hit Florida last year, the death toll was low. But when those same hurricanes hit Haiti, thousands died. The hurricanes were not appreciably stronger over Haiti, but Florida, being richer, proved more resilient. By eliminating barriers to wealth such as trade restrictions and building up incentives to wealth such as property rights, we can put the world on the path to prosperity. Then if the world does turn out to be appreciably warmer, the effects will be less in a more resilient world.

Kyoto supporters argue that this treaty is just a first step, and they're right — it is a step in the wrong direction. Our children will not thank us for stepping out down a road we know will lead to ruin, when the road to prosperity is well-marked.

- mAc Chaos

Democracy Works

I've noticed that the detractors in the media have been engaging in what I call 'moving the goal posts' on the Iraqi election, setting higher and higher standards for what constitutes success so they can have an excuse to whine about it. First, the calls were for the election to be delayed, and that if even it could be held in such a wartorn environment, it would be a success of our efforts. Then, it was that the turnout had to be a specific amount, and that it would have to be high. When those expectations were smashed, the objectors have now descended on the actual people voted in, to see whether or not they would miraculously match our every expectation and desire.

RALPH PETERS:
February 15, 2005 -- THE results of Iraq's first free elections are in. They're better than any realist could have expected. And, predictably, the media are grasping at every possible negative.

Let's look at things honestly.

The United Iraqi Alliance, endorsed by the Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, got 48.2 percent of the vote. That's enough to please the party's wide array of Shi'a backers, but it's not enough to govern without a coalition.

Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's Iraqi List came in third, with 13.8 percent. This largely Shi'a party also includes Sunni Arabs and will act as a secular counterforce to the UIA's religion-tinted coalition.

Vitally, the Kurdistan Alliance took second place with a startling 25.7 percent. This not only demonstrates the power of Iraq's most pro-American element, but grants the Kurds the role of political kingmakers. Both of the major Shi'a parties will court them.

Moqtada al-Sadr, the bigoted thug who cast himself as the voice of Iraq's Shi'as? His party gets three seats out of 275. So much for Shi'a extremism.

Democracy works.

- mAc Chaos

Monday, February 14, 2005

The Bubbling Cauldron

Andrew Sullivan applies a different perspective as he writes of the tribulations of the UN:
Imagine we had followed the UN line and not gone to war. The corrupt oil for food programme would have continued, while pressure to remove sanctions increased. Saddam would have gradually rebuilt the ability to threaten the region and the world. Hundreds of shady businessmen, lobbyists and bureaucrats would have seen their bank accounts padded with lucrative oil contracts.

The Iraqi people would have continued to live in a fast-collapsing police state, kept barely alive by medicine and food supplies from the UN that were also the means to keep them under Saddam’s thumb. How on earth would this have been anything but a disaster and an injustice? Yes, critics of the war are right to say that we now know the WMD threat was greatly exaggerated. But it is equally true that we now know that the status quo the war critics preferred was inefficient, corrupt and deadly to the Iraqi people.

- mAc Chaos

Quote of the Day

James Madison:
"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents...."

- mAc Chaos

The Prestigious Kofi Annan

I was hoping my entry title would be sarcastic, but alas:
The United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan was awarded the first Peace Prize at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.
And then there's this little gem:
It consists of a white gold laurel leaf embossed on a globe, representing peace on earth. Annan already holds the Nobel Peace Prize.
He has the Nobel Peace prize too? Are they purposely trying to kill any prestige it may have once had? Let's see: Carter, Arafat, Gorbachev, and Kofi - It's like they intentionally reward it to people that they were hoping would succeed but ended up failing miserably to the detriment of themselves and everybody within a 50 mile radius around them. I mean, if Arafat, the original Osama Bin Laden can get one, and Carter, the progenitor of our current Iranian problem got one, and now we have the weasel Kofi pocketing one between his oil slicked fingers, what worth does it have? Well, it's a nice joke, at any rate.

- mAc Chaos

Miraculous Recovery Despite Odds

NEVER GIVE UP: A brain damaged woman talks after 25 years:
Sarah Scantlin was an 18-year-old college freshman on Sept. 22, 1984, when she was hit by a drunk driver as she walked to her car after celebrating with friends at a teen club. That week, she had been hired at an upscale clothing store and won a spot on the drill team at Hutchinson Community College.

After two decades of silence, she began talking last month. Doctors are not sure why. On Saturday, Scantlin's parents hosted an open house at her nursing home to introduce her to friends, family members and reporters.
A week ago, her parents got a call from Jennifer Trammell, a licensed nurse at the Golden Plains Health Care Center. She asked Betsy Scantlin if she was sitting down, told her someone wanted to talk to her and switched the phone to speaker mode:

"Hi, Mom."

"Sarah, is that you?" her mother asked.

"Yes," came the throaty reply.

"How are you doing?"

"Fine."

"Do you need anything," her mother asked her later.

"More makeup."

"Did she just say more makeup?" the mother asked the nurse. ...

Scantlin started talking in mid-January but asked staff members not to tell her parents until Valentine's Day (news - web sites) to surprise them, Trammell said. But last week she could not wait any longer to talk to them.

"I didn't think it would ever happen, it had been so long," Betsy Scantlin said.

Scantlin's doctor, Bradley Scheel, said physicians are not sure why she suddenly began talking but believe critical pathways in the brain may have regenerated.

"It is extremely unusual to see something like this happen," Scheel said.
Indeed, our scientific knowledge of the healing capacity of our brain is very lacking. We're still a long ways from uncovering the true secrets of the human body.
On Saturday, Scantlin seemed at times overwhelmed by the attention. Dressed in a blue warm-up suit, she spoke little, mostly answering questions in a single word.

Is she happy she can talk? "Yeah," she replied.

What does she tell her parents when they leave? "I love you," she said. ...
Her father, Jim Scantlin, understands that Sarah will probably never leave the health care center, but he is grateful for her improvement.

"This place is her home ... They have given me my daughter back," he said.
I wonder how many other people could wake up like this if they were just given the chance. I'm sure she's happy that she can see her family again, rather than rot in the soil like so many of her fellow patients have.

- mAc Chaos

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Fanning the Flames

SO MUCH FOR AIDING THE OPPRESSED: The UN's Congo mission harbors a pedophile network. Explicit photos fan UN sex scandal.
UNITED NATIONS — A scandal about the sexual abuse of Congolese women and children by U.N. officials and peacekeepers intensified Friday with the broadcast of explicit pictures of a French U.N. worker and Congolese girls and his claim that there was a network of pedophiles at the U.N. mission in Congo.

ABC News' "20/20" program showed pictures taken from the computer of a French U.N. transport worker. The hard drive reportedly contained thousands of photos of him with hundreds of girls. In one frame, a tear can be seen rolling down the cheek of a victim.

- mAc Chaos

Dragging Us Down

James R. Kauffman writes about the UN's ineffectiveness, which seems inversely proportional to the amount of money it receives. The UN is a parasite:
In answer to Mr. John Rempel's letter calling for reforms to the United Nations ("United Nations too weak to carry out mandates," People's Forum, Jan. 28), I submit the following: With our 60 years involvement with the U.N. system, the entire military, legal, financial and social international octopus has brought us nothing but trouble. The United Nations has involved us in wars, sapped our financial and economic resources, worked to change our laws and gradually worked to undermine our national sovereignty. Instead of independence, we've gotten the false promise of what internationalists call "interdependence."

In the U.N.'s "interdependent" world, scores of countries are literally dependent on the United States for military protection, foreign aid and jobs created by U.S. companies building plants abroad. Our modern "interdependent" world is not a spontaneous outgrowth of national economic and political forces. It is largely a creation of the United Nations system and the insiders who manage it. Their goal is an international system of weakened, dependent nations clinging to the U.N. system for life support, as a prelude to outright world government.

The U.N. system is not yet independent. It relies for sustenance on the one source of health and vigor that can keep it alive: the United States of America, with all its military, political and economic clout. Like a parasite, the United Nations fastened itself onto a larger, more powerful organism, relying for its continued survival by tapping the vitality of its host.

Given this dependency relationship, we might be tempted to ignore the U.N. threat. It is after all, weaker, than we are. But parasites have another characteristic: Over time they drain their host of strength and finally overwhelm it. This is the real danger and this has been the goal of U.N. planners and internationalist for decades. It is time to get out.
Our sovereignty must be protected. Big government is remote government, and remote government is unaccountable government. The UN aspires to be a world organization, an international government, which makes it the biggest, most remote, and as such, necessarily the most unaccountable government of all. And I think that this has been made abundantly clear by it's track record.

- mAc Chaos

Friday, February 11, 2005

Quote of the Day

Noam Chomsky:
"I see no anti-Semitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers, or even denial of the holocaust. [sic] Nor would there be anti-Semitic implications, per se, in the claim that the holocaust [sic] (whether one believes it took place or not) is being exploited, viciously so, by apologists for Israeli repression and violence."

- mAc Chaos

Not Exactly What I Was Thinking

I know everybody's been blasting Bush for not using his veto enough, but I don't think this is what I was holding out for (registration required):
In the face of mounting Congressional concern about the projected costs of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit, President Bush today vowed to veto any attempts to limit it.

"I signed Medicare reform proudly," he said. "And any attempt to limit the choices of our seniors and to take away their prescription drug coverage under Medicare will meet my veto."

- mAc Chaos

It's Not Just Billion Dollar Scandals Anymore

Now they rape children too! UN sex crimes in the Congo:
Widespread allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of Congolese women, boys and girls have been made against U.N. personnel who were sent to help and protect them - despite a so-called zero tolerance policy touted by the United Nations toward such behavior.

The range of sexual abuse includes reported rapes of young Congolese girls by U.N. troops; an Internet pedophile ring run from Congo by Didier Bourguet, a senior U.N. official from France; a colonel from South Africa accused of molesting his teenage male translators; and estimates of hundreds of underage girls having babies fathered by U.N. soldiers who have been able to simply leave their children and their crimes behind.

Ravaged by decades of civil war, and one of the poorest countries in the world, Congo has relied on the United Nations for both military protection and humanitarian aid.

- mAc Chaos

More "Torture": Theologists Crack Jihadists

Found a good Christian Science Monitor article over at NRO, via Ace of Spades.

This is a perfect example of using smart interrogative tactics and stress techniques to bring about change in the terrorist captives. An Islamic scholar is challenging al-Qaeda detainees to quote the Qu'ran to justify their despicable ways. When they fail, some of them crack:
Some freed militants were so transformed that they led the army to hidden weapons caches and offered the Yemeni security services advice on tackling Islamic militancy. A spectacular success came in 2002 when Abu Ali al Harithi, Al Qaeda's top commander in Yemen, was assassinated by a US air-strike following a tip-off from one of Hitar's reformed militants.

- mAc Chaos

The Chickenhawk Fallacy

Did you support the war on Afghanistan? You really must tell me about your tour of duty there.

- mAc Chaos

Bush Jong-Il

Bush Jong-Il lives.

- mAc Chaos

Turns On A Dime

64% are 'very' to 'somewhat' satisified at the way the war on terrorism is going right now.

- mAc Chaos

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Quote of the Day

George Washington:
A free people... should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.

Adolf Hitler:
This year will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!

- mAc Chaos

Duplomacy


(Cartoon courtesy of Cox and Forkum.)

In other news, people gamble at Las Vegas.

- mAc Chaos

British Anti Semitism Watch

The antisemtisim flourishing in Europe and fermenting in Britain continues to rise. Attacks on British Jews hit record high.
LONDON (Reuters) - Violent anti-Semitic attacks in Britain have reached “alarming” record levels, according to a report released, prompting calls by Jewish leaders for more to be done to protect their community.

The Community Security Trust (CST), which represents Britain’s 290,000-strong Jewish community on security matters, said on Thursday there had been 532 “anti-Semitic incidents” — defined as malicious acts toward Jews — in 2004, including a record 83 assaults.

The total, which included abuse and threats, was a rise of 42 percent from the CST’s 2003 figure, and well above the previous record high of 405 in 2000.

“This increase is extremely alarming. The transfer of tensions in the Middle East to the streets of Britain has resulted in an unprecedented level of anti-Semitic incidents,” said Michael Whine, director of communications for the CST. [Which means it is reasonable to assume that, although the article avoids mentioning it, the attackers are mostly Muslims. —ed.]

The Trust said 100 incidents were reported in March 2004 alone. In the worst incident, a Jewish teenager had his jaw shattered in the English south coast city of Southampton.

Last month London police said they were hunting a group of black and Asian men said to be behind a string of racist attacks on orthodox Jewish men in the capital.

A few days earlier, vandals daubed swastikas and other Nazi symbols on 10 gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in Aldershot, southern England, the second time it had been targeted.
This is a problem from two sources: Old fashioned anti-semitism hailing from the 30's which has been slowly reviving, and the surge of Islamic anti-semitism which has been injected into the system by the massive amounts of immigrants flooding into the European countries. If the birth rates continue to drop and the immigrants continue to flood in, at this rate Europe will practically be Islamic in 100 years.

- mAc Chaos

Don't Shed Tears

For Omar Khadr.

- mAc Chaos

'Civil Rights Activist' Aids Terrorists

Ace has got the scoop.

- mAc Chaos

So Sensitive, Except When Sawing Off Heads

Terrorist detainees are whining about sexual frustration 'torture' again:
Female interrogators repeatedly used sexually suggestive tactics to try to humiliate and pry information from devout Muslim men held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to a military investigation not yet public and newly declassified accounts from detainees.

The prisoners have told their lawyers, who compiled the accounts, that female interrogators regularly violated Muslim taboos about sex and contact with women. The women rubbed their bodies against the men, wore skimpy clothes in front of them, made sexually explicit remarks and touched them provocatively, at least eight detainees said in documents or through their attorneys.
Alright, I have two questions. First, why should I believe anything these detainees have to say?

And why should I care?

- mAc Chaos

Enemies of the State?

In this article from the Economist we learn that Britain has taken a rather... interesting approach in dealing with unruly anti-social behavior:
Troublemakers as young as ten years old can be barred from entering neighbourhoods, ringing doorbells, using public transport and mobile phones or even uttering certain words for a minimum of two years. Securing an ASBO is easy. Hearsay evidence, for instance, is admissible in court. The consequences of stepping out of line are weighty: a maximum of five years in prison for doing something that is not necessarily an offence in law. Not surprisingly, such a powerful weapon is popular: more than a thousand ASBOs were handed out in the first half of 2004.
So, uh, about those civil liberties...

- mAc Chaos

Gitmo Detainee Claims Torture

Another clown has gotten a lawyer and is crying torture, again. Nevermind that al-Qaeda's training manual specifically commands it's followers to falsely claim torture upon release. They definitely know how to manipulate the media over here. Not to mention fire up the anti-American elements in the press.

- mAc Chaos

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Quote of the Day

Thomas Jefferson:
"I suppose, indeed, that in public life, a man whose political principles have any decided character and who has energy enough to give them effect must always expect to encounter political hostility from those of adverse principles."

- mAc Chaos

13,000 - 17,000 'Insurgents' in Iraq

Much smaller than the previous 200,000 estimate.
The U.S. military faces between 13,000 and 17,000 insurgents in Iraq, the large majority of them backers of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party, a senior military official said Tuesday. . . .

The senior military official told CNN the bulk of the insurgency is made up of 12,000 to 15,000 Arab Sunni followers of Saddam's party. The Baath Party was overthrown by a U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

Of those, the source said 5,000 to 7,000 are considered "committed" fighters, with the rest considered "fence-sitters," criminals or "facilitators" who contribute material support or sanctuary to the guerrillas.

The official, who is familiar with the region, said about 500 other fighters have come from other countries to battle the U.S.-led forces in Iraq, while another group of fewer than 1,000 are believed to be followers of Jordanian-born Islamic terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

- mAc Chaos

What Liberal Bias?

The New York Times gets nailed.

- mAc Chaos

Monsters, the Good & Damned

New article written by Jonah Goldberg over at NRO.

- mAc Chaos

Laissez Faire Marriage Doesn't Work

This is a interesting article on why economic libertarians should be pro-family social conservatives when it comes to marriage.

- mAc Chaos

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I'll Get the Rope

Beyond understanding:
HOUSTON — A young couple are accused of critically injuring their 6-month-old baby, who police say was sexually assaulted, suffered broken bones from head to toe, and had her tongue nearly severed.

Donna Marie Norman, 19, and her common-law husband, Ivan Castaneda, 21, were jailed without bail on charges of causing injury to a child.

The infant lay in critical condition Monday at a hospital. She was transferred there last week after her parents brought her to another hospital, saying she was suffering from congestion.

Child Protective Services (search) spokeswoman Estella Olguin said the baby had been sexually abused, had two broken legs, a broken arm, a fractured skull, a fractured vertebrae and a broken rib.
"Just about every vital organ in this child's body has damage to it," said Houston police Sgt. Randall Upton. "This child endured probably some of the most incredible amount of pain that one could imagine."

Olguin said that if the little girl survives she could be blind or paralyzed.
Norman told doctors the infant's tongue was severed when she tried to remove a quarter from the baby's mouth that had been placed there by her 15-month-old sister, prosecutor Kari Allen said.

"Obviously, that is a bit far-fetched," Allen told a judge at a hearing Monday.

The 6-month-old and her sister, who also had a fractured skull and ribs, were taken into state custody.

Norman was "obviously upset about the situation that has happened to her family and to herself and to her children," her attorney Jerald Graber said. He said he had not yet talked to Norman about the facts of the case.
Smarter Cop appalled by the story, finds something worse in cloning:
So-called therapeutic cloning, the act of creating multiple identical versions of the same human embryo for medical research, is an atrocity in its own right. While animal rights activists howl over the rights of lab monkeys, they hold no such regard for what they cannot see and refuse to recognize as human.
Well said.

Trench comments:
Reason to Blow Up the World: The fact that any person no matter how depraved would do these atrocious things to an infant. I’m not even going to go into detail here because it sickens me so much. No matter what punishment they get it won’t be enough.
What could they possibly do to undo what they have done?

- mAc Chaos

From Sweden, A Gift

Do you like jewelry?
Art, design and politics meet in Joanna Rytel's jewellery collection "Happy abortion-children". Her earrings, brooches, necklaces and rings formed as aborted foetuses, takes a stand for abortion. The idea can be said to be a continuation of her project "Abortkyrkogard.se" on the internet. There many have told of the guilt they have felt after having an abortion. "I wondered about why this was and I believe that it is society that induces the guilt, particularly for girls. I want to do something about it."....

Despite that it is a little sad to have an abortion. But one does it for the child's sake. It would not have been good to have a child half-heartedly. They have it much better in heaven than if they hade been born. I thought that it would be good to make jewellery, because then people can carry their happy abortion-children with them.

- mAc Chaos

Superbowl Ad

This is a great ad.

- mAc Chaos

Pedophilia with a Smiley Face


What's with the breakout of all these stories involving attractive female teachers sexually molesting and having sex with their underage students?
McMINNVILLE, Tenn. — A Warren County elementary teacher has been charged with having a sexual relationship with one of her students, a 13-year-old boy.

Pamela Rogers Turner (search), 27, was charged Monday with 15 counts of sexual battery by an authority figure and 13 counts of statutory rape (search). All the charges involved the same boy.
This is getting ridiculous. It's one of many cases that has been breaking out over the past few months. What an abuse of trust this is! She's a teacher, a public steward of our nation's most treasured children, whom we entrust to them alone to take care of when we cannot. And what does she do? She completely corrupts her position and perverts her purpose.

Not only that, but as far as attention and condemnation goes, she seems to be getting away with minimal outrage, much like the previous offenders, simply because she's attractive. It's a double standard; what if this was a 26 year old man who had sex with a 13 year old girl? People would be hollering from the rooftops for his hide, and rightfully so.

- mAc Chaos

Cease Fire


Sharon and Abbas have come to terms:
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (CNN) -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Tuesday hailed a cease-fire agreement as a new opportunity for peace in the Middle East.

"We have agreed with Prime Minister Sharon to cease all violence against the Israelis and against the Palestinians, wherever they are," Abbas said after talks at their summit in Egypt.

The historic summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh -- hosted by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah II --is the first upper-level meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in more than four years.

"A new opportunity for peace is born," Abbas said.

Sharon said Israel will cease its military operations in all locations in return for Palestinians' ending violence against Israelis.

"We really hope this day will be the day that marks the relaunching of the process for a better future that will lead us towards mutual respect and peace in the Middle East," Sharon said.
Has peace finally come to the Middle East?

Let's hope it turns out better than the botched attempts of the past, shall we?

UPDATE: Not a day has gone by, and yet some violence against innocent Israelis has already broken out.

- mAc Chaos

Like Lemmings


(Cartoon courtesy of Cox and Forkum.)

Dean is the last man standing for DNC Chair, now that Tim Roemer, former Congressman and 9/11 Commission member has bowed out of the race.

- mAc Chaos

Kerry: Osama Made Me Lose

From Kerry's guest appearance on Don Imus:
...Kerry said the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were the "predominant overriding element" in his election loss.
"I think that in the end, an awful lot of people were unwilling to switch commander in chief in midstream," he said, adding that his support was going up in the week before the vote, but flatlined after a new tape of Osama bin Laden came out.
Yes, I suppose it could've been that... Or maybe it was the horrific record of being on the wrong side of history for every single important decision throughout his career. His military-gutting, CIA-crippling, war-wobbling ways cost him the Presidency, not Osama Bin Laden of all people.

- mAc Chaos

Monday, February 07, 2005

Once KGB

Russia is relapsing:
Illegal expropriation is becoming institutional policy. The Duma rubberstamps Putin decrees. In the criminal courts they have brought back an old Soviet law allowing the state to confiscate the property of the convicted. Not to be outdone, tax authorities can now seize money and property from corporations or individuals without a court decision.

What is remarkable is how little official reaction there has been to Russia's slide into despotism, while institutions such as the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and human rights organizations are openly critical of Mr. Putin. It's hard to think of a time and place in which there has been such a disconnect between NGO outrage and governmental silence.

- mAc Chaos

AP: Bush Pursues 'Steep' Budget Cuts

The Associated Press labels Bush's 1% budget cut as 'steep'.

Am I the only one who sees something wrong here?

- mAc Chaos

Tax Cuts for the Rich!

Drudge relays a White House official's 'bragging' (says Drudge) of shifting the tax burden onto the rich:
The White House budget director Josh Bolten on Monday bragged to reporters how the nation most-wealthy will see an increase in tax burden under Bush's new budget.

"If you look at the president's tax cuts as a totality, the income tax, those at the upper end of the spectrum are now paying a larger share of the income tax than they were before," Bolten explained.

"An example, the top 5 percent in income in this country -- that's people making above about $140,000 -- without the president's tax cuts that top 5 percent would be paying about less than 52 percent of our total income tax revenue.

"After the president's tax cut that group is paying more than 54 percent of our total tax revenue. So the notion that the president's tax cuts have somehow made the code less progressive is wrong. The president's tax cuts have made the tax code more progressive."
Oh my goodness! Where's my tax cuts for the rich!? Highest 1%?! I thought the rich were throwing the poor out onto the street and running them over repeatedly with their fashionable limosines!

This, in actuality, is nothing new. The knowledge that Bush's tax cuts actually increased the percentage the rich pay has been floating around for a while. That does not mean that they did not get a tax cut - everybody got the amount of taxes they pay reduced, in actual amounts of money - but in regards to proportionality compared to the other classes, they pay for more of the whole than they did before.

Tax cuts for the richest 1%! Bush sells out to corporate America! Liberty buckles beneath capitalist tyranny!

- mAc Chaos

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Richard Nixon's Revenge

Pat Buchanan on Nixon's contribution to the fall of the mainstream media:
The CBS of Walter Cronkite’s salad days is gone. And the beginning of the fall of network news can be traced to that era, right down to the day and month.

After his address to the nation on Nov. 3, 1969 that called on the “silent majority” to stand by him for peace with honor in Vietnam was savaged by network anchors and commentators, an infuriated Richard Nixon ordered his staff to respond.

Vice President Agnew was sent to launch the counterstrike. On Nov. 13, in a speech in Des Moines that Teddy White called one of the most masterful forensic discourses in U.S. history, Agnew tore into media liberal bias and demanded to know why a tiny handful of men, elected by no one, were deciding the news for the American people.

Broadcast on all three networks, the speech was a sensation. Tens of thousands of telegrams poured into the networks and their affiliates, applauding what Agnew said. By Monday, Newsweek and Time had the network anchors on their covers. The issue of liberal bias cohabiting with immense media power was on the table. It never came off.

- mAc Chaos

Quote of the Day

Condoleeza Rice should keep talking like this:
"There cannot be an absence of moral content in American foreign policy," she says. "Europeans giggle at this, but we are not European, we are American, and we have different principles."

- mAc Chaos

Destroyed Embryo Was Human?

A very interesting development:
A frozen embryo destroyed in a Chicago fertility clinic was a human being whose parents are entitled to file a wrongful-death lawsuit, a Cook County judge ruled Friday.

Attorneys on both sides of the abortion issue said it was the first such ruling they had heard of as the country debates whether stem cells derived from embryos can be used in research and medicine.

The couple hoped to conceive a child with help from the Center for Human Reproduction, but the one fertilized egg the couple created was thrown out “in error” by a clinic worker.

Friday, Judge Jeffrey Lawrence II said “a pre-embryo is a ‘human being’ ... whether or not it is implanted in its mother’s womb” and the couple is entitled to seek the same compensation awarded to other parents whose children are killed.
What does that say about abortion, then?

The ACLU, of course, expects it to be overturned by the time the appeals process is over.

- mAc Chaos

Unwelcomed Reality


UNSCAM UPDATE:
The sense of an organisation unwilling to acknowledge the nasty realities of a changed world has been much in evidence this week after the publication of the first of Paul Volcker's reports on the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal.

Mr Volcker, the 77-year-old former chairman of the US Federal Reserve and no enemy of the UN, stated: "We are not here to tear down, we are here to restore."

Whether that is possible has become the crucial question. With the US television networks and senior congressional figures feasting on the detail of the report yesterday, there was a sense that the inquiry may be getting out of hand.

This week's interim report was commissioned after detailed allegations surfaced following the 2003 Iraq war suggesting that Saddam Hussein's regime had perverted the UN-run scheme by raking off cash that should have gone to Iraq's sick and starving.

An estimated $1.7 billion (£900 million) was skimmed off the $64 billion programme and used by the Iraqis to win favours from 270 influential figures abroad.

As the report drily noted: "It is evident that the Iraqi regime attempted to gain favour by granting oil allocations to persons the programme did not recognise as oil purchasers."
Read all of it, and check this out, too. Meanwhile, the desperate attempts to shift blame continue:
LONDON (Reuters) - Former U.N. head Boutros Boutros-Ghali refused to take all the blame for Iraq's scandal-tainted oil-for-food program on Saturday, pointing the finger at his successor Kofi Annan.

- mAc Chaos

Saturday, February 05, 2005

France Contributes to Iraq

Amazingly, there are some Frenchmen who are willing to fight in Iraq.

Unfortunately, it happens to be for the other side: Three French Extremists in US Custody in Iraq.
PARIS — U.S. troops in Iraq have detained three French militants and police here rounded up 10 of their comrades from a group that sent raw youths from Europe to take part in the conflict with America, officials said Friday.

The first confirmed capture of European Islamist fighters turns attention on the increasing movement of militants from countries such as Italy, Germany, France and Belgium to Iraq, European officials say. Several of the recruits reportedly have died in Iraq, but investigators were unaware Friday of any being held by U.S. forces other than the three Frenchmen.

The makeup of the group illustrates the evolving profile and speedy radicalization of Iraq-bound extremists, authorities said.

“This is a new and spontaneous generation,” said an official in the French Interior Ministry. Unlike previous militants, they had never been to Afghanistan or Bosnia, considered traditional training grounds for Muslim extremists.
(Via LGF).

- mAc Chaos

St. George & The Dragon


(Cartoon courtesy of Cox and Forkum.)

- mAc Chaos

Super Bowl


I know this isn't related to politics, but the Superbowl only comes around once a year. I was thinking of betting on one of the teams to win, except that I'm horribly unacquainted with the entire process outside of choosing a winning side. After talking with some others, it is apparent that there is more to it than that - you can bet on who wins the coin toss, who gets a certain touchdown, the margin of victory, etc. That makes it a bit more complicated than I thought.

I'm not quite sure who to bet on and for what, though I was going to default on the Eagles, being that they're the home team. On the other hand, Tim Graham over at NRO thinks they're going to choke, again, and that's always been my outlook on Philadelphia's teams. Just look at the Flyers. And don't even ask about the Phillies. An article written by Norman on NRO asks, "Can the Eagles fly?", to which he answers, ironically enough: Don't bet on it.
Thing is, Owens is already injured. He broke a bone in his leg late in the season and did not even suit up for the Eagles playoff wins over the Minnesota Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons. He was considered doubtful for the Super Bowl, but he insists — and insists and insists — that he will play and that he will be "effective." To hear Owens tell it — and for reporters covering the game it has been hard not to — he is not going out on the field to be a decoy.

Owens is the deep threat the Eagles need if they are to have a chance. He knows it and says it. The Patriots also know it even if they haven't said anything about it.

Athletes, especially pros, are not merciful by nature. A boxer who opens a cut over his opponent's eye will keep jabbing, trying to close the eye or get enough blood flowing that the referee will stop the fight. If a quarterback sees a corner holding his hamstring, he will go after him on the next play.

The logic is brutal. If Terrell Owens is not on the field, he cannot exploit that one possible Patriots' weakness by going long and getting open. If he re-injures his leg, he will not be on the field.
I guess we'll have to wait and see.

- mAc Chaos

Friday, February 04, 2005

Coming Around

Look who decided they wanted to hitch a ride on the train, after all:
Influential Sunni Arab leaders of a boycott of last week's elections expressed a new willingness Friday to engage the coming Iraqi government and play a role in writing the constitution, in what may represent a strategic shift in thinking among mainstream anti-occupation groups.

- mAc Chaos

If This is the Next Political Divide

What side will you be on?

- mAc Chaos

Quote of the Day

Thomas Paine:
"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."

- mAc Chaos

US Knew About Oil for Food?

There have been some documents released through the Volcker report, which CNN has gotten its hands on, which reveal that the US knew about the Oil for Food scandal. Apparently the Clinton White House knew about it, as did the current one. The documents detail how the program was used to try and bring Jordan and other countries into the Israel/Palestinian peace talks, since they lacked much of a source for their own oil - when it wasn't being used by Saddam to further his own nefarious ends, that is. But excluding Jordan and the Israel/Palestinians, it appears that we knew about Saddam, too, which is not surprising given the amount of talk and leaks which generally go on in the UN and Washington - which doesn't even take into account intelligence services.

So why didn't we make a big fuss about it before the war? Because it's not much cause to throw a fit over, despite the Democrats' attempt to spin it as such, since the invasion of Iraq basically put it to an end by itself. In the months leading up to the war, it was inevitable that the illicit bargains would grind to a halt and it wouldn't really matter either way then if Saddam and Co. were to voluntarily halt the shady deals. With that in mind, dealing with it in the few months before the war, during negotiations, was probably looked upon as unnecessary because the problem would be solved via the invasion, anyway.

UPDATE:
Let's get a roundup of comments about this.

Jwookie over at Cake or Death opines:
I've got ten bucks that says they try to spin this to implicate Dubya even though 9/11 happened just nine months into his term, he listed Saddam in the original "Axis of Weevils," then proceeded to topple his dictatorship, arrest him, prepare him for war crimes trial, and turned Iraq into a democracy. Oh, hey... what do ya know I'm right...

Mark A. Kilmer from Political Annotations: Clinton knew.
Dagney T. of Dagney’s Rant links CNN in telling us that “Clinton knew about Oil for Food in ‘98.”

That would be Bill. And his Deputy State Secretary Strobe Talbott put in a 1998 memo that Jordan was still buying oil from Saddam despite the various U.N. resolutions.

See, sanctions had to chance.

And that same Dagney writes:
Clinton knew about Oil for Food in '98! No wonder Kofi wants Slick Willie to take his office over for him; Willie will provide the required CYA for Kofi, since he's culpable as well! The "tip of the Iceberg" could be covering up more than we even suspect! CNN didn't consider what this story could do to their buddy? Hmmm.

The Dfenestrator notes the curious timing of the release.
Benon Sevan, arch scumbag. It's slimeballs like Benny who give multilaterlism a bad name. And I couldn't help but notice the CNN "But Timmy did it too!" oil smuggling story just happened to break the day before the scheduled release of the Volcker report. Pathetic. The U.N. is too important to be left to the designs of these greedy, ego-bloated charlatans. Transparency Now!
Indeed.

- mAc Chaos

The End of Western Civilization

No tort reform needed!
Two teenage girls decided one summer's evening to skip a dance where there might be cursing and drinking to stay home and bake cookies for their neighbors.

Big mistake.

They were sued, successfully, for an unauthorized cookie drop on one porch.

- mAc Chaos

Forgot to Mention This Earlier

A page of doodles found on Tony Blair's desk was analyzed by the media. Newspaper stories contained phrases such as "struggling to concentrate" and "not a natural leader". Turns out they were the doodles of Bill Gates!

- mAc Chaos

Looking Good

Hopefully this is the beginning of a trend. I think it's clear what side these Iraqis chose:
TONY EASTLEY: Mark Willacy, we've heard reports about the high voter turnout, but now there are reports of how some voters have taken on the insurgents in order to vote, you know, the people are fighting back.

MARK WILLACY: That's right, Tony. The Iraqi police have investigated a case in the village of al-Mudhariya, which is just south of Baghdad. The villagers there say that before the election insurgents came and warned them that if they voted in last weekend's election, they would pay.

Now the people of this mixed village of Sunni and Shia Muslims, they ignored the threat and they did turn out to vote.

We understand that last night the insurgents came back to punish the people of al-Mudhariya, but instead of metering out that punishment the villagers fought back and they killed five of the insurgents and wounded eight. They then burnt the insurgents' car. So the people of that village have certainly had enough of the insurgents.

TONY EASTLEY: Do you think that is a one off, Mark, or is it a sign perhaps that some Iraqis are no longer sympathetic to the insurgents' cause, or at least no longer willing to turn a blind eye?

MARK WILLACY: It would appear that people are getting sick of the insurgency. I understand, though, that this is the first report of Iraqis confronting insurgents and actually fighting back in such a way.

But certainly many people here see the insurgency as the work of foreigners who want to turn their country into some sort of Islamic state, like Afghanistan under the Taliban.

And a couple of days ago we spoke to some voters in central Baghdad and every one of them basically said that they'd like the insurgents to stop their bombing and shooting attacks. Some even said they'd voted just to send a message to the insurgents that they would not be frightened any more.

- mAc Chaos

Post Speech Numbers

These should have the Democrats worried:
On the economy -- 71% said the right direction, while 26% said the wrong direction, showing a modest improvement over the 64% to 32% margin measured before the speech.

On healthcare -- a 70% to 23% ratio of right direction to wrong direction after the speech, which was a large increase from the 55% to 35% ratio before the speech.

On Social Security -- also a big change, from 51% saying right direction and 38% saying wrong direction before the speech, to a 66% to 29% margin afterward.

On the situation in Iraq -- a two-to-one margin (66% to 31%) saying right over wrong direction before the speech, to a four-to-one margin afterward (78% to 20%).

- mAc Chaos

The Most Petty Partisanship

Even the most heart wrenching moments are not safe from political sniping.

- mAc Chaos

Thursday, February 03, 2005

All Over It

Austin Bay has pounced on the Volcker Report. He sums it up:
"This is damning. It’s clear Oil For Food was a corrupt mess, that it was used by Saddam’s regime, and that very senior UN leaders benefited from the corruption. Oil For Food boss Benon Sevan has been publicly fingered."
This is only the beginning, most likely. Considering that the UN stonewalled a good portion of the investigations involved in this report, the Congressional investigations will most likely reveal much more as it continues.

- mAc Chaos

What Punishment?

...fits a crime so horrendous?
TAMPA, Fla. — A couple is being sought on child abuse (search) charges for allegedly torturing seven children who lived with them — pulling out their toenails with pliers, delivering electric shocks and striking them with a hammer, authorities said Thursday.

At least three children were severely malnourished, including twin 14-year-old brothers who weighed just 36 and 38 pounds each — about 80 pounds below the normal weights for their age, police said.

The seven children were removed from the home last month after one of them called an ambulance for a 16-year-old boy who weighed less than 60 pounds and had suspicious injuries on his head and neck. The doctors alerted authorities.

John Dollar (search), 58, and wife Linda, 51, who live about 70 miles north of Tampa (search), failed to appear at a scheduled Department of Children & Families hearing Monday. They are wanted on felony charges of aggravated child abuse.

The sheriff's office declined to describe the nature of the relationship between the Dollars and the children, citing privacy concerns. DCF spokesman Bill Daiuto said the Dollars were not the children's biological or foster parents, but he declined to comment on the specifics of the case.

The Dollars and the children moved from Tennessee to Florida in August.

Some of the children showed signs of physical injury, including missing toenails, which appeared to support their claims, Citrus County sheriff's spokeswoman Gail Tierney said. Others said they were also tortured by electric shocks and were hit with a hammer, she said.

Five of the seven children told deputies they were forced to sleep in a locked walk-in closet because the Dollars accused them of stealing food and misbehaving, the sheriff's office said.

Tierney said the children did not attend school and no other adults had regular contact with them, preventing authorities from intervening sooner. Tierney said two children who appeared not to have been harmed by the couple — another 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl — were not able to alert authorities sooner.

"My impression was that they were basically prisoners in this home," Tierney said.
Absolutely horrifying. If there's anybody who deserves the death penalty, it's these scumbags.

Hang 'em high.

- mAc Chaos

And Kerry's Solution Was the UN?

Remember that Iraqi who gained much prominence during Bush's SotU address?

Kathyr Lopez:
United Nations officials should feel self-conscious when faced with the image of last night’s embrace. The murderer who did Saddam’s dirty work, killing Safia al-Souhail’s freedom-loving father, was apparently paid for the job with Oil-for-Food vouchers.

- mAc Chaos

They Never Learn

It seems that the media elites constantly beat the drums of gloom and doom. Day in and day out, nothing comes out from the press corpes but cries of 'quagmire!'. And yet, at every turn, they have been proved wrong. When we first invaded Afghanistan, it took little time for the media to conjure up the visage of Vietnam, of America embroiled in the same territory which brought the Soviet Union to its knees. Weeks later, we emerged triumphant, blowing the predictions of disaster to smithereens. Fast forward to Iraq. Same story. Once again, an amazingly successful military campaign destroyed any pretense of catastrophe. Then Saddam's statue fell, and it took little time for the media to start hyperventilating over historically insignificant things; a museum being ransacked, some disorder in the streets, natural from an invasion. Not letting the fact that they were once again proven wrong faze them, the media once again boldly proclaimed that the Iraqi people would have been better off without us and that they supported the insurgency. They proclaimed that the terrorists were not what they claimed to be and were in fact 'insurgents' and 'militants' reminiscient of our own American revolution, fighting an oppressive occupying force, and that it would inevitably grow in size forcing us to leave.

Zarqawi then declares a holy war on democracy itself and vows to kill anybody who promotes it; so much for fighting for the Iraqis.

Now, we have come to today, and the elections have past, and resounded throughout Iraq as a tremendous success for freedom and liberty everywhere. The media had been harping it as a failure, declaring that it was illegitimate, and that saying that it should be delayed. Bush ignores them as is his trademark and plows ahead. What's their tune now? The media, without skipping a beat, pivots and declares:
The Iraqi election went more or less as anticipated.
Ta da! That's what they were saying all along! But they'll waste no time, as that article demonstrates, in finding the latest set of cliches to attack the President.

- mAc Chaos