Raging Right Wing Republican

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Civilian Casualties

An exceptional post by the aptly named Logic Times debunks the leftist myth of high civilian casualties in the Iraq war: The Civilian Casualty Fable.

GDP Great, PR Lousy

Larry Kudlow:
Will someone please explain why the Bush White House and the Republican Congress are not trumpeting this economic boom on a daily basis? Their polls are sagging, but the economy is soaring. This simply shouldn't be.

If former President Clinton had overseen this economy, he'd have held daily Rose Garden news conferences to mark the occasion. In fact, former President Reagan did just that in the booming 1980s -- he gave speech after speech touting the success of his supply-side tax cuts. Yet President Bush seldom goes into the current economic story, and when he does it's just a mention...

Less Is More

For some reason I don't think many Americans will be upset that the UN may be forced to delay staff salaries and cut back on some operations because of a dispute over their budget. For this good news we can thank John Bolton, who's effectively telling the UN that if they won't reform they won't get any money. The fact that the UN refuses to do so unless such strongarm tactics are used lays bare once and for all where their true interests lie. What kind of arrogance does it take to tell your primary contributor that you won't do what's asked until they do as you say?

Marijuana Rots Your Brain

So says a new study. But we all knew that already.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Allawi On Torture

Former interim Prime Minister of Iraq, Ayad Allawi says human rights abuses are now as bad in Iraq as they were under Saddam. Note that he's not blaming America, but the Iraqi politicians who replaced him.

Anyone with a brain knows that the comparison between the current situation in Iraq, with it's roadside bombs, and wrongful abuses of authority, no matter how terrible at times, is nothing compared to Saddam's rape rooms and torture cells. And not fake "torture" like playing music loudly or slapping someone upside the head repeatedly, but dripping acid on the skin and raping daughters while their family watches on.

This shows that Allawi has become another politician; he's hoping to ride this wave to victory on the 14th. No doubt it's risky, as it can alienate Iraqis from the process and spread disillusionment, but as a secularist, that wouldn't seem to be what Allawi aims for.

In a way, this has it's own benefits which have sprouted on the side: The Sunnis, who have long been suspicious of the current government, are beginning to accept their authority and are now moving in to participate with the rest of the Iraqis in the democratic process, as the cracking down on this secret facility demonstrated that they would in fact be protected by the government, contrary to their fears.

We have Iraqi politicians inflaming passions and demogoging away at the microphone. I suppose democracy really is coming to Iraq after all.

McCain Is Wrong On Torture

Charles Krauthammer has written an important piece on torture in the Weekly Standard. Krauthammer raises the troublesome "ticking time bomb" scenario: What to do if there's an attack about to occur and torture is the only way to get the information to stop it? He does a good job of exposing McCain's phony position. McCain appears to understand the need for exceptions, but wants to pass that buck off to the lower ranking soldiers, and the bureaucracy. (And anyway, most of the items listed as "torture" are nothing but coercion: sleep deprivation? Loud music? Offending cultural sensibilities?)

He'll pass an absolutist law but argues that the President can always violate it in an emergency, which defeats the purpose of the anti-torture law itself. It also increases the chance of what it wants to prevent of occuring. Instead of the shots being called by upper ranking government officials, by making it within the jurisdiction of the young interrogator seeking to make a name for himself, the process becomes arbitrary.

If someone is wrongly treated, the politicians can avoid blame and point the finger at the soldiers for making the wrong judgement call. If the opposite occurs and the torture of one bloodthirsty terrorist prevents another 9/11, then you can bet the politician will be there to take the credit, while the soldier who made the sacrifice and did the dirty deed will be at the tender mercies of the ACLU and other human rights watchdogs, if not the law itself.

McCain argues that we wouldn't prosecute, but we've disciplined our soldiers before when no actual harm was done, just to show how "nice" we are to the other side. (Example: When the soldiers burned the corpses of a few terrorists because of sanitation issues and to scare away other Islamists who found the practice abhorrent, they were disciplined because the Islamists may have found it offensive.)

Conservative VS Liberal

Matt Yglesias captures the fundamental problem with liberalism in just a few words:
Via Alex Tabarrok and Cory Doctorow a review of existing literature on file-sharing software reaches three conclusions:

* File-sharing causes overall album sales to decline.

* Sales go down for the top quarter of artists in ex ante popularity, and up for the other three quarters.

* "File-sharing on average yields a gain to society three times the loss to the music industry in lost sales."

To my way of thinking, which also happens to be the correct way of thinking, the last point is entirely decisive. Record companies and their movie studio allies have managed to convince a shockingly large swathe of opinion that the purpose of intellectual property law is to prevent copyright infringement. In fact, the purpose is to advance the general welfare of society. Infringement should be defined, and the law should be enforced, in a manner designed to improve overall welfare.
At least he's honest about it. In liberalism, property rights exist only as a tool way to "improve the overall welfare" of society, not because they're inalienable rights every individual has regardless of their convenience to others. (Freedom of speech, for example.) We don't have these rights because of our nature, but because the goverment bestows them upon us. So we can all have our rights, because it's what is "good for society" as deemed by liberalism for the government to protect our rights.

Until, of course, it's good for society to have the government take away your rights. That which can be given can be taken away.

"Remember that a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have." - Barry Goldwater

The implications are enormous. It may seem to most that the general welfare coincides with individual welfare so often as to be indistinguishable, but once that Pandora's Box has been opened, the temptation to tinker is boundless; the precise nature of the "general welfare," open to interpretation, with the realm of interpretation as wide as one's imagination.

Consider a recent topic of discussion amongst leading liberals at the TPM Book Club. A fundamental theme running throughout was the notion that growth should be managed so as to benefit the collective. David Sirota argues that some freedom is "bad for society," and James K. Galbraith argues that freedom is fine, but egalitarianism is where it's really at. (Thus, we have policies like affirmative action, which allow freedom until it's convenient to shunt it away.)

In actual application, it always amounts to, "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." Only the state has rights - we only have obligations.

But He's A Secularist!

Victor Davis Hanson reviews some of the evidence linking Hussein to al-Qaeda. Citing Clinton's Justice Department in their 1998 indictment of bin Laden:
al-Qaida reached an understanding with the Government of Iraq that al-Qaida would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al-Qaida would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.
And in 2002, when Clinton appointee George Tenet told the Senate:
We have solid reporting of senior-level contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida going back a decade.
The argument that Saddam and al-Qaeda could never cooperate because one was a secularist and the other Islamicist is based on theory, not reality.

While this kind of abstract, theoretical argument might appeal to a liberal college professor, it has no factual basis. Those who subscribe to this belief ignore the timeless rule of war and conflict: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

If bin Laden could accept American assistance while he was fighting off the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, it's difficult to see how he could refuse cooperating with Iraq to attack US interests. Moreover, we know today that Zarqawi is fighting side by side with secular Baathists in Iraq.

Now, one could say that this is a product of US aggression in Iraq, but if US "aggression" could produce such a relationship in 2003, then why couldn't it have done so in '91 and beyond? The evidence shows that it did. When Zarqawi escaped Afghanistan, Saddam harbored him.

Of course, the elite liberals who seek to weaken the credibility of the liberation of Iraq aren't doing so because they believe in a lack of evidence, lest they're simply ignorant.

The Rape Myth

From the Telegraph:
Twice this week the rape laws have been called into question. First, Amnesty International expressed its shock at the findings of a poll suggesting that many people believe that if a woman flirts, fails to say no clearly, wears sexy clothes or drinks too much, she is partly or totally responsible if she is raped.
I'm shocked too, mostly because it demonstrates that the duplicitous egalitarian ethic of radical feminists is disintegrating faster than I'd hoped. The reason many people believe a woman is at least partly responsible for her own victimization is because in many cases she is. In no other circumstance is it argued that a victim of a crime must be considered wholly innocent of any responsibility whatsoever, regardless of actions - just ask your insurance company if you don't believe me. A woman who gets drunk and who goes to the bedroom of a man she doesn't know deserves no more sympathy or understanding from society than the man who leaves his unlocked car running with the key in the ignition or the woman who leaves her purse unattended at an airport.

Now, the fact that more than one person can have responsibility doesn't make the thief any less of a thief, or a genuine rapist any less of a rapist. (I use the term "genuine" because a good deal of "date rape" cases is not a rape or crime of any kind but a case of he-said-she-said, which is not a basis for a system of justice. At this rate people are going to get a contract signed with written permission before having sex.) Responsibility is not a zero-sum game.

I have to confess that I don't understand this ceaseless quest for victimhood. Being raped doesn't confer some mystical moral superiority on a woman, it just makes her a victim. And unfortunately, in too many cases, it also makes her an idiot.

I'm also curious what basis moral relativists like feminists have in condemning rape in the first place. If a rapist deems that slaking his desire for lust, or violence, to be what is defined as good for him, who is a moral relativist then to condemn it? And on another note, to the subset of moral relativists who are communists, socialists, and other leftists, who believe that no one person can have a claim on any property, then how can a woman object if a rapist decides to make use of that which belongs to him?

And Then There Was The Time They Double Crossed DuGaulle

From the London Sunday Times, this startling historical scoop:
That Blair and Bush should have discussed bombing the Al-Jazeera building in Qatar is hardly surprising. They agreed to bomb the headquarters of Serbian television during the Kosovo war.
Well, I'm impressed. Who knew the President was already conducting foreign policy back in 1999, when he was still governor of Texas?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Hey, But I Thought He Was A Secular Leader?

From the AP on the Saddam Hussein trial: Dressed in black trousers and a gray jacket, Saddam was the last of eight defendants to enter the courtroom, walking with a swagger, appearing confident and acknowledging people with the traditional Arabic greeting, "Peace be upon the people of peace." He also carried a copy of the Muslim holy book, the Quran.

Come to think of it, do we even know if Bin Laden and Zarqawi are really believers or just exploiting religious belief? Or perhaps, both? Of course, we don't.

Quote Of The Day

Ayn Rand:
The American philosophy of the Rights of Man was never grasped fully by European intellectuals. Europe’s predominant idea of emancipation consisted of changing the concept of man as a slave of the absolute state embodied by a king, to the concept of man as a slave of the absolute state embodied by "the people" – i.e. switching from slavery to a tribal chief into slavery to the tribe. A non-tribal view of existence could not penetrate the mentalities that regarded the privilege of ruling material producers by physical force as a badge of nobility.

He Was For It Before He Was Against It

Al Gore on "extraordinary rendition."

Perception Is Reality?

In the world of politics, it often is. On Fox News, liberal panelist Ellen Ratner gave the game away when discussing the Democrats' position on withdrawing troops from Iraq:
"If you got [Dem leaders] in a room off camera everyone agrees, but people are trying to look tough on security so the Democrats can win the House back in 2006."
Shot back Newsday's resident archconservative, Jim Pinkerton, "viewers should take note that Ellen basically said that the Democrats will think one thing and say another." Host Juan Phillips, who moderated the debate scored the point for Pinkerton: "Ellen, Jim has something on you on that one."

While true, it's hardly a surprise. Ratner's candor suggests either a minor rhetorical misstep or that the Democrats are now so convinced that they've successfully hijacked the war narrative on Iraq that they can finally relax a little bit, let the mask slip and wink at their own Machiavellian successes at elevating partisan politics above national security.

A Poll You Won't See Often

How's that Republican pushback against the entrenched Democratic war narrative - the one clearly favored by the media - coming along? From the Washington Post:
Democrats fumed last week at Vice President Cheney’s suggestion that criticism of the administration’s war policies was itself becoming a hindrance to the war effort. But a new poll indicates most Americans are sympathetic to Cheney’s point.

Seventy percent of people surveyed said that criticism of the war by Democratic senators hurts troop morale - with 44 percent saying morale is hurt “a lot,” according to a poll taken by RT Strategies. Even self-identified Democrats agree: 55 percent believe criticism hurts morale, while 21 percent say it helps morale.

The results surely will rankle many Democrats, who argue that it is patriotic and supportive of the troops to call attention to what they believe are deep flaws in President Bush’s Iraq strategy. But the survey itself cannot be dismissed as a partisan attack. The RTs in RT Strategies are Thomas Riehle, a Democrat, and Lance Tarrance, a veteran GOP pollster.

Their poll also indicates many Americans are skeptical of Democratic complaints about the war. Just three of 10 adults accept that Democrats are leveling criticism because they believe this will help U.S. efforts in Iraq. A majority believes the motive is really to “gain a partisan political advantage.”
Well, of course it hurts the morale of our troops to say that they're fighting for a lie and should be withdrawn immediately. And of course the Democrats are leveling their "criticisms" for political reasons. They want to wound this President, and they don't care what their calls surrender mean to the troops, the Iraqis, or US security.

The Democratic party is as serious as cancer in what damage it can wreak politically, but morally it is no longer a serious party. This why, despite the criticisms leveled at the Republicans for their squishy governance, the Democrats will not be given Congress.

Canadian Defense Minister: Bush To Start Intergalactic War

Just when we thought we'd suffered the apotheosis of idiotic liberal "thinking," along comes former Canadian Minister of Defense Paul Hellyer with something that could have been taken right from The Onion, warning us about the threat of intergalactic warfare with space aliens instigated by none other than BushHitler himself:
OTTAWA, CANADA (PRWEB) November 24, 2005 -- A former Canadian Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister under Pierre Trudeau has joined forces with three Non-governmental organizations to ask the Parliament of Canada to hold public hearings on Exopolitics -- relations with “ETs.” By “ETs,” Mr. Hellyer and these organizations mean ethical, advanced extraterrestrial civilizations that may now be visiting Earth.
Obviously a liberal: assume the very best of any sort of foreigners and the worst of their own / American government.
Mr. Hellyer went on to say, “I’m so concerned about what the consequences might be of starting an intergalactic war, that I just think I had to say something.”

Hellyer revealed, “The secrecy involved in all matters pertaining to the Roswell incident was unparalled. The classification was, from the outset, above top secret, so the vast majority of U.S. officials and politicians, let alone a mere allied minister of defence, were never in-the-loop.”

Hellyer warned, “The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning. He stated, “The Bush administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they so decide.”

Hellyer’s speech ended with a standing ovation.
He said, “The time has come to lift the veil of secrecy, and let the truth emerge, so there can be a real and informed debate, about one of the most important problems facing our planet today.”
Sounds like the perfect venue to debate aliens to me.

Bush Derangement Syndrome™ claims another victim!

The Limits of Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism combines with mass immigration to provide the perfect recipe for national dissolution. In the new issue of the Weekly Standard, Leo McKinstry focuses on the effects of the recipe in Great Britain: "Dis-United Kingdom." Great Britain is contrasted unfavorably with France, of all nations, to make the point:
For the last three decades, in response to waves of mass immigration, the civic institutions of Britain have eagerly implemented the ideology of multiculturalism. Instead of promoting a cohesive British identity, they have encouraged immigrant communities to cling to the customs, traditions, and language of their countries of origin. The emphasis is on upholding ethnic and cultural differences rather than achieving assimilation. This is in stark contrast to France, which has taken a color-blind approach to immigration, with newcomers expected to adapt to the culture of the host nation. The recently imposed ban on Muslim girls' wearing the hijab or headscarf in schools is a classic example of the French model.

Britain has moved in exactly the opposite direction. Soon after the French hijab ban was implemented, a British Muslim teenager brought a successful legal action to win the right to wear in school full Islamic dress from head to toe. She was represented in her court case by Cherie Blair, the barrister wife of the prime minister. And Mrs. Blair's action was typical of the spirit of the Labour-led British ruling class, which has elevated dogmatic multiculturalism into a principle of governance.
The key point:
Yet the diversity enthusiasts want to celebrate every culture but their own. In the self-flagellating climate of modern Britain, the nation's traditions are increasingly regarded as reactionary and prejudiced. Britishness has "systematic, largely unspoken racial connotations," declared the government's Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain. The commission's report, published in 2000, described the United Kingdom as "a community of communities" and called for British history to be "revised, rethought or jettisoned." The official mood of self-loathing, epitomized by the terror of giving offense to any ethnic group, has become even more pervasive in the last five years. In one typical instance, the English inspector of prisons stated that wardens should not wear badges or tie pins with the red cross of St. George, England's national flag, because this could be "misinterpreted as a racist symbol."
Multiculturalism is, as an ideology, a corrupted form of Marxism in which race and nationality are substituted for class. Instead of class warfare, we're subjected to a dividing of society into a thousand different interest groups who then engage each other in a war between the sexes, the races, religion, etc., all oppressed by the same upper class enemies. Like Marxism itself, it's an ideology that must be opposed if we're to preserve the country founded on the proposition that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights.

Multiculturalism weakens the cultural supports which preserve the integrity of property rights and other traditional constructs in our society which have provided a bulwark against socialism for the last century in America, whereas lacking European nations continue to bury themselves in economic stagnation born from a culture of entitlement. If the culture is taken, then in our democratic society, the power will simply fall into the lap of those pushing socialism. Of course, the job has already been done to a great extent.

I don't know enough to judge whether France is in better shape than Great Britain with respect to the corruptions of multiculturalism. Moreover, it seems that the elites in the United States have similarly elevated multiculturalism into an operative principle, if not a principle of governance.

We Don't Need No Stinkin' States' Rights

Remember when Republicans had principles?
WASHINGTON - The Republican-controlled Congress, in a departure from the traditional GOP support for states' rights and limited federal rule, has been moving on a number of fronts to curtail state and local powers over matters important to business groups and advocates of tighter national security.

The recent moves by Congress have begun to provoke objections even in states that are socially conservative and have pro-business governments.

"It does appear that Congress is becoming increasingly unplugged from the states," said Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican. "It's a real growing source of frustration for both Democratic and Republican governors."
Power corrupts.

Relatedly, I heard the economist Thomas Sowell say again yesterday in an interview on Fox what he has said many times before: "Democrats are the only reason to vote for Republicans."

Garbage Hippies

The Times of London brings this report on a growing subgroup of "ethical eaters."
The anti-capitalist freegans - the name combines "free" and "vegan" - are so appalled by the waste of the consumer society that they try to live on the leftovers, scavenging for food in supermarket dustbins.

"It's fun. It's a thrill. It's more fun and more satisfying than just going to the store and saying, 'I wanted some bread and I got it'. It's the surprise - and the prize," said Janet Kalish, a New York high school teacher who describes herself as "60 per cent freegan". . . .

The freegan philosophy of "ethical eating" argues that capitalism and mass production exploit workers, animals and the environment.

Adam Weissman, a freegan activist and sometime security guard in New Jersey, says freeganism grew out of the radical 1960s "yippie" movement but also has affinities with the hobos of the Great Depression who travelled around the country by stealing rides on the railways.

"I have pity for people who have not figured out this lifestyle," he said. "I am able to take long vacations from work, I have all kinds of consumer goods, and I eat a really healthy diet of really wonderful food: white asparagus and cactus fruit, three different kinds of mushrooms and four different kinds of pre-cut salad. And I'm just thinking of what is in my refrigerator right now.
Great. Now in addition to raccoons and the neighborhood dog, I have to worry about garbage hippies.

I recommend setting live traps, baited with an issue of The Nation or Das Kapital.

Release them at your local "funky" coffee shop. They'll usually come right out, blink a bit, then scamper into line and order a soy latté. They usually won't go for the dumpster there, there's only stale coffee grounds.

Supreme Court Bias

The Media Research Center's Rich Noyes compares the network news coverage of Alito's nomination to Ginsburg's. Unsurprisingly, the press' coverage was outrageously liberal. When Alito was nominated, ABC, CNN, and CBS raced to see how many times they could squeeze the word conservative into their stories. Upon Ginsburg's nomination, the networks uniformly pronounced the polygamy supporting card-carrying ACLU member, who supported lowering the age of consent to the age of 12, a moderate.

The contrast in reporting, if you can call it that, with respect to the issue of abortion is particularly noteworthy. The networks greeted Alito's nomination with much hand-wringing about whether replacing a pro-abortion Justice with a conservative would change the direction of the Supreme Court on the issue. But when Ginsburg, a pro-abortion Justice, was nominated to the Court, the media wasted no time worrying over whether the she would change the direction of the Court with respect to abortion related issues such as parental consent and government funding. Then, as now, only the concerns of the pro-abortion activist were raised. Indeed, CBS' Paula Zahn pointed out that The National Abortion Rights Action League "is not totally comfortable with this nomination of Judge Ginsburg." At NBC, Katie Couric voiced similar fears.

Thus, at least when it comes to judicial nominations, these major news outlets are simply the mouthpieces of liberal interest groups.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Mongolian Candidate

Great roundup of Bush's trip to Mongolia - the first ever by a sitting American President - and his praise of this fledgling democracy's anti-terrorism efforts.

The PM of Mongolia writes an Op-ed in the Washington Post. Here's the beginning:
-- Mr. President, welcome to Mongolia. Welcome to freedom.
Those are the words with which I will greet President Bush when he arrives in Mongolia today. They represent an extraordinary odyssey for my country, one that has taken us from totalitarianism to free-market democracy in just 15 years.
Pretty nice start.

Chris Matthews: Our Enemies "Aren't Evil - They Just Have A Different Perspective"

Chris Matthews:
"If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person on the other side is not evil -- they just have a different perspective."
Some minor differences of perspective from those that we blindly call "evil:"
"...A gruesome videotape posted on an Islamic militant Web site Tuesday showed the beheading of an American contractor who had been looking for work in Iraq...Berg then was pushed to the floor and screamed as one of the executioners wielded a large knife. The man sawed off Berg's head while the other captors shouted: "Allahu Akbar!" Arabic for "God is great."


"...Fifteen people were killed when a car bomb exploded in a busy Baghdad market...The latest attack, which targeted a local market in the Jesir Diyala district of southern Baghdad, was followed 90 minutes later by another car bomb attack in the centre of the capital...The market bomb, hidden in a parked car, wounded some 20 people, all of them civilians...The second blast, which targeted a police patrol, left three policemen and two civilians wounded...A week ago, another car bomb killed four women and wounded some 40 people at another Baghdad market in the southeast of the capital..."
And it all started with this innocent little misunderstanding:

I think we've heard just about all we need to hear from Chris Matthews.

The "Shinseki Was Fired For Calling For More Troops" Myth

From CNN:
[Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie] MCINTYRE: Now, Secretary Rumsfeld is fond of saying that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own set of facts. And the fact that the Army chief of staff was not fired or forced to retire early is just that, Judy. It is a fact.
This is from over a year ago. You'd think that the myth that General Shinseki was fired because of his comments on troop deployment in Iraq wouldn't get any traction anymore.

Friday, November 18, 2005

French Diplomat Admits Taking Saddam's Blood Money

The UN is embroiled in a multi-billion fraud that allowed a tyrant to buy it off. Meanwhile the media unthinkingly regurgitates Democrat talking points about "lying" about pre-war intelligence. So I doubt we'll see this in the New York Times:
One of France's most distinguished diplomats has confessed to an investigating judge that he accepted oil allocations from Saddam Hussein, it emerged yesterday.

The Frenchman, who holds the title "ambassador for life", told authorities that he regretted taking payments amounting to $156,000 (then worth about £108,000) in 2002...

At the time, Mr Mérimée was a special adviser to Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general...

But he also said that the payments were made in recompense for work he had done on Iraq's behalf...

The ambassador said the French authorities had known of his every move.
It becomes increasingly harder to believe that "inspections" would have worked.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Only UN Employee Fired For Oil For Food Scandal Re-instated With Raise

UN reform at work, folks:
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations on Tuesday reinstated the only U.N. official who was fired over the Iraq oil-for-food scandal after an internal appeals body ruled that he had done nothing wrong, his lawyer said.

Joseph Stephanides was advised of the decision in a letter received Tuesday morning, said his lawyer, George Irving. . . .

The ruling, disclosed to The Associated Press last week, concluded that Stephanides was fired mostly because of the public scrutiny from an investigation that found the $64 billion oil-for-food program was poorly managed and corrupt. . . .

Stephanides, 60, was fired for divulging bidding information related to an oil-for-food contract to Britain. He argued he was acting under the instructions of a U.N. Security Council sanctions committee.

U.N. officials had maintained that Annan stood by the adverse findings made against Stephanides by a U.N.-backed probe of the program. Led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, that investigation accused him in February of tainting the bidding process over a contract to inspect goods going into Iraq.
Not only was his punishment revoked, but he was awarded the equivalent of two years pay - even though he was fired in May - for "emotional suffering."

So the end result is that nobody was punished, and this guy was actually rewarded for gross financial incompetence.

France Offered To Invade Iraq

But the deal fell through:
France was not always opposed to the American invasion of Iraq. One persistent Pentagon rumor, however, might explain why the French came to oppose the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. In December, 2002, a French staff officer visited the Pentagon with a proposal from his government. France would send 18,000 troops (about what they contributed in 1991) to join the Iraq invasion force. However, France wanted a specific area of occupation after the war, with full authority in that area for as long as Iraq needed to be occupied. The American State Department backed the French proposal, but the Department of Defense didn’t trust the French, and were suspicious of their motives. So the French officer went home empty handed, and the French government decided that invading Iraq was really an evil thing to do.

What exactly were the French up to? No one is sure, but the most plausible theory was that the French wanted to be in Iraq, after Saddam fell, to make sure no embarrassing documents, or witnesses, showed up.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Left's Patriotism Gap

Gap? How about "gulf"? How about "yawning chasm"? How about "fathomless abyss to rival the void in George Galloway's head"?

Winds of Change reposts an article from last year:
America is a great goddamn country, and we're going to both defend it from those who attack it and fight to make it better.

And for everyone who is going to comment and remind me that 'all liberals already do that' ...no they don't. Not when the chancellor has to intervene at U.C. Berkeley to get 'permission' for American flags to be flown and red-white-and-blue ribbons to be worn. Not when the strongest voices in liberalism give only lip service to responding to an attack on our own soil.

Loving this country isn't the same thing as jingoism; it isn't the same thing as imperialism; it isn't the same thing as blind support of the worst traits of our government or our people.

It starts with recognizing the best traits, and there are a hell of a lot of them. They were worth defending in my father's time, and they are worth defending today.

So thanks, veterans. Thanks soldiers and sailors and marines and airmen. Thanks for doing your jobs and I hope you all come home hale and whole, every one of you.
Half of the problem is that leftists are intellectually insecure and have been taught that patriotism is for stupid people. Determined to prove themselves non-stupid through an easy course (not everyone can split atoms, you know), they buy into the various signifiers of a high intellect promoted by their lefty heroes.

If it became politically correct to wave flags and wear flag pins tomorrow - if suddenly that denoted education, sophistication, and progressive virtue - you'd have seas of red, white, and blue in San Francisco.

Anti-patriots denigrate patriotism as empty-headed jingoism. But most of their antipatriotic ferver is in itself empty-headed, a trivial tribal signifier, a vapid fashion accessory informing the world that they are members of the "enlightened" class.

Barack Obama: No Reason For Extra Scrutiny For Young Male Arabs From Terrorist-Producing States

...no need to look a little harder at their Visa applications. Treat them the same as Canadians and Swedes.

I didn't believe the hype, but now I'm a convert. Barack Obama surely is the future of the Democratic Party. Demagogic and dangerously stupid.

Death Cult

Jordan captures wife of suicide bomber:
AMMAN, Jordan - Jordanian security forces on Sunday arrested an Iraqi woman, whose husband is suspected of blowing up one of three Amman hotels, after being tipped off by an al-Qaida claim that a husband-and-wife team participated in the attacks that killed 57 other people.

The woman failed to blow herself up during a wedding reception at the Radisson SAS hotel on Wednesday night after apparently struggling with the cord on her explosives belt, Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher said. Her husband saw her fumbling and "pushed her out of the ballroom," he said. "Once she was out, he blew himself up."
And people say that chivalry is dead.

Are You A Canadian Prison Guard?

Let me give you some career advice.

Find a new job, while you still can.

Aside from that novel theory that giving inmates broader access to very useful weapons is a good thing, does anyone else figure that the sort of prisoner who most wants tattoos will be the kind that wants a gang/racist/unapproved tattoo?

That's okay, though, because the bleeding hearts mean well, so whether their ideas are actually, you know, GOOD ONES, is beside the point.

France Is In Deep Trouble

Today Newsweek tells us:
...the French riots aren't about a culture clash. They are about jobs.
Yeah, right. Unemployed people torch cars and handicapped women.

But let's assume that's correct. The French are screwed.

They simply will not undertake job creating economic reform. Instead they're signing up for more of the socialism that buried them in this economic stagnation in the first place:
Yet for all these difficulties, a sort of magical thinking around economic issues still pervades Europe. Even with 20 million people out of work on the Continent, it's almost an article of faith among French, German and Italian voters that their woes can be put right by simply tinkering with the system. Minor evolution of Europe's social system is required, not revolution. Anyone suggesting that a more radical overhaul might be needed is instantly "Merkelized."

Rewriting History

I think I know who the fat one is.

Much Ado About Alito

Before the uproar over Alito's 1985 position concerning whether the right to an abortion is protected by the Constitution grows too deafening, let's pause to consider their relevance to his qualifications as a Supreme Court Justice and how they compare to stated positions of other Justices.

The Judicial Confirmation Network and the American Center for Law and Justice have both issued releases plainly stating that the comments are inappropriate grounds to vote down a nominee. Not only have prior nominees (e.g. Ginsburg and Breyer) publicly stated opposing viewpoints without rebuke prior to their confirmations, but the position in question, it should be noted, does not comment on the question of abortion itself, but rather on its identity as a Constitutional matter. In this, Alito's record represents a very mainstream opinion.

Furthermore, if you searched for a "right to abortion" in the Constitution, you would not find it anywhere. Not in the original document or in any of the Amendments, including the Bill of Rights. So the breathless headlines "Report: Alito Wrote That Constitution Does Not Protect Abortion" are much ado about nothing.

Constitutional scholars of all stripes agree that Roe v Wade, being a supporter of abortion or not aside, was a terribly reasoned decision based on faulty underpinnings. It sought to navigate a "middle ground" between pronouncing what life was and was not before going on and doing just that. It's based on science that was suspect in the 70's and is ancient today. Many abortion supporting liberals will acknowledge that Roe v Wade was a weak decision. It's the epitomy of the judiciary reading new rights into the Constitution that are still nowhere to be seen in its actual text.

And when the judiciary can read rights into the Constitution, they can also read them out.

Don't Dislike All Of Canada

Not every Canadian is an America-hating leftist, as this excellent article in the Calgary Sun shows. Paul Jackson says that anti-Americanism has been "deceitfully and deviously stroked by the Lib-Left hierarchy and other malcontents":
The federal Liberals have done Canada a great disservice in A) Promoting anti-Americanism and, B) Actually antagonizing President George W. Bush and Washington generally.

It's outrageous the Liberals delight in insulting our closest neighbour -- the most powerful nation in the world -- and the nation underpinning Canada's economy. ...

The more politically astute are perplexed why Washington doesn't retaliate against us, not for antics of the likes of Parrish or Ducros -- boneheads who showed not only their bad manners, lack of breeding and low gutter-type intelligence -- but for our economic, military and security misdeeds.
This is unsurprising. Some people can't be proud of themselves without having someone else to denigrate and set themselves up against.

France Burning

Through LGF comes a map from The Economist, provided by the Bad Hair Blog that shows the true extent of the riots in France:

Now ponder that map, and ask yourselves what kind of European (and American) media noise would we be hearing if we've had fifteen continuous days of rioting and arson not only in every major city in the country, but coast-to-coast? Would the press be clamoring 24/7 for the Président de la République's head on a platter, or at least for his ousting? Can you think of one, just one, of the 3 networks and cable TV stations that wouldn't be on this all the time?
It looks like a map of Iraq.

Hillary Making Sense (This Is Not A Joke)

Yesterday Hillary Clinton said she supported the Israeli's building a fence separating Israel from the West Bank. She even managed to sound rational and to have an understanding of the Israeli's situation, and that Palestinians need to hold up their end of the "peace" bargain.
This is not against the Palestinian people. This is against the terrorists. The Palestinian people have to help to prevent terrorism. They have to change the attitudes about terrorism."
Now I know what you're all thinking: Isn't this just another attempt by Hillary to shore up her national security credentials? Of course it is, and it would be more believable had she not embraced Suha Arafat, after Suha, wife of lead - and thankfully dead - terrorist Yassir Arafat, had just libeled Israel. But whatever the reason, she has come down on the right side of this issue, and whether calculated or not, she won't be able to wiggle her way out of words in the future. Remember, we'll be watching.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Les Risiblés



Split stage. On the right, a group of immigrant street toughs mill outside a bleak suburban banlieu. On the right: President Jacques Chirac's office in Elysee Palace, where Chirac is toasting another French diplomatic victory with Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin (who is a man).

It's great to be part of the UN... the EU's a marvelous thing...
In our little cloister the world is our oyster...
'cuz – we – get – to – pull – all - the - striiiiings!

We are FRANCE!
We are France!
If you think you can beat us, bon chance!

We're on a first name basis with the Chinese.
Not to mention Kofi Annan on speed dial.
With speeches so emphatique and manuevers diplomatique, we'll twist the rusty knife in while we smiiiile!

We are France, we are France!
We've got the Saudi contacts...
to get us oil contracts...
and stuff away the profits in our pants!

Music makes dramatic minor key shift, stage rotates to the immigrant boys.

My parents immigrated from Morocco.
My dad arrived in Paris from Algiers.
Now all that we can do is hang out by the banlieu...
Mom and Dad ain't found a job in 30 years!

KHALID (angrily)
We are France!
We are France!
Where a guy can't get the break he wants!

A hundred Euros weekly for our welfare.
They think that it will keep us satisfied.
They invented mimes, and we're accused of crimes? It's time for these two worlds to collide!

TOUGHS (angrily)
We are France!
We are France!
We are France!
We are France!

The stage rotates as the two groups continue singing. Finally they bump into each other and begin catlike finger snapping.

When you're a Frog you're a Frog all the way, from your first cigarette to your last beaujolais!

Mohhhhh- OH! – rocco! Where the wind comes sweeping down the dunes! Where the sand can fly straight in your eye, but they don't have these French buffoons!

Pantomime sissy knife fight



Fade out, curtains

Continue to ACT II

Thursday, November 10, 2005

ACLU Fights for the Right to Accept Money from Terrorists

This is not a parody. The American Civil Liberties Union, which has spent the past four years trying to keep terrorists out of jail and free any that we capture from necessary places like Gitmo, has fought for and won the right to accept funding from terrorists.
NEW YORK The American Civil Liberties Union and 12 other national non-profit organizations today said they have successfully challenged Office of Personnel Management's Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) requirements that all participating charities check their employees and expenditures against several government watch lists for "terrorist activities" and that organizations certify that they do not contribute funds to organizations on those lists.
Keep in mind, the ACLU has voluntarily stopped taking funds from groups like the United Way because the ACLU believes terrorist watch lists are wrong, and the United Way participates in such lists. The ACLU also stopped taking funds from several major foundations because those foundations stipulate that any funds they donate may not be used by groups that "directly or indirectly engage in, promote, or support other organizations or individuals who engage in or promote terrorist activity."

There's quite a bit more about all of this at the first link, which goes to Stop the ACLU. The bottom line here seems to be that the ACLU has made one more anti-terrorist tool--terrorist watch lists--off limits, thereby empowering terrorists to channel money that can be used in support of the enemy's infowar, disinfo and psyops right here. Which is fitting, since the ACLU has spent the past four years engaging in all of those kinds of activities on behalf of the enemy.

Here is how it has worked. The ACLU has waged a Freedom of Information Act campaign against Gitmo as well as the government generally. When it gets the government to release documents, the ACLU then finds the most salacious bits and selectively releases them to the media and to groups liks Human Rights Watch. The most salacious bits need not be confirmed, they can just be allegations of the type that the terrorists have been trained to lodge against us, ranging from abuse to disrespect for Islam. The media and the human rights groups, predictably, run with the data that the ACLU mines, generating massive scandals and misunderstandings, and eventually things like the McCain amendment that Congress is currently considering, which if passed re-defines torture down to include things like sleep deprivation and psychological pressure. The ACLU has been waging this courtroom war on behalf of al Qaeda terrorists for years.

Now they can get paid directly for their work.

Modern Art Belongs In The Trash Can

Take a look at this hunk of crap:

It looks like a something someone randomly slapped together for a bad high school art project.

Naturally, something wouldn't be this bad if it wasn't selling for a ridiculous price:
"A large-scale metal sculpture by American artist David Smith has become the most expensive work of contemporary art ever sold at auction, fetching 23.8 million dollars at Sotheby's in New York.

Five bidders competed for Smith's "Cubi XXVII" which was the starting lot at a Wednesday evening sale of 54 contemporary works that brought in 114.5 million dollars."
After seeing that this craptacular piece of junk went for nearly 24 million dollars, two thoughts quickly came to mind...

1) Why does the government need to be involved in funding the arts when there are rich dopes like this shelling out almost $115 million dollars at a single auction? If there are people who are willing to pay all that money for this gigantic welding accident and it's undoubtedly misshapen artistic cousins, why in the world are taxpayers being asked to fund the National Endowment of the "Arts"?

2) What ever happened to making art that, you know, actually looks like something? You know, art that doesn't look like it was made by a deranged HP Lovecraft fan on acid? The fact that a sculpture, that looks like a giant, metallic tinkertoy experiment gone wrong, sold for nearly 24 million dollars shows you how worthless much of what passes for "art" these days really is.

The Lie That Never Dies

One of the great untruths of contemporary affairs is that the Bush administration lied about Iraq having WMDs. Usually, people who promote this falsity say he "misled." Misleading differs from lying because one lies knowingly, while the blind can lead the blind. Let’s consider the term, "misled," a case of accusers hedging their bets and they want us to think Bush lied.

Norman Podhoretz dismantles the "lie" claim by tracing the steps that led to the invasion. For instance, it’s hard to claim that Bush lied when, not only all the intelligence agencies claimed the existence of WMDs (remember George Tenet telling him it was a "slam dunk"?), but also the intelligence agencies of Germany, France, Britain, and even Russia.

1.7 Tons of Highly Enriched Uranium Removed from Iraq

Lies! More lies from Bush-Hitler!

I'm not clear on the details of all this, but I think the reason the press never mentions this (apart from the bias) is that all of this nuclear stock was already known about, and kept under the UN's watch from being used.

So it's nothing to worry about, really, because as Iran proves, when the IAEA or the UN gives orders to a despot mastermind determined to have a nuclear bomb, those nuke-obsessed tyrants snap smartly back into line.

And, oh yeah - rockets capable of delivering liquid payloads were also discovered in Iraq. Nothing to do with chemical weapons, though. Saddam just wanted to fill them with water and use them to explosively irrigate the deserts.

Long Quote of the Day

Mark Steyn:
It’s remarkable to me how many European commentators cling to the old delusions — mocking Bush for being in thrall to his own Texan version of Osama-like fundamentalism. I look on religion like gun ownership. That’s to say, New Hampshire has a high rate of firearms possession, which is why it has a low crime rate. You don’t have to own a gun and there are sissy Dartmouth College arms-are-for-hugging types who don’t. But they benefit from the fact that their crazy stump-toothed knuckle-dragging neighbours do. If you want to burgle a home in the Granite State, you’d have to be awfully certain it was the one-in-a-hundred we-are-the-world pantywaist’s pad and not some plaid-clad gun nut who’ll blow your head off before you lay a hand on his $70 TV. That’s the way it is with religion. A hyper-rationalist might dismiss the whole God thing as a lot of apple sauce, but his hyper-rationalism is a lot more vulnerable in a society without a strong Judaeo-Christian culture. American firearms owners have a popular slogan: ‘If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.’ Likewise, if you marginalise religion, only the marginalised will have religion. That’s why France’s impoverished Muslim ghettos display more cultural confidence than the wealthiest enclaves of the capital.

Shootin' Stuff Up Real Good

Fun video of some full-auto shootin' festival, where six year old girls get to sit behind heavy machine guns and blow away moving cars.

Radio-controlled, I'm assuming.

Man, it does look like fun.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

An Army Of The Underprivileged?

Think again:
"In an education context, rather than attracting underprivileged young Americans, the military seems to be attracting above-average Americans," Mr. Kane wrote.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Income Redistribution

"I do not know which is more terrible: inattention to social misery such as we see every day among the majority of those who have been favored by fortune or who have risen by their own efforts, or else the snobbish, or at times tactless and obtrusive, condescension of certain women of fashion in skirts or in trousers, who ' feel for the people.' In any event, these gentry sin far more than their minds, devoid of all instinct, are capable of realizing. Consequently, and much to their own amazement, the result of their social 'efforts' is always nil, frequently, in fact, an indignant rebuff, though this, of course, is passed off as a proof of the people's ingratitude.

Such minds are most reluctant to realize that social endeavor has nothing in common with this sort of thing; that above all it can raise no claim to gratitude, since its function is not to distribute favors but to restore rights."
The above quote, which could've come from any modern leftist in support of income redistribution, is from Mein Kampf. The translation, provided by John Ray, reminds us that the Socialism in "National Socialism" wasn't just an empty catchphrase.

Murdering People To Save Animals

"I don't think you'd have to kill, assassinate too many (people). I think for five lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, 2 million, or 10 million non-human lives." -- Dr. Jerry Vlasak of North American Animal Liberation
This is where animal rights extremism leads: you end up with nutjobs lusting for the blood of innocent people so that some cows and chickens, who are going to end up on a platter at Burger King and Chickfila anyway, will be saved.

Free Trade

(Cartoon courtesy of Cox and Forkum.)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Michael Moore, Capitalist Pig

"I don't own a single share of stocks."
Michael Moore owns ten thousand shares of... Haliburton? So it would appear, despite his strong denials. And the best part is that some of the money vehemently anti-war leftists spent on his hackumentary went to pay for it.

Cue the evil laughter.

Reforming Free Speech To Death

John Stossel is on a roll this week. This time it's overbearing politicians who come under his fire.
To squeeze more money from voters, Washington's legislature passed a 9.5-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase. To their annoyance, Washington law permits another lawmaking process: Citizens can petition to put an initiative on the ballot, which the public can then vote to pass. Some citizens, thinking they were already paying plenty, organized a movement to repeal the tax increase. Two local radio hosts, Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson, spent lots of time on the air explaining why they think the gas tax is a bad idea.

The nerve!

In response to this challenge to their authority, a group of politicians turned to campaign-finance laws to silence Wilbur and Carlson. The theory is this: Radio airtime is valuable. So if a radio host expresses strong political views, that's a contribution, just as if a caterer were providing free food to the campaign's volunteers. Washington law limits contributions in the final three weeks of a political campaign to $5,000, so Wilbur and Carlson must shut up. Or at least the anti-tax group must count the minutes they talked about it on the air, assign some price to that and report that under campaign finance limits. Or something-Mike Vaska, the lawyer acting as prosecutor, has suggested that if Wilbur and Carlson distanced themselves enough from the other people on their side, they'd be allowed to speak freely on the radio. Ironically, Vaska just happens to be a member of a big private law firm that stands to make big money off a higher gas tax-maybe millions in legal fees-$25,000 per bond backed by the tax. For some reason, Washington legislators seem to think that's OK. No one's telling him to shut up.

The political class protects its own.
Good old campaign finance reform. It's amazing how often it works out to protect incumbent politicians, isn't it? It's almost like it was meant to work out that way. Like the neat little portion of the McCain-Feingold law that now makes it illegal to air a commercial that mentions a politician's name 60 days prior to an election.

Yeah, it's quite a democratic system John McCain and the rest are creating for us.

Man Bags 5-Point Buck... In Bedroom. Unarmed.

Yesterday I killed a deer in my pajamas... no, seriously, I was in my pajamas:
BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- For 40 exhausting minutes, Wayne Goldsberry battled a buck with his bare hands in his daughter's bedroom.

Goldsberry finally subdued the five-point whitetail deer that crashed through a bedroom window at his daughter's home Friday. When it was over, blood splattered the walls and the deer lay dead on the bedroom floor, its neck broken.

Goldsberry was at his daughter's home when he heard glass breaking. He went back to check on the noise and found the deer.

"I was standing about like this peeking around the corner when the deer came out of the bedroom," said Goldsberry. The deer ran down the hall and into the master bedroom - "jumping back and forth across the bed."

Goldsberry entered the bedroom to confront the deer and, after a brief struggle, emerged to tell his wife to call police. After returning to the bedroom, the fight continued. Goldsberry finally was able to grip the animal and twist its neck, killing it.
The motive? Animalistic stupidity:
At this time of year, a buck that sees its reflection in a window often charges, believing it is fighting off a rival, Gay said.
Ah, nature's creatures. Let's get them before they get us.

Can you imagine trying to trump this guy with a hunting story of your own?

Me: "I got this magnificent five-point buck at almost a hundred yards, shooting into a stiff wind..."

Him: "I killed a deer with my bare hands. In my house. Wearing only pajamas. Now go fetch me a beer, you worthless douche."

How Were We Mislead Into War?

That's the whole point of Tuesday's closed-door Senate hearing stunt, right?

I think the investigation should start with the lies told by the President:
The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.
And maybe the Secretary of State:
Saddam's goal ... is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed.
And perhaps this warmongering, intelligence-twisting, neocon ideologue Senator while they're at it. Not to mention the rest of those conniving neocons.

And when they're done with Clinton, Albright, and Jay Rockefeller, they can start questioning Republicans, too. Fair is fair, after all.

9th Circuit Strikes Again

The same 9th Circuit that ruled the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional is now saying that parents have no right to have any input on their children's education; in this case, the school solicited consent from parents for a poll without telling them that it would be asking first graders about their sexual habits. (Seventh graders have sexual habits?) Apparently saying the Pledge of Allegiance is a traumatic and searing experience at such a tender age, but this is fine.
8. Touching my private parts too much
17. Thinking about having sex
22. Thinking about touching other people’s private parts
23. Thinking about sex when I don’t want to
26. Washing myself because I feel dirty on the inside
34. Not trusting people because they might want sex
40. Getting scared or upset when I think about sex
44. Having sex feelings in my body
47. Can’t stop thinking about sex
54. Getting upset when people talk about sex
Seven year olds were asked these questions.

When the parents found out, and acted on their natural outrage by suing, as they would have never consented if they knew the nature of the survey, the court rebuffed them and said:
The district court dismissed the federal causes of action for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted and dismissed the state claims without prejudice to their right to re-file in state court. We agree, and hold that there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children, either independent of their right to direct the upbringing and education of their children or encompassed by it. We also hold that parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students.
Now that we're stripping parents of their responsibility to raise their own children and moving it to the state, I guess we can stop complaining about teaching morality in schools, right? I mean, you don't think they'd object, do you?

It's usually a sex crime if a pervert does it, but when it's a pervert going after a Master's Degree, it's okay.

TO ADD: What galls me isn't that the Court didn't find a Constitutional right supporting the parents in this, since there's isn't one. What galls me is the way they interpreted the "right to privacy." The court here decided that privacy did not extend to what information a parent wants their 7 year old exposed to in school. Yet, the courts think that privacy extends to terminating a pregnancy, and think it's an undue burden for a woman to notify a spouse of an abortion. Plus, in this case the court said that a school district has the right to "baseline" the mental health of its students, and speaks of an almost limitless permissibility of what the school can do absent a parent's consent.

You can find more on this at Red State.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Here We Go Again

Time to sucker people into another set of million dollar profits!
The Cannes Film Festival (May 17th through May 28th 2006) is pleased to announced that Michael Moore (Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11) will debut his new documentary, "Katrina: The Wrath of Bush" on Monday, May 22, 2006 at the Cinema de la Plage...[The film] examines the Bush administration's failures to prevent and respond to the largest "natural" disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Andrew hit southern Florida in 1992. Filmed in the days following the initial disaster, "Katrina" exposes what should have been done before and after the hurricane devastated New Orleans. Once again Moore uses his "biting humor" to try and expose what he calls "favoritism and corruption" that is "rampant within the Bush administration." Moore also tracks down prominent figures within FEMA for questioning with a tenacity matched by few.
Another monstrous hodgepodge of lies, no doubt. We have our work cut out for us.

CORRECTION! This "Katina: Wrath of Bush," is a hoax! An excellently done one, at that.

"George Bush Does Care About Black People"

So says rap superstar 50 Cent, in rebuttal to Kanye West.

Looks like we have another potential rap war on our hands.
"I feel like Kanye West is successful because of me."
50 Cent on trickle-down rap-onomics?

So Who Really Lied About WMDs?

Much has been made of President Bush's infamous "16 words," those in his State of the Union Address referencing Saddam's efforts to purchase uranium in from Niger. Of course, despite the hysteria surrounding it, the President's words stand up to scrutiny, whereas the words of his detractors do not.

Max Boot on the real liar:
The panel's report found that, far from discrediting the Iraq-Niger uranium link, Wilson actually provided fresh details about a 1999 meeting between Niger's prime minister and an Iraqi delegation. Beyond that, he had not supplied new information. According to the panel, intelligence analysts "did not think" that his findings "clarified the story on the reported Iraq-Niger uranium deal." In other words, Wilson had hardly exposed as fraudulent the "16 words" included in the 2003 State of the Union address: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." In fact, the British government, in its own post-invasion review of intelligence, found that this claim was "well founded."

This is not an isolated example. Pretty much all of the claims that the administration doctored evidence about Iraq have been euthanized, not only by the Senate committee but also by the equally bipartisan Robb-Silberman commission. The latest proof that intelligence was not "politicized" comes from an unlikely source — Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, who has been denouncing the hawkish "cabal" supposedly leading us toward "disaster." Yet, in between bouts of trashing the administration, Wilkerson said on Oct. 19 that "the consensus of the intelligence community was overwhelming" that Hussein was building illicit weapons. This view was endorsed by "the French, the Germans, the Brits." The French, of all people, even offered "proof positive" that Hussein was buying aluminum tubes "for centrifuges." Wilkerson also recalled seeing satellite photos "that would lead me to believe that Saddam Hussein, at least on occasion, was ... giving us disinformation."

So much for the lies that led to war. What we're left with is the lies that led to the antiwar movement. Good thing for Wilson and his pals that deceiving the press and the public isn't a crime.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

"It's very easy to dismiss anything I say"

Indeed it is, Your Royal Highness.