I think ^(link) therefore I err

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


I'm off on a 3 week vacation with friends. Back on the 20th of June.
It will be odd being away from the computer/news for that long but I'm looking forward to the change of pace.
Have a great month and we'll "see" you when I get back!

Kerry back in Vietnam

Fighting the Swifties. The NYTimes wrote the story this weekend and it's a hoot. Just not worth the read on Memorial Day weekend. Enjoy it now. All the links are fun.


Marc Schulman shares his thoughts on what's going on with the Taliban and al-Qaeda. I would disagree about whether we've "taken our eye off the ball" but this is worth a read.


Gateway Pundit has more news on the protesters there.

the Der Speigal interview with Ahmadijinad is out.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

Ben Stein at the American Spectator has a great tribute for this Memorial Day.
Your loved ones' lives had what we all want: meaning. The knowledge you were doing something big for others. That is EVERYTHING in life.


Right Wing Nuthouse has a post that hit home after another little public outing of some of my opinions in direct opposition to those around me. Rick Moran notes that ...well, here's his quote:
Liberals really don't love their country as much as conservatives do. Because I don'’t care how old I was, if I thought for one second that a President, regardless of party, was trying to establish a dictatorship, I would be carrying out some kind of direct action even if I was alone. And that'’s the difference between liberals and conservatives; the left are intellectual cowards who don'’t have the guts to do what is necessary to act on their beliefs.

Well - I wouldn't define it quite that way, liberal vs conservative. But I would say that yes, if I really thought the President was ruining this country the way an anonymous friend did this weekend, I would be doing more than just complaining to everyone around me. I thought the run around congress that Reagan did was unconscionable. Yet I didn't think he was a dictator or that he was turning this country into Naziland. I rallied, I wrote a few letters, his time was up, he left and Bush I came in. He was fine. Clinton arrived and I awaited a time for my environmental hero Al Gore to come to power. I know, I know (I will always wonder what Gore would have been like without those 8 years within the smell of the Clinton administration.....) And Clinton....I didn't like him but I sure didn't think he was the devil. And now? I like Bush II. I really do and I trust he works to do what he believes in. I don't always agree, but he's no Hitler.
I have no problem arguing with people at parties, but geez, if you really think the guys is "the worst thing that could ever happen to this country", do more than wait for his "comeuppance" as I was told.

On this Memorial Day, thank you to those who have lost their own lives and thank you to those families who have lost your loved ones. Their lives mattered and we are grateful.

Bloggers 1

The ruling in the Apple case came back with a win for online reporters.
From the International Herald Tribune:
"We can think of no workable test or principle that would distinguish 'legitimate' from 'illegitimate' news," the opinion states. "Any attempt by courts to draw such a distinction would imperil a fundamental purpose of the First Amendment," which guarantees freedom of the press. The ruling states that Web sites are covered by California's shield law protecting the confidentiality of journalists' sources.


In Iran. Apparently 3 times the number in April. These reports I keep seeing are running through the blogosphere vs the news. The news is keeping an eye on Ahmadijinad, but maybe the stories are of the students. Captain Ed is seeing Ahmadijinad building up to war.
We have seen this path before. The world should recognize the signs, and the West had better start looking for Churchills rather than Chamberlains, and quickly.
Iranians may be taking care of things themselves.

In the meantime if looks like the Afghanis are getting sick and tired of us being there.
A riot erupted after a traffic accident killed some people due to a loss of brakes on a cargo truck. Rumors got the riots started killing more of their own. It's time they started taking over their own security like the Iraqis are doing. I know we're still fighting Taliban there and searching for al-Qaeda but the Afghanis need to be stepping up too.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

CNN Translations

Does the Iraqi govt think that it's ok for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, or just nuclear power? Iraq the Model re-translates, CNN's translation!
Listening to the 2nd version of the story (in Zibari's own voice) it is clear that Iraq recognizes Iran's right to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes exclusively and is moreover asking Iran for guarantees, not the other way around CNN!

Indonesian Earthquake

The death toll is rising. They are going to need help. UMCOR: My personal relief agency of choice but there are tons.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

And Finally

VDH starts the holiday weekend out right with a tribute to the troops of this war and what they've accomplished. Please do not read this with the new information about the marines in Haditha in mind. Our soldiers 99.9% of them are completely, well, awesome and deserve our respect and our gratitude along with our calling them to account when they've snapped. We realize how much we owe you as you continue to work and serve for this country and those of us out here who get to enjoy our gratefully dull day to day lives.
Thank you. You are thought of and appreciated every day, not just during Memorial Day weekend.
We should remember the achievement this Memorial Day of those in the field who alone crushed the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, stayed on to offer a new alternative other than autocracy and theocracy, and kept a targeted United States safe from attack for over four years.

ps: Memorial Day is officially for honoring the dead of war. And while that is key and not to be forgotten I think this weekend is also an opportune time to honor all those who choose to serve us regular civilians while doing dangerous jobs. That includes the CIA, the FBI, the police, and firefighters. Thank you.

2nd, the fun

Watch this guy. He hilariously goes through the recent history of dance in this country. Ahhh the memories. (ht SOB)


Mark Steyn has a suggestion after reading the Senate's version of the illegal immigration bill. Let's all be illegal and increase our rights and lessen our taxes!

First the bad news

It's looking more like Murtha was right. There is strong indication that some Marines in Iraq killed 24 civilians basically in cold blood. This was their third deployment. I know there must be more to this story that will come out later, but its sounding like that's the basics and we are all very sorry to hear this.

UPDATE: Amen Ilrario Pantano knows a little about rushes to judgement.

In other bad news, a "militia" in Iraq made up of militants who had warned the people of the area not to wear shorts, killed 2 athletes and their coach for wearing shorts.

Both stories are ones where any thinking person meets that line in the sand and says that terrorism is not to be tolerated.
Terrorism is murder. There is no context that makes it OK.
From the Euston Manifesto.

As long as we're on bad news, take a moment for the families and friends of those lost in a new Indonesian natural disaster. It looks like a couple of thousand at least have died in an earthquake there.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Illegal Immigration

Well, the details of the Senate's new plan are out. This little cartoon basically cuts to the chase.
This "comprehensive" bill includes:
• In-state tuition for illegal aliens. Your kid has to pay full freight if they cross state lines, but the illegal alien who broke into the country doesn't.
(cross state line, out of state tuition, cross country line, in state)
• All temporary guest workers have to be paid the prevailing wage. American citizens do not have to be paid prevailing wage.
(I wonder who decides what the prevailing wage will be? Will it include the option of having other newer illegals working when determining what the job is worth?)
• All agricultural guest workers under this bill cannot be fired by their employers except for what the bill calls "just cause." However, American agricultural workers can be fired for any reason.
(Niiiiiice. Isn't there some provision about state laws in here. Most states are "at will", this must override that. Like I said, Niiiice.)
• Illegal aliens are made eligible for Social Security. Not only will they receive retirement benefits, but their children will receive survivor benefits should the parents pass away. This is at a time when we are trying to keep Social Security solvent for the next generation.
(So an illegal alien who has stolen someone's social security number will get to collect. To be politically correct, they will have to allow citizen identity thieves to do the same, right?)
• Expands the visa lottery program, which is itself a questionable way to make visa distribution decisions.
(I'm seriously ok with expanding the whole visa program - I'm not ok with expanding the visa program on the condition that you must then work a shit job the rest of your time here. Sheesh. )
• Employers of illegal aliens get amnesty, too. Employers would be exempt from civil and criminal tax and criminal liability under immigration law. God forbid we hold employers accountable for helping illegal aliens break the law and being the magnet that has drawn them here for years.
(What is this, the "Wash, wait 10 years, rinse, repeat" program?)
• Taxpayer dollars to radical immigrant-rights groups so they can help illegal aliens adjust their status. Millions of your tax dollars will go to the same groups that organized those rallies where people who came here illegally waved foreign flags and thumbed their noses at our laws.
(I especially like this one. Whatever happened to 1,000 points of light? We're back to everyone gets to pay for everything again?)

As an added note, I linked to a John McCain speech the other day in admiration. Well, Michelle Malkin has me wanting to take it back as she links to a quote from yesterday. Way to go John. Keep it sane. I'm guessing your constituents will love that attitude.

Freedom of Religion

Give people an inch and they'll proclaim what they believe. Iraq the Model has the story.
"I'd rather see a Muslim become Christian than to see him become a radical Muslim…"

Reminds me much of this lady when she said "worship a stone if you like but don't hit me with it".

Iran wants to talk

Charles Krauthammer says no. I agree.
ust yesterday the world was excoriating the Bush administration for its unilateralism -- on Kyoto, the ABM Treaty and, most especially, Iraq -- and demanding that Washington act in concert with the "international community." Just yesterday the Democratic nominee for president attacked President Bush's foreign policy precisely for refusing to consult with, listen to and work with "the allies."

Another day, another principle. Bush is now being pressured to abandon multilateralism and go it alone with Iran.

His conclusion I don't think I would trust at all. He suggests we should talk but if and only if the UN agrees that if the talks fail they will fully support military action. That way we go into the talks with a big stick. I wouldn't trust a word the UN says.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Many links in one

....there's tons of news out there today but I'm rushing about so will just give you some links. Enjoy!

Instapundit is keeping an eye on Nigeria for good reason.
The army and navy forces in the Delta Region are facing better armed and equipped local gangs, and are not able to shut the gangs down. Tapping into oil pipelines and stealing oil continues, and this provides the gangs with a steady cash flow. The better armed gangs are branching out into more ambitious attacks on oil company operations in the Delta. Payrolls are a favorite target. The region is becoming more dangerous, and unruly.

Captain Ed notes congressional outrage about the FBI intrusion, and suggests that they back off. The old, "where there's smoke, there's fire" thought. From Yahoo news:
A GOP colleague, Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, said the public "will come to one conclusion: that congressional leaders are trying to protect their own from valid investigations." ...

The House Judiciary Committee chairman, GOP Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, announced a hearing next week, "Reckless Justice: Did the Saturday Night Raid of Congress Trample the Constitution?"

But Vitter released a letter to his own GOP Senate leaders asking them to stop saying that the FBI raid violated the Constitution.

"For congressional leaders to make these self-serving arguments in the midst of serious scandals in Congress only further erodes the faith and confidence of the American people," Vitter wrote.

Barcepundit links to those articles on Katrina going around.

The Recovering Democrat has a thoughtful piece on the downfall of the Dixie Chicks. He's missing the part that the media usually misses too, (about the foreign soil) but it's worth the read about free speech, and open markets.

And finally
The NYTimes has found that our debate on immigration has taken a little turn. You know the old adage about, don't point your finger because when you do, there are three fingers pointing back at you? Well, it appears this debate has forced Mexico to look at their own country and see that there may be a problem there that causes 500,000 of their people every year to pick up and move to the states or that makes money sent from the US their 2nd big source of income!
"For too long, Mexico has boasted about immigrants leaving, calling them national heroes, instead of describing them as actors in a national tragedy," said Jorge Santibáñez, president of the College of the Northern Border. "And it has boasted about the growth in remittances" — the money immigrants send home — "as an indicator of success, when it is really an indicator of failure."

This might be a source of the problem.....
A former foreign minister Jorge G. Castaneda while pontificating on options:
"But the elites here should reflect on this matter," he went on, "whether we want something in exchange for nothing?"

ummmm, "the elites"? lol Haven't they been the ones in charge all these years? Isn't it the nonelites that are smart enough to take matters into their own hands and come north? Give the nonelites a voice and you may find that they like their own country and would prefer to stay!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Children in the US

Glen Reynolds writes a fun little ditty for the WSJ today in regards to people not having kids like they used to. Thank you to all of you with kids. Sorry I haven't done my part, but life just didn't work out that way.
o as we head into what looks like a major demographic debate, I think we need to look beyond subsidies and finances to culture. If people want to see Americans have more children, they should probably ignore Mr. Putin's advice, and they should definitely ignore Mr. Gibson's advice. They should look at ways of making parenting more rewarding, and less burdensome, in social as well as economic terms.

I think the stigma of having kids at 18-20 years old needs to go away too. It is definitely a rough row to hoe but right now kids are treated as if their lives are over if they end up pregnant at that age.

2 links

Michael J. Totten brings us another post with tons of pictures. Enjoy!

Peter Wehner debunks some was myths. Memorize this one.

Iran wants to talk

You know, about righteousness and stuff. Bring it on, says Paul Pillar. I agree. We don't have a monopoly on it, but we can certainly stand on our own.

Terrorists and Criminals

In Iraq. Buck Sargeant works to sort them out.
There exists an underreported but ever-present crossover between war and crime that has taken hold in the past year throughout the large metropolitan areas of Iraq. It may always have been a factor, but it has become even more apparent over time. A deadly mix of organized criminality and jihadist savagery has increasingly come to blur the distinctions between the acts of violent terrorists and that of common thugs.

As the Iraqi Security Forces have improved, gaining in confidence, technical and tactical proficiency, and especially in numbers over the past year, the bulls-eye has jumped yet again. Civilians have become the new quarry, just as they have always been to any criminal element that preys on the weakest, most vulnerable, and least likely to fight back. Kidnappings of wealthy Iraqis (or their children) for ransom, as well as protection rackets -- mafia-like extortion of businesses under threat of harm -- have also become all too common.

Interesting reading from someone who is there.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The US of A

The Media once again doesn't get it. Ina USAToday story regarding the Dixie Chicks and "the Incident" as they refer to it, not once, not once does it mention the real problem that people had with the Dixie Chicks.
They dissed our President during a time of war while in London.
While Maines did issue a conciliatory statement, the singer says, in retrospect, "I didn't like people calling it an apology. I said as much as I could to salvage (the situation), or make it go away. But I couldn't not be true to myself, and I meant what I said. I didn't like the president."

No one cares that she doesn't like the President. Or that she spoke up about it. They care that she did it overseas. You just don't do that.

Speaking of disagreements and how to speak of them....John McCain got heckled badly while giving a graduation speech at New School in New York. It's an awesome speech and well worth the read whether you agree with his politics or not. In accepting the oppositional voices around him and the passion he was hearing, he let it be known that there is another side and that side is also passionate. And both feel they are right. And yes you must speak up. But do so without thinking the otherside is not equally as passionate about their choices.
I supported the decision to go to war in Iraq. Many Americans did not. My patriotism and my conscience required me to support it and to engage in the debate over whether and how to fight it. I stand that ground not to chase vainglorious dreams of empire; not for a noxious sense of racial superiority over a subject people; not for cheap oil--we could have purchased oil from the former dictator at a price far less expensive than the blood and treasure we've paid to secure those resources for the people of that nation; not for the allure of chauvinism, to wreak destruction in the world in order to feel superior to it; not for a foolishly romantic conception of war. I stand that ground because I believed, rightly or wrongly, that my country's interests and values required it.

(I was going to paste some more, but just read the whole thing, get inspired like during your own graduation, then go out and do great things today!)

Amnesty International

Does it's best to rap the West as human rights violators. I'm not going to read the whole thing, but check this out:
It singles out some regional and national issues as particular areas of concern, including:

"Intermittent attention and feeble action" on the part of the UN and African Union to tackle atrocities and find a political solution in Darfur, Sudan
Ok, so the problem is the UN vs the problem and violators being the Sudanese? lol
From their webpage
or under Americas:
The US relentlessly pursued its "war on terror" under a shroud of secrecy, unlawfully transferring terror suspects around the world, ignoring allegations of torture and ill-treatment refusing to close the detention camp in Guantánamo Bay or disclose where others are being held.

while under Middle East and North Africa:
In the Middle East and North Africa, new laws and policies brought hope to women in Kuwait and Morocco. However, Iraq continued its disastrous slide into sectarian violence, and Israel/Occupied Territories slipped off the international agenda. Torture, arbitrary detention and unfair trials continued in many countries. Undaunted, human rights activists worked to organize themselves.

Shouldn't there be something about beheaders? Or countries being unable to worship as a Christian without getting killed or.....I don't know. 300 pages of what COULD be useful information except it's goal is to "get the west".

Ibrahim Hamed

A top Hamas commander was captured by the IDF today. Captain Ed has the details along with his great commentary.

The guy gave up in his underwear - remind you of anyone? - how can these adults who are afraid to die recruit the youths for suicide missions by discussing the honor/glory of sacrifice that they do when they refuse to make the sacrifices themselves? I really hope the young of the middle east are seeing this. I know the demographics are young but that doesn't mean you kids are sacrificial!

Monday, May 22, 2006

New Orleans

Vodkapundit is back today with his thoughts on New Orleans, before, during and after Katrina.
He has a gift for timing because we get 2 other Louisianna stories today.

1) Representative Jefferson was caught on tape accepting a bribe. I've linked to Instapundit on that because Mr. Reynolds also mentions the post Katrina story when this Rep used the National Guard to move some things from his house.....hmmmmmm.

2) Drudge has a story out this morning talking about the DNC actively working to support Nagin's opponent. That's not going to play well!
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) secretly placed political operatives in the city of New Orleans to work against the reelection efforts of incumbent Democrat Mayor Ray Nagin, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean made the decision himself to back mayoral candidate and sitting Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu (D-LA), sources reveal.

Good news

In the world.
From Michael Barone:
Things are better than you think. Yes, I know, most Americans are in a sour mood these days, convinced that the struggle in Iraq is an endless cycle of bloodshed, certain that our economy is in dismal shape, lamenting that the nation and the world are off on the wrong track. That's what polls tell us. But if we look at some other numbers, we'll find that we are living not in the worst of times but in something much closer to the best.

And specifically in Iraq.
William Shawcross, England's most notable journalist, has an article in today's London Times titled "It's no time to quit Iraq — we're winning." Shawcross reports from Basra

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Preakness

Just a sad story regarding Barbaro's injury. Let's wish him well and hope he recovers.
BALTIMORE, May 20 — The Preakness Stakes was supposed to be a walkover for Barbaro, the undefeated colt who looked every bit the superhorse when winning the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago. Since that first Saturday in May, he was being talked about as a potential Triple Crown champion.

Those hopes ended horrifically in the first sixteenth of a mile at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, when Barbaro sustained potentially life-threatening fractures above and below his right hind ankle. His jockey, Edgar Prado, felt the colt's pain immediately; he slowed Barbaro gradually to a standstill in front of a clubhouse brimming with stunned onlookers.

Victor Davis Hanson

On Anti Americanism and some suggestions for what to do about it. Not how to fix it, (usually written about in terms of how we can be "nicer") but more of an , ok, if you feel that way, fine.....but.....


On the latest in Social Security.
From the Washington Times: "The Senate voted yesterday to allow illegal aliens to collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal employment."

How on earth would this work? Hi, my name is Maria and I worked under this SS number back in 1970, this one in 1978 etc, etc.
How could it be proven to the SS office? I won't even bother going into all that Steyn is talking about. I'm surprised I haven't read about this in all the news, but apparently, it's true.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


This article had me laughing out loud. (ht the Environmental Republican)
Hugo Chavez just can't help himself. Even though he criticizes the US every day for sticking our noses where we don't belong, he just has to put his own nose in other people's business whether they want it there or not. Even whether it's helpful or not.
"He goes around shooting from the hip and shooting his mouth off and that has caused tensions," Jorge Castaneda, a former Mexican foreign minister, said by telephone from New York, where he is teaching at New York University. "The difference now is that he's picking fights with his friends, not just his adversaries."

Chavez, for example, has taken the uncompromising stand that governments must choose either his vision of continental unity or free trade with Washington, which Chavez blames for impoverishing the region. "You either have one or the other," he said. "Either we're a united community or we're not."

Who does that sound like? LOL
Isn't that his arch enemy? "Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists".
And what about this?:

The sparring with Peru's government erupted after Toledo said it made no sense for Chavez to criticize his Andean partners for dealing with Washington when Venezuela sells most of its oil to the United States.
He was criticizing Peru for wanting trade with the US and was going to drop out of the Andean trade group to make his point.
"Egomania" is the term used by a John Hopkins scholar. (Riordan Riott)
Throw in loony and you got it!


Has their cabinet. I know we've all been holding our breath waiting for this to happen so hopefully they can manage to calm things down. So far it doesn't sound like it, but perhaps as these folks get used to holding power............. Call me optimistic.

In the meantime Iraq the Model has a post explaining a little about why they haven't been posting a whole lot recently. Besides the electricity situation, they are working with burnout. Take a rest guys! You've been working hard for years on your blog. And news burnout is common. (unless you're Powerline or someone.)

The good news? Omar can still see the light at the end of the tunnel.

One friend told me the other day that "Iraq is no longer a place for civilians like us, let politicians, militias and soldiers settle their accounts but I am leaving indefinitely". I don't know what to tell these people; I can't advise them to stay and risk their lives with all the violence happening around and I feel sorry they are leaving, sorry for them and for the country; it's never easy for them to leave the place where they were born and had lived their entire life to go start from zero in a place where they'll be total strangers and at it's not possible to build a country without people but at the same time, you can't help your country when you are dead or living in fear all the time.

This is the kind of dilemma unfortunately many Iraqis are facing these days and time is a very important factor here and Iraqi's are not sure whether it's on their side or on the enemy's…some people tell me they don't want to quit now that they endured so much and been through a lot. The other day I was with some friends at home and the subject eventually surfaced "let's just wait for another six months, I'm sure things will improve by then" one friend said and I nodded in agreement "I'm not willing to take the risk, what if I get killed or kidnapped tomorrow or next month!? I'm leaving Iraq to live somewhere else until I believe it's safe to return, we live only once guys!" and I nodded in agreement too.
Both opinions make a lot of sense and I could never say the first friend was a coward since he's still living through what I and the other friend are living through.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and so do many people but they wonder if the tunnel is going to collapse before we reach its end.

The little guys

Glenn Reynolds has it down. An Army of Davids is here.
The LA Times today has an article about a small town police officer who enlisted the help of experts through the internet to solve a crime.
Aware that his years in Mammoth Lakes hadn't prepared him for the job ahead, Dostie reached out for help with the best tool he had: the Internet. Through e-mail, he slowly assembled an A-team of investigators, each with a different talent.

None worked in law enforcement. Instead, they were academics — scientists who study how ancient peoples lived and died.

They were two anthropologists, a stable-isotope geochemist from Canada, two DNA analysts and a pioneer in American forensic skull reconstruction.

"That's my claim to fame," Dostie said dryly. "I know a lot of people smarter than I am."


Friday, May 19, 2006

Michael J. Totten

Has a new post up.

Fear of bloggers

The Environmental Republican today links to a story that has the Mayor of London accusing a blogger of causing the problems in South America. A nice little seque from the Palestinian post this morning. Blame the easy target!

Good News from Iraq

Powerline has a nice recap.
The full story is written by "Amir Taheri, formerly the executive editor of Kayhan, Irans largest daily newspaper, is the author of ten books and a frequent contributor to numerous publications in the Middle East and Europe. His work appears regularly in the New York Post."

His conclusion:
Is Iraq a quagmire, a disaster, a failure? Certainly not; none of the above. Of all the adjectives used by skeptics and critics to describe todays Iraq, the only one that has a ring of truth is messy. Yes, the situation in Iraq today is messy. Births always are. Since when is that a reason to declare a baby unworthy of life?

John Howard

For President. You have to love this guy. Captain Ed shares the story I haven't seen in the papers.
Our friends in Canada the pleasure of hosting Australian PM John Howard, who spoke to a joint session of the Canadian Parliament and gave high praise to America and its role in world affairs. Parliamentarians gave Howard a rousing reception as he reminded his audience of the importance of an engaged US:

“Australia, as you know, is an unapologetic friend and ally of the United States,” Mr. Howard told a Commons chamber that's heard all-too-frequent criticism of Washington in recent years.
Fresh from a visit to the White House, Mr. Howard told a chamber packed with Tory MPs, staffers, lobbyists and party functionaries — but noticeably light on Liberal Opposition MPs — that the U.S. “has been a remarkable power for good in the world.

“And the decency and hope that the power and purpose that the United States represent in the world is something we should deeply appreciate,” Mr. Howard said to sustained applause. ...


A Hamas official was nabbed smuggling $800,000 across the border from Egypt.
The Hamas-led Palestinian Authority faces a severe financial crisis because of an international aid embargo.
Fatah dominates the security forces so Hamas gunmen ran in too. Here is my favorite quote that I keep hearing everytime I read a story on Palestinians:
Hamas says it is unable to transfer cash to Palestinian territory to fund government activities and pay salaries, as banks fear US sanctions for dealing with the militant group.

The entire world loves the Palestinians vs Israel. How hard can it be to find one bank? I know we have all the power, but one lousy bank, somewhere? Even in Iran. Or Sudan or any number of places that would want to stick it to the US of A.

I suspect they aren't really looking that hard because in reality there isn't anyone out there that wants to donate all this cash. Instead of accepting the fact that all their "supporters" are supporters in name only, they are going to blame the US.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Extra links

Fun with Google Trends by Michael J. Totten.

Instapundit and Strategy page has Army recruitment stats.

Uganda wants to "deal" with Joseph Kony!? Executer of
The United Nations says 25,000 children have been abducted by the LRA since the rebellion began, to be used as sex slaves or to fight against the Ugandan army.

Quote from Ahmadijinad that begs to be answered:
""Do you think you are dealing with a 4-year-old child to whom you can give some walnuts and chocolates and get gold from him?" President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked derisively."

Have a good day all!


Is a horrible person.
As an investigation into killings in Iraq is going on, he's in the papers claiming that our marines killed civilians in cold blood as revenge for the death of a friend. What kind of Congressperson does that? I'd expect that from the Dixie Chicks vs a retired marine.
I'm with Varifrank on his number 2 point:
2. When it is finally revealed that there is nothing to this, I want Murtha up on House ethics charges. He has endangered American lives for political gain, nothing more, nothing less.

Michelle Malkin has links and quotes from all over. He is a horrible, horrible person.

Three Gorges Dam

In China is having it's grand opening on Saturday. This particular article isn't all that interesting, but I read "A River at the Center of the World: A Journey up the Yangtze, and back in Chinese Time" that was a really good book. By Simon Winchester. Anywho, check the stats:
It has replaced Brazil's Itaipu Dam as the world's largest hydroelectric and flood-control installation, Chinese officials said, with the strength to hold back more water than Lake Superior and power 26 generators to churn out 85 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year when the final touches are completed in 2008. Hoover Dam on the Nevada-Arizona border, by comparison, generates more than 4 billion kilowatt-hours a year.

This is one massive dam.


On Chavez (this one will have to be good!)

UPDATE: He doesn't disappoint.
It would not surprise me to learn that the meaning of Chávez in Arabic is penis. An awful lot of geopolitics gets lost in translation, especially when you're not keeping up.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Instapundit notes a new concept.
Upside: If Mexico goes communist, Bush won't have to do anything: they'll build a wall themselves!

And as long as we're discussing funny things, Mexico threatens to sue if
"If there is a real wave of rights abuses, if we see the National Guard starting to directly participate in detaining people ... we would immediately start filing lawsuits through our consulates," Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez told a Mexico City radio station. He did not offer further details.
I wonder who it is they think should detain people?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The War: part two

We were promised that it would be long and hard. Neo-neocon notes a little burnout in the air and calls it possibly the "end of the beginning".

The Speech

Sorry blog fans but I missed the speech. However, I've written on this before, and it sounds like I'd probably have agreed with Varifrank this morning.
Bush apparently promised to work on the border but not do massive deportations. Thank you. That makes sense!

The War

Yesterday the Washington Post had this story concerning soldiers returning from Iraq.
After three years, there are at least 550,000 veterans of the Iraq war. The Washington Post interviewed 100 of them -- many of whom were still in the service, others who weren't -- to hear about what their war was like and how the transition home has been.

Their answers were as varied as their experiences. But a constant theme through the interviews was that the American public is largely unaffected by the war, and, despite round-the-clock television and Internet exposure, doesn't understand what it's like.

.......the article ended with this:
But perhaps the worst is when they don't say anything at all and just go on living their lives, oblivious to the war.

Which is exactly what Army Capt. Tyler McIntyre was trying to explain to some family members while eating at an Italian restaurant when he was home on leave a couple of years ago.

He looked across the restaurant and saw everyone stuffing their faces with pasta and drinking wine. "And everyone's kind of just sitting there doing it," he said.

Which is really sort of extraordinary, he said. The country is at war. People are fighting at this very moment. Don't these people know what's going on? Don't they care?

No, he decided. They have no appreciation for their easy, gluttonous lives and don't deserve the freedom, prosperity and contentment he was fighting to protect.

He wanted to yell, "You don't know what you have! You don't appreciate it! You don't care!"

For those of you who are soldiers out there, we DO care!!! Yes we are going about our normal boring, non war lives day after day but only because we can - thanks to you. We know that. We really do. Just like going to visit a friend at the hospital, we don't know what to say or how to say it so we may not say anything or even something stupid but we are grateful to you. We will never understand what you went through. You've been there..., we watch TV. But you are in our prayers every single day. We buy you drinks when we see you. We anonymously comp your meals when you're in in uniform. We write you strange letters. We blog. Please don't feel like we don't care. I don't know anyone, left or right, who doesn't care.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Ya think?

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has warned the US that any attack on Iran will have devastating consequences and send oil prices soaring.
Check this out.
Hundreds of supporters gave Mr Chavez a rapturous welcome in north London.
Raputurous? Rapturous???!!!!
Hundreds of supporters welcomed Mr. Chavez in North London from the windows of the psychiatric ward.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

2 More Links

Steyn has a new column up on the phone records.
Tim Blair has practically linked to me....lol


According to Michael Clough genocide is not what's going on in Darfur. He may be right, I don't know but his opinion piece starts out like this:
The debate about what to do in Darfur — and the use of anti-genocide rhetoric to arouse public concern — has only deepened my misgivings about the way the United States responds to African crises.
The rest of the piece talks of the UN and their response. Colin Powell's visit and what he found, the definition of genocide and how this is terrible but it isn't genocide and if we'd call it what it is, then it would be over.
No talk of what the US response should be or should have been in 2003 right as we were going to war in Iraq. No discussion of what the UN should do, or should have done all along. No discussion of what Arabs should do, or should have done. Frankly this guy

(By Michael Clough, From 1987 until 1996, MICHAEL CLOUGH was director of the Africa program at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of "Free at Last? United States Policy Toward Africa and the End of the Co May 14, 2006)

should be a frigging expert, but drivel like this would have gotten me a D in high school English class. You posit the position, you provide proof for that position or disproof then go back and re-cap. He posits his position, genocide is not happening in Darfur....throws in accusations and then goes on to deal with just the single position without ever dealing with his accusations again.

President Bush

George Will's column this morning regarding politics ends with a quote from Bush. There are so many people that can't stand Bush just for the way he looks, or swaggers or talks etc. I like him, and always will, just for the way he is in these moments of honesty.
At a town meeting, a man demands to know what the candidate would do about "all these bastards" born to welfare mothers. The candidate, Klein recalls, "glared at the man - he seemed truly angry - and said, 'First, sir, we must remember that it is our duty to love all the children.' "

So spoke, during the hotly contested South Carolina primary in 2000, an indignant George W. Bush. Politics still has exhilarating moments.

Friday, May 12, 2006


More on that study from yesterday. This time from IraqPundit. One comment:
Adam Sullivan said...
The material in the Brookings report not only credits Iraqis with initiative, it restores to them the dignity that the Western media's one-dimensional presentation denies them."

How right you are.

8:24 PM

Pets and Drugs

Evidence that everyone should pay attention to. Prescription drugs can do great things. Relieve pain, prevent heart disease etc, etc. But as soon as you start messing with your or your pet's chemistry there are bound to be side effects. In humans people (or should I say insurance companies) pay for blood tests before, during, and after drug trials on a new patient. You should be up to that with your pet to or realize that you're not going to know what's going on without them. Regarding Deramaxx:
He said the company tells veterinarians not only to inform pet owners of possible side effects -- especially stomach problems with anti-inflammatory drugs such as Deramaxx -- but also to conduct blood and sometimes urine tests before the drug is prescribed. Those tests can be expensive, however, and are not routinely done.
Therein lies the problem. You hear all the time about how expensive veterinary medicine is, but pets are living beings and their care is incredibly cheap compared to humans. Yes, strong drugs have strong effects. Both good and bad. Be an informed consumer is the lesson of the day for both yourself and your pet!


Op-For makes it to the Russian Media.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Can I hear an Amen?

Peggy Noonan is very smart. Regarding the next election and Republicans:
If you are a normal person with the normal amount of political awareness, you might see it this way:

The Republicans talk about cutting spending, but they increase it--a lot. They stand for making government smaller, but they keep making it bigger. They say they're concerned about our borders, but they're not securing them. And they seem to think we're slobs for worrying. Republicans used to be sober and tough about foreign policy, but now they're sort of romantic and full of emotionalism. They talk about cutting taxes, and they have, but the cuts are provisional, temporary. Beyond that, there's something creepy about increasing spending so much and not paying the price right away but instead rolling it over and on to our kids, and their kids.

Check out this poll

Barcepundit has it.
THE LATEST Iraq Index by the Brookings Institute is certainly interesting. You can read it in full here (warning: pdf file), or you can read a summary of its main points:

Michael J. Totten

Continues in Tel Aviv

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

NYTimes Smackdown

Via Tim Blair
A US serviceman in Iraq emails:

Was looking through your blog last night; saw the post on Zarqawi looking like an ass in front of the camera, and the nauseating NYT article defending the guy. Then the base got mortared, so I didn’t get a chance to write.
As excuses for not writing go, that’s tough to beat.

Keep reading.

Medicare Drug Plan

Fox News has the story.
Bush held fast, though he emphasized that poor seniors are exempt from the penalties the deadline brings for others.

He also defended the government's efforts during the signup period, particularly among the hard-to-reach low-income population. Julie Goon, director of Medicare outreach for the Department of Health and Human Services, estimated that half of the nearly 6 million people who have not yet enrolled fall in that category.

As do others, like the Mercury News. They're not going to have to worry about the May 15th deadline, and they're not going to have to worry about paying a penalty if they don't get enrolled right away," said Julie Goon, Medicare's director of outreach.

Oh and this I found while looking up more medicare stuff.
The Goon Show of Bush and Bin Laden


Bottom line, there are basically 37million people signed up or not in need of the Rx drug card. There are 5.7 million left. Of those, 1/2 are probably able to get subsidies and their deadline is extended. GREAT JOB Julie! That's a ton of people for all the bad press this program has gotten. Now lets see Congress take it away like they are talking about when the Democrats sweep the election in November. lol

President Ahmadinejad's Letter

Powerline has a bit I haven't read of yet.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

More Documents

Powerline and Captain Ed have the story of new documents found basically saying that al-Qaeda realizes they are outmatched in all ways except the press.
From Powerline:
So, put it all together: al Qaeda in Iraq is failing. It has little military strength, and the Iraqi people "do not support its cause." It has succeeded in one arena only: the American media. Yet, despite the despair manifested by the authors of the captured documents, that one success may be all that al Qaeda needs. Because the perverse negativity of the American press is the only view that most Americans get of the conflict's progress. And, because of their shoddy coverage of the war, our reporters and editors provide the terrorists with their only gleam of hope.

Frankly this news is over the top fantastico. Who gives a rats a** about the American press. As the Iraqi's stand up, we'll stand down. And we are. Sadly, the American press has made the process slower, leaving al-Qaeda with hope, but as we've known, and as the military people have been saying, we have been successful. The Iraqis have been successful.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Steyn Monday

On Darfur (or the UN)

On Moussaoui

Atwar Bahat

Pure evil exists in this world and we need to acknowledge that. I watched the Nick Berg beheading because I thought and still do, think it's important to see. Because frankly beheading isn't even the word I would use. More like the Nick Berg sawing of his head off. A new video is out of poor Atwar Bahat's sawing. The Mudville Gazette has the description.
Please note my previous post. We HAVE to become energy independant.
I am so sorry for her family. Every woman in the middle east should be invited to live here.

UPDATE: The Jawa Report has links showing the video, while real is not of Atwar Bahat.
The video actually shows the gruesome murder of a Nepalese man by the Army of Ansar al-Sunna in Iraq from August of 2004. The man was one of 12 victims executed by the terrorist organization--the other 11 were shot (original story, video, and images of 12 Nepalese murdered in Iraq here).

This doesn't change the premise. Evil exists in this world. Believe it.

Gas Pricing

Dick Morris oulines the differences between what Republicans think about gas prices and what regular people think. We blame the oil companies. And not because we think that they are necessarily gouging. We blame them because they are the reason we haven't become energy independant since the last energy crisis.
I'm one who's all for the price of gas to go up high enough that people find cheaper ways to energize things.
ie. Brazil seems to do fine on flex cars that run on either alcohol or gas or a mix of the two. Despite the actual price of oil right now and the expense involved don't we yet think it's important to be energy independant just to be energy independant?

(hat tip: Pat. Thanks)

UPDATE: The point being, between the two links above that 1- we KNOW that energy independance is within reach and 2- we blame big oil because 3-they have power and they control things like refineries and gas stations to leave us 3- with being able to buy a cool new flex car but not being able to fill it up conveniently while tons of people connected with govt are making a ton of money. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but energy is big business. People do get death threats. Govt does influence policy in regards to oil.

Iran's Letter to Bush

Captain Ed of course has it down. "Dear Satan...." What the heck would Ahmadijinad say?

This was funny from Bloomberg.
Iran yesterday rejected a call by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for the U.S. to hold direct talks with the Islamic Republic about its nuclear program.

``The U.S. isn't prepared to have talks on a one-to-one equal basis,'' the Foreign Ministry's Asefi said yesterday. ``They are following the politics of threat. So under these conditions we see no necessity to start talks with them.''

Um, no, we're no prepared to have one to one equal basis talks with a bunch of kidnappers! The funny part was Kofi calling for these talks by Iran. It's the US that has said it's not talking to these guys.

The UN is a joke. Except it isn't funny

Egyptian Blogger

Needs help. Call/write the embassy.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The UN

Did they already flunk their crucial test?

In addition to the obvious need to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program, the diplomatic effort now going on at the United Nations will be an important, even crucial, test for that body itself. If the Security Council cannot enforce its own findings, its value will be severely diminished.

The recovering democrat and I agree. Yes, they did.


Who hasn't been involved in one of these conversations before?
Iraq the Model shares.
"yes! This is how the Americans do it, every time they want to destroy an area they send in Zarqawi so they can justify their operations.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Merlin the Wonder Dog

Or 'Playing with a New Camera'. Whichever you prefer. I recommend it - the Olympus SP-310. It was on sale this weekend so something better will be out soon, but it's just what I wanted.


The Environmental Republican is right. The general feel I get from the blogosphere is that Moussaoui should be executed. Peggy Noonan writes a very thoughtful piece concerning that, as does Varifrank. (though Varifrank is advocating life in prison if only because it's worse than death)

Interestingly enough, what I haven't heard is that one of the reasons for opposing the death penalty is the basic Christian reason. We will never forgive this guy. Ever. But keeping someone locked away in prison gives him the chance to get right with God. vs just killing him and sending him straight to hell. And frankly - if there is a hell, he'll probably go there anyway at least if I were in charge. But then again, I take grace, I don't dispense it as well!


I said I'd follow up on this post from yesterday and so here it is.
WITHDRAW immediately or stay the present course? That is the key question about the war in Iraq today.

American public opinion is decidedly against the war; even in the "red states," more than half of Americans want out. That sentiment is understandable.

Here’s a list of polls. Page down to the Pew Research one dated April 7-16, 2006. That’s the latest one to ask the direct question: “Do you think the U.S. should keep military troops in Iraq until the situation has stabilized, or do you think the U.S. should bring its troops home as soon as possible?” 48% say to keep the troops there and 48% say to bring them home now and 4% are unsure. Certainly not more than half!

The prewar dream of a liberal Iraqi democracy friendly to the United States is no longer credible.

Really? This is from the Washington Post yesterday concerning the meeting of parliament there for the first time since it picked it’s new prime minister.
Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, the parliament speaker, urged his fellow lawmakers to exert themselves to work together, because "there is no alternative for us but to succeed."

His address was interrupted by Mithal Alousi, a secular lawmaker, who reminded Mashhadani that most of the parliament members had already spent 30 years fighting against Saddam Hussein and had no need for such a lecture.

"This is unacceptable," he said. "We are not in kindergarten.

Sounds to me like they are planning on making it work.

Back to the article and it's meat. He lists the "most popular arguments for not leaving Iraq".

• If we leave, there will be a civil war. In reality, a civil war in Iraq began just weeks after U.S. forces toppled Saddam Hussein. Even Bush, who is normally impervious to uncomfortable facts, recently admitted that Iraq has peered into the abyss of civil war. He ought to look a little closer. Iraqis are fighting Iraqis. Insurgents have killed far more Iraqis than Americans. That's civil war.

Even Michael Yon is saying there is civil war going on in Iraq. The “civil war” going on now is a far cry different than total civil war that could occur if we left. I think that’s pretty self explanatory and not something we want to see. Is that so hard to accept?

• Withdrawal will encourage the terrorists. True, but that is the price we are doomed to pay. Our occupation of Iraq also encourages the killers — precisely because our invasion made Iraq safe for them. Our occupation also left the surviving Baathists with a choice: Surrender, or ally with Al Qaeda. They chose the latter. Staying the course will not change this fact. Pulling out will most likely result in Sunni groups' turning against Al Qaeda and its sympathizers, driving them out of Iraq.

Withdrawal will encourage the terrorists. The scenario played out above of Baathists fighting against Al Qaeda is possible. But I’m not sure how that then discourages the terrorists. We withdraw, the Baathists fight Al Qaeda and our reputation as a people who cut and run at the slightest sign of bog down disappears? I don’t think so. We cut and ran on Iraq after the first war. They don’t deserve it again.

• Before U.S. forces stand down, Iraqi security forces must stand up. The problem in Iraq is not military competence. The problem is loyalty. To whom can Iraqi officers and troops afford to give their loyalty? The political camps in Iraq are still shifting. So every Iraqi soldier and officer risks choosing the wrong side. As a result, most choose to retain as much latitude as possible to switch allegiances. All the U.S. military trainers in the world cannot remove that reality. But political consolidation will. Political power can only be established via Iraqi guns and civil war, not through elections or U.S. colonialism by ventriloquism.

Yes there is a little loyalty situation with Iraqi troops. But that doesn’t mean you just step aside and let half trained troops fight it out amongst themselves. You train them. You practice with them. You give them experience as you slowly reduce your numbers. That’s exactly what we are doing now. What makes it imperative to leave right now?? What’s the sudden hurry here? He doesn’t explain.

• Setting a withdrawal deadline will damage the morale of U.S. troops. Hiding behind the argument of troop morale shows no willingness to accept the responsibilities of command. The truth is, most wars would stop early if soldiers had the choice of whether to continue. This is certainly true in Iraq, where a withdrawal is likely to raise morale among U.S. forces. A recent Zogby poll suggests that most U.S. troops would welcome an early withdrawal deadline. But the strategic question of how to extract the United States from the Iraq disaster is not a matter to be decided by soldiers. Carl von Clausewitz spoke of two kinds of courage: first, bravery in the face of mortal danger; second, the willingness to accept personal responsibility for command decisions. The former is expected of the troops. The latter must be demanded of high-level commanders, including the president.

I don’t believe this has ever been offered as the main reason to stay. It’s a side reason and still a good one. Of course the troops want to come home. But the troops are the ones actually seeing progress and they want to see that. Note all the re-enlistments.

• Withdrawal would undermine U.S. credibility in the world. Were the United States a middling power, this case might hold some water. But for the world's only superpower, it's patently phony. A rapid reversal of our present course in Iraq would improve U.S. credibility around the world. The same argument was made against withdrawal from Vietnam. It was proved wrong then, and it would be proved wrong today. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the world's opinion of the United States has plummeted. The U.S. now garners as much international esteem as Russia. Withdrawing and admitting our mistake would reverse this trend. Very few countries have that kind of corrective capacity. We do.

I can’t say I’ve ever heard this reason either. Who cares? The only people that care about this are people who DON’T want us in Iraq and think that by leaving we’ll gain credibility.

Two facts, however painful, must be recognized, or we will remain perilously confused in Iraq. First, invading Iraq was not in the interests of the U.S. It was in the interests of Iran and Al Qaeda. For Iran, it avenged a grudge against Hussein for his invasion of the country in 1980. For Al Qaeda, it made it easier to kill Americans. Second, the war has paralyzed the U.S. in the world, diplomatically and strategically. Although relations with Europe show signs of marginal improvement, the transatlantic alliance still may not survive the war. Only with a rapid withdrawal from Iraq will Washington regain diplomatic and military mobility. Tied down like Gulliver in the sands of Mesopotamia, we simply cannot attract the diplomatic and military cooperation necessary to win the real battle against terror.

1- Invading Iraq did a number of things for us. It stopped whatever wmd programs Saddam would have re-started once the inspections teams were gone for good. It got us into the middle east and closer to the problems going on there. It helped Iraqi’s themselves who still say they are glad Saddam is gone. And it consolidated Al Qaeda into one place for easier pickings.
2- I don’t see that we’re paralyzed and he doesn’t explain what he’d like to see us doing. I don’t see why he thinks the transatlantic alliance won’t survive this war and he doesn’t explain that either. We haven’t had much diplomatic mobility since Reagan and event then he wasn’t listened to or trusted in the world. He did what he thought was best.

In fact, getting out now may be our only chance to set things right in Iraq. For starters, if we withdraw, European politicians would be more likely to cooperate with us in a strategy for stabilizing the greater Middle East.
A complete guess here! They haven’t agreed to anything, nor would they. They’ve said out loud they aren’t going to fight in Afghanistan.

Following a withdrawal, all the countries bordering Iraq would likely respond favorably to an offer to help stabilize the situation. The most important of these would be Iran. It dislikes Al Qaeda as much as we do. It wants regional stability as much as we do. It wants to produce more oil and gas and sell it. If its leaders really want nuclear weapons, we cannot stop them. But we can engage them.

Kind of like all of the countries in the Middle East are stepping up to help the Palestinians now that they can’t rely on us?

UPDATE: I want to throw in a re-cap. The bottom line here is that this guy is suggesting we leave now without any real good reason except that he has given up on the Iraqi's and our military. I don't know how this whole situation is going to play out in the end, but right now, the country just got a prime minister that they agreed on, they are in the midst of forming a new government (albeit slowly) and we are in the midst of bringing our troops home a little at a time. (Welcome back 37th Transcom! Soon) To suggest that we just up and leave is unconscionable in my opinion. And frankly, I have faith in the Iraqis and in our military. I still believe the master plan for democratizing Iraq because democracies don't generally harbor terrorists or attack at random is a good one.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Aaaahrg! again. I'm going to start needing blood pressure pills at this rate. The New Zealand Herald has a Reuters story on immigration.

This is my favorite line.
With United Nations data showing 59 countries worldwide already not producing enough children to avoid population decline, it seems odd why many developed countries, including the United States, are looking to tighten immigration laws.

What do the newspapers not get about the difference between immigration and ILLEGAL immigration? And why is it so odd that a country just might want to determine who arrives, who stays and who gets to re-populate their "aging constituency"?

No one wants to "tighten" immigration laws. We want people to follow the laws that exist!! If anything, most everyone I know would be happy to loosen immigration laws and allow more people in to this country but guess what? We want them here with papers, and histories and names with birthdates and stamps and things like that. Not just walking across the desert with 2 gallons of water and a cousin waiting for them.


AAAhrg! William E. Odom has an opinion in the LATimes today saying we should "Get out now".

American public opinion is decidedly against the war; even in the "red states," more than half of Americans want out. That sentiment is understandable.

The prewar dream of a liberal Iraqi democracy friendly to the United States is no longer credible. No Iraqi leader with enough power and legitimacy to control the country will be pro-American. Still, President Bush says the United States must stay the course. Why? Let's consider his administration's most popular arguments for not leaving Iraq.

First off - I don't believe I've yet read an opinion poll saying that American public opinion wants us to get out now. Yeah - get out, eventually. But now? I don't think so.
And who says the prewar dream of a liberal Iraqi democracy is no longer credible?

He then lines up all the reasons we should stay and explains why they aren't good reasons. In not one does he note that we promised we'd stay as long as they asked us to. He doesn't mention that we have an obligation to stay since we did basically start this business of democratizing Iraq. He doesn't mention that the govt there is probably finally going to be formed this very frigging weak. He doesn't mention the idiotic pleading of Zarqawi that went on last week that basically is a strong indicator of his support there. He doesn't mention that the Iranians have been infiltrating the country and that by staying in Iraq we are at least able to keep a closer eye on Iran. He states that the Iraqi military can't come up with who they support when that is on a macro level bullshit.
I wish I had a better memory for where I read things, or the time to re-research...actually, you know what? I'll be home tonight to better refute this dude.

Big Surprise in Bolivia

No, not the fact that the Bolivian government took over the private oil companies but that now, no one else wants to play there. The BBC has the story of a Brazilian energy company suspending it's business in Bolivia.
Brazilian energy company Petrobras is suspending future investment in Bolivia following its neighbour's decision to nationalise its gas industry.
Petrobras said the move would start with the scrapping of plans to expand a gas pipeline between the two nations.

Mr. Morales, if you cheat, the other players will just take their things and go home.


George Will has a good piece on how this bill really is a way to "protect" us poor slobs.
"The Affluent Society" was the canonical text of modern liberalism's disparagement of the competence of the average American. This liberalism -- the belief that people are manipulable dolts who need to be protected by their liberal betters from exposure to "too much" advertising -- is one rationale for McCain-Feingold. That law regulating campaigns embodies the political class's belief that it knows just the right amount of permissible political speech.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Well it looks like Hollywood has decided to turn its face towards Darfur. You have to be thankful and yet it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. How long now has the blogosphere been pointing towards the problems in Darfur now? Years.
So the speakers at the rally, line up and rally against genocide. Good for them. Who wouldn't be against genocide?
Almost without fail, speakers bemoaned the litany of the last century's ethnic slaughters and pleaded not to instantiate Darfur on that list--the Holocaust, Cambodia (is this a genocide?), Rwanda, the Balkans. But, of all the speakers I heard (and there were over 50), only one mentioned the Anfal campaign, wherein Saddam Hussein gassed as many as 200,000 Kurds. Progressive-minded people, it seems, do not delight in noting that the invasion of Iraq toppled a perpetrator of genocide. You know, it undermines the case against war, especially for those (admittedly few) at the protest yesterday calling for American troops in Darfur.
Emphasis mine.

Today the LA Times is suggesting that diplomacy won't work so, well..... read it:
JUST ABOUT EVERYONE KNOWS what it will take to stop the slaughter of innocents in Sudan. Yet the international response to the crisis hinges on a kind of domino effect, with the world waiting for the first tile to fall; meanwhile, soldiers and government-armed militias murder and rape with impunity. There's a chance that the first domino could drop today. If it doesn't, the United States and its allies should kick it over.

The US and it's allies, should "kick it over"?! This is the same US who the LA Times thinks should never have invaded Iraq because they were no threat to us. Now they want us to invade little old Sudan?

All I'm trying to say here is that President Bush gets skewered every day for going into Iraq. It was a right decision then and it still is. All of these people who think we should go into the Sudan need to realize that if we go in, it's a war. Yes, another one, just like the one we have now that you are bitching about. It may well be justified. We are the white hats, but why is Darfur so different than Baghdad?

As long as we're talking about new wars..........
Powerline has the specs for Iran today. I'm not as sure that right now is the time to go in and I don't believe Iran is in the same position Iraq was in when we invaded. Iran doesn't have previous agreement they aren't living up to. (yes, I realize there is the IAEA agreements, but they've opted out. That's different than saying they are in while finagling on the side) They aren't a dictatorship. They haven't committed genocide. They haven't been shooting at out planes in "no fly" zones. But yes, they are a threat. .........I think I've mentioned before that I'm glad I'm not in charge and just get to spout from my safe little corner of the 'verse'.

Al Qaeda

I missed this story the other day on the downhill slope of Al Qaeda and their recent moves. But the Environmental Republican has it down.
It's worth a moment, including the link at the bottom.

Just for fun

The New Zealand Herald has an article in it today on the "Global Warming Hysteria". I would never expect to see this out of NZ, so it will be curious to read their op-eds in the coming days.
Some journalists were "a bit scientifically illiterate" and when scientists put out the results of their computer modelling, worst-case scenarios were usually reported.

"It was usually an envelope of figures, one which said the planet could warm 6C in the next 100 years and the other end of the envelope was perhaps 0.5C in 100 years," said Dr Auer. "And you know which one would be quoted.

"And the scientists were, I feel, in some respects, to blame because they never came forward and said ‘wait a minute, you took that out of context’."

That in turn started a rather insidious environment in which maintaining that perception of crisis drove the research funding, he said.

"Crises are what always drives the funding.

"If you think back, you have never heard anything positive that could come about from global warming ... everything is always negative, alarmist, fear, doom," he said.

He said the issue had been based on hysteria.

The Rallies

Captain Ed has a good general look. In particular he notes that 25% of school kids were absent yesterday in the LA school district. Doing the math, that accounts for about 2.4billion dollars worth of taxes in one school district in one year. There's going to be a lot of math taking place.
It's hard to say what the fallout will be from these rallies. Certainly the publicity always brings out the crazies. So we're likely to hear more stories about real bigots being idiots. With any luck these rallies will open people's eyes to the true numbers we're talking here and the govt can get moving. They can't agree on "comprehensive" policy, so start with step one. Fix the borders! Whether it's a fence or more enforcement. Step one. Just take it.
Steps 2-20 can deal with the people who are here. But take step one.

Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post really goes out on a limb today. He suggests that while the civil rights movement and this nascent movement are completely different, they ought to be working together.
For the two groups to fight over low-skilled, low-wage jobs would be a tragic waste of time and effort. The issue is how both African Americans and Latinos can claim a fair share of this nation's vast wealth and opportunity, not how we can wrestle the scraps from one another. The issue is who gets to occupy the corner office during working hours, not who gets to clean it at night.

Congress may do something reasonable on immigration, giving the estimated 12 million people already here without papers a chance to become citizens or legal residents, but there's no guarantee.

I don't think that's the issue at all. The people rallying suggest they have a right to be here. Even without paperwork. The businesses here, want those illegals here because it helps with the low wage job issue. If the illegals gain their paperwork why on earth would they continue to hold the low wage jobs? So then what.....well, wash, rinse, repeat. If the borders aren't closed, then the businesses here will need low wage laborers. Then the people will come with or without papers.

Sheesh - doesn't it all seem so simple? Close the borders, increase the number of allowable work passes to what is actually needed. Ignore the 12 million already here who arrived illegally. Don't deport them unless they are caught in another crime just like we do today. Don't put them at the head of the line of immigrants, they didn't wait their turn before. And by all means don't make them the single issue that is keeping you from securing out borders!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Mark Steyn

And the famous, not really a Jefferson Quote on dissent.


We still miss him, but Instapundit has found Bill Crawford writing on unreported news from Iraq.
Iraqis continue to show their mettle in engagements with anti-Iraqi forces, and continue to take over battlespace from Coalition forces. Prime Minister-designate al-Maliki said this week that he hopes to have a unity government in place within a week. This news has led to reports that the U.S. will be able to significantly decrease our troops in Iraq by the end of this year. In addition, the improved security conditions in Iraq have allowed Iraqis to carry on with their lives.

Michael J. Totten

In Israel. If you didn't read the first part, be sure to do that first. He has a link to it in his first paragraph of this one. It's a bit scary. (The Iranians in Lebanon part)

Speaking of Iran. I was a bit out of the news circuit this weekend and got amazing amounts of work done around the house, but missed the fact that Iran had sent troops across the border into Iraq. Captain Ed has the story of course.