I think ^(link) therefore I err

Friday, June 30, 2006


WARNING: This is a rant. Do not search for well-defined arguments. This is a generalized rant.

I hate to take on Hamden here because I am no lawyer. But as it turns out, over the last week or so, I've been forced to argue on the side of the US (which I personally will call "good") vs the side of the terrorists. (known to me as "evil")
Gitmo may well have been invented to thwart the do gooders of this country and work around any fuzzy parts of the law. But since al-Qaeda and the Taliban were never signatories to the Geneva Conventions and since they don't follow the conventions, it seems only logical to me that there is no requirement for us to do so either. That said, we are on the side of "good" and I'm thankful that we don't treat our enemy combatants in the same way that ours are treated. And yes, I actually had to say that out loud the other day when someone equated our treatment of prisoners with the treatment of people kidnapped in Iraq.
(and I'm not all that comfortable with Guantanamo, but it isn't a torture camp!)
Power - we have it. We exercise it in ways that are frankly "good". And the world is served by that. Simply because we exist, most of the world doesn't have to worry about their borders or getting attacked by some outlaw nation.
Israel has power. Let's look at the recent goings on in Gaza. One of their's was kidnapped and they intend to get him back. Why is it up to them to restrain themselves now? And yet they do. See? "Good" vs "Evil". Rather than sending in warnings to Israel about how "bad" they've been by denying the Palestinians electricity and water and the problems that are bound to come up now, how hard would it be for the world to say,
"Listen Hamas. You have kidnapped Gilad and that has caused this problem. You can't win militarily here because you don't have the power and we are not going to involve ourselves, so quit your whining and give him back. IF Israel continues to attack at that point, then we will involve ourselves. But you took step one."

Similar to our situation.
"Listen al-qaeda. You declared war on the US and they are now fighting you within tons of restraints. Quit while you are still alive. If they don't go away after you've surrendered, then we'll give them a call".
Instead we are getting attacked for this war on terror. (except of course that most people don't believe we really are at war or that terror is a problem) Apparently, to the world, terror is a legitimate means of fighting the big fish if that fish is the US or Israel.

We went into Afghanistan (which if you will remember was rebuked around the world) with moral authority and took out the Taliban. They are still there and we are still fighting and guess what? We have every right to continue that fight until they surrender! Why shouldn't we?
We went into Iraq (soundly rebuked all over the place) for many reasons, but one was on the belief, backed by recent evidence, that Saddam was a threat in his help/partnership with terrorists. Ok - we're still there and until they've stabilized their govt, we will need to be there. Al-qaeda, is still there and the war goes on. Until/unless they surrender. If Al-qaeda moves into Somalia, we'll go there too. Why shouldn't we? They declared it.
This war isn't over. No one has said Uncle yet. In the meantime do we have to play by rules even though they don't? Only because we are "good" and they aren't and lucky for them. The President has been doing what he can to keep us safe. He doesn't have a lock on Iraqi oil. He was a rich man before ever becoming President. He doesn't need this trouble. And unlike in Amsterdam, he doesn't get to just quit because he's sick and tired of it. The supreme court said some things yesterday that need to be worked out, but he will follow what they said. That basically only means no war tribunal for Hamden without Congressional setup first. I think that's great. Congress needs to get involved. They sit around up there and waste time and energy on the ridiculous like a flag desecration amendment or marriage definitions and then whine about what the President is doing during war. Well, get off your asses and involve yourself. Congress, you were briefed on the big phone scandal and ok'd it. You were briefed on the big bank scandal and ok'd it. Stand up for what you believe and quit being such a big bunch of pussies. Murtha is a friggin joke but at least he's got opinions he's willing to state out loud and put down on paper.
Now after Hamden may Congress be forced to actually help win this war on terror instead of sitting on the sidelines.
The following is from Rich Galen of Mullings. Sign up, he's worth it.
Finally, and this is crucial, the decision neither caused nor averted a "Constitutional crisis." It was simply another demonstration that, in our system, each of the Branches has a specific and equal role in maintaining a functioning society.
Bush didn't challenge the decision; didn't rebuke the Court; didn't threaten to ignore the ruling. In fact, according to the NY Times coverage, the President said:
"The 'Hamdan decision was the way forward,' and that he would work with Congress to 'have a tribunal to hold people to account' while meeting the Court's directive."
That is the strength of our nation.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


For those of you not living in the NorthEast, the Washington Post today has some pictures of what those poor folks back there are going through.

North Korea

I think I forgot to share these pictures out of North Korea earlier. They were on Vodkapundit today.


On the NYTimes banking story.

Good News

Women Vote and Run in Kuwaiti Poll for the First Time.
``I don't know how to describe my feelings, I am so happy, it's a beautiful day as women practice their right,'' female candidate Hind al-Shaikh said. ``I hope a woman makes it.''

Whoo hooo!

From Iraq OPFOR has some news from Ramadi regarding the Iraqi Army. They are making improvements quickly!
Whoo hoo!

Campaign finance laws

I'm with George Will on this one.
Roberts asked the attorney general for an example to validate his assertion that campaign contributions from Vermont interest groups "often determine what positions candidates and officials take on issues." The attorney general answered that he could not offer an example, and said that "influence" would be more accurate than "determine." People trying to influence elections and government? Heaven forfend. In another clarification, sort of, the attorney general said the problem is "undue influence." So there.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I think that Israel acted in the only way it could under the circumstances. There is no way they can allow capture of their military without retaliation. Turning the other cheek is all fine and good as long as you don't mind being wiped off the face of the earth little by little. It's important that it's known, loud and clear, that some things are not acceptable. And when you have the power, even though it may not be politically correct to use it, you absolutely will in order to secure your citizens.
The Jerusalem Post has a quickie analysis of what happened with Lebanon 18 years ago and how it relates now.

The BBC is on the story. Of course it's our fault.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, of the governing Hamas party, criticised Washington for giving approval to the Israeli incursion.

Mr Haniya said Washington had "given the green light to aggression" and called on the United Nations to step in to prevent an escalation in violence.

Mr Haniya has urged the UN Security and the Arab League to move to end the crisis in Gaza.

"The Israeli occupation must put an end to its aggression before the situation gets complicated and the crisis gets worse," Mr Haniya said.

So the Prime Minister wants the UN and the Arab League to "do something to make them stop", but doesn't want to just give up this soldier.
Let's take a look at a couple of Arab papers...
I'm sure this link won't hold up overnight but Emirates Today from Dubai has their front page taken up with "School Ban on Mobiles may be lifted".

The Islamic Republic News Agency doesn't have a word about Gaza on their front page. (again, I have no idea how to link to a particular date's front page)
Don't hold your breath for help there Mr. Haniya.

Drudge has a report up saying that the al Aqsa have claimed to have fired a chemical weapon into Israel. No confirmation yet.

Drudge also has this article about Gilad, the kidnapped soldier.
Friends describe Gilad as studious, good at physics and a little shy.

If Corporal Shalit is killed while in the hands of militants linked to Hamas, any prospect of a rapprochement between Israel and a Hamas-led Palestinian Government will vanish for years to come, perhaps for ever.
(I pretty much thought that was over after Hamas was elected anyway)

Hamas officials have been captured now. Captain Ed has the scoop.
The arrests of the Hamas officials puts quite a different spin on the hostage negotiations now. Since Hamas has taken responsibility for the kidnappings and refused to intercede to release Gilad Shalit, and since the Palestinians keep committing acts of war against Israel, then their political leadership becomes fair game in war. Now that a few dozen Hamas leaders sit in Israeli jails, the terms of the kidnappers may be changing soon.

UPDATE: Good for the UN. Annan asks for the release of Gilad in order to not escalate the situation.
Mr Annan said he spoken to the Palestinian and Syrian leaders on Tuesday and the Israeli prime minister on Wednesday trying to obtain the release of the Israeli soldier and to defuse the situation.

"We need to be very careful, not only not to escalate, but not to expand the area of conflict," he said late on Wednesday.

The key to defusing the situation, he said, was the release of Israeli Cpl Gilad Shalit, who was captured in a cross-border raid on Sunday by Palestinian militants.

UPDATE: Well still no confirmation of a chemically tipped weapon landing in Israel, so I'm going with the Reuters/Drudge/my story was just a rumor.

General links

Because I'm running late, again.

Iraq the Model's feelings on the general amnesty plan for the Iraqi insurgents. He thinks it's great so long as the caveat exists that there is no amnesty for those who've killed.
With trigger-pullers excluded, maybe amnesty will be given to the facilitators and sympathizers; those who provided safe houses, transportation and facilities to the insurgents. If this is the case and if those facilitators accept the offer I think it will significantly reduce the ability of insurgents to carryout their operations and the effect will be more profound on foreign terrorists who depend largely on local facilitators.

Apparently 3 other groups have signed on.

The Captain has a good write up on the happenings in Gaza this morning.

The BBC interviews that piece of s*** Joseph Kony.

Samarra Bombing

It looks like Iraqi's have caught one of the people responsible for the Samarra Mosque bombing. From Iraq the Model:
The terrorist of Tunisian origin confessed that he was responsible for the attack that destroyed the Askari Shrine in Samarra back in February 22 of this year.
Muwaffak al-Rubaie said the security forces are still searching for Haitham al-Badri who is believed to be the field commander under whom Abu Qudama was operating.

This is awesome.
Hugh Hewitt interviewed the guy in charge of training Iraqi's yesterday. It's not up yet, but I'll add the link when I see it. It was very interesting. And things are going well. See evidence above!

UPDATE: Here's the interview with Lt. Gen. Dempsey. It's well worth your time.

Waaaay Cool!

Barcepundit has the video of a GM hydrogen car.
(the first bit is goofy, but watch it!)
The Hy-wire's fuel cell propulsion system is housed entirely in an 11-inch thick skateboard-like chassis. By-wire controls attached to the chassis through a single docking port use electrical signals instead of mechanical links of hydraulics to control steering, acceleration and braking. Without an engine, steering column or other conventional vehicle components, this concept provides unprecedented design freedom.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Economic Policy

Whether history will be kind to President George W. Bush is still up in the air, (though I suspect it will be very kind) but no matter, kind or cruel, it will have this to say about him:

He hired VERY smart people to work for him. With that I give you the latest:
The President has named Julie Goon as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. Ms. Goon recently served as Director of Medicare Outreach at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. She received her bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University.



OPFOR has noticed that the National Review thinks that "24" has increased our expectations of govt.

I watched the first two seasons and just couldn't take how stooooopid the govt was. Jack had to save the day all the time. How? By working outside of the rules/bureaucracy/govt. (ps - I hear it's gotten better...but I'm still unwilling to go back)

OPFOR puts that together nicely for us all.

The NYTimes

From waaaay back in 2001:
Washington should revive international efforts begun during the Clinton administration to pressure countries with dangerously loose banking regulations to adopt and enforce stricter rules. These need to be accompanied by strong sanctions against doing business with financial institutions based in these nations. The Bush administration initially opposed such measures. But after the events of Sept. 11, it appears ready to embrace them.

The Treasury Department also needs new domestic legal weapons to crack down on money laundering by terrorists. The new laws should mandate the identification of all account owners, prohibit transactions with "shell banks" that have no physical premises and require closer monitoring of accounts coming from countries with lax banking laws. Prosecutors, meanwhile, should be able to freeze more easily the assets of suspected terrorists. The Senate Banking Committee plans to hold hearings this week on a bill providing for such measures. It should be approved and signed into law by President Bush.

New regulations requiring money service businesses like the hawala banks to register and imposing criminal penalties on those that do not are scheduled to come into force late next year. The effective date should be moved up to this fall, and rules should be strictly enforced the moment they take effect. If America is going to wage a new kind of war against terrorism, it must act on all fronts, including the financial one.

(ht: Powerline)


Interesting article in the Washington Post. It seems that many seniors, while having Alzheimers are less affected by it.
His theory, supported by earlier research, is that high levels of education and feelings of social connectedness can help preserve brain function. Bennett said he believes that helps create a "neural reserve" that enables people to tolerate Alzheimer's-induced brain deterioration without showing signs of dementia.

Some researchers believe that mentally stimulating tasks such as doing crossword puzzles, taking classes or reading can help prevent Alzheimer's. But Bennett said his new findings suggest that in some people, these tasks might also enable the brain to compensate for the disease.

Use it or lose it!


Isn't it interesting how even with new information, some paradigms just won't die?
Richard Cohen today is remarking how the admistration is full of hype. (in regards to the 7 home grown potential terrorists arrested last week in Florida.

In his item we get these little numbers:
It (the administration)said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and there were none.
This in spite of the bits of wmd that have been found over the last couple of years. (link to article from 2004 vs the latest news from Santorum)
It said al-Qaeda and Iraq were in cahoots and that was not the case.
This in spite of the news coming out of all those documents that are now public and being interpreted and studied. Captain Ed nicely recaps the Fox News story from Ray Robison who's been working on this.
About a year ago, for instance, (re: exaggeration) President Bush (with Gonzales at his side) asserted that "federal terrorism investigations have resulted in charges against more than 400 suspects, and more than half of those charged have been convicted." The Post looked into that and found that the total number of (broadly defined) "terrorism" convictions was 39.
Personally rather than look further into this one, I'll go with the assumption that the administration did not exagerate by 360 cases but that perhaps they used other laws such as when income tax evasion is used to nab mobsters.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Troop Reductions

The Washington Post has an article titled:
Democrats Cite Report On Troop Cuts in Iraq
Pentagon Plan Like Theirs, Senators Say

Boo Hoo.
The U.S. commander in Iraq had privately presented a plan for significant troop reductions in the same week they came under attack by Republicans for trying to set a timetable for withdrawal.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said that the plan attributed to Gen. George W. Casey resembles the thinking of many Democrats who voted for a nonbinding resolution to begin a troop drawdown in December. That resolution was defeated Thursday on a largely party-line vote in the Senate.

"That means the only people who have fought us and fought us against the timetable, the only ones still saying there shouldn't be a timetable really are the Republicans in the United States Senate and in the Congress," Boxer said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "Now it turns out we're in sync with General Casey."

How idiotic can she be? It doesn't matter if we pulled out tomorrow based on military decisions. You can not set a time table from congress in Washington based on the whims of politics. If General Casey thinks that his plan is workable based on what's going on on the ground, well, excellant. President Bush has said over and over we will stand down as the Iraqi's stand up.
This would be an example of that. Vs a piece of legislature that says, 'we will leave next year because we're tired of this war and want to go home'.

I've been gone for a bit. I returned to what looks to me like awesome advancements in the war. I am at a complete loss as to the media storm of malaise over this war. Between the documents captured with Zarqawi, the full govt of Iraq reaching out to the Iraqi people who want the US out of Iraq aren't things going well?


A letter to the NYTimes from Lt. Cotton. (via Powerline who has a nice line up today of links.)

They also have the linke to this story of the Russian diplomats. As does Michelle Malkin. It isn't pretty.

Palestinian Terrorists are claiming they have chemical weapons now. OPFOR has that story.

And the good news,

Iraq the Model says that 7 insurgant groups are looking to accept Maliki's offer.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Should be useful. Counting etc, but look what these guys at the LATimes came up with after doing "math".
War's Iraqi Death Toll Tops 50,000
Higher than the U.S. estimate but thought to be undercounted, the tally is equivalent to 570,000 Americans killed in three years.

See how they do that? If there are 50,000 people in Iraq killed out of a country of 26million then that is 0.19% of the population. In the US there are 295million people. 0.19% of that population = around 570,000 people.

Reading the article it talks of how those numbers are counted etc.
HOWEVER, no where does it include projections of Saddam's killings. Let's see now. The Weekly Standard used the well known number of 300,000* since 1979. At 13,000 people a year then, you have let's see, 45,500. If you add in the UN estimates of lives lost due to ongoing sanctions, you have another (500,000 unnessary deaths due to sanctions during the 90s) 50,000 deaths per year.

Had the LATimes actually used their math for our side vs the enemie's side, they would have concluded that the Iraq war is an overall good as far as death counts are concerned.

*ps 300,000 thoughsand people dead by Saddam is equivalent to 3 million Americans killed in 23 years.

pps Each of these people count by the way. Just as each of the 5 soldiers killed yesterday count. Just because they are the equivalent of 0.0000017% of the US population doesn't mean that those numbers don't matter. Or the loss of Iraq the Model's brother in law. Those numbers matter. All I'm saying is the LATimes published that headline to make people here think that this war is for bad, not for good. Vs publishing a different headline that would have been much more neutral to the facts. The facts coming from basic, simple Math.

UPDATE: Hey, I scooped Powerline. But read their post on this anyway, they say it better and include some other numbers.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The New York Times

Story 1: The breaking of the news about the bank data sifting.
WASHINGTON, June 22 — Under a secret Bush administration program initiated weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, counterterrorism officials have gained access to financial records from a vast international database and examined banking transactions involving thousands of Americans and others in the United States, according to government and industry officials.
(hasn't he said in all his speeches that we will follow the money trails? Wouldn't that make you believe that money trails would be followed? Not sure about the secrecy, just the exact "how is it being done" part. ) Anywhoooo

Story 2:
WASHINGTON, June 23 — Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday vigorously defended a secret program that examines banking records of Americans and others in a vast international database, and harshly criticized the news media for disclosing an operation he said was legal and "absolutely essential" to fighting terrorism.

In story 2, you get this quote:
Lauren Weinstein, the head of the California-based Privacy Forum, an online discussion group, raised concerns about lack of independent review of the operation. "Oversight is the difference between something being reasonable and something being abuse," he said.
That's it, no context, no more information about auditing than that quote. As a reader of the news, it leaves you to believe there is no auditing, but here is this from story 1:
Among the safeguards, government officials said, is an outside auditing firm that verifies that the data searches are based on intelligence leads about suspected terrorists. "We are not on a fishing expedition," Mr. Levey said. "We're not just turning on a vacuum cleaner and sucking in all the information that we can."

In story 2, you get this quote:
The financial tracking program was disclosed Thursday by The New York Times and other news organizations. American officials had expressed concerns that the Brussels banking consortium that provides access to the database might withdraw from the program if its role were disclosed, particularly in light of anti-American sentiment in some parts of Europe.

But the consortium, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Swift, published a statement on its Web site on Friday, saying its executives "have done their utmost to get the right balance in fulfilling their obligations to the authorities in a manner protective of the interests of the company and its members."
I don't know about you, but this makes it sound like the hapless American govt was only worried about this story coming to light for no good reason at all. But let's go back to story 1:
The Bush administration has made no secret of its campaign to disrupt terrorist financing, and President Bush, Treasury officials and others have spoken publicly about those efforts. Administration officials, however, asked The New York Times not to publish this article, saying that disclosure of the Swift program could jeopardize its effectiveness. They also enlisted several current and former officials, both Democrat and Republican, to vouch for its value.
Swift executives have been uneasy at times about their secret role, the government and industry officials said. By 2003, the executives told American officials they were considering pulling out of the arrangement, which began as an emergency response to the Sept. 11 attacks, the officials said. Worried about potential legal liability, the Swift executives agreed to continue providing the data only after top officials, including Alan Greenspan, then chairman of the Federal Reserve, intervened. At that time, new controls were introduced.

So, the Govt's uneasiness was not out of thin air.

And then there is the third point. Back to story 2:
Mr. Specter has been at odds with the administration over another previously secret counterterrorism operation, the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping program.
Similar to story 1:
The program is separate from the National Security Agency's efforts to eavesdrop without warrants and collect domestic phone records, operations that have provoked fierce public debate and spurred lawsuits against the government and telecommunications companies
Both "National Security Agency" parts are hyperlinked to a list of NYTimes stories on the agency. Neither links are specific to the program itself which would have clarified everything as in this specific NYTimes linked story that it's about "international calls" vs entirely domestic calls.
Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.

Did you get all that?? I'm not a long posted blogger. I'm very lazy. I'm just trying to catch up on the news. The amount of work involved to actually get to this news story through the NYTimes today irritated the crap out of me. I was just working from memory from 2 days ago. Imagine if this second story had been a week from now, who would have bothered?
NYTimes............ ptooie

(and that is just a spit for your lousy reporting. Don't get me started on your aiding and abetting the enemy or I'll never get out of the house today!)


So just the other day during this camping trip the Bolivian land re-distribution subject came up. I had to speak up and explain the Kelo decision to my friends. Private property rights are, well, sacred - or should be in any free country and it's incredibly important to keep those rights sacred or you lose all credibility as a government entity. In Zimbabwe they were telling me the govt is asking white farmers to return to the land as the "new owners" aren't farming and lack of food is pending. Well, surprise, surprise, white farmers have no interest in going back, investing time, investing money only to have no guarantee at all that the land won't be taken again.
So - try to explain Kelo as a good American. It can't be done without total disgust and disappointment in your tone of voice.

So yesterday Matt Drudge picked up the story of the Executive Order direct from the President protecting private property rights in this country. It's a HUGE thing. (see below) There will be no takings of private property from the Fed. Govt. for a new and better looking housing development.

What I don't get, is why is this not front page news??? I know, I know, it's only has to do with Federal Govt takings and usually it's the local govts who take, but still........
Instapundit linked,
Bidinotto celebrated, The Washington Post has it on A5. I guess it bugged me enough to think this is HUGE. Just try explaining it to foreigners and then get back to me or start blogging!

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 23, 2006

Executive Order: Protecting the Property Rights of the American People

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to strengthen the rights of the American people against the taking of their private property, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to protect the rights of Americans to their private property, including by limiting the taking of private property by the Federal Government to situations in which the taking is for public use, with just compensation, and for the purpose of benefiting the general public and not merely for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties to be given ownership or use of the property taken.

Sec. 2. Implementation. (a) The Attorney General shall:

(i) issue instructions to the heads of departments and agencies to implement the policy set forth in section 1 of this order; and

(ii) monitor takings by departments and agencies for compliance with the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.

(b) Heads of departments and agencies shall, to the extent permitted by law:

(i) comply with instructions issued under subsection (a)(i); and

(ii) provide to the Attorney General such information as the Attorney General determines necessary to carry out subsection (a)(ii).

Sec. 3. Specific Exclusions. Nothing in this order shall be construed to prohibit a taking of private property by the Federal Government, that otherwise complies with applicable law, for the purpose of:

(a) public ownership or exclusive use of the property by the public, such as for a public medical facility, roadway, park, forest, governmental office building, or military reservation;

(b) projects designated for public, common carrier, public transportation, or public utility use, including those for which a fee is assessed, that serve the general public and are subject to regulation by a governmental entity;

c) conveying the property to a nongovernmental entity, such as a telecommunications or transportation common carrier, that makes the property available for use by the general public as of right;

(d) preventing or mitigating a harmful use of land that constitutes a threat to public health, safety, or the environment;

(e) acquiring abandoned property;

(f) quieting title to real property;

(g) acquiring ownership or use by a public utility;

(h) facilitating the disposal or exchange of Federal property; or

(i) meeting military, law enforcement, public safety, public transportation, or public health emergencies.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) authority granted by law to a department or agency or the head thereof; or

(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(c) This order shall be implemented in a manner consistent with Executive Order 12630 of March 15, 1988.

(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity against the United States, its departments, agencies, entities, officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.



June 23, 2006.

Predicting the Future

Varifrank sees a future trade war with Europe right when they need us.
Apparently they want us to: From MSNBC.com

"The troubled Airbus A380 programme was dealt a potential blow on Friday when an influential US congressmen said federal funds should not be used to upgrade US airports to accommodate the world's largest passenger aircraft.

At 1billion dollars I can understand.

Friday, June 23, 2006


For Iraqi insurgents. Captain Ed has the story where Iraq is offering amnesty for the local insurgents and in exchange American withdrawal. In other words if those who are fighting are fighting because they feel the Americans are occupiers, well, here's the deal.
Thankfully the Senate yesterday didn't give away the Iraqi govt.'s bargaining chip by deciding to withdraw next July.

Apparently there have been hints that these insurgents are ready to talk. OPFOR has the link.

At the same time this is going on Iraq the Model has the local news about operation "Forward together now" and it's successes. YEAH
Yesterday Prime Minister al-Maliki told the commanders in charge of the ongoing security operation to give explanations for the disturbing security breaches that happened over the past week. He asked the commanders to identify the troublemaking entities "whoever they may be" and to deal firmly with them.

The answer came from the chief of operations in the defense ministry general AbdulAziz Mohammed who sent a message to the PM telling him that the presence of armed partisan militias was the major obstacle complicating the execution of the operation.

Al-Maliki's response to this info was quick, today the front page story on al-Sabah reports that al-Maliki promised to take decisive steps to overcome these obstacles and insisted that his government was determined to make this operation succeed.


Who's side is the NYTimes on, anyway?
The title of their ballyhooed piece is
Bank Data is Sifted by U.S. in Secret to Block Terror

Adage from pre-historic times: "Follow the Money"

The Times admits that at most the legality is fuzzy vs outright illegal. They admit that the program has many safeguards in place - though not an "endtime". And they admit it's been useful. Now, will they admit that by putting it in the NYTimes it has basically unclassified a classified program and made it moot?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

New Direction for America

As a slogan? Lileks hilariously takes a look at the new plan by the Democrats to win elections. Number 1? Raise the minimum wage. That's a sure winner.
Vodkapundit coins the new version of the slogan:
A Nude Erection for America

Iraqi Police

Free 17 hostages. Awesome. Congratulations Iraq!


I'm on OPFOR's page regarding WMD. There were 16 reasons for going to war and WMD was one of them. I never believed anyone "knew" where they were or someone would have told Blix and he could have walked to them. But everyone knew they were there. Information about small bits have been coming out over the years. This new find will probabaly not shut anyone up. Somehow I get the feeling the "Bush lied, people died" crowd will need to see the stuff in use before anyone believes it's an actual threat. By that time it's no threat, it's real.
Instapundit and Captain Ed have nice roundups with transcripts, etc.

In the meantime, do you suppose we can start calling drug dealers who saw people's heads off terrorists?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Geneva and this war

Dinocrat has a very passionate post today in regards to the murders of Pfc Tucker and Pfc Menchaca. May they rest in peace.
With Bush in Europe right now and the papers all saying that the Europeans are going to want to focus on Guantanamo, I think it's important to remember that Geneva is there in order to keep people playing by the rules during combat. If you play by the rules, then we'll play by the rules. Terrorism, torture, using women and children to hide behind are not allowed.
For more information on Zarqawi's replacement see American Future linking to a terrorism consultant for ABC news Alexis Dubat.


As I am one of those cave people who "know" what I like when I see it, this is laugh out loud funny. Apparently the Royal Academy displayed the stand for a sculpture of David Hensel's while disallowing the actual sculpture.

Check this out

An exPrime Minister defending the US.
RIGATE BAY, St Kitts and Nevis - Japan's attempts to "blackmail" the United States over Alaska's bowhead whaling hunting quota are "outrageous", former New Zealand Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer has said.

Thank you sir - we appreciate it!

Regime Change

Brought to you by the French. Who are these people and why do they have everyone's respect?
COVERT attempts by President Chirac to exert influence over Africa were exposed by a French court yesterday, when it denounced his secret services for conniving with a band of mercenaries in a coup in the tiny Comoros Islands.
Aren't they the whackjobs that attacked New Zealand too?

Barcepundit puts it well.
JUST AS IN TOM WOLFE'S accurate quip that the shadow of fascism always flies over the US but somehow always manages to land in Europe, the accusation of imperialism and of being a de-stabilizer of far-away countries always is hurled against the US but somehow it's always what France does.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Rich Cohen

Say what?
This drug for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is sorely needed. ADHD explains why few seem to challenge the call to continue the mission in Iraq, apparently forgetting that the mission has changed and no one is quite sure what it is now. It explains why after just 100 hours the first President Bush concluded the Persian Gulf War with Saddam Hussein still in power and his helicopters slaughtering rebellious Shiites and Kurds. And it explains why the Carter, Reagan and first Bush administrations so ardently supported Hussein and then -- an administration later -- made it U.S. policy to topple him. We were always forgetting the kind of guy he was.

ADHD also explains why we are still fighting in Afghanistan almost five years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that launched the war against the Taliban. It's because our attention got diverted from the Afghanistan-based al-Qaeda, which had attacked us, to Iraq, which had not. Take two pills for this one.

Finally, ADHD explains -- if anything possibly can -- why the United States went into Iraq with virtually no idea of what to do the day after the war was essentially won. Not only did the United States lack the patience to do nation-building -- what to do with the army, the police, the Baath Party? -- but it would not even supply the troops to secure government offices and ministries. Widespread looting broke out; public property was not protected. "It is not exaggerating to say that the United States may have lost the war on the very day it took Baghdad, April 9, 2003," writes Peter W. Galbraith in his forthcoming book, "The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End."

Aren't we winning this war? Aren't we only 3 years in? Don't the Iraqis have a new government? And 3 different elections? What am I missing?
(need to get back to my first day of work, so will end this now. May return later for further comment, but basically, hear my scream into the room and read for yourself this column on ADHD and this administration and the war and us)


Land re-distribution is now going on in Bolivia from the rich to the poor. With the poor feeling entitlements and just taking it in some cases. In other parts, Zimbabwe is trying to return some land to the previous white farmers who, (cough, cough) no longer trust the govt to allow them to keep any new property that may be handed over.
Private property is pretty sacrosanct. (are you listening Kelo abusers?). Not sure what the answer is when there have been past abuses to get the property in the first place. But takings only leaves a govt without the trust of the people who tend to be the stabilizers of the country. Property owners. Perhaps a long term program of buying off estates as current land holders pass on or want to sell. .......

Global Research

via Tim Blair. Because it made me laugh and realize how much I missed this 'verse.


Al Gore won't endorse Lieberman in his re-election campaign. What a hack. Joe must be disappointed with himself that he was ever convinced to run with that piece of .......well, nevermind.

Catching Up

Three weeks is a loooong time! Let's see if I've caught up appropriately. Add to this list if you see something I've missed.
In no particular order:

1) Zarqawi killed!! Yeah!!!. I was in a bar in Montrose and saw Nick Berg being shown above the glasses from across the room. An inquiry let me know about this one before going through a whole 3 week's camping trip. Now Power Line is seeing others claiming we're the ones who made Zarqawi who is was anyway. Lay them to waste Scott!

2) Haditha. Still sad news but not a coverup. Captain Ed has the update.

3) The President's trip to Iraq. Oh brother. Apparently that was a big msm story.

4.) Mogadishu now run by Islamists. (no worries, the UN is on it)

5) Roy Robison gets some recognition as documents found with and around Zarqawi are found.

6) The Jawa Report has been attacked, again. You know you're good when they keep shutting you down.

7) My mother won Best Watercolor in Boulder Art Association/Longmont Artist Guild's 2006 show! She's awesome!

Anything else big out there?