Friday, February 28, 2003

Is Saddam so Desperate that he Would Kiss Israels Butt?

This article from the Tehran Times says so. It says that, Israel could convince the United States not to attack, that Iraq would apologize to Israel, take in 2 million Palestinians, and thus get them out of Israel's hair, and give Israel 350,000 barrels of oil each day.
I sort of doubt this story myself. I can remember hearing similarly outlandish stories from Iranian students about the time that the Shah was overthrown. It would be the highest insult from Iran to suggest that Iraq was conspiring with Israel.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Our self sacrificial teachers attack 7 year olds

Here's an unusually disturbing story. The children of our soldiers are being singled out for harassment by our teachers. The Left has absolutely no scruples when they pursue their agendas. I think that's because their groupthink mentality makes them less considerate of individuals.

Danish Pizzeria ban French and Germans

You've got to love this. I especially like the part about there being no way for the French to ever earn forgiveness.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Law by Lawsuit

If only Pythagoras had a good lawyer, he might have survived to inflict a few more theorems upon high school mathematics students. According to legend, the sixth century B.C. philosopher met his end at the edge of a field of fava beans. An angry mob from the city of Crotonia pursued Pythagoras to the edge of the field. But rather than attempt an escape through the field, Pythagoras chose death at the hands of the mob.
As is still quite common among people of Mediterranean decent, Pythagoras suffered from favism, which left its sufferers deathly sensitive to the pollen of fava beans. Had he attempted to cross the field, he would have died of an allergic reaction. He concluded that whatever vengeance the lynch mob had in mind for him was preferable to perishing from favism.
But, perhaps that field never would have been there in the first place if Pythagoras had access to a modern predatory litigation. Today, we have evolved an attitude, or at least a legal theory, that a sensitive person is entitled to have the environment adjusted to his or her specific wishes. If Pythagoras didn’t like fava bean pollen, he could simply sue the farmer for permitting fava pollen to drift on the winds and into his lungs.
Requiring the rest of the world to accommodate your wishes has become standard operating procedure. If you don’t like the aroma of cigarettes, then smokers are required to steer a wide berth around you. Even perfumes are being banished in some cities.
And, in northern Idaho and Eastern Washington, those who don’t like smoke from grass field burning are using the courts to harass farmers out of business. The problem is that burning fields is legal and is closely regulated by each state. And burning grass fields is every bit as vital to the production of grass seed as pollen is to the cultivation of fava beans.
It seems only simple common sense that those who obey the law deserve its protection. But as it is now, a farmer who strictly adheres to field burning rules is still vulnerable to punishment if his smoke irritates somebody downwind. An asthma attack on a smoky day is payday for the lawyers. Lawsuits are replacing legislative votes as the mechanism for writing laws.
Abandoned by their insurance companies, farmers have asked the Idaho legislature to give them protection from such predatory lawsuits as long as they adhere to the law. That such protection is necessary reveals a fundamental flaw that demands correction. And yet, when farmers ask for fair treatment under the law they find themselves labeled as bullies or big-spending special interests.
But grass growers are not alone. Others who have suffered this sort of legal harassment include firearms manufacturers, who are expected to pay for crimes committed with their products. We even have lawsuits in which the obese attempt to collect damages from McDonald’s for selling them french fries. The last time I checked, french fries were legal. Gun ownership is guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
Smoke from burning grass is like pollen. It does not confine itself to property lines. Some people are sensitive to smoke. Some people are injured by smoke. And one can die from an allergic reaction to pollen. Smoke and pollen drift wherever the winds take them. And, pollen drifts without waiting for the permission of an ecology department. Pollen is worse because the plants would never respect a “no pollination day.” For a grass seed farmer, burning his fields is every bit as essential to the production of grass as pollen is to apple growers.
There are all sorts of heath hazards associated with agriculture that could become potential targets. A common allergen in this area is mold spores from pea vines, as is simple dust from harvesting or plowing. Would we sue an apiculturist if one of his bees stung someone who was allergic to the venom?
If there is any flaw in the laws now being considered for the protection of grass seed growers, it is that they are too narrow in their focus. Nobody who obeys laws should have to worry about a lawyer seeking to write his own legislation in a courtroom. It hardly seems democratic when the people’s elected representatives can be overruled by a single person filing a lawsuit.

Why Didn't I See This on CNN?

Everytime a couple dozen long-haired, flea-infested, dope-smoking vestige of the sixties criticized the long march to war with Iraq, the networks give it wall to wall coverage. Why don't 500 Iraqi Americans demanding war get the same attention?

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Brazilles' advice to Democrats - Suck Up to Al Sharpton

Now this is almost too good to be true. Donna Brazile, Al Gore's 2000 campaign manager is advising 2004 Democratic candidates to make nice with Al Sharpton as a way to re-connect with black voters. She notes that Democratic registration among blacks is down sharply since 2000 with ever more self identifying themselves as independents or Republicans. The solution, according to Brazile, is to swing left.
Hah! I love it! First of all, blacks are leaving the Democratic Party because they recognize that Sharpton-like politics no longer serves them and because they have outgrown such racialist paternalism. Secondly, embracing Sharptonism will alienate more whites, Jews and Hispanics.
Go for boys!

Sunday, February 16, 2003

It Really is All About Oil

So, France, Germany, Russia and China all stand to make billions if Saddam Hussein remains in power. Axis of Weasels indeed.

Football leads the way on shaping college culture

If Colin Powell ever needs to recruit a swarm of diplomats prepared to help him with deal with the European duplicity, he could mine a rich vein of them from the alumnae of intercollegiate sports programs. If football and basketball recruits learn nothing else in their four (or five) years of college, they will learn how to deal with being lied to. Not even the French could unsettle one of these guys.
A recently primed reservoir of potential diplomats can be found in Oregon State University’s recently signed recruiting class. Twenty-one young men were abandoned by the coach, who just last week promised them everything in exchange for their signatures on the bottom line of a letter of intent. Their letter of intent binds them to Oregon State University, even though the coach who asked them to come to OSU, and certainly promised to be there when fall practices begin, will be coaching the San Francisco Forty-niners instead.
That letter of intent snare binds those young men to Oregon State. It obligates the coach who seduced them to nothing. In fact, most of the rules promulgated by the NCAA serve the interests of the member schools to the detriment of the “student athletes.”
A high school kid who should be free to shop his skills to the highest bidder is bound by these rules to play for nothing whatsoever. Accepting any reward at all will leave the young recruit branded as a cheater. Meanwhile, the colleges and universities that shelter underneath these self-serving rules are free to treat athletic recruits as chattels. All the while they maintain the facade of moral legitimacy by adhering to immoral rules.
"You believe in somebody, you make a commitment, you sign a contract and you think the coaches would honor that commitment right back," high school senior Bob Moore said. Just one week before taking the San Francisco job, Erickson had enticed this young man to sign on the dotted line. "It's not like Dennis Erickson woke up one morning and decided to coach the 49ers. He had to have an idea. And he sat in our living rooms and told us otherwise. That bothers me."
It should. It should bother everyone.
This all seems very familiar to Palouse sports fans. Both universities know what it is like to be jilted by Dennis Erickson. Once again Coach Erickson has come to the expiration date of another of his eternal commitments. The man who was always a Cougar in his heart, until Miami came calling, has turned and left another lover feeling disrespected the morning after.
Fans of Washington State University know very well how Oregon State feels. After all, Dennis Erickson assured the Cougars of his undying eternal devotion to old Wazzu shortly before climbing aboard the private jet that ferried him to the University of Miami. Oddly, the Cougar faithful seemed surprised at Erickson’s deceit even though WSU had lured him away from the University of Wyoming, to whom he had also pledged his eternal devotion.
Of course, Cougar fans expect to be jilted in the morning. Mike Price’s departure was a thing of beauty compared to that of Erickson’s and others. But, sniffing around for a better deal between the end of the regular season and a bowl game fouls the air with its own special odor.
It’s sadly ironic that athletic department morality diffuses throughout universities. Universities have become cesspools of cynicism. All the while, institutions of higher learning advertise themselves as beacons of moral enlightenment. Universities try to manage the speech of their students and tell them what to think of such matters as homosexuality, abortion, the military and the environment. But all the while, universities, follow the examples of their athletic departments and give not the slightest weight to the value of a promise.
Every academic department has had a faculty member who recruited a graduate student and then left when a more attractive job was offered elsewhere. Department chairs, deans, provosts and vice provosts are all looking for greener pastures, but when asked about their loyalties will place their hands on their hearts and proclaim their devotion to whomever signs their last paycheck.
With our youth maturing in such swamps, it’s no wonder there is so much work for our legions of lawyers. One cannot trust a promise and handshake.

Friday, February 07, 2003

Nancy Pelosi Refuses to get it

She's the most powerful Democrat in the country. So her party must bear responsibility for her ignorance.

What Would it Take Ted?

Ted Kennedy is not yet convinced that Saddam needs to go.

The Nuisance Value of the Willfully Ignorant

If Colin Powell’s presentation to the United Nations Wednesday had a less dramatic effect than Adlai Stevenson’s slide show in 1962, it had more to do with a willfully ignorant audience that stubbornly refuses to grasp the obvious. Powell’s evidence was much better than Stevenson’s. Whereas Stevenson’s presentation was a silent movie, Powell’s was a talkie, with the dialogue provided by Saddam’s own henchmen.
In 1962, photos taken from high flying American U2 spy planes showed conclusively that the Soviet Union was building nuclear missile bases in Cuba. Soviet guilt was undeniable. Democratic Party leaders demanded equally convincing evidence from President Bush. Powell satisfied that demand by showing even higher resolution photos taken from spy satellites. And he supplemented those pictures with narratives from intercepted communications between Saddam’s military hierarchy.
And yet, there are those who remain unconvinced. There are those who find Saddam more believable than Colin Powell. Democratic congressmen can be heard on evening political debate shows claiming that the case for war has not been made. CNN talking head and former Clinton political strategist Paul Begala essentially accused President Bush of fabricating evidence to make the case for war.
And even among those who admit that Saddam possesses an industry dedicated to building an arsenal of weapons of indiscriminate slaughter, there exists a line of thought that believes such weapons threaten only his immediate neighbors, and that we are safe. Such thinking was recently articulated by prominent Democrats and the Hollywood Left.
These critics are often the very same people who accused the intelligence community of failing to “connect the dots” before September 11, 2001. In this case, the dots from terrorism to Saddam are obvious. Powell showed the links between Iraq’s dictator and terrorist networks. The dots connected themselves. And yet, the Saddamites refused to be moved.
Saddam is not going to launch a nuclear tipped missile at the United States, or fly a bomber with an Iraqi flag painted on its tail to nuke New York. He’s going to hand the bomb off to a terrorist organization that will strap it onto the back of a “martyr,” to whom they have promised paradise and an inexhaustible supply of fresh virgins. This suicide bomber will carry his bomb across our porous borders and detonate it in a big city. He will then send uncountable thousands of infidels into hell and meet a grateful Allah.
The domestic Saddamite line was recently articulated to columnist Deborah Orin. She quoted a top Democratic strategist who opened his trench coat for her and exposed party thinking: "If you support Bush on Iraq and he wins, you gain zip. If you support him and he loses, you lose along with him. But if you oppose him and things go bad, you stand to be a big winner."
Liberals should favor this war because it is the last chance their favorite institution has to preserve itself. The United Nations is the last path remaining to the one world government liberalism favors. And yet, the United Nations chooses irrelevance.
Resolution 1441 demands full cooperation from Iraq and threatens “serious consequences” for the sort of deception exposed by Powell. To the masculine, chest pounding French, who have a long resume of cowardice and retreat to validate their stance, this means that the United Nations should, "Let us double, let us triple the number of inspectors," according to France's Foreign Minister Dominique de Vellepin after hearing Colin Powell's presentation. "Let us open more regional offices!” he blustered. Is that what “serious consequences” means? I’m sure Saddam is quaking in his boots.
But, what would one expect from an organization that has Libya chairing its committee on human rights, or will soon hand over leadership of its disarmament committee to - you guessed it - Iraq. It’s as if the United Nations were making fun of itself. The UN was a joke even before Powell showed glaring evidence that Iraq was getting advance warnings of inspections from the UN.
The world has left Saddamites such as France, Germany, Ted Kennedy and the New York Times behind. They have much in common with untalented teenagers whose only opportunity to seem consequential is to spray vulgar, inarticulate graffiti over the works of their betters. They no longer drive history and possess only nuisance value to those who do.