Friday, September 29, 2006

You Mean, They Haven't

Newsweek asks if journalists should reveal their political views.

Can anyone name one who has not?

On the other hand, could anyone take one look at this babe and not know her politics?

Call A Sorority!

Handyman has a ten year stiffy.

Free Speech For Teachers Too

How would you like to be a cartoon character? You’d be two-dimensional. You would only have a few colors in your world. But worst of all, you’d have a little balloon floating over your head that somebody else gets to fill with words that are supposedly yours. I think that would be humiliating, even for a cartoon character.
But that’s just about what happens to members of Washington’s teachers union every day. Currently, the Washington Education Association dips its paws into its members pockets and withdraws money that it uses to fund left wing causes and politicians. It’s only about ten dollars per year, but it’s not so much the money as it is the indignity of it. When the union draws money out of a member’s pocket and uses that money to promote politicians and causes the individual opposes, he is essentially having someone fill the little balloon in for him.
I vividly remember voting for an initiative that supposedly banned this practice. And I wasn’t alone. In fact, a large majority of Washingtonians voted for it, 14 years ago to be exact. However, Washington’s former Attorney General and current Governor Christine Gregoire, along with a left leaning state supreme court chosen primarily by Seattlistas, have watered that protection down so much that the unions pretty much take what they want and use their ill-gotten gains to underwrite the political campaigns of, well, people such as our current governor and the more left leaning members of our state judiciary.
Originally, the unions had to seek individual members permission before taking their money. This being the state of Washington, that system had the fatal demerit of making sense and being morally defensible. But that has all been turned around by people who know better than the voters. In order for a teacher to keep the union goons’ hands out of his or her pockets, that teacher must twice annually fill out and submit a form telling the union to keep its grubby mitts away. The Washington State Supreme Court ruled that requiring unions to seek permission before seizing money for political purposes constituted an unconstitutional restriction on the free speech rights of unions.
Only in the land of such loopy liberalism as Washington could a special interest group’s rights gain supremacy over the rights of the individual.
It is telling that, when liberals talk about campaign finance reform, it’s always about restricting the freedoms of those who give their own money voluntarily, in the amount of their choosing, and to the candidate of their choice. That sort of freedom is suspect. But, when the talk of campaign finance reform turns to money that is taken forcibly from dissenting union members to underwrite liberal politicians and causes, the left suddenly loses interest in keeping money out of politics. Like taxes, only money that is extracted involuntarily is clean.
I’ve often found it ironic that liberals consider it too burdensome for college students, or for the parents of high school kids to opt out of any sort of organized prayer, but find it perfectly reasonable to force parents who object to public school sex education to file paperwork getting their kids excused from such classes. In much the same way, teachers who wish to dissent from the leftist dogma of their union overlords are required to single themselves out.
But, perhaps there is a glimmer of hope for the First Amendment in Washington. And maybe, just maybe, Washington’s teachers’ union members will finally gain the free speech freedoms that the rest of us take for granted. The United States Supreme Court has decided to hear the case of teachers who don’t believe that the union should be able to take their money and put words in their mouth without their written permission. In all likelihood, the Supreme Court will rule that unions do not have unfettered access to their members’ wallets unless that member slaps the hand away. This will undoubtedly deprive leftist politicians of one of their few sources of cash. Unions and Hollywood dimwits keep most leftist causes afloat as, when it comes to large volumes of small, individual donations, conservatives win the cash battle. Clearly, when it comes to funding their causes, the left relies on coercion and kooks. And they’re going to lose one of their tools of coercion.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Are Teachers Free to Dissent?

The public education system, right down to kindergarten teachers, is hardly a free speech zone. And one of the most egregious violations of free speech is the coerced speech of forced political contributions.
Even though this was specifically outlawed by court cases and an initiative here in Washington, our governor in her previous incarnation as Attorney General screwed things up so much that teaches in Washington were still being forced to contribute to liberal causes and Democratic politicians.
And now, the United States Supreme Court has decided just whether or not teachers are free to say what they want or, just as importantly, say nothing and keep their coerced campaign donations in their own pockets.

More of a Man Than Her Predecessor

Or, Jacques Chirac, or most of the Democratic Party.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against wilting in fear before Islam.

Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans on Wednesday not to bow to fears of Islamic violence after a Berlin opera house canceled a Mozart work over concerns some scenes could enrage Muslims and pose a security risk.

"I think the cancellation was a mistake. I think self-censorship does not help us against people who want to practise violence in the name of Islam," she told reporters. "It makes no sense to retreat."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bill Clinton Versus the Truth

I, for one, could not remember anyone criticizing Bill Clinton for obsessing on Bin Laden. For that matter, I cannot remember Bill Clinton obsessing on Bin Laden.

After Clinton's maniacal rant on Fox News Sunday, a lot of people have begun the inevitable task of fact checking (The New York Times and the Big Media haven't bothered).

Here are a few links to the truth that Clinton can't handle.


The Corner

The New York Post - you know, the New York paper that actually does print news.

Shouldn't This Big Hole Have Tipped Somebody Off?

The forensic results are in and it can be stated authoritatively that former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was killed by a truck bomb.

This crater should have been a clue.

Nevertheless, somebody had to wait for lab results.

UNITED NATIONS - New tests corroborate the theory that former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was killed in a massive suicide truck bomb, investigators said in a report Monday.

The report from Belgian prosecutor Serge Brammertz's investigators said that Syria — which had been accused of obstructing the probe — has been generally cooperative in its investigation of the Feb. 14, 2005 bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others.

Investigators had suspected for some time that Hariri was killed by a bomb packed into a Mitsubishi minivan and detonated by a suicide attacker. According to the report, new tests corroborate the theory that a man either inside or just in front of the van detonated the bomb, which was probably close to 1,800 kilograms (3,960 pounds).

Hariri's killing provoked an international outcry that ultimately forced Syria to withdraw thousands of its troops from Lebanon in April 2005, ending nearly three decades of military dominance of the country. Syria has denied involvement in Hariri's death.

Brammertz' predecessor as chief of the investigation, Germany's Detlev Mehlis, had said the killing's complexity suggested the Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services played a role in Hariri's assassination. Yet Brammertz shied away from making any such claims.

As with his previous reports, Brammertz' latest was largely technical and absent of sweeping theories or speculation. That is starkly different from Mehlis, whose updates read like detective novels and revealed tantalizing bits of evidence.

I guess we should count this a progress. After all, this is the same UN that declared that the slaughter in Darfur was none of its business as it did not meet the UN's standard for "genocide."

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Well, For One Thing, It's Harder to Find Girlfriends

A scientific study has found that fat guys are less fertile than fit guys.

Nowhere Near Reality

ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and all the rest of the mainstream media have provided us with a steady stream of nothing but negative news regarding the progress of the Iraq War.
Where do they get their information? Not first hand I can say that. All these news media put together have exactly ZERO reported embedded with the troops.
Their reporters file their reports from their hiding places in Baghdad.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Man Bites Dog

No, actually man bites a panda bear. Really!

The Role of a Lifetime

I've always been amazed that Jack Nicholson keeps winning Academy Awards for simply playing himself. In real life, Jack Nicholson is an oafish slob. When he behaves (I won't call it acting) as an oafish slob in a movie, it's called "art and he is given little statues to set on his mantle alongside empty bourbon bottles.

Sean Penn, however, is taking on a real challenge. He's planning to portray a smart person. Now that's what I call real acting.

Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn may wind up portraying legendary physicist Albert Einstein for a joint U.S.-Italian TV film production.

Penn, 46, is reportedly interested in working with writer/director Liliana Cavani, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Tuesday.

The project is a joint effort between the U.S. premium cable TV network HBO and Italy's RAI state broadcaster, ANSA said.

An RAI spokesman said Penn appears enthusiastic about the project.

"He's read the screenplay and he likes it," RAI's Agostino Sacca told ANSA.

Frankly, I suspect that somebody read it for him.

Monday, September 18, 2006

How Dare You Call Us Violent and Intolerant?

For that, we will kill you!!!!!!!!

Al Qaeda militants in Iraq vowed war on "worshippers of the cross" and protesters burned a papal effigy on Monday over Pope Benedict's comments on Islam

Oh, and by the way:

The Poor Kid Probably Died of Despair

I doubt that it leaves any traces, but can you imagine how awful it must have been growing up with Anna Nicole Smith as your mother?

Now This Is Cool

The F-35 will eventually join the already operational F-22 Raptor, an equally stealthy air-supremacy fighter that currently is outperforming all comers.
Nothing on the planet can see the F-22, much less outfight it. But when the F-35 comes online, the two will literally dominate the skies.
The F-35 will be able to see virtually hundreds of airplanes at distances far exceeding the scope of previous fighter systems. Tracking distances are classified, but the new aircraft's sight range is said to be twice that of existing fighters (about 40 miles in every direction for existing aircraft).
The pilot may pick and choose what targets to engage first, and his onboard tracking systems will actually make recommendations.
"There are very few switches and knobs in the on things like keeping the airplane airborne and going in the right direction." cockpit," says Col. Tomassetti, who commands the Navy's Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. "Instead, there is a big TV screen that shows you a greater range of things than ever before."
"A pilot in the F-35 cockpit will focus more on being a tactician and less on things like keeping the airplane airborne and going in the right direction."

More here.

Friday, September 15, 2006

MSM Offered ABC to the Alligators

Well, this last week proved once again that the defense of liberty cannot be entrusted to liberals. There was a certain cynicism in the mainstream media’s eagerness to promote the McCain-Finegold restrictions on freedom of political discourse. That legislation did not endanger them and in fact increased their power to manage information and debate. Free speech was curtailed, but only for thee. And the media rejoiced.
But this last week, the mainstream media revealed that its commitment to free speech did not even extend to their own liberty. Sunday and Monday evening, ABC broadcast a miniseries titled “The Road to 9/11.” The movie told of the strategic fumbling, bureaucratic bungling, and operational timidity that enabled Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaida terrorist organization to grow into a network that could launch the worst terrorist attacks that this country has ever experienced.
I did not see the movie. I don’t need to have history distilled, digested and dramatized for me. But I understand that the movie shined a harsh light on the Clinton Administration for its hand wringing disinclination to take bold action against Al Qaida. Even though bin Laden had bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, two of our embassies in Africa in 1998, and engineered the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, the Clinton Administration recoiled from capturing bin Laden when he was within the reach of our special forces. A simple push of a button would have vaporized bin Laden into pink mist with a Hellfire missile when he was literally in the crosshairs of a Predator drone, but the order was withheld. Clinton even turned down an offer from Sudan to simply hand him over because then-Attorney General Janet Reno didn’t think she could build a winning criminal case against him.
The Bush Administration was made to look bad too. But, as the Democratic Party has invested its 2006 election hopes and dreams in the fantasy that George Bush bears singular responsibility for any threat of terrorism that exists in the world today, this reminder of Clinton’s carelessness undermines their efforts.
They were ticked – so ticked in fact that several prominent Democrats who stand to occupy positions of power were they to win control of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections, wrote a letter threatening ABC’s broadcast license should the company air the movie. The Democrats suggested that airing the movie would put ABC in violation of the Broadcast act of 1934 for failing to act in the public interest. It is obvious that Senators Reid, Durbin, Stabenow, Schumer, and Dorgan consider aiding Democratic campaigns to be in the public interest.
The letter may be read in its entirety on the Senate Democratic website at: They are not in the least ashamed of their tactics.
ABC, to its credit, mostly ignored the bullying and ran the movies with only minor editorial changes.
What was missing was a general media outrage. All the other broadcast networks and all the cable networks sat idly by as a prominent political party threatened to use the awesome power of the federal government to punish a network for exercising what was once a Constitutional right. They were content to feed one of their own to the alligator in exchange for the alligator reserving them for a later meal.
Sadly, there is precedent for this. In 1992 an independent group opposing Bill Clinton’s campaign produced and tried to air an advertisement critical of Clinton’s draft dodging. Ron Brown, Clinton’s campaign chairman and the future Commerce Secretary, reminded stations that Clinton was likely to win the election and his administration would look unfavorably upon license renewals of television stations that ran the ad. None did.
One would not have to look hard to see the slippery slope that the “Path to 9/11” episode revealed and surely the other networks saw the peril. But they did not come to ABC’s defense. All seemingly entertained the hope that the jackbooted thugs would be satisfied with ABC and, if they just behaved themselves, would not soon come for them.
I used to think that the mainstream press favored appeasement over principle. Now I know that appeasement is principle with these people.

How to Make Your Own French Flag

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

How Convenient For Syria

The only surviving gunman in the "failed" attack on the US embassy in Syria died in custody before he could be questioned.

There are those who would have predicted this.

Humanity's Average IQ Falls

Britney Spears just calved again.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Clinton Would Have Spent Two Hours Talking About his Feelings

President Bush remembered the victims of 9/11 by respectfully keeping his silence.

Bush salutes ground zero with silenceBy Joseph Curl
September 11, 2006
NEW YORK -- President Bush and first lady Laura Bush yesterday descended somberly into the rubble-strewn chasm of ground zero to set afloat two wreaths of red, white and blue flowers in reflecting pools at the site where Islamic terrorists killed 2,749 persons five years ago today.
The president and his wife, holding hands, walked down a long ramp into the hole where the World Trade Center towers once stood.
On a gray afternoon threatening rain, they stepped through a phalanx of soldiers holding U.S. flags, accompanied by former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Gov. George E. Pataki and current Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
The Bushes stood silently for more than a minute, watching as the wreaths floated into the center of the water-filled wooden boxes, where families of those killed on September 11 will lay roses today.
After two weeks of speeches connecting the war in Iraq with the global war on terrorism and urging Americans to stay the course, Mr. Bush let the wordless image speak for itself.
He and Mrs. Bush walked away with heads bowed as bagpipes played "America the Beautiful."
Earlier in the day, Vice President Dick Cheney said the nation has "made significant progress" in its fight against the Islamic extremists who perpetrated the attacks.
"We've done enormous damage to al Qaeda, to the leadership of al Qaeda," Mr. Cheney said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Democrats kept up their political battle against the Bush administration's response to terrorism, particularly the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
"Cheney represents what's wrong with this administration policy," Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said on CBS' "Face the Nation," arguing that the administration has not shown "enough smarts" in its policies. "And that's why the things in Iraq are getting worse."
Mr. Bush will address Americans tonight at 9 in a speech from the Oval Office.
The polarization of the nation was evident near ground zero, where hundreds of protesters chanted "Out of Iraq now" and held signs that said "Bush lied."
The immediate aftermath five years ago brought Americans together and sent Mr. Bush's popularity soaring, especially after he grabbed a bullhorn at ground zero on Sept. 14, 2001, and promised that "the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."
But support for the president plummeted after U.S. casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq increased. Now, both parties are engaged in a war of words in the lead-up to the November elections, which some analysts say could cost the Republicans control of one or both congressional chambers.
In three speeches and a White House statement on his administration's policy on detention of suspected terrorists, the president laid out the case for war in Iraq, justified his counterterrorism efforts, including a terrorist-surveillance program, and warned Americans that the United States is safer but still not safe from attack.
In one speech, he mentioned al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden 17 times; in another, he divulged details of plots that have been foiled -- the first time many of those details had been released.
"This time, we're not waiting for our enemies to gather in strength. This time, we're confronting them before they gain the capacity to inflict unspeakable damage on the world. And we're confronting their hateful ideology before it fully takes root," Mr. Bush said last week, defending his doctrine of pre-emption laid out in the months after the attacks.
A new poll released yesterday found his effort may be having some effect.
Just over half of those surveyed by ABC News think the country is safer from attack than on September 11, and that the fight against terrorism is going well. While other polls show American support for the Iraq war waning, the administration has gone on the offensive to paint Iraq as crucial to the war on terrorism.
Democrats have charged that the president is politicizing the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, but Mr. Bush plans only silent observances today.
He plans no comments during appearances this morning when he meets with New York City firefighters and police, or at noon in the Pennsylvania field where one plane crashed after passengers battled terrorists, or at the Pentagon crash site this afternoon. Then he will speak to the nation tonight.
Mr. Bush has led an orchestrated campaign to remind Americans of the attacks. He has framed the November elections as a choice between Republicans, who say they are best able to secure America and have done so for five years, and Democrats, some of whom have opposed the president's efforts at every turn.
Democrats oppose Mr. Bush's contention that Iraq is crucial to the war on terror.
"There is simply no way to overstate how Iraq has subverted our efforts to free the world from global terror," said Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, who Mr. Bush defeated in the 2004 election. "The demagogic drumbeat about fighting terrorists over there instead of here -- even though they weren't in Iraq until we went in, and it's now a civil war we're fighting -- has compromised America's real interests and made us less safe than we ought to be five years after 9/11."
Today's three stops will mark the first time the president has visited each site since 2002. During the past two years, the anniversary fell on a weekend day, and the Bushes did not travel to all three sites.

NY Times Laments the Lack of a Military Draft

In an incredibly self-indulgent editorial, the New York Times whines that we would be a better (read more liberal) country if we had the draft. The Times also whines that it was left out of the war on terror.
I disagree. We'd be much better off if the Times did sit out the war. Instead, they've joined the other side.

September 11, 2006
The feelings of sadness and loss with which we look back on Sept. 11, 2001, have shifted focus over the last five years. The attacks themselves have begun to acquire the aura of inevitability that comes with being part of history. We can argue about what one president or another might have done to head them off, but we cannot really imagine a world in which they never happened, any more than we can imagine what we would be like today if the Japanese had never attacked Pearl Harbor.

What we do revisit, over and over again, is the period that followed, when sorrow was merged with a sense of community and purpose. How, having lost so much on the day itself, did we also manage to lose that as well?

The time when we felt drawn together, changed by the shock of what had occurred, lasted long beyond the funerals, ceremonies and promises never to forget. It was a time when the nation was waiting to find out what it was supposed to do, to be called to the task that would give special lasting meaning to the tragedy that it had endured.

But the call never came. Without ever having asked to be exempt from the demands of this new post-9/11 war, we were cut out. Everything would be paid for with the blood of other people’s children, and with money earned by the next generation. Our role appeared to be confined to waiting in longer lines at the airport. President Bush, searching the other day for an example of post-9/11 sacrifice, pointed out that everybody pays taxes.

That pinched view of our responsibility as citizens got us tax cuts we didn’t need and an invasion that never would have occurred if every voter’s sons and daughters were eligible for the draft. With no call to work together on some effort greater than ourselves, we were free to relapse into a self- centeredness that became a second national tragedy. We have spent the last few years fighting each other with more avidity than we fight the enemy.

When we measure the possibilities created by 9/11 against what we have actually accomplished, it is clear that we have found one way after another to compound the tragedy. Homeland security is half-finished, the development at ground zero barely begun. The war against terror we meant to fight in Afghanistan is at best stuck in neutral, with the Taliban resurgent and the best economic news involving a bumper crop of opium. Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11 when it was invaded, is now a breeding ground for a new generation of terrorists.

Listing the sins of the Bush administration may help to clarify how we got here, but it will not get us out. The country still hungers for something better, for evidence that our leaders also believe in ideas larger than their own political advancement.

Today, every elected official in the country will stop and remember 9/11. The president will remind the country that he has spent most of his administration fighting terrorism, and his opponents will point out that Osama bin Laden is still at large. It would be miraculous if the best of our leaders did something larger — expressed grief and responsibility for the bad path down which we’ve gone, and promised to work together to turn us in a better direction.

Over the last week, the White House has been vigorously warning the country what awful things would happen in Iraq if American troops left, while his critics have pointed out how impossible the current situation is. They are almost certainly both right. But unless people on both sides are willing to come up with a plan that acknowledges both truths and accepts the risk of making real-world proposals, we will be stuck in the same place forever.

If that kind of coming together happened today, we could look back on Sept. 11, 2006, as more than a day for recalling bad memories and lost chances.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Gratuitous Offensive Mohammed Cartoon of the Day

Friday, September 08, 2006

ABC Knuckles Under

The New York Times likes it. Do you need to know anything else?

In a news story, The New York Times revealed it had learned that ABC had dropped from the movie the most contested image, in which Clinton national security adviser Sandy Berger hangs up his telephone when the CIA is trying to get him to approve an attack to get bin Laden. Two other key scenes were also under review.

Update: It's even worse than that.

Sources close to the project say the network, which has been in a media maelstrom over the pic, is mulling the idea of yanking the mini altogether.

Life Iran Wasn't Exactly a Bed of Roses Under Khatami

Former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami says that human rights have not deteriorated under his successor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. That's probably true. How much worse could things get?

Former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami yesterday defended his country's nuclear program and rejected suggestions that freedom and human rights in Iran had deteriorated under his hard-line successor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

He also says that Iran should be free to pursue nukes. Of course, he has to say that, if he wishes to keep his head on his shoulders.

Treat War With The Gravity of Football

I wonder why we can’t take war as seriously as football? A couple of months ago, I tuned into the Fox shout show, Hannity and Colmes. Alan Colmes, the program’s designated liberal, asked a thought-provoking question. I don’t have the precise quotation, but the essence was: When is it permissible to question a war? Colmes, of course believed that second-guessing the commander in chief was fair game anytime. And I suppose from a First Amendment standpoint, he was right.
But legally correct and ethically correct are not the same thing. The mainstream media has taken to calling the Iraq war, “Bush’s war.” But the fact is that we are all at war. Liberal Democrats can no more sit out this war and pout anymore than Republicans could have declined to pay Bill Clinton’s higher taxes. War and taxes are examples of national obligations, not individual choices. When the Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, voted overwhelmingly to authorize war it committed the entire nation, not just those who feel like it this morning. And, it is now the obligation of every one of us to finish it to the best of our ability. We need to demand of ourselves at least as great a commitment as we expect from our athletes.
For example, a football player who publicly dissents from his team’s strategy and play calling can expect ostracism and banishment. The sports press will denounce him and the fans will boo him. His teammates will shun him. Even those who disagree with the coach understand that nothing can be accomplished without team chemistry. If winning football games is that important, does not the struggle four our very existence deserve at least the same steadfastness? Why do we condemn wide receivers who might cost us the division championship and indulge politicians who are facilitating an enemy that wishes our extermination?
It is not difficult to imagine how the disloyal opposition in this country encourages our enemies. Right now, those who dream day and night of that glorious future in which all the infidels are rotting corpses take heart from the prospect that they could win the war in less than two months at the American ballot box. The leadership of the Democratic Party has openly declared its intention to retreat from Iraq and surrender that country, its 23 million people and vast oil wealth to the terrorists. Their argument that the Iraq war represents a distraction in the war on terror, which in their rhetoric means getting Bin Laden, is childishly simplistic. Osama Bin Laden is the creation of a culture that must be changed. Those who early on argued that if Bin Laden were killed, a successor would surely replace him were correct. And Bin Laden was correct when he said that democracy and fundamentalist Islam were incompatible. It’s hardly surprising that Al Qaida has made Iraq its primary battlefield.
Our enemies will not allow us the luxury of a choosing whether or not we will fight this war of civilizations. If we slink away from Iraq, then they will bring the fight to our side of the Atlantic. Monday will mark the 5-year anniversary of the deadliest foreign attack ever on US soil. Only a month ago, the same enemy tried to hijack and destroy as many as 10 commercial airliners over the Atlantic Ocean. The war will come to us. And our enemy has made it clear that only his resources will limit the death toll he inflicts upon us. When radical Islamo-fascists get their hands on a nuclear bomb, they will detonate it in our midst. The path of appeasement currently peddled by leftwing opportunists will buy us only the shortest respite as the enemy regroups and rearms.
The appeasers have already weakened us to the point that Iran feels free to flagrantly pursue nuclear weapons. The failure of diplomacy in that part of the world reveals the impotency of the United Nations and inadequacy of the John Kerry approach of boring enemies into submission with a blizzard of verbosity. History has also proven the foolishness of the French approach of feeding friends to the alligator.
Hopefully, the five-year anniversary of the September 11th attacks will remind Americans of what the future holds for us if we let the enemy dictate terms and chose the battlefield. The war is not a choice.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Snakes in a Lowe's


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Taking a Cue From American Universities

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to expunge free thought from Iran's universities.

Kinda like Harvard or Dartmouth or (insert almost any US university here)

The Party of Unhappiness

It must be hell being a Democrat. Everyday, you get up in the morning hoping that somebody is more unhappy today than they were yesterday. And if you are not, then they will think up some way to convince you that you are you unhappy, so that they may exploit that unhappiness.

This year could mark the emergence of what might be called mortgage moms -- voters whose sense of well-being is freighted with anxiety about their families' financial squeeze. Democrats are betting that this factor is strong enough to trump security or cultural values issues.

Good grief. No wonder Democrats are always such sourpusses.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Bad Manners

Kofi the Clown finally discovers something unpleasant in the Muslim world.

U.N. Secretary of State Kofi Annan, visiting Iran Saturday, raised concerns with officials over an exhibition of cartoons about the Holocaust that opened in response to Muslim outrage over the Prophet Muhammad caricatures.

Annan brought up the exhibit in talks with Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, said Annan's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi.

Annan told Mottaki "we should avoid anything that incites hatred" according to Fawzi. The U.N. chief said he had not seen the Holocaust cartoons. "From what he heard, he would find them pretty distasteful, as he did the Danish cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad, which he strongly condemned at the time," Fawzi said.

"While (Annan) respects freedom of expression, he believes it should be used responsibly with due respect for people's feelings," he added.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Bad News for Algore

Hurricane experts are now predicting a below average hurricane season.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

Kofi Annan tries his hand at stand up comedy. According to Kofi the Clown, Syria will help enforce the arms embargo against Hezbollah.

Syria promised to "undertake as soon as possible" measures to increase its number of border guards and give them additional training and equipment, Annan said. Syria will also establish liaisons with the Lebanese armed forces, border police and international personnel "in order to set up an effective interdiction regime," the secretary-general added.

Asked whether such measures would succeed in blocking arms shipments to Hezbollah, Annan replied: "I think it can happen. It may not be 100 percent, but it will make quite a lot of difference if the government puts in place the measures the government has discussed with me. I have no reason to believe it will not be done."

What a card that guy is.

Two Anniversaries

I could not help but notice how much less sensitive the media have become during this last month. For nearly 5 years now, the television networks have exhibited very little inclination to revisit their video of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. One of the explanations given was that the media were sensitive to the feelings of the survivors. It was still too soon. Memories were too fresh. Nerves were too raw.
On the other hand, the media have exhibited considerably less consideration for Hurricane Katrina survivors. I don’t even watch all that much television and my eyeballs have been bombarded with previews for Katrina anniversary specials. For weeks now, I could scarcely turn on the television or pick up a newspaper without some mention of the upcoming (and now passed) anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina on the Louisiana coast and the subsequent destruction of New Orleans. Even sports programming channels were getting in the act.
Those same news networks that were too considerate to abuse Americans’ tender sensibilities with images of the Twin Towers falling on September 11, 2001 have no difficulty going wall to wall showing the devastation and suffering that began on August 29, 2005 with the landfall of Hurricane Katrina. In choosing the news and images they emphasize, the media exhibit at best a selective sensitivity.
On the other hand, we may be seeing situational sensitivity.
A more skeptical mind, mine for instance, suspects that we are seeing something other than a randomly uneven sensitivity. After all, I have seen reporters shoving microphones into the faces of the grieving to capture that riveting image of tragedy that might win a Pulitzer. I have seen the media camp out on the lawns of families who are dealing with inconceivable pain for the sake of ratings. If I were looking for paragons of sensitivity, I would not start my search within our aggressive, ambitious, venal and ratings hungry press corps.
I would consider the mainstream media’s thoroughly consistent ideology a more likely explanation for this variability than its inconsistent humanity. Any reminder of the evil that confronts us in the form of Islamic fascism would tend to serve the political interests of the political party that most of the media oppose. Hurricane Katrina permitted these same media to concoct tales of bureaucratic incompetence and racism that helped feed the media’s caricature of the Republican Party.
My personal favorite was an “investigation” by ABC News that condemned the Bush Administration for failing to have the relief supplies in place 48 hours before the storm hit. Let’s imagine that such materials could be acquired and moved to New Orleans within three days. Even that very optimistic scenario would have required the Bush Administration to predict the landfall of a category 4 Hurricane Katrina a full day before it struck South Florida as a minimal category 1 hurricane.
As regards racism as the explanation of FEMA’s supposedly slow response, one look at the collapsed bridges and all of the trees blown down across the roads should have clued the media that explanations other than racism might explain why relief supplies did not arrive within a day or two of Katrina’s landfall. But the observational skills of the investigative reporters who flew over the area in helicopters seemed to have failed them when they flew over these obstacles.
Not only are these old stories experiencing a resurrection, but fresh life is being breathed into the most absurd conspiracy theory. Spike Lee has reportedly lent his prestige to a Nation of Islam fantasy about the government blowing up levees to kill black people. I have no doubt that, based upon history, Spike Lee’s credibility and stature with the mainstream liberalism will not suffer for this madness. He might even earn a seat next to Jimmy Carter in the VIP booth at the next Democratic National Convention, the honor that was accorded the equally nutty filmmaker Michael Moore in 2004.
I never did buy the story that the media’s concern for traumatized victims explained their reluctance to revisit 9/11. Now I know that it’s balderdash, unless the media are prepared to argue that black people’s feelings are less worthy of consideration than those of people of pallor.