"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." - Plato
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Democratic Congress - No More Pork
As promised, the Democrat-led Congress has gotten rid of pork barrel spending, with a lot of help from their stooges in the MSM.
“Conservatives Oppose Pet Projects” read the headline over the March 27 story by Andrew Taylor. The word “pork” was never used.
“Senate GOP Will Not Block Iraq Bill” by Ann Flaherty of AP on March 26 also called the waste “pet projects.” She too did not use “pork” once.
Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times also deployed the “pet projects” euphemism in his March 27 story, “Republicans to Rely on President Bush’s Veto to Block Troop Withdrawal Plan.” He did use “pork” once, but only in a direct quote from one of those bitter Republican senators.
So there you have it. When Democrats lard up an emergency bill, Washington reporters say it is for “pet projects.”
Friday, March 30, 2007
How To Make Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys Look Good
I’ve gained a new respect for the French. Compared with our own Democratic Party, the French surrender with panache and dignity. This last week the Democratic Congressional leadership, for only about $20 billion worth of earmarked spending, managed to purchase enough votes to schedule a surrender timed to maximize their advantage in next year’s general election. The French at least raise their white flags as a matter of national character and principle. Democrats rent their white flags in exchange for a generous serving of the other white meat.
There is ample evidence that the “surge” strategy is bearing fruit. Violence rates have declined, as have our own casualty rates. Muqtada al-Sadr, the so-called “spiritual leader” of one of Iraq’s most troublesome militias, has fled the country and his ragtag army is either disintegrating or cooperating. In Anbar province, the local sheiks have turned against Al Quaida and are openly allied with the United States. Nevertheless, the Democratic Party has chosen the path of defeat regardless of the facts on the ground and have announced to all the world, and most importantly, to our enemies, that the United States will abandon the fight for its own survival and will stab its allies, western and Arab alike, in the back next spring.
So dramatic were the results of the surge that the New York Times turned itself inside out trying to spin reduced US casualties into bad news. They analyzed casualty data and found that although casualty rates were down overall, the proportion of casualties suffered in Baghdad had actually gone up – meaning, what? I really don’t know, but the Times story was quite ominous and foreboding in tone. Maybe they’re afraid that we might win.
My advice to the New York Times is to follow the example of the rest of the Mainstream Media. When the news if Iraq is good, headline Anna Nicole Smith stories.
Other than humiliating defeat, what is Democrat foreign policy about? Democrats have “chanted no blood for oil” ever since, well, I’m not sure since when. But I do know that it started after the 1980 election. Because in the course of Saint Jimmy Carter’s penultimate State of the Union Address, he specifically and unambiguously warned that he was prepared to shed US blood for oil in the Middle East. But now they’ve taken the position of “no blood for freedom” and “no blood for national security.”
I’ve taken to wondering what principle is so fundamental that Democrats would be willing to send young people into harm’s way. And then, the answer came to me. Democrats will shed blood for the inalienable right to pizza delivery. In fact, this inalienable right was first manifested in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s hometown of San Francisco in 1996.
In 1996, a series of armed robberies of pizza delivery boys in the Hunter’s Point neighborhood of San Francisco culminated in the murder of one of Domino’s Pizza’s employees. The pizza chain decided that its employees lives were worth more than whatever paltry earnings it was gaining from delivering to that neighborhood and “redlined” the area, refusing to send delivery boys in there.
The Democrat-dominated Board of Supervisors passed a law requiring Domino’s Pizza to deliver to that neighborhood and thereby ordered young men and women to their deaths because no one should be denied his or her right to a pizza.
On at least two other occasions, Bill Clinton’s Justice Department sued pizza stores for redlining crime-ridden neighborhoods in consideration of their employee’s safety. There were similar occasions in which taxicab operators were forced by ordinance or court order to answer calls in neighborhoods where there was a very high probability of armed robbery or murder.
So we know for certain that Democrats are not wholly against sending young people into harm’s way. They’re only against sending volunteers who are willing to defend their nation to meet the enemy and kill him before he arrives on our shores. At least, they will vote that way if their palms are greased with $20 billion in pork barrel spending.
Principle is a commodity to Democrats. Former presidential candidate Tom Vilsack, the former governor of Iowa, sold his endorsement of Hillary Clinton in exchange for Clinton assuming his $400,000 campaign debt.
And to think that I once regarded the French as the earth’s worst cynics.
This is What the MSM Has Sunk Too
Rosie O'Donnell embraces the 9/11 conspiracy theories - on ABC.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Now This is Just Plain Disgusting
Nancy Pelosi is obstructing a House resolution supporting Great Britain in the Iranian hostage crisis.
Who Said It?
Try to guess who wrote the paragraph below. It was written published in the Washington Post on December 20, 2002 and predicted the future of post Saddam Iraq.
[E]xpectations are high that coalition forces will remain in large numbers to stabilize Iraq and support a civilian administration. That presence will be necessary for several years, given the vacuum there, which a divided Iraqi opposition will have trouble filling and which some new Iraqi military strongman must not fill. Various experts have testified that as many as 75,000 troops may be necessary, at a cost of up to $ 20 billion a year. That does not include the cost of the war itself, or the effort to rebuild Iraq.
Hint: They were against cut and run before they were for it. Both authors voted for surrender last week.
Guns Before Sewers
Earlier this week came the horrifying story of a Palestinian sewage lagoon that collapsed, drowning a town in its own excrement. At least 6 people died including 2 infants.
How this came to pass is getting less attention, even though the cause is much clearer than the levee collapses in New Orleans.
The residents of the inundated town had been undermining the lagoons walls by stealing the sand. And, the Israelis, who had been supplying materials to modernize the facility stopped because the Palestinian Authority had been stealing those materials and diverting them for manufacturing rockets and bombs.
Hillary's Coalition of the Bribed
Former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack announced his endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president. And of course, both he and Hillary insist that it's purely coincidental that she's paying off his $400,000 campaign debt.
Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack gave Sen. Hillary Clinton his endorsement for her presidential campaign.
The Clinton campaign has promised Vilsack to help pay off a $400,000 campaign debt he built up during his run for the White House.
A representative for Clinton's campaign said they are not sure how their campaign will do that. They concede that at some point, Clinton will have to contact her supporters.
The campaign said there is no connection between Vilsack's endorsement and their commitment to help pay off his campaign debt.
How stupid do these whores really think we are?
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Pork, The Other White Flag
Jim Lileks, one of my favorite writers, has a fine column today that lays bare the Democrats' disgusting strategy for surrender.
Congress wants the troops to have sufficient bullets to cover their retreat. What's really getting all the attention, besides the requirement that the U.S. quit the field by 2008, are the payouts given to various members of Congress who wanted their palms greased before they voted YES to supply the troops. Let's examine some of the delights contained in the bill's rich nougat center.
— $5 million to compensate tropical fish breeders for losses suffered when a virus took out their stock. You can't really argue with this, since the Supreme Court long ago struck down the supposed ``wall of separation'' between Tank and State. It's an obvious national priority, lest we find ourselves beholden to foreign fish cartels. There was even talk of creating a Strategic Clownfish Reserve, but experts agreed that Congress already performed that role admirably.
— $25 million to the spinach growers who lost money during the contamination brouhaha. If you were one of the unlucky people who ate the bad spinach, and missed work because you were up brouhahaing all night, you get no recompense.
— $13 million for Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention. An unexpected side effect of the Pterodactyl Reintroduction Act of 2005 meant that huge, leather-winged reptiles were carrying off portions of the nation's flock; this provision compensates herders. In a nod to fiscal responsibility, however, a rider that set up an Internet video monitoring system for sheep flocks called ``Ewe Tube'' was struck from the bill.
— $400 million for "wildland fire suppression.'' Just have the fires speak out against the war; if you believe Sean Penn and Rosie O'Donnell, administration officials will suppress the fires with just a few words of criticism.
— $74 million for peanut storage. Sources on the Hill note this is a victory for freshman Rep. Planters, D-Licious, a colorful character who wears a monocle and top hat.
— $525,000 for the National Park System to beef up its avian flu detection efforts. Which means that the national Ewe Crisis is 26 times more important than avian flu detection? No. Another provision spends almost a billion dollars for flu pandemic preparation. But you know how things are today — trying to spend that much money to combat a dread disease is a hard sell, and you have to hide the appropriation in a bigger bill and hope no one finds out.
— $5 billion for education. Possibly more; the bill is 87 pages long. But ammunition procurement for the Air Force is $95.8 million, which might mean arrival of the long-awaited day, predicted on many a thoughtful bumper sticker, when the Air Force has to hold a bake sale. That will prompt Bill Maher to assert that Girl Scouts are braver than pilots, because the Scouts deliver cookies in person and the Air Force drops the boxes from 30,000 feet. Still, it makes sense; while education is an obvious federal obligation, there is nothing in the Constitution about an Air Force, and if the Founders had intended to spend money on "sky militias'' they would have mentioned a "Balloon'd Musketry Corps'' in the Federalist Papers.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
A giant toad has been found in Australia.
Environmental group FrogWatch, which organises hunts to destroy the toads, said the creature measured 20.5cm (8 inches) and weighed 861g (1.9lb).
"He is huge. I would hate to meet his big sister," said FrogWatch co-ordinator Graeme Sawyer.
Evil Finds Fresh New Outlets
The story last week about how Iraqi terrorists had used children to get their bomb-laden car past a check point then blew the car up, with the children inside hasn't gotten nearly the attention it deserves. I think that the MSM fears that it might revive support for the war.
Nevertheless, the new media is paying attention.
Here is the latest example of this new form of evil as reported by the Associated Press: "Maj. Gen. Michael Barbero, deputy director for regional operations on the Joint Staff, said . . . the vehicle used in the attack [on Iraqi civilians] was waved through a U.S. military checkpoint because two children were visible in the back seat. He said this was the first reported use of children in a car bombing in Baghdad. 'Children in the back seat lowered suspicion, (so) we let it move through, they parked the vehicle, the adults run out and detonate it with the children in the back,' Barbero told reporters in Washington."
These same "insurgents" routinely blow up children who line up to receive candy from U.S. troops. Likewise, college students are targeted for death, as are men lining up to apply for civilian jobs, men and women attending mosques, physicians in hospitals, and so on. The more innocent the Iraqi, the more likely he or she is to be targeted for murder.
I submit that there was no way to anticipate this. And no one did. This includes all those who predicted a civil war in Iraq between Shiites and Sunnis. I include myself among those who predicted savagery in Iraq. On a number of occasions prior to our invasion of Iraq, I recounted to my radio listeners this chilling story:
As a young man, in 1974, I was riding on a bus traveling from Beirut to Damascus. The man I sat next to was an English-speaking Iraqi whom I asked at one point in our conversation, "Can you describe your nation in a sentence?" "No problem," he immediately answered. "We Iraqis are the most barbaric people in the world."
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Time To Surrender
The tide has turned dramatically against the insurgents in the Anbar province of Iraq.
RAMADI, Iraq - Not long ago it would have been unthinkable: a Sunni sheik allying himself publicly with American forces in a xenophobic city at the epicenter of
Iraq's Sunni insurgency.
Today, there is no mistaking whose side Sheik Abdul Sattar al-Rishawi is on. Outside his walled home, a U.S. tank is on permanent guard beside a clutch of towering date palms and a protective dirt berm.
The 36-year-old sheik is leading a growing movement of Sunni tribesmen who have turned against al-Qaida-linked insurgents in Anbar province. The dramatic shift in alliances may have done more in a few months to ease daily street battles and undercut the insurgency here than American forces have achieved in years with arms.
The American commander responsible for Ramadi, Col. John W. Charlton, said the newly friendly sheiks, combined with an aggressive counterinsurgency strategy and the presence of thousands of new Sunni police on the streets, have helped cut attacks in the city by half in recent months.
In November 2005, American commanders held a breakthrough meeting with top Sunni chiefs in Ramadi, hoping to lure them away from the insurgents' fold. The sheiks responded positively, promising cooperation and men for a police force that was then virtually nonexistent.
But in January 2006 a suicide bomber attacked a police recruiting drive, killing 70 people. Insurgents killed at least four sheiks for cooperating with the Americans, and many others fled.
The killings left the effort in limbo, until a turning point; insurgents killed a prominent sheik last year and refused to let family members bury the body for four days, enraging Sunni tribesmen, said U.S. Lt. Col. Miciotto Johnson, who heads the 1st Battalion, 77th Armored Regiment and visits al-Rishawi frequently in western Ramadi.
Al-Rishawi, whose father and three brothers were killed by al-Qaida assassins, said insurgents were "killing innocent people, anyone suspected of opposing them. They brought us nothing but destruction and we finally said, enough is enough."
Al-Rishawi founded the Anbar Salvation Council in September with dozens of Sunni tribes. Many of the new newly friendly leaders are believed to have at least tacitly supported the insurgency in the past, though al-Rishawi said he never did.
"I was always against these terrorists," al-Rishawi said in an interview inside his American-guarded compound, adjusting a pistol holstered around his waist. "They brainwashed people into thinking Americans were against them. They said foreigners wanted to occupy our land and destroy our mosques. They told us, 'We'll wage a jihad. We'll help you defeat them.'"
The difficult part was convincing others it wasn't true, and that "building an alliance with the Americans was the only solution," al-Rishawi said.
His movement, also known as the Anbar Awakening, now counts 41 tribes or sub-tribes from Anbar, though al-Rishawi acknowledges that some groups in the province have yet to join. It's unclear how many that is, or much support the movement really has.
And there is opposition. In November, a top Sunni leader who heads the Association of Muslim Scholars, Sheik Harith al-Dhari, described al-Rishawi's movement as "thieves and bandits." And for at least a year, U.S. forces have also witnessed sporadic firefights between Sunni militias and insurgents in Ramadi, reflecting the growing split among Sunnis. They used to describe such skirmishes as "red on red" fighting — battles between enemies. Now they call it "red on green."
But violence in some districts of Ramadi previously hit by daily street battles has dwindled to a degree so low that American soldiers can walk on the streets in some areas and hand out soccer balls without provoking a firefight — apparently a direct result of the sheik's influence.
U.S. Lt. Nathan Strickland, also of the 1-77th, said the sheiks were influenced by the realization that Shiite Iran's regional influence was rising, and "the presence of (Sunni) foreign fighters here was disrupting the traditional local tribal structure."
Al-Rishawi and other sheiks urged their tribesmen to join the police force, and 4,500 Sunnis heeded the call in Ramadi alone — a remarkable feat in a city that had almost no police a year ago.
Local Sunnis have deeply resented the overwhelmingly Shiite Iraqi army units the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad has deployed here. Sunni tribes have begun to realize that if anybody is going to secure the city, it might as well be the sons of Ramadi, Strickland said.
Also pouring through the streets in police trucks fixed with heavy machine-guns are 2,500 Sunni tribesmen who have joined newly created SWAT team-like paramilitary units. Paid by the Interior Ministry with the blessing of U.S. commanders, the so-called Emergency Response Units are clearly loyal to local sheiks. Some wear track suits and face-covering red-checkered headscarves — looking startlingly like insurgent fighters. Others wear crisp green camouflage uniforms bought by al-Rishawi.
The ERU members were screened and sent either on 45-day police training courses in Jordan or seven-day courses at a military base in Ramadi — part of an effort to capitalize on the Awakening movement and make use of them as quickly as possible.
"I'd say 20 percent of the credit for the change in Ramadi could be taken by U.S. forces," said Strickland. "The vast majority of the turnaround is due to the sheiks."
Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made his first trip to Anbar province this month, meeting al-Rishawi and saying he applauded Sunni tribes and clans that had "risen up and countered terrorism."
Still, al-Rishawi complained the Interior Ministry had given police and ERU units "one-tenth" of the resources they needed — from equipment to guns to food, despite promises to do more. Some of the fighters use automatic weapons they brought from home.
"If I had the tools, I could wipe al-Qaida from Anbar within five months," al-Rishawi said.
Strickland said the government was probably "hesitant to strengthen and supply something that might become a popular Sunni movement."
The message has taken longer to spread to eastern Ramadi, but it's getting through there, too, said Maj. Dave Christensen of the U.S. Army's 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment.
The base he works from used to be hit daily by mortar attacks, prompting outgoing barrages targeting launch sites that inadvertently damaged buildings, killed cattle, and alienated locals. The sheik responsible for the neighborhood where the attacks originated began cooperating with Americans a few months ago, prompting insurgents to attack and burn down his house.
"He fought back, then called and said, 'Hey, I've been helping you, now I could use your help,'" Christensen said.
U.S. forces moved into the now relatively quiet area, and Christensen's base has seen only a handful of mortar strikes since.
Yep. Nancy Pelosi is right. It's time to tuck our tails between our legs and run.
When Civilized Minds Try to Understand Barbarism
The BBC has a tortured analysis piece today trying to grasp Iranian intentions regarding the Iranian seizure of 15 British sailors and marines.
One commentator, Sayeed Laylaz, has drawn a parallel with President George W Bush's state of the nation address in January, which was followed immediately by a US attack on an Iranian office in Irbil in northern Iraq and the seizure of five Iranians who are still being held by the US.
Iran's leaders are hairy, uncivilized barbarians. Suits and ties don't change that. It's like trying to grasp the nuance and subtlety of a rabid dog's snarling.
What Can You Do To Stop Global Warming?
Lot's of good advice here. I've listed a few of my favorites.
Al Gore says cigarettes are a significant cause of global warming, so quit smoking and sell him the carbon credits.
Lower the thermostat in your Gulfstream jet, and make the help wear sweaters.
We need our corn for ethanol. Switch from Fritos to pork rinds.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Is There Hope For Congressional Republicans?
Maybe a spinal transplant?
Anti-English Barking Moonbats Take Flight
Very few issues expose the perversity of this country’s cultural left wing more vividly than the debate over English as the official language of the land. The surest way to evoke their hyperventilating, name-calling and threats is to advocate English as the official language.
It worked again last week when Washington State University’s College Republicans stood on the mall and advocated a law that would make English fluency a prerequisite for citizenship. Sure enough, the barking moonbats rose to the chum, accusing the Republicans of all the usual clichés that they keep in their unimaginative intellectual quiver.
It is frankly indefensible that anyone would wish to condemn a fellow human being to poverty by linguistically isolating him from the economic mainstream. Alarm bells were sounded earlier this week when it was reported that 36% of Washington, D.C. adults were functionally illiterate. Functional illiteracy is characterized by an inability to fill out a job application or understand a bus schedule – sort of like Paris Hilton.
A long time has passed since Washington D.C. was a hotbed of letters. But recently the problem has dramatically worsened. Most of the sudden surge in illiteracy is attributed, not to the new Congressional majority, but to the high percentage of non-English speaking immigrants who make up a large percentage of the residents. The district’s coffers reportedly lost $106 million dollars in taxes last year because so many jobs were left unfilled due to a shortage of qualified job applicants.
That loss only counts reduced city government income, which would represent only a fraction of the money that businesses lost. Certainly the revenues lost to businesses that cannot grow because there are not enough English speakers to fill their payrolls must hurt and would be expected to ripple all throughout the economy.
And then there is all the welfare and other support that must be provided to those who cannot support themselves because they cannot participate in the economy. The losses suffered to Washington D.C. certainly must be several times that $106 million dollar value.
The last thing that this country needs is a permanent underclass. Part of this country’s vibrancy is contributed by the vertical social mobility that our economy should encourage. Everybody should be able to dream of a better life. Nearly all of America’s millionaires are first generation. And yet the ideology that credits itself as the reservoir of compassion advocates policies that encourage the perpetuation of a permanent underclass.
Anyone who doubts that language skills dictate your future should take a trip to Chicago sometime. The city’s downtown hotels are staffed largely by immigrants. And what one will notice quickly is that the immigrants who speak English hold the management positions. The maids and other low paying positions are held by those with only poor English skills. And in Chicago, there is not a single language of the underclass. While Spanish speakers make up a large proportion of the underclass, there are a number of immigrants from eastern European countries whose poor English skills limit their opportunities. The underclass is identifiable not by the language it does speak, but by the language it doesn’t speak. The management class is distinguished by the language that it does speak. Skin color does not predict success with nearly the same reliability.
It’s a curious irony that when one ventures near the Mexican border town of Los Algodones, a large percentage of the signage on the California side of the border is in Spanish. And many of the people you’ll meet speak only Spanish. But cross the border and the signage is in English and every business in Los Algodones is staffed by people quite fluent in English. And the Mexican side of the border certainly appears more prosperous than the US side.
I have nothing against Spanish or any other language. I have invested a great deal of money and effort improving my Spanish language skills. But I would not trade my fluency in English for any other language.
Not long ago, there was a debate over bilingual education. Bilingual education supposedly permitted non-English speaking schoolchildren to learn math and science in their native language. It was abolished and the result was that the target clientele learned English and math better.
And you can bet that the English will spare them from a career of making beds at Motel 6.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Cocaine, Prescription for Dignity
My Bolivian friends love their country and will usually defend it passionately, although they have no interest in moving back.
But I think that even they believe that their country's dignity depends upon Coca Cola removing the word "coca" from its brand name.
Bolivia's ruling party demanded that Coca-Cola drop the "coca" from its name to "dignify" the "bioenergetic" leaf that provides the main ingredient in cocaine.
"If we are not permitted to commercialize coca, then why should Coca-Cola be allowed to do it?" said Margarita Teran, president of the Coca Committee, which is part of a nationwide convention to write a new constitution. She said her committee has sent letters telling the soft-drink manufacturer to change its name.
Coca-Cola declined, suggesting that Coke, not Bolivia, is the real thing.
"We need to say that Coca-Cola as a company is worth dozens of times more than all of Bolivia," the company said in a statement read on a Santa Cruz television station.
I think that if Bolivia wishes to gain national dignity, it might want to consider voting these comedians out of office, who want to add cocaine leaves to the impoverished nation's flag.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Kill This Cute Little Bear!
Animal rights activists are demanding that this incredibly cute little polar bear be killed in the cause of "animal rights."
Some animal rights campaigners think this will humanize the bear too much and want the zoo to stop saving young animals.
"Hand-rearing a polar bear is not appropriate and is a serious violation of animal rights," Bild newspaper quoted animal rights campaigner Frank Albrecht as saying.
"In fact, the cub should have been killed," he added.
It's hardly surprising that liberal have no conscience when it comes to unborn humans too.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Does Anyone Doubt That These People Would Kill Our Children?
The FBI says that Muslim extremists are seeking jobs as school bus drivers. But, we shouldn't worry about it.
After all, we have no reason to believe that Muslim extremists would want to harm children - do we?
Insurgents in Iraq detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle with two children in the back seat after US soldiers let it through a Baghdad checkpoint over the weekend, a senior US military official said Tuesday.
The vehicle was stopped at the checkpoint but was allowed through when soldiers saw the children in the back, said Major General Michael Barbero of the Pentagon's Joint Staff.
"Children in the back seat lowered suspicion. We let it move through. They parked the vehicle, and the adults ran out and detonated it with the children in the back," Barbero said.
The general said it was the first time he had seen a report of insurgents using children in suicide bombings. But he said Al-Qaeda in Iraq is changing tactics in response to the tighter controls around the city.
A US defense official said the incident occurred on Sunday in Baghdad's Adhamiyah district, a mixed neighborhood adjacent to Sadr City, which is predominantly Shiite.
After going through the checkpoint, the vehicle parked next to a market across the street from a school, said the official, who asked not to be identified.
"And the two adults were seen to get out of the vehicle, and run from the vehicle, and then followed by the detonation of the vehicle," the official said.
"It killed the two children inside as well as three other civilians in the vicinity. So, a total of five killed, seven injured," the official said.
Officials here said they did not know who the children were or their relationship to the two adults who fled the scene. They had no information about their ages or genders.
"The brutality and the ruthlessness of this enemy hasn't changed," said Barbero, deputy director of regional operations of the Joint Staff. "They are just interested in slaughtering Iraqi civilians, to be very honest."
Attacks on Iraqi civilians are down by a third and sectarian murders have fallen by 50 percent since mid-February when US and Iraqi forces began moving into Baghdad as part of a new security crackdown, the general said.
On the other hand, there has been no let-up in attacks on US forces by Al-Qaeda in Iraq and other Sunni extremist groups, he said.
The incidence of car bombings and suicide attacks, which are typically carried out by Sunni extremist groups against Shiites, also have gone up even though their effectiveness is down, he said.
"As our checkpoints, and control points have been more effective, as they try to execute these high profile attacks with these vehicle-borne IEDs (improvised explosive devices) in Baghdad, we're stopping a lot of them at these checkpoints and they are not getting to their intended targets," he said.
But he said they will change their tactics.
Barbero pointed to the recent use of chlorine bombs as another example of the shifting tactics.
Three trucks with chlorine were blown up by suicide bombers over the weekend in Al-Anbar province, killing two policemen and releasing toxic fumes that sickened an estimated 350 people.
Barbero said Al-Qaeda in Iraq appeared to be resorting to use of chlorine bombs to intimidate tribal leaders that have turned against them in Al-Anbar.
"We assess those as relatively ineffective. However, that is an emerging tactic that we are seeing."
"We think it will continue to be exercised in Iraq. Chlorine is readily accessible and we've had a number of these," he said.
He said US commanders remain concerned about the Shiite militias led by radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, even though US forces are now operating freely in Sadr City and his Mahdi army militia is quiet.
Sadr is still in Iran but in communication with leaders of his movement in Iraq, he said.
"Where we are with the leaders of his movement is at a pretty delicate point, and I probably don't want to talk any more about his followers, and where we are in our relationship with them," he said.
At Last, A Use For Democrats
Electricity from chicken shit.
Well, turkey shit anyway. But chicken shit should work just as well.
Biomass -- in this case in the form of hundreds of thousands of pounds of turkey litter with woodchips and sawdust blended in -- soon will be fueling a 55 megawatt [MW] power plant producing enough electricity to supply 50,000 homes in the Minnesota community of Benson.
The Surge Is Working
Apparently, the New York Times is not circulating in Baghdad. As such, Iraqis are giving our military unprecedented cooperation.
What tactics are working? "We got down at the people level and are staying," he said flatly. "Once the people know we are going to be around, then all kinds of things start to happen."
More intelligence, for example. Where once tactical units were "scraping" for intelligence information, they now have "information overload," the general said. "After our guys are in the neighborhood for four or five days, the people realize they're not going to just leave them like we did in the past. Then they begin to come in with so much information on the enemy that we can't process it fast enough."
It's Evil, So It Must Be Republican Doing
Who made that Hillary Clinton 1984 ad? ABC suspects Republicans.
Today's "Good Morning America" ran a segment on the ad. And guess who turned out to be the villian? At the segment's end, ABC's Claire Shipman acknowledged that "there still are no real clues about the author." But that didn't stop Shipman from spinning the story to attack Republicans:
"Robin, the ultimate conspiracy theory, some Democrats think a Republican operative could be responsible because it not only makes Hillary Clinton look bad but Barack Obama look bad, since it's an attack ad."
ROBIN ROBERTS: "Something to think about."
It's clever, so I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it was Republicans.
Labels: ABC conspiracy theories
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Al Gore's a Hypocrite: Part Gazillion
Once again, Al Gore fails to live his life as he tells us we should.
Al Gore has profited from zinc mining that has released millions of pounds of potentially toxic substances near his farmstead, but there is no evidence the mine has caused serious damage to the environment in the area or threatened the health of his neighbors.
Two massive white mountains of leftover rock waste are evidence of three decades of mining that earned Gore more than $500,000 in royalty payments for the mineral rights to his property.
New owners plan to start mining again later this year, after nearly four years of inactivity. In addition to bringing 250 much-needed jobs to rural Middle Tennessee, mine owners will resume paying royalties to some residents who, like Gore, own land adjacent to the mine and lease access to the zinc under their property.
I do not release any heavy metals into the environment, and so I would like to offer Al Gore my toxic waste offsets so that he can clear his conscience on this one.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
What? Me Worry?
The FBI is warning that muslim extremists are signing up to drive school buses. But, there's nothing to worry about.
Asked about the alert notice, the FBI's Rich Kolko said, "There are no threats, no plots and no history leading us to believe there is any reason for concern," although law enforcement agencies around the country were asked to watch out for kids' safety.
And so we're being warned about, what?
Friday, March 16, 2007
Washington Purges a Wrong Thinker
In a rational world, meaning somewhere beyond the Washington state line, honesty and accuracy count for something. In the Ever Green state though, political correctness trumps statistical correctness, and as a consequence, Mark Albright, Washington’s assistant state meteorologist, has been shown the door. He was right. The mayor was wrong. Albright has to go. At least he doesn’t have to report to a re-education camp – not yet anyway.
In the gospel according to Al Gore, it’s okay to lie in the cause of global warming. “I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it (global warming) is,” Gore told a friendly interviewer last year.
Considering the adulation that Gore’s over-representation has gained him, there can be little doubt that when Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels wrote a guest column for the Seattle Times, he felt perfectly comfortable claiming that the northwest was already suffering from global warming. He was seizing the eco-moral high ground. And according to the Goracle, his moral superiority grants him license to lie. It’s sort of like earning dishonesty offset credits.
Nickels claimed that the average annual snow pack in the northern Cascade Mountains was down by 50% since 1950. This is the number that had been tossed around for some time now by global warming activists and has gained the status of truth that is often accorded to the Big Lie. The problem is that the number is wrong, very wrong. The only debate is how wrong.
Nickels was troubled that the leftist dominated Washington State Supreme Court had found that Seattle City Light’s program of making itself carbon neutral by purchasing carbon credits was illegal. He derided their decision as “short-sighted.”
Pointless, illegal showboating strikes me as short-sighted. And spending money on carbon offset credits will not add to the snow pack.
Nearly all of the electricity that Seattle City Light provides its customers already comes from environmentally friendly hydropower or nuclear power. Nevertheless, Seattle’s greenies felt the need to make the meaningless gesture of purchasing carbon credits to offset the emissions of its service vans, etc. The court found that this was an illegal expenditure by a publicly owned utility and Nickels was troubled enough to repeat a fib. Excuse me, I mean he over-represented the facts.
Politicians lie. We all know that. What makes this interesting is that a University of Washington meteorologist was fired from his job as Associate State Meteorologist for saying that the numbers weren’t true and for backing it up with data. Referencing actual numbers, part-time UW Mark Albright cited actual data and showed that the northern Cascades snow pack is not declining at all.
His bosses tried to salvage Nickels’ reputation by arguing that, although the snow wasn’t down by 50%, it was declining. Albright’s boss, State Climatologist Phillip Mote argued that the snow pack was down, by a very significant 35%. But to come up with that number, or the more modest 10-15% decline favored by other meteorologists, one has to have stopped collecting data about 10 years ago. Since the mid-1990’s, snow pack has been above average and for the last 30 years, the average snow pack has been, well, quite average. There has been no decline.
But in a world where those who express skepticism of the Al Gore scenario are condemned as the moral equivalent of holocaust deniers, firing someone who lets facts get in the way of the agenda is perfectly justifiable. My favorite term for this is “eco-McCarthyism.”
What happened to Mark Albright really does encapsulate an institutional bias within the meteorological community. While meteorologists claim to have been offered bribes or even threatened to get them to publicly oppose the anthropogenic global warming (APW) theory, the fact is that the threats and bribes are stacked against global warming skeptics. Anybody who doubts APW theory in the course of a job interview has no chance of getting a faculty position at a university. Anyone who challenges APW before getting tenure will get the boot. Tenured professors will not get promoted for the same offense. And nobody will ever get a government grant to investigate alternative explanations for global warming.
And, as was demonstrated in the Mark Albright case, one does not have to challenge global warming to be purged. You only have to challenge a data point.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Some Really, Really, Really Bad News For Democrats
It seems that the surge is working.
The Associated Press is reporting that violence in and around Baghdad is way, way down since the beginning of the surge.
Bomb deaths have gone down 30 percent in Baghdad since the U.S.-led security crackdown began a month ago. Execution-style slayings are down by nearly half. The once frequent sound of weapons has been reduced to episodic, and downtown shoppers have returned to outdoor markets — favored targets of car bombers.
There are signs of progress in the campaign to restore order in Iraq, starting with its capital city.
But while many Iraqis are encouraged, they remain skeptical how long the relative calm will last. Each bombing renews fears that the horror is returning. Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents are still around, perhaps just laying low or hiding outside the city until the operation is over.
The Crawford Treatment? Come On!
Here's a laugh. The New York Times is pitying poor Nancy Pelosi because she's now getting the "Crawford Treatment."
Using a tactic usually trained on the home turf of President Bush, a group of protesters from Code Pink, a women’s antiwar group, have camped in front of the home of Speaker Nancy Pelosi here, bringing their message — and mattresses — to the doorstep of the nation’s highest-ranking Democrat.
The protest, which began Sunday afternoon with dozens of demonstrators, is just Code Pink’s latest effort to engage Ms. Pelosi, who the group feels has not gone far enough or fast enough to get the troops home from Iraq.
“The point is to keep showing our dissatisfaction,” said Toby Blome, 51, a protest organizer who sported a frilly pink apron and pink skirt. “It’s hard to do on our own, but I know I speak for millions of people.”
By Monday afternoon, however, Ms. Blome was speaking for exactly three people: herself and two other tired-looking protesters. One of those was Leslie Angeline, 50, who said she had slept till about 4 a.m. outside Ms. Pelosi’s three-story red-brick home.
Interesting isn't it, when the Times declares how small the protest is, instead of grossly exaggerating the size of the protest against Bush.
In truth, Pelosi won't be getting the Crawford Treatment until the MSM, including the Times, outnumber the protestors and make the protesters the first item in the news, day after day, for months.
Algore Doesn't Lie - He Over Represents the Facts
There is no controlling legal authority when it comes to lying about global warming.
Q: There's a lot of debate right now over the best way to communicate about global warming and get people motivated. Do you scare people or give them hope? What's the right mix?
Gore: I think the answer to that depends on where your audience's head is. In the United States of America, unfortunately we still live in a bubble of unreality. And the Category 5 denial is an enormous obstacle to any discussion of solutions. Nobody is interested in solutions if they don't think there's a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Will the MSM Notice Hillary's Hypocrisy?
Saint Hillary is demanding that Alberto Gonzalez's resignation over his firing of US attorneys.
In an exclusive interview to air Wednesday morning, March 14, on "Good Morning America," Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, for the first time called for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
"The buck should stop somewhere," Clinton told ABC News senior political correspondent Jake Tapper, "and the attorney general — who still seems to confuse his prior role as the president's personal attorney with his duty to the system of justice and to the entire country — should resign.
Anybody remember this?
As it happens, Mrs. Clinton is just the Senator to walk point on this issue of dismissing U.S. attorneys because she has direct personal experience. In any Congressional probe of the matter, we'd suggest she call herself as the first witness--and bring along Webster Hubbell as her chief counsel.
As everyone once knew but has tried to forget, Mr. Hubbell was a former partner of Mrs. Clinton at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock who later went to jail for mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also Bill and Hillary Clinton's choice as Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department when Janet Reno, his nominal superior, simultaneously fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in March 1993. Ms. Reno--or Mr. Hubbell--gave them 10 days to move out of their offices.
At the time, President Clinton presented the move as something perfectly ordinary: "All those people are routinely replaced," he told reporters, "and I have not done anything differently." In fact, the dismissals were unprecedented: Previous Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, had both retained holdovers from the previous Administration and only replaced them gradually as their tenures expired. This allowed continuity of leadership within the U.S. Attorney offices during the transition.
Equally extraordinary were the politics at play in the firings. At the time, Jay Stephens, then U.S. Attorney in Chicago, was investigating then Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, and was "within 30 days" of making a decision on an indictment. Mr. Rostenkowski, who was shepherding the Clinton's economic program through Congress, eventually went to jail on mail fraud charges and was later pardoned by Mr. Clinton.
I'm not holding my breath.
The Great Global Warming Swindle
Okay. Everyone else has remarked on it so I must. Great Britain's indispensable Channel 4 broadcast a documentary the other day called "The Great Global Warming Swindle."
You may watch it here or here.
And, there's this great article in the Calgary Sun.
What distresses me is not just that global warming is being swallowed whole without real criticism (what are the chances that the Weather Channel will broadcast this following ecofascist Heidi Cullen's show?), but that debate is limited to other countries. Where is the debate in this country?
I had to laugh when climatologists claimed that they were offered bribes or threatened to encourage opposition global warming hysteria. Wanna talk about bribes? Try getting a job or a promotion at a US university if you're a global warming skeptic. When was the last time that a global warming skeptic received a federal research grant? Wanna talk about threats? When was the last time that a global warming skeptic received tenure?
Global warming is the most rigidly enforced ideology in the country. You're allowed to argue alternatives to traditional civil rights and anti-poverty prescriptions. You're still allowed (although just barely) to oppose the homosexual agenda. But, you dare not oppose global warming. It doesn't even matter that global warming activists are such easily documentable frauds and hypocrites. Al Gore, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and the entire Hollywood Left come to mind.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Creating the Next John McCain
John McCain is largely a creation of the media. He was seduced by the dark side as he slavishly sought and received mainstream media approval. He was seduced by his own vanity.
But now, the media is done with him.
And, so, the media have gone casting about for a suitable replacement. Central casting has come back with two options, both from the Midwest. First, we have Senator Obama of Illinois. In the media's view: The more said about him, the better. For our purposes here: Enough's been said to last two lifetimes already. Second, we have Senator Hagel of Nebraska. Mr. Hagel is who McCain was when McCain was McCain. A Vietnam veteran and a harsh critic of other Republicans, especially President Bush when it comes to the war in Iraq, the Nebraska senator has to be considered a strong contender for the Sunday Shows Straw Poll. He's even the subject of some McCain-level hagiography this week, courtesy of Esquire magazine.
And so John McCain will suffer the same fate that awaits all inauthentic politicians who seek Republican favor - the dustbin of history. If you want to succeed as a plastic banana, the Democrats await.
Labels: John McCain discarded maverick
Nothing Authentic at All
Another of Ward Churchill's "scholarly" achievements appears to have been stolen and plagiarized.
Did University of Colorado ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill see secret Canadian government files about child abuse in Indian boarding schools?
Highly unlikely, says a Canadian researcher who reviewed the files and cited them in his 1999 book about the history of the infamous boarding schools.
So how did references to those documents end up in Churchill's 2004 book on the schools?
"Unless he got himself into one of those black suits that Tom Cruise used in that movie and snuck himself into the Department of Indian Affairs at midnight, he's not seen the documents," said John S. Milloy, a professor at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.
This is not the first time Churchill has been accused of stealing facts from someone else's research.
Churchill's dismissal was recommended last year after a faculty investigation revealed plagiarism and fabrication of facts in his previous works. His case is on appeal before a faculty grievance panel.
Churchill did not return phone calls or an e-mail message about this latest allegation. His attorney, David Lane, declined to comment.
Everything about this man is plagiarized or counterfeit, including his ancestry.
Meanwhile, the taxpayers (all those little Eichmans) continue to pay him $96,000 while he sits on his fat ass appealing his dismissal.
The Churchill files: an update
University of Colorado ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill continues to collect his $96,000 annual salary while his dismissal winds through an appeals process.
• Dismissal: Rrecommended last June after a faculty investigation confirmed academic misconduct, including plagiarism and fabricating facts.
• Appeal: Filed by Churchill with the Faculty Council's Privilege and Tenure Committee.
• Lawsuit: Churchill filed suit, claiming CU was responsible for some of his legal fees. A court turned him down.
• Report to president: The Privilege and Tenure Committee is expected to issue a report to CU President Hank Brown. If Brown disagrees, he will have 15 days to ask the committee to alter its decision, followed by another 15 days for the committee to respond. Meanwhile, Churchill's attorney and the attorney who represented CU before the committee will file briefs with Brown. Brown will send his decision to the Board of Regents.
• Reject or recommend: If Brown rejects dismissal, the decision is final. If Brown recommends dismissal, Churchill can file a written appeal with Brown, after which the regents will hold a private hearing. The regents must vote in a public meeting.
• The regents: The issue won't come up at the regents' March meeting, but might emerge by April. Churchill's attorney, David Lane, said he will go to court if the regents vote for dismissal.
Monday, March 12, 2007
When Lying is a Way of Life
Hillary Clinton's been caught in another whopper.
WHILE Hillary Rodham Clinton came out second best to Barack Obama in their long-range oratorical duel at Selma, Ala., the real problem with her visit there a week ago concerned her March 4 speech's claim of her attachment to Martin Luther King Jr. as a high school student in 1963. How, then, could she be a "Goldwater girl" in the next year's presidential election?
The incompatibility of those two positions of 40 years ago was noted to me by Democratic old-timers who were shocked by Sen. Clinton's temerity in pursuing her presidential candidacy. Barry Goldwater's opposition to the 1964 voting-rights bill was not incidental to his run for the White House but an integral element of conscious departure from Republican tradition that contributed to his disastrous performance.
Of course, no political candidate should have to explain inconsistencies of her high school days. What Hillary Clinton said at Selma is significant because it betrays her campaign's panicky reaction to the unexpected rise of Sen. Obama as a serious competitor for the Democratic nomination.
This is reminiscent of Clinton's claim that she was named after Sir Edmond Hillary and any of a long list of gratuitous and really unnecessary untruths that probably contributed to David Geffen's lament that, "Everybody in politics lies, but they (the Clintons) do it with such ease it's troubling."
Hillary Clinton says she's the JFK of 2008. I agree - as long as the JFK is John F. Kerry.
Democrats - Terrorist Enablers
The Democrat Party is growing ever bolder in its embrace of Islamic terrorism.
A House Democrat has arranged for a conference room in the Capitol building to be used tomorrow by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim advocacy group criticized for its persistent refusal to disavow terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
The District-based group also is singled out by other Democratic lawmakers and some law-enforcement officials because of financial ties to terrorists.
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., New Jersey Democrat, reserved the basement conference room for CAIR's panel discussion Tuesday titled "Global Attitudes on Islam-West Relations: U.S. Policy Implications."
"We just see it as a simple room request," Pascrell spokesman Caley Gray said. "We did receive a room request and evaluated it and approved it."
He said the forum "opens up an important dialogue about global public opinion concerning the United States."
Still, the event's sponsor raised eyebrows on Capitol Hill, even if all sorts of groups routinely hold receptions and meetings in the Capitol.
"It does happen all the time but usually it is the United Way or some constituent group or Mothers Against Drunk Driving, not a group with supposed ties to terrorism -- in the Capitol no less," a Hill staffer said.
CAIR officials did not return a call seeking comment.
The room -- H-137 -- is controlled by the Ways and Means Committee.
Mr. Pascrell is a committee member and can reserve the room for any guest provided he "vouch it complies with House rules," said committee spokesman Matthew Beck.
CAIR, which is country's largest Islamic civil liberties group with 31 chapters nationwide, has never been charged with terrorism crimes and the organization is known to cooperate with the FBI and the Justice Department.
However, CAIR officials have been charged with -- and some convicted of -- offenses related to the support of terrorism, including CAIR fundraiser Rabih Haddad, founding board member Ghassan Elashi and former CAIR civil rights coordinator Randall Royer.
Haddad was deported to Lebanon in 2003 after being arrested in a raid on an Islamic charity that federal officials said had "provided assistance to Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda network, and other known terrorist groups." Last year, Elashi was sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted on numerous charges related to schemes to funnel money to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Royer was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in 2004 to conspiring to train terrorists in Virginia.
CAIR also was named as a defendant in a class-action lawsuit relating to the September 11 attacks.
Prominent lawmakers, watchdog organizations and law-enforcement authorities insist CAIR has terrorist ties, despite the group's endorsement by Republican and Democratic leaders, including President Bush and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.
"We know [CAIR] has ties to terrorism," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat and vice chairman of the party's Senate conference. He also criticized the group for having "intimate links with Hamas."
Late last year, Sen. Barbara Boxer withdrew a "certificate of accomplishment" that the California Democrat had awarded to CAIR official Basim Elkarra, citing concern over the group's relationship with terrorist groups.
CAIR's panel discussion in the Capitol will include Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes, who will offer analysis of polls on Muslim-West relations conducted in 27 countries and two surveys in Iraq and Iran.
CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad will comment on his recent participation in an Organization of Islamic Conference meeting on Islam-West dialogue held in Turkey.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Where's Joe Wilson When We Need Him?
How Dumb Are the Democrats?
Pretty dumb it seems. The excuse that the Democrats are giving for pulling out of a Fox News sponsored televised debate is that Roger Ailes told a joke about Barack Obama.
Here's the offending joke. "It is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don't know if it's true that President Bush called Musharraf and said: 'Why can't we catch this guy?'"
Good grief! Not only Democrats incapable of telling jokes, they don't understand them. The butt of this joke is George W. Bush.
Friday, March 09, 2007
I found these two headlines for what is basically the same story.
Washington Post: "Democrats Forge Single Voice on Iraq"
Washington Times: "Democrats Offer Two Plans for Pullout"
At least they agree that they United States should suffer a humiliating setback in the war on terror.
Maybe that explains why the congress has a lower approval rating than George W. Bush.
Mike Colbrese - Pod Person?
I think that I have finally found an explanation for the otherworldly obliviousness that describes the utter disconnection from reality that so many of Washington’s ruling elite exhibit. They are pod people! Or perhaps they emerged as fully formed adults from some sort of alien incubator vessel and are short on life experience. Their creators instilled in them most of the more overt behaviors and responses needed to pass themselves off as genuine human beings. But every now and then, they encounter a circumstance for which they do not have specific programming and they reveal how little is behind their facade. How else can one explain how an adult, who has ascended to a leadership position in high school sports, comes to regard booing at an athletic event as “novel.”
"I don't know why people think it's acceptable to boo in the first place," declared Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Executive Director Mike Colbrese recently. His organization administers all interscholastic high school sports and is considering banning the “boo” at high school sporting events. "It's (booing) a pretty novel concept to me."
Booing at an athletic event is novel? He must have emerged from his pod just moments before the interview. Surely one cannot rise to the position that sounds as responsible as “WIAA Executive Director” does without ever having seen a basketball game where a little booing, or an occasional discouraging word, is heard. Booing might be rare on Krezneck 9, or whatever planet Colbrese’s species hails from, but booing is certainly common on the third planet orbiting Sol, where Washington is found.
But now that he has discovered booing, he finds it distasteful and wants to ban it. "It's a much broader topic than just booing," he said. "What we're trying to teach our fans is that you have to be civil.”
Colbrese, and the fifteen-member WIAA panel that contemplates such social engineering, have concluded that Washington is having difficulty recruiting coaches and officials because of booing fans.
Well the timing of this certainly could not be better as one Washington school has shown that it knows how to deal with troublemakers. Perhaps the WIAA could look at Heritage High School in Vancouver, Washington for guidance in dealing with rubes and ruffians. Last week, Heritage High School suspended 11 students, not for booing, but for praying. The offending students would gather every morning in the commons area for a pre-class group prayer. The local pod people immediately recognized the threat that 11 praying students presented and acted quickly to restore public order. It’s telling that Washington’s pod people have installed safeguards to protect the tender sensibilities of its student bodies and faculty from this sort of disruptive behavior, but is trying to fine tune fan behavior at basketball games. If you’re going to pick fights, your chances for success are greatly enhanced if you choose your opponent wisely. Praying Christians are not notorious for violent retaliation.
Certainly, much of what is heard at high school basketball games is quite inappropriate for your ears, even teenaged ears, or even my ears. Although I doubt that anything so innocuous as booing deserves to have Mike Colbrese’s bony finger of Puritanical indignation pointed at it. Attempts at referee and player intimidation as well as crude colloquial references to manure and body orifices certainly have no place at any sporting event, except perhaps Ultimate Fighting Championships, or some other similar celebration of barbarism, such as peace demonstrations or a meeting of the local Democratic Party. I certainly would not consider the language or behavior at such gatherings appropriate for tender ears, such as those of children or basketball referees.
But on the other hand, I have difficulty getting comfortable with Mike Colbrese’s ideal basketball game, where the crowd limits itself to polite applause and subdued encouragement of the home team. In the closing minutes of the game, the crowd would sit quietly as the opponent shoots his free throws so as not to distract or upset him. Indignant silence would be the only expression of disapproval that officials would have to endure.
No doubt about it. The pod people are in control. And the only way to fill a gymnasium with fans who behave like mannequins is to replace the rest of us with pods. And pod people probably don’t pray either.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Petty Pandering, Shameless Groveling
John Edwards is the first Democrat to kowtow before Moveon.org and refuse to appear in a debate televised by Fox News.
Edwards' campaign said Fox News' participation was part of the decision to pass on the Aug. 14 debate in Reno, but it also cited scheduling conflicts.
Online activists and bloggers quickly hailed the decision as a victory in their campaign to urge Nevada Democrats to drop Fox News as a partner. MoveOn.org Civic Action says it has collected more than 260,000 signatures on a petition that calls the cable network a "mouthpiece for the Republican Party, not a legitimate news channel."
Harry Reid is on his learning curve too.
Democratic Party officials and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid initially touted the partnership with Fox News as an opportunity to reach out to a different bloc of voters. But in a letter posted Wednesday on the party's Web site, Democratic Party Chairman Tom Collins said Reid now shares activists' concerns and "has asked us to take another look."
What was that Anne Coulter said?
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Now Algore Needs Burger Credits
It turns out that the Goracle's purchases of carbon offset credits is not pure enough to earn him that title of a "real environmentalist."
He needs to stop eating meat too. Or, perhaps he could just buy some tofu credits.
And frankly, from the look of Fat Albert in this picture, he needs to stop eating a lot of things.
But, what I want to know, is Fat Albert this green? If not, where does one buy sex toy offset credits?
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Obama Versus the Evil Empire
Thursday, March 01, 2007
If it Works for Al Gore, Why Not Me?
Al Gore has inspired me and perhaps provided a coterie of soon to be discomfited Palouse residents with a little cover. Last Sunday, Al Gore won an Academy Award for his scare flick, “An Inconvenient Truth,” about the imminent perils of global warming and carbon emissions. On Monday, the power bill for just one of his three mansions was made public and, on that house alone, Al Gore’s energy consumption is 20 times the national average.
I really couldn’t understand why the mainstream media paid so little attention to Al Gore’s carbon extravagant lifestyle and glaring hypocrisy. This guy preaches to the rest of us about how we need to reduce our “carbon footprint.” But he runs up a utility bill that exceeds most Americans take home paycheck heating and lighting just one of his mansions. Al Gore’s power bill is the moral equivalent of those photographs that caught former televangelist Jimmy Swaggart in a motel room with a prostitute. And that was big news. But Al Gore isn’t.
Apparently, the ever vigilant and unbiased mainstream media were satisfied with Al Gore’s explanation that he purchased “carbon offsets” from people and businesses that emitted less carbon dioxide than was morally allotted to them. Purchasing these credits somehow neutralized his own excesses and permits him to claim, with a straight face, that his existence on this earth is “carbon neutral.”
I must confess that, at first glance, Al Gore’s carbon credit scheme made me think that I could diet more comfortably by purchasing fat credits from skinny people. I was even more skeptical when I learned that Al Gore was essentially purchasing these carbon credits from himself. Al Gore is the co-founder and chairman of the company “Global Investment Management,” that buys and sells these carbon offsets.
Now, a cynic might compare Al Gore to Johann Tetzel, the 15th century papal peddler of indulgences who enraged Martin Luther by offering forgiveness from sin for a price.
"As soon a coin in coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs," was Tetzel’s sales pitch as he rode around the German countryside in his horse drawn wagon, advertising his franchise.
But certainly, a man who is known to his devotees as “The Goracle” could not be so cynical or ambitious as that. We have it on the word of his spokesman that Gore is not ambitious and a spokesman for Gore must be an honorable man.
And so, as a devoted free marketeer myself, I see this as a potential business opportunity that I might want to investigate. No, I’m not going to sell oatmeal offsets to people with high cholesterol or tofu credits to vegetarians who occasionally chomp a Whopper. What I’m offering are guilt credits to anti-Wal-Mart activists who succumb to the temptation of lower prices.
With every hurdle of real consequence passed and only gratuitous nuisance complaints remaining, it is now inevitable that Wal-Mart Supercenters will be built in Pullman and, in all likelihood, in Latah County just outside the Moscow city limits. And the day will come when each of those activists will find it more convenient or just so much cheaper to shop at Wal-Mart that they won’t be able to resist the pull any longer, and they’ll go inside and buy something. They might even stand in line on Black Friday to get their Christmas shopping over with early and inexpensively.
And I’d like to give them an opportunity to cleanse themselves of that embarrassment by offering low price offsets. Certainly there are people out there, like Al Gore and Paris Hilton, who are so filthy rich that they never have to consider retail prices. And we all know people who delight in conspicuous consumption and purchase designer label blue jeans at 5 times the price of the identical pair with a Kirkland Select label. Why not trade the extravagance credits that those people earn to crypto-Wal-Mart shoppers as guilt salve? Ever dollar they save at Wal-Mart can be used to purchase extravagance credits from me. If one of these activists is sighted by a fellow PARDner emerging from Wal-Mart with a gallon of milk that cost 50 cents less than it would have across the street, then the guilty party only has to display an extravagance credit to cleanse the record of the sin.
Why not? It worked for Al Gore.
Update: The Wall Street Journal pronounce bullshit on carbon offsets.
We don't begrudge anyone the opportunity to make a buck. But there's a difference between making money by producing things people want and making money by gaming the regulatory process. There's no market here unless the government creates one, and who has the profit opportunity depends entirely on who the government picks as the winners and the losers in designing this market in the first place. So it's no wonder that almost any business that has ever put an ounce of CO2 into the atmosphere is rushing to show its cap-and-trade bona fides.
Blame the Machine
In India, female unborn babies are suffering selective abortion. Who's at fault?
General Electric of course.
"A Nasty Woman"
Newt Gingrich's patience with Saint Hillary seems to have worn out.
"Nobody will out-mud the Clintons," said Gingrich, who added that he'll decide in the coming months whether to run for the White House.
He called Clinton's political team one of the most "talented" in U.S. history, but "endlessly ruthless."
"You can't beat them tactically . . . They're too relentless, they're too well-organized, they have too big a machine and they'll just grind you down," he said.
"If they think [Obama] is a real threat, they'll just grind him up."