Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Treason of the Left

US troops have noticed that the Democratci party and the mainstream media have assumed the role that Tokyo Rose served in World War II.

Japanese Propaganda and American Mass Media
June 29, 2007: June 29, 2007: U.S. troops have been mystified at how differently the war they fight in Iraq is portrayed by the U.S. media back home. Most just shrug it off as "politics," and yet another reason to not trust what the mass media presents as reliable reporting. But recently, the troops have been passing around an interesting discovery. Namely, that the Japanese psychological warfare effort during World War II included radio broadcasts that could be picked up by American troops. Popular music was played, but the commentary (by one of several English speaking Japanese women) always hammered away on the same points;

1 Your President (Franklin D Roosevelt) is lying to you.

2 This war is illegal.

3 You cannot win the war.

The troops are perplexed and somewhat amused that their own media is now sending out this message. Fighting the enemy in Iraq is simple, compared to figuring out what news editors are thinking back home. A few times, the mass media has been bold, or foolish, enough to confront the troops about this divergence of perceptions. The result is usually a surreal exchange, with the troops giving the journalist a "what planet are YOU from" look. Naturally, this sort of thing doesn't get much exposure. When pressed, a journalist or editor will dismiss the opinions of the troops (of all ranks), because they are "too close" to see "the big picture." For the same reason, reporters who send back material agreeing with the troops, find their stuff twisted into an acceptable shape, or not used at all. Historians will have a good time with all this.

hat tip: The Blogfather


Pelosi Invested In Terror?

Dick Morris looks at Nancy Pelosi's portfolio and finds a link to terrorism.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has disclosed that she holds stock valued at up to $15,000 in Alcatel-Lucent (formerly Alcatel SA), a company with extensive investments in Iran and Sudan — nations that sponsor terrorism.

The disclosure of Pelosi’s holdings comes at the same time that legislation is making its way through the California legislature barring state pension fund managers from investing in companies, like Alcatel-Lucent, that do business with "terror-friendly" nations.

But, of course, if you listen to some Democrats, there's no such thing as terrorism.


Immigration Prevents Crime?

Well, at least the authors aren't claiming that illegal immigration cuts crime.

Baltimore, Philadelphia and other cities in a bloodstained corridor along the East Coast are seeing a surge in killings, and one of the most provocative explanations offered by criminal-justice experts is this: not enough new immigrants.
The theory holds that waves of hardworking, ambitious immigrants reinvigorate desperately poor black and Hispanic neighborhoods and help keep crime down.

It is a theory that runs counter to the widely held notion that immigrants are a source of crime and disorder.

"New York, Los Angeles, they're seeing massive immigration - the transformation, really, of their cities from populations around the world," said Harvard sociologist Robert J. Sampson. "These are people selecting to go into a country to get ahead, so they're likely to be working hard and stay out of trouble."

Lou Dobbs has the stats.


Progress in Iraq

This isn't news to blog readers. We've known about this for months. But the mainstream media is just beginning to catch on to the story.

The U.S. military is enlisting hundreds of fighters each day from tribal and insurgent groups in alliances aimed at countering al-Qaeda in Iraq, the top U.S. general in Baghdad said yesterday, calling it a "very positive development" but one that requires caution to ensure it works to promote security.

Maj Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr., commander of Multinational Division Baghdad, said U.S. and Iraqi troops control nearly half of the capital's neighborhoods, but that hard fighting remains as operations continue to clear out insurgents from the rest of the city. Overall attack levels in Baghdad remain constant, he said, but casualties have fallen among Iraqi civilians and Iraqi security forces and risen for U.S. troops as their operations and numbers intensify.

In the Abu Ghraib region outside Baghdad, about 1,500 fighters have agreed to renounce violence against U.S. and Iraqi government forces, and join the Iraqi police. About 300 are signing up each day, said Fil, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division. A similar program is underway in the western Baghdad district of Ghazaliyah, he said.

"Some of them, who have previously been fighting us, have come to us, . . . and they want to fight with us. They are tired of al-Qaeda and the influence of al-Qaeda in their tribes and in their neighborhoods, and they want them cleaned out," Fil said. "We're excited about it. But we are, frankly, being cautious."

Senior U.S. military and Pentagon officials have said negotiations with such groups have also progressed in Iraq's western province of Anbar as well as in northern Iraq, where they say a group of 130 tribal sheiks around the town of Tikrit have joined forces against the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq. In some regions where such alliances exist, attacks have fallen and the number of roadside bombs discovered before they detonate has risen to as high as 80 percent -- about double the nationwide average, the officials said.

Even Al-Reuters is carrying the story.

But readers of the New York Times still don't have a clue about this development. Good news from Iraq remains unfit to print.


Friday, June 29, 2007

The US is Responsible for the Darfur Genocide?

Fred Thompson tells the UN where to stuff it.

Fred Thompson on the UN, global warming and the Darfur genocide
Posted on June 28th, 2007

Excerpt from June 28 commentary aired on

Why, then, would the new UN Secretary General blame climate change? I think it’s pretty obvious.

Blaming the Islamic government and groups that have manipulated events in Sudan will get him nothing but enemies. Blaming global warming, however, is basically the same thing as blaming America. The reason is that congress rightfully balked at ratifying the Kyoto international climate treaties during the Clinton presidency.

There is simply no downside to blaming America, because Americans don’t punish their ideological foes. From the UN, we don’t even require sanity sometimes. And there might even be an upside to blaming us, since there are Americans who suffer from such ingrained feelings of guilt, they’ll support increased aid to both the UN and Sudan.

There is a lesson to be learned here, though. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is arguably the most powerful man in the international community today. We know he’s unwilling to blame those who actually gave the orders to commit genocide in Darfur. And apparently he’s happy to shift the blame for ongoing deaths to those living peaceful, productive lives in the West.

Now hopefully we can work toward international cooperation with regard to environmental policies that make sense. It’s not very encouraging though when the head of the world’s leading international body uses climate change as an all purpose excuse in order to avoid hard realities.


And Now For Something Completely Wrong - Animal Bordellos

It seems that Scandanavia's long winter nights have some Nordics looking for love in all the wrong places.

Denmark's animal bordellos reportedly draw Norwegian clients, but both countries have loopholes that make such establishments legal.

Neither Denmark nor Norway has a prohibition on sex with animals, as long as the animals do not suffer.

On the Internet Danish animal owners advertise openly that they offer sex with animals, without intervention from police or other authorities, Danish newspaper 24timer reports.

In correspondence with the animal owners, the newspaper was told that the animals involved have many years of experience and that the animals themselves wanted sex. The cost to the client varied from DKK 500-1,000 (USD 85-170).

Legal gray area
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority's section chief for animal welfare, Torunn Knævelsrud, could not rule out that such a bordello could be legal here as well.

"It is difficult to say yes or no," Knævelsrud told

As long as basics like shelter, feed and care are in place, and injury or suffering to the animal can not be documented, there are no other ways to attack an animal bordello under existing Norwegian law.

"It could be that the animals don't really care," Knævelsrud said. "But I think it is in the nature of the case that animals will often be victims of injury, stress or suffering in connection with sexual acts with humans. Either that they are held fast, or frightened, or suffer pain or physical injury," Knævelsrud said.

Here They Are

Here they are!

Supposedly, illegal aliens live in shadows and we can't find them to deport them. Well, the New York Times found some - in the United States Capital building.


Immigration Bill - Kick the Ball Charlie Brown

As of this morning anyway, Europe’s last fascist dictator and the comprehensive immigration reform compromise have at least one thing in common. Like Generalissimo Francisco Franco, the immigration bill is still dead.
Already once risen from the grave, the immigration reform is likely to reemerge again. And it should, but not in its current form. And the process needs to be cleaner, more honest and more transparent. And proponents should have better arguments than to accuse opponents of racism.
For all of the good points that the bill contained - and there were many - too much of the compromise required that conservatives to trust the honesty and sincerity of Democrats. But haven’t we kicked at that football long enough? At least Charlie Brown learned to be suspicious of Lucy.
The New York Times gave the game away when the immigration reform last perished in the Senate three weeks ago. Pointing to what the editorial board considered punitive portions of the bill, such as the hurdles that must be crossed to gain citizenship and the restrictions on the number of family members that as the suddenly legal aliens may sponsor for entry into the US, the Times declared that those provisions could simply be stripped out by a future congress and the next president, whom the Times assumes will be a Democrat. The $5000 fine that the recently deceased legislation mandated must be paid by any illegal alien wishing for citizenship could simply be reduced to nothing. The restrictions upon the number of family members that a newly legalized alien may sponsor for citizenship could just as easily be overturned. However, the legalization of the 12-20 million illegal aliens already in this country could never be undone.
Translation: Kick the football Charlie Brown.
There is certainly adequate reason to distrust Democrats on this issue. Last year the Congress passed and the president signed a law directing the construction of a border fence. It lasted barely two weeks into the new year. Among the first acts of the new Democratic congressional majority was to strip funding for construction.
Lucy yanked the football away again.
As offensive as any particular clause in the legislation might have been, the attempt to ram it through without any serious debate was even worse. Several senators who had staked out strong positions one way or the other were eventually forced to admit that they had not read the law and were often surprised when interviewers confronted them with specifics that they did not know were included.
Even the White House, which had pushed hard for passage, could not answer whether or not someone who had committed serious crimes, such as identity theft, would be prevented from gaining legal status or even citizenship. When asked directly on the Dennis Miller Show, White House press secretary Tony Snow first said that any illegal alien who had used a stolen identity could not gain legal status, but then backtracked and admitted that he really didn’t know.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham unwittingly, or perhaps considering the source, witlessly, revealed a potential election strategy. He complained that the enforcement provisions were the best that the Republicans could get from a Democrat majority and that, to get even that, they had to give ground on the amnesty issue.
Well, bless my soul! It turns out that the overwhelming majority of the American people favor enforcement and oppose amnesty. So, why not make that a campaign issue in 2008? The American people overwhelmingly support the border fence that the Democrats defunded. Make them pay a political price by re-introducing the legislation over and over again.
Realistically, we will have to consider some form of legalization for the illegal aliens already in the country. It would be frankly impossible to track down and deport 20 million illegal aliens and even if we could, it would be devastating to an economy that already suffers from labor shortages. But, granting legal status as guest workers should be more than adequate compensation to someone who has spent his tenure in the United States as a chronic lawbreaker. Citizenship should be a prize reserved for those with a demonstrated reverence for our country and its laws.
The next immigration reform should be done in the open with all the debate and scrutiny that such consequential legislation deserves. Sunlight should shine on any deliberations of such consequence.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fred Thompson on Immigration Reform

From today's Fred File.

A Good Day
Posted on June 28th, 2007
By Fred in Immigration

This has been a good day for America.

For a while, it didn’t look like Washington was going to listen to us regarding real immigration reform. Thankfully, we’ve been spared a serious mistake, but I wonder if things would have turned out the way they did without the work done by the bloggers, talk radio and the American people. Rush, Hannity, Laura Ingraham, RedState, Powerline, Pajamas Media and a lot of others have done a great job. Take that, Fairness Doctrine.

I’m up in New Hampshire today. Met some great people and got to help the state GOP up in the Granite State. I did want to clarify something coming out of my time yesterday in Columbia, South Carolina.

Anybody who knows my track record or has read some of the things I’ve written about the Cuban-American community knows where I stand. While the communist dictatorship has been a tragedy for Cuba, America has been in some ways, at least, the beneficiary.

One of those benefits is the presence of the great Cuban-American artist, Gloria Estefan. She co-wrote a song called “No hay mal que por bien no venga” which I understand translates something like — there’s no bad that doesn’t bring some good. The bad that is Castro’s tyranny has given America one of the greatest communities in the Western Hemisphere.

And no one knows better than that community that the Castro regime remains dedicated to infiltrating American institutions to spread his ideology of tyranny. Castro admitted it himself in an interview with CNN in 1998.

This is why the Cuban government rightfully remains on the State Department’s terrorist list for its continued support of terrorism. It’s also why we must oppose the illegal immigration of Castro’s agents into the United States while welcoming the vast majority who immigrate legally and with legal intentions.

It seems to me that few Americans understand the threat that the illegal entry by Cuban spies represents to our country, though Cuban-Americans have never forgotten or stopped pointing it out. Ambassador Otto Reich, the former Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere has called Castro’s efforts to penetrate U.S. intelligence networks “relentless.”

The best-known incident involving Cuban espionage, which many believe may have provided U.S. secrets to hostile Middle Eastern regimes, is probably that of former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst Ana Belen Montes — convicted of espionage in 2002. Now, our intelligence picture has been further complicated by the emergence of oil-funded Hugo Chavez and his anti-American, pro-Castro regime. We know that Cuban intelligence officers, for instance, are in South America — presumably training Venezuelans and others in the intelligence arts.

Our national security is too important an issue to let folks twist words around for a one-day headline. Cuban-Americans are among the staunchest opponents of illegal immigration, and especially so when it’s sponsored by the Castro regime. We know we have a porous southern border in which they can currently slip through easily. Our enemies know it too.

All of us should be rightfully concerned about Castro and his ideological pal Chavez sending agents and provocateurs into the United States through Mexico. I’m sure that Cuban-Americans share this concern as well.

We’ve seen today what the voice of the people can do in Washington. Let’s hope similar voices can do the same thing for Cuba.


Immigration Bill Dies

I'm not yet sure how I feel about this. I do my best thinking when I have to sit down in front of my computer and organize my thoughts. But the immigration reform bill died today.

The Senate drove a stake Thursday through President Bush's plan to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants, likely postponing major action on immigration until after the 2008 elections.
This is a breaking news update. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP)—The Senate voted Thursday on an effort by opponents to stop a bill supported by President Bush to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants while also tightening the border against future immigrants.

The critical vote determining the bill's fate began shortly after 11 a.m. EDT.

Bush, seeking to salvage the biggest domestic initiative of his final two years in office, called senators earlier in the morning seeking help.

However, supporters needed 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to keep the bill alive. Aligned against it were conservatives who derided the legislation as a grant of amnesty for illegal behavior and some Democrats who said it would leave a new group of temporary workers vulnerable to exploitation.

Supporters pointed to the bill's tougher border security and workplace enforcement measures, along with an immediate infusion of $4.4 billion to pay for them, as reasons to keep the bill alive for a final vote Friday.

The carefully crafted compromise was left for dead after a similar vote three weeks ago but was revived by Bush and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who gave opponents more chances to change it.

Updates here, here and here.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

We Need a President Like This

The predictable outrage from the Muslim world generated a mostly tremulous silence from western leaders. No doubt they fear provoking Islamic Outrage Boy.

Fred Thompson saw fit to answer directly.

June 25, 2007

The Queen and Free Speech

Last week, I was fortunate enough to spend some time in London. Being there, I couldn't help but think how much America owes to British culture and traditions. Even our past disagreements, like that “taxation without representation” thing, had their roots in British thought. The American Revolution can, in fact, be traced directly back to ideas set forth by the great British thinkers such as John Locke and Adam Smith.

For our part, I think what happened in the 13 colonies actually helped the British rid themselves of the “divine right of kings.” Perhaps because of the fact that we fought a war to escape undemocratic monarchy, Americans are sometimes puzzled by Britain's maintenance of royal institutions and traditions.

I've got to admit, though, that I’ve seen things in a slightly different light recently. The efforts by the two princes, Harry and William, to fight in Iraq impressed me. I was also impressed by the knighthood of author Salman Rushdie and the British reaction to the predictable outrage that followed.

That's not to say I'm a big fan of the British-Indian novelist. I don't agree with a lot of his criticism he's made of America and the UK in the past. But that's the point, really. In the West, we can disagree strongly with someone without issuing fatwas and calling for his death. We can even honor someone with whom we disagree.

In 1989, when Rushdie was first threatened with death by the Islamic regime in Iran, it was for saying far less critical things about Muslims than he’d said about American Christians. Since then, he's become a much stronger critic of Islamic intolerance and authoritarianism. Rushdie defended, for example, the publication of the Danish cartoons and has called for ending the oppression of women in Islam.

While Queen Elizabeth doesn't actually select those who’ll be knighted, lending her name to the honor is symbolically powerful. She and the honors committee who have put the "Sir" before Rushdie's name had to have known that it would provoke anger among those who believe Islam should be protected from criticism. Furthermore, Rushdie had to have known that accepting the honor would prompt renewed and serious calls for his murder -- and it has.

Already, Britain's Home Secretary John Reid has responded to a Pakistani government minister's comment that Rushdie’s knighthood justifies a suicide bombing on the writer. Standing by the knighthood, Reid reminded his international audience that the West tolerates movies made by Monty Python and Mel Gibson even if they offend Christians and Jews. Reid said that, "in the long run, our protection of the right to express your views in literature, argument (and) politics is of over-riding political value to our societies."

And for that, I say, “God Save the Queen.”


Fashion For the Ignorant Chic

Michael Ramirez offer fashion advice for Cameron Diaz and other simple-minded useful idiots.

At least she apologized. Now if we could just convince people to stop wearing those stupd Che tee-shirts.


The Wages of Groveling Before Islamic Rage Boy

Just how hard should we try to appease this guy? And what does it cost us? And finally, why do western media exaggerate his consequence?

I doubt that I am the first to notice that, if want respect for your religion, you should scream, yell and commit ghastly violence in your maker's name. Christopher Hitchens points out that we gain nothing from this pandering and lose much.

We may have to put up with the Rage Boys of the world, but we ought not to do their work for them, and we must not cry before we have been hurt. In front of me is a copy of this week's Economist, which states that Rushdie's 1989 death warrant was "punishment for the book's unflattering depiction of the Prophet Muhammad." There is no direct depiction of the prophet in this work of fiction, and the reverie about his many wives occurs in the dream of a madman. Nobody in Ayatollah Khomeini's circle could possibly have read the book for him before he issued a fatwah, which made it dangerous to possess. Yet on that occasion, the bookstore chains of America pulled The Satanic Verses from their shelves, just as Borders shamefully pulled Free Inquiry (a magazine for which I write) after it reproduced the Danish cartoons. Rage Boy keenly looks forward to anger, while we worriedly anticipate trouble, and fret about etiquette, and prepare the next retreat. If taken to its logical conclusion, this would mean living at the pleasure of Rage Boy, and that I am not prepared to do.


Monday, June 25, 2007

This is Too Good

I'm not a Katie Couric fan, but this is just right.


Gay Make Out For Peace - Or Something

Clearly, popular culture has left me behind. This makes even less sense than stilts.


The Greatest Story Barely Told

Freelance journalist Michael Yon has a new post up concerning the latest offensive in Iraq. It's very encouraging, which is probably why you'll hear nothing about it on the nightly news or read about it in your local paper.

Here are the introductory paragraphs:

On 19 June American forces sealed off Baqubah and began attacking targets within the city. The immediate goal of Arrowhead Ripper was to free Baqubah of al Qaeda, by trapping and killing its members, but according to American officers here, public remarks by senior military officials may have flushed many AQI leaders before the attack. Despite this frustrating and significant setback, progress toward the end-state goal of Arrowhead Ripper—turning over Baqubah to Iraqi government control—appears to be working, at least in terms of the removal of the current AQI leadership and its quasi-government. There are conflicting signals about how many of the AQI leadership escaped before Arrowhead Ripper launched. This weekend’s capture of a possible high-value target in Baqubah indicates that not all AQI leaders successfully fled the city before the attack.

Media reports indicating that many top leaders escaped before Arrowhead Ripper began appear to be mostly true. But other information suggests some AQI leaders are trapped just down the road from where I write. In addition to the seven men who were caught trying to escape while dressed as women, there is information that some AQI leaders remain trapped in a constricting cordon.

Here's another encouraging passage:

American losses include one soldier killed in action, with 21 wounded. One Bradley and one Stryker have been destroyed. The low numbers of friendly casualties have been largely due to the slow, methodical clearing operation where success is not measured against the clock. In meeting after meeting, I have seen Townsend stress to his subordinate commanders the importance of moving deliberately and at their own pace. Given the massive amounts of IEDs that have been found, my guess is that we might have taken dozens more killed by now if the clearing operation had been rushed. Doubtless many American lives have been saved by locals just saying “stop,” and pointing to bombs.

It's all worth reading. But apparently, it's not fit to print. There has been nothing about Arrowhead Ripper in the New York Times since Saturday morning.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

We Will Always be a Great Nation

As long as we can produce people like this.


Friday, June 22, 2007

The Greatest Story Never Told

Al Qaida is be eradicated from Diyala province in Iraq. So, what's Paris Hiltion doing?

From today's Investor's Business Daily

Iraq War: You've no doubt heard of Paris Hilton, and of Rosie O'Donnell as well. We're pretty sure you know what Barry Bonds is up to. But have you ever heard of Arrowhead Ripper? The likely answer is no.

But if that's the case, it's not your fault. Arrowhead Ripper isn't an athlete, a TV star or a person famous for being famous. It's the code name for a massive U.S.-led assault under way in Iraq's Diyala province — an undertaking that has garnered token media coverage since it began Tuesday.

After getting some initial front-page treatment in major U.S. newspapers, the story was pushed back to page 18 in the Washington Post Thursday and Page 10 in The New York Times on Friday. The Los Angeles Times ran a front pager Thursday, then nothing.

Meanwhile, NPR radio this week highlighted U.S. soldiers' deaths during the assaults, with nary a mention of the bigger context for the soldiers' sacrifices.

The Associated Press' dispatches focused on U.S. casualties: "U.S. military says 15 American troops killed in last 48 hours." CNN ran with: "12 U.S. troops killed in Iraq in 48 hours." The New York Times headline read: "14 U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq in 2 Days."

Surprisingly, only Reuters seemed to get what was going on. Its headline said: "U.S. troops set trap for militants near Baghdad."

Never mind that the aforementioned headlines don't seem to agree on the number of deaths. What needs to be said is this is one of the war's largest operations to date, and perhaps the most significant. If successful, it could push al-Qaida out of Iraq. It also might lay the groundwork for an eventual war-ending peace.

This operation also stands out because the U.S.-led assault force has explicitly made it a goal to "eliminate" the enemy — not to let it slip away, then watch as it returns to bring more chaos and terror to Diyala province.

Michael Yon, a blogger who is embedded with the 3/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Diyala, has written extensively at his Web site ( about the battle. He's also taken some dramatic pictures. He's a brave journalist, and his site is worth a visit.

Here, in an e-mail to the highly popular Instapundit Web site, is what Yon had to say about what's going on:

"It's Friday evening 22 June. Operation Arrowhead Ripper continues to unfold. The operation is going very well. This looks like it will become a serious problem for al-Qaida."

That, of course, would be great. But then, if the media don't start covering it seriously, we may never know.

We can be sure, however, that if Arrowhead Ripper is less successful than hoped, we'll be treated to an endless number of "Diyala: What Went Wrong?" retrospectives.

The fight will go on for up to two months, military officials say. It involves 10,000 troops, with "a full complement of attack helicopters, close-air support, Strykers and Bradley fighting vehicles."

Using unusually blunt language, Army Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek told American Forces Press Service, "The end state is to destroy the al-Qaida influences in this province and eliminate the threat against the people. That is the No. 1, bottom-line, up-front, in-your-face task and purpose."

And so far, it's working, with dozens of terrorists killed. It bears watching. But sadly, if the successes pile up, it won't be long until the story's pushed even further back in the nation's newspapers.

So, has Paris Hilton gone to the bathroom yet? That's what the MSM considers more important than winning the war.


He Has Senses?

Time magazine asks if North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il has come to his senses.

After all, he hasn't acted like a complete lunatic for several days in a row now. This might be the best evidence yet that he's near death.


The Victories You're Learning Nothing About

The “surge” is on. You wouldn’t know it by reading this or just about any other newspaper, but the troop surge that was announced months ago to suppress the Iraq insurgency kicked it into full gear recently. And, it’s yielding some significant successes.
Arrowhead Ripper is the name given to the current offensive. It’s the biggest military operation since the fall of Saddam’s regime in 2003. But the news has been all but ignored by the mainstream media.
There are probably two reasons for the paucity of information on Arrowhead Ripper. First of all, the surge has already been declared a failure by the Democratic Party’s congressional leadership and the sympathetic news media are reluctant to contradict those with whom they are ideological soul mates. The second reason is that the media have almost no one there to report on the war. Only the New York Times’ Michael Gordon and freelance journalist Michael Yon are anywhere near the action.
Surprisingly, Michael Gordon’s (examples here and here, registration required)reporting on the surge has been almost entirely free of ideological tampering by his editors in New York, except in regards to placement. Thursday, for example, far greater prominence was given to a story tallying US troop losses than Michael Gordon’s riveting account of the previous day’s fighting. Michael Gordon’s reporting has detailed the successes and, very importantly, assistance, that locals are lending the US, as Al Qaida fighters, their hideouts, their arms caches and even the roadside bombs they have placed are pointed out.
Michael Yon’s reporting is even better, if only because his writing does not suffer from the clipped quality of Gordon’s, as Michael Yon has no stateside editors who trim his stories so that they fit into the allocated column inches (examples here, and here).
Yon’s pieces provide much greater detail of the tactics being employed to rout Al Qaida from its redoubts. From Michael Yon’s stories, one can clearly understand why operations like Arrowhead Ripper were not possible before the surge. And after reading his stories, one can understand why Americans and Iraqis alike should have far more optimism regarding the surge’s prospects than Harry Reid.
In Michael Yon’s reporting, one also learns just how open the military is with information regarding this offensive: “The Army is giving full access to the battlefield, and while on base full access to the TOC (HQ) which means I see the raw truth on the ground, and as it feeds through the TOC. They are hiding nothing. Or if they are, it’s in plain view. (Special operations notwithstanding.) A reporter can see as much as he or she can stand.”
Unfortunately, the major news networks, CNN, Fox, the Associated Press, and other mainstream news media are not there. And so a battle that could very well turn out to be the hinge upon which the future of the War on Terror pivots is going largely unreported. Paris Hilton’s bathroom habits and the latest missing girl miniseries gain greater attention.
But things could be worse. Although the US news media give encouragement and moral support to our enemies, while doing all they can to demoralize the home front, at least they are not supplying the enemy with tangible assistance, as the British Broadcasting Corporation attempted Wednesday.
Earlier this week on its website, the BBC was actively soliciting reports of allied troop movements in Iraq , presumably so that it could post them on its website for the enemy to read. All that Al Qaida would have had to do to gain the benefit of this information was point their web browsers to the BBC and there they could have tracked allied operations and either set up ambushes, or simply escape before the trap ensnared them. The information request was up for two hours before outraged reaction forced the BBC to take the page down. The BBC insisted that it had no intention of posting the information it was trying to gather, but why would they solicit the information in the first place?
If the BBC sincerely wanted news regarding the progress of the fighting in Iraq, I’m sure that Michael Gordon and Michael Yon would not begrudge them the company. CNN would be welcome too.
Michael Yon’s reporting can be found at:
His reporting is scrupulously non-partisan, and you Bush haters will find plenty of criticism of the administration’s handling of the war.

Note: since this column was completed, Michael Yon reports that the Los Angeles Times and CNN have joined the fight. The Associated Press and Time Magazine have also made brief visits to the front.

Update: I've read the stories in Time, and the AP, but could find nothing in the LA Times yet.

I'm certain that Joe Klein will be keeping his head very low after his generally positive story. After all, he recently learned what befalls those who say that anything is going well in Iraq. That he only just recently discovered what happens to those who report success in Iraq should tell us something about the tenor his reporting carried until recently.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Journalists Prefer Democrats?

Who knew?


Nancy Pelosi's NewSpeak

In the 2006 campaign, the Democrats promised earmark reform. They've succeeded - sort of, by changing the language. According to Nancy Pelosi, there are no more earmarks, only "legislatively directed spending requests."

I am not making this up.


Another Reason To Like Fred Thompson

If I had to point to the one trait that most endears me to Fred Thompson,it's his plain speaking and the total absence of weasel words in his speech

While most politicians dance around the "M" word and the "I" word when it comes to war and terrorism, Fred Thompson does not. Can you imagine fighting WWII with politicians fearful of offending Germany or Japan?
And, while most politicians and most of the mainstream media genuflect before the Council on American Islamic Relations, Fred Thompson does not. And here, he points out what the media have largely been keeping to themselves, that CAIR is not a homegrown mainstream Muslim organisation, but foreign funded front group representing the interests of those often hostile to the US.

I've talked before about the Council on American-Islamic Relations -- most recently because it filed that lawsuit against Americans who reported suspicious behavior by Muslims on a U.S. Airways flight. Better known just as CAIR, the lobbying group has come under a lot of scrutiny lately for its connections to terror-supporting groups. This time, though, The Washington Times has uncovered some very good news about the group.

For years, CAIR has claimed to represent millions of American Muslims. In fact, they claim to represent more Muslim in American than ... there are in America. This has alarmed Americans in general as the group often seems to be more aligned with our enemies than us -- which isn't surprising as it spun off from a group funded by Hamas. As you know, Hamas has been waging a terrorist war against Israel and calls for its total destruction. It also promises to see America destroyed. Nowadays, Hamas is busy murdering its Palestinian political rivals.

Even with this history, and CAIR's conspicuous failure to condemn Hamas by name, it has been treated as if represents Muslim Americans by our own government. The good news is that the financial support CAIR claims to have among American Muslims is a myth. We know this because The Washington Times got hold of the group's IRS tax records.

CAIR's dues-paying membership has shrunk 90 percent since 9/11 -- from 29,000 in 2000 to only 1,700 last year. CAIR's annual income from dues plunged from $733,000 to $59,000. Clearly, America's Muslims are not supporting this group -- and I'm happy to hear about it.

Of course, every silver lining seems to have a cloud; and this cloud is that CAIR's spending is running about $3 million a year. They’ve opened 25 new chapters in major cities across the country even as their dues shrank to a pittance. The question is; who’s funding CAIR?

CAIR's not saying. The New York Times earlier this year reported that the backing is from "wealthy Persian Gulf governments" including the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Obviously, we have a bigger problem here than the one with CAIR.

We are in a war, not just for our own survival, but for the survival of Western Culture and Christendom. We need leaders willing to take this seriously. So far, only one candidate takes the threat seriously enough to even acknowlege the threat without qualifiers or apologies.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Lost Cause?

A few weeks back, Harry Reid declared the surge a failure. We less enlightened are waiting for the outcome of the battle, which has just started.

The mainstream news media are just getting the word that something's going on. Those of us who rely upon bloggers for our news have known about it for about a week now.


The Real Father of Middle East Terrorism

Not surprisingly, it's Nobel Peace Prize winner, Jimmy Carter.

The Left in America is screaming to high heaven that the mess we are in in Iraq and the war on terrorism has been caused by the right-wing and that George W. Bush, the so-called "dim-witted cowboy," has created the entire mess.

The truth is the entire nightmare can be traced back to the liberal democratic policies of the leftist Jimmy Carter, who created a firestorm that destabilized our greatest ally in the Muslim world, the shah of Iran, in favor of a religious fanatic, the ayatollah Khomeini.

Carter viewed Khomeini as more of a religious holy man in a grassroots revolution than a founding father of modern terrorism. Carter's ambassador to the UN, Andrew Young, said "Khomeini will eventually be hailed as a saint." Carter's Iranian ambassador, William Sullivan, said, "Khomeini is a Gandhi-like figure." Carter adviser James Bill proclaimed in a Newsweek interview on February 12, 1979 that Khomeini was not a mad mujahid, but a man of "impeccable integrity and honesty."


This Just In - Jimmy Carter's a Liar

Not news to regular readers of this blog, or anyone else with room temperature IQ who is not on the Nobel committee. But now Alan Dershowitz has documentation of just how carelessly Carter lies.


Obama - Not Ready for Prime Time

Obama's callowness is showing lately.

His child-like opposition to free trade has now been welded to his penchant for extravagent comparisons to violence, such as his linking the Virginia Tech mass murder to outsourcing.

It's not what grownups do. And judgine by his fall in the polls, even Democratic voters are sophisticated enough to find it offensive.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Is Hillary Too Cynical for Feminists?

Hillary Clinton's in trouble with the most dedicated feminists.

Many of the very same feminists who were her most ardent supporters as First Lady are now fiercely opposed to her historic bid to become the first female President of the United States. The woman once described by Susan Faludi as a symbol of "the joy of female independence" now evokes ambivalence, disdain and, sometimes, outright vitriol. The right wing's favorite "femi-nazi" now has to contend with Jane Fonda comparing her to "a ventriloquist for the patriarchy with a skirt and a vagina."

So what's up with the Hillary-bashing? "Women don't trust Hillary. They see her as an opportunist; many feel betrayed by her," wrote Susan Douglas in a May In These Times article titled "Why Women Hate Hillary." A month later, in her Newsweek column, Anna Quindlen declared, "The truth is that Senator Clinton has a woman problem."


Culture of Corruption - Obama Style

Barack Obama's association with gangster Tony Rezko was troublesome before Obama was caught lying about it.

During his 12 years in politics, Sen. Barack Obama has received nearly three times more campaign cash from indicted businessman Tony Rezko and his associates than he has publicly acknowledged, the Chicago Sun-Times has found.

Obama has collected at least $168,308 from Rezko and his circle. Obama also has taken in an unknown amount of money from people who attended fund-raising events hosted by Rezko since the mid-1990s.

And Obama still hasn't adequately explained how he came to be so cozily aqcuainted with such a sleazebag.


Monday, June 18, 2007

The Most Absurd Al-Colyte of the Year

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has made his entry into the most ridiculous invocation of global warming.

He's blaming the Darfur genocide on global warming.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the slaughter in Darfur was triggered by global climate change and that more such conflicts may be on the horizon, in an article published Saturday.
"The Darfur conflict began as an ecological crisis, arising at least in part from climate change," Ban said in a Washington Post opinion column.

UN statistics showed that rainfall declined some 40 percent over the past two decades, he said, as a rise in Indian Ocean temperatures disrupted monsoons.

"This suggests that the drying of sub-Saharan Africa derives, to some degree, from man-made global warming," the South Korean diplomat wrote.

"It is no accident that the violence in Darfur erupted during the drought," Ban said in the Washington daily.

His entry just might surpass the cat surplus story.

Several shelters operated by a national adoption organization called Pets Across America reported a 30 percent increase in intakes of cats and kittens from 2005 to 2006, and other shelters across the nation have reported similar spikes of stray, owned and feral cats.

The cause of this feline flood is an extended cat breeding season thanks to the world’s warming temperatures, according to the group, which is one of the country’s oldest and largest animal welfare organizations.

“Cats are typically warm-weather, spring-time breeders,” said the group’s president, Kathy Warnick. “However, states that typically experience primarily longer and colder winters are now seeing shorter, warmer winters, leading to year-round breeding.”

“Basically, there is no longer a reproduction lull with cat breeding cycles, and unfortunately, it seems more people are bringing boxes of kittens into our agencies during winter now,” she added.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Two Americas

There is Harry Reid's America, and then there is Lizzie Palmer's.

The full story is here.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Hillary Clinton - Felon?

Of course she has committed felonious acts. Hiding the Rose Law Firm billing records after they had been subpoenaed is just one example.

But this video seems to confirm that Hillary Clinton was a knowing and willing conspirator in a fundraising scheme that has one of the participants going to jail already.


Jack Cafferty Auditions For Rosie O'Donnell's Job

I think the job is reserved for a woman, but Jack Cafferty shows all the intellectual depth that we have come to expect from Rosie O'Donnell.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Democrats Oppose Clean Green Energy

Republicans attempted to include a provision promoting nuclear energy in the Senate energy bill. Democrats killed it.

Instead Democrats want to power America with pie-in-the-sky wind turbines and solar energy, except in their own backyards that is.

Oh well, it's good for Al Gore's carbon credit business.


Earthly Rewards

According to researchers, charity yields a pleasure response in the brain similar to sex.

Knowing your money is going to a good cause can activate some of the same pleasure centers in your brain as food and sex, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

People who participated in a study got a charge knowing that their money went to a charity -- even when the contribution was mandatory, like a tax. They felt even better when they voluntarily made a donation, researchers found.

But, unfortunately, the principle investigator is a liberal and says that people should feel better about paying taxes.

Ulrich Mayr, a psychology professor at the University of Oregon, said the research sheds light on the nature of altruism and could help people feel better about being taxed.

"It shows that in an ideal world you could have a tax situation where you could be a satisfied taxpayer," said Mayr, whose study appeared in the journal Science.

Dr. Mayr seems not to appreciate the difference between volunatary giving and compulsory taking.


Thank God For Paris Hilton

Thank goodness for Paris Hilton! Now that Hizzonner has re-jugged the simple minded heiress, the news media will have something to keep them out of trouble for the next few weeks or so. Will she go to the bathroom, or will she not? America’s news media await the answer breathlessly.
No, I don’t care. But there is hardly anything that this observer appreciates more than a story, however shallow, that keeps reporters out of trouble.
Summer is the silly season for the American news media. Real news trickles in slowly when school is out and the news media fight boredom with news manufacturing.
This is not new. In the early days of newspapers, publishers would respond to slow news and sluggish sales with “crime waves.” Stories that normally deserved a sentence or two in the police blotter, would suddenly command front page bold type. The editorial page would demand that the mayor and the police chief take action to protect the citizenry from the scourge of gangsters.
The purpose of these crusades was not the illumination of the readership, but to incite the public into a frenzy that would hopefully pull newspapers out their summer sales doldrums.
These newspapers were fortunate that they did not have the blogosphere looking over their shoulders, or they never could have gotten away with these hoaxes. In no time at all, bloggers would have downloaded crime statistics from June and compared them with March, documented an unchanged crime rate, and posted it on their websites. The mainstream press still attempts similar hoaxes today. But the mainstream media are losing control of the news, because they can no longer control information.
A few years ago, a slow summer gave us the “Summer of the Shark.” Sharks were attacking everywhere. Shark attacks were top of the hour news. In the same week shark attacks were the cover story for both Newsweek and Time magazines. Bloggers pointed out that there were no more shark attacks that summer than any other and also pointed out that falling coconuts kill three times as many people annually as sharks.
But if hype were all the news media’s only crime during the slow season, then they wouldn’t constitute a genuine menace. A couple of years ago, the bored news media discovered a dull witted Cindy Sheehan and spent their slow season using her as a sock puppet to ventriloquize their own opinions. They sanitized her rhetoric of its hate and anti-Semitism and created a hero. If the custody fight over Anna Nicole Smith’s baby had played out then, the world would look different today.
One of the great things about Paris Hilton news is that there seems to be something on the menu for everyone. I break it down into three main categories. First there is news for people who want to know about Paris Hilton or who simply love either a train wreck or a good lynching. These voyeurs can find their appetites satiated everywhere. Even the New York Times, which put the news of a foiled terrorist plot at JFK airport on page 37, put Paris Hilton on page 1.
Pop culture celebrity sociologists will don their tweed sport coats, light their pipes, and grimly pontificate about what all the attention paid to Paris Hilton says about the state of our civilization.
And finally there are those who use Paris Hilton news coverage to judge what such attention says about the mainstream news media. No matter what the story, somehow the media will find a way to make it all about themselves.
I fall into a fourth category. I am relieved that the news media have Paris Hilton to obsess on so that they don’t get themselves into any mischief during the slow season.
I did not watch, of course. I respect my brain cells too much. But sources that I consider reliable inform me that when Paris Hilton was hauled back before the judge, television stations suspended regular programming to broadcast live helicopter views of the police car dragging her back to the courthouse. It was a scene reminiscent of the slow motion O. J. Simpson car chase that was carried on every network, with the possible exception of the Weather Channel and maybe the Golf Network.
Journalists are like puppies. If you don't give them chew toys, they'll tear up the furniture.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

We Need To Become More French

If our leaders really want to improve our immigration laws, they could start by following the example of the French.

Foreigners who want to join their families in France will soon have to pass a test on the French language and national values before leaving their home countries under the first move by President Sarkozy to curb immigration.

Rights groups and the Socialist opposition have denounced the draft law, which will go to Parliament next month, as populist and xenophobic.

It aims to tighten curbs on family reunification that were imposed by Mr Sarkozy when he was Interior Minister before his election to the presidency. These included an integration test for applicants for long-term residence permits.

The Bill, which is being vetted this week by the Council of State, is the first from the new Ministry of Immigration, Integration and National Identity, headed by Brice Hortefeux. The link between national identity and immigration caused a storm and unsettled some of Mr Sarkozy’s party colleagues when it was proposed this year.

Would-be immigrants will now be “tested in their country of residence on the degree of their knowledge of the language and values of the Republic,” the draft says. A two-month training course will be provided in some countries.


Make Harry Reid The Face of The Democrat Party

Democrats have repeatedly deployed a strategy of picking some prominent Republican, caricaturizing him, then making him the face of the party, which they then attack relentlessly.

Harry Reid requires no caricaturization. He's a thoroughly unlikeable jerk and he wants to be the face of the Democratic Party. Republicans should facilitate that, and then keep reminding people when he says things like this.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "incompetent" during an interview Tuesday with a group of liberal bloggers, a comment that was never reported.

Reid made similar disparaging remarks about Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said several sources familiar with the interview.

This is but the latest example of how Reid, under pressure from liberal activists to do more to stop the war, is going on the attack against President Bush and his military leaders in anticipation of a September showdown to end U.S. involvement in Iraq, according to Democratic senators and aides.

Reid, who was bashed by Republicans for suggesting earlier this year that the Iraq war was "lost," is lashing out at top commanders while putting the finishing touches on a plan to force a series of votes on Iraq designed exclusively to make Republicans up for reelection in 2008 go on record in favor of continuing an unpopular war.


The Davis Toad Tunnel

Davis is the touchy-feely, naiveté capital of the world. And nowhere is it more obvious than the famous "Toad Tunnel."

Science has gotten in the way of feel-good mythology about the famous Davis Toad Tunnel.

"No record occurs of the tunnel ever being used by a toad," said John McNerney, Davis wildlife resource specialist. "It was well- intentioned but not successful."

The toad tunnel, installed a dozen years ago this summer under a new overcrossing ramp, was intended to prevent the amphibians from being squished by cars.

Apparently, the toads never used the tunnel enough, if at all, and the population of toads that once hopped around the area has died out.

City officials through the years have questioned whether the toads actually ever used the tunnel. McNerney this week confirmed those suspicions.

The last couple of years, he surveyed for toad larvae -- tadpoles -- in the toad's drainage pond. The results were not good.

"I have not found any Western toad larva in the pond," McNerney said.

When the celebrated toad tunnel of Yolo County was being built in 1995, it made news on CNN and was lampooned on Comedy Central.

And Davis resident Ted Puntillo wrote "The Toads of Davis," a children's book about the undercrossing. He noted that the toad tunnel became "really world known."

Puntillo also constructed "Toad Hollow," a whimsical doll-house-sized group of structures at one end of the toad tunnel. He said he plans to refurbish the worn, decorative amphibian houses and toad outhouse.

Puntillo, 87, was saddened by the latest news about the toads. He believes the toads once used the tunnel because he saw them in Toad Hollow.

"It did work when they watered," at one end of the tunnel at the post office on Pole Line Road.

Toads are migratory to a degree, hibernating in the upland areas in the ground. When it starts to rain, and the mood hits them, they mass together to reproduce.

Generally, that is in a body of water, in this case a drainage pond across Pole Line Road from the post office.

Before the overcrossing project, toads were flattened on Pole Line Road, but the population survived.

Then, in 1995, the big overcrossing construction began on Pole Line to take traffic over Interstate 80. The tunnel cost about $14,000 of the total $7 million price of the project, which bridged the interstate, railroad tracks and Second Street to link north and south Davis.

The overcrossing entailed creating a raised section of roadway for the road, curbs and a median on Pole Line.

"When they put in that Pole Line overcrossing, it put up a giant earth berm that was a big physical barrier to them," McNerney said.

Being resourceful creatures, the toads can overcome a hill like the overcrossing berm, McNerney said. But other overcrossing features were not toad-friendly.

"It had lots of vehicles traveling on it," McNerney said. "That was a real hazard. And the road tops with high curbs and the median made it difficult."

McNerney said that toads also probably had difficulty finding the tunnel opening. And he wondered how the toads would know that it was the entrance to a subterranean path from one side of Pole Line Road to the other.

Additionally, the 220-foot-long toad tunnel, made of corrugated steel, had design flaws. The opening was shaped like a steel scoop and became hot.

"Toads tend not to jump onto a frying pan when they can avoid it," he said. "It failed. It didn't work for them."

The Davis City Council and its residents "toadally" had their hearts in the right place when the council gave the go-ahead for the tunnel, he said. That is not a myth.

Former Mayor Julie Partansky, who spearheaded the drive for the unusual tunnel, said in a 1999 Bee story that the toads had not jumped at the opportunity to use the pipeline.

However, there was no study to back up her suspicions. She long suspected the toads found it unnatural to hop through a tube.

"I don't think it was designed right," she said on Wednesday. "Toads in nature don't go down a long, dark tunnel."

Another drawback for the toads has been development that filled once-empty fields on the post-office side of the tunnel, Partansky said.

She is saddened that the tunnel didn't keep the toad population alive, especially since reports indicate that amphibians worldwide are threatened.

"Our intentions were good," she said.

And, of course, it's all about good intentions.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Willful Ignorance of the Left.

Where else but on the Puffington Host could you find a column as ignorant as this?

Here's an example:
Unfortunately, too, this is not the first attempt to compromise the concept of the university as a haven for for expressing divergent, and controversial thought. Sometime, in the next several weeks, the Board of Regents will decide whether or not to fire a tenured professor of ethnic studies, Ward Churchill, who has taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder for nearly 20 years for an essay he wrote, back in 2001, comparing victims of the World Trade Center bombing, on 9/11, to Adolf Eichmann.

For benefit of the delightfully stupid Ms. Stahl, Ward Churchill is getting the boot for plagiarism, falsifying sources and other academic offenses. Although, after reading Ms. Stahl's column, one will see a kindred spirit. Either that or Ms. Stahl's target audience are the abysmally ill-informed.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Africa Demand DDT

Call it colonial paternalism, or something. But the western world's denial of DDT to Africans is killing them.

KAMPALA, Uganda -- Though Africa's sad experience with colonialism ended in the 1960s, a lethal vestige remains: malaria. It is the biggest killer of Ugandan and all African children. Yet it remains preventable and curable. Last week in Germany, G-8 leaders committed new resources to the fight against the mosquito-borne disease and promised to use every available tool.

Now they must honor this promise by supporting African independence in the realm of disease control. We must be able to use Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane -- DDT.

The United States and Europe eradicated malaria by 1960, largely with the use of DDT. At the time, Uganda tested the pesticide in the Kanungu district and reduced malaria by 98%. Despite this success, we lacked the resources to sustain the program. Rather than partner with us to improve our public health infrastructure, however, foreign donors blanched. They used Africa's lack of infrastructure to justify not investing in it.

Today, every single Ugandan still remains at risk. Over 10 million Ugandans are infected each year, and up to 100,000 of our mothers and children die from the disease. Recently Ugandan country music star Job Paul Kafeero died of the disease, a reminder that no one is beyond its reach. Yet, many still argue that Africa's poor infrastructure makes indoor spraying too costly and complex a means of fighting malaria.

Al Gore et al, who are you to tell Africans that they must die to serve your pagan gods?


Monday, June 11, 2007

Ouch and a Half

If Harry Reid weren't such an ass, I would feel sorry for him for being called out like this.


Ethics Reform?

Today's Washington Post has a lengthy article detailing Democrats' failure to establish a toothless ethics panel. Real ethics reform would require earmark (aka porkbarrel spending) reform. And that isn't even mentioned in the article.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Maybe This Will Finally Offend The MSM

Palestinian terrorist used a car marked "TV" to launch an unsuccessful attack againt Israel.

he Palestinian journalists' union criticised militants on Sunday for using a vehicle marked with a "TV" sign to approach Gaza's border with Israel and attack an Israeli military position across the frontier.

One militant was killed in Saturday's attack, jointly claimed by Islamic Jihad and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of President Mahmoud Abbas Fatah faction. The Israeli military said none of its soldiers was hurt.

hat tip: The Blogfather


Al Gore Goes Green!

He says that it's been in the works for a long time.

Al Gore was stung by the news that he is a huge producer the gases that he insists are dooming the world. So he is remodeling his Knoxville mansion to make it more energy efficient.
I still want to see his heating bills this winter. And, I want to see the powerbills on his other two mansions.


Rachel Carsen's Lethal Legacy, Again

The New York Times has a fascinating piece in its Science section today regarding the human toll of banning DDT.

Key Sections

On her sciencific methods:

Ms. Carson used dubious statistics and anecdotes (like the improbable story of a woman who instantly developed cancer after spraying her basement with DDT) to warn of a cancer epidemic that never came to pass. She rightly noted threats to some birds, like eagles and other raptors, but she wildly imagined a mass “biocide.” She warned that one of the most common American birds, the robin, was “on the verge of extinction” — an especially odd claim given the large numbers of robins recorded in Audubon bird counts before her book.

Regarding mankind's impact on nature and vice versa:

Dr. Baldwin led a committee at the National Academy of Sciences studying the impact of pesticides on wildlife. (Yes, scientists were worrying about pesticide dangers long before “Silent Spring.”) In his review, he praised Ms. Carsons’s literary skills and her desire to protect nature. But, he wrote, “Mankind has been engaged in the process of upsetting the balance of nature since the dawn of civilization.”

While Ms. Carson imagined life in harmony before DDT, Dr. Baldwin saw that civilization depended on farmers and doctors fighting “an unrelenting war” against insects, parasites and disease. He complained that “Silent Spring” was not a scientific balancing of costs and benefits but rather a “prosecuting attorney’s impassioned plea for action.”

Ms. Carson presented DDT as a dangerous human carcinogen, but Dr. Baldwin said the question was open and noted that most scientists “feel that the danger of damage is slight.” He acknowledged that pesticides were sometimes badly misused, but he also quoted an adage: “There are no harmless chemicals, only harmless use of chemicals.”

Ms. Carson, though, considered new chemicals to be inherently different. “For the first time in the history of the world,” she wrote, “every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.”

She briefly acknowledged that nature manufactured its own carcinogens, but she said they were “few in number and they belong to that ancient array of forces to which life has been accustomed from the beginning.” The new pesticides, by contrast, were “elixirs of death,” dangerous even in tiny quantities because humans had evolved “no protection” against them and there was “no ‘safe’ dose.”

Dr. Baldwin led a committee at the National Academy of Sciences studying the impact of pesticides on wildlife. (Yes, scientists were worrying about pesticide dangers long before “Silent Spring.”) In his review, he praised Ms. Carsons’s literary skills and her desire to protect nature. But, he wrote, “Mankind has been engaged in the process of upsetting the balance of nature since the dawn of civilization.”

While Ms. Carson imagined life in harmony before DDT, Dr. Baldwin saw that civilization depended on farmers and doctors fighting “an unrelenting war” against insects, parasites and disease. He complained that “Silent Spring” was not a scientific balancing of costs and benefits but rather a “prosecuting attorney’s impassioned plea for action.”

Ms. Carson presented DDT as a dangerous human carcinogen, but Dr. Baldwin said the question was open and noted that most scientists “feel that the danger of damage is slight.” He acknowledged that pesticides were sometimes badly misused, but he also quoted an adage: “There are no harmless chemicals, only harmless use of chemicals.”

Ms. Carson, though, considered new chemicals to be inherently different. “For the first time in the history of the world,” she wrote, “every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.”

She briefly acknowledged that nature manufactured its own carcinogens, but she said they were “few in number and they belong to that ancient array of forces to which life has been accustomed from the beginning.” The new pesticides, by contrast, were “elixirs of death,” dangerous even in tiny quantities because humans had evolved “no protection” against them and there was “no ‘safe’ dose.”

Silent Spring and the DDT ban were a triumph for emotionalism over science. And I dought that this example is cited in Al Gore's new book.

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Giant Hog Update

The giant hog story isn't quite what was expected. In fact, the hunt was conducted on a game farm and the hog was a docile pet.


Remove Clothes, A Generic Protest

In London yesterday, a bunch of kooks agreed to strip off their clothes and protest. They just couldn't agree on what it was they were protesting.

Hundreds of naked cyclists, some sporting strategically-placed body paint, toured the streets of London and other cities around the world Saturday to protest oil dependency and the car culture.

Traffic came to a standstill and onlookers gaped or took photographs as the bare cyclists streamed past London's landmarks, blowing whistles and waving flags saying "Rights for Bikes".

Cyclists in Paris, France; Madrid, Spain; and Vancouver, British Columbia, among other cities, joined in what was the fourth annual world naked bike ride.

More modest cyclists wore shorts, bikinis or strips of tape.

"We shouldn't be so dependent on oil," said Bogdan Potrowski, a 36-year-old Polish electrician, wearing just a baseball cap.

"We also want to show everyone how defenseless we are on the roads," he added after completing the route past London's prime tourist sites including the Houses of Parliament and Downing Street.

Tom Whelehan, 40, said the protest had numerous objectives: to urge more people to ride bikes, to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists and to celebrate the human body -- in all its shapes and sizes.

"We're trying to find the simplest, safest and most natural way to make our point," said Whelehan, a teacher.

He said cycling naked was reasonably comfortable but added that some of London's cobbled streets had proved a challenge.

Others were just there for fun or to bemoan the difficulties of being a bike owner in big cities.

Rebecca Craig, 20, a student midwife with red hand prints painted on her breasts, said she had been motivated to join the ride after the front tire of her bicycle was stolen.

"Everyone does it for different reasons," she said, pointing to the message drawn on her bare back: "Give me my wheel back".

Organizers of the London ride said about 850 people had taken part last year and they had hoped for more than 1,000 on Saturday, helped by sunny weather.

French television said around 400 cyclists attended the ride in Paris. Police arrived quickly on the scene, putting an end to the rally and telling riders to put their clothes on.

Police said five people were arrested for "sexual exhibition" after the rally, which ended near the Opera building in central Paris.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Another Grim Milestone

Media impatience has for them to establish intermediate grim milestones.

Why is it that media are less interested in our enemies' grim milestones?

Chuck Simmins of TDW had been toiling away diligently, recording the deaths of terrorists as reported by MNF-I flaks. Turns out, they weren’t reporting them all. Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno had a press conference recently, largely ignored by the press, in which he reported 3,184 terrorists killed since January 2007, and another 1,018 wounded. Simmins took that number, subtracted the ones he had already logged to avoid duplication, and then averaged them out over the last six months. Turns out our soldiers are killing terrorists at a rate of up to 10 to 1.

AP likes death numbers. Why doesn’t AP like these death numbers? I read AP’s Iraq copy every working night. I have not seen these numbers in the AP copy that comes across my screen.


That Didn't Take Long

In this morning's Lewiston Morning Tribune and on my own blog, I opined that the just shelved immigration bill was loaded with exploding cigars that The New York Times couldn't wait to light. Well, they couldn't even wait for the bill to become law before striking the match.

As the link requires registration and those of you with weak stomachs probably can't bring yourselves to register on the NYT website, I've provided an excerpt here:

The immigration compromise collapsed on the floor of the Senate Thursday night. Many of its hard-line foes are celebrating, but their glee is vindictive and hollow. They have blocked one avenue to an immigration overhaul while offering nothing better, thwarting bipartisanship to satisfy their reflexive loathing for amnesty, which they define as anything that helps illegal immigrants get right with the law.

The tragedy is that the compromise bill was written to bring these restrictionists along, with punitive, detestable provisions that many supporters of comprehensive reform agreed to endorse for the sake of a “grand bargain.” The bill was badly flawed but fixable, as long as there was the possibility of leadership and courage in Congress.

But obstruction happened. Republican amendments, designed to shred the compromise, happened.

While implying rather crudely that the bill's defeat was motivated by racism, the Times conveniently neglects to that it was Democrats who brought the bill down.

First, Sen. Dorgan, a Democrat, knew full well that if his amendment won it would probably derail the "grand bargain." Republicans had said that it would. Yet he pressed ahead, aided and abetted by Majority Leader Reid who as the vote was being plotted "tapped Dorgan on the back" and said "excellent," according to Politico's Carrie Budoff. This suggest that Dorgan, and maybe Reid, preferred "no bill" to the bill as grandly bargained.

But of course, anyone who relies upon the New York Times as their primary source of news is willfully ignorant in the first place.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Neuter Liberals?

California's legislature is considering a bill that would require sterilization of all pets in the golden state.

“It’s a horrific bill,” said Maureen Hill-Hauch, executive director of Castleton, New York-based American Dog Owners Association, adding that enforcement of the bill in theory could wipe out California’s dog population.

The bill would require pet owners to spay and neuter their dogs and cats, or face a $500 fine for each animal.

The Democrat-led state Assembly narrowly approved the bill late on Wednesday. It now goes to the state Senate amid a flurry of legislation that must be passed by Friday.

Republicans in the minority in both chambers do not consider the bill a priority and say it is too intrusive. “It’s micromanaging,” said Republican Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa.

Okay, maybe we could try this with liberals. Actually, now that I think about it, they've actually started neutering themselves.


Immigration Bill - Boob Bait

I wanted to support this immigration bill. I really did. Or, perhaps I should say that I wanted an immigration bill that was supportable. The bill that was originally introduced with the backing of the president possesses many merits. But it also bears the burden of far too many flaws, not the least of which is the cheapening of US citizenship.
Ignore the clichés. This is an amnesty bill. Regardless of the claim that illegal immigrants have to “go to the back of the line” to gain citizenship, the truth is that those already legally in line will be pushed back by 12-20 million places, as illegals will be given an exemption from annual immigration quotas. Just pay $5,000 and learn a little English and you get your citizenship. Felonies that would land you or me in prison, such as identity theft, are forgiven.
Pass go and pick up your voter registration packets at your nearest Democratic Party headquarters. There will even be somebody there to help you fill it out.
But the dirty little truth is that just about everybody knows that even the $5,000 admission fee with be waived. That and other hurdles are just exploding cigars waiting to be lit by Ted Kennedy and the New York Times once the bill is signed into law. If this bill were to pass in its current form, within the next year Democrats will introduce legislation reducing that price dramatically. And the New York Times will denounce any Republican who opposes the bill as racist.
The same thing goes for the provision that limits the number of family members that a newly minted no-longer-illegal immigrant can sponsor for U.S. citizenship. The ink of President Bush’s signature will not be given time to dry before Democrats will bemoan the cruel and draconian, anti-family elements of that provision and will be trying to repeal it.
We need a seasonal guest worker program. And the politicians are squabbling over the number of guest workers that will be admitted into the country annually. Democrats are beholden to labor unions that see persistent labor shortages as desirable. Many businesses thrive on cheap, unskilled labor and want borders wide open. But it’s both silly and arrogant for politicians to place a number on the number of guest workers that should be admitted annually or to arbitrarily set a limit on the number of years that a guest worker program can operate. Nobody can estimate with any certainty how short of domestic labor we will be in 2010. The number of guest workers should be determined in much the same way the Federal Reserve sets the money supply – with predictive economic models.
Supposedly many Republicans believe that they have to support an amnesty program or they will suffer generations of backlash from the Hispanic voters. This is nonsense. In the 1960’s Republicans were more supportive of civil rights than Democrats, but the party is still caricatured as long-time opponents of civil rights by the managers of news. In the 1950’s, as vice president, the reviled Richard Nixon was the first national politician to openly embrace civil rights. But his place in civil rights history is forever tarred by these same information filters.
And, one does not have to wait for the verdict of history to grasp the electoral prospects of this bill for Republicans. Hispanic Republicans (one of every six likely Republican voters) have already rendered a judgment. Since the bill was unveiled, proponent John McCain’s standings has fallen, while Fred Thompson, who opposes the bill, has gained within this demographic. Overall, only 29% of Americans approve of Bush’s handling of the immigration issue. This bill a loser every way for Republicans.
But politicians should not be governed by polls. And they certainly should not be governed by polls that exist only in some imaginary future. This is especially true as public opinion in the future will be informed by the same crooked snakes who convinced Americans that civil rights were bestowed upon us by Democrats who prevailed over Republican intransigency.
Democrats’ see relaxed immigration and naturalization laws as a means to flood the voter rolls with low-wage, poorly educated souls who traditionally vote almost exclusively Democratic.
There’s a big election next year. Let the politicians stake their careers on where they stand, then let the survivors do it right.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Stem Cell Bad News For Democrats

But, it's good news for everyone else.

In a leap forward for stem cell research, three independent teams of scientists reported Wednesday that they have produced the equivalent of embryonic stem cells in mice using skin cells without the controversial destruction of embryos.

If the same could be done with human skin cells — a big if — the procedure could lead to breakthrough medical treatments without the contentious ethical and political debates surrounding the use of embryos.

Experts were impressed by the achievement.

"I think it's one of the most exciting things that has come out about embryonic stem cells, period," said researcher Dr. Asa Abeliovich of Columbia University in New York, who didn't participate in the work. "It's very convincing that it's real."

Meanwhile, Democrats are still trying to legalize harvesting stem cells from live human embryos.

Congressional Democrats are spoiling for their second veto fight of the spring with President Bush, this one centered on embryonic stem cell research and its disease-fighting potential.

House supporters of legislation to loosen restrictions on the use of federal funds for the high-tech research claim more than enough votes to send the measure to the White House on Thursday.

Less clear is whether they also will have the votes to override the veto the president has pledged. Bush made his position clear weeks ago when he said the legislation, which involves the destruction
of human embryos, "crosses a moral line that I and many others find troubling."

Now, there is probably no need to cross that moral line. Bummer for Democrats


Give Us Your Criminals, etc, Yearning to Freeload

Incredible! Yesterday, the Senate of the United States of America voted to grant citizenship to illegal aliens with criminal records.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Standing On Her Own

Two for the price of one - again.

Actually, you get bucketloads of sleaze.

Since he left office in 2001, former president Bill Clinton has been paid $3.3 million by infoUSA, an Omaha, Neb., company that has been identified as a key provider of specially designed databases that have been sold to criminals who use the detailed information to defraud the unsuspecting elderly.

The consulting fees to the former president were only part of the largess infoUSA showered on the former president.

Vinod Gupta, the CEO of infoUSA, lent the Clintons the company's jet, which took them to places like Switzerland, Hawaii, Jamaica and Mexico. The jet service was worth a staggering $900,000.

What does Hillary think of all this?

Hillary: "Those were the rules. You'll have to ask somebody else whether that's good policy."


Dilbert Channels Reuters

One man's terrorist is another man's "Freedom Fighter."

Here is what Steven Jukes, Reuter's global head of news, wrote in a memo to his staff in an internal memo (made available to the world by media critic Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post): "We all know," he wrote, "that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter and that Reuters upholds the principle that we do not use the word terrorist . . ."

In an interview Jukes explained this ruling on the grounds that "We're trying to treat everyone on a level playing field, however tragic it's been and however awful and cataclysmic for the American people . . ."

And he added that "we don't want to jeopardize the safety of our staff . . . in Gaza, the West Bank and Afghanistan . . ."


Friday, June 01, 2007

Hillary Flunked The Bar Exam?

Did you know this? Hillary flunked the District of Columbia bar exam after completing law school.

If George W. Bush had gone to law school and later flunked the bar exam, you can imagine that fact would have become a virtual part of his name in the MSM, as in "George Bush, who failed the bar exam, today criticized a law that . . ."

But it came as news to me when Carl Bernstein mentioned on this morning's "Today" that Hillary flunked the Washington, DC bar exam back in the '70s. OK, I'm not the most knowledegable guy, and the fact of Hillary's failure is not news -- after years of hiding the embarrassment, she revealed it, en passant, in her ghostwritten 2003 "autobiography."

Update: Do you think that the mainstream media will report on Hillary's telephone eavesdropping during the 90's?


Fire the Minions

Republican base is furious about the immigration bill and are withholding their money from GOP phone solicitors. The GOP's reaction? Fire the people who make the calls.

The Republican National Committee, hit by a grass-roots donors' rebellion over President Bush's immigration policy, has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors, The Washington Times has learned.
Faced with an estimated 40 percent falloff in small-donor contributions and aging phone-bank equipment that the RNC said would cost too much to update, Anne Hathaway, the committee's chief of staff, summoned the solicitations staff and told them they were out of work, effective immediately, fired staff members told The Times.
Several of the solicitors fired at the May 24 meeting reported declining contributions and a donor backlash against the immigration proposals now being pushed by Mr. Bush and Senate Republicans.
"Every donor in 50 states we reached has been angry, especially in the last month and a half, and for 99 percent of them immigration is the No. 1 issue," said a fired phone bank employee who said the severance pay the RNC agreed to pay him was contingent on his not criticizing the national committee.

It's not called the "Stupid Party" for nothing.


Al Qaeda Is In Iraq?

I thought Iraq had nothing to do with the War on Terror. Then why are we fighting Al Quaeda there?

According to the Associated Press, US troops are doing battle with Al Quaeda in Baghdad.

Iraqi and U.S. troops fanned out in a devastated Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad on Friday, residents said, adding they were holed up in their houses under a curfew that was imposed to restore calm after days of internal fighting between insurgent groups.

Northeast of Baghdad, an al-Qaida-linked suicide bomber blew himself up Friday in a house sheltering members of the rival 1920 Revolution Brigades, killing two of the other militants and wounding four in the strife-ridden city of Baqouba, police said.

Abu Ahmed, a 40-year-old Sunni father of four in Baghdad's Amariyah neighborhood, said he was among a group of residents who joined in the clashes with al-Qaida fighters on Wednesday and Thursday — fed up with the gunfire that kept students from final exams and forced people in the neighborhood to huddle indoors.

Ahmed denied being a member of any insurgent groups but said he sympathizes with "honest Iraqi resistance," referring to those opposed to U.S.-led efforts in Iraq but also against the brutal tactics of al-Qaida.

"Al-Qaida fighters and leaders have completely destroyed Amariyah. No one can venture out and all the businesses are closed," he said. "They kill everyone who criticizes them and is against their acts even if they are Sunnis."

"What al-Qaida fighters do is not jihad (holy war), these acts are just criminal ones. Jihad must be against the occupation, Shiite militias and those who cooperate with them," he added. "Those fighters are here only to kill Iraqis and not the Americans. They are like cancer and must be removed from the Iraqi body."


Why Don't Elitists Hate Costco Too?

How is it that Costco escapes the sniffery of snobs? There exists a peculiar form of haughty disdain poured out on Wal-Mart, that Costco seems immune from. A quick trip inside a Costco reveals a utilitarian storefront with less charm and shabbier decor than one finds at the average tire warehouse. It’s a place that sells mayonnaise in five-gallon drums and ketchup in gallon sized squeeze bottles. Landfills bulge with the Styrofoam cups and paper plates that Costco sells in unit sizes that probably exceed Wal-Mart’s monthly sales of those items. Costco contributes to global warming by selling gasoline at prices below any competitors. Without a doubt, Costco imposes enormous strains on nearby mom and pop stores. And yet, when a snob like Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards needs to establish his elitist bona fides, he tells a story about how his son ridicules a classmate whose parents bought shoes at Wal-Mart.
Except for some core staples, Costco’s inventory is not especially predictable. One gets the impression that much of their stock is purchased opportunistically from wholesalers who could found themselves with more merchandise than their customers could move.
And Costco’s prices are so low that the store undoubtedly places a great deal of profit strain on surrounding businesses. One can actually measure the influence of Costco by noticing that the price of gasoline rises as one drives from Costco.
I happened to be in Clarkston the other day and as I usually do when my proximity and time coincide, I went inside and searched for bargains. I can almost always use a new pair of pants or a fresh shirt and nowhere do I find prices as low on those necessities than Costco.
I have heard comedians make fun of the typical Wal-Mart customer as an overweight hick. Well, I will say this for Wal-Mart. At least I can always find pants that fit there. My waist size fluctuates between 30 and 32 inches. Very often I can sort through an entire table of Costco clothing without finding a single example of pants that come within 6 inches of fitting me. The same thing obtains when I look for a shirt. Costco offers an awful lot of XL and XXL sized shirts, but darned few mediums. Surely Costco buys inventory that serves the preponderance of their customers and it would seem that very few Costco patrons could fit into their high school prom dress or tuxedo. Based upon the size offering found in the clothing section, the average Costco customer would seem to fit the caricature of the Wal-Mart shopper whom the snobs poke fun at, more accurately than the average Wal-Mart shopper.
Certainly one reason that Costco escapes Wal-Mart’s condemnation is that Costco contributes almost exclusively to Democratic political candidates, while Wal-Mart’s top executives are big Republican donors. Wal-Mart is pro-free trade while Costco favors protectionism. In addition, one can buy $1250 purses and $1700 shopping bags at Costco. I suppose that’s the sort of extravagance that Costco can afford by not keeping 30-inch waistline pants around for the infrequent customer who could squeeze into them.
In truth, I like both stores. I like stretching my dollars. Having a Wal-Mart or a Costco conveniently located nearby is like getting a raise as the dollars I earn can buy more at either of those storefronts. If Costco’s chief executive Jim Sinegal wishes to donate $2000 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, I’m not going to harm my pocketbook by boycotting his store. If Democrats choose to spend more than they need to by avoiding Wal-Mart because they disapprove of its executives’ politics, then that’s their foolish choice.
Although, it’s worth noting that when John Edwards wanted to get a Nintendo PlayStation3 for his children, he tried to arrange a backdoor purchase from his neighborhood Wal-Mart so that he wouldn’t have to wait in line like commoners. Snobbery only goes so far. Even the super-rich like to stretch their dollars.
In spite of the lowbrow austerity that Costco presents, it occupies such a favored place in the hearts of the elite that the state of Washington actually subsidized construction of a Costco in Covington to the tune of millions. Is Costco like NPR?
I can’t help but wonder why John Edwards does not boast that his children make fun of classmates who come to school wearing Kirkland Select blue jeans.