Saturday, February 26, 2005


More on Mubarak's Surprise Announcement

Our friend The Great Pontificator has weighed in on Mubarak's startling about-face. Just last month Mubarak said the notion of opposition candidates, as opposed to the traditional "Presidential Referendum", was "unthinkable." But The Great Pontificator sees this as a shrewd move by the Egyptian head of state:

Mubarak, perhaps seeing the handwriting on the wall, has jumped ahead of the reformists. Rather than waiting for demonstrations in the street, which would obviously cast him as a reactionary tyrant bent on maintaining personal power, Mubarak has ordered the single most major reform himself, and has now cast himself in the role as the “father of Egyptian democracy.” Given the inherent advantages of his position, and the likelihood that, like Karzai in Afghanistan, he will benefit from a fragmented collection of small parties as opponents, he has positioned himself to actually be elected, by a confortable margin, in any such open election. It is a public opinion-driving masterstroke.

Let’s not be “Pollyanna” here. The government, and for all intents and purposes, that means Mubarak, is surely going to decide what parties are and are not legal, and will be making all the rules and controlling all the machinery for this election. So his advantages are considerable. Does it amount to a “rigged” election? It certainly could, but I think that is not likely under the circumstances. Given the current international situation, international observers, and perhaps even U.N. elections supervisors, are sure to be involved. And Mubarak, having seized the initiative, has nothing to gain from any ham-handed attempt at fraud or chicanery. For Mubarak, it is the next best thing to a rigged election. But it is still a massive leap forward, and it may be difficult for any future administration to try to backslide.

Like I have said before on this blog and elsewhere, Gorbachev's experience provides a valuable lesson: once the genie is out of the bottle, it's tough to draw the line at "a little democracy".


Elections in Egypt!

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has announced that he has ordered the amendment of Egyptian election law to allow for a presidential election in which the people will be allowed to choose between multiple candidates fielded by multiple parties.

The change will be on the ballot as a referendum in the September election.

As some of the European press observed last week, notably Der Speigel in Germany, "What if George Bush is Right?" Has the march of democracy in the Arab world really begun? Bush was greeted in some European countries, not by the little groups of protesters prominently showcased on CNN, but by large and enthusiastic crowds. In Slovakia, the crowds came out and the Prime Minister
scolded the international media for their anti-Bush bias, and their ignorance of the realities of the liberation of Iraq. Perhaps some European countries suffer the same disconnect between their media elites and the people as we have in this country?

Bush's unabashed support for democracy has created a climate where, in countries like Egypt, it has become impossible for the rulers to clamp down on reformist voices without bucking an American President who clearly has the will, and the political power, to change the world. Many of us have noted over the past month that reformist dialogue has come out into the open in places like Egypt, and even Saudi Arabia. While the mainstream media has ignored this, and ignored the first ever Saudi municipal elections, the Arab world is paying attention. And while the Saudi elections didn't permit women, still it was an enormous leap into the future for what is essentially a mediaeval kingdom. The genie is out of the bottle, and the Saudis may soon find, like Gorbachev, that it's tough to hold the line at being "a little bit democratic".

In Lebanon, people who cowered in the shadows at the mention of the Syrian occupiers have taken to the streets to demand that the Syrians get out. But surely this has nothing to do with Bush? It has everything to do with Bush. Jim Geraghty of
TKS (formerly "The Kerry Spot" during the election, a blog sub-site located at The National Review) noted this quote from a David Ignacius column in the Washington Post last week:

The leader of this Lebanese intifada [for independence from Syria] is Walid Jumblatt, the patriarch of the Druze Muslim community and, until recently, a man who accommodated Syria's occupation. But something snapped for Jumblatt last year, when the Syrians overruled the Lebanese constitution and forced the reelection of their front man in Lebanon, President Emile Lahoud. The old slogans about Arab nationalism turned to ashes in Jumblatt's mouth, and he and Hariri openly began to defy Damascus... "It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq," explains Jumblatt. "I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world." Jumblatt says this spark of democratic revolt is spreading. "The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it."

Yep. The genie is out of the bottle. What will happen remains to be seen. But one thing seems certain: the Arab world is changing forever, and George W. Bush forced that change. It could all go wrong, you could end up with a bunch of countries where militant Islamic fundamentalists seize power. Like the collapse of the Soviet Union, the democratization of the Arab world will likely give birth to some successes (Poland) and some real basket cases (Yugoslavia).

The U.S. and its allies can help this process along by aiding the political development of these countries: one reason Communists always seemed to gain the upper hand in the post-war world was that they were organized, and the opposition generally wasn't, consisting of a number of tiny interest groups unable to forge a united front. Another reason, of course, was the Soviet 600-pound gorilla, a role which will be played by the Islamist terrorists seeking to support the seizure of power by fundamentalists. And the power of the U.S. and its allies must continue to be brought to bear to destroy these people. But once a people embrace the idea of democracy, how readily can they again submit to tyranny and oppression?

Is the Iranian revolution far off now?

What will come in the middle east is anybody's guess. And for sure, parts of it are going to be ugly. Won't it just be the ultimate historical irony if George W. Bush, repeatedly characterized as "Hitler" and a "Nazi" by the leftists here and abroad, goes down in history as the "Great Liberator of Peoples"?

Friday, February 25, 2005


Horowitz Strikes Again

David Horowitz is, of course, the former liberal who realized there was nothing liberal anymore about the American leftists. His campaign to expose the leftist bent of higher education in America is well-known. Well, David has a new site up and running. It’s a must-see. So go see it. HERE. NOW!

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Is Zogby Fishing for Wedge Issues?

During the presidential campaign I got myself on the list for Zogby’s goofy internet poll. Wasn’t hard. Just went to the website and volunteered. I’ve received, and taken, a few more since the election. Seems like the post-election doldrums must have hit pretty hard in the polling industry this cycle. The fist poll or two contained more fluff about how St. Valentines Day should or should not be celebrated and such stuff than about anything substantive.

With this latest poll, though, it looks like it is back to business. Sure, there was the stuff about St. Patrick’s Day and assorted puff and fluff, but there was a whole series of questions that could be indicative of something Republicans had better be aware of: Zogby is fishing for wedge issues to drive apart religious conservatives and less religious, less conservative members of the Bush voting coalition. And you can bet that somebody is sponsoring that fishing trip.

I don’t claim to be an expert. I do have some background in political polling, and I did work a stint with a nationally known pollster. I know something about how this industry works. Now Zogby is himself a Democrat. Don’t let anybody, including Zogby, tell you otherwise. So it’s possible this fishing expedition is just his own whim. But many people don’t realize that pollsters are often commissioned to develop a poll to meet the specific criteria of the client, or even hired to administer a poll actually assembled by the client. So it is likely that these questions originated with someone, Zogby or a third-party client, with an agenda to pursue.

Anyone who believes that political pollsters are only interested in scientifically and objectively gauging public opinion is just plain naïve. Sure, polls are intended to collect information and assess public opinion, but many are structured to “push” the person taking the poll in a certain direction, or “attack” a candidate or issue. And even when the poll IS a fairly neutral information-gathering exercise, it is still gathering information which the person paying for the poll hopes to be able to use against an opponent, or for the benefit of his side of an issue.

Without going into specific questions, which would raise legal – and ethical – issues, until and unless Zogby releases the questions himself, let me assure you that someone is trying very hard to gauge the attitudes of those identifying them selves as “Republican” on issues of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnic background, religion and abortion, and to filter those attitudes to determine at what point the conservatives, and especially religious conservatives, might part company with less conservative Republicans.

Conclusion: someone, and I have a sneaking suspicion it’s not just Zogby, is trying to frame a set of issues that will drive wedges between religious conservatives and the rest of the Republican Party. A set of issues on which positions can be taken which will separate more moderate or liberal republicans from conservative Republicans, and allow a Democrat a chance to pick off more centrist Republican voters. Sort of a reversal of the “Reagan Democrat” phenomenon.

Someone is trying to figure out the “magic words” to throw around in a Democratic campaign aimed at moving back to the right and away from the loony left. Someone is trying to formulate a message intended to isolate conservatives, and especially religious conservatives. Probably someone who is already publicly trying to portray him or herself as a “moderate”, someone who is already running a presidential campaign for 2008. Someone who has no intention of following Soros and Dean off the cliff.

Republicans in general, and conservatives in particular, had better be watching out for this trend. Conservatives alone did not elect Bush. Conservatives alone cannot win a presidential election. And conservatives can ask the Democrats: it doesn’t matter how big a group you are, less than 50% is still a minority. It would not take much of a shift at the center to leave conservatives as out in the cold as liberals are now.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Tsunami, earthquake, mudslide, flood

I’ve lost count now…how many millions, public and private, will the United States be pouring into tsunami relief? Any figures yet on what we’ll be sending to Iran for this earthquake? Anybody remember how many millions we contributed after the last Iranian earthquake? Or the flooding in Bangladesh?

The Mayor of Los Angeles is requesting President Bush and Governor Schwarzenegger to declare the city and county a disaster area because of flooding and mudslides. Heard about all that aid being offered by the international community? Me neither. And where’s the U.N., just declared “indispensable to humanity” by Kofi Annan? They were quick to demand that they take over administration of the tsunami relief effort, despite the fact that their “officials” hadn’t even started holding meetings in resort hotels yet, while the Australian and U.S. military forces, and USAid officials, were already operating hospitals, helicoptering supplies to remote areas and organizing relief convoys…for which the U.N. folks, miles away in a swanky hotel, tried to take credit.

But we must make allowances for the U.N. They were probably still busy trying to sort out all that emergency relief assistance they contributed to the Ohio valley flooding this winter…or maybe all worn out from their massive effort on behalf of the victims of the serial hurricanes in Florida.

Not sure whom it is that Kofi thinks would perish without the “indispensable to humanity” U.N. Oh, wait, he must mean the victims of genocide in Rwanda and Darfur. No, wait, they DID perish…and are still perishing in Darfur. Maybe he means the women and children of the Congo and Bosnia. No, wait, it’s the U.N. peacekeepers who are sexually abusing those folks.

Wait, I’ve got it…he means France! The U.N. is indispensable to France in its efforts to continue the pretense that France is a world power. Oh yeah, and Saddam Hussein…the U.N. was indispensable to his efforts to stay in power and starve his people to death while he built palaces and stole billions from the U.N. oil-for-food program.

Aside from the Saudi prince whose check was unceremoniously returned when he said he wanted to help the 9/11 victims, but it was their own government’s fault because of its support for Israel, can you remember the last time the “international community” lifted a finger to help Americans in a time of disaster?

The international community is more like a family…a family of spoiled brats standing there with their hands out for their allowance while living in Dad’s basement and running their mouths about what a jerk Dad is. Maybe its time for Dad to put his wallet away and tell the children to stop taking advantage, move out of the basement, and grow up.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Rumsfeld Schools California Congresswoman

Joe Fairbanks, over at The Stanford Review, has the following amusing exchange. The original post links to the full transcript.

Yesterday, Defense Secretary testified before the House Armed Services committee on a wide range of issues and, not surprisingly, the issue of Iraqi troop levels came up. California Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA 47) accused Rumsfeld of misleading the people by providing incorrect, inflated statistics on the number of trained Iraqi troops. Read the transcript and it becomes clear Sanchez is showing herself to be embodiment of Democratic partisanship by misleading the American people with numbers she fully knows are outdated. The exchange was as follows (edited for length, entire transcript is linked above):
SANCHEZ: And unfortunately, as I said, this committee has had a hard time assessing where we really stand with the Iraqi army as an effective fighting force.
Over the past year, we've received incredibly widely fluctuating estimates of that. And I think you have a real credibility problem on this issue.
RUMSFELD: Fluctuations of what?
SANCHEZ: The fluctuations of -- the numbers that you bandy around about how many troops we really have out there that are Iraqi police, et cetera, et cetera.
RUMSFELD: [I]n the materials we provide you, there are, I think, 12 or 15 different categories. There are police, civil intervention force, emergency response, border enforcement, highway patrol, dignitary protection, special police commandos for the interior department, army, national guard, intervention force, special operations, air force, navy for the military.
Now, you say we bandy around numbers. They're not my numbers. I don't invent them. They come from General Petraeus. If you look up there, what you'll see is that the numbers originally, as I said in my remarks, included site protection people. And that dropped it by about 70,000.
We originally talked about on duty only, then we changed it and said trained, then we took the site protection out.
This has all been perfectly transparent to everybody. There's no bandying at all.
And now we're saying trained and equipped, just in the ministry of interior and defense. They are Petraeus' numbers.
SANCHEZ: I have Petraeus' numbers. They're different than your numbers, by the way.
RUMSFELD: Well, what's the date? They aren't different because these came from Petraeus. He may have two sets of numbers, but they are not different if the date's the same.
The date on my paper here is February 14th. What's yours?
SANCHEZ: December 20th.
RUMSFELD: Not surprising there's a difference.

Unfortunately, this type of grandstanding, hoping to generate soundbites or tv coverage, with a total disregard for any facts has become the norm. Voters were not fooled by Democrats who kept reciting "2.4 million jobs lost" long after it became clear that there was no such loss of jobs. Hpefully, they will not be fooled by the "there's no problem with social security" line, either.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


The Law of the Sea Treaty Must Not Be Ratified

From The Great Pontificator

The Bush administration has been steadfast in refusing to go along with the internationalist pressures to cede US sovreignty to the United Nations, resisting the Kyoto Accord (nothing more than a welfare program for third world nations without industrial facilities) and the International Criminal Court (sure, countries like Iran and North Korea are going to sit in judgment over American citizens).

Surprisingly, the administration has announced that it is reversing itself and now supports the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). This is a bad idea, plain and simple. It will allow the UN to determine when and under what circumstances ships may be stopped and boarded at sea.This means the current "stop and frisk" quasi embargo being queitly carried out to prevent North Korea from exporting nuclear materials would probably be ordered halted.Maritime disputes would be subject to the binding judgment of an international court, with no way of predicting which nations might be sitting in judgment.

Most frightening of all, and I do mean frightening, it would cede to the UN the power to TAX American citizens and companies, in the form of licenses and fees.

This treaty MUST NOT BE RATIFIED. Write , call or email your senators, and senate majority leader Bill Frist, and let them know in no uncertain terms that you oppose the ratification of this grant of power to the UN.

UPDATE: HERE is a site where you can find e-mail addresses for many U.S. Senators (members of the House of Representatives, too). And HERE is an official Senate site that gives mailing addresses. Most Senators’ listings also provide for an internet-based contact form.

UPDATE II: Cap'n Ed over at CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS has more detail on the Law of the Sea Treaty.

Saturday, February 19, 2005


Don't Let the Name Fool You

Over at Democratic Peace they are debating whether the assassination of the Evil Gargoyle of North Korea, Kim Jong Il, is a legitimate policy option. This blog is not for the intellectually lazy, and to be honest, I've visited a couple of times and I'm not sure yet whether the proprietor and I would be at the same or opposite ends of the political spectrum. But it makes for interesting reading. And don't let the name fool you...I'm not sure yet what to make of this blog, but I'm pretty darn sure it's not a left wingnut peacenik site.

Friday, February 18, 2005


The Social Security Problem in a Nutshell

Actually, it's simple. Social security benefits are increased based on the level of increase in wages, rather than the increase in costs (inflation). Payouts to non-working people who are drawing benefits rise at the same rate as wages paid to working people, which rise faster than the cost of living. Thus, "fixed-income" folk who draw social security benefits can not only maintain their standard of living, they can actually improve it, courtesy of the taxpayers still working.

This is the result of fifty years of congressional tinkering, and it bears no relationship to social security as it was created.

Oh, and by the way, the "trust fund" doesn't exist. Hasn't existed for years. The politicians have long since "borrowed" any money that ever was in a trust fund. Nothing in the "trust fund" but government IOU's. Ask Dennis Kucinich, or one of the other "head-in-the-sand, there's no problem" types to show you a bank account with money in it. There isn't one!

It's not rocket science, it not even complicated, like the politicians on both sides make it sound. People live longer and benefits rise faster than the cost of living. So people collect bigger benefits for longer periods of time.

When the baby-boom generation retires, the number of people collecting bigger benefits for longer periods of time skyrockets, and the system collapses.

Or you keep raising social security taxes and raising the retirement age to keep the pyramid scheme going.

Or you start doing something NOW to address the problems.

Compare Chile's system with France and Germany.

It's just not that complicated, folks!

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Kofi's a Cheapskate

MIKE EVANS HOLLYWOOD REPORT, a syndicated radio morning show spot, is becoming a regular source of amusing and interesting nuggets. Today we have this: Kofi Annan ran up a $17,000.00 bill at a Colorado ski resort, and left a $20.00 tip.


Eason Jordan, meet Judge Roy Bean

So Eason Jordan is gone, and on the balance sheet that’s a plus. Based on the long history of irresponsible remarks and comments that have come to light, it’s pretty clear that the guy was a jerk, and a card-carrying member of the “hate America, blame America” crowd. It’s also pretty clear that he was willing to pander to the America haters overseas to maintain CNN’s access and position.

BUT…I’m really not sure what to make of the behavior of the blogosphere on this one.

Hey, “dogpile on Dan Rather” was loads of fun to watch, and Rather richly deserved what he got, and more…the duplicitous old cretin should have been fired outright. He’s not some talking head reporter reading the script he’s handed, he’s the managing editor, and that should mean he’s responsible for the content. With power comes responsibility. Or at least, that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

But as I watched the Jordan affair unfold, I didn’t have that same gleeful sense of watching somebody ask for it, even beg for it, and then get it. Instead, I had this kind of uneasy feeling that I was watching the old Karloff classic version of “Frankenstein.” You know, that part where the torch wielding villagers form a mob and go hunting the monster. I wasn’t sure why I felt that way, but I did.

Finally it dawned on me. Rather’s forged documents were right there, up front, in black and white and Times New Roman for all to see. The experts warned CBS, yet they went ahead. And when the fraud was quickly exposed, Rather lied repeatedly. About authentication, about sources, about everything. And kept lying. And everybody knew it.

But the Jordan affair was different, and here’s why: the stupid remarks were reported, and out came the villagers with their torches, calling for his head. Unfortunately, that was putting the cart before the horse, because what the angry mob should have been after was the truth…and the tape. Within a few days it was known that a tape existed. While a few bloggers called for the release of the tape, most were already caught up in demanding the release of Jordan from his employment. No presumption of innocence here. Just “let’s get him.”

Now, the fact that Jordan resigned without himself ever calling for the release of the tape is pretty good circumstantial evidence that he knew what was on the tape, and it wasn’t gonna be good for him. But that’s hindsight. I hate to say it, but the MSM is real close to right about this being a witch hunt.

With power comes responsibility. Or at least, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. Some members of the blogosphere , caught up in “the Pajamahadeen Ride Again”, may have lost sight of that principle. And of that famous principle of frontier justice, often attributed to the infamous "Judge" Roy Bean: “First we’ll give you a fair trial. Then we’ll hang you.”

Next time, we should have the trial before the hanging.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Janet Reno - Star of stage and screen?

This really weird item was broadcast this morning on MIKE EVANS’ HOLLYWOOD REPORT, a radio spot heard on morning shows around the country: an agent has been retained to find acting gigs for…Janet Reno! Yes, THAT Janet Reno.

Monday, February 14, 2005


Thoughts on the Iraqi Election Results

The results are in, and despite all the dire predictions the Iraqi elections appear to have been a resounding success. Not perfect, by any means, but no election ever is…unless of course you’re Saddam Hussein and voting is mandatory with your name already selected on the ballot.

For those who complained, before a single ballot was ever cast, that the election was just a sham to lend the appearance of legitimacy to winners predetermined by the Bush administration, the outcome will make no difference. Never mind that the winners were not the folks the U.S. would have picked. Never mind that the outcome looks like what might reasonably have been expected. To the usual suspects on the far left, those facts are just proof positive of the conspiracy between the Bush administration and the people who would not have been chosen by the Bush administration, who really were in fact chosen by the Bush administration, for the very reason that they were the people the Bush administration would not have chosen. Or maybe it’s just that Karl Rove’s evil mind control ray works at really long distance, and he’s hypnotized the people who wouldn’t be the administration’s first choice so that now they are the administration’s first choice precisely because they are the people who would not be the administration’s first choice…

Just remember, these are the same nuts who figure Ohio was really going to vote for Kerry except some guy in Cleveland said he had to wait in line, and two people in Cincinnati said they were intimidated because they thought someone might ask their names, and that shifted over 130,000 votes, and besides, the election must have been stolen because look at the exit polls, and… Yeah. Sure.

For those who complained, before a single ballot was cast, that Iraq was in a state of chaos and elections were impossible, the turnout, apparently finally set at 58 or 59%, will make no difference, because the Sunnis weren’t included in the voting in sufficient numbers. Well, when your group decides to boycott the election, and they call your bluff and go ahead and hold the election without you, that’s what happens. You get left out! That’s how democracy works. You participate, or you get left out!

I assume, and there is every indication, that those who did participate, at risk of life and limb, will now make some kind of accommodation for those who decided to sit this one out. That may be the most practical course of action. But people like Senator Joe Biden need to stop talking about it as if the Sunnis are “entitled” to such an accommodation. They are not entitled to anything except…to get left out! Maybe next time, they’ll show up to vote.

As is normally the case with all things Iraq, CHRENKOFF has both excellent analysis and a number of good links. This is a really long and really thorough posting – well worth the time to read every word, but leave yourself some time. The links are so extensive it’s like going to the library. You remember the library…you know, where they had books…printed on paper?

Sunday, February 13, 2005


The Argument Clinic

For you younger viewers, this is the classic Monty Python skit in which a man pays a fee to sit across a desk and argue with another man. The argument soon degenerates into an argument over the nature of argument: “An argument is a series of statements intended to establish a proposition.” “No it isn’t.” “It’s not simply the automatic gainsaying of anything I say.” “Yes it is.” Or something like that…it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it. But hopefully you get the gist. If you’ve never seen it, you really should. It’s hilarious.

Unfortunately, it’s also an almost perfect parody of the state of political debate in the United States today.

Has political discussion become impossible in this country? The only consistency in most people’s political views these days seems to be a fierce, often ignorant, and sometimes downright stupid factional loyalty. If a Republican says, “the sky is blue”, Democrats must reply “No it isn’t.” If a Democrat says, “the sun rose this morning”, Republicans must reply “No it didn’t.”

The same people who complained that Clinton was using “the social security crisis” (and, yes, that is how he characterized it, and I agreed with him) to distract attention from the whole Lewinsky/lying under oath thing now embrace the need for social security reform. The same people who complain that Bush is a unilateralist cowboy criticize the insistence on including South Korea, Japan and China in multilateral talks with North Korea.

I know, I know, I can hear both ends of the political spectrum screaming: “But that’s different!” Yeah. Sure.

Partisans don’t disagree on issues any more. Partisans just disagree. The automatic gainsaying of whatever the other says.

A number of years ago I worked as a graduate assistant with Dr. John Green, a political science professor who had emigrated from the ivy-covered halls of the Northeast to the University of Akron in Ohio. He had identified what he referred to as the “decline in the level of civility in American society.” This trend has become so deeply rooted in the political discourse of the nation that it is difficult to find a civil discussion anywhere. No one who disagrees with me has a different point of view anymore, they are a LIAR! Nothing happens by coincidence anymore, it is a CONSPIRACY! And no one can support an agenda with which I do not agree unless they are a NAZI!

And the really sad part is that the people to whom this most applies, at both ends of the spectrum, will not see themselves in this post. They will instead recognize me as a lying Nazi engaged in a conspiracy to destroy (their vision of) the world.

Friday, February 11, 2005


A Hypothetical Question

"A" buys property subject to a mortgage. By the terms of the mortgage, the payment will increase sharply in five years and gradually continue to increase from that time. "A" realizes that he will have a problem making the larger payments in the future, but for now he is OK. "A" also has a car loan. He has an opportunity to refinance the car loan on advantageous terms to obtain a smaller payment without lengthening the term of the loan. "A" should:
a. Do nothing
b. Decide that he has nothing to worry about until 5 years from now
c. Refinance the car loan and invest the savings
d. Call people liars when they point out that he is headed for trouble and needs to do something about it

Social Security reform. It won't solve all the problems, but it's a step in the right direction.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Bits and Pieces from Here and There

During the presidential election campaign, Thomas Lipscomb did yeoman’s duty debunking the serial fictionalizations spouted by the empty suit from Massachusetts. Kerry’s recent performances have been embarrassing, as he obviously tries to make it up as he goes along, always spinning a new tale to explain the last. Lipscomb revisits the subject of the tall tales of John Forbes Kerry HERE.

Municipal elections are being held in Saudi Arabia, beginning today. Of those taking note of the event, most are disparaging, complaining that the elections, from which women are excluded, are a sham, a meaningless pretense at faux reform. I see it a little differently: for a mediaeval kingdom, ANY election is a major event. And the Saudi royal family may soon find that a little reform is a dangerous thing. Just ask Mikhail Gorbachev. The Saudi elections are the topic of discussion at
LITTLE GREEN FOOTBALLS. And see a news report HERE.

AIDS. Jacques Chirac wants to institute a world tax over it; story after story and report after report decry it as the modern equivalent of the black death that decimated the population of Europe in the middle ages. But is it possible that this perception is partly hype? What is the truth about this epidemic? This story has been percolating below the radar for several weeks now. Well, it’s not below the radar at DEAN’S' WORLD. A series of blog entries and comments have been sliced and diced into what is essentially a blogged book.


For the history buffs out there...

Interested in history? Take a few minutes and check out HISTORIUM. It’s an interesting site and well worth a look.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


All Shiites Are Not Alike

Captain’s Quarters has a brief but revealing look at why Iraqi Shiites, as led by Al-Sistani, are different than Iranian Shiites, who adhere to Khomeini’s interpretations. Definitely worth a look.


A Really Odd Couple

According to MIKE EVANS’ HOLLYWOOD REPORT, a syndicated spot heard on 56 radio station morning shows, President Bush the Elder and Bill Clinton have actually gotten to be friends on their “tsunami relief tour”. Apparently, it’s not just cordial. They’ve actually gotten to be pretty good friends, and are planning to take a fishing trip together. Now who would have figured that?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


The New Europe?

The New Europe Posted by Hello


The Politics of Population

Check out the map of Europe posted above. Look a little strange? Of course it does. This is one of those funny little images that floats around the internet, getting e-mailed and forwarded repeatedly and giving a chuckle to the recipients.

Now go read
THIS ARTICLE, come back, look at this map of Europe, and let’s see if you’re still laughing. Pavel Kohout has put together a powerful argument, based largely on simple demographics, for the proposition that this funny map of Europe may not be quite so far off the mark. Kohout argues that the socialist economies of Europe, which are in part responsible for the declining birthrates among their populations, coupled with large scale muslim immigration and higher birthrates among muslims, will result in the immigrants replacing the current populations:

State pensions systems eliminated the natural economic incentive to have children. At the same time, the welfare state is an enormously costly luxury that has to be financed from taxes. High payroll-tax and social security contributions reduce the earning capacity of people in fertile age. Thus, they push down birth rates as well.

Culture seems to play an even more crucial role than taxes or pension systems. The countries of the former Soviet Union are an interesting "demographic laboratory" in this respect. We have already mentioned Ukraine, Baltic States, and Russia. The situation in the Muslim republics -- Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan -- is completely different: almost all of them are living a population explosion. The living standard in these countries is close to that of Georgia or Armenia, i.e. poor. But Georgia and Armenia suffer from the same demographic shock as, for instance, the Baltic States. The difference lies in the traditionally Christian character of the latter countries. The position of women in society is perhaps a little different from that of the rich European countries, but comparing to Muslim countries these differences do not count much. In terms of birth rate, they are almost negligible. Armenia will lose a quarter of its population by 2050, while the population of the neighboring Azerbaijan will surge by a third.

Instead of integration of immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa into a majority European society, the opposite will occur: the immigrants will integrate the existing European culture into their own civilization. After some time, it will be their civilization that will become dominant. One does not have to be a supporter of Jean-Marie Le Pen to feel a little anxious about that. It is not a problem of ethnics and their mingling. It is a matter of society, its values, and democracy as such. European tolerance competes with Islam, which is not always a religion of peace, as many Europeans would like to believe. Radical Islamic preachers openly condemn democracy. They interpret it not as a social system but as a pagan cult, which prefers the voices of people to the voice of God. This and other theories of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi and his conservative fellow-believers are proclaimed in many mosques throughout Europe.

And before you think “that’s what the Europeans deserve, with their foolish immigration policies and obsessive refusal to require immigrants to integrate into society”, take a look at THIS PIECE by Christopher G. Adamo and give some thought to what the United States is accomplishing, with their foolish immigration policies and obsessive refusal to require immigrants to integrate into society:

During a January 28 radio interview, Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez threatened the state of Arizona with legal action through the international courts in order to overturn Proposition 200, a ballot initiative lawfully passed last fall to curb state expenditures on illegal aliens.

Derbez plans to initially use the "legal capacities" of the United States to achieve his goal. But if that doesn't work, he will resort to the intervention of "international tribunals."

Of course, Derbez is not acting alone. Mexican President Vicente Fox has long rejected the term "illegal alien," claiming instead that the invaders are "undocumented workers" and thus displaying a complete disregard for American law.
Fox has been unrestrained in his contempt for the very concept of American sovereignty, promoting the concept of "dual citizenship" whereby Mexican immigrants would conceivably be eligible to vote in both countries.
Increasingly, his long-term goal appears to be an effort to transform the American Southwest into a Mexican "Sudetenland," which was the heavily Germanic region of Czechoslovakia that Hitler exploited as an excuse to invade and occupy that country.

DIANE ALDEN has written a three part series, BORDERLINE INSANITY, which is a must read for those concerned with the effects of immigration, both legal and illegal, and the problems resulting from the failure to assimilate immigrants.

Consider, too, the palestinian demand for the “right of return” to be recognized by Israel. Never mind the fact that Israel never expelled the palestinians, that these people left voluntarily, sometimes at the urging of their Arab friends and neighbors. This insistence upon the “right of return” should fool no one: palestinians, discouraged in their efforts to kill off the Israelis and disappointed by the repeated failure of their Arab friends and neighbors to eradicate Israel (certainly not for lack of trying), have hit upon the “right of return” as a way to destroy Israel by simply overwhelming its population, and turning Jews into a minority in the Jewish state of Israel.

Whether by design, as in the case of Mexico and the palestinians, or by the tide of events, as in the case of legal unassimilated immigrant populations and differences in birth rates, the Western democracies are in danger of being destroyed by their own ridiculous immigration policies and slavish dedication to “multiculturalism”.

And the ultimate irony is that the policy of “multiculturalism” will finally lead to societies in which the original populations, those who enforced the policy, will be overwhelmed by those who have no interest in allowing those who invited them in, or tolerated their presence, to persist in retaining their own cultures.

Friday, February 04, 2005


Social Security Reform

DEAN’S WORLD gets right to the point: there is no valid argument against it, and congress needs to buck up, work out the details and get it done. So why are we still listening to the partisans arguing about it?

Thursday, February 03, 2005


Michael Moore - Whipping Boy of the Liberals?

Mike Evans' Hollywood Report is a daily spot airing on about 56 radio morning shows nationwide. On the way to the office this morning, listening to Brian and Joe on MIX 106.5 in Cleveland, Evans' report contained this tidbit: Michael Moore has been begging the likes of Sean Penn and Barbra Streisand to get him a ticket to the Oscars, but noone has come through and many of the Hollywood lefties won't even return Moore's phone calls. According to Evans, Moore has become a pariah among Hollywood liberals.

So does this mean the left coast has decided to blame reaction against Moore's hatchet job pseudo-documentary for Kerry's loss?

These people just don't get it.


At Least They're Consistent at the U.N.

So Kofi has decided to use Bill Clinton to head the U.N. tsunami relief programs. Bill Clinton pardoned Marc Rich. Marc Rich figures prominently in the Oil-for-Food scandal. I'm certainly not suggesting Clinton had anything to do with the U.N.'s handling of oil-for-food, the program that allowed Saddam to siphon off billions for bunkers, palaces, and weapons while 5,000 children starved to death every month (that's a U.N. figure, by the way). But the career U.N. "diplomats" are so deeply immersed in the U.N. culture that they have no vision of the world at large. Like some third-world countries, corruption has become so commonplace in U.N. administered programs that its just considered part of the program. They don't see anything wrong with the Clinton-Rich connection (even if it is nothing more than an unsavory appearance), just as they see nothing wrong with Kofi's son using the U.N. paid apartment for parties and brokering oil-for-food deals.
Meanwhile, the genocide in Darfur continues and the U.N., blocked by France, does nothing. What a shock. France, putting its own financial interests first, has obstructed efforts to bring the Darfur issue before the security council and all but declared that it will veto any effort to impose sanctions (or take any other meaningful action).
And the slaughter and rape of the children of Uganda goes on, all but unnoticed, with USAid providing 1/2 of the total food the world is supplying to the refugee camps of northern Uganda.
Can anybody think of a good reason we continue to pour billions into the U.N. and its various agencies and programs, instead of dealing directly with the countries receiving aid?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Support Social Security Reform

BILL HOBBS has posted a link to an online petition supporting President Bush's Social Security reform initiative. Stop by and visit Bill's site on your way to the petition.

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