Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Wal-Mart gives Salvation Army $1 million for Katrina relief

The Salvation Army is launching a massive effort to get food to victims and aid workers:

Currently, The Salvation Army is preparing to serve 400,000 meals per day to victims and first responders. Meals are being loaded onto 72 mobile canteens and two 54-foot mobile kitchens. The mobile feeding units will be dispatched into the most affected areas by FEMA, and will be followed, based on response needs, by other units The Salvation Army has at its disposal - trucks called comfort stations where residents can attend to personal hygiene; portable shower units; emergency response command stations for officers to direct the response efforts; and other equipment as needed.

Wal-Mart has donated one million dollars toward this effort. The Wal-Mart page linked above also contains links where you can donate to disaster relief through the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross.

And please bear in mind, the American Red Cross is NOT the anti-American leftist-sympathizing International Red Cross. The American Red Cross is a quality relief organization.


Is global warming causing increased hurricane activity?

From the blog EU Rota comes an actual look, complete with charts and graphs, of just how well actual historical data meshes with the theory that man-made global warming is causing, oh, say, an increase in hurricane activity, as the nitwits in the German government are suggesting.

After reading the round-up of German newspaper editorials in
Spiegel Online, one can't be blamed for thinking that global warming is leading to an increase in the number and intensity of hurricanes hitting the US mainland (strangely, Halliburton was not mentioned as the culprit in this present storm). Going back to 1851, what does the actual data from NOAA say:

WARNING: do not go to this site and look at actual facts and figures if you are a global warming enthusiast. Looking at actual facts has been known to cause extreme anger and confusion in global warming enthusiasts.


Fugitive circus monkey found

Yesterday we brought you the story of the escaped circus monkey, described in a police bulletin as "two feet tall and wearing blue pants."

The monkey, still dressed in blue pants, has been recovered safely by owner-trainer Philip Hendricks of the Hendricks Brothers Circus, after someone "spotted two-foot-tall Dillion yesterday huddled in the roof area of a picnic pavilion at a park in Springdale, near Cincinnati."

Hendricks says the monkey was damp and hungry when found, and seemed happy to see him.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Bits and Pieces

Rob at Say Anything has a comment on the 5-4 vote of the Dallas School Board that requires school administrators to learn to speak Spanish to better communicate with immigrants, or lose their jobs.

John Hawkins at Right Wing News has an Iraq FAQ that is definitely worth a look.

The Jawa Report has a report from Camp Cindy, including an assertion from a U.S. soldier in Iraq that the Cindy Sheehan circus is encouraging terrorists and getting American soldiers killed. Also posted are links to a few other first hand accounts and some photos.

For an alternative source of information and news from Iraq, try Multination Force - Iraq.


The suspect was wearing blue pants...

SPRINGDALE, Ohio -- The bulletin issued by police in the southwest Ohio town of Springdale describes the subject as two feet tall, weighing eight pounds, clad only in blue pants and prone to sleeping in trees.

Dillion, a circus monkey, fled into a nearby woods early Monday after being frightened by a train whistle from tracks near where the circus was performing in Springdale, in northern Hamilton County.

I guess as long as the fugitive doesn’t get hold of a change of clothes, he should be easy enough to recognize. The circus is moving to the next stop Thursday, and hopes are that the monkey can be recovered before then.

[The monkey’s trainer] suggests that anyone who spots Dillion try to lure him with food. He's fond of apples, oranges, nuts, berries -- and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Feeding Kentucky Fried Chicken to a trained circus monkey. Boy, talk about getting the PETA people up in arms!

Thursday, August 25, 2005


UN says British plan to expel terrorist instigators is illegal

Well, that didn’t take long. Two weeks ago, in commenting on Britain’s intention to deport terrorist instigators and agitators, I wrote this:

What happens when some civilized nation, Britain, France, or Holland, for example, has had enough? What happens when some European nation elects a strongman who promises to “clean up” the “foreigners”? What happens when some European country decides that its only chance to survive as a nation is to prohibit all immigration from Islamic countries? Or that the only way to root out the Islamic terrorists already among them is to shut down all mosques, or outlaw Islam, or expel all muslims?

The UN, which has done and will do nothing to prevent the continued slaughter of Israelis by the palestinians, or the construction of nuclear weapons by the Iranian theocracy, will surely label any such step as “ethnic cleansing” and try to stop it. What will happen when the UN expects the US to send in troops to protect the muslim population of some European country from the European citizens of that country?

They’re not yet asking us to send US troops to Britain to force the British to leave hatemongering Islamist immigrants alone to push their cult of death, but the UN has leapt to the defense of Islamist terrorists and instigators, threatening to cite Britain for human rights violations. Britain’s threatened deportations, according to the UN, violate “international law” and the Geneva Conventions.

Manfred Novak, the UN human rights commission's special investigator on torture, told the Guardian he is seeking permission through the Foreign Office to visit Britain to discuss the issue with the home secretary, Charles Clarke.

In a statement on Tuesday night, Prof Novak said that the government's intention to return radical preachers to their countries of origin, even though some of those countries have a track record of human rights abuses, "reflects a tendency in Europe to circumvent the international obligation not to deport anybody if there is a serious risk that he or she might be subjected to torture".

His intervention came as Mr Clarke, in response to the London bombings, yesterday introduced a list of "unacceptable behaviour" which would allowing him to deport or exclude foreign citizens for glorifying or encouraging terrorism. Mr Clarke said the first exclusions and deportations would take place within the "next few days".

He rejected the UN criticism. He said "the human rights of those people who were blown up on the tube in London on July 7 are, to be quite frank, more important than the human rights of the people who committed those acts."

He added: "I wish the UN would look at human rights in the round, rather than simply focusing all the time on the terrorist."

But Prof Novak refused to accept the rebuke. "The UN is strongly concerned about terrorism and counter-terrorism. But there are certain standards that have to be observed in the context of counter-terrorism," he said last night. "We in the western democratic countries, in the fight against terrorism, should not step over these limits by violating international law."

Prof Novak, whose investigations take him round the world, said he could cite Britain when he reports to the UN general assembly in October but he hoped the issue could be sorted out before then. His main objection is to the government's policy of seeking memoranda of understanding from countries to which people would be deported that they would not be tortured. He said the memoranda were not an appropriate tool to eradicate the risk of torture.

In other words, the UN “human rights commission” says a nation has no right to toss out folks openly advocating violence, mass murder, or even the religious justification for the destruction of the nation itself, if the hatemonger might be “persecuted” in their country of origin. Obtaining the assurance of the government of the country if origin is not sufficient, if the UN deems that country to be prone to use “torture”.

This of course conveniently overlooks the fact that the hatemonger is in the host country in the first place only because that country chose to allow him entry. So now, somehow, “international law” guarantees an immigrant the right to stay in a foreign land, no matter how he abuses that courtesy afforded him by the host. Remember, this is the same UN that paid for the palestinians’ “today Gaza, tomorrow every inch of the land” propaganda barrage, a clear statement of the palestinian intention to eradicate the nation of Israel (a nation recognized, by the way, by the UN) from the face of the earth, and either kill the Israelis or “drive them into the sea.”

But in the view of the UN, the “human rights” of the Islamist hatemongers somehow outweigh the right of the citizens of Britain to not be slaughtered in the streets. The UN takes the position that “international law” and the 1951 Geneva Convention on refugees prohibits deporting them back to their home countries “where they could be persecuted”. The British government, however, makes the case that their intent is in keeping with British immigration law.

Mr Clarke's announcement yesterday clarifies his existing powers under the 1971 Immigration Act and requires no new legislation. It comes into effect immediately and sets out the sort of behaviour likely to lead him to exclude foreign citizens.

They include expressing views which "foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence", "seeking to provoke others to terrorist acts", fomenting "other serious criminal activity", or encouraging hatred "which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK".

Mr Clarke argued that the new list of unacceptable behaviour would make it "absolutely clear" where the law stood, but was not intended to "stifle free speech or legitimate debate".

Although the moves mark a toning down of the government's original anti-terror intentions, they have caused unease among international observers. A second UN body last night also condemned the deportation proposals, saying Britain would be in breach of the 1951 Geneva convention on refugees if they were enacted.

The UN high commissioner for refugees said the government had failed to reply to a letter expressing its concerns.

Peter Kessler, spokesman for the UNHCR, said: "An application of these proposals, without access to due process, could amount to sending people back to countries where they could be persecuted. That would be in abrogation of the UK's obligations under the 1951 convention."

This is sheer stupidity, since the reason these nice folks would be persecuted in their home countries is… wait for it … their advocacy of violence and mass murder!

Well, if the Geneva Convention of 1951 prohibits deporting some monster who is trying to wage his jihad in your own back yard, killing as many of your women and children as he can, the solution seems pretty simple: repudiate the Geneva Convention on refugees. If a European agreement is perceived as preventing the deportation of these people, then withdraw from that agreement. And if the UN wants to complain too much about it, the western nations need to shut off the financial spigots and let them fund their own perverse activities.

What the UN fails to understand is that it is not a world governing body, much as it would like to be. It is an increasingly undemocratic and anti-western club for the pushing of the agendas of penny-ante states trying to collect a payoff from economic success of the the western democracies. What authority it has, what legitimacy it has, derives from its reasonably utilitarian availability as a forum, not from any right to dictate to any nation, member or not.

And the more the UN takes stupid positions like this, the less attention any of the nations it really needs for its survival will pay to its ridiculous pronouncements.


China launches "Mango Offensive" against Taiwan

In a transparent effort to undermine support for Taiwan’s pro-independence government, communist China has unilaterally dropped or reduced import tariffs on mangoes, papayas, pineapples, starfruit and other produce cultivated in Taiwan’s southern region, an area which has strongly supported the DPP, Taiwan’s ruling party.

The Chinese trade initiative is aimed only at mangoes and other fruit produced in the south, where farmers have seen profits declining because of overproduction, and seem clearly targeted at influencing the Taiwanese local elections scheduled for December.

That [declining profitability] may change this month as China opens its doors wide to Taiwan produce, axing import tariffs on 15 fruits from August 1 to curry favor with farmers in the island's South, many of whom are staunch supporters of pro-independence President Chen Shui-bian.

Taiwan's leader is warning farmers against what he calls China's reunification ploy, saying Beijing is trying to erode his grass-roots voter base and make the self-ruled island of 23 million people more economically dependent on the mainland.

Given the relative sizes of China and Taiwan, China may believe that it can simply swallow Taiwan whole by absorbing its economy, and the mango offensive may actually be a first step in that direction.

While hardcore supporters like Chen Yan-hai stand firmly behind the DPP, others say Beijing's maneuvers will likely boost support for opposition parties like the Kuomintang (KMT), which oppose Taiwanese independence, ahead of local county elections to be held across Taiwan in December.

"The middle-of-the-road voters with no strong party affiliations will see their fruit being sold in China and think the KMT can better take care of the farmers," said Yan Kuo-hsian, a supply and marketing chief for Yuching's farmers association.

China decided to scrap the fruit tariffs after meeting with opposition leaders and pledging to work with them to boost trade ties across the Taiwan Strait. Beijing refuses to deal directly with the Chen government.

Members of the DPP say they are worried the issue will take center stage at end-year election campaigns.

"China's tariff policy definitely has a political objective, which is to get votes away from the DPP," said Chou Rong-hui, director of the party's Yuching branch, whose office is a tin shed next to the farmers association.

One bizarre aspect of this economic ploy is that the communist mainland is dealing directly with Taiwanese opposition parties, as related above, and with Taiwanese trade groups which have tended to support the pro-independence government:

Besides unilaterally canceling the import tariffs, Beijing has also called for talks with Taiwanese farm groups on revising customs rules to further smooth the way of farm exports to China.

Obviously, there are some aspects of the China-Taiwan relationship which would seem very unfamiliar to us. Can you imagine the government of China openly negotiating with the Democrats or labor unions in this country in order to work out trade terms that would undermine the US government?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Something for the appeasement crowd

By way of Little Green Footballs, here’s the Hamas view of how to respond to the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, courtesy of Hamas political bureau chief, Khaled Mashaal:

The implementation of the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip marks “the beginning of the end for Israel,” said Hamas political bureau chief, Khaled Mashaal.

Speaking to al-Hayat newspaper, Mashaal was quoted as saying on Tuesday that the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as “the beginning of the end for the Zionist program in the region.”

The Hamas leader reiterated the movement’s commitment to the calm with Israel until the end of the current year, but added the “resistance is a strategic choice, because the withdrawal from Gaza is the first step in the way to complete liberation.”

The Damascus-based official stressed that “Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wants the Gaza exit to be the first and last, and the payment for the continued control in the West Bank, settlement construction, wall construction, and the annulment of any possibility of establishing a Palestinian state within the framework of the Zionist project to end the Palestinian issue with the unlimited US support,” adding "We, however, see the withdrawal as first step for full liberation and achieving all of our legitimate rights. Today Gaza and tomorrow the West Bank and later every inch of the land."

OK boys and girls, there you have it: there is no meeting terrorists halfway, there is no live and let live with terrorists, there is no reasonable accommodation to be made. The appeasers are dead wrong, as they always have been throughout history.

"Today Gaza and tomorrow the West Bank and later every inch of the land."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


The truth is, it's not all murder and mayhem

Writing in the Sun-Times, Deroy Murdock points out that there is good news from Iraq, too, even if the media generally tries to ignore it. After discussing the strides in training and eqipping the Iraqis to handle their own security and military affairs, Murdock provides a litany of civil improvememnts to Iraqi society:

Infrastructure improvements also are encouraging. A new Kirkuk treatment plant began providing clean water to 5,000 people on June 27, the State Department says. Another 84 U.S.-led waterworks projects are under way in Iraq, while 114 have been completed.

Some 18,000 pupils will study in rehabilitated classrooms when they go back to school in mid-September. According to U.S. and Iraqi officials, 43 more schools were slated for renovation Aug. 6. So far, 3,211 schools have been refurbished, and another 773 are being repaired.

Iraq's monthly oil exports have grown from $200 million in June 2003 to $2.5 billion last month. This is due both to higher prices and to the fact that fuel supplies have swelled from 23 percent to 97 percent of official production goals in that period. These key improvements also help explain why Iraq's gross domestic product increased from a World Bank estimate of $12.1 billion in 2003 to a projected $21.1 billion in 2004.

Iraqis who endured Baathist censorship now enjoy a vibrant, free press.

Commercial TV channels, radio stations and independent newspapers and magazines have zoomed from zero before Operation Iraqi Freedom to -- respectively -- 29, 80 and 170 today.
Internet subscribers have boomed from 4,500 before Iraq's liberation to 147,076 last March, not counting the additional Iraqis who use Internet cafes. When Saddam Hussein fell, Iraq had 833,000 telephone subscribers. In July that figure had soared 356.4 percent to 3,801,822.

In the political arena, women hold seven of Baghdad's top 40 ministerial positions. While Iraq is more than 17.5 percent female, this is impressive political involvement for women in the world's most sexist region. Among others, women run Iraq's ministries of communications, environment, public works and human rights.

America's National Democratic Institute (a global outreach organization) last month trained 208 members of 70 political parties and 10 NGOs from across Iraq. They studied U.S.-style campaign skills including knocking on doors, canvassing petitions and organizing rallies. In another workshop, activists learned how to promote their parties' agendas on TV during two-minute and even 30-second sound bites.

Here's hoping all that training is including some basic instruction on things like objective news reporting and honest political campaigning.


Study links Tylenol with high blood pressure in women

DALLAS — Women taking daily amounts of non-aspirin painkillers — such as an extra-strength Tylenol (search) — are more likely to develop high blood pressure than those who don't, a new study suggests.

While many popular over-the-counter painkillers have been linked before to high blood pressure, acetaminophen (search), sold as Tylenol, has generally been considered relatively free of such risk.

It is the only one that is not a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID (search), a class of medications the federal government just required to carry stricter warning labels because of the risk for heart-related problems. Those include ibuprofen (sold as Advil and Motrin) and naproxen (sold as Aleve). Many had turned to those painkillers in the wake of problems with prescription drugs, such as Vioxx.

However, the new study found that women taking Tylenol were about twice as likely to develop blood pressure problems. Risk also rose for women taking NSAIDS other than aspirin.

"If you're taking these over-the-counter medications at high dosages on a regular basis, make sure that you report it to your doctor and you're checking your blood pressure," said Dr. Christie Ballantyne, a cardiologist at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center in Houston who had no role in the study.

The research found that aspirin still remains the safest medicine for pain relief. It has long been known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems and was not included in the government's requirement for stricter labels for NSAIDs.The study involved 5,123 women participating in the Nurses Health Study at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

None had had high blood pressure when it began.

Personally, I've always thought the success of Tylenol was more a matter of marketing than any real advantage over aspirin. Millions have been spent over the years convincing Americans that aspirin "might" upset or damage your stomach. In fact, very few people do not tolerate aspirin without adverse side effects. Even now, Tylenol is running a new ad campaign urging people to avoid aspirin because it could be hurting their stomachs, even if there is no reason in the world to think it is.

The study's author refers to taking the medication in "high dosages", but this is deceptive. A little more detail reveals that "high dosages" have nothing to do with it:

In this study, the risk of developing high blood pressure for women who weren't taking painkillers was about 1 to 3 percent a year, researchers said. They found that that women ages 51-77 who took an average daily dose of more than 500 milligrams of acetaminophen — one extra-strength Tylenol — had about double the risk of developing high blood pressure within about three years.

Women in that age range who take more than 400 mg a day of NSAIDS — equal to say two ibuprofen — had a 78 percent increased risk of developing high blood pressure over those who didn't take the drug.

Among women 34-53 who take an average of more than 500 mg of acetaminophen a day had a two-fold higher risk of developing high blood pressure. And those who took more than 400 mg of NSAIDS a day had a 60 percent risk increase over those who didn't take the pills.

I would hardly say a dose of one extra-strength Tylenol per day would consttitute a "high dosage", but according to this study, one a day doubled the likelihood of high blood pressure.

Aspirin was regarded for many years as a "wonder drug." It then became fashionable to regard aspirin as somehow old fashioned or primitive, and an entire generation was discouraged from using it, until its effect on cardiovascular health became widely known. As time goes by, and more and more "advanced" alternatives are shown to have risks and side effects, aspirin increasingly appears to actually be the "wonder drug" it was originally labelled.

Monday, August 15, 2005


A site worth seeing

The Daily Czech offers “Daily news, comments and observations from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.” It’s a uniquely European view of life in the former Czechoslovakia.

Sunday, August 14, 2005


Disappointing News

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadians can put away those extra welcome mats -- it seems Americans unhappy about the result of last November's presidential election have decided to stay at home after all.

In the days after President Bush won a second term, the number of U.S. citizens visiting Canada's main immigration Web site shot up sixfold, prompting speculation that unhappy Democrats would flock north.

But official statistics show the number of Americans actually applying to live permanently in Canada fell in the six months after the election.

Oh well, it was nice to imagine hordes of discontented leftist extremists heading north, but then I guess we knew all along it was just more empty blather. I'm still waiting for Alec Baldwin to pack up and get out of the country, which he promised to do in 2000. Oh, and I guess Robert Redford took a look at those European taxes (and the money to be made in the European film industry) and decided not to move to Europe, either.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Factcheck: anti-Roberts ad is "false" and "misleading"

A couple of days back we pointed you to Power Line's exposure of the despicably slanderous falsehoods contained in an attack ad launched against Judge Roberts by a pro-abortion group. is in agreement, pronouncing the ad both "false" and "misleading":

An abortion-rights group is running an attack ad accusing Supreme Court nominee John Roberts of filing legal papers “supporting . . . a convicted clinic bomber” and of having an ideology that “leads him to excuse violence against other Americans” It shows images of a bombed clinic in Birmingham, Alabama.

The ad is false.

And the ad misleads when it says Roberts supported a clinic bomber. It is true that Roberts sided with the bomber and many other defendants in a civil case, but the case didn't deal with bombing at all. Roberts argued that abortion clinics who brought the suit had no right use an 1871 federal anti-discrimination statute against anti-abortion protesters who tried to blockade clinics. Eventually a 6-3 majority of the Supreme Court agreed, too. Roberts argued that blockades were already illegal under state law.

The images used in the ad are especially misleading. The pictures are of a clinic bombing that happened nearly seven years after Roberts signed the legal brief in question.

Anybody heard all those lefty voices denouncing this pile of garbage?

Anybody heard that CNN has returned the $150,000 or whatever they've already been paid, and declined to run the ad?

Yeah, me neither.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Blair gets tough, but is it too little, too late?

A few days back, when the first reports appeared concerning Tony Blair’s plan to go after Islamic militants in Britain, I wrote this:

Tony Blair has apparently had enough. Realizing that the root cause of the Islamic terrorist movement isn't poverty, or Israel, or US foreign policy, Blair is taking aim at the true source: the death cult that is militant Islam.

This is a fair characterization: militant Islam is a death cult, nothing more and nothing less, and they seek the death, by mass murder whenever possible, of anyone and everyone who is not one of them. Either you will live in their perverted ninth-century vision of an Islamic paradise, or you will be killed.

What Blair is proposing is a good start, but the civilized world must go farther if it is to survive: the mosques that house the death cultists must be shut down. The "schools" that "educate" the death cultists must be shut down. The leaders of the death cult must be hunted down. The death cult of militant Islam must be stamped out, ruthlessly and completely.

This is not an issue of religious freedom, or freedom of speech, or civil liberties of any kind. Every civilized society in the world has realized that there are limits, and enforces those limits. We do not tolerate the "religious" practices of polygamy or child marriage. We would not tolerate the "religious" practice of cannibalism, ritual murder, or human sacrifice. We surely should not tolerate the "religious" practice of mass murder.

Pastorius, from CUANAS, added a comment and a link to a later, more detailed news article that made it clear that Blair’s initiative was much broader and deeper than that early report I read had indicated, and in fact included some of the measures I was advocating. (I’ve said before, I say again, if you’re not reading
CUANAS regularly, you should be).

But then came
this disturbing report, raising the possibility that Blair’s proposals may be too little, too late:

Intelligence chiefs are warning Tony Blair that Britain faces a full-blown Islamist insurgency, sustained by thousands of young Muslim men with military training now resident in this country.

This is a frightening possibility, but it should not have been unexpected. Not only Britain, but many of the civilized nations of Europe have huge unassimilated muslim populations, and a decade and a half of “diversity” and “multiculturalism” have left these foreigners to develop self-contained, insulated communities which identify more with their religion or ethnic group than with the country where they live.

The problem is not limited to Europe. Canada is very quietly trying to figure out to do with certain large muslim enclaves that have declared that their local religious tribunals are their ultimate legal authority, and that they are not answerable to Canadian officials. In Australia, some more assimilated muslim communities are raising the alarm about jihadist teachings in muslim schools and universities supported by Australian tax dollars in the name of diversity and muticulturlism.

In Britain, the recent bombings have jolted the government into action, and they are confronting the possibility of a full-scale domestic Islamic insurgency.

As police and the security services work to prevent another cell murdering civilians, attention is focusing on the pool of migrants to this country from the Horn of Africa and central Asia. MI5 is working to an estimate that more than 10,000 young men from these regions have had at least basic training in light weapons and military explosives.

A well-connected source said there were more than 100,000 people in Britain from "completely militarised" regions, including Somalia and its neighbours in the Horn of Africa, and Afghanistan and territories bordering the country. "Every one of them knows how to use an AK-47," said the source. "About 10 per cent can strip and reassemble such a weapon blindfolded, and probably a similar proportion have some knowledge of how to use military explosives. That adds up to tens of thousands of men."

Even though the vast majority had come to Britain to escape the lawlessness of their homelands, the source added, there remained an alarmingly large pool of trained men who could be lured into violent action here.

This threat had been largely neglected while attention focused on British-born militants who had been through training camps run by al-Qa'ida in Afghanistan.

"There has been a debate on whether we are facing an insurgency or terrorism," said the source, "and the verdict is on the side of an insurgency."

The thought of Britain, or any civilized western nation, being brought under widespread terrorist attack by the foreigners they have allowed ti immigrate is an ugly image. But the question then becomes, what happens next?

What happens when some civilized nation, Britain, France, or Holland, for example, has had enough? What happens when some European nation elects a strongman who promises to “clean up” the “foreigners”? What happens when some European country decides that its only chance to survive as a nation is to prohibit all immigration from Islamic countries? Or that the only way to root out the Islamic terrorists already among them is to shut down all mosques, or outlaw Islam, or expel all muslims?

The UN, which has done and will do nothing to prevent the continued slaughter of Israelis by the palestinians, or the construction of nuclear weapons by the Iranian theocracy, will surely label any such step as “ethnic cleansing” and try to stop it. What will happen when the UN expects the US to send in troops to protect the muslim population of some European country from the European citizens of that country?

The civilized nations of the world must act now, ruthlessly and relentlessly, to shut down the death cult of militant Islam. The cancer must be cut out now, before it becomes so extensive that the cure will also kill the patient.


How the Left became the tacit allies of Islamofascism

I have remarked many times over the years that the political spectrum, like Einstein’s universe, is curved. If you go far enough to the right, you end up on the left, and vice versa. While the rhetoric of fascism and communism are diametrically opposed, the end result of the acquisition of political power, that is, the practical effect of either system upon the unfortunate average citizen, is virtually indistinguishable.

Writing in
The Guardian Unlimited last Sunday, Nick Cohen drew a parallel between the liberals of the 1930’s who pretended the abuses of Communism didn’t exist, and today’s left, which somehow manages to pretend that the Islamist militants are not the bad guys, and thereby have become the tacit allies of the psychopathic fascism that Islamism represents.

Looking back on how his generation covered up the crimes of communism in the 1930s, WH Auden explained that he and his friends weren't true communists but fellow travellers. At home they defended civil liberties and stood up for freedom of speech. Abroad, they tolerated atrocities precisely because they didn't impinge on them.

'Our great error,' said Auden, 'was not a false admiration for Russia but a snobbish feeling that nothing which happened in a semi-barbarous country which had experienced neither the Renaissance nor the Enlightenment could be of any importance: had any of the countries we knew personally, like France, Germany or Italy, the language of which we could speak and where we had personal friends, been one to have a successful communist revolution with the same phenomena of terror, purges, censorship etc, we would have screamed our heads off.'

The immediate point of Cohen’s piece was to describe the unceremonious declaration of his long-time fellow liberals that he was no longer one of them, that he had betrayed the anti-war movement by questioning its motives, and had had the audacity to suggest that perhaps it should be easier to deport suspected Islamist terrorists.

I'm sure that any halfway competent political philosopher could rip the assumptions of modern middle-class left-wingery apart. Why is it right to support a free market in sexual relationships but oppose free-market economics, for instance? But his criticisms would have little impact. It's like a religion: the contradictions are obvious to outsiders but don't disturb the faithful. You believe when you're in its warm embrace. Alas, I'm out. Last week, after 44 years of regular church-going, the bell tolled, the book was closed and the candle was extinguished. I was excommunicated.

The officiating bishop was Peter Wilby, a former editor of the New Statesman and a friend of long-standing, who delivered his anathema in the Guardian. The immediate heresy was a piece I'd written about how difficult the courts made it to deport suspected Islamist terrorists. As I'd campaigned to protect asylum seekers in the past, Wilby used the article as damning evidence of 'a rightwards lurch'. The old bat didn't understand that genuine asylum seekers are the victims of the world's greatest criminals - four million fled Saddam Hussein - not criminals themselves.

Even if he'd grasped that the Mail was wrong and real refugees weren't villains, I doubt it would have made a difference. My mortal sin had been to question 'harshly the motives of the anti-war movement', and to that I had to plead guilty.

But Cohen has not betrayed the left. He rightly realizes that in fact it is the left which has betrayed liberal principles, if not all decent human principles. Pointing out that the left’s position today is indistinguishable from the justification of imperialism in the 19th century, Cohen makes the point, powerfully, that there is nothing “liberal” about the left, which defends the indefensible blood-thirsty fascism which is the Islamist movement.

Auden noticed a retreat from universal principles in the 1930s - communism was fine in 'semi-barbaric' Russia but would have been a screaming outrage in a civilised country. He should have been alive today. With no socialism to provide international solidarity, good motives of tolerance and respect for other cultures have had the unintended consequence of leading a large part of post-modern liberal opinion into the position of 19th-century imperialists. It is presumptuous and oppressive to suggest that other cultures want the liberties we take for granted, their argument runs. So it may be, but believe that and the upshot is that democracy, feminism and human rights become good for whites but not for browns and brown-skinned people who contradict you are the tools of the neo-conservatives.

On the other hand when confronted with a movement of contemporary imperialism - Islamism wants an empire from the Philippines to Gibraltar - and which is tyrannical, homophobic, misogynist, racist and homicidal to boot, they feel it is valid because it is against Western culture. It expresses its feelings in a regrettably brutal manner perhaps, but that can't hide its authenticity.

The result of this inversion of principles has been that liberals can't form alliances with the victims of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan or Iraq any more than the Auden generation could form alliances with the victims of Stalinism.

This isn't simply about international relations. Who is going to help the victims of religious intolerance in Britain's immigrant communities? Not the Liberal Democrats, who have never once offered support to liberal and democrats in Iraq. Nor an anti-war left which prefers to embrace a Muslim Association of Britain and Yusuf al-Qaradawi who believe that Muslims who freely decide to change their religion or renounce religion should be executed. If the Archbishop of Canterbury were to suggest the same treatment for renegade Christians all hell would break loose. But as the bigotry comes from 'the other' there is silence.

Thus, it is the leftists, the “it’s all Bush and Blair’s fault, there is no hope for democracy or freedom in muslim countries because the ‘those people’ really don’t want it” anti-any-and-all-war crowd which have abandoned all pretense at liberal or progressive thought, treating the violently aggressive Islamic fascists as the victims, and the average man in the muslim street as the tools and collaborators of the true enemy, the neocons.

Cohen suggests that he detects an undercurrent among liberals, a growing movement of folks who, like him, have reached the point where they are willing to break ranks with the leftist consensus and confront the evil of Islamism for what it is. The bombings in Britain he thinks, have been a wake-up call for many, and he likens the phenomenon to a ride on a train:

The thing to watch for with fellow travellers is what shocks them into pulling the emergency cord and jumping off the train. I know some will stay on to the terminus, and when the man with the rucksack explodes his bomb their dying words will be: 'It's not your fault. I blame Tony Blair.'

My advice to my former comrades is to struggle out of your straitjackets and get off at the next station. It would be good to see you on this side of the barrier.

I have long wondered how leftists could continue to call themselves “liberal” and “progressive” while espousing a philosophy which would abandon the people of the middle east to the oppression of a psychotic “religion” which is nothing more than a death cult; how people who are able to rationalize as cultural relativism a movement which espouses the slaughter of every man woman and child who is not one of them, could possibly think of themselves as "liberal" or "progressive".

Perhaps those on the left who truly are “liberal” thinkers are beginning to awaken to the realization that by jumping off now, they’re not abandoning their liberal principles. They’re getting off a train which has been hijacked by extremists who long ago abandoned the ranks of liberal thinking.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Slander of Judge Roberts begins in earnest

John Hinderaker at POWER LINE has the lowdown on a despicable anti-Roberts media campaign now underway:

As a close observer of the political scene, I suppose I should be shock-proof. But what NARAL did today shocked me. It began running an anti-John Roberts television ad featuring Emily Lyons, victim of a 1998 bombing of an abortion clinic in Alabama that was carried out by Eric Rudolph. The ad goes as follows:

Announcer: "Seven years ago a bomb destroyed a woman's health clinic In Birmingham, Alabama."

Lyons: ""The bomb ripped my clinic. I almost lost my life. I will never be the same."

Announcer: ""Supreme Court nominee John Roberts filed court briefs supporting violent fringe groups and a convicted clinic bomber."

Lyons: "I am determined to stop this violence, so I'm speaking out."

It is not easy to fit so many lies and distortions into a 30-second commercial. The case referred to by NARAL is Bray v. Alexandria Clinic; you can read the Supreme Court's opinion here. The Bray case was decided in 1993; John Roberts was one of six Justice Department lawyers who signed an amicus brief on behalf of the federal government, and he argued the case for the government. You can read the government's brief here.

After providing, as usual, links to the original source material, POWER LINE discusses in detail the somewhat technical legal aspects of the case, and reaches the following conclusion. Which is, I might add, correct:

So NARAL misrepresents the Bray case in every particular. Roberts didn't "support violent fringe groups" or a "convicted clinic bomber." He supported the federal government's position on a specific question of law--correctly, as the Court found. NARAL's reference to a "convicted clinic bomber" is especially outrageous. The Bray case had nothing to do with a bombing by Eric Rudolph or anyone else, and Rudolph attacked the Birmingham clinic--the bombing that is referred to in the NARAL ad--eight years after Roberts wrote the brief on the Section 1985(3) issues.

For NARAL to suggest that John Roberts has ever done anything to support violence against abortion clinics (or anything else) is so far outside the bounds of civilized debate that one can hope that, even in today's far-gone Democratic Party, sane voices will be raised to denounce NARAL's advertising campaign.

Unfortunately, I’d bet those “sane voices” denouncing this disgusting slanderous crap will be few and far between. Remember, you are talking about the party that plopped Michael Moore down in a box of honor at its convention. The party that still thinks Dan Rather is a “journalist” and Jimmy Carter is a “statesman”. I wouldn’t count too much on a whole lot of sanity out of that crowd. This is the party that never once denounced, or even debated, any of the slanderous nonsensical Bush-bashing babblings of the 2004 campaign.

An election which, by the way, Bush won…by a majority vote.

Monday, August 08, 2005


$12 Billion comes back from China

From an AP report by way of Yahoo news:

Four Chinese airline companies have agreed to buy 42 Boeing 787 jets for a total $5.04 billion, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Monday.

China's flag carrier Air China Ltd. and China Eastern Airlines Corp. will each buy 15 planes, Shanghai Airlines Co. will buy nine planes, and Xiamen Airline Co. will buy three planes, the report said.

The purchases come ahead of an expected visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to the United States in September and are a coup for Chicago-based Boeing over European archrival Airbus SAS.

In January, six Chinese airlines signed an agreement with Boeing to order 60 of its new fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliners for $7.2 billion.

Boeing spokeswoman Yvonne Leach said the company was still negotiating with Hainana Airlines Co. and China Southern Airlines Co., which were part of the previous agreement. "We have every intent of getting there with the two airlines," Leach said.

Xiamen Air is 60 percent owned by China Southern Airlines, which along with Xiamen Air also signed a contract in April to buy 45 Boeing 737s.

Note, the $12 billion dollar figure includes only the two orders for 787's; it does not include the April purchase of 45 737's.

Friday, August 05, 2005


Joint Chinese-Russian military exercises

Sovereign Commentary has an update on the upcoming joint Russian-Chinese military exercises. This is one of the few blogs paying any attention to this event, which the MSM is all-but ignoring. Go check out the series of posts. Odds are, it’ll be an eye-opener for you.


High explosives from Iran intercepted in Iraq

MSNBC is reporting that a large shipment of lethal explosives smuggled into Iraq from Iran has been intercepted:

U.S. military and intelligence officials tell NBC News that American soldiers intercepted a large shipment of high explosives, smuggled into northeastern Iraq from Iran only last week.

The officials say the shipment contained dozens of "shaped charges" manufactured recently. Shaped charges are especially lethal because they’re designed to concentrate and direct a more powerful blast into a small area.

“They’ll go right through a very heavily armored vehicle like an M1-A1 tank from one side right out the other side,” says retired U.S. Army General Barry McCaffrey.

Military officials say there’s only one use for shaped charges — to kill American forces — and insurgents started using them in Iraq with deadly effectiveness three months ago.

Intelligence officials believe the high-explosives were shipped into Iraq by the Iranian Revolutionary guard or the terrorist group Hezbollah, but are convinced it could not have happened without the full consent of the Iranian government.

How long before the mad mullahs in Tehran are in a position to ship nuclear bombs to terrorists around the world?


Blair seeks deportation of preachers of death

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Tony Blair on Friday announced new deportation measures against people who foster hatred and advocate violence following last month's transportation attacks that killed 52 people and four suspected suicide bombers.

Clerics who preach hate and Web sites or book shops that sponsor violence would be targeted. Foreign nationals could be deported under the new measures.

Blair said his government was prepared to amend human rights legislation if necessary if legal challenges arose from the new deportation measures.

Britain's ability to deport foreign nationals has been hampered by human rights legislation. As a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, Britain is not allowed to deport people to a country where they may face torture or death.

"Let no one be in any doubt that the rules of the games are changing," Blair said, promising to crack down on extremists blamed for radicalizing pockets of Muslim youth.

By the year's end, Blair wants to pass legislation that would outlaw "indirect incitement" of terrorism — targeting extremist Islamic clerics who glorify acts of terrorism and seduce impressionable Muslim youth.

The law would ban receiving training in terrorist techniques in Britain or abroad. A new offense of "acts preparatory to terrorism" would outlaw planning an attack and activities such as acquiring bomb-making instructions on the Internet.

Tony Blair has apparently had enough. Realizing that the root cause of the Islamic terrorist movement isn't poverty, or Israel, or US foreign policy, Blair is taking aim at the true source: the death cult that is militant Islam.

This is a fair characterization: militant Islam is a death cult, nothing more and nothing less, and they seek the death, by mass murder whenever possible, of anyone and everyone who is not one of them. Either you will live in their perverted ninth-century vision of an Islamic paradise, or you will be killed.

What Blair is proposing is a good start, but the civilized world must go farther if it is to survive: the mosques that house the death cultists must be shut down. The "schools" that "educate" the death cultists must be shut down. The leaders of the death cult must be hunted down. The death cult of militant Islam must be stamped out, ruthlessly and completely.

This is not an issue of religious freedom, or freedom of speech, or civil liberties of any kind. Every civilized society in the world has realized that there are limits, and enforces those limits. We do not tolerate the "religious" practices of polygamy or child marriage. We would not tolerate the "religious" practice of cannibalism, ritual murder, or human sacrifice. We surely should not tolerate the "religious" practice of mass murder.

Thursday, August 04, 2005



John Wood over at the SpudWorks Blog has been posting a lot more regularly of late. An odd (which, in my world, is a positive descriptive term) mix of technology and odds and ends, the content ranges from the future of the mainframe to a cool flickr hack to France and China. Stop by and sample this interesting "assortment pack" of a blog.


NY Civil Liberties Union files suit to block subway searches

The New York Civil Liberties Union today filed suit against the city to keep police from searching the bags of passengers entering the subway, organization lawyers said.

The suit, which filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, will claimed that the two-week old policy violates constitutional guarantees of equal protection and prohibitions against unlawful searches and seizures, while doing almost nothing to shield the city from terrorism.

It argues that the measure also allows the possibility for racial profiling, even though officers are ordered to randomly screen passengers."While concerns about terrorism of course justify -- indeed, require -- aggressive police tactics, those concerns cannot justify the Police Department's unprecedented policy of subjecting millions of innocent people to suspicionless searches," states the suit.

For those unfamiliar with the actual text of the United States Constitution, there is no “right of privacy” anywhere therein. There is no Constitutional right to carry a backpack, suitcase, briefcase or dufflebag on a public conveyance. There is a prohibition against “unreasonable” searches and seizures. What is unreasonable about the police checking to see if you’re carrying a bomb onto the subway?

Personally, I would think not being blown to bits by some whacko terrorist would rank pretty high on the list of "civil liberties".


NATO to replace US troops in Afghanistan in 2006

USA Today is carrying an AP report indicating that a multi-national Nato force will replace the 17,000 US combat troops currently stationed throughout Afghanistan for the purpose of providing security:

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — NATO-led international troops will be ready to assume responsibility for security across all of Afghanistan by the end of next year, freeing up thousands of American forces, a top NATO general said Thursday.

There has long been a plan to expand the 10,000-strong NATO force here into Afghanistan's volatile south and east, but the timing for its completion has never been specific. Washington has long sought such a move, hoping to relieve many of its 17,600 front-line troops still here.

"We are in a position that we can take over the responsibility for all of Afghanistan in the course of the next year," said Gen. Gerhard Back, who oversees the International Security Assistance Force mission from his base in Brunssum, the Netherlands.

He made the comments to reporters after a ceremony marking the change of the command of ISAF from a Turkish general to Italian Lt. Gen. Mauro Del Vecchio.

ISAF already maintains security in the capital, Kabul, and the country's north and west. It plans to increase its size and take over from the U.S.-led coalition in the violence-wracked south early next year, before gradually moving into the east.

It is not clear how many U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan after NATO takes command of security for all the country, ISAF spokesman Riccardo Cristoni said. But most American forces that do stay would be led by NATO, he said.Cristoni said it was also not clear whether the United States would keep a separate force dedicated to hunting Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders believed to be hiding along the mountainous Afghan-Pakistani border.

Gee, maybe there really wasn't a secret US plan to build a gas pipeline across Afghanistan and keep it for ourselves forever!?

Does anybody think we WON'T maintain forces hunting for terrorists throughout Afghanistan and along the Pakistani border after the main troop withdrawal?


Russia bans ABC News

In retaliation for ABC News' decision to broadcast an interview with the Chechen terrorist leader who claims to be responsible for the massacre of schoolchildren in Beslan, Sky News reports that the Putin government has cut off access to Russian officials and will not renew accreditation for ABC.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said: "ABC is now unwelcome to contact any Russian state organisations or bodies.

"A decision was taken that at the end of their period, the accreditations of the workers of this company will not be renewed."

Russian officials were left outraged by the Basayev interview, the terrorist who said he was behind the attack on a school in Beslan last September which killed around 300 people.

ABC News president David Westin said: "The mission of a free press is to cover news events - even those involving illegal acts - to help our audience better understand the important issues that confront us all."

"ABC News deeply regrets the action taken by the Russian government against ABC journalists operating in Russia, but we cannot allow any government to deter us from reporting the news fully and accurately."

I have mixed feelings about this. A free press is a wonderful thing. But I'm old fashioned, and I believe that with rights come responsibilities. I'm not sure providing a media platform for terrorists who murder schoolchildren is necessary to convey "the news". You might legitimately wonder how a media blackout would effect some of these whackos.

And I personally have a real problem with the long-standing tendency of the MSM to treat terrorists and criminals favorably, apparently based on a presumption that it's always the government (any government) that is the bad guys.

(Hat tip to the Jawa Report)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


"Stealth" campaign backfires, Cleveland school levy crushed

Despite a low-key campaign intended to bring out only supporters, the Cleveland schools tax was crushed in Tuesday's election by angry West Side opponents.

Thirty percent of all votes cast on the issue came from Old Brooklyn and the city's far West Side, neighborhoods known for their aversion to school tax increases. Only about 43,000 voters turned out at the polls, or about 13 percent of those eligible, which shows that a core group on one side of town sealed the fate of the issue.

Unofficial results showed 65 percent of voters against the tax and 35 percent in favor, an even bigger margin than the failed school tax issue in November.

While those pushing the tax levy had sought to make only likely supporters aware of the vote, the strategy may have backfired badly:

Campaign manager Chris Carmody said confusion among voters about the difference between an operating tax and the construction bond issue passed in 2001 contributed to the loss, as well as a bad local economy. He also blamed negative press coverage in the last week.

Backers of the tax ran no television or radio ads and mailed fliers only to a carefully screened list of likely supporters, hoping that opponents would forget about the vote. The tactic failed.

Emily Lipovan Holan, a candidate for the City Council seat that includes Old Brooklyn, said she was surprised by the anger of voters who thought a tax was being forced on them without their knowledge.

She said opponents seemed to come out in the last four days.

"There was no literature on the West Side and they're livid," Lipovan Holan said. "They're very angry with the mayor that they didn't include the West Side."

Also working against the school levy is a widespread perception that the Cleveland schools are badly managed, top-heavy and bloated, with a superintendent making a huge salary and receiving tax abatement on her residence. In fact, tax abatement may have been a major factor in bringing out angry opponents.

Levy supporters were embarrassed when local media disclosed that the couple prominently displayed in their advertising pieces was paying only around $800 a year in property taxes on a $150,000 house, with a $2,200 tax abatement through the year 2011, raising questions about how much residential tax abatement was handed out in the Cleveland school district.

Other recent disclosures that the district had miscalculated the number of students riding buses for several years and would have to reimburse the state probably didn’t help either. For several years, the district simply reported the number of eligible students, instead of the numbers actually riding, and collected state monies based on the inflated figures. The Cleveland Schools are now required to repay the difference.

School levies failed all across northeastern Ohio, with only a couple passing. One likely conclusion is that Ohio voters, pretty much across the board, don't want to pay more property taxes.

Trying to blame the defeat of the levy on “confused voters” or a “bad economy” is a load of nonsense. The levy was defeated for a variety of reasons, and those were NOT among them.


The state of the economy

In the context of discussing the passage of CAFTA a few days ago, Donald Lambro made a point I’ve been making recently: while you would never know it if you get your news from the MSM, the economy is humming along, and has been, fueled in part and certainly kick-started by the Bush tax cuts:

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California made the most pernicious attack. She claims ending trade tariffs in Central America will help decimate U.S. manufacturing.

Mrs. Pelosi's timing couldn't have been worse -- for her -- because the day she made her charges, the Federal Reserve Board put out its business climate survey that said U.S. manufacturing is getting stronger.

The Fed reported most of its 12 regional districts showed "moderate to solid expansions in manufacturing activity and expectations for future factory activity were generally upbeat," helping it soar out of a small soft patch it hit last spring.

The aircraft and high-tech manufacturing industries were singled out as especially strong in San Francisco and Boston. Oil refineries were doing quite well in Atlanta and Dallas because of the increased need for energy. Fueled by the building boom, manufacturers of key construction materials, including industrial equipment and cement, were particularly busy.

While Mrs. Pelosi made her charges on the House floor, the U.S. Commerce Department reported a strong manufacturing surge in June. Not only were American manufacturers producing more in response to increasing customers orders, they were selling more abroad -- to the tune of $1.15 trillion a year.

In addition, new orders for big-ticket goods such as machinery, computers and appliances shot up by 1.4 percent, and Commerce revised its previous estimate for durable goods orders in May to show a 6.4 percent increase, helped by a lengthening list of new aircraft orders.

But how can Mrs. Pelosi, who has such information available to her almost daily, be so far off in her characterization of manufacturing? Was she listening to CNN's Lou Dobbs, who keeps telling his viewers America doesn't make much anymore?

The answer, unfortunately, is all about the politics of pessimism and denial, an illness that has long afflicted Mrs. Pelosi's party -- to its detriment.

In 1984, Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale repeatedly characterized the economy as virtually another Great Depression. In reality, it was bouncing back big time, a recovery attributed to the Reagan tax cuts. In 2004, Sen. John Kerry told voters the economy was the worst since Herbert Hoover when it was growing by more than 4 percent.

In fact, the Bush economy appears to be running on all-cylinders right now, according to a slew of new economic data in the past two weeks.

Despite the news media's gloom-and-doom forecasts of a housing bubble bursting, the median sales price of existing homes rose 14.7 percent, to $219,000, over the last 12 months. This was the fastest rise in property values in nearly a quarter-century, the National Association of Realtors said. The Commerce Department said sales of new single-family homes rose 4 percent last month alone. That's an annual rate of 1.37 million homes, perhaps the strongest sign of the nation's growing prosperity.

Mrs. Pelosi and her friends continue insisting there is a job shortage in America because of Mr. Bush's policies. But the Fed business survey shot down that charge, too. Most Fed districts reported an increasing demand for workers, both skilled and unskilled, along with much stronger demand for temporary workers. Skilled workers were in particularly short supply in some districts. Businesses said they could not find truck drivers in places like Cleveland, Richmond and Atlanta.

We've had 25 consecutive months of job gains that have produced 3.7 million new jobs -- at all pay scale levels -- that has pounded the jobless rate down to 5 percent, the lowest in almost four years.

So why is the MSM continually harping about "lost jobs" and "the state of the economy"? Why is it all doom and gloom all the time? Because the truth doesn't fit the MSM agenda. And make no mistake, boys and girls, the vast bulk of the MSM isn't the least bit interested in objectively and truthfully relating the news. They are far too busy spinning and spewing propaganda in support of their own agenda.

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