Saturday, November 04, 2006

"Here is something you won't hear reported in the mainstream mix... Here is the body count since the War in Iraq began in 2003 compared to when Saddam was waging his own war on the Iraqi people:"

All You Need To Know About Politics Today

"WASHINGTON — The grainy black-and-white images appear on television, while ominous music plays in the background. It's another in a blizzard of negative political ads and before you consciously know it, the message takes hold of your brain.

You may not want it to, but it works just about instantly.

In fact, the ad's effects on the brain "are actually shocking," says UCLA psychiatry professor Dr. Marco Iacoboni.

Iacoboni's brain imaging research from the 2004 presidential campaign revealed that viewers lost empathy for their own candidate once he was attacked.

Scientists around the country are logging the emotional and physical effects of negative political ads. Iacoboni tracked parts of the middle brain that lit up in brain scans when people watched their favorite candidates get attacked. Other scientists hooked up wires to measure frowns and smiles before the meaning of the ads' words sunk in. Mostly, researchers found that negative ads tend to polarize and make it less likely that supporters of an attacked candidate will vote.

"Everyone says, 'We hate them, they're terrible,'" said psychology professor George Bizer of Union College in Schenectady, N.Y.

However, he added, "They seem to work."

And politicians know it because the latest figures show that by nearly a 10-to-1 ratio, political parties are spending more money on negative ads than positive ones.
"But all this is separate from the political decision to put this on the Kerry website after insisting that he didn't intend on casting aspersions on the intellectual capacity of the troops. If he really didn't mean to call them lazy and uneducated, then why did he go out of his way to host an editorial on his site that does exactly that? [ "Jon Carry" -- the gift that keeps on giving... -ed. ] "

More proof that the military just loves Kerry... And who would have guessed that he's such a uniter after all? Well, of the services that is...

Chinia: To The Last Islamist Proxy

Of course, our democracy needs a bit of work also:
"In my view, Iraqi participation in elections, sometimes at great personal risk, goes a long way towards answering those who say there's something in the Iraqi (or Arab) DNA that is incompatible with the administration's democracy project. Unfortunately, though, more was required of the Iraqi peoople than just voting. The situation called on them to elect leaders who would work in good faith for national reconciliation, rather than tilting substantially in the direction of one sectarian faction. The Iraqis failed to do this when they voted in the Shia-militia-friendly Malacki government, thereby making it difficult, if not impossible, for the U.S. to work with the current government to curb sectarian violence.

The Iraqis, of course, are not the first people to make a very bad decision at the polls.
The fact that they did so is not necessarily evidence of some national "genetic" flaw, much less a demonstration that democracy can't work in the Middle East. It just means that the Iraqi people did less than what a difficult situation required, and that we must face up to and deal with the consequences. [ And of course, any discussion of Iraq that ignores the pandemic role of Isamlism and its remaining state sponsors including Iran, Syria (Irania together to my view), Pakistan (having malignant A.D.D., the press seems to hardly notice that Afghanistan is not going well either because of you-know-who in spite of supposedly being the "good war" to Iraq's "bad war") and many other Arab states like the Saudis (15 of the 19 hijackers, how soon we forget) and Egyptians in at least some role. Along that line, Vanity Fair's interviews with the most vilified neocons is interesting. While there's a lot of good insight from them, I notice that the word "Iran" has been carefully edited out of this preview. Most conspicuously from Michael Ledeen who rarely speaks or writes a paragraph without the name "Iran" in it; and I notice that this quote -- while a good insight nonetheless -- probably consists of the only two sentences he uttered without Iran as the subject: -ed. ]

Michael Ledeen, American Enterprise Institute freedom scholar: "Ask yourself who the most powerful people in the White House are. They are women who are in love with the president: Laura [Bush], Condi, Harriet Miers, and Karen Hughes."
Just as in Korea and Vietnam, if we got serious and really wanted to win we would end up fighting the Chinese and Russians more and more directly, so today the situation is the same but the proxies have changed. Now Chinia (China+Russia) has decided to fight us to the last Islamist -- and the Islamists are mostly happy to do so given our alignment with Israel. If you can't understand this from China's ridiculous stringing us along on the NorKorComs (the WMD and delivery system supply proxy to speed the Islamists along) and Russia's ludicrous statements that they believe that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful, I have many bridges to sell you...

Friday, November 03, 2006

""Of course Americans should vote Democrat," Jihad Jaara, a senior member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group..."
Having it both ways, part 7,865,907:
"The defining characteristic of partisan attacks on President Bush has been their unthinking and indiscriminate nature. For example, Bush is to blame for not halting the development of nukes by Iran and North Korea, but he's also to blame for toppling Saddam Hussein due in part to his concern that Saddam was interested in and capable of developing nukes. Critics point to Iran's rise as evidence that Bush misplaced his focus on Iraq but they don't consider how Saddam would have reacted to Iranian nuclear progress.

The New York Times now has carried unthinking Bush-bashing to a point beyond caricature. Today, as Tiger Hawk notes, it quotes with apparent approval "experts" who say that Saddam was as little as a year away from building an atom bomb
. [ "beyond caricature" would be an understatement now, wouldn't it? -ed. ] The Times does so in order to show that the Bush administration acted recklessly when it published captured Iraqi documents that describe that country's WMD programs, because those documents might be used by another country in furtherance of building WMD. [ Can you say A - D - D? -ed. ]

Did the Times just say that Saddam's Iraq was a year away from building a nuclear weapon? I guess so. Good thing Saddam's no longer in power.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

"It's gratifying to see Ikle's book noticed somewhere else. It was the subject of a Belmont Club post a few days back. And the frightening thing about its thesis, in common with Huntington's thesis about the clash of civilizations, is that the probelem he describes is built into the fabric of our modern world. It is neither Clinton's nor Bush's fault. It's not anyone's fault. The risk of destruction is the price of harnessing the power of technology. I suppose we knew that already. We are our own blessing; and our own curse."
"Mr. President, just the other night, I went out with my family for dinner to a restaurant in Herzliya, the city named after Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl, who foresaw the need to establish a safe haven for the Jewish people. Our waitress was an attractive and cheerful young lady who moved to Israel 16 years ago at the age of four from her native Lithuania, where her family had suffered anti-Semitism and persecution.

But when we asked her if she was happy living here in the Jewish state, the smile on her lips quickly faded. Glumly, she answered us with the following words: "That Ahmadinejad of Iran, he scares me. It is a very scary situation." And indeed it is, Mr. President, because my people are in danger once again. It was just six decades ago that the Europeans tossed us into Hitler's ovens and turned 6 million Jews into ashes. Now, with no shame, they stand by silently as Iran seeks to do the same.
"A better example of gutter politics is focusing on the religion of a candidate's mother, something the Post did with aplomb in the Virginia Senate race."
Dear John,
"And before that were those baseless attacks by those 200-some veterans, paid off by Karl Rove in l970, on the chance that 34 years later he'd be running George W. Bush for president and needed to soften you up. Everyone knows they had no case whatsoever (beyond the fact you were calling them rapists and killers), just as everyone knows how tasteless it is to mock your lifestyle. Everyone knows how hard you work for your money, how much you deserve it, and how hard to must be to find not one, but two women with quite so much dough. (If you were only a woman, people would see your story as the fairy tale it is.)

Even worse, it is mean, false, and mendacious to say that you were trying to call our brave men in Iraq and in uniform mentally challenged, when it was clear as day that you meant this to apply to the president, who ran rings around you when you last met in electoral combat; and whose grades in college were higher than yours.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

OTOS (On The Other Side), A Reminder

So after Kerry's little "mis-speak", we get this analysis from Demosophist:

"Yes he misspoke, almost certainly, but does that make a difference?

There are, after all, only two ways one can interpret what was said.

1. Smart, intelligent, hard-working people opposed the war from its inception; while stupid, uneducated, slothful people supported it. We'll ignore for the moment that he initially supported it. By his own admission this statement closely paraphrases what he intended to say.

2. Those who serve in Iraq are stupid, uneducated, slothful people. He claims that he didn't intend to convey that message.

The problem is that most of the men serving in Iraq supported the war from its inception, and still do. So even if he didn't intend to say 2. that message still follows from 1. as long as one is smart enough to make an elementary inference. Even worse, the second statement is a fair characterization of what the Democrats have been saying about the military for a number of years, claiming that the modern service is mainly composed of people too dumb and too vulnerable to avoid the song and dance of the military recruiter."

But of course it gets worse. If Kerry was just talking about Bush being stupid (more shocking Victicratic behavior -- not) then that's the reason why Dems are always calling Elephants stupid while simultaneously denying any validity to grades or intelligence tests.

Because of course Bush got better grades at Yale than Kerry did ...
"And this is the problem with “progressives” in general, whether political or religious. You might think that Christian fundamentalists are “conservative,” but you would be very wrong. Rather, this is a thoroughly modern movement that has detached itself from oral tradition, inspired commentary, and the testimony of various superhuman saints and sages, to produce a largely manmade, exteriorized version of Christianity. It is no different than political progressives who twist a part of the Constitution in order to create a new political religion that finds justification for their own desires. Roe vs. Wade is just one example, but one could cite dozens more, most notably, the belief that the Constitution somehow sanctions racial discrimination or is hostile to religion. These leftist ideas are human inventions that have nothing to do with the message of the founders."
"The liberal press has a story line for this election, and John Kerry's exposing how the left really feels about the military isn't it. This story illustrates, I think, the rift between this country's two media cultures."

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

"I'll be honest with you. I realize my opponent will get 100% of the pedophile vote. But unlike my opponent, I want the votes of Americans who love freedom and our country. I want the votes of people in my district who work hard and pay taxes, and who remember the $12 million in federal funding I secured last year to put up highways signs directing tourists to our district's famous Ear Wax Museum. That's a really great museum, and now tourists aren't going to get lost trying to find it. Empowering the American people to find their way; that's what this campaign is all about, and everything my opponent stands against."
"The child of whatever age remains close to the paradise not yet fully lost, “and it is for that reason that childhood constitutes a necessary aspect of the integral man: the man who is fully mature always keeps, in equilibrium with wisdom, the qualities of simplicity and freshness, of gratitude and trust, that he possessed in the springtime of his life” (F. Schuon). [ But then check out this comment:

A young couple with a newborn and a three year old daughter do not know what to do. Their three year old is insisting that she have some time alone with the newborn while the baby is in his crib.

The parents are naturally worried about issues of sibling rivalry, displacement and the like. But, they have a intercom monitor in the baby’s room and decide that will listen to the monitor intently while they allow the older sister some time with her new brother.

As the parents listen, they hear their little girl approach the baby’s crib. They hear her breathing for awhile. And finally she says to her infant brother: “Please tell me about God. I’m beginning to forget.”
-ed. ]
""It is ultimately better to march openly against beliefs contrary to their convictions instead of waiting until the last moment to unfurl their banners."

At the very moment they want to unfurl their banners, they will be forced at scimitar-point to make their banners into burquas and put them on. [ Well. That captures it quite nicely don't you think? -ed. ]
"MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Tuesday it believed Iran's nuclear program was peaceful, and a political dialogue, not sanctions, must be used in talks with Tehran.

"We do not have information that would suggest that Iran is carrying out a non-peaceful (nuclear) program," Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov told a news conference in Moscow. [ Or could it just be more "Gramscian Damage"? D'oh... -ed. ]
"If European governments fail to improve the anemic economic performance described by Tyler, and remain unable to assimilate Muslim immigrants effectively, there is a real chance that voter frustration will increase, and the far right or far left will successfully exploit it and eventually come to power in one or more major European nations - with potentially disastrous results. Many of those Europeans who vote for extremist parties are probably just "protest voting" and do not actually endorse their platforms in full. But the same was probably true of many of the Germans who "protest-voted" for the Nazis and Communists during the Weimar Republic (as Richard Evans suggests in this recent book). The results this time around probably will not be as bad as what happened in the 1920s and '30s, but neither will it be pretty.

[ Which brings to mind the following from Tom Wolfe: "For the past hour, I have my eyes fixed on the doors here," he said. "You talk about fascism and police repression. In Germany when I was a student, they come through those doors long ago. Here they must be very slow."

Grass was enjoying himself for the first time all evening. He was not simply saying, "You really don't have so much to worry about." He was indulging his sense of the absurd. He was saying: "You American intellectuals — you want so desperately to feel besieged and persecuted!"

He sounded like Jean-François Revel, a French socialist writer who talks about one of the great unexplained phenomena of modern astronomy: namely, that the dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.
-ed. ]
"It may be, though, that al Qaeda's religious ideology of armed jihad means that it cannot lay low even if it might be advantageous. It cannot merely engineer the US withdrawal, it must be known to have done so. So it keeps bombing and shooting.

Except now it may have actually developed a strategy to fight America. This strategy is very simple and has excellent potential that is already being realized.

1. Target American news media, not for attack but for propaganda.

2. Through the media, buttress the idea in the minds of American politicians that Iraq is lost and there is no reasonable recourse but to begin withdrawing as soon as possible.

I would submit that al Qaeda is significantly accomplishing this strategy, so obviously so that I need not offer cites. And let it be remembered that now the calls for withdrawal do not come from only one party.
"Or, in another take: " A Democratic congressman told ABC News Tuesday, 'I guess Kerry wasn't content blowing 2004, now he wants to blow 2006, too.'"

Indeed. Or are the Karl Rove mind-control rays just that overpowering?

FINALLY: Here's a big roundup on this story, from Pajamas Media. And Chip Mathis reminds us that Kerry's grades at Yale were worse than Bush's. This explains a lot . . . .
"But all demands for an evacuation are based on the fantasy that there is a distinction between "over there" and "over here." In a world-scale confrontation with jihadism, this distinction is idle and false. It also involves callously forgetting the people who would be the first victims but who would not by any means be the last ones."

Monday, October 30, 2006

"The cravenness and condescension of John Kerry make me sick."
"The Europeans apparently have begun to discover the futility of UNIFIL, a futility that many pointed out when the UN Security Council passed UNSCR 1701. It would have been better to form a new force, one that had UN-dictated terms of engagement and one that had the authority to enforce 1701. Instead, the Germans have found themselves between three entities which have never accepted the terms of 1701 and have no intention of abiding by it for very long. The Israelis did not get their soldiers back, and because the UNIFIL contingent has no real authority, no one can certify that Hezbollah has not begun to re-arm. Hezbollah wants their weapons for their next effort against the Israelis. The Lebanese government has sent its army to the sub-Litani region for the first time in decades, but it won't stop Hezbollah from re-establishing themselves in opposition to them.

The Germans will have to decide whether to continue its participation in this charade, seeing as how the three principals have long since given it up.
""You say it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom; when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your customs. And then we will follow ours."

Maybe it's time for Europe and others to begin building a few metaphorical gallows in order to protect their culture from those who don't mind taking advantage of their system but refuse to accept their values and culture and assimilate.

As James C Bennett said: "Democracy, immigration, multiculturalism. Pick any two".
"Poor bomb design, or low quality components, have caused fizzles in the past. In 1998, several of Pakistan's nuclear weapons tests failed in a similar fashion to the current North Korean one. It may be that design that was sold to North Korea by the Pakistani nuclear scientists that, at that time, were running an illegal nuclear weapons sales business on the side."
"CNN broadcasts 30 minutes of meaningless static you say? How can you tell?"
"According to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, Bob Woodward had eight hours with the president. Did he ever ask if we were at war with Iran? Given the explosive evidence provided in State of Denial, he certainly should have. But if he did, there is no record of it in his book.

Perhaps the question was not asked for the same reason the policymakers and spooks didn’t want it known that Iran was waging war on us: fear of the consequences. For once you put the Iranian question in that context, it’s really impossible to pretend that our “issues” with the mullahs consist of trying to convince them to help freedom in Iraq and Lebanon, and getting them to cooperate in dismantling their nuclear program. Once you are forced to address the facts, all sorts of “issues” drop into the background.
"The heart sinks. Can anyone — let alone the president — possibly believe that the mullahs might help Iraq succeed? The only “success” they are interested in is the humiliation of America and the domination of Iraq. Can anyone possibly believe that Iran might help the Lebanese government? The only thing they care about is the destruction of that government, the slaughter or domination of the Maronite Christians, and the creation of an Islamic Republic under the thumb of Hizbollah. And finally, how can anyone possibly believe that the “big issue” is whether or not Iran will get nukes? The issue is American lives, now being taken in Iraq and Afghanistan by Iranian weapons, killers, and managers. This is not new; it has been going on for 27 years, and we have yet to respond."
"There is a word for this, but we don't use it regularly -- it's archaic except in Old English and early Middle English. The word is frith*. It's interesting for two reasons:

1) It neatly captures the concept the fellow is looking for, and,

2) It is linguistically linked to several modern English words, including "friend," "free," and "freedom."

When the term was in common use, the idea was that free men remained free only as long as they remained friends -- devoted to each other's common defense. These frith bonds were what allowed the tribe to create a space out of the chaos of the world, in which they could establish the order they prefer.
[ Is the west in danger of becoming "frith free'? No, wait. That isn't quite right... -ed. ]

It's Better To Be Raped???

"The German author Henryk M. Broder recently told the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant (12 October) that young Europeans who love freedom, better emigrate. Europe as we know it will no longer exist 20 years from now. Whilst sitting on a terrace in Berlin, Broder pointed to the other customers and the passers-by and said melancholically: “We are watching the world of yesterday.”

Europe is turning Muslim. As Broder is sixty years old he is not going to emigrate himself. “I am too old,” he said. However, he urged young people to get out and “move to Australia or New Zealand. That is the only option they have if they want to avoid the plagues that will turn the old continent uninhabitable.”

Many Germans and Dutch, apparently, did not wait for Broder’s advice. The number of emigrants leaving the Netherlands and Germany has already surpassed the number of immigrants moving in. One does not have to be prophetic to predict, like Henryk Broder, that Europe is becoming Islamic. Just consider the demographics. The number of Muslims in contemporary Europe is estimated to be 50 million. It is expected to double in twenty years. By 2025, one third of all European children will be born to Muslim families. Today Mohammed is already the most popular name for new-born boys in Brussels, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and other major European cities.

Broder is convinced that the Europeans are not willing to oppose islamization. “The dominant ethos,” he told De Volkskrant, “is perfectly voiced by the stupid blonde woman author with whom I recently debated. She said that it is sometimes better to let yourself be raped than to risk serious injuries while resisting. She said it is sometimes better to avoid fighting than run the risk of death.”

Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Is anyone thinking about what it really means to change Western foreign policy to make the Islamic world happier?"
"Apart from that horrific Molotov cocktail attack on a bus that sent a woman to the hospital with burns over 60% of her body, the French Interior Ministry says last night was relatively calm.

“Relatively calm,” in this case, means that only 200 cars were burned by disenchanted youths. [ Youths should be in quotes of course... -ed. ]
"Let me make it really, really clear. Why should anyone trust you with the keys to the country when you don't love it enough to stay and fight to make it better? And why should anyone pay attention to the notions of someone who thinks - seriously - that we're looking down the barrel of a fascist state here in the United States?"
"An analysis of state-wide records by the Poughkeepsie Journal reveals that 77,000 dead people remain on election rolls in New York State, and some 2,600 may have managed to vote after they had died. The study also found that Democrats are more successful at voting after death than Republicans, by a margin of four-to-one, largely because so many dead people seem to vote in Democrat-dominated New York City. (Link via Ed Still's VoteLaw.) [ The Republicans are the party of corruption? The only one? Really? -ed. ] "

Today's Risible NYeT Update

"Oct. 27, 2006—This week’s exchange with the New York Times isn’t the first time the Department of Defense has expressed concern about inaccuracies in a Times editorial. A September 7 editorial (“A Sudden Sense of Urgency”) asserted that, with the transfer of 14 high-value terrorist suspects to Cuba, “President Bush finally has some real terrorists in Guantánamo Bay.” In fact, those held prior to the transfer included personal bodyguards of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda recruiters, trainers, and facilitators. Another individual held at Guantánamo was Mohamed al-Kahtani, believed to be the intended 20th hijacker on September 11th.

The Times declined to issue a correction, noting that “the phrase in question was meant to be somewhat lighthearted in tone and not literal."

POWER LINE NOTES: Right. The Times is "lighthearted" about Guantanamo Bay. Note, too, the Times's standard in refusing to make a correction here: it's unnecessary because no one will believe what we wrote.
[ Well, yes. Anyone who has more than a passing interest in reality would have stopped reading them long ago. But of course the few thousand readers that are left swallow this risible sedition as if it were gospel... -ed. ]
"What Italy needs today is competition, privatisation of grossly inefficient state-sponsored utilities, deregulation of the financial system and changes in labour laws. Such reforms can be hard to implement even in a booming economy. In a stagnant or declining one, they will become impossible.

To make matters worse, Italy will be tightening its budget at the same time as Germany implements the biggest tax increases in its modern history — also in deference to the Maastricht Treaty, if not under quite such direct compulsion from the EU. These simultaneous fiscal blunders in Italy, Germany and Eastern Europe will almost mean another “lost year” for the euro zone, with economic performance falling far behind America, Britain and Japan. But the long-term consequences could be more far-reaching.

At some point the people of Europe will realise that there is something rotten in a political system that leaves them forever in the world economy’s slow lane — and which cannot be changed by any democratic process, regardless of how people vote.
"Under these circumstances, unless our military genuinely believes that it can quell the anarchy in Baghdad, it seems unwise to attempt this. The better course may well be to focus on areas where a true insurgency exists, and to keep training Iraqi security forces to the point that they can secure most of the country and, should prospects improve there, effectively police Baghdad one day, as well."
"A young woman is near death in Marseilles tonight, after a group of "youths" fire-bombed this bus... [ Pray for her. The tipping point may be soon in France... -ed. ] "
"What Mrs. Cheney and before her Chairman Hunter focused on is the outrageous decision by an American network to show a film provided to it by the enemy with the hope on the enemy's part that it would be shown on American television and around the globe.

If Nazis had provided CBS film of SS killing Americans, would CBS have shown that during WW 2?

Would ABC have run agitprop provided by North Korea during the Korean War?

Would NBC have aired Viet Cong movies made during the Tet offensive of American GIs and Marines being gunned down?
[ Ah, yes. There's where the cart went off the road didn't it? The NVA lost approximately 45,000 of 90,000 men committed and yet the Tet "victory" is a liberal shibboleth to this day, no? -ed. ]

Wolf Blitzer asserts that "of course, is we want the United States to win."

Mrs. Cheney replies "[t]hen why are you running terrorist propaganda?" [ Crickets chirping... -ed. ]

There is no answer to this question, and Blitzer does not attempt one, but disputes the premise, although moments later he concedes that the film was in fact "propaganda."

And here we arrive at the central issue: You cannot want the United States to win the war and yet take actions that help the enemy. Doing what the enemy asks --in this case airing the enemy's propaganda-- helps the enemy.
"So, then, why isn't the Nashville news media covering the 21st district race between Bob Krumm and Sen. Henry?

The only answer seems to be the lack of negative attack ads.

That doesn't reflect positively on the news media.
"For about one hour, he heard some tough inquiries, answered without notes, kept his cool, and talked analytically rather than in platitudes. I was impressed, and came away thinking that being a conservative governor in Massachusetts must have sharpened his debating skills and given him insights about dealing with the therapeutic mindset. I don’t know what he thought of us, but most of us thought him quite impressive. [ Victor Davis Hanson on spending time with Mitt Romney... -ed. ] "