Friday, June 29, 2007


Reid A. Bryson, the Emeritus Professor and founding chairman of the University of Wisconsin's Department of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences knows a thing or two about the subject. As recipient of only the 30th PhD in Meteorology granted in the history of American education, he is often referred to as the father of modern scientific climatology, much as Al Gore ought be credited as the father of modern hysterical climatology. And, while the professor considers all the hype over Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) "a bunch of hooey," he certainly appreciates that:
"There is a lot of money to be made in this. If you want to be an eminent scientist you have to have a lot of grad students and a lot of grants. You can't get grants unless you say, 'Oh global warming, yes, yes, carbon dioxide.'"
Given these patently extortive efforts to circumvent analysis and debate, how can the alarmist marching tune, "the debate is over," possibly resonate as either reasonable or logical in anyone's ears?

Rushdie The Straw

Hours before London explosives technicians dismantled a large car bomb in the heart of the British capital’s tourist-rich theater district, a message appeared on one of the most widely used jihadist Internet forums, saying: “Today I say: Rejoice, by Allah, London shall be bombed.”

Al-Hazeen decries the recent knighthood of controversial author Salman Rushdie as a blow felt by all British Muslims. “This ‘honoring’ came at a crucial time, a time when the whole nation is reeling from the crusaders attacks on all Muslim lands,” he said, in an apparent reference to the British role in Iraq.

“We say to Britain: The Emir of al Qaeda, Sheikh Osama, has once threatened you, and he carried out his threats. Today I say: Rejoice, by Allah, London shall be bombed,” the message reads.

Welcome to Rage-Boy-O-Rama-Stan. Thy name is London.

Yes, They ARE Different

In an interview with Israeli television, a transcript of which was published by Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper, Mubarak said circumstances in conservative Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, prevented the Saudi monarch meeting Olmert.

“Forget about meeting with the king... The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has circumstances that differ from those of any other state. They have holy lands and men of religion,” Mubarak said.

The Real War

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Both the United States and Britain continue to point the finger at Iran and the Qods Force involvement in training, funding, arming, and planning attacks against Coalition and Iraqi forces inside Iraq. Operations continue to target these Iranian backed secret cells, which include the Qazali Network and “rogue” elements of Muqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

“Iraqi Special Operations Forces, Iraqi Police and Iraqi Army forces destroyed a large weapons cache during an early morning operation June 26 southeast of Nasiriyah,” Multinational Forces Iraq reported. “The cache is linked to a rogue Jaysh Al-Mahdi (JAM or Mahdi Army) militant group.” One suspect was detained in the operation.

The Case Of The Broken Brains

The Blotter reports that "British police have a 'crystal clear' picture of the man who drove the bomb-rigged silver Mercedes outside a London nightclub, and officials tell the Blotter on he bears 'a close resemblance' to a man arrested by police in connection with another bomb plot but released for lack of evidence." (Hat tip: Tigerhawk) Which only proves the camera lenses work. It is something else that is broken.

Gnarly Net Negatives

Hillary's reign at the top of the polls for the Democratic primary has always worried party activists, knowledgeable of her negatives in a general election. The sense of her inevitability has been tempered with the recognition of the high hurdles between winning a nomination and winning a general election with a large number of voters hostile to her candidacy. Now NBC reports that a new poll puts that number at a majority:

According to a new Mason-Dixon survey, given exclusively to NBC/MSNBC and McClatchy newspapers, Clinton is the only major presidential candidate -- either Democrat and Republican -- for whom a majority of likely general election voters say they would not consider voting. In addition, she's the only candidate who registers with a net-unfavorable rating.

Londonistan Update

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British police defused a car bomb in London’s West End this morning, containing 16 gallons of gasoline, nails and cylinders. The car failed to explode in front of the Tiger Tiger nightclub shortly before 2am local time. Islamic-linked terrorists are suspected.

UPDATE — Panic Spreads: In a new security alert, Park Lane and Oxford Street have been closed to traffic due to suspect vehicles. (Sky News)

Similar to Iraq car bombs? “It is entirely possible. There are various things - it is outside a nightclub, it is a vehicle-borne device, it is close to the anniversary of the July 7 attacks,” one source said. (Telegraph)

Intelligence sources in London said they were keeping an open mind on who was responsible for the car bomb. But Islamic extremists are a likely suspect, particularly since a nightclub has been targeted and considering previous terrorist plots to blow up clubs. (Daily Mail)

There goes that crafty W causing terrorism again. We have just no idea how sneaky he is. You know. The W who can't pass an immigration bill or stop the "intelligence" community from leaking like a seive...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Gibbering Paradise

While the Kos Kids gibber about how wonderful Hamas is, over in Gaza they’re bombing barber shops again.

Unknown persons have bombed a barber shop in Khan Younis, after a lull in the recent spate of bombings against barber shops, internet cafes and shops selling music tapes and cellular phones. The bombings were part of the clashes between Fatah and Hamas.

They’re attacking barber shops because it’s “un-Islamic” for men to shave their beards. Paradise!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Did I Mention That I'm Not Surprised To Learn This?

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U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) released Wednesday a report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) which says the new Senate immigration bill contains a major loophole in border security. Supporters of the bill say it provides $4.4 billion in immediate mandatory spending for border enforcement, but according to the CRS analysis, the funds could also be used immediately to implement the amnesty provisions [of the] bill.

“This is just another example of how this bill claims to do one thing but does something else entirely. It’s another example of an empty promise being used to buy votes for amnesty,” said Senator DeMint. “The supporters of this bill have been running around trying to convince people that this money will be used to secure the border first, but now we know that’s not the case. If you read the fine print, the bill says this money can also be used for amnesty.

Oh, Please

Another legacy of perpetual tyranny, is the paranoical belief in various secret agendas, being pursued behind the open ones. The more brilliant the commentator, the more entertaining the paranoia. It has been suggested, passim, through the Arab and Muslim media, that Israel and her fair-weather friends (whom they think Israel controls: ha!) are actually embracing Fatah in order to destroy it. Better for Israel to face Hamas and its Iranian sponsors head-on. It has even been suggested, and by Amir Taheri -- a Persian commentator who is normally a source of rationality and good information -- that the U.S. and Israel ordered Mahmoud Abbas to “take a dive” in Gaza, presumably in return for all that aid he is now receiving.

Oh, please. Our side is not as smart as that. Our side is not even smart enough to realize that the whole idea of a “roadmap to peace” between Israel and the Arabs is, in its very nature, absurd. This is a region where power alone counts, and agreements are for suckers.

Today's Shocka

Another detainee released from Guantanamo Bay who immediately rejoined the jihad has been killed in a shootout with Russian security services in Chechnya: Russia: Ex-Guantanamo detainee killed.

MOSCOW - A man formerly held in the U.S. facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was killed Wednesday in a shootout with security agents in a restive North Caucasus republic, Russia’s top security agency said.

TANSTAAFL: Diversity Feeds Postman's Tube World

In the 41 sites Putnam studied in the U.S., he found that the more diverse the neighborhood, the less residents trust neighbors. This proved true in communities large and small, from big cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Boston to tiny Yakima, Washington, rural South Dakota, and the mountains of West Virginia. In diverse San Francisco and Los Angeles, about 30 percent of people say that they trust neighbors a lot. In ethnically homogeneous communities in the Dakotas, the figure is 70 percent to 80 percent.

Diversity does not produce “bad race relations,” Putnam says. Rather, people in diverse communities tend “to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more, but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television.”


Putnam adds a crushing footnote: his findings “may underestimate the real effect of diversity on social withdrawal.”

Neither age nor disparities of wealth explain this result. “Americans raised in the 1970s,” he writes, “seem fully as unnerved by diversity as those raised in the 1920s.” And the “hunkering down” occurred no matter whether the communities were relatively egalitarian or showed great differences in personal income. Even when communities are equally poor or rich, equally safe or crime-ridden, diversity correlates with less trust of neighbors, lower confidence in local politicians and news media, less charitable giving and volunteering, fewer close friends, and less happiness.

Putnam has long been aware that his findings could have a big effect on the immigration debate. Last October, he told the Financial Times that “he had delayed publishing his research until he could develop proposals to compensate for the negative effects of diversity.” He said it “would have been irresponsible to publish without that,” a quote that should raise eyebrows. Academics aren’t supposed to withhold negative data until they can suggest antidotes to their findings.

But Putnam says diversity pays off in the long run. I would agree: America is actually evidence of it!

Talk about double-edged swords!

No Wonder They're All Coming Here...

About 400,000 Mexican police officers are under investigation by the Attorney General's Office for corruption and suspected links to organized crime, La Jornada reported June 26, citing government sources. Most of the officers are from Nuevo Leon, Sonora, Baja California, Guerrero, Michoacan, Mexico and the federal district.

The Unhinged Lynchpin

Reading over Richard Lugar's belief in the improbability of a democratic, multiethnic future for Iraq, I was struck by the idea that the criticisms apparently applied even more to the idea of unitary "Palestine". Yet this same Palestine was the supposed lynchpin of peace in the Middle East and seems destined to remain so, whatever may result.

The Long Undo

Kilcullen's assertions are all Counterinsurgency 101. There is nothing original in them. And when one considers that the roots of the radical Islamic movement go back decades, as described by Lawrence Wright in his book The Looming Tower one realizes that the one thing the War on Terror is, as explained from the beginning, is that it is a generational war. An evil prepared over a long span of years requires years to undo. Whether the President or his audience ever really believed those words or understood their full import is another thing.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

One Side Wins

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having acknowledged the need for such humility and having
admitted to the political and military errors and hubris that
have led the United States to this mess in Iraq, the fact
remains that the U.S. and the West have to prevail there or
suffer the consequences of rising Islamist, jihadist, and
Iranian nuclear extremism that will threaten not only our
children and grandchildren but the very existence of our civilizations.

The starting point for the renewed dialogue between Americans
and between America and its former friends might begin by
general agreement on a statement taken from a document titled
“National Strategy for Victory in Iraq” released
by the White House in November, 2005 – “What happens
in Iraq will influence the fate of the Middle East for generations
to come, with a profound impact on our own national security.”

Worms, Part 87364

A large portion of modern wars erupted because aggressive tyrannies believed that their democratic opponents were soft and weak. Often democracies have fed such beliefs by their own flaccid behavior. Hitler’s contempt for America, stoked by the policy of appeasement, is a familiar story. But there are many others. North Korea invaded South Korea after Secretary of State Dean Acheson declared that Korea lay beyond our “defense perimeter.” Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait after our ambassador assured him that America does not intervene in quarrels among Arabs. Imperial Germany launched World War I, encouraged by Great Britain’s open reluctance to get involved. Nasser brought on the 1967 Six Day War, thinking that he could extort some concessions from Israel by rattling his sword.

Democracies, it is now well established, do not go to war with each other. But they often get into wars with non-democracies.

Fred Does Monty

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

Already, Britain’s Home Secretary John Reid has responded to a Pakistani government minister’s comment that Rushdie’s knighthood justifies a suicide bombing attack on the writer. Standing by the knighthood, Reid reminded his international audience that the West tolerates movies made by Monty Python and Mel Gibson even if they offend Christians and Jews.

Monday, June 25, 2007

What War?

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IRANIAN forces are being choppered over the Iraqi border to bomb Our Boys, intelligence chiefs say.

Military experts claim this worrying move means we are at WAR with Iran in all but name.

Last night an intelligence source told The Sun: “It is an extremely alarming development and raises the stakes considerably. In effect, it means we are in a full on war with Iran — but nobody has officially declared it.

“We have hard proof that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have crossed the border to attack us.

“It is very hard for us to strike back. All we can do is try to defend ourselves. We are badly on the back foot.”


Our Boys picked up the Iranian helicopters on radar crossing into empty desert.

The sightings have been confirmed to The Sun by very senior military sources.

And Circus' End

Regrettably, it will end badly, as it did in the last century. Thousands of deaths, tens of thousands of crippled lives, all in the name of an ideology. The price of terrorism remains hidden. We will be very lucky if in the end it is lower than what we paid to let our criminals run wild.

We're beginning to run out of institutions. We have the executive, the military, certain elements of the intelligence community, and, it's true, the higher levels of the judiciary. But that's all. We will learn how well we can do with only that, with virtually every other element of our society either indifferent or actively working to undercut our security. Eventually, of course, the last straw will drop, our defenses will fade like shadows, and we will be left alone in the presence of our enemies.

Those enemies are well aware of all this. How couldn't they be? And they will take advantage of it. Wouldn't you?

Welcome To The Circus Court

So in under two weeks time, the judiciary of the United States has established that known international terrorists, bent on causing as much destruction within this country's borders as humanly possible, cannot be held at Guantanamo, cannot be held in U.S. prisons, and cannot be returned to the only countries that will accept them. Needless to say, the media, the academy, and the Democratic Party - collapsed institutions all - view this as a triumph.

All this was predicted in detail as early as 2002, when the first large-scale arrests of terrorists occurred. If the response to terrorism was allowed to rest in the hands of civilian courts, it would become a matter of legal minutiae, all sense of its actual import would be lost, and it would deteriorate into precisely the kind of circus we see here.
Any hope that the law would meet the challenge of terror and adapt to changing conditions, as occurred at Nuremberg, is now ended.

Rage Boy!

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This mental and moral capitulation has a bearing on the argument about Iraq, as well. We are incessantly told that the removal of the Saddam Hussein despotism has inflamed the world's Muslims against us and made Iraq hospitable to terrorism, for all the world as if Baathism had not been pumping out jihadist rhetoric for the past decade (as it still does from Damascus, allied to Tehran). But how are we to know what will incite such rage? A caricature published in Copenhagen appears to do it. A crass remark from Josef Ratzinger (leader of an anti-war church) seems to have the same effect. A rumor from Guantanamo will convulse Peshawar, the Muslim press preaches that the Jews brought down the Twin Towers, and a single citation in a British honors list will cause the Iranian state-run press to repeat its claim that the British government—along with the Israelis, of course—paid Salman Rushdie to write The Satanic Verses to begin with. Exactly how is such a mentality to be placated?


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

No kidding. Hitchens is rocking -- RTWT.

Dark Amusement: Get Out Of Afghanistan Edition

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A.k.a. home of the “real” war on terror, the good fight that the left had been spoilin’ to win before Bush went and distracted them with that “fake” war that’s killed ten times as many troops. “You don’t hear people saying, ‘We need to get out of Afghanistan,’” declares Russ Feingold, followed immediately by a bunch of people saying we need to get out of Afghanistan.

It’ll be darkly amusing watching the Democratic leadership try to be Afghan hawks and Iraq doves simultaneously, on the one hand demanding a troop presence in Kabul to prop up the fledgling Afghan government while on the other demanding withdrawal from Baghdad so that we don’t have to prop up the fledgling Iraqi government. The difference, you see, is that Iraq’s in a hopeless civil war whereas the suicide bombs and guerrilla raids in Afghanistan by Taliban Afghans and Pakistanis is … a minor rebellion? Let’s call it an insurgency.

Actually, the real difference is that Al Qaeda’s leadership is in Afghanistan, not in Iraq … although it’s actually not in Afghanistan at all, but in Pakistan, and of course top AQ leaders have been seen, and even caught, in Iraq. Maybe the difference is that Iraq has become a magnet for jihadis from around the region whereas Afghanistan is still basically a closed theater. Or maybe not.

Consistency is apparently the hobgoblin of little minds...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Selfish Times -- Charitably Speaking...

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That Pelosi's and Reid's hatred for the president forestalls the needed resolve to face down and if necessary smash in the teeth of Ahmedinajad and his puppets is risk-taking behavior elevated to the geopolitical level. Risks the Congress seems willing to take on our behalf. I recently watched Al-Jazeera from my hotel room in Budapest and to see the baying of Leahy and Dorgan with their requisite Arabic translation was shocking. Absolutely shocking to see how instantaneously our "loyal opposition" is rendered into sustenance for our enemies. If these are the faces that will support a next, Democrat president of the US, then we will experience what all appeasers must eventually experience: full-scale disaster. That the role of president has been degraded to such an extent -- to where a distaste for a personality trumps our very self-interest, that petty jealousy and a desire to get even is ascendent, is the hallmark of our very selfish times.