Saturday, October 13, 2007

So What Are You Waiting For?

Congratulations! On behalf of the selection committee, I am pleased to announce that you have been named a 2007 recipient of the Nobel Peace Price, in recognition of your tireless efforts to   RAISE GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS  .

I am also pleased to tell you that as a winner, you have been pre-approved for membership in the Nobel Peace Player's Club, offering exclusive money-saving benefits available only to laureates like you. Please take a few minutes to look over the enclosed enrollment materials. At only $299.95 per year, I'm sure you'll agree that membership is a bargain at twice the price!

"The Player's Club GoldCard is recognized everywhere -- even in hell! I redeemed my Players GoldPoints at Club Satan for an exciting eternity of getting pounded up the ass. Thanks, NobelCo!"
-- Yasser Arafat (1994)

"Don't miss the boat like I did, comrade! I forgot to enroll, and now I'm spending eternity pounding Yasser Arafat up the ass."
-- Le Duc Tho (1973)

OK, bad language again but I didn't say it...

Dredging The MSMemory Hole (Part 92365)

On February 1, 1998, Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said, “We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and the security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction.”

On February 17, 1998, President Bill Clinton said, “We have to
defend our future from these predators of the 21st Century…. They will be all the more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. We simply cannot allow that to happen. There is no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein.”

On February 18, 1998, National Security Advisor Sandy Berger said, “(Saddam) will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983?

The quotes from during the Clinton administration just go on and on. From before Bush was elected or took office. From long before Sept. 11, 2001.

The Question Answers Itself








AN ARAB PROVERB STATES - "Four things come not back: the spoken word, the spent arrow, the past, the neglected opportunity." ONCE REPORTED, YOUR ASSESSMENTS BECOME CONVENTIONAL WISDOM AND NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO CHANGE.






And John concludes with this commentary:

So, one might ask: Why did the Washington Post (and every other news outlet I have seen) not headline their story: "Former Iraq Commander Bitterly Denounces Mainstream Media's Coverage of Iraq War"? Or, perhaps, "Former Iraq Commander Accuses Biased, Unethical, Agenda-driven Press of 'Killing Our Servicemembers Who Are At War'"?

I guess the question answers itself. The Post has an agenda, and those headlines wouldn't have advanced it. The same is true for essentially all newspapers and other news outlets. It's quite a luxury to be able to decide whether criticisms of your own conduct ever see the light of day--a luxury the mainstream media not only enjoy, but abuse.

The MSMemory Hole continues uninterrupted...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Huxley Holds Course And Speed

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Thanks Gaelen. Case in point, I was fortunate enough to spend the past weekend at the beach with my niece who is 40 years old and her twelve year old son. We were gone for five days and talked about many things while driving down and back and whenever I brought something to my niece's attention about politics or Islam she would say to me, "Oh, I don't know anything about that. I'm not up on current events. I don't follow the news." But then she would tell me, in great detail, about several stupid TV shows she likes to watch, when they all come on and how you can tape them and use Tivo to basically numb yourself to any sort of reality at all. (Well, she didn't say that last part...that's how I interpreted it.) By the end of the weekend we weren't talking much because there was nothing to talk about.

I don't give a flying flip about the latest TV shows when my country is going to hell in a hand basket (or is that to the Ummah?)

14 Centuries

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The "be nice to your neighbors" bit is the most ironic aspect of this thing. After more than 1400 years of uninterrupted violent assault on their neighbors are we really expected to believe that the Muslim world is prepared to suddenly cease and desist? Provide us with evidence that the twin doctrines of jihad and dhimmitude are now finally and for all time abandoned by the Muslim world. Until then we will keep our cannons primed and pointed in their direction as our ancestors did for more than 14 centuries.

I didn't read all the names of the signatories, but just scanning through them, I didn't see any Bin Ladens or Zawahiris, so I'm guessing Al Qaeda isn't joining in?

So the first response: Are they going to force Al Qaeda to comply with this peace agreement?

The second response: what about Israel?

Third response: if we cease occupying muslim lands, who's going to pump the oil?
are they willing to forgo the kabillions in foreign aide in exchange for our withdrawal
I didn't think so.

The Letter

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The first reaction to the letter, from the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, a leading Anglican expert on Islam, appeared to be critical.

Dr Nazir-Ali, who was born in Pakistan, welcomed the Muslim scholars' deisire for a dialogue, but said that the appeal was based on the Muslim belief in the oneness of God.

"What I would say to that is that Christians uphold belief in one God vigorously but our understanding of the oneness of God is not the Muslim understanding," he told The Times. "We believe in God as source from whom everything is brought into being. Jesus is God's word and presence for us but is also human."

He added: "One partner cannot dictate the terms on which dialogue must be conducted. This document seems to be on the verge of doing that."...


4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye,

Ajami Update

Based on what he has seen, Ajami concludes that the tide has turned in Iraq and that the country is basically "working." The Kurds, he says, have what they want -- autonomy. They don't really want independence because, despite their oil reserves, they rely on oil revenue from the south.
The Shiites also have what they want -- the upper hand. They decisively and irreversibly won the Battle of Baghdad, and it's now their government. Naturally, therefore, they are heavily invested in the success of the state. In addition, as a matter of pride, they want to prove that they -- the much maligned and ridiculed Shia Arabs -- can govern. They realize that this means some accommodation for the Sunnis,

For their part, the Sunnis bet on al Qaeda and the powerful Sunni Arab states, and lost. As a result, they now are switching horses, working increasingly with the U.S. to defeat al Qaeda and with the Iraqi government upon which they rely for revenue.

Thugs With Guns v Useful Idiots

But there seem to be some minor differences in outlook between the useful idiots and those who would use them.

Things went pear-shape thanks to one keynote speakers, Hajj Saeed Qassemi, whose title is “coordinator of the Association of Volunteers for Suicide-Martyrdom.” Praising the late “Che” as “a true revolutionary who made the American Great Satan tremble,” he “revealed” that Guevara had been “a truly religious man who believed in God and hated communism and the Soviet Union.”

Demanding the right to respond, Aleida Guevara told the conference that Qassemi’s claim might be based on a bad translation: “My father never mentioned God,” she said as the hall sighed in chagrined disbelief. “He never met God.”

The remarks caused a commotion amid which Aleida and her brother were whisked away, led into a car and driven to their hotel under escort.

Wlll the idiots learn anything from this experience? I’ll take a wild guess: no.

You pick the winner. Heh.

Columbia And Oxford In A Nut(s)hell

The Oxford University debating society has invited Holocaust denier David Irving to present his “controversial opinions” to students this November—and they’re justifying it by citing Columbia University’s Ahmadinejad travesty: Outrage after Holocaust denier David Irving invited to Oxford Union.

Oxford University’s world famous Oxford Union debating society has sparked outrage after it was revealed that they have invited Holocaust denier David Irving, who was recently released from an Austrian jail, to address students at the end of November. The Oxford Union has also asked British fascist leader Nick Griffin to join him, reports The Guardian.

If Columbia can invite Ahmadinejad, then why shouldn’t we invite Irving?” one Oxford Union committee member asked.

Well, it wasn't quite[/] outright bad language in the title. But it was [i]very called for...

From The Not So "Fair" Memory Hole

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Bill Ruder, an Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the Kennedy years and an acknowledged leader in public relations, says frankly, "Our massive strategy [in the early 1960s] was to use the Fairness Doctrine to challenge and harass right-wing broadcasters and hope that the challenges would be so costly to them that they would be inhibited and decide it was too expensive to continue." ...

[Arthur Larson, chair of NCCR, one of the groups used for this purpose], who had long been a target of the radical right, recalls his role in the NCCR with embarrassment. "The whole thing was not my idea," he says, "but let's face it, we decided to use the Fairness Doctrine to harass the extreme right. In the light of Watergate, it was wrong. We felt the ends justified the means. They never do." ...

The Nobel Go(e)ring Of Science

This is what happens when science is "advanced" by polls, as opposed know, science:
But when the theories were tested in clinical trials, the evidence kept turning up negative. As Mr. Taubes notes, the most rigorous meta-analysis of the clinical trials of low-fat diets, published in 2001 by the Cochrane Collaboration, concluded that they had no significant effect on mortality.
Does anyone see any parallels to current events--e.g., the supposed "scientific concensus" on global warming?

Rand Simberg at Transterestrial Musings notes:
Of course, it doesn't mean that all theories have this problem. But it does mean that we are entitled to a little skepticism when we are told that there is a scientific consensus. Particularly when we are bullied into believing it, and treated like heretics in our skepticism, and there are some other potential agendas at play.

In general, it is probably always wise to be skeptical of science when it is promoted by politics--or polls.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

On Being Stoned

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Ibn Warraq had the best quip of the evening: 'I don't want to live in a society where I get stoned for committing adultery. I want to live in a society where I get stoned. And then commit adultery.'

The Brutal Rule

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The rule is brutal, but ironclad. If you don't kill the killers, the killers will kill you.

Musharraf, who should've known better, has learned that lesson the hard way. But the price has been radicalization and violence in Pakistan's major cities, hundreds of soldiers taken hostage, the torture and beheading of military prisoners, growing casualty lists - and frontier tribes more confident than ever that they can resist the central government.

What's the worst thing that could happen now? That would be if Musharraf folded and, faced with mounting casualties, called off the current military offensive.

But Musharraf is hardly alone in his dilemma. The worst thing that the United States could do would be to imagine that, if we quit the fight, we could find an accommodation with Islamist terrorists.

Appeasement has never worked, and it never will. This is a war to the death.

Any Sport Except Hockey

I'm just running through the blogs before I head to the airport this morning, and my partner Mitch noticed something amiss at the University of Minnesota. The U recently adopted the policy that they would not allow their sports teams to compete against schools that used Native American references for team names or mascots, part of the political-correctness movement in Academia that continues to aim at the most pointless targets in the US. The U has followed dutifully along, to no one's great surprise.

However, one has to wonder about the priorities of the administration when reading this:

A University of Minnesota policy discouraging the school's athletic teams from competing against the University of North Dakota in any sport except hockey will stand.

At least we can see the limits of political correctness at the U of M. It isn't bound by reason, but by cash.


We Saw Nothing!

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On Monday, journalists toured the agricultural center at the government’s invitation to prove, Mr. Mehdi said, that no nuclear weapons program or Israeli attacks occurred there. “The allegations are completely groundless, and I don’t really understand where all this W.M.D. talk came from,” Mr. Mehdi said, referring to weapons of mass destruction.

“There was no raid here — we heard nothing,“ he added.

An entourage of the center’s employees lined up with him to greet the journalists. In a seemingly choreographed display, they nodded in agreement and offered their guests recently picked dates as tokens of hospitality.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

No End In Sight

MIchael Barone surveys the disgraceful state of our major colleges and universities. Barone elegantly summarizes the problems -- speech codes, racially discriminatory admissions policies, dishonest administrators, domination of humanities departments by leftist professors intent on portraying American society as evil -- and shows how these phenomena are inter-related. Thus, speech codes protect the feelings of students admitted with relatively poor credentials pursuant to racial quotas. Meanwhile, administrators must insist that they aren't using racial quotas in admissions, so that to be an administrator at one of these elite institutions "you have to be willing to lie about what you consider one of your most important duties." But it isn't really lying because, as the humanities department has explained, "truth" is merely a construct of our racist, sexist, homophobic, and imperialistic society.

Thus, the rot continues to spread, with no end in sight.

The Lesser (Dead) Infidel(s)

If you were to sort the victims of radical Muslims by religious affiliation, fellow Muslims would be in first place. I haven't tried to do the math, but I'd guess that Hindus are probably second. If you're an atheist, take no comfort: they may come for the Hindus first, but they'll get to you before long.

In the Middle East, Arab Christians have, sadly, generally sided with their fellow Arab Muslims against Israeli Jews. Not that this has done them any good. They are infidels:

A prominent Palestinian Christian activist was found dead on a Gaza City street Sunday, sending a shudder of fear through a tiny Christian community feeling increasingly insecure since the Islamic Hamas seized control last summer.

The body of Rami Khader Ayyad, the 32-year-old director of Gaza's only Christian bookstore, bore a visible gunshot wound to the head, and an official at Gaza's Shifa Hospital said he was also stabbed numerous times.

Rushdie On Hirsi: Tolerance Of Intolerance Is Cowardice

Here via David Frum and the Los Angeles Times, is some of what Salman Rushdie has to say about the situation:

Hirsi Ali may be the first refugee from Western Europe since the Holocaust. As such, she is a unique and indispensable witness to both the strength and weakness of the West: to the splendor of open society and to the boundless energy of its antagonists. She knows the challenges we face in our struggle to contain the misogyny and religious fanaticism of the Muslim world, and she lives with the consequences of our failure each day. There is no one in a better position to remind us that tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.

The Dutch government should recognize a scandal in the making and rediscover its obligation to provide Hirsi Ali with the protection she was promised.

There is not a person alive more deserving of the freedoms of speech and conscience we take for granted in the West, nor is there anyone making a more courageous effort to defend them.

My Checkbook Is Ready If Needed

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The Dutch parliament debates this question later this week, and I hope that its embassies hear from people who don't regard this as an "internal affair" of the Netherlands. If a prominent elected politician of a Western country can be left undefended against highly credible threats from Islamist death squads, what price all of our easy babble about not "appeasing terrorists"? Especially disgraceful is the Dutch government's irresponsible decision to announce to these death squads, without even notifying Hirsi Ali, that after a given date she would be unprotected and easy game. (Lest I inadvertently strengthen this deplorable impression, let me swiftly add that at present she is under close guard in the United States.)

Suppose the narrow and parochial view prevails in Holland, then I think that we in America should welcome the chance to accept the responsibility ourselves.

Why isn't yours also?

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Teat

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"So executive vice-presidents' families are now the new new poor? I support lower taxes for the Frosts, increased child credits for the Frosts, an end to the 'death tax' and other encroachments on transgenerational wealth transfer, and even severe catastrophic medical-emergency aid of one form or other. But there is no reason to put more and more middle-class families on the government teat, and doing so is deeply corrosive of liberty."

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Choice

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The families housed in the resort's 535 villas are all known to Hamid through tribal or family connections.

His wife is a cousin of Sheikh Sattar Abu Risha, the influential leader of the Anbar Awakening movement who was killed last week after meeting President George W Bush.

"What we are doing is like Sheikh Sattar," he said.

"He prevented insurgents from his area and then sheikh by sheikh, step by step, he got other areas to rise up against al Qa'eda too. What choice did he have? His father, three brothers, four cousins were all killed. What choice do we all have?"

The Condition Of Neurosis

The review describes "my" patriotism as:

the habitual resort to the ideal of dissent "against the nation for the nation" [which] can easily become indistinguishable in practice from yet another manifestation of the Great Refusal, in which the second "nation" is a purely imaginary one to be "achieved"-and the "troops" one "supports" are entirely distinct from the actual causes for which they are risking their lives, and such "support" shows no respect for the series of conscious choices that made them into "troops" rather than civilians.

The ultimate irony of this process is that the Left's countercultural definition of patriotism became instead one of perpetual alienation. Community, rather than becoming achievable, became impossible. The movement that was supposed to exalt the group rather than selfish individualism managed to outsmart itself. The result was a path that didn't lead to the Age of Aquarius but to the condition of neurosis.

He Tells The "Truth"


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Ever wonder how the socialists decide which of their special victims' groups will prevail when there is a conflict between them?

We see a hint of how their food chain is constructed today in this article by Johann Hari (hat tip: Betsy):
Do you believe in the rights of women, or do you believe in multiculturalism? A series of verdicts in the German courts in the past month, have shown with hot, hard logic that you can't back both. You have to choose....

In Germany today, Muslim women have been reduced to third-class citizens stripped of core legal protections - because of the doctrine of multiculturalism, which says a society should be divided into separate cultures with different norms according to ethnic origin....

Indeed, in the name of this warm, welcoming multiculturalism, the German courts have explicitly compared Muslim women to the brain-damaged.
Umm. Socialists that is.

Bloody, Just The Way I Like It

Interrogator: “How’s your steak?”

Siegfried: “Bloody, just the way I like it. Reminds me of happier times, in the Warsaw ghetto …”

The article is short on details about exactly what they were looking for, what they got, who their subjects were, so its hard to make any direct comparison to today’s scenarios.  I’d suggest interrogating German scientists, submariners and generals, many of whom recognized the war wasn’t going their way and many of whom had no great love for Hitler or the Nazis, might be somewhat different from interrogating suicidal Islamic terrorists.  However, I’d also suggest the apparently genteel program at Fort Hood doesn’t represent the totality of Allied practices re captured enemies in World War II, which though famously a “good war” also included summary executions of Japanese prisoners.  After they and/or their comrades were found to have tortured Americans to death. 

Besides, It's Not The U.S. Doing The Opressing

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Burma has oil.

China supports the military junta to keep the oil flowing to China.

Russia's major source of income is the oil it sells. Keeping things unsettled in Burma makes the markets nervous and keeps the price of oil higher thsn it would otherwise be.

Neither government has ever been democratic in more than appearance, and would treat their own populations the same as the monks, if the people challenged their authority. Tianamen Square ring any bells?

Where are all the protestors in the streets of the West? I'm guessing that since it's obvious that the junta will ignore them, it's not worth their time. Besides, it's not the U.S. doing the oppressing.

The Freest Nation On Earth

If you treat law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line
for your safety every day like some kind of enemy army to be suspected,
derided and, if they should enforce the law against you, to be shot, you
are wrong. (Applause.) If you appropriate our sacred symbols for
paranoid purposes and compare yourselves to colonial militias who fought
for the democracy you now rail against, you are wrong. (Applause.)

How dare you suggest that we in the freest nation on Earth live in
tyranny. How dare you call yourselves patriots and heroes.

I say to you, all of you, the members of the Class of 1995, there is
nothing patriotic about hating your country, or pretending that you can
love your country but despise your government. There is nothing heroic
about turning your back on America, or ignoring your own
responsibilities. If you want to preserve your own freedom, you must
stand up for the freedom of others with whom you disagree. But you also
must stand up for the rule of law.

This has since been retracted since it no longer fits the narrative of course.

Memory Holes Are Their Specialty

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Wow. Numbers shouldn't be reported because they're "tricky," "at the beginning of a trend," and there's "enormous dispute over how to count" them?

No such moral conundrum existed last month when media predicted a looming recession after the Labor Department announced a surprising decline in non-farm payrolls that ended up being revised up four weeks later to show an increase.

And, in the middle of a three and a half-year bull run in stocks, such "journalists" have no quandary predicting a bear market every time the Dow Jones Industrial Average falls a few hundred points.

Yet, when good news regarding military casualties comes from the Defense Department, these same people show uncharacteristic restraint in not wanting to report what could end up being an a anomaly.

Isn't that special?

Just The Facts, Madam

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MORE FACT-CHECKING that the "news media" can't be bothered to do. As long as the narrative is right . . . .

Question: If business owners with half-million-dollar-plus homes and kids in expensive private schools now count as "working families," does this mean they'll get tax cuts?

UPDATE: Don Surber: "The Frosts found an 'affordable' business building and an 'affordable' 3,000-square foot house and an 'affordable' private school. Why couldn’t these yuppies afford to cover their own damned kids?"


As one of my heroes, Horatio Nelson, once put it, with characteristic succinctness: “Never break the neutrality of a port or place, but never consider as neutral any place from whence an attack is allowed to be made.”

This is a point long lost on the “liberal” intellectual, who, even after he has admitted the need for war in some material form (such as the incursion into Afghanistan after the events of 9/11), turns his mind to limiting the action. Mere words will easily persuade him that the battle stops at some artificial line, corresponding to a national border. The notion of “hot pursuit” is held under suspicion, or rather, denied. Any power that has not explicitly declared war against us, even if he is harbouring our enemy, must be taken as “neutral” if he gives his word. (Or, in the case of Saddam's Iraq, or Syria, or Iran, even if he doesn't give it.)

Making Vladimir's Bones

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When the history of Vladimir Putin’s first decade in national politics is written, it will read like pulp fiction.

One moment in the spring of 1997 he’s an unknown KGB spy plagiarizing his thesis at an obscure institute; the next he’s deputy chief of staff to Boris Yeltsin, and soon after that boss of the entire KGB. Within months of reaching that pinnacle, Russia’s leading human rights activist, legislator Galina Starovoitova, is shot dead, and a prosecutorial investigation into Kremlin corruption has been squashed by the revelation of the prosecutor, Yuri Skuratov, on secret sex tapes. No sooner has this happened than Putin has been named prime minister of the country. What do they call it in the mafia? Making your bones?

Then the trouble really begins.

Name That Party...

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Comparative Justice: you really can’t compare the two cases. But.

Woman fined $222,000 for file sharing.

School Bus driver fined $482 for drinking on the job.

One offends a powerful interest group. The other just puts kids at risk.

...that tend's toward over-representation in the interest group...


But what good would it have done to have had tens of thousands more U.S. troops in Afghanistan? From the perspective of “nation building” and other humanitarian concerns, Afghanistan after the removal of the Taliban was doing well—for Afghanistan. A thousand things were wrong, but that poor and undeveloped country was progressing better than at any other time in memory.
And what of bin Laden? By all accounts, he is not in Afghanistan but in Pakistan. There is still talk of U.S. forces attacking the tribal areas where he is believed to shelter, but this would be another nettlesome project. It would entail great military risk—Pakistan’s own army has done poorly in the region—and would possibly destabilize the world’s second largest Muslim country, a country that contains both a nuclear arsenal and large numbers of extremists. Obama’s hypothetical bombing attack would more likely result in mayhem than in the death of bin Laden.

I'm Keeping Mine Here

Near the beginning of his talk, he expressed dismay that a Democratic Presidential candidate, Barack Obama, had made a political statement out of removing the American flag pin from his lapel, apparently out of some kind of shame. "The American people aren't going to buy it," he said.

Rudy then told the story of how his father decided to leave Germany on the day when Adolf Hitler took power. It was a wise decision; by 1945, all of Rudy's relatives in Europe, save one, had been murdered by the Nazis. Boschwitz arrived in America at age three. He described how, as a young immigrant, he had a burning desire to make something of himself, to be a success. Hard work did bring him success, in the form of a booming small business. He entered politics, first with the Republican Party in Minnesota, then in the Senate, where he served two terms.

Rudy's concluding words, as he put his hand over his own flag lapel pin, and his heart, were: "I'm keeping mine here."