Saturday, February 23, 2008

Madeleine's Ghost

Readers with exceptionally tenacious memories will recall that this pundit was opposed to the NATO intervention in Kosovo, nine years ago. This may come as a surprise to readers without tenacious memories, since it is widely believed that I never saw a war I didn’t like. Yet believe it or not, I was opposed not only to the wanton bombing of Serbia, but also to the whole “inevitable” project of carving a new European Muslim state out of the flesh of that Orthodox Christian country.

I was not without sympathy for the “plight of the Kosovars,” however.
Verily, driving the Serbian government and people into the protective embrace of ex-Soviet Russia, and ultimately her ex-KGB strongman, was among several counter-productive dimensions in the war that Madeleine Albright organized, along with other ruinous Clinton interventions in areas of peripheral interest to the U.S. (Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia, etc.)

You Too Can Be "Free"

JOHN adds: Liberals never seem to note the obvious fact that in a slave society, you can make nearly anything "free." In fact, you just about have to, since the slaves have little or no money ($19 a month in Cuba, it was reported a couple of days ago). This describes a primitive economy, not a progressive one.

Luckily For Your Children, The Trial Lawyers Are "Protecting" Us

We have provided Congress with examples in which difficulties with collections under the Executive Order resulted in the Intelligence Community missing crucial information. For instance, one of the September 11th hijackers communicated with a known overseas terrorist facility while he was living in the United States. Because that collection was conducted under Executive Order 12333, the Intelligence Community could not identify the domestic end of the communication prior to September 11, 2001, when it could have stopped that attack. The failure to collect such communications was one of the central criticismas of the Congressional Joint Inquiry that looked into intelligence failures associated with the attacks of September 11. The bipartisan bill passed by the Senate would address such flaws in our capabilities that existed before the enactment of the Protect America Act and that are now resurfacing.

NYeT! NYeT! NYeT! There Is No Memory Hole!

Tom Maguire notes that now, Eastasia has never been at war with Oceania -- er, the story was never about sex. In her Friday follow-up, Elisabeth Bumiller cast the story in this manner:

Senator John McCain on Thursday disputed an account in The New York Times that top advisers confronted him during his first presidential run with concerns about his ties to a female lobbyist

After leading with the allegations of sexual misconduct on Thursday, the Times waters it down within 24 hours to "concerns" about "ties" to a female lobbyist.

The overarching theme of the Times is that they are a newspaper that lies about its subjects, then lies about its own coverage, and then blames their victim for getting caught.

That Would Be "No" And "No"

Two House caucuses, two members under indictment -- and both give two very different responses. John Boehner, the House Minority Leader, publicly demanded Rick Renzi's resignation from the House after his indictment on 35 charges of fraud, extortion, and other sundry corruption:

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is urging indicted Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) to resign.

This came a day after the indictments were published by the grand jury. Across the aisle, however, William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson remains in the House Democratic Caucus despite having been indicted on 16 counts of corruption-related felonies in June 2007. His trial just got delayed while he appeals the overruling of his attempt to hide his corruption behind the speech and debate clause of the Constitution.

Has Pelosi demanded that he resign his seat since his indictment? Has any Democrat in the House demanded that Jefferson step down after this indictment?

Augustus Obamus

February 24, 399


Screw you! If I wanted your stupid advice I would ask for it.

I have everything under control here. I have granted the guest-workers amnesty and they are now full citizens of The Empire. Surely such a humane move will enrich the diversity of The Empire and make us all happy human beings. I feel good about it.

You Easterners would be well advised to pay more attention to the feminine side of your nature. War is so yesterday. All cultures are equal anyway, don't you know? Your unfair criticism is only guest-workerphobia.

Upon the foundation of my brilliant and insightful leadership Rome will triumph for another 1,000 years!

Emperor Honorius

P.S. That Africanus Augustus Obamus guy you recommended for proconsul is a big hit. He fills the Colliseum with every speech. The changes he is making will be everything we hope for.

There IS A God

Actually, There IS Torture In Cuba

"At other times they would search you for no reason, stripping you bare and humiliating you. There was one particular commander at a jail in Santa Clara who seemed to take delight in handing out beatings to the prisoners."

Fifty-eight of the original 75 arrested in 2003 remain in those conditions, as well as hundreds of other political prisoners held by Castro's dictatorship. Pernet has spent 21 years, off and on, in prison for his opposition to Castro. He had his collarbone and leg broken during his latest stretch.

This is the real legacy of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and the rest of the communist revolutionaries in Cuba. When people wear Che T-shirts or hang Che flags in their offices, this is what they endorse. We can differ on how best to improve the lot of the Cuban people and prepare for the post-Castro era, but let no one be fooled into thinking that the ruling junta is anything other than a brutal, oppressive, and inhumane regime.

Cleaning Out The Memory Hole: Fascifist Redux

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Mr Orwell is intellectual-hunting again’ (Mr Comfort). I have never attacked ‘the intellectuals’ or ‘the intelligentsia’ en bloc. I have used a lot of ink and done myself a lot of harm by attacking the successive literary cliques which have infested this country, not because they were intellectuals but precisely because they were not what I mean by true intellectuals. The life of a clique is about five years and I have been writing long enough to see three of them come and two go — the Catholic gang, the Stalinist gang, and the present pacifist or, as they are sometimes nicknamed, Fascifist gang. My case against all of them is that they write mentally dishonest propaganda and degrade literary criticism to mutual arse-licking.
It is just because I do take the function of the intelligentsia seriously that I don’t like the sneers, libels, parrot phrased and financially profitable back-scratching which flourish in our English literary world, and perhaps in yours also.
The great irony -- as I have often commented -- is that Orwell has been stuffed down his own Memory Hole. And this piece is a great example of it.

Speaking of the Memory Hole and "fascifism", this is the book you need to buy if you want to remember all that's been stuffed down it. I had already linked over right in my "Classics" to David Ramsay Steele's "The Mystery of Fascism". It's a must read. But Goldberg has done us the long overdue service of nearly dredging out its entire contents whole. You won't be able to put it down...

What Memory Hole?

When Churchill was dropped from the UK school curriculum last July, one had to wonder if patriotism itself was next.  Now it's official.

The Institute of Education, a leading educational body, has warned teachers not to instill pride in students when speaking of great moments in British History:

"To love what is corrupt is itself corrupting, not least because it inclines us to ignore, forget, forgive or excuse the corruption. And there's the rub for patriotism."
A comment from the author of the memory hole himself might be appropriate here: "The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security."

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Myth Of Rachel

On March 16, 2003, ISM 'activist' Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli D9 bulldozer in Rafah in the Gaza Strip. Rafah is in the Philadelphi Corridor in the map at left, along the border between Gaza and Egypt. You may recall that it's where the border between Gaza and Egypt was breached just a few weeks ago. At the time, the ISM claimed that Corrie was protecting a 'Palestinian' house
In a series of three videos, each running approximately nine minutes, Becky Johnson and Lee Kaplan debunk the myth that Corrie was protecting a house. In fact, as Smooth Stone points out and as you will see in the video below, Corrie was standing in a trench where she could not be seen, protecting an entrance to a weapons tunnel.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Humanitarian "Lessons"

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So let the international community begin its humanitarian work!

Greek Cypriots can advise Israel about concessions necessary to Muslims involving a divided Jerusalem. Russians and Syrians can advise the IDF on how to deal properly and humanely with Islamic terrorists. Poland, Russia, China, and Armenia might offer the proper blueprint for giving back land to the defeated that they once gained by force. A North Korea or Pakistan can offer Israel humanitarian lessons that might blunt criticisms that such a recently created country has no right to exist. Iraq and Egypt would lend insight about proper reparation and the rights of return, given its own successful solutions to the problems of their own fleeing Jewish communities.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

No Wonder Vladimir Is Grumpy

The USS Lake Erie, armed with an SM-3 missile designed to knock down incoming missiles — not orbiting satellites — launched the attack at 10:26 p.m. EST, according to the Pentagon. It hit the satellite as the spacecraft traveled at more than 17,000 mph.

Because the satellite was orbiting at a relatively low altitude at the time it was hit by the missile, debris will begin to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere immediately, the Pentagon statement said.

"Nearly all of the debris will burn up on re-entry within 24-48 hours and the remaining debris should re-enter within 40 days," it said.

The use of the Navy missile amounted to an unprecedented use of components of the Pentagon's missile defense system, designed to shoot down hostile ballistic missiles in flight — not kill satellites.

"IS" "PLEDGED" ... Every Vote Counts For Hillary

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The Clinton camp is still crying "no surrender", but with legitimate avenues to the nomination closed, they are going to have to investigate some sketchier ones. my Atlantic colleague, Clive Crook, notes that the campaign is currently exploring the notion that "pledged" delegates are not "bound". The Politico reports:

The notion that pledged delegates must vote for a certain candidate is, according to the Democratic National Committee, a “myth.”

“Delegates are NOT bound to vote for the candidate they are pledged to at the convention or on the first ballot,” a recent DNC memo states. “A delegate goes to the convention with a signed pledge of support for a particular presidential candidate. At the convention, while it is assumed that the delegate will cast their vote for the candidate they are publicly pledged to, it is not required.”

No There There (Part 92356)

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The Jackboot's Handmaidens

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RULES OF JOURNALISM: CNN tells its reporters how to write about Fidel Castro. “Please note Fidel did bring social reforms to Cuba – namely free education and universal health care, and racial integration. [sic] in addition to being criticized for oppressing human rights and freedom of speech.” Was he just criticized for oppressing human rights and freedom of speech, or did he actually, you know, oppress human rights and freedom of speech?

John Derbyshire is right: “Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all, enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy.”


Draw a picture offensive to Muslim extremists, and you might find yourself without a roof. Ask Kurt Westergaard, one of the twelve Danish cartoonists whose autumn 2005 Muhammad caricatures lead to violent protests throughout the Muslim world. He was booted from his police-protected hotel room on Feb. 15 for being "too much of a security risk." And now the 73-year-old cartoonist and his wife are without a place to live.

Westergaard was forced to leave his actual residence in November after the Danish security and intelligence agency, PET, informed him of a "concrete" plan to murder him, according to the paper that originally published the cartoons, Jyllands-Posten. Westergaard and his wife have been living under police protection since.

DS reports that the Muslim community in Denmark has taken pains to keep their protests rational.

Nevertheless, the hotelier evicted Westergaard anyway, and now he not only cannot return home, he has nowhere else to go.

Mere Coincidence

Apparently, Benjamin Baines has a sense of historical irony. The man from Clearwater, Florida hollowed out a copy of the book Fear Itself, hid a boxcutter in it, and then attempted to get it onto a flight out of Tampa. He now faces ten years in prison:

A 21-year-old Clearwater man was arrested at Tampa International Airport this weekend after security personnel found a box cutter in a hollowed-out book, authorities said.
However, one has to wonder for what purpose Baines would bother to hide a boxcutter in a hollowed-out book, if not to sneak it onto the plane. Boxcutters, after all, are only illegal to have on airplanes

Interestingly, Baines had a few other tomes in the backpack as well. Titles such as Muhammed in the Bible, The Prophet's Prayer, The Noble Qu'ran, and the Koran itself accompanied Baines on his flight. The juxtaposition of the boxcutter to these books seems a lot more than just mere coincidence.

Bubble Boy

And to Barack Obama's credit he has carried a near-empty hand to triumph. That alone is testament to his political skill. But he has done it at the cost of not talking about the platform of his own party, which truth to tell, consists of a collection of rotting planks left over from the 1960s and which no one is safe treading upon. Instead of embarssing himself by talking about higher taxes, more appeasement and more special interest politics, Barack Obama has done the smart thing. He's talked about himself; about "us"; about the future, about Hope and most of all, about Change. The subliminal message is that we want to Move On. And part of what the electorate wants to Move On from is all the fermenting baggage that Hillary Clinton keeps hauling along. It's as neat a piece of conjury as has been seen for the last fifty years.

Thus the Obama "bubble" isn't his personal problem, it's his party's problem.

Did I Forget To Mention That Operation?

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The other night at dinner, I found myself sitting next to a Middle Eastern Muslim lady of a certain age. And the conversation went as it often does when you're with Muslim women who were at college in the sixties, seventies or eighties. In this case, my dining companion had just been at a conference on "women's issues," of which there are many in the Muslim world, and she was struck by the phrase used by the "moderate Muslim" chair of the meeting: "authentic women" — by which she meant women wearing hijabs. And my friend pointed out that when she and her unveiled pals had been in their 20s they were the "authentic women"
If you had said to her in 1968 that Westernized Muslim women working in British hospitals in the early 21st century would reject modern hygiene because it required them to bare their arms, she would have scoffed with the certainty of one who assumes that history moves in only one direction.


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I’d like to say something pithy and cutting regarding this newest asininity spewing forth from the bloated arse of the European Union, but that horse is seriously dead, no sense continuing to beat it.

Ted and I spent much of this last weekend discussing various things that are wrong, and how to fix them, and it really comes down to the fact that everything leading to the rise of the nanny-state cannot be fixed. There are too many corrupt bastards too happily taking advantage of too many acquiescent sheep. The number of sheep isn’t going to decrease, therefore there will always be corrupt bastards. And until we can start lining them up against the wall wholesale, nothing about that dynamic is ever going to change.

Monday, February 18, 2008


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Obama may well capture the nomination, but there is an outside chance that he will lose to Hillary all the key states so important in the general elections—California, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Not a good sign for the November elections.

Much of the rhetoric of the Obama campaign concerns mortgage and student loans, with the clear implication that the borrower has been victimized, and is need of federal redress. Two observations: prior to the mortgage meltdown, the rhetoric had been “home ownership” or the notion that the “non-traditional” borrower had to be accommodated to get him into a first home. Now such marginal borrowers apparently were “tricked”, or coerced into buying more home than they could afford.

The same logic will apply to student loans,

It all sounds like 1929, not the entitlement colossus of 2008.

Of Nazis And Nihilism

The video was recovered late last year during a raid on a compound near Samarra that was being used for killing and torture, a coalition official said.

A number of documents -- some found in the same raid -- bolster the coalition notion that al Qaeda in Iraq is waging a violent campaign against its former allies, intelligence analysts said.

AQI seems to have the same curious impulse to document everything that the Nazis had during their reign of terror. Whenever coalition forces overrun an AQI position, they routinely find videos and handwritten records that document their atrocities. The information usually just reinforces the decision by Iraqis to oppose the jihadists.

Rather than compromise on moderating their approach, AQI seems determined to kill even Islamist extremists that don't acquiesce to their particular view of jihad. Their nihilism guarantees their eventual extinction in Iraq.

Of Alinsky And Alienation

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To avoid being mistaken for a sellout,I chose my friends carefully.The more politically active black students.The foreign students.The Chicanos.The Marxist Professors and the structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets.At night,in the dorms,we discussed neocolonialism,Franz Fanon,Eurocentrism,and patriarchy.When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake,we were resisting bourgeois society's stifling constraints.We weren't indifferent or careless or insecure.We were alienated.
Like I said. A lightweight.

One Renege Coming Up

The promises by Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Mr. Obama, Democrat of Illinois, are an effort to resuscitate part of the ailing public financing system for presidential campaigns. ...

Mr. Burton added that if nominated Mr. Obama would “aggressively pursue an agreement” with whoever was his opponent.

"Aggressively pursue" an agreement to use public financing -- that's what Obama's campaign promised in March 2007. They also demanded that all of the presidential campaigns make the same pledge. McCain took him up on it; will Obama renege on his pledge now?

And McCain will get to write another letter.

They're Bonkers Allright...

I'm sure you've noticed stories like this one, in which some areas in New York City appear to have grossly undercounted votes for Barack Obama on Super Tuesday primary night.  The New York Times reported finding 80 election districts in the city, some in Harlem, in which "Mr. Obama supposedly did not receive even one vote, including cases where he ran a respectable race in a nearby district."  Recounts revealed that Obama had, in fact, received lots of votes.
This is a party that went bonkers over the supposed – never proven or even convincingly alleged – disenfranchisement of a relatively tiny number of voters in Florida in 2000.
Not to mention the very definition of hypocritical...

Welcome To "Progress"

“On the bus to the jail I didn’t have handcuffs,” he said. “I asked why. The guard said Look behind you. The first guy behind me got a 600 year sentence. The next guy got six hanging sentences.

“The guards who ran Abu Ghraib sold hallucinogenic drugs to prisoners for money,” he told me. “They forced me to take them. You need protection in there. You find someone and give him drugs and cigarettes. You pay off the guards to just punch you in the face or move you to a different cell instead of kill you. I was freed 26 days after I arrived, on Saddam’s birthday before I finished the three months. I can’t live with this nightmare anymore.”

He does not live with this nightmare anymore. Different nightmares now haunt decent and innocent people in his country.

It seems somehow inadequate, tone-deaf, and perhaps even wrong to say Fallujah’s disgraceful warehouse for humans is progress. But it is.

Today's Donkorruption Update

Why did Pelosi tube the bill that would have easily passed and therefore extended the protections passed by a Democratic Congress last year? Lots of reasons, and they're all green:

The recess by House Democrats amounts to a judgment that losing the generous support of trial lawyers, the Democratic Party's most important financial base, would be more dangerous than losing the anti-terrorist issue to Republicans. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the phone companies for giving individuals' personal information to intelligence agencies without a warrant. Mike McConnell, the nonpartisan director of national intelligence, says delay in congressional action deters cooperation in detecting terrorism.
Of the 29 Democratic senators who voted against the FISA bill last Tuesday, 24 took money from the trial lawyers (as did two absent senators, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Smoking Something

Only Eliot Spitzer has seriously proposed that the state of New York could help make up its budget deficit through tax stamps on nickel bags. If he thinks that creating a new tax regime and enforcement mechanism on illegal drugs will bring in more money than it costs, then Spitzer must really be smoking something tax free at the moment.

For Your Signature

The foreign press certainly recognizes Obama as a Leftist. It's not outrageous that the Republicans see him the same way.

Take a look at Barack Obama's economic plan, for instance. It provides some specifics for Obama's stratospheric rhetoric, but really just gives us a series of proposals to further entrench the federal government as the nanny of the American family. For instance, Obama proposes to create a government-run savings program that provides matching funds on savings. In other words, Obama wants to collect tax money to redistribute it to savers, in a plan that works much the same as employer 401k plans. Why should the government pay people to save their money, especially outside the 401ks that work better and have much higher caps?

Do you like the IRS? Want to trust them to do your tax returns? Rather than simplify taxes, Obama instead wants to have the IRS prepare your returns for you and send them out for your signature.

Countering Hunting Preserve "Logic"

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Now for my second thought. If these places aren't going to get rid of their "gun-free zone" status, despite the overwhelming circumstantial evidence that they simply get more people killed, then how can they improve their security where it actually make the people inside safer?

I have a few ideas. And for the sake of simplicity, I'm going to apply them to a college.

First up, they need to absolutely control access to campus.

This sounds like a lot of work, and it is. Luckily, we don't have to start from scratch -- a lot of the preparatory R&D has already been done for us.

All we need to do is take the existing plans for maximum security prisons and convert them to college campuses.

That, it seems to me, is what it would take to set up a truly safe "gun-free zone." Anything less just makes these places little more than hunting preserves for psychos.

As was shown at Virginia Tech.

And the Omaha mall.

And Northern Illinois University.

And who knows where next?