Friday, February 29, 2008

Well? What Do You Expect From A Chicago Daley Machine Politician?

Obama, to an Ohio NBC affiliate, asked about the report on Canadian television that his adviser had assured the Canadian government that his comments were just campaign rhetoric:

Obama: I don't have to clarify it, the Canadian Embassy already clarified it by saying that the story is not true. Our office has said the story is not true.

If Goolsbee called up the Canadians without letting Obama or anyone else on the campaign know he was doing this, it doesn't speak well of him — or for Obama to surround himself with advisers who feel comfortable assuring other countries that the candidate doesn't mean what he says. (Clearly, Goolsbee got the idea that Obama didn't mean what he was saying from somewhere; doesn't it seem likely he came to this conclusion after discussions with Obama about trade policy?) If Obama did know that he was speaking to the Canadians, he just let out a blatant lie on par with, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

No doubt certain folks will start showing up cold in dumpsters next. All in the name of "change" of course...

And Daley's son is still mayor in case you're that out of touch with reality. No doubt that was spun as "change" also...

Usually They Don't Get It

7. Dealing with information is hard. The bad people don’t play by the rules
and they lie… a lot. One screw-up on our part and all the not so bad people
get all upset because the bad people make a big deal about it. We need to spend
a lot of time telling the not so bad people why we are different than the really
bad people. Usually they don’t get it. Meanwhile the media people are busy
trying to uncover the giant government conspiracy that we are supposed to be
running. Also every hacker and pedophile out there is trying to screw up our
computers and radios. This makes it really hard. Meanwhile the Air Force and
Navy are wondering what’s wrong, since it’s not so hard for them. Once in a
while, somebody on our side figures out what we should be doing. This is called
“knowledge Management.”

Coming Next

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OBAMA'S NAFTA DOUBLE-TALK confirmed. "After reporting on Barack Obama’s dance with the Canadians on NAFTA yesterday, Canadian broadcaster CTV got accused of perpetrating a smear against the Democratic front-runner. They insisted that Obama meant every word he said about overturning the free-trade treaty, and that no one had contacted the Canadian diplomatic corps to reassure them that it was mere demagoguery. CTV responded today by naming names — and suddenly the Obama campaign has grown quiet." More here from ABC News.

At least we're learning which bunch of rubes is being fooled. Coming next -- an Obama adviser tells the Iraqi government not to pay attention to his troop-withdrawal talk?

The Steady Close Up

Last July in Slate Christopher Hitchens busted his colleagues. “I have actually seen some of these demonstrations,” he wrote, “most recently in Islamabad, and all I would do if I were a news editor is ask my camera team to take several steps back from the shot. We could then see a few dozen gesticulating men (very few women for some reason), their mustaches writhing as they scatter lighter fluid on a book or a flag or a hastily made effigy. Around them, a two-deep encirclement of camera crews. When the lights are turned off, the little gang disperses. And you may have noticed that the camera is always steady and in close-up on the flames, which it wouldn’t be if there was a big, surging mob involved.”

Almost no mention is given to the Kurds of Iraq who are just as Islamic as the Arabs in that country, and who purged Islamists root and branch from every inch of their autonomous region. “We will shoot them or break their bones on sight,” one Kurdish government official told me.

The Unmentionable

Surrend can now shut down an art gallery and and a Prime Minister will plead with a backbencher to prevent them from doing the most trivial things: displaying a poster or releasing a film about a book. Things you could do on a Saturday afternoon in former times without remarking on it yourself. It would be as if the President of the United States appeared at your front door one morning with the entire National Security Council in tow begging you not to mow your lawn.

The Catch-22 is that explaining the situation is also a provocation in itself.

The race to assume the onus for being offensive has already begun. Acts by Dutch citizens in the Netherlands are now subject to the veto of ... even that must remain unmentionable.

Misogyny Are Us

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DISCRIMINATION IS TERRIBLE, unless there's money in it: "Cal Poly wants to open a male-only engineering program at a university in Saudi Arabia." Would they have opened a whites-only engineering school in the old South Africa?

That Arch Republican Gore

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SMOOT-OBAMA-HAWLEY-CLINTON: "What a sad showing from candidates who are going around promising to repair the Bush administration's supposed alienation of our friends around the world. Is this how they plan to do it? By dealing with our neighbors and trading partners in Canada and Mexico with threats and ultimatums? . . . All because the environmental standards that arch Republican Vice President Gore negotiated into Nafta aren't strong enough for the Green extremists running for the Democratic nomination this time around — and because the candidates want to use the trade agreement, rather than the International Labor Organization, to dictate labor standards in neighboring countries. Something like 1,000 economists got together to warn Congress against a protectionist surge when Messrs. Smoot and Hawley were concocting the legislations that helped tip America, nay the world, into the Great Depression. One would have thought the Democrats would have learned."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Enlightened And The Sharia

JG: Rousseau says the government is there, that our rights come from the government, that come from the collective. Locke says our rights come from God, and that we only create a government to protect our interests. The Rousseauian says you can make a religion out of society and politics, and the Lockean says no, religion is a separate sphere from politics. And that is the defining distinction between the two, and I think that distinction also runs through the human heart, that we all have a Rousseauian temptation in us. And it’s the job of conservatives to remind people that the Lockean in us needs to win.

This exchange captures the link between the 20th century struggle against Communism and Fascism and the 21st century's epic battle against radical Islamism.

Both liberal fascism and Islamic fundamentalism put God on earth
In the first case the Deity takes the form of an enlightened vanguard; in the second case Allah rules through the Caliphate via Sharia law.

Just True

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and Beck’s retort is

There is indeed a lot of uncertainty in what the future will be, but this is not all because of an imperfect understanding of how the climate works. A large part of it is simply not knowing how the human race will react to this danger and/or how the world economy will develope. Since these factors control what emissions of CO2 will accumulate in the atmosphere, which in turn influences the temperature, there is really no way for a climate model to predict what the future will be.

This is as lovely a non sequitur as you’re ever likely to find.

What the believer in this statement is asking us to do, if it is not already apparent, is this: he wants you to believe that his prognostications are true because AGW is true, but he also wants you to believe that he should not be held accountable for his predictions should they fail because AGW is true. Thus, AGW is just true.

Hitler: The Great Anti-Nazi...

Keith Olbermann is, of course, not really worth taking seriously. But you've got to love the staggering ignorance behind his continued insistence that fascists weren't socialists because they beat other socialists to death. Golly. How many socialists did Stalin kill? Pretty much all of the show trial victims weren't mere socialists but hardcore Communists. I guess Stalin was anti-Communist.  Hitler's Night of the Long Knives involved the slaughter of Nazis, so I guess by Olbermann's logic Hitler was anti-Nazi.  Most lefties can't stand Joe Lieberman, I guess they're anti-Democrat.

Rescuing Kool-Aid From The Memory Hole

Reading your book has revived my suspicion of how the media treats the memory of Jim Jones and the People's Temple. The Peoples' Temple was a leftist project, but leftists dismiss it as a “cult.” Jones (and the Unibomber) is an aberration. Now I find that Jones:

  1. Called his theology – apostolic socialism. He ridiculed what he called “white Christianity.”

Yet Left rants about the fascist threat from conservative Christians; Andrew Sullivan calls them “Christianists.” If a white Christian minister had duped, intimidated over 900 members of his congregation to literally “drink the Kool-Aid”, our media would still be talking about him. But Jim Jones was a non-white leader of a inter-racial, pseudo-Christian, leftist “temple”, who destroyed his followers because they failed to create heaven on earth. Sounds familiar.

The Meaning Of "Is" Today

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There is no evidence that in any of his dealings with Rezko that Obama broke any law. The question is one of ethics. And judgment, of course. And truthfulness. Obama’s relationship with Rezko is much more extensive than he has ever admitted. Their 17-year relationship went beyond “one fundraiser” as Obama claims, and a few social dates with the gals.

Rezko was a patron, a valued supporter, and a business partner. And almost certainly a close friend as well.

The significance of this relationship is that it proves that Barack Obama is not who he claims to be – a new kind of politician who will lead us all to the Promised Land. Obama can lie like any normal politician. He can do favors for his supporters who give him money. He can do business with scam artists like Rezko whose illegal activities authorities are still trying to unravel.

Welcome To Bezerkly

This same tendency manifests itself in what is generally thought of as one of Berkeley's bedrock, principled beliefs: the supremacy of free speech. What this dedication often boils down to is unswerving support for left-wing speech and indifference, at best, to any alternatives in the marketplace of ideas.

When former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to town, his scheduled address had to be abruptly canceled when protesters—decrying, you guessed it, "fascism"—posed a "safety" risk.

Then, an attempt to display the shell of an Israeli bus blown to smithereens by a jihadist suicide bomber encountered, first, stiff resistance from city permit officials and, then, a ferocious and bloodthirsty counter-protest, including such well-considered statements as "Get back to Germany!", thoughtful chants like "2, 4, 6, 8, we are martyrs, we can't wait," and informative posters accusing Jews of stealing organs from Arab children.

It would appear that psychological projection is a concept not taught about there. Otherwise, it might be noticed...

The Fasci(fist)nation

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I am not interested in pacifism as a ‘moral phenomenon’. If Mr Savage and others imagine that one can somehow ‘overcome’ the German army by lying on one’s back, let them go on imagining it, but let them also wonder occasionally whether this is not an illusion due to security, too much money and a simple ignorance of the way in which things actually happen. As an ex-Indian civil servant, it always makes me shout with laughter to hear, for instance, Gandhi named as an example of the success of non-violence. As long as twenty years ago it was cynically admitted in Anglo-Indian circles that Gandhi was very useful to the British government. So he will be to the Japanese if they get there.
But though not much interested in the ‘theory’ of pacifism, I am interested in the psychological processes by which pacifists who have started out with an alleged horror of violence end up with a marked tendency to be fascinated by the success and power of Nazism.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shhhhh! Don't Let Anyone Know The Facts!

If you are the target of a crime, only one other person besides the criminal is sure to be on the scene: you. There is no good substitute for self-responsibility.

How, then, does it make sense to create mandatory gun-free zones, which in reality are free-crime zones?

The usual suspects keep calling for more gun control laws. But this idea that gun control is crime control is just a myth. The National Academy of Sciences reviewed dozens of studies and could not find a single gun regulation that clearly led to reduced violent crime or murder. When Washington, D.C., passed its tough handgun ban years ago, gun violence rose.

The press ignores the fact that often guns save lives.

It's what happened in 2002 at the Appalachian School of Law. Hearing shots, two students went to their cars, got their guns and restrained the shooter until police arrested him.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How Many People Do You Think You Can Kill?

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It happens every day on the streets of Tehran: a police squad grabbed a young woman for dressing immodestly. But this time, the young woman fought back, and a crowd defended her and attacked the police. Thanks to cell phone video, the Internet, and brave Iranian citizen reporters, Ardeshir Arian is able to tell the story.

The crowd continuously boos and heckles the police: “A revolution is happening” When a police vehicle approaches, there is a call: “Look this guy is entangled too” “He is going the wrong way”, “What the hell are you going to do?” “How many people do you think you can kill?”

The story comes on the heels of reports of student uprisings. As with this story, the reports are nowhere to be seen in the official Iranian press or the Western media - but by those who are determined that stories of resistance are somehow told.

And you wonder why I consider our media to be corrupt and useless? They're too busy with Britney-world infantile sliming of McCain to give us actual news...

Fascist "Logic"

Subject: Cookie Monster Guy is Right! 

You are mean, and fascists are mean. So you are a fascist. Liberals are good, and Wilson was bad. So Wilson is a conservative. I like pizza, and pizza is fattening. So you are fat. Deal with it.

The Vast Lie

Both Communism and Nazism/Fascism took the utopian ends as justifying any means, above all a towering supremacy of the collectivist state over the individual. One was totalitarian international socialism. The other was totalitarian national socialism. Both murdered millions of people. Both were essentially and intrinsically destructive and violent. For these reasons and more, neither can seriously be claimed to be part of an Enlightenment tradition, unless that tradition is defined as Un-Enlightened..

Zizek and his sly arguments are at least correct on one point. There is a form of 'European Identity based squarely on a profound Stalin-inspired 'law of the excluded middle' attempt to cast any objection to Communism as 'essentially' support for Fascism. This Vast Lie has been remarkably succesful down the decades, and still gives all sorts of cover to extremist collectivist viewpoints of different shapes and sizes.


But I know they are wrong because I know many serious and important liberals who do not know that Progressivism was steeped in eugenics, that Progressives were imperialist jingoists, that the editors of The New Republic, the muckrakers, and vast swaths of American liberalism were pro-Mussolini,

Lastly, Tomasky should ponder something. If, as he agreed when he wasn't playing hatchet man, that liberals are ignorant of their own intellectual history, does it make much sense to talk about real-world liberalism as anything more than a collection of passions and impulses? If you don't know where your ideas comes from, isn't possible that they aren't really ideas at all? Perhaps they are merely vague opinions, reflexes and prejudices? And if that's the case, if liberalism is merely an agglomeration of passions and knee-jerk popular frontism, dictated by a majority of the crowd, isn't it possible that there's something a bit fascistic to liberalism after all?

Welcome To The Balkans

Harvard junior Nick Wells said he believes the women-only hours are inconvenient for the residents that live near the facility and discriminate against men. "It is unfair to impose a stringent policy that inhibits [students] from using their own facility in order to further a useless policy that doesn't have any real effect," he said.

Students have a right to use common gym facilities at all the hours they are open. If the Islamic Society is uncomfortable using the gym facilities in the time-honored manner they can always raise money to build their own private, Muslim-only gym.

Multiculturalism has become its parody, Balkanization.

Welcome To Your "Change" To The Daley-Saddam Machine

And how exactly did the Rezkos afford to buy the adjacent plot? It cost $625,000, and they needed to make a $125,000 down payment on the land. Yet at the time, Tony Rezko had "no income, negative cash flow, no liquid assets, no unencumbered assets [and] is significantly in arrears on many of his obligations" -- according to a sworn court statement a year later. His wife had an income of $37,000 and assets of around $35,000.

How could they qualify for a mortgage on the adjacent plot? Where did they get the money for the down payment? More importantly, why did Auchi lend so much money to Rezko, when Rezko had been in such financial straits? And why was Auchi so interested in Rezko in the first place?

Let's take another look at Auchi:

Auchi's brother was among the many Baathists killed by Saddam, but the execution did not inhibit Auchi's business dealings with Iraq which, he says, didn't stop until the Gulf war of 1991.
There seems to be a lot more to Rezko than just slumlording.
Now we know why Obama opposed the war. Follow the money...

Monday, February 25, 2008

And With The Farrakhan Union Label...

The Associated Press carries Louis Farrakhan's glowing endorsement of Barack Obama.

The 74-year-old Farrakhan, addressing an estimated crowd of 20,000 people at the annual Saviours' Day celebration, never outrightly endorsed Obama but spent most of the nearly two-hour speech praising the Illinois senator.

"This young man is the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better," he said. "This young man is capturing audiences of black and brown and red and yellow. If you look at Barack Obama's audiences and look at the effect of his words, those people are being transformed."

Farrakhan's fulsome praise is especially interesting because Barack Obama pointedly "distanced" himself both from Farrakhan and his pastor, Jeremiah A. Wright Jr in the following statement

"I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan.

Watch Out For Jimmah II

Watching Ralph Nader on Meet the Press this morning (complete transcript here), it occurred to me that he could conceivably make a difference in the campaign in one respect. He could shed insight into Barack Obama's otherwise obscure views on the Israel-Arab conflict. Take, for example, this portion of his response to one of Tim Russert's questions this morning:

Senator Obama is a person of substance. He's also the first liberal evangelist in a long time. He's run a brilliant tactical campaign. But his better instincts and his knowledge have been censored by himself. And I give you the example, the Palestinian-Israeli issue, which is a real off the table issue for the candidates. So don't touch that, even though it's central to our security and to, to the situation in the Middle East. He was pro-Palestinian when he was in Illinois before he ran for the state Senate, during he ran--during the state Senate.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Usual Misdirection

Israel Defense MInister Barak and Foreign Minister Livni have now issued a joint statement on the developing situation:
Hamas is behind an intentional action that yet again places Palestinian civilians on the front lines. Israel does not interfere in demonstrations taking place inside the Gaza Strip, but Israel will protect its borders and will prevent any violations of its sovereign territory. Israel is acting to prevent any deterioration of the situation but wishes to unequivocally clarify that if this does happen, the sole responsibility lies directly on Hamas' shoulders.
Hamas's stage managers in Iran must think the time is ripe for the usual misdirection that accompanies international attention to its nuclear weapons program.

Two Can Play

"Hopes for a peaceful conclusion to the declaration of Kosovo's independence were fading as the European Union announced it had withdrawn its staff from the north of the fledgling country in the face of increasingly angry Serb protests."

So begins the utterly predictable reaction of the EU to Serb anger as their "army in suits" pre-emptively withdraws.

At the same time, KFOR, the Nato-led peacekeeping force, sealed the border to Serbia, after angry mobs torched border crossings. ...

Remarkably, many Muslim countries have refused to recognize Kosovo. And their reluctance is fueled in part by the desire to avoid stirring up separatism.
The problem is that the Serbs are taking the cue from the Kosovars. If Kosovo can split from Serbia why can't Serbian regions split from Kosovo?
But as the experience of Iraq shows, stabilization can only occur where security is guaranteed.

Of Germans And Japanese

Nir Rosen in an article entitled "The Myth of the Surge" in Rolling Stone, asserts that the Surge has not only failed to bring long-term stability, but is going to backfire. Rosen claims the Surge has only managed to "arm both sides of the civil war".

Maybe. But the odds Iraq will fall apart is much smaller today than it was a year ago. All the surveys taken show a remarkable desire among the ordinary populace to keep the country together. The Surge has not yet won. But neither, as Rosen suggests, has it lost.

The key fact which Rosen's article omits is that the Sunnis are attempting to creep back into the national life on American terms. They have decided to attach themselves to the victors in the role of the defeated. To argue that a surrender represents a subversion may have some force, but not much. The Germans and the Japanese did as much.

Borderline Flying Pig Spotted At Iran's Reuters Division

Reuters reporter Fredrik Dahl witnesses the thuggish repression of women in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Wearing a brightly colored headscarf and high-heeled boots, the woman refused to be bundled into the police van without a fight.

Protesting loudly and even trying to escape, her standoff with Iranian police cracking down on women violating the Islamic dress code lasted several minutes. But the outcome of the drama shortly after dusk on a cold winter’s day on Tehran’s most famous boulevard was never in doubt. Two female police officers in head-to-toe black chadors pushed her into the white vehicle which then drove off into the bustle of tree-lined Vali-ye Asr Avenue.

Based in Tehran for the past year, I have often written about police detaining women who challenge the dress codes that have been more strictly enforced under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But this was the first time I saw it happening.

And Why Now?

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2. Why Now? What are we to understand about the timing? That they held it to ensure a scandal-free McCain in the primaries, as the least offensive of the Republican candidates? They hoped he would win the nomination, as they argued in their own endorsement, but almost immediately upon becoming the veritable winner he should be weakened to favor the Democratic candidate in the general election? It is surreal to see the New Republic of recent Scott Beauchamp infamy in a tussle with the New York Times, on matters of conscious and probity. Name an old standby: CBS—Rather and the “memo”; Newsweek—the Periscope flushing of the Koran lie; Reuters—the photoshopped smoke over Beirut; New Republic—the Beauchamp mythology. The examples could be multiplied, but the theme is the same: a media elite, well educated and sophisticated, believes that their own biased means are necessary to achieve a utopian and just ends for the rest of us.

The Final Chance?

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I’ve now listened to almost every Democratic debate, watched at least three long Obama speeches on C-Span, and read his website. There are two messages I distill from all that.

One, he is an extremely good speaker, quick and humorous, perhaps the best natural orator and politician we’ve seen since Ronald Reagan and JFK—far better than Bill Clinton, inasmuch he rarely loses his temper or pouts on camera. So far, in Clinton fashion, he has not started shaking his finger.

Second, at about the same time the hope and change message began to morph as well into a prophetic, near messianic sermon along the self-righteous lines of something like, “You, America, have a final chance to show that you are still good, after all, by voting for a brilliant African-American charismatic leader. If you don’t, then you are captive to race, and we were right all along about your America.”