Friday, July 19, 2002
French Sources Say Attack on Iraq in August, according to Ha'aretz. August? I'm doubtful.
But then again, often the best time to attack someone is when they think the climate or terrain will prevent you. So who knows. But I still think we're looking more at October or, soonest, September.
Might be. . .poetic justice. . .to launch Operation Free Iraq on Sept. 11.
World's Representatives to the U.S. at the State Department call White House and members of Congress McCarthyites and Neo-Nazi's.
Sounds like they get all their opinions from the Guardian and the Nation. No wonder they don't appear to care whether the people they let in are hostile to the country they're supposed to work for or not, and believe any criticism of said practices is fascistic.
Counting Casualties: One will often see in news stories casualty figures that proport to compare the number of Israeli's killed and the numbers of Palestinian's killed, usually leaving the impression that the Palestinians were all killed by Israel and that there is some moral equivalence between deliberate targeting of civilians and accidental casualties. The intent is thus akin to the similar reports on casualty figures in Afganastan. But, just as those are frequently calculated dubiously and with slight of hand methods, lumping together different sorts of deaths, the same is the case in the Israel - Arab conflict.
The International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism has done an analysis of figures reported in stories such as Props to WSJ's Best of the Web Today for highlighting this practice.
A Religion of Peace We wouldn't want to take a good look at just who we let in, now would we?
Now, look - I know that this doesn't represent the attitudes of all the Moslems who have come to America. Far from it. Nor am I saying we should keep them all out. But instead of putting folks on an express path into the country without question, we might want to insure that we only grant visas to folks who come to America because they like it, and not those who see it as an enemy to be destroyed. Otherwise we end up with the Moslem American Bund (CAIR) and the Moslem American Bund (AMC) and the Moslem American Bund (ISNA), controlled by disingenuous types who mouth platitudes in english while using their funds to publish hate-filled diatribes aimed at America's moslem population. In other words, people turning America into Egypt or 'Saudi' Arabia.
I don't want enclaves in America reproducing the intellectual conditions of those countries, and I'd wager that most of the people who came here from those areas did so to escape such conditions. If folks want that, they ought to stay home. Because the problem often isn't with adults who come here and remember full well how things were like and what they were trying to escape, but with young people and children who, as they grow, can be convinced by such organs to hate and blame America while on the one hand romanticizing the country their parents left.
Of course it doesn't help that many American college campuses are intellectually dead places mindlessly mouthing liberal platitudes, and which are all too happy to encourage the romanticization of any third-world despotism and blame it's problems on America, thus confirming the screeds of the haters. It's happening with Islamic Radicalism the same way it happened with attitudes towards Marxism - sympathy for murderous regimes and blaming the West for everything that goes wrong in the world is rife among the professoriate of most universities.
Arnold Figures Simon Will Lose the Governor's race in California, and has already announced his intention to run against Davis in 2006.
Who's Scandal? Michael Kelly in the New York Post on why if we're going to blame shaky corporate practices that began in the '90s on a President, it's Clinton who was in charge then, and the corporations involved were tied not just to Republicans, but Democrats as well.
The Washington Post has an editorial on Sen. Corzine's shady past.
Do we think that these things will get big coverage now in the major networks, that we'll start seeing balanced reporting rather than partisan hit-jobs in the New York Pravda? Not likely.
Thursday, July 18, 2002
Many Uses of the Death Penalty. One includes providing an incentive to cut the crap and plead guilty, as Moussaoui has just tried to do. But, hey, I thought these guys wanted to be martyrs.
Oh, wait, no: they just wanted to be killers.
Violent Left: "Animal Rights" activists are assaulting and torturing people on the streets of Philly.
The "Divestment Debate" moves moves abroad. Unlike here, where efforts at Harvard and MIT to generate petitions calling for boycotting Israel were quashed by counter-petitions in support of Israel, this kind of stuff is probably more likely to gain ground in Europe, where hostility to Israel has grown over the years as Israel became less socialistic and the exhulting of everything "third world" has grown (even in advance of that movement on American campuses).
Turkey: I've mentioned before the mutually benificial relationship the U.S. has with Turkey and the imperitive to help them out economically and politically, to encourage the positive forces in that country and head off Islamist parties. Ami Horowitz has an article on NRO today putting forth the case.
One of the questions Horowitz indirectly raises is: why is Russia on such good terms with the Iranian regime? As Ami mentions, Iran is busy buying influence and destabilizing things in the Caspian region, promoting radical Islamist regimes of the sort Russia has already had some experience with, not generally positive. The Iranian move is in direct opposition to Russia's own interests and influence in the area. Putin seems to be on the ball and no doubt is aware of this, but modifying Russia's policies towards the Iranian regime is probably as difficult for him as it will be for America to treat, say, the House of Saud as the menace to our interests that it is.
But just as, sooner or later, we're going to have to confront the reality of Saudi policy's hostility to America and the West, so too will Russia have to face the menace the Iranian Ayatollah's presents for its interests.
Meanwhile, in the Real Economy, the one the Left wants to take political control over via additional regulations and "talk down" in order to increase their chances of gaining seats in November, retail sales jumped last month and the manufacturing sector rebounded strongly in the same period
Enriching Themselves While Pointing Fingers at Others: I'm not either anti-profit or anti-wealthy. But there are those who are - especially among the Democrat Senators and their willing accomplices in the media. They love to claim that while the Republicans are in bed with wealthy interests, they, the Democrats, are sticking up for the little guy.
I've already mentioned such stalwarts as Terry McAullife (he of Global Crossing fame), Gilded Age Tom and his wife Linda, who front for corporations (writing into legislation mandates directing the government to buy inferior products from her clients, while the Dashle's fill their pockets with cash and lash out at corporations that aren't paying Linda's salary), and the like.
Folks might get the impression that these are all there are, perhaps. There are Democrat Senators like Jon Corzine who regularly stick up for the little guy, making sure they don't get taken advantage of, right? Well, accusations at least as credible as those hurled by Corzine (D - Goldman Sacks) and others at, say, Bush or Cheney, can be pointed right back at them. While Corzine ran Goldman-Sacks, for example, the firm was engaged in a pump-and-dump scheme right out of the Tony Soprano songbook, screwing tons of investors. Corzine filled his pockets with cash and now attacks free market principles - I suppose, like many leftists, he figure's he's entitled to his wealth, but others got theirs by screwing people (and if he got his by screwing the little guy, well it's all in a good cause. With out it, he wouldn't have been able to buy his Senate seat and do "so many good things". Break a few eggs and all that).
We get Democrat Senators accusing Republican de-regulation efforts of causing the problem. Well, what about guys like Joe Liberman (D - Insurance Industry) and Chris Dodd, the Democrat Senator who was the driving force behind the legislation that was supposedly so bad. Indeed, Dodd and Corzine worked together on the legislation.
Then there is little Dick Gephardt (D - AFSCME), who's continually presenting himself as sticking up for the little guy and against those who trade on insider contacts to benifit themselves. Well, turns out that before Terry McAullife enriched himself in Global Crossing, he helped organize and run something called the "Federal City Bank". McAullife helped secure a loan to Gephardt's 1988 Presidential campaign that wouldn't otherwise have been granted by any reputable bank.
Of course, not all anti-Market Democrats have their own hands in the till. There are people like Maxine Waters (D - Simpletons), representatives so stupid they think Barney Frank (D - Pimps) runs an investment firm ("Solomon Barny Frank"). But, of the thirteen wealthiest Senators, 9 are Democrats: Note: On the "D - Goldman Sacks" stuff, I know this is a sort of dirty and underhanded way to try and discredit people. I did it here to prove a point, since this is exactly the kind of thing that liberal and leftist organs think is "clever" when attached to Republicans ("Jessie Helms - R, Big Tobacco"). What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
Similarly, I don't think there's anything wrong with wealthy people being in Congress (or being wealthy), as long as they aquired that wealth legally. But, again, the Democrats and the Left in general are always attacking "the wealthy" and smearing with innuendo. The hypocracy on their part is palpable.
1. John F. Kerry (D-MS) $675 millionOh, and one name on this list shows just how far back this lineage of Democrat corruption goes: remember, the Kennedy fortune (Ted Kennedy - D, Chapaquidic) was founded on bootlegging and, yes, investment scams. Ted used his wealth and connections to beat a murder rap (Mary Jo Kopechne).
2. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) $400 million
3. Herb Kohl (D-WS) $300 million
4. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) $200 million
5. (tie) Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) $50 million
- Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) $50 million
7. Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL) $40 million
8. Edward Kennedy (D-MS) $30 million
9. Sen. Mark Dayton (D-MN) $20 million - Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) $20 million
10. Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) $15 million - Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) $10 million
Wednesday, July 17, 2002
Today's Toy, a real-live DNC Masterpiece. This once-secret link was no doubt e-mailed to Democrat leaders (like Maxine Waters) who have trouble speaking themselves and need a convenient way to generate standard Democrat boilerplate. It's all here. Now the secret is out.
Ok, not really (or is it?). The link is via NRO's Corner. But I do have a feeling some Dems have stumbled upon this site and thought it was a serious DNC-sponsored speech-generating page.
Meanwhile, on College Campi Today Freedom is Slavery, Dictators are Democratic, and Democracies are Dictatorships that should be divested from. Jay Nordlinger writes this article, a recent account of the ongoing intellectual degeneration of American universities. No wonder ethics is in the crapper on many campi.
Cheney and Halburton So the media are once again acting as the water-carriers for the Democrats, conveying Democrat accusations as if they were the full news story. This time it's over the timing of Cheney selling his Halburton stock, and how deplorable it is. Of course, this is like deja-vu all over again.
Because it was the same media outlets, acting on behalf of Democrat exhortations, that demanded that Cheney sell said stock in the first place! Unfortunately you have to pay a fee, not just run through a maze to get a pellet, to read the archives where the same Washington Post raised "questions" about Cheney continuing to own Halburton stock, back in 200. Or the similar New York Pravda article. But it's all there.
Will we see a headline saying "News Media Condemns Cheney for doing what Media itself demanded", the way we saw headlines saying "Bush condemns practice he Once Engaged In"? Or even, as they would if the shoe was on the other foot and it was Congressional Republicans who were now condemning a Democrat Vice President for doing what the Republicans demanded of him in a previous campaign, pointing that out in blairing headlines?
Are you kidding? Don't hold your friggin breath. Notice there has never been a similar story about Terry McAuliffe's $18 million profit off $100,000 invested in Global Crossing, or a lot of media harping over Gilded Age Tom Dashle's wife, Linda, using her family connections (to him) to enrich herself and her clients at taxpayer expense.
So Your Euro is at Parity with the Dollar, eh? Congratulations. You know, when the Euro was introduced I knew it wouldn't solve all of Europe's economic problems. Their economies are too screwed up by politics for that. Yes, even more than America's. But I did figure that it would have a positive effect. My guess was that the Euro would lower "friction costs" just enough to boost European growth rates, not over the long term, but for the first couple years at least.
But in spite of our stock market woes in America, our actual economy continues to grow robustly, as Greenspan told Congress yesterday (see also USA Today article and LA Times article and this AP item). GDP growth is over 4% so far this year on an annualized basis and productivity growth is through the roof. As are capital expenditures of the sort that will lead to further growth down the line.
Sure, the Euro reached parity with the dollar. But the stock markets of Europe are, if anything, tanking worse than the U.S. markets. But what about growth rates across Europe over the last year and a half or so, which should have got a shot in the arm from the Euro? That's what we were all told would happen, right?
Economic growth in the "Euro Zone" has been anemic. Sluggish. No real surge at all. You can track it country-by country if you like. One of the more dynamic countries in the EU is one that remained outside the Euro - Britain.
So, no doubt the supporters of the EU and the Euro have been popping champagne corks over the last couple days, celebrating parity with the dollar. Pretty pathetic accomplishment given all the hype that accompanied the introduction of the Euro and the arguments for it, if that is enough, while actual GDP and productivity growth still lags behind that of the U.S.
But I suppose if one is a EU supporter, you have to be happy with any little crumb of accomplishment. Because there is usually so little good news, even a small thing is something to be grasped at, like a wino clutching at his last bottle.
"You Should Try Negotiation First". "You Should go to the UN and Get an Authorization for the Use of Force From the Security Council First". Yes, these and other admonishments are the type of advice the EUrocrats always have for the U.S. when our interests are attacked and we prepare to respond. When we don't take these suggestions, there is a lot of tut-tutting from Europe and especially countries like France or, oh, Spain about "the American Cowboy" misbehaving in international affairs and not using "international dispute resolution institutions".
But when it comes to themselves, how very quickly they drop the pretence, and employ military force rather than "negotiations" or "the UN". All fine and well, I suppose. But usually when they're lecturing the United States in this fashion, it's over something fairly critical and time sensitive - where if we don't take some action, Americans might be killed.
This little, barren rock less than 200 meters off the coast of Morocco, a country otherwise friendly to both the US and the EU - and Spain - has no critical features whatsoever. It would, one might presume, be a perfect case for the use of the very methods the EU Mandarins are always suggesting are the best, most civilized, "sophisticated" means of resolving a dispute with a "poor, third-world nation". It's not like anyone is going to be blown up or have planes dive-bombed into their buildings if Spain took a "softer", non-military line here.
But no, neither Spain nor the EU even hesitated before launching the attack (the time between Morrocco's occupation and Spain sending in a major military force to take it back was barely enough to organize the force). Not even the pretence of negotiation like "Cowboy Bush" conducted with the Taliban was engaged in. Just send in the marines.
Again, all fine and well. But lets remember this the next time the minions of the EU try to instruct us on how "adults" should resolve disputes in this "post-modern, post-colonial" world.
Oh, and I notice that they did not turn to the ICC to try and resolve this, either. Perhaps an early indication of just how the EU plans to use this "international court" - or not, when it suits them.
And did I mention Gibraltar? Oh, yes I did, didn't I?
Tuesday, July 16, 2002
Iraq: So, current policy is that we'll act against Iraq only when there is "provocation". The good news is that Iraq gives provocation almost every day.
Christopher Caldwell lays into how Bush profited from his family connections. Yah, all that is fine. But again, the "pure" Democrats are at least as smarmy (ever heard of Linda Dashle, Senate Majority Leader "Gilded Age Tom" Dashle's wife? I doubt it. She's a money-raking lobbiyist, trading on her "family connections" to get billions of government dollars for her clients, raking in millions for her and Tom while doing so. That's just one example).
Arafat, Butcher of Palestine: the sorry tale of Arafat's bloodletting against political dissidents is exposed in this story.
Hamid Karzai: The Man Who Would Be President-for-Life. Come to think of it, he does kind of remind me of that guy, you know the one, the guy who is in charge of the first city that Danny and Peachy take over in the movie. The one who ends up becoming the "ball" in a polo match.
He looks like the guy after a bath.
Joel Mowbray on why the State Department got its undies in a bunch.
At this point the U.S. State Department has to be declared a rogue operation, acting contrary to the interests of those who finance it (the U.S. taxpayer). Why isn't this a major scandal? Is Arthur Anderson more important to the interests of the American public than the State Department?
If the Dems want to get Bush for something he's really responsible for (after all, who's ultimately in charge of the Department of State), then why not this?
The answer to that is - they're in favor of this stuff, so they don't want to raise the political profile of issues like how we grant visas to people known to be hostile to our country. That's one way they import voters. So this scandal is not one they will trumpet.
The Republicans will keep it off the table because, well, Bush is President now.
Why are major media outlets making little of it, though? Well, they serve the interests of the Liberal Democrats, and we already got done explaining why they're not going to highlight this. The media reasons are identical. Plus, well, truth be told, the people who become reporters now days figure that hey, if anyone out there hates us, it's our fault, and who are we to judge people from third world countries? Why shouldn't we open the doors with minimal border controls? After all, it's our fault (that is, mine and yours - not the wealthy reporters) fault that they're poor in the first place. So they don't care. They only care if we keep people out (whether for legitimate reasons or not). Oh, and I don't mean the big media aren't making enough of the Mowbray Detention thing; it's just that they're ignoring the issues that lead to it. For obvious reasons.
Yah, I know what you're thinking "Porphy, you're sounding like just another Buchananite isolationist who wants to keep brown people out, keep them from comming here and getting a better life like your great-grandparents did". Not at all. I'm pro legal immigration; if someone wants to come here because they really want to be an American, I'll shake their hand. But if someone wants to come here because they seek an opportunity to undermine the country, whether by flying planes into buildings, or working towards carving out "Aztlan", then we have every right to say "um, no". Hell, if they want to just re-create the life of their home here, then "um, you can stay home and have that" is my answer. But if the folks are, like my great-grandparents, people who come here to become Americans, then they're my brother.
But the only way we'll be able to even begin sorting the wheat from the chaff is with proper visa procedures - that is, not the "Jihad Express Travel Agency" in Medina processing anyone and their uncle with few if any questions asked.
Duplicity and Hypocracy on the Accounting Scandals are what the Democrats are engaging in. Rush, on the radio yesterday, pointed out that
"The Democrats are trying hard to attach Enron and Harken Energy to Bush. Never mind that Enron head Ken Lay stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom when Clinton held the lease, or that the SEC said 10 years ago that nothing wrong was done with Bush's Harken stock - which actually doubled in price shortly after Bush sold it. Facts don't matter. They blame whatever they can on Bush. Luckily, the American people aren't buying.And of course there are things like this going on. Oh, and of course there is Terry McAuliffe, the Dem's bag man. We could go on and on. . .
The latest Gallup poll found that an insignificant 10% of Americans think Bush did something illegal. This has to frustrate the Democrats, because Lieberman, McCain, Kerry and Daschle are all out there pounding on this point. The Enron investigation is dragging because Lieberman's afraid of what might come out of it about his fellow Democrats.
By the way, when will the mainstream media point out that these guys are presidential candidates and stop reporting their sound bites as coming from objective, disinterested parties? They're positioning themselves for runs for the White House. Their every word is calculated to inflict as much damage on the incumbent president, George W. Bush, as possible.
Senator Joe Lieberman is the one who slurped up a quarter of a million dollars in Enron cash. Enron's auditors have also contributed huge amounts of money to Lieberman. Yet he continues to run this 'investigation' into Enron, because he knows it's not a serious quest to find wrongdoing. It's just a position he can use to damage the man who he wants to replace in 2004.
Everybody is talking about Harvey Pitt and his conflicts of interest; how about these? The guy running the Senate committee looking into Enron is in deep with Enron, all of its accountants and its largest debt holder. If these people really cared about corporate fraud, would the Enron investigation be dragging on until it could cause the maximum political waves? If Lieberman were as honest as we all thought he was before he changed all his opinions to run with Algore, and if he were interested in doing his job with impartiality, he'd recuse himself.
Yes, Bush sold Harken and made $800,000, only to see it double in value a short time later. Is that a brilliant deal? Yet the Democrats scream for the Harken info to be released. Why? So they can pick over them for another four months all the way down to November, and further hurt the economy and market. They are going to be the reasons you lose your shirt in the market if they succeed, not Bush and not Cheney. It's the truth, whether you believe it or not.
ACLU: A organization that supports rights consistantly, or has it simply become an arm of the Left? Read this and you be the judge.
Bush is so Simplistic and Unsophisticated, pronounce the EUnuch Mandarins every time Bush makes a policy pronouncment on the Middle East. Meanwhile, in the real world Arafat's position continues to crumble and former supporters form new political movements, separate from the Palestinian Strongman. Pluralism may be slow in arriving, but it is comming. Even the nagging Europeans end up following Bush's lead in the end. If he's "stupid" and they end up, after grumbling, going along, what does that make them? Imature adolecents, perhaps. Daddy is always "stupid" when you're a certain age.
Politically Incorrect Crime A racially motivated murder and rape spree that resulted in the killing of four people in Wichita, Kansas. One might think that this would be national news, used as evidence for the need of hate crimes legislation. Why haven't most people heard of it, then?
Because the victims were not black, they were white. The perpetrators where not white, they were black.
Now, I don't support "hate crimes" legislation (punish these people for the crimes they commit - robbery, murder, and rape, in this case). The simple fact that this story has not swept the national news media like other prominent cases is one of the reasons to oppose "hate crimes" legislation: the fact that it will obviously be selectively enforced. That is evident in the fact that this crime, and other similar crimes, are not highlighted, nor is black racism. They do not serve "The Cause" - it is politically incorrect to take notice of them. More and more people are waking up to the destructiveness of this ideology, however. People are even engaging in non-violent resistance to race-based policies at the workplace.
New Labour's Spending Spree, reported here, is almost as bad as the Bush-Dashle spending spree over here. And, of course, Britain, not America, is the Crime Capital of the West now. I wonder if any of this will help the terminally hapless Torys gain some momentum.
New York Times Andrew Stuttaford weighs in on the increasing politicization and declining news standards of the "paper of record", the New York Pravda. I had already termed it thus in an earlier post, and I'll be calling it that for the indefinate future.
Bush's Re-elect Numbers Fall in this Cook Poll. Andrew Sullivan interprets this as bad news for Republicans. Well, bad news for Bush, at least. But he's not up for re-election this fall. The Congressional Republicans (and Democrats) are. And, dispite all the distortions going on (media reports, acting in their usual role of willing accomplices of the Democrats, that amount to saying "Democrats unsullied and have clean hands, call for reform, Republicans all tainted, call for end to practices they engage in"), the Congressional Republicans retain their (slight) advantage over the Democrats in the poll.
I suppose one can speculate about how long that will last, but that goes beyond the narrow information a poll provides (which is simply how do people feel today, now. It doesn't tell you how they'll feel three months from now). Btw, I wonder how Bush's numbers in this poll compare with those of Reagan at this point in his Presidency. Not that Bush is Reagan, but still - the point is, poll numbers this far out are essentially meaningless (one can also ask Bush's father, in the opposite direction. How much did Bush 41's high poll numbers in '90-91 mean to him in the fall of 92? Nadda).
Spain has been demanding that Britain come to an agreement over Gibraltar that gives Spain at least joint custody over the people who live there. By a logical extention Spain's position would demand that they extend to Morrocco joint soveregnity over Ceuta and other colonial enclaves off Morrocco's coast. Will they? Heh, this is international politics. Of course not. Of course the Danish current EU President supports Morrocco, right? Denmark is a good, anti-colonialist, anti-imperialist country, right? Wrong - Denmark's EU President supports Spain. Remember stuff like this, btw, when some EU-type bloviates about "American Imperialism"
Monday, July 15, 2002
Ok, I've Heard of Phrenology, but fundamentology sounds like a disgusting divination method to me. Anyhow, the article (by Mark Steyn) is good, as usual.
"Grey Monday" to quote Kathryn Lopez. "Send lawyers, guns, and money" (especially the latter), quotes Andrew Stuttaford. The fecal matter has hit the air conditioner.
And here a couple weeks ago I said we had bottomed out. What's happened since then? Oh, well, everyone and their uncle spent the entire weekend crowing about all the regulations they're going to impose on transactions. Market tanks. Duh. "you can watch it all on TV" to quote Blofeld.
Things Recovered Nicely, as a result of good economic news, and at the end of the day it's down, but a "no biggie" 45+ points.
My, What an Ugly Blog You Have Yes, I know it's hideous at the moment. I'm in the middle of trying to rebuild my code after Blogger decided it no longer liked my template. Not enough time to fix some of the problems until tonight, so I'm going with this because at least it's readable (mostly).
Will have better by tommorrow.
Iran: Weblogger Support for Reform and Regime Change: Unfortunately I'm spending much of my time at the moment trying to rebuild a template that pyra won't reject when I publish (cursed error 503), so at the moment I can't say much more than I already have, and point out my support for this idea. Oh, and link to Michael Ledeen's latest article.
Intermittently scheduled screeds will return as soon as I'm done coding to my (and the cursed pyra server's) satisfaction.
Real Palestinian Strategy? A slideshow demonstrates.
Now, to be fair, hard to tell if this represents the "majority view" or not. It'd be as falacious, at this point, with a small but rapidly growing pluralization of political opinion in Palestine, to treat them all as sharing the same views. However, it is, IMO, unquestionable that this represents the views of a very active segment of the population.