Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Jobless Claims go down again.
FT Article on Turkey that seems interesting but I haven't had a chance to fully read. Saving it here as much for myself as for anyone else.
Light Blogging today. I'll be on the road.
Sending Forth Pakastanis to Ferret out al-Queda and Taliban members may or may not be a good idea.
The FBI has organized some former Pakistani army officers and others into a band known as the "Spider Group" to locate Taliban and al Qaeda fugitives hiding in tribal areas along the Afghanistan border.
A federal law-enforcement official in Washington said yesterday that the move marked an attempt by the FBI to develop a "free flow of information" to U.S. agents who previously had worked under some restrictions with Pakistan's official Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
It's not that every Pakistani is a fan of al-Queda or the Taliban (far from it). But enough of them have proven to be that an operation like this is rife for potential infiltration by double agents who would pass on information to the other side so they can avoid its operations. Yah, yah, I'm sure the FBI is aware of that problem. . .but their track record recently hardly inspires supreme confidence.

Better than doing nothing though.
North Korean Defector is Rodney Dangerfield to Japan.
What Are, and are not, "Hate Crimes".

It's always been truer to say "Politically Incorrect Crimes", because, as with a lot of things, what is telling is what are not included.
Canadian Spokesbeing resigned. About time.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Some Advice for us all. Unfortunately, easier said than done in too many instances.
Gore 17.93 not getting rave reviews. Even Dianne Feinstein, kind of a political chameleon herself, saying "I can't quite figure out yet who he is."

The article's author, Debora Saunders, writes You see, there are two Al Gores.

Are you sure there are only two?
Get Us outta here.
"Winter of Discontent II" history still repeating as farce so far.
U.S. Economy grew 4% in the third quarter. America also put forward a proposal for comprehensive reduction of industrial tarrifs. Meanwhile, in France (also here and here for more on France).
So, I've Decided to Insult Mohammed, who is called "Prophet" by Moslems. Not for any intrinsic hatred for the man, but simply because I'm fed up with Islamic prelates who issue fatwas - death threats - against people who speak their minds, however wrong they might find them to be (and all of Islam gets up in arms over the bloviations of Falwell and Robertson. As dumb as those two can be, I don't remember them issuing calls for their congregations to kill anyone). So, here we go:
  • Mohammed's mother was a hamster and his father smelt of elderberries!
  • He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy!
  • Mohammed was a son of a dog who had a close personal relationship with the family goat. He consorted with his camels and horses in an unwholesome manner.
  • Mohammed was the Robert Heinlein of his era.
I know that many Moslems who do not support such Fatwas may get offended by insults directed at Mohammed. But I've decided to put myself on the side of those threatened. Anyone who does feel offended should feel free to write, speak out, mail me angry letters, etc. But not issue death threats (any death threats will be reported to the FBI).

Sensible Moslems who would never issue a Fatwa, or follow one, calling for someone to be put to "death for insulting the Prophet" will no doubt think that even this half-jesting list of insults is going too far (only half, though; I'm serious and I'm not apologizing or withdrawing the insults). Fine, I understand. But I'll only take your outrage seriously when you express your detestation of Clerics claiming to be devout Moslems who issue death threats as fervently and frequently as you've expressed your disagreement with the ignorant comments of Falwell and Robertson.

Update: I know "normal" Moslems don't get too heated when Mohammed is insulted. Unfortunately, "99.999% of all Moslems" don't get nearly as outraged as they should when one Imam or another issues a death warrant on someone for insulting the prophet. Not nearly as much outrage is expressed as when Falwell spouts off - without threatening anyone with death. That's part of the point. It would be nice if CAIR, for example, seemed even half as concerned with things like this as they get with Falwell. See also Steven Den Beste's remarks on the subject.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Who's Arming Iraq? a sort of update to this post, from the most surprising of all places. I wonder how they let that in there. Not that it will affect the same rag's tirades about how America armed Iraq.
How Scott Ritter fell off his rocker (fairly long and detailed article).
Bill Moyers, Servant of the People: while rails about greed in others, he's turned PBS into a personal enrichment machine for himself.
The UN as Failed Institution Michael J. Glennon makes the obvious point. (Link via Instapundit):
The Security Council never authorized use of force against Yugoslavia. Absent Security Council approval, the United Nations Charter prohibits the use of force except for self-defense. NATO, which led the Kosovo war, never seriously claimed a defensive rationale, and the United States has yet to advance such a justification concerning Iraq. Given the contradiction between the mandate of the Charter and the prevailing American view on Iraq and Kosovo, what has happened to the law?

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Charter provisions governing use of force are simply no longer regarded as binding international law. Policy makers are of course loathe to admit that. When the question arises, it's much easier to throw up a smoke screen by contending, for example, that the council's 1990 authorization for the Persian Gulf war continues to provide all the authority needed. . .

New lawyers would have pointed out that, since 1945, dozens of member states have engaged in well over 100 interstate conflicts that have killed millions of people.

This record of violation is legally significant. The international legal system is voluntary and states are bound only by rules to which they consent. A treaty can lose its binding effect if a sufficient number of parties engage in conduct that is at odds with the constraints of the treaty. The consent of United Nations member states to the general prohibition against the use of force, as expressed in the Charter, has in this way been supplanted by a changed intent as expressed in deeds.
Here's an illustrative example of the folly and corruption of the UN: making claims to UN authority over this is akin to saying Human Rights are embodied in a commission chaired one year by Syria (without the U.S. even as a member) and the next year by Libya. It's a farce.

Update: More here.
News Not Getting Much play. Violence in Jordan. It was "below the fold" on BBC News website (and I've heard no mention whatsoever of it on the BBC World Newshour radio program.

Even in this report, no graphic, incindiary headlines or text, like you get with reports on Israel's clashes with Palestinians. Quite a contrast.
Readers checking in after the weekend may be interested (or may not be) in two posts I made on Saturday (one is rather long).
Just an Average Day in France.
Well, Good "US Saudi ties strained by hijacker money claim".

Don't look here for any defense of the House of Saud.