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Friday, July 30, 2004

The Perfect Friday Post 

Enjoy. May or may not post this weekend.


Good Point 

Victor Davis Hanson is right on target again:
Worse still, the commission has helped to resurrect the fable that we are hated for what we do or don't to Muslims rather than who we are. But the collective brain power of the commissioners could not adduce a simple explanation as to why French and Germans are busy rooting out plots to blow up their own citizens — despite billions of EU money sent to terrorist organizations like Hamas, support for Arafat, and cheap slurs leveled at America in Iraq. Why do Muslim radicals hate Europe when Europeans have no military power, no real presence abroad, give billions away to the Middle East, despise Israel, will sell anything to anyone anywhere at anytime, and have let millions of Arabs onto their shores? Are daily threats to Europeans earned because of what Europe does — or is the cause who they are?

That's something that I have not yet found the brainpower to understand. These radical Muslims hate Europe almost--not quite, but almost--as much as the US, in spite of Europe basically being on their side against the US in almost every respect. I'm not sure I buy Dr. Hanson's explanation either, but it's better than anything I've been able to come up with.


Nazis Taking Over Germany Again 

Words. Fail. Me. I guess soon they'll be taking over France and we'll have to bail the frogs out yet again:
Neo-Nazi demonstrations can only banned when it can be shown that they would endanger the public's safety, Germany's highest court ruled Thursday.

The Federal Constitutional Court overturned an earlier court ruling that allowed the western city of Bochum to stop the far-right National Democratic Party from holding a June demonstration against the building of a new synagogue.

I'm getting whiplash watching France and Germany trying to outdo each other on the jew-hatred scale. I guess the US was the only one that MEANT it when we said "never again".

And correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure it was a German court like this one that freed the only guy we were able to convict involving the 9/11 attacks. Germany is just not being very friendly lately.

A lot of comparisons have been drawn between WW2 and the recent conflict in Iraq. Sounds like there's a chance comparisons between WW2 and current conflicts could get a whole lot easier to make if this kind of thing keeps up. I hope we don't wait for a Pearl Harbor to start getting ready this time, though.


Thursday, July 29, 2004

Kerry's Speech 

I just got done watching a long speech by a guy with an incredibly long chin. He managed to steer clear of Viet Nam for the most part until the very end, so at least there was a little suspense wondering when he was going to slip up and remind us again that he served in Viet Nam. It was the archetypical modern Democrat's speech, packed full of non-sequiturs, false claims of "going it alone" and personal attacks on administration officials (Rumsfeld and Ashcroft were named directly), and of course no Democratic speech would be complete without huge creamy dollops of class warfare and accusations against "the rich" while never mentioning that both halves of the ticket plus almost the entire Democratic congressional delegation are "the rich".

The long and the short of it is that while lately I've gotten a little nervous about Bush's chances in the election, after watching that speech and seeing some of the polling data this week I've begun to regain some cautious optimism.

To put it as succinctly as I can, there are only two things that could have made that speech better, the words that were said could have been better and the guy saying them could have been a WHOLE LOT better. I've said on several occasions that Bush would blow Kerry's doors off at the ballot box. I don't know if I'm that optimistic anymore, but I do believe that as things stand right now Bush has things well in hand. The race is officially Bush's to lose.


Freakin' Wow. 

Depending on who you are, this may be the best article you read this year. I especially recommend it for any Lefties who are wondering why people like me are supporting Bush in this election.

I tip my hat and raise my glass to Mr. Junod for making the effort to see our side in all this. He and I will never agree on much, but he showed me that there's at least one Lefty out there who is a real man.


Dirty Criminal Apprehended 

No, not that one. This one:
Stephanie Willett said she was eating a PayDay bar on an escalator descending into a station July 16 when an officer warned her to finish it before entering the station. Both Willett and police agree that she nodded and put the last bit into her mouth before throwing the wrapper into a trash can.

Willett, a 45-year-old Environmental Protection Agency scientist, told radio station WTOP that the officer then followed her into the station, one of several in downtown Washington.

"Don't you have some other crimes you have to take care of?" Willett said she told the officer.

At which point the cops got pissy and gave her a hard time.

I'm torn about this one. On the one hand, any scientist (or anybody else) who works for the EPA truly deserves a dose of the medicine they give out to everybody every day. Nobody knows how to inconvenience people like the EPA, unless maybe it's the FDA.

On the other hand, the cops were acting like fascists or secret police or something, and should be kicked in the groin. So it's a tossup.

Busy today, not much posting...but if you haven't had a laugh yet today, I advise you to check this out. Drink alert in effect.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Want Some Syrup With That Waffle? 

Here is unequivocal equivocation. It simply uses video of statements by Kerry and shows the dates he made them. It devastates any possible argument that this man can make up his mind about anything or stick to a principled position, and it does it without all the video editing tricks and dishonest Moore-esque representations.

Anyone who is considering voting for Kerry should watch this before they make a big mistake.



A good piece overall, but I liked this in particular:
The crowd actually seemed to snort in unison. I had not thought such a thing was possible.



Kerry Summarized 

This is probably the best all-around hold-a-mirror-up-to-him-and-watch-him-melt piece I've seen yet on John Kerry:
Then this exchange with Chris Matthews on Feb. 5, 2002: Matthews asked, "Do you think that the problem we have with Iraq is real and it can be reduced to a diplomatic problem? Can we get this guy to accept inspections of those weapons of mass destruction potentially and get past a possible war with him?"

"Outside chance, Chris," Kerry responded. "Could it be done? The answer is yes. But he would view himself only as buying time and playing a game, in my judgment. Do we have to go through that process? The answer is yes. We're precisely doing that. And I think that's what Colin Powell did today."

There was no complaining then about a "rush to war." No warnings that Saddam Hussein's WMD programs might not be as advanced as the administration feared. No skepticism about the intelligence, no blood-for-oil, no conspiracy theories about Chalabi and Halliburton and neocons.

Finally, his speech to the Democratic Leadership Council's national convention on July 29, 2002: "I agree completely with this administration's goal of a regime change in Iraq."

What makes the video more than a collection of Kerry's rhetorical hits is its documentation of how outside events were influencing the Democratic senator's political positions. Specifically, as 2003 wore on, Howard Dean rocketed to the top of the Democratic-primary polls and garnered laudatory press coverage. And Kerry obviously, blatantly, started borrowing Dean's anti-war rhetoric.

By August 2003, Kerry was declaring on Meet the Press, "The fact is, in the resolution that we passed, we did not empower the president to do regime change."

By October, the struggling Kerry was insisting that the war he had said he "agreed completely with" was unnecessary. "But the president and his advisors did not do almost anything correctly in the walk-up to the war. They rushed to war. They were intent on going to war. They did not give legitimacy to the inspections. We could have still been doing inspections even today, George."

Yes, John, and we could have been doing inspections and talking and having committee meetings and bombing their SAM batteries and having our planes shot at even today if you had been president.

This is truly a necessary piece for anybody who wants an honest look not so much at the pro-Bush position but at the anti-Kerry position. This is how he would run our country, folks. Right here in a nutshell.

Vote Bush to avoid it.


Lileks vs. Fwance 

Looks like Lileks got his undies in a bundle:
It was like a cat playing with a mouse he intended to eat, and the mouse thought they were having dancing lessons. Amusing.

“Do you think Chirac’s opposition to the war,” Hugh asked, “was motivated by his connections to Saddam, by kickbacks for oil for food?”

“I don’t think so! You should clean up your own backyard, you know, you helped Saddam get in power with the CIA in 1968. Some French politicians had some connection, some of them had been in Chirac’s party, must admit that, but Donald Rumsfeld went to meet Saddam in 1983 and he gave him killing weapons.”

Said the American bureau chief for Paris Match. He went on to note how the United States armed Saddam. French military assistance? Hardly any.

Regis left but promised to come back at the top of the next hour. I called the family to dinner, served everyone tacos, walked the dog and had the 6 PM cigar. Googled Regis. Ah, of course. I remember him. Go read; I’ll wait.

Regis returned. More of the same. The subject of American anti-French sentiment came up; he was surprised to hear about it, didn’t think there was much of it. Americans are shunning French wines? He had never heard about this. No, no, he doubted it was true. Anyway, any assertions that Chirac was unduly tied to Saddam were baseless, and besides, America armed Saddam.

If I understood the pith of his gist: Anti-Americanism was understandable, given that George Boosh was bent on ruining the world (pauvre Irakis, deprived of pere Saddam). Anti-French sentiment - if such a curious thing existed – would be an irrational response to legitimate criticism. You Americans are so - what's your word? - chauvinistic.

That’s what I inferred, anyway. I got out the super-secret studio hotline number. I had one objective: get this guy to admit that the relationship betweeen France and Saddam was stronger, and much more current and lucrative, then the relationship between the US and Iraq. Then we could move on to really hard problems, such as whether water flows uphill or down.

And much hilarity ensued. You must go read the whole thing.


Where's the Left? 

After 9/11, the US had to go to Afghanistan and break some stuff and hurt some people. The Left went out of their minds, accusing Bush of being Hitler, calling America an "empire", and assorted other crap.

After 12 years of pussyfooting around with Iraq, 17 resolutions condemning their behavior and calling on them to behave like humans, and dozens, perhaps hundreds of ceasefire violations, the US had to go into Iraq and break some stuff and hurt some people. The Left again went out of their minds. By this time "Bush = Hitler" had been condensed into "BusHitler", Rumsfeld had become the antichrist and Ashcroft had become Caligula.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the government is taking in thousands of Muslims and promising to cover their expenses for life:
An official in Krasnodar administration had told Interfax on Tuesday, July 20, that of the 11,999 Ahiska Muslims living in the region, 4,943 have received Russian citizenship and 744 have embarked on Russian naturalization procedures.

He added that more than 5,000 others have expressed a desire to emigrate to the United States.

Earlier, Chingiz Neiman-zade, chairman of Vatan, a Meskheti Turks association based in Georgia, said the United States had offered to accept the Ahiska Muslims living in Krasnodar as immigrants.

"On February 16, the International Migration Organization began an information program in Krasnodar to explain the terms for the resettlement of the Ahiska Muslims in the U.S.," he told Chicago Tribune on Thursday, July 22.

"The immigrants will be provided with housing and furniture, they will be helped to learn the English language and to complete formalities needed for residence in the US, which is especially important, and have been promised life-long welfare allowances for pensioners and the disabled."

I've been paying social security taxes all my working life, and I haven't and probably won't see a dime of that. Why should these people just be given citizenship AND some of them be supported for the rest of their life? The INS or whatever it's called these days needs to be destroyed and rebuilt from scratch. It's not working.

But on another note, believe it or not, there IS a place where Leftist outcry would be useful right about now:
Government-backed Arab militiamen chained and burned alive civilians in a raid on a market in Sudan's Darfur region in violation of a ceasefire signed in April, African Union monitors said.

"The attackers looted the market and killed civilians, in some cases chaining them and burning them alive," said a report released here by AU ceasefire observers in the region.

But in a visit to the region Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier was told by the deputy head of the ceasefire monitoring mission that it would be extremely difficult to disarm the militias because they are so mobile.

The report said the African Union monitors went to Suleia village, where the militia raid occurred July 3.

It said the raid was carried out by "militia elements believed to be Janjaweed," the name given to the horse-riding Arab irregulars that have been fighting alongside regular Sudanese forces following an uprising by two rebel groups in Darfur last year.

But since the perps here aren't white male Republicans, there's less than zero chance of getting the left excited about fighting it.

So once again Kofi is fiddling while a country is burning. Somebody tell me again why the UN is the supreme arbiter of all that is right and just? Right and just would be letting the US turn some special forces loose on those bastards and give them the use of a squadron of warthogs for close-air support.



Okay. My breakfast is now on the floor.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I'm With Him 

I really don't know what to make of this either:
I don't know what to make of this.

The Associated Press reports that a driver stopped by a state trooper in Iowa on July 14, had no identification, but did have flight-training manuals, flight-training software, three bulletproof vests, night-vision goggles, a night-vision scope for a rifle, a telescope, a 9mm semiautomatic pistol, and a bag of ammunition.

The driver told troopers he knew of terrorist plans to shoot up trains in San Diego and that he had knowledge of terrorist activities and people and groups tied to al-Qaida and the Taliban.

After all the weirdness that's been happening lately, it's hard to even say for sure that the guy isn't just a nutcase. It would help if they told us whether he was a Middle Eastern Muslim man between 20-40 years old, I guess.

Aren't I horrible to racially profile like that? Heh. Bite me.


Kerry Camp "Peeved" 

They don't like the "leaked" photo of Kerry making the rounds.

I don't blame them. It makes their guy look almost as retarded as his policies:
No media photographers were in attendance Monday when Kerry toured a facility at the Kennedy Space Center with famed astronaut John Glenn and Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida. All the men wore anti-contamination suits (search).

Asked by FOX News' Brit Hume if a dirty trick was being played, Cahill didn't answer the question directly but said: "What do you think?"

"This was a legitimate tour of a NASA facility and this photograph came out of absolutely nowhere. We were surprised then. We aren't surprised now."

Boo hoo. Face it, lady...NOBODY is surprised that Kerry made a fool of himself yet again. Your man keeps stepping in do-do and then wiping it off the bottom of his shoe with his tie. He's a disaster as a candidate. Things have been rocky enough for Bush over the last few weeks that Kerry should be up by AT LEAST 20 points. Instead we're halfway through the DNC and they're knotted up and Kerry is fading.

If this keeps up, it's going to be a real laugher. I hope Kerry doesn't shut up, or we Bushies may have to sweat it a little yet.

UPDATE: Glenn has more on how the Kerry campaign seems to have completely blown any chance of rescuing themselves from Oompa-Loompa-gate.

UPDATE AGAIN: Oompa, loompa, oompity doo, I've got some John Kerry photos for you:

It's just going to be so hard to live this one down. It could very well end up being Kerry's Dukakis moment. Even if "the timing is suspect". Heh.


And the Bad Side 

I try to be balanced in what I write about. I don't always succeed, but I do try. I've written before that I don't believe the Patriot Act is all that bad, and I still think that while it needs work it's a decent start. We HAVE to do SOMETHING to try to protect ourselves. However, now there's a case where a provision of the Patriot Act is being used to punish a guy for running a fan website (hat tip: Ben):
SG1Archive.com is one of the most popular fan-run websites among the Stargate community. In addition to providing very active fan discussion forums, broadcast schedules, production news, and episode guides, the site heavily promotes the sale of the show on DVD. As of this writing, direct links from SG1Archive.com to Amazon.com have resulted in the sale of over $100,000 worth of DVDs. Many more DVDs have been sold to international fans of the show through sites like Blackstar.co.uk. Upon hearing this news, Stargate executive producer Brad Wright called the site "cool" - which Adam took as an endorsement of his work.

However, instead of thanking Adam for his promotion of their product, officials at MGM and the MPAA have chosen to pressure the FBI into pursuing criminal charges. Adam was first tipped off about the investigation when the FBI raided his and his fiancee's apartment in May of 2002 and seized thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment. Adam later received a copy of the affidavit filed in support of the search warrant, and was shocked to discover that this document, prepared by the FBI, contained significant amounts of erroneous and misleading information. For example, two social security numbers were listed for Adam, one of which is not his. References were made to a cease and desist letter sent by the MPAA to an email address that did not exist. His online friendship with other Stargate fans across the globe was portrayed as an international conspiracy against the MPAA. And perhaps most disturbing of all, it was later revealed that the FBI invoked a provision of the USA Patriot Act to obtain financial records from his ISP. The FBI's abuse of its powers did not stop there. When they seized Adam's computer equipment, he was given written documentation stating that it would be returned within 60 days. The equipment that they did return did not arrive until more than 8 months later, and only then after much prodding from his lawyer. Much of it was damaged beyond repair - one laptop had a shattered LCD screen, an empty tape backup drive was ripped apart for no apparent reason, his fiancee's iBook was badly damaged when it was pried apart with a screwdriver. The FBI's computer crimes staff is either incompetent (at least when it comes to Macintosh computer equipment) or else they just don't give a damn.

Now I have no real way of knowing off the top of my head if all this is accurate or not. But if it is, it's a warning sign that we need to start thinking about ways to force the Act to be used more in line with the way it was intended. It should be used primarily, if not exclusively, in cases where there is terrorism involved.

The example Ben gave when he pointed me to this was how the RICO statutes have been used to go after people growing pot. It reminds me of how the gun control laws in Nazi Germany were used to disarm the jews. However you look at it, it's not right. And the way the FBI apparently treated this guy FOR SURE isn't right.

I'm foursquare behind law enforcement in almost all they do, but I also want to see them do the right thing. They need to exercise a little better judgement than appears to be the case here.

And the MPAA has gone WAY, WAAAAAAAY beyond unreasonable and into a whole different galaxy. They need to stop and think about who it is that's paying their salaries. I stopped buying CDs long ago, mostly because almost all music made after 1992 sucks, but also because the RIAA are and always have been a bunch of greedy pigs with an overpriced product. I can live with my old CDs from the 80s. Now I may have to reconsider buying the MPAA's DVDs as well. And that would be a shame, because I dearly love my DVD collection and would love to see it grow indefinitely. I could use the extra $20-40/month elsewhere, too, though.


Whacked Out Leftists Want US Citizens Dead 

That's the only conclusion that can be drawn after reading this story:
Two civil rights groups filed a lawsuit in federal court to stop the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority from randomly inspecting passengers' bags, saying it's an unconstitutional violation of personal privacy.

A judge scheduled an emergency hearing for Tuesday in the case filed by the National Lawyers Guild and the American Anti-Discrimination Committee.

The random inspections began Thursday, just in time for the Democratic National Convention this week at Boston's FleetCenter. The policy is the first of its kind in the country.

The groups say the searches violate the Fourth Amendment because they don't require information that the person searched is suspected of criminal activity. They've urged customers not to consent to the searches.

"There is no way the MBTA can implement this policy in a constitutional manner," said National Lawyers Guild national president Michael Avery.

If that judge orders them to stop searching bags and there's a terrorist attack, he should be strung up. No way is it "unconstitutional" for a public transportation authority to search anybody it damn well pleases before or during their use of transportation facilities.

You have a right to protection from unreasonable search and seizure according to the fourth amendment. You do not have a right to use a bus, plane or train without submitting to the ground rules. If the authorities decide circumstances warrant random searches, tough. Don't take the plane or bus or train if you don't like it.

As long as you have the choice of not using the facilities, you're not required to submit to the searches and it's as constitutional as apple pie.

One other thing: as we get ready to go to our polling place in November and decide who should hold office for the next four years, let's remember that these lawyers who are trying their hardest to get us killed are kissing cousins to John Edwards, the would-be vice President.


Uh Oh 

Looks like the Sept. 11 commission is trying to get on the gravy train:
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on Tuesday called for the Sept. 11 commission to keep working another 18 months to ensure that its recommended reforms are put in place — a proposal immediately welcomed by the bipartisan panel.

Of COURSE Kerry loves it. It's another layer of crap to pay for and a reason to raise taxes. How could a Democratic senator NOT love it?
Kerry called on the president to implement quickly the commission's recommendations

"Now that the 9-11 commission has done its job, we need to do our job," Kerry said. "We understand the threat. We have a blueprint for action. We have the strength as a nation to do what has to be done. The only thing we don't have is time. We need to do it now."

Oh, so SPEED is the issue. Well, then, let's make sure we set some land speed records by making the first report due months from now:
Kerry said the commission should issue progress reports every six months, beginning in December. Among the questions they should address, Kerry said, are whether we are doing enough to strengthen homeland security, reorganize intelligence agencies, build global alliances and make America as safe as it can be.

We'd better elect Bush then, because Kerry doesn't know national security from a lefthanded smoke shifter.
The 10-member panel issued its final report on Thursday. Under legislation that President Bush signed in March, the commission is to formally dissolve on Aug. 26.

Yes, and let's let it die its natural death. It was a partisan disaster from the get-go. If we got a decent morsel or two out of it, let's quit while we're ahead. I want Ms. Gorelick to please take her partisan grandstanding elsewhere.
Al Felzenberg, spokesman for the Sept. 11 commission, said Republican chairman Thomas Kean, a former New Jersey governor, supported the idea of the commission having additional time to continue its work.

Just up above you said their work was finished. I agree. Disband the thing.
"He hoped there would be some way to continue to speak out and take our case to Congress and the American public," Felzenberg said Tuesday.

The commission's recommendations included creating a new intelligence center and Cabinet-level intelligence director. An intelligence-gathering center would bring a unified command to the more than dozen agencies that now collect and analyze intelligence.

Hmmm. What does "Director of Central Intelligence" mean? Because we have one of those. He/she is in charge of a nifty little outfit called the "Central Intelligence Agency". Maybe you've heard of it...it's affectionately known around this country as the CIA. It's in charge of intelligence. Or should be. And it has the added advantage of already existing and being paid for.

Sheesh. The stuff some people don't know.
President Bush has a task force reviewing the Sept. 11 commission's recommendations and may act within days on some of them, White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said Monday with the vacationing president at his Texas ranch. She would not say which of the more than 40 recommendations Bush was likely to adopt or if he would make his own proposals.

In Boston, Kerry foreign policy adviser Jamie Rubin told reporters that keeping the commission intact would be an effective way to "bird-dog the bureaucracy" on implementing the panel's recommendations. He said it was unclear whether the commission's two leaders, Republican Thomas Kean and Democrat Lee Hamilton, would be willing to keep working that long. "That's for them to say," Rubin said.

More like "inflate the bureaucracy". Come on, people. Write your congresscritters and senators. Tell them to "just say no" to stupid new federal bureaucracies.


Okay, Fine 

I hadn't planned on commenting on something so inane and childish...but then I hadn't made the connection between this and "The Dukakis Moment". Plus, I just remembered that this is my blog and I have the God-given American RIGHT to be childish if I want.

So swallow any drinks, set down the glass/can, and have a look here.


Monday, July 26, 2004

Rogue Waves 

This is a little freakish:
There have always been stories about giant ocean waves, known as "rogue" waves, such as the one that they think sank the Edmund Fitzgerald. But statistical models said waves as tall as 100 feet should only occur ever 10,000 years or so. Yet the world loses several large ships a month, ships the size of supertankers, and oil platforms using lasers to measure sea height were showing some astoundingly bizarre waves, and not one freak every 10,000 years, but dozens per year in the same oil field. In 1995 the Queen Elizabeth II ran into a wave that the captain said looked like the cliffs of Dover, and in 2001 two different cruise liners had their bridge windows smashed out by waves one hundred feet tall in the same week. Something was definitely going on, so the European Space Agency formed a project called MaxWave to look at satellite radar data to look for such waves.

It turns out such rogue waves occur every couple of days, and now everyone needs to take them into account as we update ship and ocean platform designs. Meanwhile scientists will see if they can predict where they will occur, so we can route ships to avoid likely trouble spots. Waves that travel at the same speed as a storm front, or places where large waves encounter a different body of water or front where lensing would focus the energy are likely culprits.

I love stuff like that. It's also interesting to know that our oceanographers or whoever could be so far off in guesstimating the frequency of such things.

One question: if a wave 100 feet tall can come along at any minute, and this happens dozens of times in the same year in the same area, how is it that any ships can feel safe at all anywhere? And how can we have cities along the ocean at all? A 100-foot wave would do a number on Manhatten, for instance. How come Manhatten isn't regularly inundated?

I do believe there are issues here I don't understand. Therefore, I shall immediately go back to ignoring it until somebody comes along to explain it to me.

Yes. That's just what I'll do.


Formatting Issue 

I have hereby conquered my formatting issue, and for a wonder it wasn't my fault. I would say it was a boneheaded engineer at blogger.com, except that I've had that said about me too many times...so I'll just say that some fine, intelligent engineer at blogger.com gave evidence that he was not perfect and flipflopped a couple of html tags. Could happen to anybody, and flipflopping is very much in the spirit of the Democratic convention this year, which started today, so it's all entirely appropriate.


Another One 

What is it with former Clinton administration officials:
Fisk University's new president, Clinton administration Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary, was escorted off a flight and questioned by the FBI after she became abusive and tried to get into the cockpit while the plane was delayed on the tarmac, authorities said.
The Bush campaign should put together a campaign commercial that is a 30-second still shot of O'Leary, Sandy Berger, Cynthia McKinney, Sheila Jackson Lee, Gore during one of the many recent occasions he blew a gasket, Joe Wilson and assorted other of the numerous recent Democratic embarassments.  Make sure it gets played A LOT.  I guarantee they'd win, especially if they ran the Deaniac scream on a steady loop for the whole 30 seconds and the caption "Would you trust these people to watch your children?"


Free Speech Zones 

I understand the need for "free speech zones" in some cases.  They make the secret service's job a lot easier, for sure.  Somehow the Left just doesn't get it, though:
When the President of the United States visits somewhere the local police and Secret Service restrict protester's access to locations anywhere near the President or the motorcade. They allow protesters to assemble in "free speech zones", which are often fenced-in areas hundreds of yards or even a mile away from the site of the President's appearance.
Those who go to see the President speak, including the media, generally do not have an opportunity to see the protesters — they are kept safely out of the way, out of sight.
This was not the way it was meant to be. In our system, where everyone has a voice, anyone should be able to protest within full view of the President and his supporters. They should be able to hold their signs up high, proclaiming for all who will listen what they consider to be right. Our country was not founded on the basis of excluding voices, it was founded on the basis of including and protecting everyone's voice.
Thing is, their party seems to like free speech zones just fine.  Get a load of the bullpen they have set up to stuff conservative protestors into for the Dem convention this week.

Yes, they're very concerned about free speech.  Day by Day has a good take:


(thanks to Day by Day, may they become filthy stinking rich like they deserve)

It would be very good not to hear anymore from the Democrats about how their first amendment rights are being trampled by "free speech zones".  While they're at it, they could apologize for the wild screeching about "yellowcakegate", the "16 words", "Plamegate", and all the other "scandals" that have recently been proven to be lies.  Find a true scandal...THEN screech about it.

In the meantime, don't look now, but I think your boy Berger has dropped another load in his pants.  He should really just get a form-fitting filing cabinet installed in his underwear.

Have a great convention, Dems.


Sunday, July 25, 2004

Andrew Sullivan: Kerry Coach 

I stopped reading Sullivan around a year or a little less ago, when it became pretty clear to me that he was a flaming Lefty masquerading as a conservative.  I'll read a flaming Lefty AND I'll read a conservative, but dishonesty in how someone represents themselves politically is something I can do without, and sophomoric "gotcha" games like his transparent and well-telegraphed switcheroo to the Kerry camp are beyond the pale.

The other thing I dislike about Sullivan is that he predicates his political writings almost entirely on sexual orientation.  Sullivan, being gay, feels that all people from all walks of life must support him in that with all their hearts, or they are not worth his time.  I don't support gays OR Sullivan.  I don't disparage gays either, but I may start disparaging Sullivan if he doesn't wake up and understand that his gay issues are hugely subordinate to protecting this country, and that Kerry is not now and never was the man to entrust with national security.

Now he's giving tips to Kerry on what he needs to do at the convention to stay viable.  And Kerry's really, really going to need some tips for this next week...from the polls it looks like Kerry is neck-and-neck entering into the convention.  Coming out the other side he'll want to be at least 10-12 points up in order to ride out the Repub convention, or he may be toast.

On at least one level, though, Kerry is the ideal man for Sullivan to endorse.  After all, Sullivan has just performed the mother of all flip-flops, showing that at least he's qualified to be coaching Kerry.  His periodic and pathetic pleas for cash are sort of embarassing, though.

UPDATE:  More at Power Line.


Christianity vs. Islam 

This morning I visited a new church, and I'm very glad I did.  It was one of those churches that makes the Left shudder involuntarily, the hideously evil evangelical Christan church.  But they had a guest speaker this morning that has had my head spinning all day.

He was Nabeel Jabbour, and the blurb in the bulletin was as follows:
Dr. Nabeel Jabbour is our guest speaker this weekend.  Dr. Jabbour was born in Syria and grew up in lebanon.  He graduated from American University of Beirut with a BA and from the Near East School of Theology in Beirut, Lebanon with an MA.  He has been associated with the Navigators since 1972.  Pastor Leith Anderson is away during July for his annual summer study month.
So the guy is a highly educated Christian who grew up in the Muslim-dominated Middle East.  And he made me feel real shame for how I've been feeling toward Muslims as a group.  Not necessarily because they are worthy of admiration or because they are right and Christianity (and other religions) are wrong.  Neither is really true.

He did, however manage to get through my thick skull and remind me that while many, many Muslims are anti-American and are actively hostile to me simply on the basis of either my religion or my country of origin, not very many of them would take it to the point of actively physically attacking me simply for those reasons.  But the real reason I feel shame today is because he simply reminded us that it is our job as Christians to forgive and pray for those who would pray for our misfortune.  There can be no other appropriate Christian response...and my response toward Muslims in general and al Qaeda and other armed Islamic groups in particular since 9/11 has been something far less than ideally Christian.

Dr. Jabbour made a point of telling us that while his wife has been able to forgive Osama bin Laden and pray for him, Dr. Jabbour himself has not.  That is something he is still working on, and hopes to be able to do at some point.

For my part, I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive bin Laden for what he's done to so many innocents...but it's high time I at least started trying.  There can be no excuse for putting it off.  It's the most odious task I think I've ever set for myself, but also probably the most Christian.  And it will lead to a more Christian outlook in general on my part.  How can you make an attempt to forgive bin Laden and not see how rosy everybody else, including other Muslims, look in comparison?  And if you can forgive bin Laden and the rest of al Qaeda, isn't it that much easier to buy a sandwich for a homeless person or mow an elderly neighbor's lawn for them?

One last thing I noted as I sat this beautiful morning in the place so hated by the ACLU:  a quick google search just now gave me a whole bunch of pages listing horrible, insane sermons by imams all over the world, including the grand mosques in Mecca and Medina, of which the following is an excerpt of just one example:
Medina, Saudi Arabia - May 9, 2003
Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia TV2 in Arabic, official television
station of the Saudi Government, at 0930 GMT carries a 20-minute live
sermon from the holy mosque in Medina.
Ali Bin-Abd-al-Rahman al-Hudhayfi delivers the sermon:
He praises God ... and urges Muslims to work hard, to avoid
the forbidden, and to have mercy on one another. The imam
devotes his sermon to mercy and justice in Islam.
Concluding, the imam prays to God: "O God, strengthen Islam
and Muslims, humiliate infidelity and infidels, and destroy
your enemies, the enemies of Islam."
Mecca, Saudi Arabia - May 9, 2003
Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia TV1 in Arabic, official television
station of the Saudi Government, at 0930 GMT carries a 22-minute live
sermon from the holy mosque in Mecca.
Salih Muhammad Al Talib delivers the sermon:
He praises God ... and urges Muslims to obey God and to
stick to the Islamic values. The imam devotes his sermon
to the subject of mercy in Islam.
Concluding, the imam prays to God: "O God, destroy the Jews
and their supporters. O God, protect Muslims in Iraq and
strengthen their faith in God."
Medina, Saudi Arabia - Apr 18, 2003
Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia TV2 in Arabic, official television
station of the Saudi Government, carries at 0930 GMT a live sermon
from the holy mosque in Medina.
Husayn Al al-Shaykh delivers the sermon:
The imam concludes with a prayer to God to support Islam and
Muslims and deal with their enemies, "including the rancorous
Zionists." He prays: "O Lord, disperse their assemblies. O Lord,
show us the miracles of Your power on them. O Lord, deal with them
for they are within Your power. O Lord, make their plans destroy
Mecca, Saudi Arabia - Apr 18, 2003
Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia TV1 in Arabic, official television
station of the Saudi Government, carries at 0930 GMT a live sermon
from the holy mosque in Mecca.
Salih Muhammad Al Talib delivers the sermon:
The imam concludes with a prayer to God to support Islam and
Muslims, humble infidelity and infidels, destroy the enemies
of Islam, protect Islamic religion, and make this and other Muslim
countries safe and secure. He prays: "O Lord, whoever wishes Islam,
Muslims, and their countries evil, busy him with himself, turn his
plot against him, and make his plans end up in his destruction."
Mecca, Saudi Arabia - Jan 24, 2003
Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia TV1 in Arabic, official television
station of the Saudi Government, at 0942 GMT carries an 18-minute live
broadcast of the sermon from the holy mosque in Mecca.
Usamah Khayyat delivers the sermon:
"O God, strengthen Islam and Muslims; protect Islam; destroy
the enemies of Islam, the tyrants, and the corrupt; close the
ranks of Muslims, and give wisdom to their leaders. O God, grant
us safety in our homeland, give wisdom to our imams and leaders,
and support our leader." He goes on: "O God, help the mujahidin
promote your religion and your word everywhere. O God, give them
victory in Palestine. O God, destroy the Zionist Jews and their
Zionist supporters."
Mecca, Saudi Arabia - Dec 13, 2002
Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia TV1 in Arabic, official television
station of the Saudi Government, at 0923 GMT December 13, 2002 carries
a 22-minute live sermon from the holy mosque in Mecca.
Usamah Abdallah Khayyat delivers the sermon:
"O God, destroy the tyrant Jews, for they are within your
power. O God, defeat these tyrant Jews and shake the ground
under them."
Mecca, Saudi Arabia - Dec 6, 2002
Friday Sermon Bids Farewell to Ramadan
Riyadh Kingdom of Saudi Arabia TV1 in Arabic, official television
station of the Saudi Government, carries at 0921 GMT December 6, 2002
a live sermon from the holy mosque in Mecca.
Abd-al-Rahman al-Sudays delivers the sermon, in which he bids farewell
to the month of Ramadan...and prays to God to answer their prayer and
accept their fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.
The imam concludes with a prayer to God to strengthen Islam and
Muslims, humble infidelity and infidels, destroy the enemies of
"O God, deal with the Zionist Jews for they are within your power. O
God, disperse them and make them a lesson for others and booty for
Muslims. O God, inflict your might on the criminal ones."
Mecca, Saudi Arabia - Nov 15, 2002
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia TV1 in Arabic, 20-minute live sermon from the
holy mosque in Mecca on November 15, 2002.
Usamah Abdallah Khayyat delivers the sermon:
"O God, protect Islam and Muslims and destroy the enemies of Islam,
the tyrants, and the corrupt. O God, destroy the tyrant Jews, for
they are within your power. O God, defeat these tyrant Jews."

Mecca, Saudi Arabia - Oct 11, 2002
Official television station of the Saudi Government, carries on 11
October 2002 at 0915 GMT a live sermon from the holy mosque in Mecca.
Usamah al-Khayyat delivers the sermon:
"O God, deal with the oppressive Jews, as they are within
your power, and spare us their evil. O God, whoever wishes
us and Muslims evil, keep him preoccupied with himself and
make plans destroy him."
Mecca, Saudi Arabia - Oct 4, 2002
Official television station of the Saudi Government, on 4 October 2002
at 0918 GMT carries a 27-minute live sermon from the holy mosque in
Abd-al-Rahman Bin-Abd-al-Aziz al-Sudays delivers the sermon:
"O God, strengthen Islam and Muslims, humiliate infidelity
and infidels, destroy the enemies of Islam"
Mecca, Saudi Arabia - Sep 6, 2002
Official television station of the Saudi Government, on 6 September
2002 at 0929 GMT carries a 25-minute live sermon from the holy mosque
in Mecca.
Salih Bin-Abdallah Bin-Humayd delivers the sermon:
"O God, destroy the usurper, tyrant Jews, who have
spread corruption, killed people, destroyed property,
and displaced people. O God, destroy them for they are
within your power."
Mecca, Saudi Arabia - Aug 30, 2002
Official television station of the Saudi Government, carries on 30
August 2002 at 0924 GMT a live sermon from the holy mosque in Mecca.
Shaykh Husayn Al al-Shaykh delivers the sermon:
"O God, deal with the tyrant Jews for they are within
your power. O God, we ask You to face them and spare
us their evils. O God, whoever wishes us and Muslims evil,
busy him with himself and make his plotting destroy him."
I've been going to various churches all my life, probably over a hundred different churches in all.  In that time, I've never heard a single Christian pastor, minister, or priest say a bad word in any sermon (or even outside of sermons, I don't think) about Jews, Muslims, or any other religious or ethnic group.  They teach that we should pray for them, be prepared to share the word of Christ with them if asked and maybe if not asked, and in whatever way possible we should try to help them when necessary.  But we are to love them, and not hate.  Compare and contrast with the single random listing I found out of many of recorded remarks by the men who are leaders in the Muslim faith.

They need to give themselves a regime change, I think.


Friday, July 23, 2004

Blog Formatting 

I am having a rather vicious argument with my blog template.  You may have seen the symptoms of that over the last few days.  I've got it now so I can slap a template on a test blog and everything's hunky-dory, but when I copy and paste that template to The Frozen Toaster, I get this weird double-column formatting with the sidebar at the bottom that you're witnessing.  Not good.  Soooo....I'll be following this up this weekend sometime and hopefully will get some pointers from blogger.com to help solve whatever seems to be the issue.  Tips from those with experience are welcome via comments or email.


Could Bush Lose? 

You bet.  I submitted to that possibility some time ago, when I first started to witness that not only was the Left coming unhinged, but it was taking a sizeable chunk of the center with it.

Here's a decent analysis of how this state of affairs came to be and where we go from here.  My favorite bit:
The good thing going for Kerry is that the rabid hatred for George Bush that drives Democrats has spread like an infection, farther and farther, sowing some doubt and fragments of dislike even among Bush supporters. Even in those we most admire, we also see weaknesses or gaps; hatred, a corrosive passion, only exacerbates these flaws.
Hatred, for the haters, is a license to show no respect. It is for them a reason not to be civil — to stomp, to destroy any vestige of a good name. Because it destroys respect, this passion is corrosive even for those who do not directly share in it but are nonetheless rained upon by its sparks. It weakens respect. It makes the hated's supporters defensive — shocks them into a kind of silence.
In the past, liberals made a point of hating hatred. They imagined that the forces of hate were entirely on the other side: "Right-wing hate merchants." Now they have begun publicly to glory in hate, first writing articles explaining why hatred of Bush is okay, then being pleasured by the ferocity of their own hatred, then competing with others to see who can voice the most intense disdain, and who can curl from his lips the most deliciously forbidden insults. The Left has engaged in an orgy of hatred. And enjoyed it, really enjoyed it.
Yeah.  And let's remember that it's the Left that foists on us the tyranny that is "hate crimes" legislation.


Syrian Band Redux Again Sequel One More Time 

Michelle Malkin points out one last interesting fact about the Syrian Band that's been causing so much turmoil in the blogosphere the last few days.

Man, we as a country really need to get it together a little better.


More UN Perfidy 

Here ya go:
Yet the U.N. bureaucracy insists that no one associated with the Americans should have a role in protecting its Iraq mission.
It was to avoid the American "lepers" that the Security Council voted seven weeks ago to create a special international force to protect the U.N. mission in Iraq. So far, however, not a single country has offered to join. And the French, Germans and Russians (who had most opposed the use of U.S. troops for the purpose) are not even prepared to contribute money for such a force. Worse still, they are pressuring other countries not to offer troops.
After the oil-for-terrorism scandal plays out fully (if Kofi is unsuccessful in blocking investigations) the entire world will see how corrupt this organization is.  I had typed "and worthless" after "corrupt" in that sentence, but really it's only worthless to people who try to play by the rules.  The majority of the member nations, however, are corrupt dictators themselves with agendas that are helped along nicely by the continuation of the UN in its present form, and likely want things to stay exactly how they are.

The corruption of the UN seems to blind otherwise sensible people in the US and elsewhere to the fact that American troops WORK.  They're effective, they're the best in the world at what they do and they're THERE.  Nobody else that wants the job is, and nobody seems to want to GO there.

This whole situation bothers me because something that seems so catastrophically stupid on its face (wanting to send a mission into a dangerous area and refusing to allow anybody to help protect it) has to have some unseen motive.  What's going on here?

But I digress:
Thus, those who are trying to sabotage the holding of elections are helping to prolong both the terrorist campaign and the U.S. military presence in Iraq.
According to plans worked out by U.N. experts, Ambassador Qazi's mission would need a protection force of 4,000 men. Is it too much to ask that France, Russia, Germany and China, who do not want the Americans and their allies around, to offer 1,000 men each?
And would it not be nice if Spain's new premier, Jose Luis Zapatero, proposed to send back his country's recently repatriated 1,200 troops to Iraq, this time as part of the U.N. protection force?
Several Arab countries have offered to join the proposed U.N. force. But the Iraqis don't want Arab troops on their soil: Most Arab states have despotic regimes and would lack credibility as protectors of a process of democratization in Iraq.
Ambassador Qazi's own country, Pakistan, is also offering troops. There are reports that President Pervez Musharraf is even prepared to provide all the 4,000 men needed. But Pakistan can't finance such an operation while Russia, China, Germany and France refuse to foot even part of the bill.
And those who refuse to pay also insist that the proposed force not be financed by the Americans, either. As a French spokesman put it the other day, the U.N. force should not be seen as "a U.S.-financed show."
All this leads us to a crucial question: Does Iraq really need the complications caused by the dirty power politics played at the United Nations?
And that's really the question, isn't it?  The UN has no legitimacy anymore.  It refuses to take action when action is desperately needed (witness the genocide performed under their noses in Rwanda and the ongoing genocide occurring in Sudan), and when it finally takes action it's often inneffective or even asinine (witness the sanctions on Iraq that hurt the Iraqi people while administering the oil-for-palaces-for-Saddam-and-terrorism program to make sure the causes of the problems didn't have to suffer from them).  The UN has never solved a problem effectively, with or without military involvement.  It's League of Nations redux, and it's really, REALLY time to pull the US membership in this travesty of an organization and give its grandees 5 years (or less) to find another sucker  host country for their HQ.  Somewhere far, far away.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Two Americas 

It's probably pretty obvious to any reader which one I'm in.


Bush Campaign Turns On Itself 

I think this campaign is starting to get into it's mature phase.  Maybe we should just vote and get it over with.


Terrorists Have Been Busy in Minnesota 

Here's a list of major terrorist-related events since 9/11 in Minneapolis-St. Paul alone.  You can show that to anybody who says Bush is hyping the terrorist threat to get reelected.  The threat is real, folks.  We're fumbling and bumbling in some cases, but we're also picking off a lot of these nutcakes.

I hope and pray we're good enough to blank them, but I highly doubt it.  Sooner or later one of them will get through the net in a big way.


Holy Jumpin' Jesus! 

Here is an article that takes the controversial "hijacking dry run" account and elaborates on the broader issue that flight crews are mostly agreed that terrorists are casing air security and doing dry runs on a regular basis.  That earlier account appears to have an innocent explanation after all (but the larger issue apparently remains, as follows).  The whole article is interesting, but this highlighted bit sends chills up my spine:
A second pilot said that, on one of his recent flights, an air marshal forced his way into the lavatory at the front of his plane after a man of Middle Eastern descent locked himself in for a long period.
The marshal found the mirror had been removed and the man was attempting to break through the wall. The cockpit was on the other side....
But I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation.  He probably just wanted to have a word with the pilot.  After all, he's a minority, and everybody knows that all minorities are innocent of anything anybody ever considered accusing them of.
But not to worry, our crack team is on the case:
... [A] flight attendant reported that a passenger was using a telephoto lens to take sequential photos of the cockpit door.
The passenger was stopped, and the incident, which happened two months ago, was reported to officials. But when the attendant checked back last week on the outcome, she was told her report had been lost.
Here I am reminded of one of the last scenes in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (paraphrased).
Indy:  You have no idea what you're dealing with.
Fat Cat Bureaucrat:  We have top men working on it.
Indy:  (leans forward, deliberately) Who?
Fat Cat Bureaucrat:  Top.  Men.

The movie ends with the Ark being socked away in a huge warehouse...almost as forgotten as that report.  How many more have been forgotten?  No way am I getting on a plane, particularly for a transatlantic flight.


Is Kerry Toast? 

Den Beste thinks so:
I don't know exactly when the Republican campaign will finally get serious. It doesn't seem likely they'll wait until October, so my best guess is it will be in September some time.
And I am pretty confident that when they do really get serious, the consequences for the Kerry campaign will be catastrophic. After the November election, a lot of people are going to wonder why it was that anyone ever thought that Kerry had a substantial chance of winning.
This was my position awhile ago.  I've since moderated my enthusiasm, which is probably a good thing since cockiness never helped anybody.  Den Beste goes into a lot of detail, laying out in some detail exactly how he thinks things will play out, and lists some of the things that could gum up the works.
For my part, the only thing I'm sure of is that we still have 3 1/2 months to go before the election and I've already psyched myself out of the game.  I most definitely do not have the stones for presidential politics.  But I'm really, really loving the ride this time around.  It's the first election cycle where I've been fully engaged through the whole thing, and I've learned a lot already.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Euro/French Sportsmanship 

Here it is:
Tour de France director Jean-Marie Leblanc has admitted he had seen fans spit at five-times champion Lance Armstrong during the 15.5-km time trial to L’Alpe d’Huez.
Leblanc also said the swarming crowds on the twisting climb on Wednesday had frightened him as riders, including Armstrong, were forced to weave through excited fans who jumped out on to the road.
“I was scared too and I felt relieved when we reached the section with barriers,” Leblanc told Reuters after stage winner Armstrong described the stage as a “bad idea” and hit out at some German fans.
Bad stuff.  Still, before now I would have guessed that Armstrong's life would have been in danger if the fans had been able to get at him, so I suppose it turned out much better than it might have.
American fans probably aren't much different.  Football and baseball fans especially would pull that kind of crap.  The only reason we don't have regular "international incidents" is that our baseball and football teams don't play theirs.

I just don't want to hear any bleating from Europe the next time this sort of thing happens over here, like we sometimes do when people trash the streets after their team wins (or loses) a championship.  Just look at the devastation, injuries, etc. after the average Euro soccer game.

Humans are weird creatures.


Terror in the Skies: The Sequel 

Here's more info on that terrorist dry-run that some insist was completely innocent.  The guy gives pretty good arguments both pro and con for them being terrorists, but the con mostly wins, and at the end there's a juicy little tidbit:
Many people have raised the possibility that the band was Kulna Sawa. A representative passes along the following message (also sent to Power Line):
I am Manager of the Kulna Sawa/Together Concert for Peace Tour which will take place in November. The group is currently in Syria and is not in any way involved with the recent incident referred to on your web site. The Concert for Peace Tour is designed specificially to counter this kind of misunderstanding which is so prevalent today in the United States.
Mel LehmanConcert for Peace TourNew York CityML9612921@aol.com

Well, that clears things up. Sort of. Not.
  Those Syrians aren't looking like the innocents many tried to paint them as, at least not to me.  They certainly weren't Kulna Sawa, one of the only legitimate music groups they COULD be.  But then I'm a right-wing fascist, so what do I know?



And they accuse BUSH of tampering with the constitution.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Must Be a Democratic Judge 

...because he's trying hard to get Republicans killed:
NYPD cops blasted a federal judge's ruling aimed at stopping them from searching demonstrators' bags outside the Republican National Convention, saying the decision gives "an open door to terrorists."
Manhattan Federal Judge Robert Sweet's decision - made public yesterday - prohibits blanket searches of bulky bags and backpacks in the absence of a "specific threat."
And this after specific threats galore.  I didn't realize it was unconstitutional for the police to protect law-abiding citizens.  Next thing you know, we'll be mandated by the constitution (under the Democratic interpretation) to put a pistol to our temple and pull the trigger.


There is No God But Allah 

...and he is one funny bastard.


Terror in the Skies Again? 

Yesterday I posted about an article that had been bouncing around for a week or more.  Nobody had shot it down yet, so I figured it was legit.  Turns out not only was it legit, but it may have been a catalyst for a movement to finally wake the TSA and other idiots up to the serious problems we have with airline safety.  I blamed it yesterday, and a lot of other times, on the politically correct/suicidal culture we seem to be developing in this country.
Now there's a follow-up article by the same woman that tells of her recent adventure after that column was written, talking to the media, airline people, and others.  The things she learned have confirmed my opinion that you won't get me on an airline until this stuff is straightened out, and until they start frisking every single Middle Eastern male between 20 and 40 and stop wasting their resources stripping down Swedish grannies.  Political correctness really will get us killed:
This brings us to the heart of the matter -- political correctness.  Political correctness has become a major road block for airline safety.  From what I've now learned from the many emails and phone calls that I have had with airline industry personnel, it is political correctness that will eventually cause us to stand there wondering, "How did we let 9/11 happen again?"
During a follow-up phone conversation, one flight attendant told me that it is her airline's policy not to refer to people as "Middle Eastern men."  In addition, many emails have come in calling me a racist for referring to 14 men with Syrian passports as Middle Eastern men.  For the record, the Middle East is a geographical region called just that: The Middle East.  If you refer to people who come from countries in this region (including Syria, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq) as "Middle Easterners," you are being geographically correct.  We call people Americans and Canadians and English and French.  I call my relatives who live in Norway Norwegians. So really, what is the hang up?
The fact that I quoted Ann Coulter seems to have many people up in arms.  I want to be clear -- there is no political agenda here.  I quoted Ann Coulter for the information she had, not for who she is.  Read the quote again and pretend Joe or Jane Doe wrote it.  She states the facts. The facts she states are that 10 days after 9/11, Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta sternly reminded airlines that it was illegal to discriminate against passengers based on their race, color, national or ethnic origin or religion.   

The Ann Coulter thing also bothers me.  Who the hell cares where info came from if it's good info?  Attacking someone who quotes her is a logical fallacy of the first order and won't convince anybody but likeminded Leftists; meanwhile, dry runs are being carried out regularly in the sky above us.  Good thing the Left is protecting us from Ann Coulter.


Monday, July 19, 2004

Shut Up And Sing 

My faith in the common sense of the American people has been renewed.


The Price of Political Correctness 

...is going to include a few downed airliners every once in awhile, I guess.  I suppose I'm just a racist, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing conservative, but I'd really rather not allow people to break the rules, scare the life out of other people and (at best) be a general nuisance just because their skin is brown and they come from a terrorist haven like Syria.
If 99% of the terrorists are purple, I advocate a policy in which the general rule is that purple people are given closer scrutiny on average.  Brown is no different, nor is white.  It allows us to stretch our resources to maximum effectiveness.


Nicholas Kristof: Christians = Jihadists 

Robert Spencer reports:
A young man from Vanderbilt University asked me what I thought of this ludicrous New York Times op-ed by Nicholas Kristof, in which he compares the popular Left Behind series to the murderous statements and actions of jihadists.
If the latest in the "Left Behind" series of evangelical thrillers is to be believed, Jesus will return to Earth, gather non-Christians to his left and toss them into everlasting fire:
"Jesus merely raised one hand a few inches and a yawning chasm opened in the earth, stretching far and wide enough to swallow all of them. They tumbled in, howling and screeching, but their wailing was soon quashed and all was silent when the earth closed itself again."
These are the best-selling novels for adults in the United States, and they have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. The latest is "Glorious Appearing," which has Jesus returning to Earth to wipe all non-Christians from the planet. It's disconcerting to find ethnic cleansing celebrated as the height of piety.
If a Muslim were to write an Islamic version of "Glorious Appearing" and publish it in Saudi Arabia, jubilantly describing a massacre of millions of non-Muslims by God, we would have a fit. We have quite properly linked the fundamentalist religious tracts of Islam with the intolerance they nurture, and it's time to remove the motes from our own eyes....
As my Times colleague David Kirkpatrick noted in an article, this portrayal of a bloody Second Coming reflects a shift in American portrayals of Jesus, from a gentle Mister Rogers figure to a martial messiah presiding over a sea of blood. Militant Christianity rises to confront Militant Islam.
This matters in the real world, in the same way that fundamentalist Islamic tracts in Saudi Arabia do. Each form of fundamentalism creates a stark moral division between decent, pious types like oneself — and infidels headed for hell.
No, I don't think the readers of "Glorious Appearing" will ram planes into buildings. But we did imprison thousands of Muslims here and abroad after 9/11, and ordinary Americans joined in the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in part because of a lack of empathy for the prisoners. It's harder to feel empathy for such people if we regard them as infidels and expect Jesus to dissolve their tongues and eyes any day now.

I am not a fundamentalist and do not believe in the theology that the "Left Behind" series expresses, but Kristof has (as usual) missed a fundamental distinction: a depiction of Jesus killing people at the Last Judgment, no matter how glorious a reader may find it, is not even remotely equivalent to an explicit and repeated call for believers to wage war against unbelievers. Calls like that go out from mosques worldwide with numbing regularity. One would be hard pressed to find a church making the same kind of call on the other side. No one who reads "Left Behind" is going to kill you because of it. He might be waiting for Jesus to do it, but that is not a call to action.
Indeeeeeeeed.  Sometimes Right-leaning thinkers and columnists step over the line and say dumb things.  Anne Coulter leaps to mind.  But I'd be really, REALLY embarassed if someone professing to be anywhere near me on the political spectrum said anything as dumb as what the fine Mr. Kristof foisted on us in this excrement-laden screed.
I am a Christian and I disagree with both the fundamentalist Christians that take too literal a view of events in the Bible AND with the fundamentalist secularists that insist we can't wish each other a Merry Christmas without prior written permission.  I also disagree with fundamentalists like Kristof who look for any reason, however frivolous and ridiculous, to denigrate Christians.  When Christians start preaching in their churches each Sunday for their congregation to go out and kill Jews, like many Muslim imams do during their Friday worship, then I will have a different view.


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Oops: One More Story Before Hiatus 

This one was just too good not to blog, given that it seems to have happened about 5 miles from where I'm sitting typing this:
Federal sources told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the man was arrested last Wednesday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Sources in the Twin Cities and in Washington D.C. said the man arrived on a flight and was taken into federal custody. Along the way, customs agents found disturbing items in his possession.

The U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that Ali Mohamed Almosaleh is in federal custody in the Twin Cities. He was being detained on an immigration law violation, but federal sources confirmed there is much more than that to this investigation.

Sources confirm Almosaleh was carrying a suicide when he was arrested. They say that note indicated a specific time and date for carrying out some sort of public suicide. He was also carrying CDs and DVDs, which federal sources say contained anti-American material. A source also confirms Almosaleh had something with him indicating a connection with at least one known terrorist.

"One of the first things that comes to mind is is he actually going to do something that's the first concern," said terrorism expert Bill Michael. "Second, if law enforcement believes he is, and now rightly so they take an overly safe approach and they try and determine what activity he might actually be planning to engage in."

Almosaleh arrived on a KLM flight last week. A source confirmed he began his travels in Syria and stopped in Amsterdam before continuing to the Twin Cities.

A federal source would not say where Almosaleh's final destination was, but that source did indicate it appears Almosaleh had plans to travel beyond the Twin Cities.

One federal official in Washington noted, this is a "very sensitive" investigation.

Moussaoui was arrested here too. I must say that these Islamicist freakazoidal maniacs have much more of a jones for Minneapolis than I'm comfortable with.

And NOW, I leave you for the weekend.



I've got to spend the rest of the day concentrating on work...after which, yes, I'm off to the lake again for a long weekend. I'm hosting my annual college friends' reunion again this year, and I'm looking forward to a long weekend of whist, good food, laughter, campfires, long walks and renewing wonderful friendships. Probably less fishing than normal. Dang.

I should be spewing posting again Monday.


Dirty Muslim Pigs 

Is that headline inflammatory? Awwwww. Well so is rioting in support of a peeping Tom (thanks to LGF):
The first explosion of violence between Christians and Muslims in the area for years began when a Muslim man sneaked a camera into a changing room and snapped several pictures of a woman dressing, residents said.

The man, from a nearby Muslim town, raced to a taxi with the shop-owner in pursuit. But he was forced to flee to a mosque when dozens of Beit Sahour residents arrived and began smashing the taxi, which they later set on fire.

By then, Christians and Muslims involved in the dispute had called in reinforcements, witnesses said.

The Muslims demanded police free the man, who was badly beaten during the melee, residents said. But the suspect was arrested and taken to a local jail.

"Then the clashes really started," said Nahle. "They were fighting with sticks and stones, and extra police had to come from Ramallah and Bethlehem to stop it," he said.

Police tried to quell the fighting by firing volleys in the air with automatic rifles, but violence only died down when the Bethlehem district governor imposed a curfew on the predominantly Christian town.

Two people were taken to hospital with moderate injuries and scores more suffered cuts and bruises, medics said.

But hey, what's the big deal? I mean, she was just kufr anyway, right?

Look, I'm not that angry about the guy himself. He's a pig and should be shot, but there's a lot of those everywhere, including here. What gets me is the Muslim reaction to every single incident like this. Because no matter what a Muslim does, no matter how vile or disgusting, they automatically take his side and want him freed. They are so bigoted and stupid that they can't understand that what the guy did was a crime, even if the victim was a Christian.

Dirty Muslim pigs.


The Good Side of the Patriot Act 

You hear a lot about how the Patriot Act "tramples on the constitution" and "shreds our rights". I have yet to have a right shredded to my knowledge (that wasn't shredded before the Patriot Act was passed), and the constitution looks fine to me. You hear a whole bunch from fruity librarians about how they don't want to release records of patrons to Homeland Security. What they don't tell you is the number of times H.S. has requested such records under the Patriot Act: a big fat zero.

Sure, there are isolated cases of problems, but on the whole I'd say that what we've experienced over the last couple of years is a fair price to pay for zero terrorist attacks in our country. Think of it: not even a single bomb in a shopping mall or restaurant.

And yet: you'll never, ever, EVER read about it in the New York Times or Washington Post, and you sure as HELL won't ever see it on CNN, but a less biased paper informs us the Patriot Act has helped law enforcement...a lot (via Jihad Watch):
The USA Patriot Act has helped federal, state and local terrorism investigators arrest 310 persons since the September 11 attacks, 179 of whom have been convicted, and has proved to be "al Qaeda's worst nightmare," the Justice Department said yesterday in a report.

Attorney General John Ashcroft, attempting to dissuade Congress from weakening the act, key provisions of which will expire next year, delivered the 29-page document to the House Judiciary Committee, saying it gave authorities access to new legal tools and technology to "hunt down al Qaeda, destroy their safe haven and save American lives."

Lots of people, including several people I like and respect, have demonized John Ashcroft and the Patriot Act so thoroughly that reasonable conversation about them is virtually impossible. I still don't see where John Ashcroft has done anything wrong. Clue: he's the attorney general. He's SUPPOSED to be an asshole. This particular asshole just happens to be a conservative one, and I think therein lies the problem.

Regardless, no conversation about the merits of the Patriot Act (or lack thereof) can be considered legitimate unless you view the positive aspects along with the negative. Now my mind is still open on this one. Somebody prove to me where the Patriot Act is a horrible tool of fascists and I just may surprise you and change my mind. Until then, I LIKE it, I think it's a useful and necessary tool and I'll support John Ashcroft until I see him do something I don't like.


More on the French 

Commenter Kenny disagreed a few posts ago with my assessment of France and the source of Franco-American tension. He makes valid points, although on the whole my mind remains unchanged, having observed way too many instances of French perfidy toward my country over the last few years (to say nothing of the last 60 years) to be easily swayed. Charles Krauthammer encapsulates a lot of what I mean:
Before Sept. 11, France's Gaullist anti-Americanism as a form of ostentatious self-aggrandizement was an irritant. With a war on — three, in fact: Afghanistan, Iraq and the larger war on terrorism — France's willful obstructionism becomes dangerous and deadly.

That obstructionism was on amazing display at the recent NATO summit in Istanbul. The supremely courageous President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, flies there to beg for our troops to protect his country in the run-up to September elections. Two female election workers had already been murdered and some 16 men had been shot to death by insurgents for registering to vote.

NATO responds with an offer of a small number of troops to be sent around September. Karzai pleads for a more immediate deployment. Britain and the U.S. request deployment of NATO's new rapid-reaction force created precisely for such contingencies. France's President Jacques Chirac vetoes it, saying the force should not be used "in any old way."

Any old way? As if the NATO troops were off to visit the Kabul Disneyland. Afghanistan is the good war, remember. The war of undeniable necessity. The war everyone supported. It is hard to imagine a more important mission for NATO, or for the civilized world for that matter, than assuring free elections in Afghanistan, crucible for the worst terrorist attack in history. Yet with a flick of a hand, Chirac dismisses Karzai — and, of course, the U.S.

Read the whole thing, it's worth it.

It is, of course, Chiraq's (and France's) right to dismiss the US with a flick of the hand. They should just remember that each of the many times they have done that, they were pissing all over us, and sooner or later even the Left in this country is going to have to admit that we shouldn't be wasting our time and effort on "friendship" with people like that.


Turkeygate Unspun 

Wow, looks like the house is really coming down around the Left's ears. Now even the "scandals" that aren't scandals are proving false:
An article last Sunday about surprises in politics referred incorrectly to the turkey carried by President Bush during his unannounced visit to American troops in Baghdad over Thanksgiving. It was real, not fake.

What's next?



The Michael Moore Phenomenon 

It's been bugging me. I had to endure yet another "Fahrenheit 911" ad during the news this morning--ON FOX NEWS!--and I don't get it. Moore is so transparently lying about everything in sight, and a large minority of the electorate has been drinking his koolaid like there's no tomorrow. The pundits seem stuck in a rut where they're analyzing everything about Michael Moore, and the man is repulsive. It's like picking a scab or squeezing a pimple just to see the stuff come out. Ick.

I know the American people aren't this stupid. So what, then, explains their eagerness to pay their hard-earned dollars to see a movie or read a book they know is riddled with lies and distortions?

I hadn't been able to come up with a reasonable answer to that question until this morning...but once I happened on the answer while on the drive to work, it's as plain as the nose on your face. I can't believe I didn't see it before. A ridiculously-dressed grown man full of bombast and full of himself screams to a huge audience how he's going up against a powerful opponent, and he's going to win. He spends a lot of time talking, but when he takes action, you can see that it's fake through and through--you even LOVE him for that fakeness...and yet many people are willing to put out money to watch the spectacle.

That's right. Michael Moore is the Hulk Hogan of the political world. And he's cleaning up. I wish I'd thought of it before he did. I wonder what his signature move is?

Just for the record, Macho Man Randy Savage was my all-time favorite. Ooh, yeah!


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Appetite For Destruction 

...is the best rock album of all time, bar none. Kiss? Wimps. Aerosmith? Losers. Alice Cooper? Iron Maiden? Judas Priest? A pack of ninnies.

Guns -n- Roses' debut album was just raw musical violence. It's vile, it's profane, and it's the most vicious, hard-driving record I've ever had the pleasure of jamming to so severely that I almost drove off the road.

I've had that album stuck in my head since I pulled out that quote the other day from "It's So Easy". Today I listened to part of the album on my way home from work. It really, really wears well over time.

Ah, for the chance to visit the 80s again and listen to things like that with virgin ears.


Elections Won't Be Postponed 

The Left half of the blogosphere has been breathless today with their new item to repeat ad nauseum regardless of its truth. To wit: Bu$Hitler is going to postpone, or even cancel, elections so he can hang on to power indefinitely and become dictator-for-life. Only problem is, it's not true:
"There does not appear to be a clear process in place to suspend or reschedule voting during an election if there is a major terrorist attack," DeForest B. Soaries, chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, wrote in a letter Monday to Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the one-page letter.

Rice said the Bush administration, while concerned about the impact of terrorism, is not thinking of postponing the elections.

"We've had elections in this country when we were at war, even when we were in civil war. And we should have the elections on time. That's the view of the president, that's the view of the administration," Rice told CNN on Monday.

One election commission official voices concern about the possibility of terrorism affecting our elections, and everybody nearly pisses themselves.

Hair trigger, much?


Hot Off the Press 

And in my inbox from the Bush campaign, unedited:
Mary Beth Cahill
Campaign Manager
John Kerry for President
P.O. Box 34640
Washington, DC 20043

Dear Ms. Cahill:

On Thursday your campaign hosted a fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall at which Sen. Kerry said, "Every performer tonight in their own way either verbally through their music through their lyrics have conveyed to you the heart and soul of our country."

I called on your campaign to release the performance that Sen. Kerry said represented the "heart and soul" of America so that all Americans could see for themselves what John Kerry thinks represents the "heart and soul" of our country.

Do most Americans in their hearts, think that calling the President a "thug" and a "killer" represents the "heart and soul" of our nation? We don't think so, but we think voters should decide for themselves by watching the celebrities John Kerry said captured the "heart and soul" of America.

Your Senior Advisor Tad Devine said that you believed that releasing musical performances "might violate copyrights and licensing agreements for the entertainers who performed and allow the Bush campaign to use the tape in commercials against Kerry and Edwards"

I have been assured that "fair use" rules of copyright would allow you to release the tapes of these musical performances to the news media under 2 U.S.C. 107. To allay the other concern you relayed to the news media, Bush-Cheney '04 pledges to refrain from using audio, video or transcripts of the event for any television, cable, satellite or radio advertising. We look forward to seeing this spirited display.


Ken Mehlman
Campaign Manager

Yes. I'd really like to see what Kerry thinks my heart and soul look like.


New Winner 

I like to check my referrer logs. It's fun to see what people are using for search engines, who's visiting, and, in many cases, the search that brought them to the Frozen Toaster.

I've been looking for a new favorite search in my referrer logs, since I can't remember my previous favorite anyway and I can't be arsed to look back for posts, as it's been awhile. So tonight somebody visits with the following search terms:


I'm pretty offended that this brought them here, of course. But I am number 57 in the list for the comcast search engine...whoever it was really, really wanted to know whether their dog was going to die from eating rabbit turds, I guess.


Moonbat Alert: Iran 

I have no words for this other than to say that we have not yet invaded all the countries that need invading.


Activist Judge Takes Law In Own Hands 

A victory for the Left today as yet another activist judge steps in after the Left fails to achieve its goal the democratic way:
Minnesota's conceal and carry gun law was declared unconstitutional today by a Ramsey County District judge.

Ruling in a lawsuit brought by several churches, Judge John Finley wrote in his decision that it was unconstitutional for the 2002 Legislature to bundle the conceal and carry gun language with a "totally unrelated bill relating to the Department of Natural Resources."

He said the state Constitution prohibits laws from embracing more than one subject.

A freakin' technicality. They'll always get you on something. Fortunately, the attorney general will appeal:
Minnesota Attorney General Michael Hatch said he will appeal Finley's ruling. Hatch said he was still researching the opinion, but believes that conceal and carry permits obtained since the law was passed are still valid.

He said the whole issue of laws embracing more than one subject has been in debate for the past 10 years.

Hatch also said he is not aware of any ill effects from the gun law.

Get that? No ill effects from the law. Other laws have passed as riders to unrelated bills. Until recently, that was A-OK with the libs in the senate, because the whole damn state government was liberal, including the "Republicans". But now, with a relatively conservative house and governor, a judge must suddenly find his conscience.

The fun and surprising part about this? I never in a million years would have figured Mike Hatch to be on my side in this fight. He's a flaming Democrat. And yet he sounds oddly neutral on this. Probably because he's at least an honest flaming Democrat and trusts his eyes and ears, which are telling him that the disaster predicted by the liberal elite here didn't happen. In fact, there's no sign of any crime wave in sight, well over a year after the concealed-carry law passed. We're not in the "wild west" as was predicted, there's no rise in gun crime, and it's worked out well.

Good luck, Mr. Hatch. Please get this thing turned around. In the meantime, any members of the state legislature reading, please take it immediately back to a vote on its own merits. You've GOT to have enough of a non-moonbat vote after a year's experience with no disaster to get it passed.


Monday, July 12, 2004

Can't Stop Tonight 

The blogosphere is on fire. Here's something that made me laugh so hard I think I broke my pancreas. No word yet whether it's really that funny or I'm just tired. Comments to clarify would be welcome. I promise I won't crush your dissent.


I Lied. One More Post. 

This is one of the funnier things I've ever seen. I'm just not sure why. (Thanks to Infinite Monkeys)

Okay. THAT concludes the day's posting.


Time Out 

Okay, the election hasn't even really started to heat up, and for those of us who have been pressing one side or the other it's about the middle of the election cycle, maybe a little later than that for those of us who've been following the festivities since about this time last year. Heh.

Anyway, it's been a nasty one and will get nastier still. But here we have a nonpartisan slam against...well...just about everybody. Bush, Kerry, Rumsfeld, Dean, and everybody in between and outside of them. You'll want to have sound (not really work-safe) and you'll want to have a sense of humor.

Ben, listen up, because there's even something in there that I think they put in especially for you. I'm the right-wing nutjob they're talking about.

Heh. Heh heh. Hehehehahahahahaaahhhahaahaaaaaaaaaa....


This concludes the day's posting.


Philippines To Jihadis: Please Rape Us 

I would like to take this opportunity to predict the Jihadis' attitude toward the Philippines from now on by quoting those masters of foreign policy, Guns -n- Roses in their appropriately-named song "It's So Easy":
You get nothin' for nothin' if that's what you do
Turn around bitch I've got a use for you
Besides, you ain't got nothin' better to do
And I'm bored.

The Philippines will never be a nation to be proud of so long as they let their foreign policy be determined by the fate of a single man. Never. And I say that as a guy with two Filipino aunts.


The Beam in the French Eye 

The French love to bash America and Americans. They're not very good at it, most of their material being made up from whole cloth, but they seem to enjoy it and I typically don't begrudge them their fun. Okay, I do, but so what. Anyway, this must cross some sort of line even for Francophiles:
A YOUNG woman and her baby have been attacked in a suburban train near Paris by unidentified men who drew swastikas on the mother's stomach.

Police today said it was an anti-Semitic assault.

The six attackers who were armed with knives clipped the 23-year-old woman's hair, and cut her tee-shirt and trousers before drawing three swastikas on her body.

The men of North African origin also overturned the pram holding her baby, aged 13 months.

They then took the mother's backpack, which contained her identity papers, a bank card and cash.

Police said the attackers erroneously assumed the woman was Jewish because she was living in Paris' posh 16th district.

Bet you not many people hear about THAT one. I'm just shocked that it came from AFP, which tries hard not to criticize France.

But then, what do you expect from a country that not only attempted to block the US from taking down Saddam, but is also protecting another murderous regime with all their might as I write this? Their motive? Cash. It's all about oooiiiiillllllll!


UPDATE: Ooh, holy crap, I almost forgot the biggest reason why this makes the French pricks...luckily here's the Belmont Club to help remind me:
The incident is also reported in the New York Times with one omission. Here's the omission.

About 20 people saw what happened, but none came to the aid of the victim, the police said, adding that only two passengers approached afterward.

The interesting thing was that the woman was only thought to be Jewish -- and that no one came to her assistance. How to judge the bystanders? When I was thirteen, I came on a man being stabbed on dark bridge walkway by a mugger and, being too scared to do anything else, started pelting the assailant with the bottles and trash lying around in an effort to drive him away. The knifeman came after me but a thirteen year old can show a clean pair of heels and I dropped back out of range and pelted him again. He went off and I ran for the cops. No cell phones then. Years later I realized how dead I would have been if the mugger had a gun. I was stupid as only a kid could be.

Of course, I should be careful of the beam in my OWN country's eye after reading THAT. After all, the NYT is an American paper, and with an omission like that, they're basically complicit in covering up the rightful indictement of the antisemitic and cowardly French society.

Oh, and Wretchard...that wasn't stupid at all. It was brilliant, and what I consider to be a very courageous act. I hope I'd have the same kind of courage at 36 as you had at 13, but I don't know that I would. Still, I wouldn't leave a woman and her baby defenseless and alone against a group of thugs under ANY circumstances. I'd never be able to look in a mirror again.

UPDATE AGAIN: It just occurred to me that of all the people on that bus, a single person carrying a gun could have rectified the situation in record time. So if this happened in Texas, or Minnesota, or any of the other states that have concealed-carry laws, there would at least be a fighting chance that someone could save the day single-handedly. But I still believe an entire busload of riders should still be able to intimidate a few knife-weilding thugs out of doing what they did. Or putting them in the hospital if they didn't leave off.

UPDATE YET AGAIN: There seems to be some doubt on the part of French officials about her story. Maybe she really is a jew, and they found out and decided that then she deserved it.

FINAL UPDATE: The bitch lied. She's clearly French. Looks like I owe the broader French society an apology, though, for my overzealous condemnation of them and their children out to 7 generations. And they'll get it, too, just as soon as they apologize to me for the diplomatic crap my country has had to put up with because of them, for the ongoing epidemic of antisemitism there, for the desecration of my countrymen's graves (you know, the ones who gave their lives to free France), and the for 1,329,974 other reasons I've found to hate their guts. Bite me, France.


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