Saturday, March 04, 2006

Mommie Dearest

That's what Harvard looks like post Larry Summers. It's the apology fetish that really does it. No matter how gross or innocent your deeds, an apology is required. If your deed was gross, like Bill Clinton's taking advantage of a confused young woman who was his intern, an apology gives total absolution. Unless you're a Republican, then it requires a special prosecutor, and 5 years of misery, with loss of reputation and employment. If you're a Democrat, it's the special prosecutor who gets the misery, loss of reputation and the rest.

Bush is especially contemptible to the press because he refuses to apologize for what he didn't do intentionally. So he was wrong, with the rest of the free world, about WMD in Iraq. (I don't concede that, since it now appears that Russia helped Iraq move its NCBs into Syria, another Russian client.) Why does that call for an apology? Because an apology constitutes an admission of wrongdoing, whether intentional or negligent.

Under old rules you could apologize for an accident, but not today, not anymore. Larry Summers didn't do anything wrong. Why should he apologize? It's the Humanities faculty who have damaged the University. Don't expect any of them to apologize very soon. They've stormed the Bastille and used the quillotine. They're full of themselves.

The Oscars

I don't know anything about the movie Crash except that I've seen several NFL players on the NFL Network cite it as their favorite film. Why would that be?

It's official.

Jimmy Carter has lost his mind.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Oh, well that's different! Never mind.

Human Events jumped on a claim that Michael Chertoff is on the skids. But the same link says that "a senior administration official" [Say, that would be a good name for a blog!] refuted the claim.

The AP's big "smoking gun" story that turns out not to be what it claimed has resulted in a "Never mind," as well.

It's heartening to know that my memory wasn't as bad about Katrina as it usually is about everything else. Once again, the problem wasn't with FEMA or anybody else as much as it was built in to locating a major city in a sump, dependent on floodwalls that weren't designed for this disaster to keep its own effluent out of the city.

The Twilight of American Power?

Gerard Baker of the Times of London, believes that America is heading into another isolationist era. If this is true, which it may be, we can blame our media, who have with few exceptions done all they could to portray Iraq as a second Vietnam, Bush as an incompetent twit, and the efforts of those we hire to protect us as Orwell's 1984 incarnate. Democracy depends on having an informed electorate. That makes the news media a crucial link in the chain. When it loses diversity, the voters are no longer given a breadth of facts and arguments to choose from them. Right now, the constant din is coming from the angry left and the hysterical right, both of whom seem to be willing to have back into a hole and pull it in over us.

Why the Bush derangement syndrom matters

Daniel Henninger explains:
This persistent belief that George Bush committed a major moral crime, which was refuted by the Robb-Silberman Commission, had consequences. It has led many people in Washington's standing institutions--Congress, the press, the intelligence and foreign-policy bureaucracies--to think they've been released from operating inside the normal boundaries that allow political Washington to function, that allow partisans to do business, whether on foreign policy, Social Security or homeland security.

Over the Bush years that code has been displaced by a new ethos that to resist policies that flowed from such a "lie," anything goes--such as leaks about the most sensitive national security programs or published "dissents" by recently retired CIA officials like Paul Pillar. Compare this ethos to that of the U.S. intelligence community that ran the Venona program, producing invaluable signals intelligence on Soviet espionage activities from 1943 onward without any participant revealing its existence. No such achievement is imaginable now.

Instead every issue that emerges becomes an illegitimate extension of the original "lie"--the NSA wiretaps, the Guantanamo detentions, Abu Ghraib, terrorist interrogation techniques, the Plame affair. This is a dangerous game. Raised to this level, policy becomes a super-heated moral Armageddon that makes mere politics impossible to manage. One then might ask: Do you want this government to fail? To which a tragicomic response is appropriate: Are you insane?
And the press is as responsible for this as the politicians, who now seem to be the dog being wagged by the tail. Why would a responsible newspaper decide that it is ok to publish the existence of a top secret program to disrupt terrorist planning? Because Bush lied? Because he wasn't really elected? Because it violates someone's privacy?
Because the leaker and the paper's editors are insane?

At times, one imagines that a second 9/11 would be cheered on the left.

This could be big

Corruption at the CIA wouldn't surprise us, but it needs to be covered fairly without trying to pin blame on one party or another. Don't count on that happening.

What are religions for?

To censor what their followers can know? That may be what people take from the story of Adam and Eve, who disobeyed the commandment not to eat of the tree which would give them knowledge of good and evil, and brought hardship and death into the world.

That's not how Mormons view it, though. We believe that we lived with God before this life, that we grew there in knowledge and ability until, in order to progress further, we had to leave his presence. But if it was to happen, it would have to be through life in a fallen world. We believe that without the decision to disobey one commandment they would have disobeyed the greater one, to multiply and replenish the earth. They could not have had children without a change in their bodies that made them mortal and gave them physical desire. So, "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy." Joy comes from knowing the sweet from the bitter, failure and success, fear and faith.

Most religions view Adam and Eve as traitors and failures. We honor them as great and honorable parents who made mortality possible along with even greater growth and progress. So we view knowledge as essential to growth and happiness. We disapprove of sin, because it weakens us and drives away the spirit of God, and we believe that our society would be better if we chose to deny ourselves of some things. But to deny freedom and knowledge of evil as well as good doesn't make any sense. That's why trying to block criticism or turning us into automatons who lack understanding or freedom to choose makes no sense and is contrary to the purpose of our lives. A religion that tries to prohibit criticism of itself, discussion and reason is serving itself and not God. If it cannot deal with others head on with confidence and reason, it will become apostate.

Will the West stand up?

From Denmark:
A group of Moslem males have tried to get at the daughter of one of the 12 cartoonists who drew the cartoons of Muhammed at her school. The political spokesman of the Liberals, Jens Rohde, revealed this during an interview with TV-Avisen while explaining his and the Prime Minister’s attack on the business community in Denmark, charging that they have put profits over Freedom of Speech.
We thought the clash of civilizations was over when the Ottoman empire fell apart. It was not. Western civilization must get back to its roots and recognize that modern pacificism has weakened it. Riches are not strength. If you trade your freedom for trinkets and soft living, you will have to earn it back the hard way.

Will we finally realize and accept that we still must stand for something, or see ourselves fall prey to the Heart of Darkness?

Diversity at the Times

They mean that in racial terms, of course. Yet, even as the world has concluded over and over that race is a social construct, they fail to realize that what they need is to focus on quality and diversity of points-of-view.

Down with J-Schools!

While we're reviewing old news

How about the WMD story?
The tapes are extremely significant in that they prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that as of the year 2000, Saddam Hussein had a secret plasma program to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons, or "special bombs" as he calls them. The Duelfer Report previously concluded that this type of enrichment program ended in the 1980s, but here we have Saddam and his top advisors discussing using a power plant in the area of Basra for the program. The scientists involved in the program are not known to the UN, leaving Western intelligence clueless.

On the tapes, you hear Saddam discussing the assistance of Russia and Brazil in dealing with the United Nations. He laughs off inspections, as his son-in-law who later defects, Hussein Kamil, reports how as late as 1995 their chemical and biological programs were being hidden from the world. They also discuss keeping the ingredients for these weapons separate, so that should they be found, they will be looked at as innocent dual-use items. They were not destroyed in 1991 as the Duelfer Report concludes. There are even indications on the tapes that Iraq may have had a role in the 2001 anthrax attacks.
But hey, it's only tape recordings of Saddam's meetings. You call that proof?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Katrina Redux

One of the reasons I don't agree with Compassionate Conservatism is that it supports big government programs, which always waste money and don't work. I'm very disappointed by the appetite of Republicans in Congress for pork. Edwin Feulner contrasts the performance of government during hurricane Katrina with that of Walmart. Hint: Walmart wins.

This whole rehashing of Katrina is meeting with disgust from the clearer thinking people in the Blogosphere, but to people who get their news from talk-show comics it's just a reinforcement of the negativity toward Bush and the war. One of the big reasons for Reagan's success was his press operations. Bush doesn't seem to care what the press says or thinks. The Congressional Republicans don't seem to be aware that they're being watched.

In terms of sound leadership and management,

Mitt Romney is the best candidate for 2008, which is probably the biggest hurdle to his getting the nomination.

The political outlook - bad for Republicans

Jim Geraghty:
The interesting thing is the post-Tipping Point view on the Muslim world is alien to Bush; I suspect he would find it abhorrent. Unfortunately, that puts him out of step with a large chunk of the public — a vocal, angry chunk that is likely to have plenty of politicians courting it.

Courting these voters will mean supporting proposals that are supported by wide swaths of the American people, but are largely considered nonstarters in Washington circles: much tougher immigration restrictions, including patrolling the Mexican border; racial profiling of airline passengers instead of confiscating grandma’s tweezers; drastically reducing or eliminating entry visas to residents of Muslim or Arab countries; and taking a much tougher line with Saudi Arabia and coping with the consequences of that stance. Since 9/11, the Bush administration, and most leaders on Capitol Hill in both parties have dismissed those ideas as unrealistic, counterproductive, or not in accordance to American values.

Could the Democrats court this chunk? They’ve got to be sorely tempted, even though it would mean abandoning their kumbayah multicultural we’re-all-the-same-at-heart worldview.
They've already signaled that they are willing to drop their multiculturalism and civil liberties whining. How do you think the Patriot Act got extended? This is the first issue they've found that might have traction. Now all they have to do is keep the public from noticing their rank hypocrisy They've changed direction so fast there's a trail of stripped gears behind them.

I wish somebody, besides the Onion, would just have the nerve to tell the American people to quit expecting perfect outcomes. Everybody seems to be alarmed to find out that there are a lot of foreigners who own a lot of America. Who do they think is financing our national debt? It's not just our homegrown coupon clippers.

America is on a tightrope. To get through this, we're going to need strong nerves and resolve. If we can't be bothered to pay attention, we're going to see more people killed here at home. The Democrats will no doubt demand a return to protectionism and isolationism, reversals of tax cuts and more entitlements. Don't expect them to come down hard on illegal immigration, however. Not if they want Hispanic/Latino votes.

Making sense from the MSM line

Victor Davis Hanson asks some discomfiting questions for the media.

When I look back at all the crap I learned in high school

High School Geography teacher Jay Bennish demonstrates:
Teacher Jay Bennish: Who is probably the single most violent nation on planet Earth?!

Unidentified student interjects: We are.

Bennish: The United States of America!
There's more. The whole audio is on the internet.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Get a grip!

The furor over the Katrina story is both predictable and ridiculous. Did it makes any difference to anybody's views about the whole thing? If you said yes, you're a moron or have been in a sensory deprivation tank for the past six months.

Yet, the anti-Bush blogs are waving it around as if it were a dna test proving paternity. This is what is so annoying about these people, who seem to be mostly of the crowd. (That name just gets more ironic every day.) They're thick, and they're boring, and they seem unable to move on from anything since the 2000 election, as if some factoid uncovered by their fellows in the media will convince us all that the past 5 and a half years were just a misunderstanding.


The best blogging newspapers? Selected by journalism students. And why should we give a hoot? Even if they are anointed by Jay Rosen, who appreciates what is happening better than most journalists, I have to wonder what entitles them to advise bloggers on what makes a newspaper good at blogging.

I looked at the Chronicle's website, already being familiar with some of the others. One thing to like is no registration. Having lots of bloggers on staff is a good way to make reporters understand blogging. The editors' blogg with a headline "No feeding frenzy, Cheney story fair game for media," didn't impress me. This guy may not have been obnoxious about it, but did he not see those White House gaggles? His response was just wagon-circling. Some of the others were pretty good, but one gets the impression that they are pared down versions of their other work or a side bar to their "real" jobs.

Just because a journalist posts to a blog, doesn't make him a blogger, but I guess you have to start somewhere. The one I liked the best was MeMo by Kyrie O'Connor. The others might be more interesting if they made them into a group blog like the Corner.

I guess I'm being too judgmental here, but if so, it's due to experience with the MSM. Nobody anointed these people to instruct the rest of us. If he wants to rank newspapers doing blogging, why not poll bloggers rather than journalism students. Reporters need more humility, not less. Why not teach them that respect has to be earned from the readers/audience, not conferred by a diploma?

Why we fight.

Brit Hume led with the story that Saddam had an outburst in court today in which he asserted that 148 shiites he's charged with killing were accused of trying to assassinate him, but asking "Where is the crime?" He must be trying for a finding of incompetent to stand trial. Just call him "Due Process Saddam":
The prosecution has argued that the crackdown went far beyond the actual attackers, presenting documents that show entire families were arrested, tortured and held for years, including women and children as young as 3 months old.

The 148 people eventually sentenced to death in the case included at least 10 juveniles, one as young as 11, according to the documents. The death sentences came after what the prosecution called an "imaginary trial" before Saddam's Revolutionary Court.

But Saddam argued he was acting within the law. He told the court his co-defendants should be freed and that he alone should be tried since he was the president and they were following orders.

"If the chief figure makes thing easy for you by saying he was the one responsible, then why are you going after these people?" he said. "A head of state is here. Try him and let the others go their way."
What a stand-up guy!

Omar at Iraq the Model notes the evidence presented before the outburst:
The documents revealed some unbelievably terrifying facts about the Dujail massacre; can you imagine that when orders were given to execute the 148 "convicts" the prison authorities executed only 96 of them. Why?

Because the remaining 48 "convicts" had already passed away during "interrogation"!!
What kind of interrogation was that killed one third of the suspects?!

News from the Gyroscope

Spinning all the time. Maybe that's why MSM slants only one way.

Bush & Chertoff were warned about Katrina. Well, duh! The whole country was warned! But the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of Louisiana basically did nothing but expecting FEMA to handle everything. FEMA is NOT a first responder. It wasn't meant or designed that way. It's a coordinator, which means it depends on requests and information from the area affected, and tries to bring in help in 72 hours. Look. The basic problem is that they let hundreds of thousands of people live below sea level surrounded by flood walls that aren't up to the job in a hurricane zone. Nobody, not even the U.S. Government, can help that.

A fly in the ointment

It's generally a good thing that European intellectuals have announced their opposition to the "new totalitarianism", but Paul Belien notes that these are the same people who, by promoting secularism, "created the religious vacuum that is now being filled by Islam."
In our opinion, man is a religious being. Secularism destroyed the Christian roots of Europe and, in doing so, created the religious vacuum that is now being filled by Islam. The manifesto warns against “battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world.. . . We must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.”
History in the past century, however, has clearly indicated that those fighting for an “egalitarian” world were the most “liberticidal” of all. Freedom is the right to live “unegalitarianly.” This is why The Brussels Journal defends the right of individuals – though not of the state – to “discriminate” (which, by the way, contrary to what the manifesto implies, is not the same as “oppress”). Indeed, it is no coincidence that the manifesto avoids referring to “Socialism” (and even “Communism”) among the scourges of the past century and prefers to speak of “Nazism” and Stalinism” instead. Half the manifesto’s signatories are probably Socialists, which explains why the manifesto obfuscates the secular, Socialist roots of these scourges.
Good points.

I second that.

I would like to suggest our military visit the Yale campus, which is harboring a Taliban combatant, and they "capture" him before Yale decides to make him their senior class speaker or some similar bit of lunacy. They may want to explore similar treatment for the head of admissions. And I might also suggest that Yale alums who care about our troops, who continue to fight in Afghanistan, stop contributing to the endowment.
One wonders why they don't go recruit some serial murderers from the death rows around the country, give an honorary posthumous degree to Yassir Arafat, etc.

Cathy's World

Cathy Seipp is just terrific. What else can I say?

The Golden Holy

The bombing of Askariya mosque — the Golden Mosque — in Samarra, Iraq seems to have set off more dispair in the American press than in Iraq. Not even Max Boot is immune. It certainly ticked off a lot of Shiites. Everybody in the media, and a bunch in the blogsphere, here is running around screaming "Civil War!!! We're doomed!"

One thing I noticed about the pictures is that the building had a lot of concrete with re-bar in it. Doesn't that seem pretty modern to you? Like this mosque has been rebuilt before? That doesn't allay the insult to Shia Islam, but it does seem that this isn't the big failure of Bush's Iraq policy that people think. The fighting will continue awhile, but maybe that's not such a bad thing. It puts some heat on the Sunnis to deal with their own "insurgents" who would have a harder time operating if people started reporting them to the authorities. Any Iraqi who really cares about Iraq could go undercover and help shut these networks down.

Victor Davis Hanson and Ralph Peters are both trying to calm the hype, too.

Icarus falls

Howard Stern has been flying high, but CBS has now hung a few tons of lawyers on him. That'll slow you down and make you old before your time. It damages your insouciance. Your sarcasm and off-color humor become forced. Before you know it, you're just ranting.

Timely advice

Why can't HSA come up with some common sense measures like these?

I note that the Patriot Act was reauthorized yesterday. Apparently the Dems decided that being indignant over selling a port management company to Ay-rabs will infuriate more yokels than being indignant over allowing FBI agents to examine your library and book store records. Watch for National Security to be the big issue in this year's elections. Democrats will say that they're more trustworthy than a party that would sell ports to Ay-rabs. Republicans will be non-plussed and stammer.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Is that legal?

Isn't calling Islamists "the new totalitarianism" some kind of hate speech, like denying the Holocaust?!

Supreme Court smacks down calling protesters criminals, . . .

even if they are opposed to abortion.


Better them than us

Iran will fund the Hamas Regime in Palestine. I note that it's not called "foreign" aid when it comes from Iran instead of us.

A flicker of understanding

Ezra Klein pokes holes in one of the Greens' favorite ideas. Of course, to environmentalists, the poor are a big part of the problem. All those illegal aliens pouring through our borders are harming the environment. Real liberals, however, worry about eliminatig poverty and not just by starving the poor.

I find this efflorescence of rationality quite refreshing. Maybe there's hope for some of them yet. With a little more of the same, they may recognize that conservatives aren't the barbarians they assume, but have actually confronted these issues and realized that prosperity can't just be handed out by the government. That is like those pumps in New Orleans which had to be shut down when the operators realized that they were pumping the same water into the canals that were flooding the city through broken flood walls a block or two away. Getting bigger pumps doesn't solve the real problem.

The Incas had the right solution, they kept everybody working, building public works, canals, roads, bridges, temples, and so on. Until we understand that nexus, we'll just be pumping flood water into the broken canal.

Book Review

Charles C. Mann's 1491, New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus is one of the most fascinating and surprising books I've read in a long time. It's purpose is to update our knowledge of what Indian societies were like and how they affected the environment from what most of us learned in school. There's a massive difference, and it's extremely important, especially for South and Middle American societies.

I've gone from believing the Silent Spring crowd to skeptic to downright distrust in environmentalists over the years, mostly because they seem to be more interested in fundraising and opposing progress than really solving anything. Their reliance on religious rhetoric also made me suspicious as to whether this movement was based on reality or was just a pseudo-religion for those with no faith in more demanding ones. The whole thing has always smacked of elitism and exclusion of us common people. The wealthy can afford to build homes run by solar power and wind energy, but most of us have to work two or three jobs per couple just to buy any home at all. People like Robert Redford buy ski resorts and then lecture the rest of us about preserving nature. Their views on preserving wilderness in many cases seem calculated to allow them access through professional guides, while keeping out the hoi polloi who only have trucks or cars.

Over time, I've picked up morsels of information about the Indians (no more Native American than I am) and how they lived. One factoid I read somewhere was that the Precolumbian population of the Americas has been estimated to be about 90,000,000 and that it plummeted to less than 9,000,000 in the centuries following contact with Europeans, mostly due to diseases. I watched programs about the ingenuity of the Indians in growing crops in the Andes, using raised beds for crops ringed by canals filled with water which captured the warmth of the sun and protected the plants from freezing and extended the growing season. They nearly all knew about irrigation. The Mormons who settled Utah learned irrigation techniques from the Indians.

Some time ago, I read an article in Discover magazine making the stunning claim that America was not pristine when the white men first came here. The Indians in California, for example, lived on acorns which they ground up and soaked to remove the bitter tannin, making them edible. They regularly burned the lands they occupied to help the oaks thrive and keep out other less desirable species. Those Indians weren't the ignorant savages we were told about, and they didn't just sit around and wait for Nature to deliver its bounty.

Then I saw Charles C. Mann talking about his book on Book TV and I was hooked. The Indians, archeologists are discovering were far more numerous than we were told, having been devastated by European diseases which spread faster than the the Europeans could settle, and leaving the impression for those who came a century or two later that the land had always been empty and filled with game. They settled a land which had been terraformed by the previous inhabitants, and thought it just came that way straight from nature. The Indians burned their grasslands, cultivated fields, planted orchards and groves of nut trees, hunted various animals that were a threat to their own food supply. Most of both continents was occupied by stable farming tribes, who became nomads after their cities and villages were wiped out by disease in the 15th century.

Mann is no polemicist. He is merely reporting the research of many scholars who are investigating the evidence in historical records as well as uncovered by archeological digs. The book is astonishing, yet delightful. Everybody who cares about the history of the Western Hemisphere should read it.

Swimming upstream

Is Bill Sammon the new Bob Woodward? Most of the stories hitting the media the last few days have come from his book, Strategery.

He's had extraordinary access to the President and the White House. Being friendly certainly gets more openness than throwing spitballs. And conservatives who survive as news reporters, especially the White House press horde, have to be pretty good, and more objective than most of them. Of course, being close to 7 feet tall doesn't hurt either.

The times, they are a changin'

So are the Newsweeks, USN&WRs, TNRs, Nations and the rest. I don't think that Slate and Salon are good investments either. Where is it written that only those who work for liberal publication can have valid opinions?

Fox Hunting

The Fox News Channel arouses such hatred and denunciation from the MSM, it's a signal that it must be doing something right, besides just beating the rest in the ratings. So when it is gleefully reported that Fox executives have donated to Rick Santorum's reelection campaign, what are we to think? After all, they weren't trumpeting the disparate loyalty to the Democrats in their own ranks, just flatly denying that it indicated any bias whatsoever. Do they think we're brain damaged? (Answer: If you voted for Bush, yes!)

The MSM can't be wrong, however. They make too much money. They're celebrities! The seem to forget that Barbra Streisand and Ariana Huffington can claim the same thing.

Check out the photo.

The face of terrorism turns out to be sort of stooge-like.

Defining "chutzpah"

The old definition was a defendant, just convicted of murdering his parents, asking for leniency because he's an orphan. The NYTimes, having violated the law by publicizing the existence of warrantless NSA wiretaps, is now suing the Pentagon for more information about them.

Whose side are they on?

Germany, that is. They gave us military intelligence prior to the Iraq War, but they seem to be sorry and won't do it again.

The reports of Iraqi civil war have been greatly exaggerated.

Jack Kelly examines the reluctance of Iraqis and their leaders to follow the MSM's script, Bill Buckley notwithstanding.
"We have much more evidence of a strong national unity movement in Iraq," said Iraqi Web logger Haider Ajina of the weekend demonstrations. "This attack was supposed to plunge Iraq into sectarian mayhem and senseless massive killing. This did not happen."

These peaceful demonstrations for peace drew little attention from a news media that is eager to report on a civil war, even if it isn't happening.

"Nearly every Iraq story is inaccurate," wrote Ben Connable, a Marine major stationed in Fallujah, in an email to a friend. "The numbers are inflated, the damage exaggerated, the estimates are misleading, and the predictions are based on pure conjecture, often by people far removed from the problem."

Evolution lives!

A bill that started out instructing schools to commend intelligent design, but was watered down so far that it ended up not saying anything, failed in the Utah legislature. This is not the victory for the areligious it is being touted to be, however. Mormons, having been the victims of it, have no interest in mixing religion and government.

Bill Sammon's new book, Strategery

According to Drudge, Sammon quotes Bush and Rove as hyping the growth of new media. I wish they'd do more with bloggers. They're faster, friendlier and a hell of a lot better at refuting the MSM's groupthink than anybody else.

Better yet, cancel those press gaggles and go to a blog that issues all press releases without being badgered by a bunch of jerks.

Media's finest hour

Europe is shuffling into darkness. It is proving incapable of standing up to its enemies, and in an effort to accommodate the peripheral rights of a minority is failing to protect the most basic rights of its own people.
And, I must say, America's media, otherwise obnoxiously free, seem cravenly unwilling to offend Muslims. If Christians began to riot, bomb and burn when things like "Piss Christ" and the ilk go on display, would they be less likely to be covered in the press?

Or is this just the academic urge that makes anthropologists defend societies that practiced human sacrifice?


That's what the situation in Europe is. Totalitarian systems maintain control by isolating people from each other, so they don't know whom they can trust. People in Europe seem to be cowed into silence about the Muslims in their midst. Maybe the first thing to do would be to do away with the "hate speech" laws and return to open debates. The government in too many cases has become the tool of those who just want others to shut up. Who says political correctness is harmless?

Poll Position

How did the U.S. manage to win WWII?

Are the MSM listening?

Bob Owens:
Whether you are a Pulitzer-winning journalist or a Weblog Award nominee, your value comes from your credibility and your ability to substantiate what you say, and your ability to admit and correct mistakes.

Hillary!® plays down presidential ambition.

Either that or she's just being demure, while getting in a lick on Karl Rove.

The Blogs Love Feingold!

Does this remind you of any former governors of Vermont? Somebody needs to explain to me how this jerk is any different from John Kerry.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Bring back that old-time (Seventh Century) religion.

Thomas Lifson notes the hostility of Islamists to intellectual property. Having no recent inventions to their credit, unless you go back to the Ottoman Empire, or count IEDs, they seek to undermine Western society by attacking its underpinnings:
It turns out that the very internet which is powering so much innovation and efficiency is being used to build a political movement to destroy all technological dynamism. These guys may be crazy, but they are smart. Intellectual property is the bedrock foundation of modern life.

Without the ability to protect (and profit from) intellectual property, there will be no innovation. Nobody will have an incentive to do things differently from the way they have always been done. The phrase for such a world is The Dark Ages.
How many automobile factories are there in Arab countries? Where will they get their WMD when the Western world has stopped making them?

Sometimes I think that most of the ideas that make Western civilization strong are found in fairy tales and Aesop's Fables. This one is the goose that laid golden eggs. I can't really think of any stories from the 1001 Nights that have a point except escapism.

Why is CBS so giddy?

Why it's because Bush's ratings have hit an all-time low.Don't tell them that other presidents' polls have plunged in their second terms. Let them have their fun. After all when it wears off, they'll still be CBS. And Bush will get to go home.

Newsbusters reports that the poll was biased. So does John Hawkins.

Maybe he thought the deal was with "Dubya World Ports"

Count on a Washington Post columnist to deliver a snide back of the hand compliment to Bush's position. In case you hadn't noticed, Mr. Cohen, Bush has not shown the slightest sign of racial bias in his entire career, so why it his refusal to block the Dubai ports deal such a surprise? Maybe because you and your fellow travelers were so busy venting your spleens that you failed to see that he's a lot more liberal that you ever believed. Since when did Democrats give a hoot about balanced budgets, or national security, for that matter? And as far as foreign ownership of port facilities, what's Johnny Chung been up to lately? Or is China more trustworthy than Dubai?

Simple Solutions

Islamist violence: Tell Muslims that if they want tolerance from Christians, they need to knock off all the violence, including terrorism, or we'll send all of their emigrants back where they came from.

Iranian Nukes: Leak a story to the NYTimes that we're close to development of a bomb that will deactivate all radioactive substances within a radius related to the sixe of the weapon and block nuclear detonations. Call it a "time reversal weapon."

Social Security: Give people a bonus for delaying SS benefits. If you can work into your eighties, do it and get a savings bond.

Prescription Drugs: Require everybody to pay for their own medications and file for reimbursement. This would make them more aware of how much it costs and give them incentives to find cheaper sources or substitutes, or do what I do, just don't buy what you can't afford.

The Ports and National Security: (I've posted this before.) Allow the UAE to buy port operations in any state that voted against Bush. They don't like the Patriot Act. The don't like what the President is doing to preserve national security. Let them provide their own.

More as they occur. Keep smiling.

High school students rebelling against pacifist agenda.

The placid surface of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School is being ruffled by a kerfuffle over a class in "Peace Studies." Some students think it should be removed from the curriculum, arguing that
"The 'class' is headed by an individual with a political agenda, who wants to teach students the 'right' way of thinking by giving them facts that are skewed in one direction.. . ."

Within a few hours, the normally staid e-mail list BCCnet -- a site for announcements, job postings and other housekeeping details in the life of a school -- was ablaze with chatter. By the time Principal Sean Bulson checked his BlackBerry on Sunday evening, there were more than 150 postings from parents and students -- some ardently in support, some ardently against the course.

Since its launch at the school in 1988, Peace Studies has provoked lively debate, but the attempt to have the course removed from the curriculum is a first, Bulson said. The challenge by two students comes as universities and even some high schools across the country are under close scrutiny by a growing number of critics who believe that the U.S. education system is being hijacked by liberal activists.

At Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Peace Studies is taught by Colman McCarthy, a former Washington Post reporter and founder and president of the Center for Teaching Peace. Though the course is taught at seven other Montgomery County high schools, some say B-CC's is perhaps the most personal and ideological of the offerings because McCarthy makes no effort to disguise his opposition to war, violence and animal testing.
I'm for dropping the class. There'll be plenty of time for inculcating political correctness when the kids get to college. But I wouldn't get too concerned until they start offering it as an AP class.

It must really shock the folks from my era to hear kids spouting the same arguments against them that they used to promote the sexual revolution and anti-war movements in the '70s.

I wonder what they'd say about a class in Conservative Thought or Cato's Letters.

Update: Jame Taranto is all over this story with some background on McCarthy.

And now, something completely different

I'm no more of a jock than Hugh Hewitt is, but I find myself strangely entranced by the NFL's Scouting Combine. I've heard of it before, but didn't really know what it is. I find it fascinating how it all works, the drills and tests they do on NFL hopefuls. Some of them resemble the Budweiser Clydesdales and some run like bullets. Boy, are they ripped!

This is a window into the minds of scouts and coaches I've never had. I often have the feeling that most football fans played the game in high school before they became couch potatoes. I still can't watch and understand all the patterns and defenses, but I have a lot better idea of what sportscasters mean when they say someone runs a 4-4 forty. I'm starting to understand the vagueries of technique on the field, but my eyes are too bad to keep up with the play. Thank goodness for DVRs.

I've learned some of the secrets to effective blocking and beating blocks: "Bending at the waist. Bad. Keeping the knees bent and the butt low. Good."

It's fascinating how nuanced and minutely studied these things are when so much money is involved.

Meanwhile, back at the Fitzgerald investigation

Sigh. This is known as bootstapping a case. You investigate one charge but conclude you can't prove it, but that you can charge one of the subjects with perjury. If I were the judge, I'd dismiss this charade so fast. Doesn't anybody ever ask themselves, "Is this really fair?"

I'm not surprised, sadly.

I often feel like my generation has betrayed our children. I worry that Social Security and other entitlements will bankrupt us.

Breathless gullibility

Cheney's retiring! Cheney's retiring. Would Condi take the job? How about Rumsfeld?

But, I thought you like Big Government.

The Seattle Times has a Mr. Bill moment, claiming there's a dark plot afoot to deny states' rights.

Why does anybody really believe that the Washinton bureaucracy represents the president's philosophy? They all know he's there for 8 years at the most.

"I could have ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Instead I ended up at Yale."

No "thank you, America?" "Taliban" does mean students, after all. Yale is probably shocked, shocked it is encouraging terrorism.

A former official of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan is studying at Yale on a U.S. student visa. Why worry about the ports when the government allows stuff like this?

Democracy is doomed in this country because of the Civil Service laws. Elected officials come and go, but the bureaucracy goes on forever and can't be made to work intelligently. Worse, if often thwarts the policies of the representatives of the people.

"A benign anarchy"

Glenn Reynolds cites Jeff Jarvis' vision of a libertarian world. Call it the Apathetic Party. "We don't care if people have abortions, carry concealed weapons, put porn on tv or billboards, waste their time abusing drugs or whatever else they happen to like."

If the internet is typical of the effects of libertarianism, are you ready for nationwide real world spam, ID theft, and fights in the streets? I guess I have too many expectations from society, but I'm pretty sure that most people do too.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

"I have killed my Jew. I will go to heaven."

Mark Steyn points out the rank antisemitism at work in France. Maybe they hope the Islamists will eat them last.

That quote above reminds me of what the elites in Halo2 say whenever they kill a human: "I have earned my journey." Is Islam a cartoon religion? No, but some of its believers treat it like one.

The politics of faith

Barry Posen thinks we can live with a nuclear Iran. Maybe we can, but do we really want to? He's counting on the rationality of a country running schools for suicide bombers.

Barney Fife and Mike Hammer

Both of the actors who played those roles on television, Don Knotts and Darrin McGavin, are dead. I feel old.