Saturday, March 11, 2006

Free Scooter!

How hard was it to find out Valerie Plame's profession? Of course, Fitzgerald will say this is irrelevant, but that makes him more the ass.

A hint for peace activists

There are only some situations where Ghandi and MLK's tactics work. And none of them involve terrorists, fascists, NAZIs, The Red Chinese or Stalinists. If you think your presence in Iraq is going to change the minds of anybody over there, you're a fool.

Boy, what would it be if we didn't have McCain-Feingold!

That cinches a nomination for Hillary. There is going to be a $100 million entry fee at the end of 2007 to be considered a serious candidate. Why? Because of federal campaign finance laws and 527 organizations.

The Straight Talker

"Facing a loss at a 2008 straw poll event this weekend, Senator John McCain of Arizona told his supporters to write in President Bush [?] as a sign of support, leaving many sputtering."

I don't think he has much to fear from Frist, so why pull such a sill and transparent stunt? Why not just say "I think it's too early to be campaigning for 2008" and let it go?

The Army of Davids meme

Torie Clarke, whom many of us know from her days as the Pentagon Commmunications chief, has written a book. It's called Lipstick on a Pig : Winning In the No-Spin Era by Someone Who Knows the Game. She obvious recognizes Glenn Reynolds' point in his book that the press and those who deal with it can no longer count on in because of the internet and bloggers.

I don't get free books like some bloggers, but if I were in PR, I'd want to read it. She's being interviewed by Pamela Hess on BookTV and the program is available as a Podcast. She reminds me of Virginia Postrel, in that she's smart, good looking and a great communicator. I don't know her politics, and I can't tell them from this interview. Very professional.

The interviewer, who's a member of the Pentagon press corps, noted that embedded journalists have been criticized for sounding too much like a cheerleader. Clarke noted that such accusations come from people in the media who never complain about liberal bias. True. These people think that objectivity only means including liberal spin, not what most of us understand the term. Hess noted that Don Rumsfeld has been giving interviews to small local TV and radio stations and that the interviewers are too friendly to him and critical of the Pentagon reporters. Clarke said that that reflects a Washington bias. Another reason I like her. I see nothing to be ashamed of in representing your local audience. From out here in the boondocks, the behavior of the big town media is an issue worth discussing.

Friday, March 10, 2006

No, I'm not happy.

Villainous Company (If you can get past the image at the top):
I am disgusted beyond measure. And for once, speechless. In their cynical pandering to a craven and ill-informed electorate, our trigger-happy Congress has once more fired off a shot that will indeed be heard round the world.
Read the David Ignatius piece in today's Washington Post along with this editorial. What I like about the editorial is that it doesn't follow the normal pattern of the media of burdening the president with every failure by other in the government. In this case, the fault belongs to the Democrats, the Republicans in Congress and the American public.

This whole episode might have been a clever feint by the Democrats to cause the Republicans fall on their faces, but I don't credit them with that much intelligence. The Republicans prevented the issue from becoming critical in this year's elections, but they were no statesmen.

In some ways, I tend to think that moderate Arabs have helped create this distrust by the American public, when they mostly kept silent throughout the Cartoon Rage and other outrages by the Arab street. They didn't have to approve of the cartoons, but they could have expressed their sense of insult without lending the support of silence to the rioters. It should be hoped that they can be persuaded to view this sorry affair with the same detachment that they have toward their own fellow Arabs' excesses. The Administration now has to reassure our friends in the Muslim world and convince them that we know not what we do.

That being said, I think that our media has so corrupted the public mind about Bush and the Iraq War that they bear a large part of the blame, as well. This morning I listened to an hour of Washington Journal on C-SPAN and was shocked by the amount of disinformation being parroted by callers about the war, the UAE and the Bush administration in general. What's going on is probably no worse than the worst days of yellow journalism, but the difference is that modern media folk are supposed to be educated and ethical and reporting news without editorializing.

I guess we all need to add 15 points to any poll results about the administration. That was the estimate by a senior reporter for Newsweek that the liberal bias adds to the Democrat candidates votes in a typical presidential election. The campaign hasn't ended; it just continues without the Dems' nominee being named.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

At least he didn't drive into the Tidal Basin with his stripper girlfriend.

David Broder blows a kiss to retiring Ways and Means chairman Bill Thomas:
Thomas is an able, principled conservative who has pushed through major legislation that has changed the direction of national policy and altered millions of people's life prospects. He is also someone who has inflicted substantial damage to the legislative process and to personal relationships on Capitol Hill, leaving bruised feelings in his wake.
As someone once said, "Politics ain't beanbag*." Funny, I don't recall any of the famous Democrat Congressional leaders being all that sensitive or worried about bruised feelings.

Lyndon Johnson and Tip O'Neill were always so polite and considerate, not like Bill Thomas! He "rammed through a set of procedural changes that tightened leadership control of the finances and operations of the House," turned Ways and Means into a "bitter political cockpit," and produced bills that "had to be muscled through by brute political force." What a beast!

How much better it was, when the Democrats ran things. They never "cut corners and run roughshod over others in order to achieve [their] policy goals." What's happened to the good ol' days when Republicans knew their place?

* According to Wikipedia, it was Finley Peter Dunne, famously quoted by Mayor Richard J. Daley, who was also well-known for his gentle ways and considerate behavior.

David Gregory should read this.

Good letter, Kid.

Question for Congress

How much is insulting the UAE going to cost the U.S., including loss of its cooperation in tracking terrorists' funding?
As the House Appropriations Committee yesterday marked up legislation to kill Dubai Ports World’s acquisition of Britain’s Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation (P&O), the emirate let it be known that it is preparing to hit back hard if necessary.

A source close to the deal said members of Dubai’s royal family are furious at the hostility both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill have shown toward the deal.

“They’re saying, ‘All we’ve done for you guys, all our purchases, we’ll stop it, we’ll just yank it,’” the source said.

Retaliation from the emirate could come against lucrative deals with aircraft maker Boeing and by curtailing the docking of hundreds of American ships, including U.S. Navy ships, each year at its port in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the source added.

It is not clear how much of Dubai’s behind-the-scenes anger would be followed up by action, but Boeing has been made aware of the threat and is already reportedly lobbying to save the ports deal.

The Emirates Group airline will decide later this year whether it will buy Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner or its competitor, Airbus A350. The airline last fall placed an order worth $9.7 billion for 42 Boeing 777 aircraft, making Dubai Boeing’s largest 777 customer.
Of course, allowing the Democrats to regain control of Congress might cost more, but why do those have to be the only choices?

I don't buy the blame being put on Bush. He's got his hands full without having to babysit his own Congressional delegation.

Personal FAQ - Question I Frequently Ask

Why aren't there any U.S. companies who can run our ports?

What is the advantage of having a cloned sheep?

Why would a lobster need to wear chaps, and is there any significance in it's being discovered by the French?

What is with the liberal need to believe that "Bush Lied!", and why aren't they embarrassed by the obvious psychological connection with Bill Clinton's perjury?

More as they occur.

So much for multi-culti.

Americans' perception of Islam is trending negative. James Taranto says that the media war against the war in Irag has not just hurt Bush, but Muslims as well:
Our sense is that the media's antiwar bias is feeding the public's anti-Muslim bias. By relentlessly focusing on the bad news in Iraq and playing down the good, journalists perpetuate an image of the Muslim world as a hostile, uncivilized place.
I'm not sure I'd blame it on the media coverage of the war as much as the riots over the Danish cartoons. We all saw those images of Islamic men and women holding up their purple fingers, but they were hard to remember when we saw the crazed attacks on western businesses, flag burning and death threats against the cartoonists and the ruined Golden Mosque. I'm sure that the chorus that the war has been lost hasn't helped, but I don't think that by itself could have caused this result.

Then you have to add the stand Democrats have taken on the DPW deal, calling Dubai, one of our most loyal allies in the region, untrustworthy really feeds this phenomenon. To me, it suggests that the Democrats can't be trusted. They've backed multiculturalism and political correctness for years, forcing Republicans into building whole bureaucracies to protect people from racial hatred or even critical remarks. Now they've turned into racial bigots against Arabs. That's some turnaround.

I don't know much about this area of the law, but it strikes me as pretty hypocritical to have laws that allow foreigners to buy property and businesses here, but now to say "All except you!" is politically expedient but devoid of prinicple. The Republicans look like a Three Stooges movie dealing with this, but it's not what I'd call terribly inconsistent for them to worry about national security and illegal immigration.

Why should computer sellers continue to bundle Windows , , ,

if Microsoft is going to compete with them. Maybe, Apple is hoping for a market for its own OS to run on Intel machines. Microsoft's previous forays into hardware have had mixed results. Their mouse was very popular. The Xbox360 has left a lot of people angry. Origami is supposed to raise the stakes against the iPod by putting a whole computer into a 7" package. I won't be running out to get one. I think that the non-volatile memory is attractive, but I can't see myself using a computer without a keyboard.

Democrats grab sand.

I wouldn't say "arrogant." More like bizarrely inept. They can't even make a contract with each other, let alone with America.

Republicans aren't terribly adroit themselves. If they had a clue they'd be refuting the media picture of Iraq in chaos, as Donald Rumsfeld is doing.

It's not that hard for people to understand that when Bush told us this would be a long struggle, he meant it, or to understand why this will take time. Rumsfeld nailed it, by citing a statement from the Truman administration. If our media had been this dishonest during the Cold War, we'd still be struggling with the Soviet Union. Why do they expect the struggle against radical Islamo-fascism to be different?

If anything, Muslims have been burning themselves in effigy by their superstitious reactions to criticism. The rest of the world is starting to think we should let them eat their oil.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Let Bush Be Reagan

If George Bush had the bubbly, ebullient personality of Ronald Reagan, I don't think he'd be getting so much grief from his own party. Reagan presided over huge deficits too, but his position was that you don't balance the budget by raising taxes. I think that Bush feels that way, too, but he hasn't put up enough of a protest.

My guess is that he's OK with some big government programs, like improving education, but he's been pretty naive about Washington. I think that he figures that Congress was elected to represent the people and so it's not his job to be their nanny. He also knows that it's the percentage of GDP that matters more than the dollar amount.

Spending is like weeds, if you don't fight it all the time, it will take things over. You can get along with some deficits, but we should remember how we're doing this without inflation. A lot of America now belongs to foreigners, including a lot of our national debt.

Together, America can do better!

Some years ago, Utah adopted a marketing slogan, "Utah. A pretty, great state." The English majors got it, but nobody else did. Then they adopted "The greatest snow on earth," and got sued by Ringling Brothers/Barnum and Bailey Circus. They won in the end, but didn't somebody think about asking first?

I was put in mind of all this by Harry Shearer's comment on the Democrats' new slogan, borrowed from John Kerry. Suddenly, the coming elections don't seem so bleak. How about Harry Reid's suggestion, "By the time the election rolls around, people are going to know where Democrats stand." That certainly takes a stand.

I'm not all that good of a Republican, I guess. I don't really care about illegal aliens, unless they're here to blow up things. I figure keeping it all to ourselves is not what America is all about. All the xenophobia really makes me uncomfortable. If we really want to shut the gate after all this time, we ought to at least remove the plaque from the Statue of Liberty. I've always thought that freedom, rights and democracy should be our biggest export.


If Glenn Reynolds wanted to run for office or get an appointment as a federal judge would he be such a vocal critic of the Patriot Act or create a paper trail like Instapundit? Of course, he's an avowed libertarian, which shows that he wouldn't be willing to do what it takes to get elected these days, but not a Libertarian, which shows he's got a brain.

Yes, he's been flogging his book, but even with that, he's too honest by far to be a mass marketer. I sent him an email and asked him what I would get in his book that I wouldn't from reading Instapundit, and mentioned that I'd just gotten a notice from Amazon that a new Donald Fagan CD was being released. He wrote back and said he'd probably go with the Fagan. That may just be really, really smart marketing, but it didn't seem all that self-interested to me. (I hope he doesn't get in trouble with his publisher.) It did make me start thinking nice thoughts about getting his book. Viral marketing? If so, it works better than mentioning his book in every other post.

The Cavalry is coming! Finally.

The UN is preparing to invade Darfur for a "peacekeeping" mission. Don't you have to restore peace before you can keep it?

I hope the UN does better in Darfur than it did in Rwanda, or in Bosnia, or in the Congo.

Blogger Wars

Reports that blogger Brian Pickrell published material from a Wal-Mart flack without attribution, turn out to be less unethical from his end than the newsmongers want us to believe. You have to read through to page 2 of Howard Kurtz's piece to get to Pickrell's side of the story. He says that the Wal-Mart stuff was posted as quotes from "a reader." I can't tell if he knew the "reader" was a PR firm for Wal-Mart, but if he agrees with it and puts it in quotes, I don't see the harm. Maybe the NYTimes hasn't heard of "spoofing." The sender shown in your email program doesn't necessarily exist. Maybe they've heard of "spam."

I suppose Brian could do a little more checking before he quotes somebody, but then blogging isn't his day job, is it? His account of the matter doesn't make the NYTimes look very meticulous about quotes either. He accuses the reporter of quoting him inaccurately in such a way as to make him look like a Wal-Mart junkie and a hick.

So who's the Darth Vader in these blogger wars? Everybody has to decide for himself, but I tend to believe that the MSM is the Empire, and bloggers the rebels.

As for the high standard of journalistic ethics in the MSM, consider the USA Today story about desertions from the military since the Iraq war began. The first paragraph goes as follows:
At least 8,000 members of the all-volunteer U.S. military have deserted since the Iraq war began, Pentagon records show, although the overall desertion rate has plunged since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. [My italics]
The rest of the story does give correct data, I think, but couching it in terms of the war is a dishonest implication that there is something ominous about these data. If anything, they're good news, but that's not how USA Today want it to play. As James Taranto points out, the story is spun to "follow their Iraq-as-Vietnam script, whether or not it's consistent with the facts." How dare such people lecture bloggers, or anybody else, on ethics?

"I blame the media for being incompetent."

From those who claim great wisdom, wisdom, not incompetence, is required. Woe unto them who claim to deliver truth when they are found to be shading it.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Chicken Little Lives!

Jason Smith takes apart a report that 8000 members of the military have deserted since the War in Iraq began. The headline implies that there is a connection between the war and these desertions, which is a blatant lie.

Will that leave any time for a campaign?

Harry Reid
By the time the election rolls around, people are going to know where Democrats stand.

Barometer falling

This report demonstrates what results when you create a right not to be offended. How do we discuss any issue without being "hurtful" to somebody?

This just in . . .®

I'm shocked, shocked!

Yeah, that torture is really awful

Pity the poor Gitmo detainees.

Hyprocrisy for everybody!

Dennis the Peasant blows holes in the "helping our enemies" meme the Democrats are riding:
The fact of the matter is that the Carter and Clinton Administrations sold weapons to the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia just as fast as did the Reagan, Bush Senior or Bush Junior Administrations. The F-16 C/Ds sold by the Clinton Administration to the United Arab Emirates, with the full approval of the Republican Congress, are more advanced than the F-16 C/Ds in our own nation’s service. This was done during the years that the United Arab Emirates openly recognized the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and whatever moral and ethical qualms the Administration and Congress had – if any – about handing over 80 advanced fighters (with complimentary weapons systems, radar and munitions) to such a nation seem to have been easily overcome by geopolitical (and economic) interests.

Certainly no-one of prominence with the Democratic Party – from President Clinton to Vice President Gore to Senators Schumer, Kerry and Feinstein – felt it necessary to voice any doubts about the wisdom of handing the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia all the weapons they could buy while those two nations gave diplomatic recognition and (in the case of Saudi Arabia at the least) material support to the Taliban.
As Hugh Hewitt says, if the problem is national security, how are the Democrats the answer? Liberals and conservatives both oppose isolationism. The difference is that liberals want a world government modeled on the UN and EU, while conservatives want national sovereignty with free world trade.

Lou Minatti: UAE port deal: A Karl Rove plot?

Lou Minatti asks if the UAE ports deal is "A Karl Rove plot?" It certainly could be if the quotes he links are an indication. I think, though, that this one is too weird even for the crafty Karl.

How odd it is to see the deniers that Saddam had any ties to Al Qaeda claiming that "The UAE has ties to the 9/11 attacks," (B.S.) and the party of returning to the community of nations yelling about "turn[ing] over our sovereignty to another country." (H.C.)

Is the UAE really a "terrorist-friendly country?" I don't know, but if we really can't trust it, we ought to get our Navy out of its ports. The real problem is the original one posed by 9/11 itself: Who is the enemy? How do we find them and how do we fight them? The Bush policy always seemed to me to be based on the commonplace comment that we need to treat the root of terrorism. We can't kill all the terrorists or wage war against all of the societies that produce them, but we could do the world a favor by ridding it of Saddam Hussein and his loathesome henchmen, and helping Iraqis establish a democracy. Who could find fault with that?

Hardly anybody, when it came to authorizing the war, but it left Democrats grasping around for an issue and candidate to run on in 2004. Naturally, they reached back into their anger over the 2000 election and let it flood every other consideration. They haven't been able to think straight since. The party who accuses the right of racism and universal tolerance and respect now finds itself darkly urging that we just can't trust those Arabs.

The Arabs themselves seem to have enabled this strategy by their barbaric response to the Danish cartoons. People who would go deranged over something as silly as a few cartoons--well, how can you trust them?

A corollary question suggests itself: People who go deranged over something as silly as a close election--can we really trust them"

The Civil War Meme

It seems to have become a Media Talking Point. Personally, I never understood the cosmic importance of calling it a "civil war." I'm sure there's some arcane point of international law that the left uses to argue that our being there is illegal, as they did during Vietnam, but that's the stuff of John Kerry, circa 1972.

Why has Vietnam become the paradigm for everybody in the media? I'd think they'd be more suspicious of all these old hippies with their bald heads and gray ponytails.

Calling Rewrite!

That headline should read "Court Declines to Usurp Congressional Authority" The NYTimes, for once, is accurate, "Supreme Court Upholds Law . . ."

You know you've made it as an author

when you can afford one of these. Of course, the value of signed copies will drop, but if you're the author, who cares?

Monday, March 06, 2006


I'm constantly amazed at the number of inventions that were first proposed during the 1940s or earlier. The flying wing which is the B-2 Bomber was proposed back then, but couldn't be built until we had sufficient computer power to deal with its stability problems. The SR-71 Blackbird spyplane was built in the era of sliderules and still holds the speed records that we know of. It is probably the most beautiful, elegant airplane ever built and the first real Stealth airplane.

Now there's this, about the "Blackstar" program, a two-stage space plane which would have been used as a spy plane which couldn't be spotted in time to hide from it.

I've seen programs about a plane called "Aurora," as well, using a pulsed jet engine, using a principle invented by Von Braun in the V-1 buzz-bomb during WWII. Photos of contrails looking like "doughnuts on a rope" have been taken and publicized.

These things are always denied, but I hope that some day we'll learn more about the wonderful projects that are still protected, even if they didn't get fully funded.

I'm not convinced yet that a space elevator is feasible, but I'm sure that NASA or the Military is working on it. Whatever we know about has to be obsolete. That's one of the reasons I find most environmentalism so repulsive. It's a denial of the imagination of mankind. It tells us to give up on the industrial revolution, and settle for the old days when people lived lives of quiet desperation. The longer I live, the less I admire Henry David Thoreau and John Muir. Cranks both. If we want to preserve green, it's going to be done with new technologies, and I don't mean those that take up huge amounts of surface area to harvest sunlight or wind power.

I believe in God for whom miracles are just sufficiently advanced technology. It may be that the only feasible fusion reactors are stars. Or that they are just easier to mass produce than the little Tokamaks we envision.

The Oil "Addiction"

Sorry, we are NOT addicted to foreign oil. Buying what you need or want for the lowest price available is not an addiction. Paying more that you have to is what's irrational.

An addiction is when price doesn't matter. You have to have it, no matter what.
If ethanol can be produced for less than OPEC sells oil for, nobody is going to yearn for the good old days of Arab embargos. The problem is that the Saudis can pump crude for $5.00 a barrel and so any competitor to oil can be easily undercut by OPEC. Now suppose Exxon or ADM puts $20 billion into an ethanol distilling and distribution system and people can buy cars that run on it, and it sells for $1.50 a gallon. What do you think the OPEC would do?

"So what?" you ask. "We can put a tariff on imported oil to guarantee that the price per gallon won't go down." Maybe that will work, but if the word gets around that we could be paying $1.00 a gallon, and we're not because of some tax, will we go along?
Maybe. But would you bet $20 billion on it?

"It's an outright sign of homophobia in our country."

That would be the faiilure of Brokeback Mountain to win a Best Picture Oscar.

It's this way, fellas, just because we don't elect a gay president, it doesn't make us homophobic. It's never enough for you, is it? The movie didn't have a gay man as a serial killer or in comic relief, did it? That's quite a step forward, isn't it? If your definition of "homophobic" is not being enthusiastic about all things gay, you're in for a backlash.

"Homophobic" would, in my opinion, be if the film were never made because nobody would back it, no actors would be in it, and nobody would dare be seen going to it. None of those things happened.

The "disaster" in Iraq.

Larry Diamond, apparently with a straight face, claims that Iraq is engaged in a civil war "by one common social science definition--at least 1,000 dead (with at least 100 on each side) from internal hostilities in which one side tries violently to change the state or its policies."

I don't know why lefties are so fascinated by niggling arguments like this. "Bush Lied!" because some documents which supposedly underlay the story that Saddam was shopping for yellowcake in Niger were laughable forgeries. Now the argument is that the pundits were correct that the bombing of the Golden Mosque would set off a civil war in Iraq. Well, that also settles the point that this is Vietnam Redux and Quagmire II, doesn't it?

Except that nobody but a victim of profound pseudo-intellectualism could leverage this stuff into an argument that the policy has failed. It all depends on what your definition of "is," or "lied," or "civil war" is.

But hey, Guys, when did we all come to the agreement that the policy has failed in Iraq? Even conservatives are talking like it's an established fact! Remember these are the same stalwarts who chickened out when it came to standing up to fanatics over a measly bunch of bad cartoons! When did we hand over foreign policy to these jerks?

I don't think our troops feel like they've lost, unless they're listening to CNN. How's this for a war cry: "The media lied! Fingers were dyed! Where's our pride?" Where are we going to hide if we turn tail now?

Why they lost.

FAIR lost FAIR v. Rumsfeld 8 votes to none. My theory is that its case was ludicrous, but the court couldn't take seriously this line in Yale's amicus brief, cited by James Taranto:
The [Yale] Faculty Members deeply respect those who serve in our nation's armed forces.
How do they expect the court to take them seriously when they put hogwash like that in their brief--especially when they have no qualms about admitting Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, former deputy foreign secretary of the Taliban into the Yale student body.

War with Iran?

ABC News reports:
U.S. military and intelligence officials tell ABC News that they have caught shipments of deadly new bombs at the Iran-Iraq border.. . .

U.S. officials say roadside bomb attacks against American forces in Iraq have become much more deadly as more and more of the Iran-designed and Iran-produced bombs have been smuggled in from the country since last October.
Coincidentally, I was looking to find out what else Iran manufactures, besides nukes and armor-piercing bombs. So far, I've found pistachios, saffron, travertine marble and bitumen (a solid form of tar). Oh, and carpets and other textiles, and Chinese Chery automobiles.

The CIA World Fact Book says its GDP is $551.6 billion, and this about its economy:
Iran's economy is marked by a bloated, inefficient state sector, over reliance on the oil sector, and statist policies that create major distortions throughout. Most economic activity is controlled by the state. Private sector activity is typically small-scale - workshops, farming, and services. President KHATAMI has continued to follow the market reform plans of former President RAFSANJANI, with limited progress. Relatively high oil prices in recent years have enabled Iran to amass some $40 billion in foreign exchange reserves, but have not eased economic hardships such as high unemployment and inflation. The proportion of the economy devoted to the development of weapons of mass destruction remains a contentious issue with leading Western nations.
Sounds like North Korea, South.

Not to worry though. Nobody is making the argument that Iran is close to getting WMD and threatening the stability of the Middle East. The first Democrat who criticizes Bush for not acting preemptively against the Mullahs ought to be lynched.

Communism, NAZIsm, Now Islam

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new shtick: "You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile."

But he won't insist that we all wear those implanted eyepieces. Whew!


'Bureaucratic Opportunism' - the new threat

Mark Steyn suspects that false invocations of the Patriot Act are endangering our right to privacy.
I don't have a problem with the Patriot Act per se, so much as the awesome powers claimed on its behalf by everybody from car salesmen to the agriculture official who demanded proof from my maple-sugaring neighbor that his sap lines were secure against terrorism. Which is a hard thing to prove.
I'll say! Just ask Dubai Ports World.
My worry is that on the home front the war is falling prey to lack-of-mission creep -- that, in the absence of any real urgency and direction, the "long war" (to use the administration's new and unsatisfactory term) is degenerating into nothing but bureaucratic tedium, media doom-mongering and erratic ad hoc oppositionism. To be sure, all these have been present since Day One: The press have been insisting Iraq is teetering on the brink of civil war for three years and yet, despite the urgings of CNN and the BBC, those layabout Iraqis stubbornly refuse to get on with it.
Just as the Democrats have discovered national security as an issue for the coming elections, people may be so bored they can't be bothered to care. Damn George Bush!

Read the whole thing. I've quoted too much already. What I've said all along seems to fit Steyn's take. The opposition to the ports deal is pretty much racism. OK, call it cultural discrimination, instead. It may be justified by common sense, as so many people have argued about the stupidity of disallowing greater scrutiny of Arabs at airports, but we've pretty well made a policy decision that we won't just throw out all Arabs and keep out any more of them. Once we are at that point, which is rock solid Democrat dogma, (How can you keep the Black vote, once they realize that Arabs are brown too?) how do you justify blocking the UAE from buying the management company for our ports? You can't, especially not when the U.S. military trusts them implicitly and couldn't prosecute this war without them.

The Cartoon Riots have pushed our tolerance close to the brink, and a lot of Republicans are starting to think that, no matter what their previous support for the war, losing the majoritis in Congress is too high a price to pay, and they won't allow Democrats to outflank them on this, even if they have to throw George Bush to the wolves.

I don't think abandoning Bush will work. I would rather go on the offense over the willingness of the left to jeopardize our security by disclosing top secret spy operations out of purely political pique. It will be hard to pull this off, but it has the virtue of consistency. Michael Barone demonstrates what I mean. Make the case for Bush's policy. It's there and Republicans need to keep their nerve.

Who says Hollywood is out of touch?

Ann Althouse sacrifices her evening so the rest of us can have lives. Bravo! Her descriptions really demolish glamor.

My favorite award: Best Song, "It's hard out here for a pimp." Not just antisocial, but misogynist, too! Next year, the whole title will have to be bleeped. Now that's progress.

The local news had a story about some business that has listeners count all the swearing in films, including using the name of deity as an expletive. There's a program on Discovery Channel about dirty jobs. This one would have to have pretty much everything bleeped. Actually, listening to profanity and counting it would tax most people's abilities to focus. Talk about repetitive.

If the actresses dressed according to the amount of profanity they use, they could put it on HBO and it would be a lot more suspenseful.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Maybe they didn't know the information was unauthorized.

Scott Johnson seems a glutton for punishment. Maybe he reads the NYTimes for Lent.

However it happened, he connects some dots in this story, "Pro-Israel lobbying group roiled by prosecution of two ex-officals." and a case that may be brewing against the Gray Lady herself.

Johnson writes:
I write below about the Washington Post story on the current investigation and prosecution of illegal leaks. The only pending prosecution is the one involving two former AIPAC officials who are charged with violating 18 U.S.C. section 793, one of the broader provisions of the Espionage Act that certainly applies to the Times's disclosure of the NSA al Qaeda-related surveillance program. As is customary for the Times, no connection is drawn between this prosecution for conduct far less injurious to the national security of the United States and the Times's own legal jeopardy for the NSA story. The story, however, does carry this pointed quote from the federal judge presiding over the prosecution of the former AIPAC officials:
"Persons who have unauthorized possession, who come into unauthorized possession of classified information, must abide by the law," the judge, T. S. Ellis III, said. "That applies to academics, lawyers, journalists, professors, whatever."
Reporters Scott Shane and David Johnston relegate the truth to this quote in the middle of their story, leaving readers to make the connection to the Times's own conduct on their own.
Aw, come on! How can you claim that a leak to the press is "unauthorized possession." I used to make arguments like that when I was a public defender. They didn't work very well then either.

The NYTimes is used to winning on First Amendment cases. I wonder if they'll give up their real sources now, or just accuse a patsy like Scooter Libby. This could put a kind in the "Democrats are more concerned about national security" claim this November.

Murtha loses it.

Joe McCarthy II? I think someone needs an intervention. Where's CBS when you . . . No, wait! This was CBS. With Murtha, Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy and Al Gore, they're more qualified to protect the country than the Republicans?

They're all losing their heads and blaming it on Bush. And the media seem to be cheering them on.

Death throes of the media? Or just the Union?

First Hitler; Now Nixon. Now keeping state secrets is grounds for impeachment?

They're claiming that holding the press accountable for releasing national security secrets is a war on the First Amendment. Somehow, subpoenaing reporters is worse than spilling top secret classified military operations.

This could be the best reason not to elect more Democrats in Congress. They can't seem to focus on anything but getting even with the country for not letting Al Gore be president. Of course, the Republicans aren't exactly keeping their heads either.

I'm beginning to wonder if anybody in Washington can focus on finishing what we've started for more than 5 minutes at a time without spinning off into impeachment, Cindy Sheehan, or the Ports deal. I guess we can belt in for a nasty, angry 8 months.

But this is shaping up to be a legal battle that could be as disastrous for the Press as Watergate was for the Republicans. The media couldn't deliver the presidency to Kerry, but it can't seem to see what's happening. Who knows? Judy Miller might get the last laugh.

True Science

The Philadelphia Inquirer on An Army of Davids:
As a professed "transhumanist," Reynolds waxes enthusiastic on nanotechnology, planetary colonization, and "Scientifically Engineered Negligible Senescence." But, like Ray Kurzweil - author of The Singularity Is Near, last year's big futurist book - Reynolds is well aware of the dangers that technological change can pose and favors taking reasonable steps to prevent such things as a terrorist-generated plague from happening.
Transhumanist! Why that's what Mormons have taught for nearly 200 years. "As Man is, God once was. As God is, Man may become." All my life, I've believed that God is the master scientist, that he knows everything, including metaphysics and morality. Without the latter knowledge having all the technical knowledge there is would only make humans more dangerous.

We believe that God is a transhuman, if you will. That he has an immortal and permanent body, as does his son Jesus after his resurrection. That this life is a training ground for us to experience evil outside of his presence and choose once and for all to reject it. If we do, we will be allowed to progress further. If not, we will be limited. A Rational Theology, as the apostle John A. Widtsoe put it.

Last Sunday I told some people talking about Iraq that there would be no civil war.

Now that the media have put out their fiery locks it's being discovered that the civil war has fizzled. In a country with a free press, Bush's approval rates would be in the 60s.

Hugh Hewitt is arguing that the polls don't mean anything on the ports deal because when we're in that voting booth picking which party will better handle national security, there's no way the answer is the Democrats. Sounds like whistling through the graveyard, but it at least acknowledges that that's where we are. We're in a scary place, but if we show courage, faith in our prinicples, and resolve, we'll get through. The only thing we could do worse than engaging the world and trading with it, is withdrawing and leaving it to the EU, Russia, China, Japan and Korea to manage world affairs.

We already have liberals arguing that we can live with a nuclear Iran. Like we lived with the Soviet Union? Iran runs schools for suicide bombers, remember. Remember that when you vote this fall to release the detainees in Gitmo and seize foreign property in the U.S. and recall our troops. That's what voting for Democrats will mean.

Group Tyranny

Timothy Garten Ash makes the point that activist groups aren't good for freedom or democracy. They too often do more bullying than persuading. That's why I've always thought demonstrations and rallies are kind of pointless. There was a lot of talk about over a million demonstraters throughout the world against the War in Iraq. But out of 4 or 5 billion people that's pretty puny. Even out of 300 million Americans, it doesn't hold a candle to a poor turnout on election day.

Also, the people who do this are nearly always fixed in their minds and can't be reasoned with. So are they trying to reason with others? Or are they just making threats?

I believe in democracy within limits to protect some individual rights. If Muslims can raise enough votes to make it illegal to depict the Prophet Mohammed, then the law should be obeyed. But when you start rioting and destroying things and killing people because you don't like their country's laws or because what somebody did there wasn't illegal, you're crossing the line. Being offended is your right. Attacking others physicall is not.

I you want to demonstrate, do it by writing a letter or giving a speech, but what this violence has demonstrated is that you aren't ready to join world civilization.
No wonder the rest of the world is scrambling to find an alternative to oil.

Muslims who destroy mosques and kill other Muslims

Isn't that the same as being an infidel? I think some other muslims are beginning to think so.