September 30, 2005

A Blight Upon The Sands Of Tattooine

It is a dark day in the Vinnie household.

To be part of a blog that was publicly de-linked has brought shame to me and my family.

Do you realize, Dr., that I had to keep my children home from school to shield them from the cruel taunts of their peers over this?

Do you realize that you have plunged my wife even further in to her addiction to Rachael Ray? A torment I have fought against for years now?

This is what I am reduced to, Dr. Shackleford, for your inability to control your flying fickle fingers of fate upon your keyboard:



In a last great act of defiance, Rusty, I have done this. Make sure you click on that link in the post.

In unrelated news, may God continue to bless Roy Hallums and his family.

At least some people still understand what is truly meaningful in life.

By Vinnie at 07:30 PM | Comments |

Former Hostage Family Thanks Readers and Friends

I've received a couple of nice e-mails the past couple of days from Carrie Hallums Cooper and Susan Hallums. They both express their deepest gratitude for all of your efforts at keeping Roy's name in the forefront of our nation's collective conscience. Thank you one and all for helping spread the word!

After 60 Minutes aired the interview with the former hostage on Monday, you'll be happy to know that President Bush telephoned Roy to wish him his best. We have been quite critical of State Department policy regarding hostages on this website, and are grateful to learn that much more goes on behind the scenes to free our hostages than is publicly aknowledged.

Roy is aware of what you, the readers, did for him during his long ordeal and his family has promised to pass on our best wishes to him.

Last, here is a picture sent to me by Susan Hallums of the family finally reunited. God Bless America!

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By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:46 PM | Comments |

U.S. Warns of Islamic Terror Threat in China

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Now what was all that talk about no terrorism in China? The Jawa Report has been warning readers of the low-level Islamist insurgency in China's western Xinjiang province for some time. Called East Turkistan by its own people, Islamic militants in the area have ties to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network and are working to oust the communist Han Chinese and restore the brief lived Islamic Republic of East Turkistan--an Islamist state that predates Iran by over forty years.

In fact, after China's Strike Hard campaign of the early 1990s, aimed at wiping out the Islamic insurgency, many jihadi leaders fled to a neighboring country where they found safe haven and a network of like minded individuals willing and eager to supply them with arms and cash. Can you guess which country the fled to? Drumroll please.........

Afghanistan.

Khaleej Times:

The United States has warned American travellers to be vigilant against a terrorist attack in China’s restive northwestern region of Xinjiang after Beijing told police there to be prepared for danger.

The call came ahead of the 50th anniversary on Saturday of the establishment of Xinjiang as an autonomous region.

Muslim Uighur militants, whom Beijing calls terrorists or separatists, have been struggling for decades to make the remote region, formally established on Oct. 1, 1955, an independent state called East Turkestan.

“Americans considering travel to the region and those already there should review their plans carefully, remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and exercise caution,” a message e-mailed from the US embassy in China said.

“Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. Americans in remote areas or border regions where military or police authority is limited or non-existent could also become targets.” ...

The Public Security Ministry said earlier this month that more than 260 terrorist acts had been committed in Xinjiang in the past two decades, killing 160 and wounding 440. It labelled East Turkestan forces the main terrorist threat to China.

Rumors abound, though, that the official number of terrorist attacks by Islamic terrorists in China are vastly undercounted. There is a healthy debate going on over at Peking Duck's blog as to the accuracy of the numbers (via Simon World).

And, of course, Islam Online blames Chinese oppression on the troubles. So the Chinese fascists are oppressing the Islamist fascists? Talk about your Sophie's choice scenario.....

For related info see Jihad in China and Suicide Bomber Blows Up Bus in China: Government Covers Up

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:24 PM | Comments |

Creating More Terrorists

Ok, so the ACLU, courtesy Judge Hellerstein, wants to take as many Abu Ghraib images as possible and spread them high and low.  The Judge argues that he can't withhold their release on the grounds that it will incite terrorism based on the idea that terrorists aren't looking for excuses to act against us as is.

Which, I actually buy.

But the part that baffles me is the talk about Terrorist Magnets and how the flypaper strategy is foolish because it creates a even greater terrorist threat.   If our approach to Iraq is wrong because it creates more terrorists, then how is it possible to turn around and then say that releasing more Abu Ghraib photos isn't bad, although it incites terrorism?

(Cross posted to Demosophia and The Daily Jawa)

By Bravo Romeo Delta at 03:10 PM | Comments |

Lodi Terror Suspect Makes Bail

It's important to note the details of the original minor charge of 'lying on an immigration application' officially levied against Hamid and Umer Hayat. Yes, they only 'lied on an immigration application'....of course, the lie they told was that they were not al Qaeda supporters! Kind of seems like an important detail.

The good news is that the younger of the two, Hamid Hayat, was charged with material support to terrorists this week. The bad news is that the father, Umer Hayat, was given bail.

I dunno, call me paranoid, but there's just something about an Imam with clear al Qaeda sympathies walking the streets that makes me uncomfortable.

California Mafia has more details.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:59 PM | Comments |

About That FDNY Muslim Moonbat Who Questions Whether The 19 (Muslim) Hijackers Were Responsible For 9/11 - Does his school have a connection to a 'charitable front' for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad? (UPDATED)

Has the FDNY hired a Muslim chaplain that comes from an Islamic school with an association with the Al-Ihsan society (AKA the Elehssan Charitable Society) that has been designated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a "charitable front" for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a terrorist organization based in Damascus, Syria?

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The Muslim moonbat was one of several imams recommended for the chaplain's job by the Islamic Society for the Fire Department.

Michelle Malkin writes that just when we think things are getting better in New York City, "politically correct insanity rears its monstrous head again." In pointing to Tom Bevan at Real Clear Politics, she notes Tom's flaging of today's Newsday story about the new Islamist-sympathizing, nutball Muslim chaplain hired by none other than the New York Fire Department. We need to stand-up in solidarity with Michelle's suggestion: "Don't let up on the FDNY commissioner, though. Someone made a boneheaded decision to hire a tinfoil Islamist like Habib in the first place. Make sure it doesn't happen again!"

An imam slated to be sworn in Friday as the second Muslim chaplain in Fire Department history said he questioned whether 19 hijackers were responsible for the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and suggested a broader conspiracy may have brought down the Twin Towers and killed more than 2,700 people.
In a telephone interview Thursday, Imam Intikab Habib, 30, a native of Guyana who studied Islam in Saudi Arabia, said he doubted the United States government's official story blaming 19 hijackers associated with al-Quaida and Osama bin Laden.

"I as an individual don't know who did the attacks," said Habib, 30, a soft-spoken man who immigrated to New York in July 2000 after spending six years in Saudi Arabia getting a degree in Islamic theology and law. "There are so many conflicting reports about it. I don't believe it was 19 ... hijackers who did those attacks."

Asked to elaborate on his reasons for doubting that story, he talked about video and news reports widely disseminated in the Muslim community.

"I've heard professionals say that nowhere ever in history did a steel building come down with fire alone," he said. "It takes two or three weeks to demolish a building like that. But it was pulled down in a couple of hours. Was it 19 hijackers who brought it down, or was it a conspiracy?

When pressed further about whether the hijackers' backgrounds -- 15 of whom were Saudi -- might make his training an issue for still-grieving firefighters, he went on to express his own doubts about the hijacker story.

Habib was one of several imams recommended for the chaplain's job by the Islamic Society for the Fire Department, as a result of his work teaching junior high students at Al-Ihsan Academy in Ozone Park, a private Islamic school, where he worked for about five years.

And just what do we know about the Al-Ihsan Academy in Ozone Park? Not much, but do you think it would be too much of a strectch to connect Al-Ihsan "Academy" with the Al-Ihsan Society? I think not, so let's take a look at the Al-Ihsan Society, also known as The Elehssan Society, which the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated in May of this year as a "charitable front" for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a terrorist organization based in Damascus, Syria. And the "Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies in Israel (C.S.S.) has a lot more to say about "The Elehssan Society."
The Elehssan Society is a network of Islamic “charitable societies” identified with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It claims to engage in social, cultural and health issues. At the same time, however, it is also part of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's civilian infrastructure and provides support for the organization's terrorist activities, which includes financial assistance provided to the families of shaheeds and prisoners. It should be noted that another Islamic terrorist organization, Hamas, has similar but larger terrorist-supporting civilian infrastructures both on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

The Elehssan Society has several branches in the Gaza Strip and a few on the West Bank (Bethlehem, Jenin, Tulkarm). It receives most of its funding from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad leadership located in Damascus, which itself receives generous financial aid from Iran. Such aid is intended to foster the deadly terrorist activities perpetrated by the organization in the PA-administered territories, particularly in Israel itself.

In addition to welfare activities, Elehssan branches deal with instigation to terrorist acts against Israel by glorifying the image of the terrorists who have perpetrated such attacks and by turning them into role models.

So we don't have to have much of an imagination to figure out what's taught at the Muslim school that this moonbat, now INSIDE the FDNY, taught at for five years. And we already know what he's going to be saying to any Muslims in the FDNY, so what in the hell is the FDNY thinking about?

From Michelle's post:

Government at all levels still refuses to screen out Wahhabist and terror-apologizing influences in our prisons, in the military, at the FBI, and in other prominent positions. (More background here and here and here and here and here.)

Tom Bevan writes: "The craziness never seems to end." Neither do our suicidal tendencies and limitless tolerance for the enemy within. Homeland security? What homeland security?

It's time for the blogosphere to thoroughly check out and expose decisions like these that further entrench Islam into our American society, facilitating the Islamization of America.

And by the way, it will be interesting to find out just how "connected" our Muslim chaplain friend's school is to to it's namesake, and exactly what they are teaching at that school!!!

UPDATE - Newsday:

An imam slated to be sworn in today as the second Muslim chaplain in Fire Department history, instead resigned after making controversial remarks on the Sept. 11 attacks in an interview with Newsday.

"The Fire Department this morning received the resignation of Imam Intikab Habib from his position of FDNY Chaplain," said FDNY Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta. "Based on comments he made to Newsday, Imam Intikab Habib would have been unable to effectively serve in the role he was appointed to."

Cross posted by Hyscience

By at 02:48 PM | Comments |

SHOCK: Judge Luttig to undergo Gender Reassignment

SICK: LITHWICK-- “PICK CHICK”; LUTTIG QUICK TO NIX…MANHOOD
Court Watcher Exclusive—Must Credit JAWA REPORT

The Jawa Report has learned that conservative Fourth Circuit Judge J. Michael Luttig is to undergo emergency gender-reassignment surgery at a Swedish hospital. The move fuels speculation that President Bush will nominate Luttig to the Supreme Court.

MORE!!!!

An administration insider told THE JAWA REPORT, “There’s a lot of pressure on us to ‘pick a chick’ for O’Connor’s spot. And it looks like Luttig really wants the job. The President has a reputation for rewarding loyalty, and I’m certain that he will look favorably on a man so dedicated to the legal profession, he’s willing to sacrifice his own tallywhacker.”

When asked whether, surely, there had been some mistake, Judge Luttig told this reporter, “It’s Desiree, actually, not Shirley. I get that a lot.”

Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who recently said “I would not like to be the only woman on the court,” refused to comment.

Reaction on the Senate Judiciary Committee was mixed. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Ca) told THE JAWA REPORT that she voted against John Roberts’ confirmation as Chief Justice because he failed to speak to her “as a son, a husband, and a father”. She added “I don’t see how Judge Luttig can manage to do any of that after his surgery.”

Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Ma) was also concerned about the procedure: “So, errr, ah, the judge’s physique would be, ahhh, in all respects, ahh, female? Well,um,urr,ah, would these be physically, um, attractive characteristics? Because I’m not just going to take the Bush administration’s ayerrrrrh word for this. The people have a right to know.”

Not to be outdone by Luttig, other potential nominees have been making subtle moves behind the scenes to make themselves attractive to Senatorial notions of judicial tokenism. University of Utah Law Professor Michael McConnell announced today that he is “gayer than a rock opera.” Meanwhile Texas Supreme Court Judge Priscilla Owen is reported to have scheduled an appointment with a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon to have her skin chemically darkened. “Dayam, boo,” she told the JAWA REPORT, “Why you got to be all up in my Kool-Aid about dat?”

“So that’s their little game, is it?” mused California Supreme Court Justice, and potential Bush nominee, Janice Rogers-Brown. “Well, I got some news for you. Me and a female friend are going to marry that Six Flags Dude. How you like them apples?”

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By See-Dubya at 02:25 PM | Comments |

'Bad' Polygamy vs. 'Good' Polygamy

Bad Polygamy

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Good Polygamy

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Because Steve the Llama Butcher asked and Michelle Malkin didn't want the answer....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:06 PM | Comments |

Al Qaeda Planning Nuclear Holocaust to Celebrate Ramadan

Al-Qaida is planning to detonate nuclear devices in seven major U.S. cities next month during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. At least, that's what World Net Daily is reporting. Of course, to find out the details of the report WND is only asking for the paltry sum of $99 dollars a year or $9.95 a month.

On a related note, The Jawa Report has intercepted a message from al-Qaeda Godfather Osama bin Laden to Iraq's sheikh of al-Qaeda, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, in which he reveals exactly which seven American cities will be nuked.

Which cities will suffer, and I quote, "a nuclear hell storm"? For the amazingly low price of $1,000, The Jawa Report will let you in on the big secret.

Here's a hint: you there, the guy reading this right now from your office computer. Yeah, you. I'd be having second thoughts about that business trip to you-know-where next month.

Seriously.

Ok, so there is no intercepted message. Color me skeptical about WND's claims of an impending nuclear holocaust. If al-Qaeda has nukes, is it simply waiting for Ramadan for maximum impact? Why didn't it use them on September 11th? Fourth of July? Chanukah? Groundhog Day?

Scenario 1) Al Qaeda doesn't have nukes, and never has had nukes. If they ever did manage to get a hold of an old Soviet suitcase bomb it was a dud or a fake. Most likely scenario.

Scenario 2) Al Qaeda has nukes but is afraid to use them. The goal of al Qaeda is the gradual restoration of the global caliphate. Nuking the U.S. would surely unleash retalliation so severe as to make several parts of the future caliphate unlivable for the foreseeable future. Less likely, but possible.

So, relax, go about your business, and enjoy the traditional Ramadan festivities--such as personally slitting the throat of a sheep or goat!

Thanks to John from Stop the ACLU for the tip.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:38 AM | Comments |

September 29, 2005

The Heavies

I’m still politicked out so I’m going to put up a list of the twenty best bad guys in the movie business. These are actors who would, if I were flipping channels and saw these guys clutching a tommy gun and spraying a cop car with lead, make me stop and watch for a few minutes. Or they might break the tie if I were deciding between two schlock action films. I’m picking out actors here, as opposed to characters, and while you’ll probably find most of them somewhat pedestrian there were a few I had to look up on IMDB—they were always just filed under “Oh, that guy!” This list inclines away from horror and toward action, crime, and Westerns, but hey, so do I. So click below, and here we go:

20. Gary Oldman—If you can recognize him under all that makeup, he’s probably in there kicking some major butt. I think his turn as Stansfield in The Professional was probably his best, though Mason Verger was pretty creepy.
19. Rutger Hauer—yeah, a guilty pleasure, since he has been in some truly awful films. But The Hitcher gave me nightmares.
18. Lee Van Cleef—Dude got them crazy eyes. He was Good as the Bad in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and a quite menacing Frank Miller in High Noon.
17. Danny Trejo—If the Latin Drug Lord sends his enforcer after you, it’s probably this guy. He was Johnny 23 in Con Air, Razor Johnny in From Dusk Till Dawn, the nameless hitman in The Replacement Killers, and countless other cannon-fodder roles.
16. Ronny Cox—Sometimes evil needs a respectable, corporate face. It’s not all knives and nukes; there’s usually a WASPy guy with clean fingernails and a firm handshake calling the shots. Ronny Cox is that guy. Whether running a colony on Mars in Total Recall or an amoral corporation in Robocop, Cox is The Man.
15. Christopher Lee—The ubervillain. Scaramanga, Dooku, Saruman. Lee’s been in plenty of crap movies I’ve never heard of, but he’s been in some great crap movies too. This guy has led an absolutely fascinating life—he actually met JRR Tolkien and Lee's distant relative, Ian Fleming, personally recommended he be cast as Dr. No, though he later got into the inferior Man With The Golden Gun (and having reviewed that trainwreck on AMC the other day, I can say Lee was the best thing about it, except for Britt Ekland; rowr.). He’s also the reason I don’t need to include Alan Rickman in this list.
14. Al Lettieri—Had they been contemporaries, would probably have played Danny Trejo’s boss. The guy just seems angry all the time and he looks like Carlos the Jackal. But he’s got that elegant/sinister thing down pat. As Solozzo in the Godfather or as Santiago in John Wayne’s McQ, he commanded attention. “Blood is a big expense!”
13. Steve Buscemi—I don’t think I need to explain this choice. He plays a ratfink creep like nobody’s business.
12. Bill Duke—I love this guy. He’s always a competent, sober villain whom you don’t want on your tail—or when he plays a good guy, as in the head DEA guy in The Limey or Mac in Predator, definitely someone you’d want at your back. I first saw him as “Cooke” in Commando and he’s popped up everywhere since then. His IMDB entry is woefully incomplete, since it leaves off the Limey and his role as a corrupt cop in Payback. Ving Rhames without the twinkle.
11. Ronald Lacey—When I have nightmares about Nazis, they have the face of Toht from Raiders of the Lost Ark—sometimes in mid-melt. Peter Lorre was never so menacing. “Shooooot them—shoot them both!”
10. Ric Young— I first saw this guy in the Corruptor as the Triad boss. He was so oily and effete and Mephistophelean that I just despised the guy. It’s a good actor who can inspire such loathing that you actually dislike the actor, not just the character. But then I realized I’d also seen him as a fanatical Maoist interrogator in The Last Emperor and he was pretty good there too, as a completely different kind of bad guy. He pops up in the club scene in the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as well.
9. Sean Bean—Boromir, yeah, but also the backstabbing Alec Trevelyan in Goldeneye and even better, the unstable, sadistic Spence in Ronin. And he was fine in Patriot Games. Excellent Brit psycho.
8. Warren Oates. Sam Peckinpah used him several times and I can see why. He’s a little like #4 below, but more likeable and a little more country. His Dillinger was pitch-perfect.
7. Bill McKinney (honorable mention—Herbert “Cowboy” Coward). Don’t recognize the name? Maybe he’d prefer that. Burt Reynolds thought McKinney was a little too into his big scene in Deliverance. (I wonder how Ned Beatty felt? ) McKinney has ably played other nasty villains as well, like Captain “Redlegs” Terrell in The Outlaw Josey Wales. “Squeal Like a Pig! Wheeeeeek!”
6.Ian McShane—Do tell me how he’s doing in Deadwood. I know him only as the chilling, satanic Teddy Bass in Sexy Beast. I do not want to know him better. Brrr.
5. James Gandolfini. Not so much for the Sopranos as for his turn as a dead-eyed thug in True Romance. I thought at the time that that guy was going places. “Now I do it just to watch their expression change”.
4. Lee Marvin. A genuine WWII Marine badass, he could bring sociopathy to life like no one else—in the west, as Liberty Valance, or as a grim hitman in The Killers (he shoots Ronald Reagan, who did pretty good as a villain himself—in the sort of role Ronny Cox might play today.)
3. Dwight Yoakam—As Doyle in Sling Blade or as one of the housebreakers in Panic Room—or even in a quick cameo in Red Rock West—Dwight’s got the feral cranked-up psycho thing down really well. I know people that look and act like that and I don’t mess with them. I think he’s ready for a big-time role as a villain.
2. Powers Boothe. What a likeable villain. I was hoping he’d kick Van Damme’s Belgian gluteus in Sudden Death. And he was wonderfully hammy in Extreme Prejudice. But I’ll let Dave at Garfield Ridge explain more of Boothe’s mystique since he’s, er, quite taken with Boothe’s powers.
1. Why, Walken, of course. His only false note as a villain was in Things to do in Denver When you’re Dead, and that film was so bad anyway that it just doesn’t matter—if there’s a film in which to lay an egg, that’s it. King of New York, for my money, was his best performance.

Okay guys, in a fight between Walken and Powers Boothe, who would win? And who have I left out of this list? I might consider updating this with a few more (or less) names in the near future.

NB There aren’t any women on this list because I can’t recall any really memorable or credible female villains except for Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, which was fine but not quite enough for this list. Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb was originally on here but that’s the only thing she ever did. There are plenty of bad girls in Bond films, etc., but aside from Lenya no one I’d sit through a movie to watch, at least for their villainous acting.

By See-Dubya at 05:41 PM | Comments |

U.S. Forces Catch Over a Hundred Terror Suspects in Iraq: Dumb Terrorist Leaves RPG Thank You Note on Cell Phone

U.S. forces have captured over a hundred suspected terrorists in Iraq in the past week. Coalition Forces, often teaming up with Iraqi Army Soldiers, conducted 69 cordon and search operations and raids against anti-Iraqi forces over the past week, seizing 135 terror suspects and many weapons caches in and around the capital city.

In one incident, Soldiers were approached by an Iraqi citizen who told them that a suspicious car was parked in his neighborhood. The Soldiers searched four men near the car identified by the citizen and found bomb-making materials.

While the U.S. troops questioned the car owners, they stopped and searched a fifth man who was acting suspiciously. The man's cell-phone history contained a message from another terrorist that roughly translated into "Thanks for the use of the rocket-propelled grenades."

Can terrorists really be that stupid? Yes they can. I wonder if this is one of the guys 'Abu Musab al-Zarqawi' was referring too here?

For more news from Iraq, read Centcom news briefs daily.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:46 PM | Comments |

Killer Serial

I just want to point out that a little guilty pleasure of mine is Frank J's serialized novel over at IMAO, called "Superego". It's a sort of sci-fi Raymond Chandler thing about a wisecracking psychopathic intergalactic hitman. He's working pretty hard to crank out a new chapter of this every couple of days and it's pretty entertaining.

You can go to all the archived Superego stories here--there are 37 chapters so far, the first at the bottom..

By See-Dubya at 04:43 PM | Comments |

Star Wars Even Makes Baseball Fun

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Baseball: sport of geeks.

Hat tip: TC Leather Penguin

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:08 PM | Comments |

Judge Gives Terrorists New Weapon: More Abu Ghraib Photos to be Released

In a time of war, the first and primary duty of the government of the United States is and ought to be TOTAL VICTORY. Any agent of the government who intentionally gives the enemy a tool to fight us with has betrayed the public trust and must be removed. U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein ought to be impeached and his order ignored.

Guardian:

Saying the United States ``does not surrender to blackmail,'' a judge ruled Thursday that pictures of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison must be released over government claims that they could damage America's image.

U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein ordered the release of certain pictures in a 50-page decision that said terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven they ``do not need pretexts for their barbarism.''

What a total idiot. Of course they don't need pretext for their barbarism, but what they do need is pretext for the fundamentialists to support their barbarism. What they do need is pretext to recruit the true believer into the ranks.

Terrorists do not kill because they like to kill. Terrorists kill because they believe they are doing the right thing. Thank you judge, thank you ACLU, you are doing the terrorists job of 'winning the hearts and minds' of the world for them and are helping recruit hundreds and thousands of more terrorists to kill your fellow citizens!

Hat tip to Jay from Stop the ACLU who has more here as does Ace from Ace of Spades HQ here and California Conservative here.

UPDATE: Just in case you were not clear on the difference between the abuses at Abu Ghraib and actual torture: 'Torture' vs. Torture

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:34 PM | Comments |

Tom Delay, Please Resign (UPDATED)

Tom Delay should resign from Congress. Did he do anything illegal? I've no idea. Campaign finance laws are like the tax code: so complicated as to lose all meaning to the average citizen. But whether or not Delay broke any laws is beside the point in my mind. He is the poster child for the peddling of Washington's largess to special interests.

He is the Republican version of Dan Rostenkowski. Did Rostenskowski break some minor federal laws? Perhaps, but the larger problem with the former Democratic Ways and Means Committee Chair was not that he committed 'mail fraud' but that he used his position in Congress to take my money away from me and give to his constituents, his campaign donors, and his ideological allies.

Congress is full of politicians who engage in quid pro quos with special interests. But some are worse than others. Tom Delay is one of the worst.

Is Ronnie Earle a partisan hack? That's a given. But even partisan hacks sometimes get it right, even when they are motivated by, well, partisanship. I've no idea if he's gotten it right here, but again, that is the least of my concerns.

There is a second and unrelated reason Delay should resign. Tom Delay hurts the Republican Party and helps the Democratic Party. I don't really care if Delay hurts the Republican Party. I am a big believer in the two-party system--as long as those two parties are Republicans and Libertarians. What I am not a big believer in are the statist principles at the core of Democratic philosophy and which are increasingly becoming part of Republican practice.

As long as the Democrats remain the party of bigger government as opposed to the Republicans just being the party of big government, then anything that helps them win cannot be good for the country.

The perception of corruption and ineptness in Washington by the public is uncannily familiar. I smell 1994 in the air again. The Democrats only need to come up with their own Contract With America--some coherent alternative vision based on a 'reform' agenda--and they will win back the House of Representatives.

So, Tom Delay, do us all a favor: resign. Spare us all the headache of putting a party in power who wants even more government so that it can dole out even more favors to even more special interests, campaign donors, and ideological allies. The country is in bad enough shape with you helping to run it, let's not make it any worse.

This will serve as my one and only post on the Delay scandal. The Jawa has spoken.

More Delay reaction from RINOs here at The Politburo Diktat. UPDATE: Due to heavy schedule here, I've been kind of out of it. Michelle Malkin has big roundup here. Ahhh, and check out the two last paragraphs from Captain Ed. UPDATE II: Professor Chaos, truth detector. Hawkins is right, but he needs to go go, not just go. UPDATE III: Chris Abraham, right on. Rusty Shackleford, 'bedwetting right'?? Are you kidding me?--Update: I have been assured that I was not part of the 'bedwetting right' alluded to here. Good to know.

UPDATE IV: Ok, John from Wuzzadem pretty much has the 'don't get on the indict Delay bandwagon yet because this just gives the moonbats fuel for the fire' argument summed up--sorta.

UPDATE V: Let me make myself clear:

I call on Jack Reed, Paul Sarbanes, Barbara Lee, John Oliver, Jim McDermott and all other Leftists in Congress to resign BEFORE Tom Delay because you are far mor dangerous to the nation

Happy?

UPDATE VI: Willisms de-links me because I don't drink the party kool-aid at every turn, even after I try to reassert my street cred by calling on Leftists in Congress to do the same. Very unclassy. PS-had I realized you weren't on the blogroll I certainly would have added you, especially if you had asked. And, BTW, The Jawa Report is 'skinnable'. If you want a light background with dark text, simply click on the link in the upper right corner.

What I've never understood is people who put party loyalty above principle. It's the same reason I think the modern Democratic party has largely become a farce and an anti-American institution. They oppose the war because, er, they have to because, er, they're the party of opposition.

I'm not going to support Delay simply because he is the enemy of my enemy. This isn't war, no one is going to die if Delay goes down, he's not that important to my agenda--which is winning the war on terror.

There is something deeply disturbing about people who think it is their duty to be the propoganda arm of the Republican party and who think it an act of betrayal to oppose any one or anything that they are for.

I, for one, encourage reasoned disagreement. And, as always, I am open to having my mind changed if there is some angle that I haven't given enough thought to.

UPDATE VII: Let me get the two sides of the argument straight. One side, my side (now joined by Pieter Dorsman), thinks defending Delay helps the Democratic party by associating the party with perceived misdeeds. The other side, most of my readers are in this category (I'm looking in your general direction Filthy), think that if Delay goes down then the Dems come out on top and will go after the next politician they hate--thus, we must support Delay so that this doesn't happen.

Is this a fair presentation of the two sides of the argument?

UPDATE VIII: Loyal reader Marcus Aurelius disagrees.

UPDATE IX: We are officially in a blogfluffle.

UPDATE X: For John at Wuzzadem. I'm not supporting Delay's indictment. How should I know whether the charges are true or not? I just want him gone, gone, gone. It's a logical fallacy, in my mind, to equate someone resigning from office because they're pathetic scoundrals (which Delay is) and hurt the overall cause, with supporting those that wish to see him in jail. Anyway, those following the debate should probably go read John's post. But I wonder, isn't the greater pack mentality the reflexive defense of Delay because he's 'our guy' than we few who dare call for his resignation?

And for Beth, long-time blog-friend, I'd say that the Left hates Delay for a number of reasons, and that, yes, one of them is that he's effective. Mostly the effectiveness they hate him for has to do with the Texas redistricting push that he was largely responsible for. But just because they hate him for those reasons does not mean that I must also hate him for the same reasons. I hate him for the same reason Newt Gingrich hated the Democratic leadership of the 1980's--they were spendthrifts and Washington insider influence peddlers of the highest caliber. I did not support the Democrats when they drummed Newt out of Congress. Tom Delay, though, is no Newt Gingrich.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:18 AM | Comments |

Score One for the Good Guys

New York Governor George Pataki finally reached down and grabbed a pair today. He has told the International Freedom Center that they are not wanted at Ground Zero.

"Freedom should unify us. This center has not," Pataki said. "Today there remains too much opposition, too much controversy over the programming of the IFC. ... We must move forward with our first priority, the creation of an inspiring memorial to pay tribute to our lost loved ones and tell their stories to the world."

For those of you not familiar with this controversy, the International "Freedom" Center has been trying to exploit Ground Zero to build what amounts to an anti-American monument. They wished to build a museum to show how American intervention has ruined lives around the world and how the "peaceful Muslims" have been persecuted and terrified. Of course that's not EXACTLY how they put it, but the message remains the same.

In the spirit of cooperation, Pataki was even generous enough to offer to help find some other location for the IFC to build their museum. Of course their reply was much less gracious.

Pataki initially said the state would help the International Freedom Center find another home, but center officials said they weren't interested and considered the project dead.

As expected, not everyone is happy about the center being closed down. Mayor Bloomburg has been quoted as saying "Although I understand Governor Pataki's decision, I am disappointed that we were not able to find a way to reconcile the freedoms we hold so dear with the sanctity of the site." Of course if he thinks that the center had anything to do with freedom, he sould probably go back and read his literature again.

For more information about just what the IFC had planned, you can visit Take Back The Memorial or check out this Opinion Journal article.

Thanks to my ever-vigilant CF readers for bringing this story to my attention.

By at 10:10 AM | Comments |

Report: Taliban MIGHT Have al Qaeda Links

At least twelve people were killed in Kabul today when a mass-murderer on a motorcycle exploded himself in Afghanistan's capital city. You might have heard this in the news already, but look how New Zealand's Mail and Guardian is spinning the story. Here is the headline:

Kabul attack raises fear of al-Qaeda link to Taliban

What? Is this a joke? Ok, so maybe the headline is misleading. You know, like a typo or something. Sometimes headlines don't do a story justice. The only people who have any doubt that the Taliban were simply the institutionalized political wing of the Salafist jihad in Afghanistan also wear tin foil and believe that 9/11 was an 'inside job'. Let's go on to the story:

Afghan officials believe al-Qaeda has renewed its ties with the Taliban.
Renewed its ties? Again, what idiot actually thinks those ties were ever severed? Seriously? But at least the story admits that there were ties, you know, at one time.

The facts of the story actually get at what is really going on. What is meant is that the Taliban are now copying tactics used by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq, and that foreign jihadis with ties to al Qaeda are entering Afghanistan in larger numbers.

In an interview published this week, a Taliban commander boasted he had trained in Iraq for several months and was now bringing his expertise home.

"I want to copy in Afghanistan the tactics and spirit of the glorious Iraqi resistance," Muhammad Daud told Newsweek.

Hours before Wednesday's blast, the Afghan intelligence agency, the NDS, told security groups that al-Qaeda had formed a new group, named Fedayani Islam (Sacrifices for Islam), and sent suicide bombers into southern Afghanistan, seeking "targets of opportunity".

As someone who has a bit of knowledge about this subject, let me state categorically that there is not a bit of difference between al Qaeda and the Taliban. Different organizations, yes, but with the same goals and who are now, and have always been, tied together. Further, al Qaeda and the Taliban never left Afghanistan. Why the hell do you think we've had troops in that country for over 3 years now? To make such a claim reveals a depth of ignorance so great that it is almost unfathonable.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:27 AM | Comments |

Sarah Bench-Salorio Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Crimes

(Los Angeles) Following up on a previous report, former English teacher at Santiago Charter Middle School, Sarah Bench-Salorio (photos), 29, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of lewd contact for having sex with three young boys. Bench-Salorio taught the boys, aged 11 to 13, during the years 2003 and 2004. She seduced the boys over dinners, through e-mails and telephone calls for months before she molested them.

Yesterday, Bench-Salorio pleaded guilty to 29 counts of lewd acts with the three boys before Judge Richard Toohey in Orange County Superior Court under an agreement that she be sentenced to three to six years in prison. As an aside, this equates to a range of about one to two months prison for each felony child sex crime. In other words, Bench-Salorio had no books thrown at her.

According to Mark Macaulay of the Orange County District Attorney's Office, Bench-Salorio will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life. Deputy District Attorney John Christl pegged her as a "sexual predator." Bench-Salorio's attorney, Allan Stokke, stated:

"My client concluded it was in her best interest to plead guilty and get a sentence of between three and six years as opposed to 64 years," which she could have faced as a maximum term if the case had gone to trial, Stokke said.
Bench-Salorio, jailed in lieu of $500,000 bond, is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on November 18.

For several reasons, my take is disgust. First is what she did to the boys. As an example, one boy "estimated the number of times he and his teacher had sex by the condoms in a box that he went through -- 22 of them, he said -- and added that sometimes no condom was used." Bench-Salorio experienced no momentary lapse of judgment. She was engaged in long-term, serial sexual criminal behavior with children.

Now, couple that with the fact that she is married with three foster children and listen to her apologists claim that she suffers from depression and a bipolar condition. Well, boo-freakin'-hoo! She can be bipolar and a convict. She can be depressed and a convict. Just make her a convict for a long time.

Unfortunately, she'll be in prison for no more then six years and I seriously doubt that she'll get the full six. Think of the damage she's done. Think of the victimized boys, their families, her own family, the school. Think of what would be the punishment for a man committing similar crimes. Given all the circumstance, is six years reasonable punishment? I don't think so. Not even close. Bench-Salorio should be looking at double or triple that amount or more.

Companion at Interested-Participant.

By at 06:36 AM | Comments |

September 28, 2005

Reader Help: Hotels in London

Any reader know of a hotel or B&B in London that meets rather high American expectations (what passes for a '3 star hotel' is rather shocking on the other side of the pond) that's relatively cheap? By 'American expectations' I mean a bed that a guy that's 6' 4'' can sleep on, is cleaned daily, has an air conditioner, and en suite bathroom & showers. Doesn't need to be right in the center of London, but does need to be near a tube station and cheap. Did I mention cheap?

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:52 PM | Comments |

Another Dose Of Tolkien Geekery

Since Robbo is still hanging out with the 70 year old hippies in Berkeley visiting the Bay Area, I'll send you to today's dose of Not Written By George Lucas geekery.

This is a synopsis of Book II, Chapter 2, where we learn the history of the Ring.

"One Ring To Rule Them All, One Ring To Find Them,
One Ring To Bring Them All And In The Darkness Bind Them."

Yup, Tolkien was a married man alright.

Oh, and make sure that if you miss a dose of Tolkien Geekery, take the next dose as soon as possible and continue to follow the instructions on the label.

UPDATE:

My anonymous syncophant has asked yet another extremely relevant, deeply insightful, and intellectualy sound question; "Are you sure? I thought this 'Tolkein' dude was gay."

Brilliant inquiry, I must say. I did a Google search, and sure enough, there are several gay Tolkeins out there. Some are even good gay!

But I couldn't find any good or bad gay Tolkiens, even when I narrowed the search to J.R.R.

George Lucas, however, is as queer as a 3 dollar bill. The existence of Jar Jar Binks certainly bears that out.

By Vinnie at 06:46 PM | Comments |

Did Castro Kill Salvador Allende?

Interesting theory. I'd love if it were true. Any conversation with a Leftist longer than 10 minutes and Salvador Allende's name will come up in the long list of bad things America has done in the past. Usually inserted somewhere between 'East Timor' and 'illegal bombing of Cambodia', but always right before 'support for the Shah'--meant to prove that policy X (insert policy here) is also bad and therefore America 'is the real biggest terrorist in the world'--yada, yada, yada.

From Swimming Against the Red Tide:

The fact is that Allende was not a suicide, he was not killed by the military that took the power in september, 1973. During their assault against La Moneda palace, Chilean president was cowardly murdered by one of the Cuba agent that were in charge of his protection
Go check out the full translation of the original article that he has posted here.

He also links to this article about a new book by Christopher Andrews and Vasili Mitrokhin The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World. The book claims that now open Soviet archives show that the much of the right-wing paranoia about self-proclaimed indigenous movementes really being directed from Moscow were, in fact, not so much paranoia as based in fact.

The book claims:

• The KGB documents record actual and proposed payments to Chile's Salvador Allende totaling $420,000 both before and after his election as president in 1970.

• Costa Rica's José ''Pepe'' Figueres received $300,000 from the KGB for his 1970 presidential campaign and $10,000 afterward.

• The KGB ''trained and financed'' the Sandinistas who seized the National Palace in Managua and dozens of hostages in 1978. A senior KGB official was briefed on the plan on the eve of the raid, led by Edén Pastora, also known as Commander Zero...

The book describes Allende as ''by far the most important of the KGB's confidential contacts in South America,'' because he was a democratically-elected Marxist and Castro's ally. In KGB lexicon, a confidential contact is more like a friendly source, not an agent.

But Allende's KGB file says the agency maintained ''systematic contact'' with him since 1961, the book adds. One report says, "He stated his willingness to cooperate on a confidential basis . . . since he considered himself a friend of the Soviet Union.''

So while the Nixon administration and CIA were working diligently to prevent his election in 1970, and to oust him afterward, the KGB also was working hard to put him and keep him in power, the book says.

This is surely going to ruffle a few feathers!

To be honest, I'm not up to speed on the Pinochet junta. Too many people I respect seem to think that toppling Allende was not a good thing. So, regardless of who pulled the trigger, the fact remains that the U.S. actively helped in the overthrow of a democratically elected President. Just because he was a Commie does not mean he was a threat to the U.S. Remember, during the same period Italy had communist governments yet remained loyal to NATO.

I'm open, though, to hearing opposing viewpoints.

Hat tip h0mi who found the link at Babalu Blog.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:18 PM | Comments |

The Pot Calling The Kettle...

According to WorldNetDaily, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Atheism is a religion.

OK, let's go to the dictionary for a ruling on that one.

re·li·gion
A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

Hey, folks, looks like we just might have a match! Boy, that'll throw a kink into all those "freedom from religion" lawsuits now won't it? If they throw out the Ten Commandments, then they are endorsing Athesim, which, according to the 7th Circuit, is a religion. But Government can't endorse religion. So they have to bring back the Ten Commandments. But then they endorse the Christian religion...

That's going to give someone a headache. I only hope it's an ACLU lawyer.

By at 02:34 PM | Comments |

Spotted at Cindy Sheehan Rally

alsharptoncindysheehan.jpg

Fake but accurate courtesy Filthy Allah via DSM. Original here.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:22 AM | Comments |

Jail Time for Beheading Video

Wow. I'd really like to know more about the context of this. Context is everything.

UPDATE: After giving this some thought, let me clarify what I mean by 'context'.

Two films, the exact same footage, but different voice overs. Both show holocaust images. The first film praises 'the final solution' with commentary on Jews meeting their just end. The second film comments on the evil nature of antisemetism and the inhumanity of the Nazi regime.

Images, alone, convey no meaning. Meaning is conveyed by context. Context matters.

So, should this person go to jail? Not for 'shocking' some one else. Not if the context was, "look at what the bastards we are fighting in Iraq, you know, Cindy Sheehan's freedom fighters, are really doing." Give Younis a medal.

But, if the context of the conversation was 'look at this infidel pig getting his head cut off, praise Allah" then, yes, the person should go to jail. For a long time. Not for 'shocking' someone else, but for treason.

This London:


A hotel guest who showed an "abhorrent and shocking" video of an Iraqi hostage beheading to an appalled worker has been jailed for 60 days.

Subhaan Younis, 23, showed Charlotte McClay the footage on his mobile phone while chatting to her in the shop where she worked at the Moat House Hotel in Glasgow...

Younis had shown Ms Clay the footage during a conversation about the Iraq war after offering to let her see something that would "cause her a sleepless night", said Mr Sellar. The shop worker replied: "Aye, right," the court heard.

The solicitor said his client thought Ms Clay realised she was about to see a video of a hostage beheading.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:11 AM | Comments |

Anna Nicole Smith Case Goes to Supreme Court

annanicolemithtrial.jpg
The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to hear Anna Nicole Smith's probate case. The case of Vickie Lynn Marshall (aka, Anna Nicole Smith) vs. E. Pierce Marshall centers on whether a federal bankruptcy court can rule on wills and estates.

Anna Nicole Smith's laywer claims she will personally be at the Supreme Court during the hearing. Let the media circus begin!

Why would the Supreme Court agree to hear Anna Nicole Smith's case? Two reasons: The Rule of Four and TrimSpa.

It takes four justices to agree to hear a case. Remember, there are seven men on the Supreme Court--four of which are presumed to be straight (Stephens and Breyer are iffy). Plus you have Ginsburg--you know what I'm talking about. And you're going to tell me Thomas wasn't leading the charge? He's a swinger baby!

Another victory for corporate America. I mean do you think the old Anna Nicole Smith would have had a snowball's chance in hell of getting her case heard had the TrimSpa corporation not done their magic? Let's not forget the silicon-industrial complex here.

LA Times:

In 1993, Smith was Playboy's Playmate of the Year, and shortly afterward, the 26-year-old married Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall. He was 89, and a fan of her strip act.

He died a year later, and Smith has fought with Marshall's son, Pierce, over an estate valued at more than $1.6 billion.

A Texas probate judge ruled that Marshall's son was his sole heir and entitled to his fortune. However, a federal bankruptcy judge in California later ruled that Marshall's son had schemed to move assets from his father's estate. Smith was awarded $88 million in damages.

Although the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the probate ruling should stand, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the dispute to decide when, if ever, bankruptcy judges can rule on probate matters.

Is it any coincidence that the Supreme Court grants Anna Nicole Smith certiorari only after she loses all that weight? I think not!

Presenting the certiorari worthy versus uncertiorari worthy Anna Nicole Smith.

uncertiorari worthy

anna-nicole-smith2.jpg

certiorari worthy

anna-nicole-smith_slip.jpg

uncertiorari worthy

AnnaNicoleSmithfat.jpg

certiorari worthy

ann_nicole_smith_lingerie.jpg

uncertiorari worthy

AnnaNicoleSmithfat2.jpg

certiorari worthy

anna_nicole_smith_boobs.jpg

You get the idea. There's good Anna Nicole Smith and there's bad Anna Nicole Smith.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:54 AM | Comments |

WTW The World Is Watching.

Go and brag about your misery some place else he doesn’t work for anyone else.
You use his words to make your point but his first dreams were of West Point.
Just like those you hope to imitate, to that call he never did relate.
Go ahead and take all you can steal to him politics never were the deal.
So stand up and boo when he cranks it up for you just like they did you will too.
You have no idea what rebellion really is it was only the music that was his.
Take it, twist it, use it for your own but he is one whose soul is his own.
The certainty is you will find yourself alone just like Joan you can’t harness a rolling stone.

Here are your bloggers

My Apologies to Mr Zimmerman. But fight fire with fire I always say. Cindy's cheap lame attempt to connect with the 60's antiwar movement. I don't buy it. So while Mr. Zimmerman was part of the civil rights movement he left and never came back once it morphed into an anti war ordeal. Then they all called him a traitor and hated him so to come back now and try and reuse him or associate him with a cause he was never part of sucks air. The day I see him standing next to you I'll change my mind. Also I've checked his bebsire and I can find no mention of poiltics, Cindy, the war pro or con.

By Howie at 08:15 AM | Comments |

Extinct Protest Species Rediscovered

Where is Bill from INDC when he is needed most? I think we've discovered a species of Moonbat previously thought extinct.

protest_photo_zombie.jpg

More from Zombie. Hat tip to John at Stop the ACLU. Related from Jason Smith.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:09 AM | Comments |

September 27, 2005

Paris of the South

A kind of urgent situation is developing in the Louisiana and Texas counties that were hit by Rita. Temperatures are soaring and there's no power, and not very much food or water. For some reason Texas has closed most of their shelters (or they're full) and if the counties (like Liberty and Orange County Texas) don't open some shelters in schools or churches before long we're going to see the kind of death toll for elderly that we saw in Paris a couple of years ago. Local pols, in both Louisiana and Texas seem to have their heads screwed on wrong about this, so if anyone knows how to light a fire under local and state governments, or is able to start some sort of volunteer effort (especially to open the schools as shelters for the elderly) it'd be a fantastic thing to do.

The last thing I want to see is the US compared to France. Do what you can. Call who you can (Texas Emergency Services or the Governors Office). Life and death, methinks. Temperatures should moderate later in the week, but by then it may be too late.

Update: A cold front is expected to come in late today and be established by Thursday, which may help a lot more than FEMA or the state emergency services. Many people in these areas didn't evacuate, because the storm shifted eastward rather late in its course, and now can't leave because of downed trees, impassable roads, and lack of fuel. At least that's what some of the people calling in are saying.

By Demosophist at 07:57 PM | Comments |

Well, Look What The Ayatollah Dragged In

Look, Ma, I got me one of dem thar terrorist fellers.

Shore was nice a'him to leave his email address, tweren't it?

He shore does lahk dat Eye-ran place, even tho's he's done holed up in dat place where they talk English funny.

UPDATE:

Is this what I'm dealing with? Dunno, could be. I have neither the time nor the iinclination to figure out just how many "Armin Shams" live in the U.K.

By Vinnie at 06:53 PM | Comments |

Ex-Congressman Dellums Considering Mayor's Job

(Oakland, California) Former U.S. Representative Ron Dellums, a 28-year veteran Democrat in Congress, is sniffing at becoming the next Mayor of Oakland. The idea became a possibility in June when an outburst of support was seen during the 50th anniversary celebration of the Oakland Citizens Committee for Urban Renewal (OCCUR). Interviewed this past week, Dellums indicated that:

[T]he risks involved in staking his reputation on a city with seemingly intractable problems such as high rates of violent crime, sagging public finances and underachieving schools only make a mayoral run seem more attractive.
Despite whether Dellums runs for mayor, it should be pointed out that the Oakland Citizens Committee for Urban Renewal doesn't seem to have done jack-shinola in 50 years. For crying out loud, what the hell were they celebrating back in June? The high rates of violent crime? The sagging public finances? Or was it the underachieving schools? Sheesh! It makes this writer wonder what will be accomplished in the next 50 years.

Getting back to Dellums, for those who aren't familiar with the former Democratic congressman, his political history reasonably indicates that the only distinction between him and an avowed communist is that Dellums was never heard to say in public, "I'm an avowed communist." And arguably, there is no better objective indicator of his core political philosophy than the Internet. Just do a Google search of "Dellums" and "communist" and you'll get more hits than if you Google "Dellums" and "Democrat."

As to whether Dellums and his communist/socialist belief system take over Oakland or not, it really makes no difference. The East Bay is already infested with more Marxist ideologues than any other place in North America. What's one more?

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

By at 06:04 PM | Comments |

Ansar al-Sunna finds 'Safe Haven' in Sweden, Issues Death Fatwa Against Christian Minister

The The Army of Ansar al-Sunnah in Sweden announced on its website that it had opened a jihad training camp near Skane, Sweden (via Infovlad). I have backed up their original website HERE. The website warns

Please brothers and sisters, keep this website in secret and it will be online much longer.
That URL is http://www.sunnahserver.x10hosting.com. Spread the word....UPDATE: Thank you X10 Hosting! Site down. site_down_image.jpg Image courtesy Aaron at Internet Hagganah.


The announcement also apologizes to the Swedish people for threats made by overzealous members of the group, and assures Swedes that they only wish to kill Americans and Zionists.

However, a veiled death threat is issued against an individual identified as Runar Søgaard, a Norwegian living in Sweden:

We urge all Brothers and Sisters to boycott / capture Runar Søgaard who is reported to be under police protection after offending us Muslimeen with a speech about Islam's final prophet, Muhamad..

May Allah(swt) give mercy and peace to the supporters who capture and punish Runar with the hardest punishment, by the grace of Allah...

We will capture him sooner or later and he will get the hardest punishment in the name of Allah (SWT); we never forget our enemies!

Under Islamic law, the death penalty is considered the 'hardest punishment' for blasphemy. Islamic militants often pronounce death sentences on captured hostages before they murder them. Thus, their act of homicide is justified as meting out of punishment rather than the cold-blooded murder that it is.

Runar Søgaard has been under police protection since he practiced his free speech rights (something forbidden in Islam) by saying, among other things, that Mohammed was "a confused pedophile." Which he was. He consumated his marriage with Aisha when she was 9 years old. What do you call that?

The website also claims that Sweden is a perfect place to practice jihad since the Americans don't dare to bomb it. Sweden is called a 'safe haven'.

The Ansar al-Sunnah in Sweden website also claimed earlier videos of sniper training and the use of high end explosives circulating among jihadi message boards were made by them. Our report on the earlier video is here.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:13 PM | Comments |

Move Over CBS, al Qaeda Moves Into the News Business


On September 23rd the Islamic Media Front released a 16 minute news video on the internet called 'Sout al-Khalifa' or 'Voice of the Caliphate'. In recent months, al Qaeda in Iraq has accused al Jazeera of being too pro-Western. The Jawa Report has obtained a copy of the video. Images from it are posted below. Clips from the video can be seen at MEMRI TV (about 4 minutes). If you need a copy of the entire video, please e-mail.

WAPO:

An Internet video newscast called the Voice of the Caliphate was broadcast for the first time on Monday, purporting to be a production of al Qaeda and featuring an anchorman who wore a black ski mask and an ammunition belt.

The anchorman, who said the report would appear once a week, presented news about the Gaza Strip and Iraq and expressed happiness about recent hurricanes in the United States. A copy of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, was placed by his right hand and a rifle affixed to a tripod was pointed at the camera....

The lead segment recounted Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, which the narrator proclaimed as a "great victory," while showing Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia walking and talking among celebrating compatriots.

That was followed by a repeat of a pledge on Sept. 14 by Abu Musab Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, to wage all-out war on Iraq's Shiite Muslims. An image of Zarqawi, a Jordanian-born Sunni Muslim, remained on the screen for about half the broadcast.

The masked announcer also reported that a group called the Islamic Army in Iraq claimed to have launched chemical-armed rockets at American forces in Baghdad. A video clip showed five rockets fired in succession from behind a sand berm as an off-screen voice yelled "God is great" in Arabic. The Islamic Army asserted responsibility last year for the killing of Enzo Baldoni, an Italian journalist who had been kidnapped in Iraq.

A commercial break of sorts followed, which previewed a movie, "Total Jihad," directed by Mousslim Mouwaheed. The ad was in English, suggesting that the target audience might be Muslims living in Britain and the United States.

The final segment was about Hurricane Katrina. "The whole Muslim world was filled with joy" at the disaster, the anchorman said. He went on to say that President Bush was "completely humiliated by his obvious incapacity to face the wrath of God, who battered New Orleans, city of homosexuals." Hurricane Ophelia's brush with North Carolina was also mentioned.

More on the Global Islamic Media Front from our archives.

Others: Captain Ed, James Joyner.


Images from the video below.

voice_of_caliphate_al_qaeda_news1.jpg

voice_of_caliphate_al_qaeda_news3.jpg

Above: Images from al Qaeda in Iraq's Voice of the Caliphate news video. The video has high production value, although not the best quality that I've seen coming from al Qaeda, including bumper music and theme graphics.

voice_of_caliphate_al_qaeda_news2.jpg

Above: Image from al Qaeda in Iraq's Voice of the Caliphate news video. A video from the front. Actually, this is old video footage. The entire video is simply spliced from old footage.

voice_of_caliphate_al_qaeda_news5.jpg

Above: Image from al Qaeda in Iraq's Voice of the Caliphate news video. Notice the image of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi interposed on the video?

voice_of_caliphate_al_qaeda_news6.jpg

Above: Image from al Qaeda in Iraq's Voice of the Caliphate news video. Several minutes of the video are just of this image of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, and a recent statement made by him. Nothing new here.

voice_of_caliphate_al_qaeda_news7.jpg

Above: Image from al Qaeda in Iraq's Voice of the Caliphate news video. The al Qaeda news takes a moment for a commercial break. Funny, actually.

voice_of_caliphate_al_qaeda_news8.jpg

Above: Image from al Qaeda in Iraq's Voice of the Caliphate news video. Images of hurricane Katrina were also included on the video. This is God's judgement. Blah, blah, blah.

MEMRI transcripts (selected segments only):

In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

The Global Media Front presents to you: "Sout Al-Khilafa" (The Voice of the Caliphate).

In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. The headlines of this news summary: Gaza has been liberated – a great victory, yet a weighty responsibility. In Iraq, Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi declares a war of Sunni vengeance, and Hurricane Katrina is the beginning of the divine, just punishment.

"Sout Al-Khilafa"

Welcome to the program "The Nation's Weekly News Summary." First, the "Sout Al-Khilafa" team sends its best wishes to the Islamic nation for the defeat of the Zionist occupation in a portion of occupied Palestine. We also congratulate ourselves on the destruction caused in America, by one of Allah's soldiers. The Muslim multitudes in Palestine were seen thronging to the liberated lands, waving the banner of victory. Meanwhile, the mouthpieces of the so-called Palestinian Authority spoke about disarming the mujahideen under the pretext of what they called "the weapons anarchy." But the response of the mujahideen groups on the front lines was clear. They announced their refusal to disarm as long as the occupier remains in the land of the Muslims.

"Sout Al-Khilafa"

We now move on to the occupied land, to the land of the Caliphate, the glorious land of Iraq. The American wolves, and behind them the Rafidite Shiite dogs, have desecrated our (women's) honor in Tel'afar and other Sunni cities, while the Muslims and the scholars of the Sultans keep silent. The valiant hero, the Emir of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, rose to defend the honor of the pure Muslim women in the robbed land of Iraq. In two consecutive communiques, he declared the beginning of the Sunni vengeance raid.

The Hamas jihad movement declared its denunciation of the clear annihilation of the Sunnis in Tel'afar.

The Islamic Army in Iraq announced that it has launched ten chemical mortar shells and 45 Katyusha missiles on a base of the American forces and the "Pagan" (National) Guard in Al-Madain. Many soldiers ran our of the base and anarchy took over, which is an indication of the number of casualties the enemy suffered.

The entire Islamic world overflowed with joy when Hurricane Katrina struck in America, which seemed to reel from the strength of the hurricane and went asking for aid from all the countries of the world. Broken and completely humiliated, George Bush, a fool who is being obeyed, announced his obvious incapability to deal with the wrath of Allah that visited the city of homosexuals.

While Louisiana is trying to recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, another hurricane fiercely struck the state of North Carolina, on the Atlantic coast, but so far there have been no casualties or significant damage, as was expected. We hope that Allah will humiliate America with this hurricane to make it a lesson for whoever wants to listen.

This is the end of the (Islamic) nation's weekly news summary from "Sout Al-Khilafa."

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:53 AM | Comments |

N.O. Police Say 249 Officers Left Posts

Contrast this with the performance of NY police and firefighters during and after the 9-11 attacks.

NEW ORLEANS - The New Orleans police chief says 249 officers — nearly 15 percent of the force — could face a special tribunal because they left their posts without permission during Hurricane Katrina and the storm's chaotic aftermath.

Police Superintendent Eddie Compass plans to assemble a tribunal of four of his assistant chiefs to hear each case and sort the outright deserters from those with a legitimate reason for not showing up for work.

Lt. David Benelli, president of the Police Association of New Orleans, the union for rank-and-file officers, said true deserters should be fired.

"For those who left because of cowardice, they don't need to be here," Benelli told The Times-Picayune in Tuesday's edition. "If you're a deserter and you deserted your post for no other reason than you were scared, then you left the department and I don't see any need for you to come back."

Companion OpiniPundit

Update Related: NOPD Superintendent Eddie Compass resigns.

AP: Police Chief Eddie Compass steps off the podium after resigning his position at a Monday press conference.

No details were given and no questions were answered including who would become the next superintendent.

Compass, in his announcement, said he had always wanted to be police chief and that he had led the city through some of its toughest times, including Hurricane Katrina.

Anyone think the timing of this has anything to do with the increasing scuttlebutt concerning several hundred NOLA "phantom cops" permeating the blogospere?

By at 10:11 AM | Comments |

Will The Real Conservatives Please Stand Up?

In catching up with the mail and stories that I've missed over the past week or so, I noticed one that seems to not be getting the full attention that it deserves. After Bush's whopping federal aid comittment to the people affected by Hurricane Katrina, and what is sure to be matching funds for Hurricane Rita, some people are beginning to ask where the money is going to come from. Of course when you ask the liberal side of the goverment that question, you get your stock answer. "We'll just tax the rich more." And if they were in control, I'm sure that's exactly what they would do. Of course with the state of our economy right now (high gas prices, other prices rising to compensate, distribution problems due to the hurricanes, etc), that reaction could very well send the US into a downward spiral from which we might never recover.

Instead, a small group of House Republicans have come up with a plan. It is being hailed as genius in some corners and most everyone agrees that it is a good idea. Of course I don't read liberal publications very much, but I have yet to read anything bad about it (and again, I'm not going to pay $50 just to hear Krugman talk about how it sucks). Everyone seems to be amazed at the ingenuity of the plan. So what is this plan? Act like a conservative. That's right, go back to the original conservative values of not spending more money than you have. These House Republicans want to start bringing government spending under control. And they want to start by reopening the atrocious highway bill that was just passed and removing 6,000 pork projects from it. There are many other changes involving cutting out excessive spending in many other areas as well, but this one stands out because most people are familiar with it.

But I have a problem with this plan. My problem is that we haven't been screaming for it from day one. How long now have we had a Republican controlled Senate, Congress and White House? Where was this group of brave Republicans when this highway bill was first passed? Honestly, some of them may have voted against it. But certainly not all Republicans did. If that were the case, it never would have passed. And our Republican President certainly didn't veto it. We would have heard about that. And what about all the other pork projects? Proponents of this plan are saying that we could save $1 Trillion dollars over ten years. Wow. That kind of money could sure go a long way toward making Social Security solvent. Or paying off our national debt. Or make one hell of a lot of tax return checks for us poor working stiffs.

So I'm asking you, is your Republican Senator or Congressman acting like a Conservatve? If not, maybe he needs a small reminder that elections are coming up very soon. And even if they aren't up for reelection this time, they are sometime. We've got Republicans back in office. Let's make sure now that we've got Conservatives.

By at 09:00 AM | Comments |

Lock Her Up and Throw Away the Key

I'm just curious why this woman was allowed to be out roaming society for more victims. This just further proves my previous point that Colorado is going to become the new sex offender haven.

Sentencing Delayed For 'Cool Mom' Who Held Teen Sex Parties (The Denver Channel):

GOLDEN, Colo. -- An Arvada woman who admitted to giving drugs and sex to teenage boys because she wanted to be a "cool mom" was to find out Monday what her sentence would be, but her sentencing was delayed after she was in a serious car accident that involved four adolescents.

Silvia Johnson, 41, was the only adult and licensed driver in a car that crashed Sunday at 5:30 p.m. on Interstate 70 near Tomah Road, south of Castle Rock, but she wasn't the one driving, the Colorado State Patrol said.

A 2005 Jeep Liberty was being driven by a 14-year-old girl when it slid across the eastern lanes during a lane change. The vehicle swerved across the frontage road and then rolled end over end, the CSP said. An 11-year-old boy who was ejected from the vehicle was airlifted to Swedish, and Johnson was also transported to Swedish. Both were in serious condition.

Two 14-year-old girls, including the driver, and a 12-year-old boy were transported to Skyridge. One of the 14-year-old girls and the 12-year-old boy were in serious condition. The 14-year-old driver has minor injuries.

The CSP is investigating the accident and deciding what, if any, charges to recommend to the district attorney. Johnson was the only person old enough to legally drive.

Johnson had already pleaded guilty to charges of sexual abuse and contributing to the deliquency of a minor. She admitted to hosting weekly parties for teens and having sex with high school boys after she supplied them with alcohol and drugs.

She pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and nine felonies and faces up to 58 years in prison.

Investigators said Johnson told them she wasn't popular when she was in high school and throwing the parties made her feel like one of the group.

The parties took place at her home between October 2003 and October 2004 and involved boys from Arvada West High School.

One 16-year-old boy told police that Johnson performed oral sex on him on two occasions and that they had sex once. Another 16-year-old also told police that Johnson performed oral sex on him when she was engaging in sexual intercourse with another teen, according to the arrest affidavit.

The investigation began when one of the boys told his mother about what happened. Johnson was arrested in December 2004. Johnson told 7NEWS earlier that she was going through a difficult period in her life and that she has apologized to the parents of the teens who are connected to the case.

A new hearing was set for Oct. 6.

Reckless endangerment should be a good charge for this woman. There is no telling what this woman was doing out with a bunch of kids anyway but I'm hoping the authorities here in Colorado find out. Her plea deal should be withdrawn regardless.

Originally Posted at Conservative Thinking

By at 07:22 AM | Comments |

September 26, 2005

Pfc. Lynndie England Convicted for Abu Ghraib Abuse

File this story under crimes that are blown way out of proportion by a left-leaning mainstream media.

From LATimes.com:

WASHINGTON -- Lynndie R. England, the Army private who became a grinning icon of Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse as she held a dog leash attached to a naked Iraqi detainee, was convicted today on six of seven charges at a military court martial.

She faces up to 10 years in a military prison. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Tuesday at Ft. Hood, Texas, where her court martial trial was held.

[ ... ]

England, 22, was found guilty on one of two conspiracy charges, four counts of maltreating detainees, and one count of committing an indecent act. Conviction on all counts would have exposed her to at least 11 years imprisonment.

Military prosecutors considered her the so-called poster girl of the Abu Ghraib abuse, seen smiling and flashing her thumbs upward in numerous photos in which she posed in front of naked and bound male detainees.

England's defense attorneys contend that she was easily manipulated. Well, duh! I think it's fairly obvious that she is also not too bright.

Unfortunately though, by being stupid she became the pivot point for an international scandal. Consequently, she'll probably get hammered for something that's criminal but hardly the level of major crimes. Hell, there are female child abusers, arguably more serious criminals, that get off with probation. England will surely get significant cell time.

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

By at 11:24 PM | Comments |

Daily Dose Of Tolkien Geekery

Since Robbo is off putting flowers in his hair, I'll link to today's (actually yesterday's) chapter of LOTR as presented by Gary, the ex-donkey Tolkien geek par excellance.

I present it without Robert's usual commentary, except to say this; it warms my heart to see that civil rights in this nation have advanced to the point that Star Wars geeks and Tolkien geeks no longer must drink from separate fountains.

I have a dream
That one day, geeks will not be judged by their costumes at the conventions
But by the content of the characters they wish they could be.

UPDATE:

An anonymous commenter asks a vital question:

"What's a 'Tolkein'?"

Thank you, He Who Should Not Be Named, for that inquisitive nature of yours. However, I cannot answer, for I too have no idea what a "Tolkein" is.

I only know Tolkien.

But, if you simply must know, he's the guy that wrote that little read book that became that OTHER famous movie trilogy.

By Vinnie at 07:11 PM | Comments |

No 2 Al-Qaeda in Iraq Dead as a Rock

Ok more good news I can't handle more good news.

CBSNEWS.

The No. 2 al Qaeda leader in Iraq was killed Sunday night, U.S. officials say. Abu Azzam, reportedly the deputy to Abu Musab al Zarqawi, was shot during a house rain in Baghdad, according to Pentagon officials. As the aide to Zarqawi, Azzam was reportedly in control of financing foreign fighters coming into Iraq

Don't confuse this guy with Azzam the American see The Fourth Rail for Abu Azzam Al-Iraqi.

Also see Right Wing News and Ace of Spades.

In case you've missed it the last few days California Conservative has been on fire the last week. Check him out the last week has been great.

UPDATE by Rusty: James Joyner has more here. This is the time at the Jawa when we dance!

By Howie at 04:58 PM | Comments |

Sandra "Beth" Geisel Gets 6 Months

(Albany, New York) Updating a previous report and as anticipated, Christian Brothers Academy teacher, Sandra "Beth" Geisel, accepted a plea deal this morning which gets her six months in jail and ten years probation. She will also have to register as a sex offender and she gets credit for time served since her DWI arrest. By my calculations, that puts her on the street in about four months.

From Capitalnews9.com:

Defense Attorney Donald Kinsella said, "A trial would have been a spectacle for her family. As you can see, you all are invited by the DA's office saying this isn't something you should miss. A trial would have been a total spectacle."

District Attorney David Soares said, "This is a person who is going to be subjected to probation for the next 10 years, will have to register as a sex offender, whose life is totally changed now as a result as her behavior. We held her accountable. This is the best disposition in this case."

It's not clear what happens if she violates her probation which, frankly, I think is likely.

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

By at 04:11 PM | Comments |

Cindy Sheehan Busted

The good news just keeps on coming today.

FOXNEWS:

Police warned them three times that they were breaking the law by failing to move along. Then, officers began making arrests.

Obviously Cindy is trying to play for sympathy here and got herself arrested on purpose.

Updated from Yahoo news.

Others who were arrested also cooperated with police. Sgt. Scott Fear, spokesman for the U.S. Park Police, said they would be charged with demonstrating without a permit, which is a misdemeanor. Park Police Sgt. L.J. McNally said Sheehan and the others would be taken to a processing center where they would be fingerprinted and photographed, then given a ticket and released. The process would take several hours, he said.

More Yahoo here

Michelle Malkin has great pics and video too

By Howie at 01:06 PM | Comments |

Al-Jazeera Reporter Convicted in Spanish Terrorism Trial

Buried far down in a report about the conviction of a Spanish al Qaeda cell leader is this nugget, which confirms what most reasonable people have suspected about the pan-Arab propaganda outlet al-Jazeera all along.

From the Associated Press via Yahoo! News:

Twenty-one others also stood trial, but on charges not directly related to Sept. 11. Of those, 16 were convicted of belonging to or collaborating with a terrorist organization and five were acquitted.

One of the 16 was Tayssir Alouny, a correspondent for the pan-Arab TV network Al-Jazeera. He was convicted of collaboration and sentenced to seven years in jail.

Al-Jazeera condemned Alouny's verdict.

"It was a black day in the history of the Spanish justice," Al-Jazeera news editor Ahmed al-Sheik told the broadcaster from Madrid. "We were all shocked because everyone expected Alouny to be freed. It is a regrettable event in the history of international journalism when a journalist who sought the truth becomes the accused."

Alouny is one of the "journalists" who interviewed Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks and subsequently, al-Jazeera has become virtually the only "news organization" on the al Qaeda press release list. This is a good start, but now the civilized world needs to get serious with the rest of the terrorist sympathizers and collaborators at al-Jazeera.

By Bluto12:18 PM | Comments |

Bin Laden Isolated.

More good news on FOXNEWS. It seems life is sucking pretty hard for Bin Laden.

"For a very long time there are no intercepts about Usama bin Laden giving instructions to his regional commanders, either through radio, telephone, satellite phone or the Internet," a senior security official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject. If he is unable to give orders physically or otherwise, it clearly indicates that his communication has been severed."


Hooray!!!!!!! I can think of a few more things the man needs severed.


By Howie at 12:16 PM | Comments |

Light Blogging October: I shall return

It looks like the rest of this month and until the end of October I will be only able to do one post a day--maximum. Sorry. The good news is that by November it looks like my schedule will return to normal and that we should begin our first Jawa podcasts sometime shortly thereafter.

Until then, I recommend my co-bloggers to you. Their posts are a mix of humor, deep insight, overlooked news items, and political screeds--the kind of stuff you've come to expect at The Jawa Report. Link worthy items should be sent to them, not to me. I'll still be reading e-mail, but don't expect a response unless it is either personal in nature or urgent.

I shall return.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:15 AM | Comments |

Most war casualties white, report says

More talking points from the left debunked........

The majority of soldiers and Marines killed or wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan were young, white, enlisted personnel from active-duty units, according to a study released Friday by the federal Government Accountability Office.

The demographic study involved 1,841 service personnel who were killed and 12,658 who were wounded, as of May 28.

Whites, who constitute 67 percent of the active-duty and reserve forces, accounted for 71 percent of the fatalities. Blacks are 17 percent of the overall force and were 9 percent of the fatalities. Hispanics are 9 percent of the force and were 10 percent of the fatalities.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are 3 percent of the force and were 3 percent of the fatalities. American Indian/Alaskan Natives are 1 percent in each category. The race of the remaining fatalities was listed as "multiple or unknown."

Isn't it refreshing when the press actually do their own homework.

Companion Opinipundit

By at 09:35 AM | Comments |

Cindy Sheehan is God: Links of Interest

Left demands U.S. out of U.S. now. Neocons respond: U.S. must invade U.S. now!

More anti-war protesters reveal true agenda.

Best. ACLU. Idea. Ever. ACLU demands girls join Boy Scouts. I would have made Eagle had there been some chicks around.

A look at Navy Seal's hell week. Almost as bad as finals week in one of Rusty Shackleford's classes.

Today's masochism link: Asshat interviews asshole.

RINO sightings is up. Check it out.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:55 AM | Comments |

Cindy Sheehan Brings Everyone But the Kitchen Sink

Numerous news reports have ignored the fact that anti-war protesters weren't the only ones riding Cindy Sheehan's stained coat tails this weekend. Apparently every liberal loving, America hating, Bush bashing group in the United States was there in DC which means NOW, PETA, and only God knows who else was on-board at the event.

This puts the numbers of actual Cindy Sheehan supporters and anti-war folks that attended the anti-war rally in question. When you look at the pro-war folks that were partaking in their events you can pretty much guarantee that it was nothing but pro-war folks and not a myriad of other organizations using the death of American servicemembers in Iraq to forward their cause for liberalism.

Update: Cindy Sheehan now has a criminal record.

Originally Posted at Conservative Thinking

By at 08:51 AM | Comments |

Bush Vindicated Once Again: Right-Wing Wins in Polish Elections

polish_elections.jpg
The Left constantly whines about Bush driving away European allies, yet, at nearly every turn in the past several years, those more closely aligned with the principles of limited government, lower taxes, open markets, and a defense of liberty abroad have won. Now if we could only get Bush to live up to his own rhetoric this country would be in much better shape.

Poland:

Polish papers are in little doubt that the apparent victory of the centre-right Law and Justice party, the PiS, in the country's first general election since joining the EU was a convincing one.

"PiS beat the Platform," says a headline in the influential Gazeta Wyborcza, referring to the Civic Platform, which seems to have come a close second.

"A radical change of power achieved with record low turnout" is how the paper sums up the result.

The Right, it says, will dominate the new Sejm (parliament).

How bad was the Left's defeat in Poland? Reuters:
The outgoing ruling left looks set to see its strength slashed from 217 to about 50 deputies, marking the lowest point since it was created in 1990 by reformed communists.
The hand wringing has already begun by Leftist European elites and are spinning the stunning defeat of the ruling Leftist party in the best possible light. BBC:
There was, however, one surprise: the fact that the outgoing ruling party, the former Communist Democratic Left Alliance, appears to have come third.

Beset by a series of corruption scandals, it had been expected to do worse.

"It got 11% of the vote and as many as 50 seats," Gazeta Wyborcza says. "Could this be because President Kwasniewski had campaigned on its behalf?"

This theme is echoed in the weekly Wprost.

"A sense of joy, even triumphalism reigned on Sunday night at the headquarters of the greatest winner among the losers - the Democratic Left Alliance."

So, according to this logic, you lose 167 seats in parliament and this is a victory because, you know, it could have been much worse.

What is extremely good news for the U.S. is that the ex-communist government that has been ousted from power was a supporter of the Iraq war. The two incoming right-of-center parties that are expected to rule also support the Iraq war and are Western in orientation. That is to say, alliance with the U.S. is not on the table in Poland, all major parties agree to that--Left and Right.

Here is a run down from the BBC on the two incoming parties' foreign policy stance:

What kind of foreign policy would the two pursue?

Both parties say they want to maintain Poland's close relations with the US and to play an assertive role in the EU.

Both see Russia as a potential strategic threat - and say Poland should seek to diversify its sources of oil and gas.

But while Civic Platform would also like to work closely with Germany, Law and Justice is more prone to nationalist rhetoric.

You mean, the right-wing party that garnered more votes is skeptical of the Germans--the country within the EU that most vehemently opposed the Iraq war for ideological reasons?

Here is how the Polish government classifies these two parties:

The Law and Justice Party (PiS) is a right-wing party which cherishes the traditions of independence and derives from the Solidarity movement of the 1980s. PiS represents a right-wing electorate which favours a traditional social order, a free-market economy, a strong and wholesome state, the principle of law and order and a resolute fight against crime and corruption. PiS was created in 2001. The best-known Law and Justice politicians are: Lech Kaczyński, Jarosław Kaczyński, Ludwik Dorn, Zbigniew Wasserman, Wiesław Walendziak, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz.

The Citizens' Platform (PO) was created in 2001 by Andrzej Olechowski, Donald Tusk, and Maciej Płażyński (then Speaker of the Senate), former members of the UD and AWS parties. The Citizens' Platform is a group which represents the liberal electorate, private entrepreneurs and business circles, as well as all who want a wholesome and robust state based on a free-market economy and the principle of competition. The leaders of Citizens' Platform are: Andrzej Olechowski, Donald Tusk, Paweł Piskorski.

So how come ex-commies in Germany hate the U.S. but ex-commies in Poland love the U.S.? The only logic that I see is the ex-commies in Germany have strong connections to communist parties in Western Germany. Western communist parties always had a single agenda: anti-americanism at all turns. The old communists from Western Germany never really experienced Soviet oppression. Their discourse is shaped by Western anti-capitalism and anti-Americanism.

In Poland, in contrast, there was never any doubt as to where oppression came from: Moscow. The Polish Left was never privy to the kind of anti-Americanism that prevails among the Western elite. They were anti-American because their masters in the USSR commanded them to be.

But, maybe there is a better theory floating around out there.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:37 AM | Comments |

Treat Yourself

Iowahawk's intercepted another missive from Zarqawi.. and he's not a happy man. Warning: Do not have coffee in your mouth while reading this.

By See-Dubya at 02:54 AM | Comments |

New Spectator Blog

I see the American Spectator is firing up a staff blog, presumably something like NRO's Corner without all the Star Trek. The AmSpec has some smart people among their regulars--Bob Tyrell gets a lot of good inside-DC dirt for his Prowler column, Jed Babbin has some good military analysis, and Ben Stein's particularly quotable. No link yet, just an announcement, but it looks like they should be on in the morning.

The AmSpec puts up four or five free columns every weekday midnight, by the way, and it's already a daily stop for me.

By See-Dubya at 02:00 AM | Comments |

How did I miss this?

A hijacking in Colombia on Sept. 12? Interesting. It was a paralyzed guy with a grievance, his son, and a couple of hand grenades. No one was hurt, and the hijackers were arrested.

Not every hijacker will be wearing a turban and carrying a Koran.

By See-Dubya at 01:29 AM | Comments |

September 25, 2005

CSPAN Late Night Delight

There were two rather profound offerings on CSPAN this evening. If you missed them you can still get your fill:

The first was an interview with Tony Blankley about his new book The West's Last Chance. Although the interviewer did her best to insinuate her own conventional anti-Bush agenda she was at least respectful and allowed Tony to make his points. I guess I see pretty much what Blankley sees, and I agree that we're probably at the turning point. The other program was the incendiary "debate" between George Galloway and Christopher Hitchens that ended with Galloway standing in a pool of his own intellectual and emotional vital fluid... a fact that I'm sure escaped him. One of the highlights was Hitchens' ridicule of the "Moveon Left's" brave opposition to Dick Cheney, which he compared rather unfavorably to the revolutionary courage and leftist bonafides of the Kurdish Workers Party, and the Pesh Merga; who are (he was quick to note) fighting on our side.

What I'd like someone to tell me some day is how and why a movement that gets its inspiration and financial resources from one of the most venal and amoral capitalists on the planet, and which tacitly supports nearly every authoritarian fascist dictator in the world, can properly wear the insignia of "the Left." How did that happen? Listening to Hitchens it occured to me that the Left may have a second wind some day, since at least part of it (admittedly the smaller part) hasn't betrayed its own principles.

The "turning point" that Blankley refers to may be very close indeed. I don't know how anyone who isn't brain dead could walk away from that Hitchens/Galloway debate believing that the anti-war Left is salvaging even a morsel of dignity. Wish it had broader circulation... There's lots more, including links to video and transcripts of the debate series on Hitchensweb. Really good stuff!

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia)

By Demosophist at 11:58 PM | Comments |

Damsel In Distress

If anyone is between Houston and Lake Charles, please speak up and let me know what the gas situation is where you are.

If you can help, please go read the rest.

By Vinnie at 06:04 PM | Comments |

Cindy Sheehan is no Gary Qualls

Gary Qualls was the father of Lance Corporal Louis W. Qualls, who was killed during the Battle of Fallujah on November 16, 2004. Gary observes that Cindy Sheehan refuses to read the last letter of her son. He feels this reluctance marks her cause as one of dishonor and disrespect, rather than the principled objection it claims to be. Gary unashamedly read the text of his son's final letter on the Mall today, in Washington DC... something that apparently strikes fear into the hearts of the so-called "anti-war" movement's followers, for it allows a clear comparison between their "shenanigans" and the uncomplicated notion of "duty" that inspires patriots like Qualls. The result is far from flattering to the Copperheads.

But if people think these demonstrations in DC were just about Iraq, or that after Iraq we can just pack up and pretend we aren't in a war, they've missed the point. Efforts like those of Qualls are important because we're nowhere near the end of this struggle. And in it we have both strengths and weaknesses that we really need to account for. Some of our strengths:

1. We have some people, perhaps even approaching a majority, who "get it." They know that this isn't merely about WMD or oil. This is about, if you will, the "soul" of the human race.

2. We have a pragmatic, and even brilliant, military that doesn't make any of the assumptions about policy that our 21st Century Copperheads make, and that knows how to win a war against the toughest of enemies. Whether or not there were ever strategic WMD in Iraq is, to them, beside the point.

3. We have a "new media" that, while still an infant, lacks many of the institutionalized inadequacies of the old "mainstream media" (and that has even produced a modern Ernie Pyle). It can report coherently on war, while its competitor can't even report coherently on natural disasters.

But we also clearly have weaknesses:

1. A media establishment that pretends to analyze, but is actually just surfing the latest false impression;

2. A tendency toward wishful-thinking, and the belief that fights aren't necessary;

3. A conservative establishment that simply doesn't take public opinion seriously enough to shape it, and that has an absolute aversion to detail and tactics (this criticism from the left actually has merit). It also tends to take our strengths for granted, for some inexplicably perverse reason.

And fortunately we have an enemy that systematically underestimates our strengths and overestimates our weaknesses, which may end up as our sole decisive advantage. The outcome may well be decided by which side has a greater tendency toward self-deception.

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia)

By Demosophist at 02:02 PM | Comments |

Will Someone Please Deactivate the Comment Filter?

The thing is dysfunctional. Clearly the comment filter isn't working. I don't know whether Pixy can address this, or Rusty, but there's something decidedly silly going on. And for once it's not me. The following item quoted from a previous comment in the same thread results consistently in a "questionable content" rejection:

If you are really a cadre of badass street-brawling paint-huffing nihilists, how come you fight relentlessly for the side of big government and Hegelian progressivism?

Why a quoted comment that has already passed the comment filter results in a rejection if it's quoted simply escapes me, but clearly something is messed up. My comment on the above quote is simply that if anarchism made sense, it wouldn't be anarchism. But there's also such a thing as too much control.

By Demosophist at 12:59 PM | Comments |

H5N1 what I have learned this week

The story that seemed to kind of hang under the radar this week is the Bird Flu has reached Indonesia and bird culls are taking place there. I decided to see just what I could find out about H5N1 and flu vaccines and treatments in general. H5N1 is expected to follow the same path other flu does. Starting in chickens and ducks and migrating to swine and humans although direct jumps to humans are possible. I was able to find no one saying this is all a bunch of hooey. So while I’m not panicked and don’t think anyone else should there are a few issues that need attention here.

I’ve collected a big pile of links and will post them below the break so you too can be informed and make your own judgements. Because when you rely on the government or the drug companies, Well you get the idea. Howie also has his commentary below.

The US leads in investment for H5N1 and other flu vaccine research. However the US trails badly in flu vaccine and anti-virus medication production. Shortages abounded last year. At work we were all given a date for our flu shots which the company gladly pays for but a couple days before it was cancelled due to shortage. Those shortages still exist and the US is depending on France and other European countries for our supplies of Vaccine and Tamiflu. In other words we suck.

At first I wanted to you now blame the government but there is also some blame for drug companies. See vaccine production is not a big money maker. Vaccine is expensive and time consuming to make and returns are not very good. My Gov. Rob let 1,000,000 doses expire waiting on FDA approval rather than send them to South Africa. So number one the US has a strategic interest here. Just as with steel or computer technology or oil we don’t want to find ourselves begging for it when we need it. Not only are we begging for this stuff because the demand far outstrips supply, when another supplier sends us some the FDA drags it’s feet on approving it. The system is broke in my opinion and leaves us with an unacceptable risk level. So while H5N1 may or may not be the virus that gets us it’s a pretty fair bet that a new flu epidemic will occur in the next century. So I challenge the drug companies. You solve this and you will be remembered for a lot more than leading the world in making an old man’s phallus stick up. See panic and stubbornness is not required and does no good. Preparation and innovation is what is called for here.

Some good links for those who are intersted.

FRENCH TRIAL

MORE FRENCH STUFF

WE BUY 1,000,000 DOSES LIKE THAT EVEN MAKES A DENT.

TAMIFLU

Vaccine from the Economist.

CDC link more good info.

By Howie at 11:46 AM | Comments |

Thai Fighter

This man is talking a big game, and I hope he's playing it too. The Prime Minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra, has a serious Islamist insurrection in the south of his country, and he's giving an ultimatum: if he doesn't crush the insurgency in three years, he's asked Thailand to vote him out of office.

One of the interesting steps he's taking is banning dual citizenship for Thais who were born in Malaysia or cross into Thailand to work--and to vote. After two Thai Navy officers were beaten to death in a village, the PM observed that the incident "made us realise that it's time to solve this problem once and for all. Those militants have no gratitude to their motherland, which has given them the freedom to practice any religious faith,"

Dual citizenship is a strange thing. I'm not sure how much of Thailand's problems it is actually responsible for, but certainly it's an interesting parallel with our own border problems in which people without any loyalty to the United States, often unwilling to cut their allegiance with their homeland, have arrived en masse over a porous border.

It's a good first step, I think: Thaksin has told his people to pick a side--you're for pluralist Thailand, or you're for Islamist Malaysia. The protection of the laws in a country--in other words, to have rights-- entails responsibilities and basic loyalty as well, and it's interesting that Thailand has caught on to this distinction even as many open-borders advocates in the USA continue to miss it. It's Thailand's version of "You're either with us, or with the terrorists...and don't show up looking for welfare if you're with the terroroists.".


By See-Dubya at 04:56 AM | Comments |

DSM Revealed!

Thanks to Michelle Malkin's shutterbug skills, we have at last captured the likeness of the obnoxious, once-banned Jawa Report Troll From Seoul calling himself "Downing Street Memo"--though he remains mysterious behind dark glasses:

bigpink.jpg

Hi there, Downy Softness!

By See-Dubya at 12:54 AM | Comments |

September 24, 2005

It's the Hole...

I'm not going to DC to witness the demonstrations, because it's just too depressing. I once thought that any policy mistakes the US happens to make will get sorted out in the public debate. That's the way democracy works, I figured. But mainstream media doesn't even appear capable of discussing the 2005 hurricane phenomenon with any degree of competence, let alone the strategy and tactics we're using in the "Long War Against Irreconcilable Islam." It's not so much that they're wrong, as that there isn't even a core of sense to grab onto. It isn't that their analysis is flawed, so much as that they have no idea what they're talking about. It's like your mechanic telling you that your car isn't running because your parachute wasn't packed properly. We can't have productive discussions about policy because almost half the public doesn't realize the cheese has slid off their cracker.

And though I hate to say it, this is at least partly due to a failure of leadership. Why don't the public and media understand that terrorism and totalitarianism are different phases of the same phenomenon? It seems to me that this bit of logic is central, so why doesn't anyone bring it up from time to time? Why aren't our actions in Iraq recognizable as the components of a coherent strategy, even a wrong one? More importantly, why hasn't anyone noticed that the media has no idea what a strategy would even look like, let alone be able to analyze one properly? Wouldn't it seem kind of a professional lapse if an auto mechanic failed to notice whether or not your car had a transmission?

Motorist: "Sir, do you think one reason the car doesn't, sort of... go might be that there's a transmission problem?"

Mechanic: "Transmission? Just LOOK at that car! How could the transmission be the problem? It's RED!"

Motorist: "Yeah, but... what?"

I feel apocalyptic, as though I'm a passenger on the Titanic while the crew and other passengers engage in heated debate over the distribution of people to port or starboard; as though attaining the right balance will somehow keep the ship from sinking. It's not the balance; it's that invisible hole, down below somewhere...

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia)

By Demosophist at 11:23 PM | Comments |

Conspiracy Theories Abound at Sheehan Antiwar Rally

While the antiwar movement claims their only concern is for the troops, any one who listens to their rhetoric for more than two minutes understands that they have an underlying agenda. These people hate the U.S. with as much passion as Osoma bin Laden. Below are a number of photos from today's rally in Washington, D.C.

I was all set to do a Blog Sabbath caption contest when I noticed some of the signs at the Mother Saint Cindy Sheehan protest rally which can't be ignored. Notice that Sheehan wants 'the truth'. The truth about what? 9/11? Check out the sign in the background.

cindy_sheeha_jesse_jackson.jpg

Here it is blown up. It says Expose 9/11 Cover-Up.

cindy_sheeha_jesse_jackson_911_sign.jpg

Here's another one. One of the signs accuses Bush of profiteering off of the dead. The other one accuses the President Bush of war crimes and calls for his impeachment.

cindy_sheeha_jesse_jackson2.jpg

What is the real agenda? These protestors are not unhappy about Iraq, they are unhappy about everything. These people were against the war in Afghanistan, against Clinton's Haiti invasion and his bombing of the Balkaans, against the first Iraq War, etc. But these are not 'pacifists', no. These people supported the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan, support Palestinian terrorism, and support the 'resistance' in Iraq. Are you finally getting the picture here?

sheehanprotest.jpg

Gateway Pundit has more here, Goldstein deconstructs media reaction here, more pictures from Sweetness and Light.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:53 PM | Comments |

Galloway Supporters Want Your Children Dead

I just received an e-mail from the patriot who is raising money for U.S. troops by auctioning off George Galloway's treasonous book. You can participate in the auction here. Would it shock any of you to know that he has received a slew of hate mail and fake bids?

Two bidders, I am told are especially guilty of abusing eBay policy and have bid up the price to over 9 million dollars (screenshot below is evidence). They appear to be from the U.K. What do Galloway supporters in the U.K. think of British and American troops in Iraq? Your friends, brothers, and children are, and this is a direct quote, "people who kill women and children for a living."

Ladies and gentleman, your average Galloway supporter! They don't want the troops out of Iraq because they care about your sons and daughters. They want the troops out of Iraq because they hate your sons and daughters. Baby killers, that is their view of the American soldier.

If that weren't enough, our patriot friend continues:

Not only have they found my auction "disgusting", which is quite the compliment coming from those who find suicide bombers as glorious, but they have also expressed to me their wish for every American and British soldier to find their end in Iraqi soil.
These are British citizens, mind you, wishing their own countrymen dead and their troops defeated.

Of course, most of those against the war say they support the troops. There is actually a fair argument to be made that we should end the war because we cannot win, and we should not fight any war where we cannot attain victory. However, this is not the argument being made in D.C. this weekend by these protestors. What they are arguing is that the U.S. is bad, mmmmkay, and then try to dodge their own logic which inevetably leads one to conclude that if the U.S. and its allies are really the bad guys then it is perfectly acceptable to support those that murder them.

Here is the George Galloway adopts a sniper eBay auction screenshot sent to me by those running the auction. Click to enlarge.


By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:05 PM | Comments |

Lando, Chewbacca Join Anti-Bush Protest

In a move that has delighted Star Wars enthusiasts and enraged Republicans everywhere, famed intergalactic heroes Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca recently turned up at an anti-war protest in Washington, DC.

Information and images here.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:45 PM | Comments |

Rita Runs Aground

Rita Has come ashore just east of the TX/LA border. Rita was downgraded to a category 2 about 7:00 CDT. Some damage reported. I also have recieved reports of winds near 100 mph near Beaumont. Several Tornado warnings have also been issued. It's just a wait and see game now.

CNN has a pretty good update this AM.

The NHC said the storm made landfall at 2:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. EDT) at Cameron Parish, on the extreme southwest coast of Louisiana between Sabine Pass and Johnson's Bayou. Cameron Parish, is a flat marshy area stretching along the coast eastward from the Texas state line...... .....all but a few of the 10,000 residents of the parish evacuated. Damage from the storm was already reported in several locations, particularly Lake Charles, La.

Update:

Good news Rita has been downgraded to a tropical storm and initial reports are good considering. ZERO deaths reported so far and Damage has been less than expected. Reports after Katrina were good too, let's hope this one stays that way.

The storm moved East of the Houston area sparing it the worst, But heavy rains are causing reflooding in New Orleans. Still sketchy at this point and Rita is expected to slow down and dump heavy rain as she weakens.


Chris has the NOAA links here.

Rusty left us a big list of traffic cams as well.


Hat tip: Marie for the storm update. She is in Texas and reports that phones are working in Beaumont. Her contacts there report rough weather but so far safe and using generator. Well except she gets all excited and my left ear is still ringing.

By Howie at 08:26 AM | Comments |

Just Step Over The Homeless Guy

I hope Rusty doesn't mind, but I'll be posting here full time on a part-time basis until I get my mu.nu digs.

Or is that part time on a full time basis?

Whatever, I quit the old space.

Don't worry, I won't clutter your monitor with my mindless drivel, because if I can't come up with something like this every day, why, it's not worth posting at all.

*Sigh* I put my site back up.

By Vinnie at 12:49 AM | Comments |

September 23, 2005

Hurricane Rita hits: Adult Entertainers, Single Mothers Disproportionally Affected

Things were just about getting back to normal in New Orleans. The lushes were out in force, transvestyte hookers were trickling back into the city, and a strip club had reopened to service the needs of armies of insurance adjusters and lonely FEMA workers. There were even rumors of a new Girls Gone Wild: Hurricane Victims edition about to begin production work. Alas, it will all have to wait. Damn you Rita! Damn you to hell!!!

If you want to see the picture accompanying this story, better check out Riehl World View--and yes, that picture actually was part of a news story. Because journalists are after the important scoops. Notice that both the Reuters story and the pic that Dan Riehl have is of the same stripper. Why do I have the feeling that one Reuters reporter is a very satisfied customer? Reuters :

In a sign that things may be returning to normal in New Orleans, strip shows are back in the city's famous French Quarter.

Erotic dancers and strippers are entertaining crowds of police, firefighters and military personnel instead of the usual audiences of drunken conventioneers and tourists in Bourbon Street's Deja Vu club, which reopened this week.

It's the first strip joint to resume business, three weeks after Hurricane Katrina struck in the worst natural disaster ever to hit the United States.

"It's nice to get back to work, and all these men need some entertainment," Dawn Beasley, 27, a dancer at the club, said on Tuesday night. "They haven't seen anybody but their buddies for two weeks."

The crowd hooted and hollered as women peeled off their tops and gyrated, as customers tucked tips into their G-strings.

But don't you worry. FEMA cards are accepted for lap dances. Via QandO this Times Online story entitled Vote Republican for Free Lap Dances. I knew there was a reason I voted for that guy!:
Interviewed by a reporter for the local TV station, Abby over at Baby Dolls said she had seen many clients using their debit cards. She had nothing but praise for this exercise in government largesse. “A lot of customers have been coming in from Louisiana and they’ve been real happy about the $1.75 beers and they’re really nice.” It was only fair, she added that they should get a little publicly funded help. “You lost your whole house, then, why not?” she said. “You might want some beer in a strip club. There are a lot of guys out there that like to do that.”
With the mandatory evacuation of Houston's adult entertainment establishment, what will thousands of single mothers do to feed their children? Just one more way in which in Bush's America, single mothers are once again affected more deeply by natural disasters. ;-)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:16 PM | Comments |

Hamas Blows Up Hamas?

Be careful don't step on the bo.........

ABCNEWS.

A pickup truck carrying masked Islamic militants and homemade rockets blew up at a Hamas rally Friday, killing at least 10 Palestinians, including children, and wounding 85, hospital doctors and witnesses said

Uh, Can you say Natural Selection?

By Howie at 01:00 PM | Comments |

An Evening With President Bush

Hello America, I'm Larry King. My guest tonight is President Bush who is with us to talk about emergency preparedness and the federal government.

Mr. President, I noticed that the federal agencies have managed to respond much more quickly to Hurricane Rita than they did to Hurricane Katrina. Is that because they learned their lessons during Katrina? Or is it possibly because of the firing of Michael Brown?

President Bush: Well, Larry, I really don't think it's either. We just wanted to get there faster this time. After all, I can't let all those innocent people get killed right there in my home state. I might decide to run for Governor again.

King: So you're saying that you have more sympathy for the people caught in Hurricane Rita?

President Bush: Why heck yes. Didn't you hear my interview with Wolf Blitzer? And not only did we manage to get rid of all the Negroes, but did you know that New Orleans was filled with fornicators? That's a biblical word for people having sex. And according to my buddy Jerry, we can't let people do that. As a matter of fact, I'm going down to Florida next week to have a talk with my brother about why he evacuated all those homosexhuals from the Keys. Why he let the perfect opportunity to rid his state of most of the rif-raf slip straight through his fingers.

King: Well, Mr. Bush, I always believed you were a racist and a homophobe, but I certainly never thought I'd hear you admit it.

President Bush: Well, Larry, y'all are going to think bad things about me no matter what I do, so I might as well have a little fun with it while I can.

King: I see. So, Mr. Bush, what sort of plan does the federal government have for dealing with Hurricane Rita?

President Bush: Well, Larry, I'm glad you asked that. Since everyone has been clamoring about border security, we thought this would be the perfect time to step it up?

King: Excuse me? Thousands of lives are about to be lost along with millions of dollars in property damage and you're worried about border security?

President Bush: Well, haven't you guys been yelling at me that I'm not doing a good enough job of keeping those Hispanics out? I just figure this is the perfect opportunity to root them out. Why do you think it's taking so long for people to evacuate? We've got border patrol agents at every road going out performing car-by-car searches. If any Hispanics are found trying to get out of the Hurricane area, they are turned around and told to go back. We figure that once we get them all turned around, we'd let mother nature do our dirty work for us.

King: But what about the ones who are over here legally? Aren't they at least checking for green cards?

President Bush: Nope, we ain't got no time for that. If they look Hispanic, they'd better just turn around and go on back. Give more time for the real Americans to get out of the area.

King: Well, Mr. Bush, this is simply appalling. I have never heard such out of a President.

President Bush: Obviously you never had any serious talks with Bill Clinton, then.

King: So what about the oil refineries? Are you at least concerned about them? After all, they represent 25% of our economy's oil. And environmentalists are scared that the spills that could be caused would mean disaster for the Gulf.

Bush: Yeah, they'll probably be destroyed. But since they aren't owned by me or any of my close buddies, that'll be a good thing. We can drive the price of gas through the roof and no one will be able to do a thing about it. And heck, all that oil came out of the ground, what's it gonna hurt if it's spilled back onto the ground?

King: Well, there you have it folks. The President's plan to rid America of it's minorities and create a monopoly in oil. Remember, you heard it here first.

President Bush: No they didn't. I told this same thing to Wolf last week. You just better watch your step Larry. If I can arrange to have two Hurricanes hit the gulf coast, it would't take two seconds to get rid of your old ass.

By at 12:23 PM | Comments |

Terror Suspect Arrested at U.K. Airport

manchester_airport_terror_scare.jpg
A man was arrested today at the Manchester, U.K., airport under Britain's new tougher anti-terrorism laws. Reports are conflicting at this point as to the exact circumstances of his arrest. This report claims the man was 'Asian', which in England usually indicates some one from the subcontinent--Pakistan or Indian.

[Image: AP]

Fox News reports that the man was arrested for acting suspiciously and apparently resisting the quesioning--a stun gun had to be used to subdue the man (hat tip Confederate Yankee for e-mailing me):

According to SKY News, a man was seen acting suspiciously at the airport, and was subsequently approached by authorities, who used a stun gun to arrest him after he resisted.

Army bomb units were then called in to investigate the suitcase, and the BBC reported that a controlled explosion was carried out.

This report indicates that the man might have been on the runway with the package:
Greater Manchester Police said the man had been seen acting suspiciously in the area where aircraft were parked.

The British Broadcasting Corporation reported that a man with a suitcase had been seen walking under an aircraft.

This report indicates, though, that the man was caught after he ran through a security checkpoint:
A man was arrested by police today after he ran through a security post at Manchester Airport and got within 60 metres of an aircraft.
While the man was initially arrested under the Terrorism Act, he is now being held under the Mental Health Act. So, either he's crazy or a crazy terrorist.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:57 AM | Comments |

Hostage Forced to Bash Bush

Roy Hallums will be on 60 Minutes this Sunday. Here is some of what he says in the interview, from a CBS Press release (thanks to Tall Glass of Milk):

I didn't like the videos going out," says Hallums, "because I knew my family would probably see them and I hated for my daughters to see me in that situation," he tells Stahl.

His captors also sought his family's telephone numbers to ask for a ransom, says Hallums, putting a pistol barrel in his mouth and threatening to kill him. "I knew if I gave them the number, they would call them and ask for money…and I didn't want [my family] to deal with a call like that."

Hallums was kept in a crawlspace below a farmhouse for most of the 10 months, a space he estimates at 9 feet by 11 feet and just over 4 feet high. At times there were several other hostages. "Most at any time is about nine people....You've got nine people and their breath and humidity, just living with nine people you don't know," recalls Hallums. He was blindfolded and bound the entire time.

And this from the NY Post, from the same interview (thanks to lawhawk):
A civilian contractor who was kept in a stifling crawl space by his Iraqi abductors for more than 10 months was beaten before being forced to make videos slamming President Bush for being indifferent to hostages, he says in his first interview since his rescue.
You will recall that Susan Hallums had said that the Bush-bashing didn't seem like Roy at all. His family always believed Roy had been forced to make those statements.

For past coverage, visit the Roy Hallums Archive.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:26 AM | Comments |

World of Wind Too

I just wanted to clarify my earlier post, so that people don't get the idea that "those people" are all in the same category. I got another call from an elderly black woman who said that she had registered for financial assistance under her old address because she had been told to do so by the call agent. Apparently her old address was the one on her driver's license. She was eligible for assistance under her new address, but her call wasn't to apply for assistance again. She just wanted to correct her record in case the person living at her old address might be prevented from applying for aid because of the double count. She gained nothing from the call. She was simply concerned about someone else, and about fairness.

There are also a lot of people in the "affected area" who would be in pretty dire straits were it not for the Red Cross assistance. It's not as though there's much of a functioning economy there, and believe it or not landlords are ejecting people onto the street if they don't pay their rent on time. There are others with acute medical problems. One woman had a dental problem that had become abscessed because the dentist she went to wouldn't treat her until he had been paid in advance. We arranged to pay her bill through a local Red Cross chapter, but the abscess had already advanced nearly to the point of becoming systemic. Yet this dentist just couldn't bring himself to do any pro bono work. I'm afraid I don't understand that language very well either.

Also, the main reason Red Cross doesn't have any Service Centers in Louisiana is that the state and local governments refuse to invite us in. They don't want to "look bad" because they can't provide their citizens all the services they need, even though... you know, they can't. We have feeding centers and shelters, but no Service Centers to dispense financial assistance in Louisiana, although there are Centers in Mississippi and Alabama. This fact drives people in Louisiana nuts, because they think it's our fault we're not in their state.

Selfishness and goodwill both have many faces.

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia)

By Demosophist at 11:14 AM | Comments |

Antisemetism and Soft Bigotry Against Muslims

I listened to George Galloway on Michael Medved's show the other day. While he seemed indignant when Medved was about to accuse him of antisemetism (which Medved never got around to doing) it is clear the Galloway, and many on the Left are, in fact, antisemites. He kept obsessing about 'Israeli publications' and went on and on about Sharon's Zionism--without ever mentioning that Zionism has historically been a Leftist movement and that Israel's wars with its neighbors have invariably been led by Labour. Zionism, then, is not a right-wing movement.

George Galloway is an antisemite, plain and simple.

One does not need to believe in the 'Final Solution' to be an antisemite. The core of antisemetism is not 'hatred of Jews', rather, it is the belief that Jews are responsible for the ills of the world. Read Mein Kampf and it becomes apparent that Hitler actually believed in a Jewish conspiracy. Speaking of the Social Democratic Press of his time Hitler writes:

From publishers on down, they were all Jews.
Hitler could not accept democratic liberalism because it was just a front for Jews. How is this different than George Galloway who now believes the Labour Party is a front for Zionism? That wars are fought for Zionism? That the reason the Arab world has made so little progress is Zionism?

Galloway may not wish the final solution, but at his core he hates the thought of Jews with any amount of power. Jews are fine, if they know their place.

There is another way in which world wide antisemetism raises its ugly head: the double standard. Jews are expected to be paragons of virtue.

Every. Single. One.

When a single Jew commits an act of terrorism, for instance, the state of Israel is blamed--even when Israel arrests the man and there are mass protests against him. At the same time, when a Muslim commits an act of terrorism in Palestine, and the Palestinian Authority does not act against him, and there are mass rallies to support him, the world turns the other way or worse--condemns Israel as the 'root problem'.

The world's antisemetism has an inverse corollary: the soft bigotry of low expectations from Muslims. Muslims, it is believed, are incapable of acting like civilized human beings.

Charles Johnson made a similar point yesterday:

I’m reading this again, and wondering where the hell is the world’s outrage about this? Newsweek prints a false rumor that a Koran was dunked in a toilet, and the entire planet goes nuts. Hamas announces that they’re going to turn a Jewish house of worship into a memorial to mass murder ... and the silence is absolutely deafening.
Today, The Astute Blogger opines:
The fact that the world EXPECTS Muslims to go nuts and run amok in a violent rampage based on a RUMOR about a Koran being flushed down a toilet, AND that the world says NOTHING when Muslims torch and descecrate synagogues and then publicly announces that they'ee gonna turn them into a museum glorifying genocide, PROVES that most people are CONVINCED that most Muslims are uncontrollably violent, racist gencodial maniacs. They've come to expect the worst from Muslims.
He is absolutely right. To hold Muslims to a lower standard is a form of bigotry. It is the bigotry that assumes that Muslims are something like children, not capable of proper behavior.

Let us not fall victim to this soft bigotry against Muslims. We should not hold them to a higher standard than we hold ourselves, but neither should we hold them to a lower standard.

UPDATE: More on George Galloway's possible perjury before the U.S. Senate here.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:02 AM | Comments |

B!*ch Rita Update

The landfall point has become well defined this morning.

The good news is that the traffic situation has appeared to have improved. I dug through a few traffic cams in Houston and didn't notice the sea of red lights like I've seen the past two mornings. This map shows vast improvements:

According to Fox News this morning the oil industry has popped smoke from the region. They are out of there and for good reason too:

AT 4 AM CDT...0900Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE RITA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 26.8 NORTH...LONGITUDE 91.0 WEST OR ABOUT 290 MILES SOUTHEAST OF GALVESTON TEXAS AND ABOUT 250 MILES SOUTHEAST OF CAMERON LOUISIANA.

RITA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 9 MPH...AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS. ON THIS TRACK...THE CORE OF RITA WILL BE APPROACHING THE SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA AND UPPER TEXAS COASTS LATE TODAY OR TONIGHT.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 140 MPH...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. RITA IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE.

May God bless the Gulf Coast.

Originally Posted at Conservative Thinking

By at 05:59 AM | Comments |

Indictment in Lodi Islamic Terror Probe

(Sacramento, California) In the ongoing three-year probe of the alleged Lodi, California, Islamic terrorist cell, five people have been implicated and, of those, three have been deported for immigration violations and two are being held in federal custody without bail.

Last month, 47-year-old Islamic cleric Muhammad Adil Khan and his son were deported for overstaying their visas. On Wednesday of this week, 39-year-old Islamic cleric Shabbir Ahmed was deported for the same reason. The three were deported without being charged with any crimes, however, the government alleged that they intended to set up a terror training camp in Lodi. It's noteworthy that both Ahmed and Khan are allegedly linked to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

The two being held in custody, charged with lying to federal agents, are 23-year-old Hamid Hayat and his father, 47-year-old Umer Hayat. In a development yesterday resulting from a federal grand jury hearing, prosecutors charged Hamid Hayat with providing material support to terrorists.

From MercuryNews.com:

The federal indictment alleged that Hamid Hayat, 23, provided material support and resources for carrying out international acts of terror between March 2003 and June 4, 2005, when he was arrested days after returning to the United States from Pakistan. Hayat faces multiple charges for which the combined maximum sentence is 31 years in prison.

"Today's charge centers around the fact that Hamid Hayat attended a terrorist training camp in Pakistan in 2004, returned to this country with the intent of committing jihad against America, and by doing so provided material support to terrorists," U.S. attorney McGregor Scott said.

The charge is the most serious that could be filed against a person without the individual actually committing a terrorist act. Hamid Hayat's father, Umer, has not been implicated in the more serious crimes. Yet.

According to prosecutors, Hamid Hayat admitted his terrorist intentions in a videotaped interrogation session where he stated that he "intended to commit jihad in the U.S. He did not have any orders to fight at present; however, he was awaiting such orders."

Interestingly, the indictment was handed up the day before a hearing is scheduled to discuss releasing Hamid and Umer Hayat on bail. To alleviate the court's concern that they represent serious flight risks, the Hayats and their relatives have ponied up equity in four Lodi properties totaling more than $1.2 million. So, later today, we'll know if a judge sets a bail amount. I think the father might get bail but not the son. The likelihood of flight by Hamid Hayat has increased substantially with his indictment.

In conclusion, the effect of the focused federal investigation of the Islamic community in Lodi, California, is believed to have disrupted for now any plans of a hidden terror cell with training capabilities. In the words of U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott, "What I am sure of is that whatever was intended isn't going to happen now."

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

By at 03:56 AM | Comments |

Larry King Isn't the Smartest Guy I Know

I was having my midnight meal earlier and sat down to watch TV while I was eating. The Weather Channel was on a commercial break as was Fox News. I decided to put it on CNN and there was a nice graphic showing projected path and strength data for Hurricane Rita. Turns out the weather expert was being interviewed by none other than Larry King. Larry King is a journalist and rumors are abound about how much of a jerk he is but the only thing I have against him is that his show is on CNN.

I wasn't really paying attention to what Larry King was saying; I was studying the map. Then out of nowhere Larry King says something to the weather expert that's being questioned that really got my attention:

I thought mountains stop a hurricane. I don't see any mountains there.

Yes, Larry; mountains will stop a hurricane but it certainly isn't the only thing that will stop a hurricane. This is for you Larry King.

Originally Posted at Conservative Thinking

By at 03:19 AM | Comments |

A World of Wind

I'm working at a Red Cross call center and got a couple of calls today that I found upsetting. They struck me the same way Patrick McGoohan's character in The Prisoner must have felt when he drank a mug of ale and, just as he was draining the last few dregs, the words "You have been poisoned" appeared on the bottom of the tankard. The first of these incidents involved a call from a girl who said her brother had been dropped off in some Texas coastal city by the crew of the boat he had been a seaman on, and the people who were supposed to pick him up to evacuate him away from the dock didn't show. I spent about half an hour attempting to track down telephone numbers for state and private services in Texas who her brother might be able to contact to get a ride out of the city, but the problem was that she hadn't talked to him in well over an hour, and for all we knew he'd alreadly been evacuated. She said that she'd talked to the State Police who had refused to help. Anyway, it was clear that she wasn't satisfied with what I was able to do, so I asked her whether she expected the Red Cross to launch a helicopter to rescue her brother. This was my best imitation of the Jack Nicholson character in As Good As It Gets, so I expected at least a little break in the solemnity, but from her outraged response it was clear that I had inadverntently hit upon exactly what she expected. She called me every name she could think of and then suggested that I needed to think about what I'd have thought had it been one of my family who was stranded. Then she hung up before giving me time to say that my sister had already been through Rita.

Some seem to bear this seething resentment that every single one of us can't be rescued all the time. I suppose this Cindy Sheehan attitude is just human, but how am I supposed to cope? And there are lots of people who are genuinely surprised that anyone has bothered to lend them a hand at all, for they pretty much expect to be on their own. To them, the helping hand is a miracle. At most they expect help from people within arm's reach, and not from some hyper-empowered Nanny institution. I guess I don't understand why anyone would think that in the midst of the largest mass evacuation in US history the resources not only of the state, but of every public and private humanitarian organization, ought to be exhausted for the sake of reassuring one person that her sibling need not even make a pretense of finding his own way to shelter from the storm.

And I'm also fairly convinced that if I, or anyone else, had actually managed to mobilize the resources of some genuine heros playing the role of Bill Whittle's "sheep dogs," roaming the Gulf Coast willing to risk their lives to sweep down and pull her bother into the arms of safety, she'd have regarded the whole thing as routine.

This is a language I don't speak.

While I'm on the subject, there was a similar incident today where a young man called who spoke only Spanish. I got an AT&T translator on the line in a conference and after awhile it was clear that the caller was asking the Red Cross to somehow help him transcend the difficult logistical problem of evacuating Houston in the midst of a huge traffic jam of frightened people all headed in the same direction. In other words he wanted something like helicopter service. He kept asking me what he should do, no matter how many options I gave him. At one point I got exasperated and said in English "Go West young man!" That tickled the translator so much he couldn't stop laughing, but he refused to translate my advice. That refusal probably saved me from another "Jack Nicholson moment." What the man really wanted wasn't advice but to find out how far I'd be willing to go to alleviate him of any responsibility for helping himself.

So I chose to laugh... even though it'd have been just as easy (and probably more normal) to cry. If I could save all the brothers, and relieve all the anxious fears, I'd probably do it... fool that I am. But I'm not fool enough to think myself, or anyone else, a villain for falling short of that.

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia)

By Demosophist at 02:05 AM | Comments |

NY NewsDay Poll Regarding IFC

Just received an e-mail from my friends at Take Back the Memorial regarding a poll at New York NewsDay. The poll asks:

Freedom Center backers say it will help people understand 9/11 sacrifices. Victims’ families say controversy surrounding the museum will dishonor the dead. Do you think it belongs at the WTC site?

Do the 9/11 families a favor and vote no when you get a chance.

By at 01:17 AM | Comments |

September 22, 2005

The Duty to Support the Troops and Their Mission

support_the_troops_weekend.jpg

There are things worse than losing a loved one in war, although that may be hard to imagine. Victory gives meaning to the death of a loved one. Their death becomes sacrifice when something noble is built out of the ashes of war.

The great tragedy that was Vietnam was that so many died. And for what? To see South Vietnam fall to a Stalinist dictatorship, hundreds of thousands rounded up for re-education, and the spread of communism (or worse) in Southeast Asia. The vanity of their deaths cannot be laid at the feet of the soldiers they fought with. No, we are to blame.

There is an unwritten pact between soldier and citizen in a democratic nation. The soldier puts his life at risk and the citizen supports the soldier and his mission and gives him whatever tools are necessary to win it. Whatever remains of what was once referred to as 'the glory of war' is still found in victory. The purpose of war is still to win.

When a democratic nation sends its sons and daughters to fight a war it must do so with a total commitment to victory. To reduce war to cost-beneift analysis is to reduce the life of a soldier to that of automaton: the soldier becomes a robot who's actions have no morality nor meaning. One cannot say we are willing to fight only so hard, or that we are willing only to lose X number of soldiers, but after that no more. What about the soldiers who have already been mamed and wounded? Is their sacrifice for nothing?

George Patton is quoted as saying that Americans cannot stand to lose a war. This is true, but not for the reasons attributed to him, that we just cannot stand a loser.

Although it is rarely articulated, Americans cannot stand to lose a war because we are a moral people. Our wars, all of them, are couched in moralistic terms. We fight for a reason. National interest may be reason enough for the French to fight (a much less rare occurrence than popular jokes would lead you to believe), but not for Americans. National interest may be an important part of all our wars, but interest alone is not enough. We fight for something good when we fight.

In war there is no substitute for victory, and in America victory gives meaning to the deaths of fallen sons and daughters. They died for something greater than themselves. They died for a purpose. That purpose is good.

This is why defeatism has always been considered only slightly less offensive than actual treason.

And this is also why the rhetoric of the Left is so disgusting. To ascribe the very worst motives to our wars and to our fellow citizens is to make the death of a son or daughter worse than meaningless. If one believes that war is about imperialism, financial gain, a Jewish conspiracy, or whatever, then those that die are not heroes. At best they are victims, at worse they are criminals.

Dying for a lost cause is vanity, dying for an evil cause is immoral.

This weekend there will be several rallies in the Washington, D.C., area in support of our troops and of their victory. I urge all Americans to come out in support of them. If liberals actually honor the troops, as they say they do, then it is their duty as a citizen to support their victory. The time to argue that the war should not be fought is long past, that decision was made through the democratic process.

Your side lost, now support our victory. Anything less would be to spit on the graves of the honored dead.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:55 AM | Comments |

Houston & Galveston Webcams, Traffic Conditions, & Evacuation Routes

The following are a list of resources for those in the Galveston or Houston area. They include an evacuation map, weather information, traffic conditions map, traffic cams, and other live webcams. Expect the webcams to go off air as wind speed increases.

Interactive Houston area traffic map. Updated every 5 minutes, this map shows traffic conditions on major highways and roads in the area. Alternative interactive map.

Predicted path of hurricane Rita.

Live radar map showing weather conditions in Houston & Galveston area.

Galveston.com webcams (down)

Houston TranStar Freeway Cameras (including Galveston Causeway cam)

Downtown traffic cam, high resolution.

Dollar Marina webcam, including wind speed measurments.

Two views outside Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Houston webcam, city line.

KHOU webcams (6 live views)

Longer list of Houston area webcams.

Below: Evacuation map--click to enlarge.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:26 AM | Comments |

Iraqi Journalist Murdered

(Mosul, Iraq) Another Iraqi journalist has been killed, bringing the total number of murdered journalists to over 40 since counting began in March 2003.

From AlertNet.org:

A journalist from Radio Nineveh was gunned down on Wednesday night in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad. Hospital and police sources said Ahlam Younnis was driving in a car with her husband, who was also killed, and her son, who was wounded in the attack.
In the past week, two other journalists were also killed in Mosul. Firas Maadidi, Mosul bureau chief for As-Saffir newspaper and chief editor of the daily Al-Masar was gunned down, and Hind Ismail, As-Saffir reporter, was found with a single gun shot to her head.

These were brave people murdered by criminals. Yet the mainstream media (MSM) continue to characterize these heinous crimes as valueless deaths by sanitized 'insurgents.' Where's the outrage? These people were journalists! Civilians doing their jobs! And, all along, the MSM ignore the horrible crimes and avoid attaching responsibility to any group other than the nebulous ill-defined 'insurgency.'

For the love of all that's sacred, give us all a break and start calling murderers murderers. A duck will always be a duck, despite what the MSM call it. The problem is that, if the MSM doesn't call the terrorists murderers, the terrorists think they are doing okay. They're fortified to commit more murders.

Celebrate your legacy for the first decade of the 21st Century, MSM. It comes dripping with the blood of unreported murders committed by thug criminals. Thug criminal gangs can be called insurgents, or ducks for that matter, but they're still thug criminal gangs. To my knowledge, the MSM has not yet reported any crimes being committed by these gangs.

Murdering innocents can never be classified as anything but a crime.

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

By at 10:15 AM | Comments |

Air America Begs For Bucks

It seems that Air America is in real trouble now. Ladies and Gentlemen The Jawa Report will be taking predictions on just how long they will last. Post your prediction below. First prize will be your choice of an original R5D4 or Death Star Droid action figure. No you can’t have Yoda, Luke, Power Droid or the original Darth Vader carrying case they are mine all mine.

Radio Equalizer:

In what appears just short of outright panhandling, a desperate Air America Radio is now begging listeners for cash donations.
Others:

Michelle Malkin
Captain’s Quarters
California Conservative.

Also see this earlier post by leatherpenguin and his comment below.

Hat tip: TCleatherpenguin

By Howie at 09:11 AM | Comments |

Evacuees Flooding Houston Streets

People have been evacuating throughout the night along the gulf coast of Texas. Driving all night reportedly has net people forty-five miles traveled. Not making good time but getting out is better than staying behind no matter how long it takes.

Here are some images from Houston traffic cams:

houston-traffic-cam-01.jpg

houston-traffic-cam-02.jpg

houston-traffic-cam-03.jpg

I'm curious if New Orleans looked anything like this before Katrina hit. If you have pictures or information about Houston traffic please drop me a line.

Originally Posted at Conservative Thinking

By at 06:55 AM | Comments |

Update on Rita

Hurricane Rita

She's still a category five. NOAA's latest update states:

REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 175 MPH...280 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. THIS MAKES RITA A POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE LIKELY DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES...110 KM... FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 185 MILES...295 KM.

THE LATEST MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE ESTIMATED FROM REPORTS BY THE HURRICANE HUNTER IS 897 MB...26.49 INCHES. THIS MEANS RITA IS THE THIRD MOST INTENSE HURRICANE IN TERMS OF PRESSURE IN THE ATLANTIC BASIN.

Originally Posted at Conservative Thinking

By at 04:22 AM | Comments |

September 21, 2005

Every Little Bit Helps

A few rumblings amongst bloggers and commenters have called the vastly Conservative led Porkbusters project an attempt in futility for a myriad of reasons one being that cutting the pork simply won't be enough.

I'm just curious though, since cutting the pork out of federal and state budgets isn't going to be enough to cover all the Katrina (and impending Rita) repair and rebuild costs then what good is it to donate to The Salvation Army? Seriously, what good is my measly donation going to do then? I personally can't bankroll The Salvation Army's entire relief effort so why should I donate?

I'll tell you why; every little bit helps. Getting the pork out of our budgets might not cover the costs to repair all the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, but every little bit helps.

Originally Posted at Conservative Thinking

By at 11:31 PM | Comments |

Hurricane Blogging, The Sandcrawler Way



You don't want to hit the Gulf Coast




I don't want to hit the Gulf Coast



You want to veer West



I want to veer West



You don't want to hinder the U.S. economy by disrupting oil supplies



I don't want to hinder the U.S. economy by disrupting oil supplies



You want to hinder the U.S. economy by disrupting illegal immigrant supplies



I want to hinder the U.S. economy by disrupting illegal immigrant supplies



We may go about our business



You may go about your business, Move along, move along.



UPDATE: Conversation with the wife:

Me: Honey, look at my Jawa Report post and tell me if you like it.
She: Ok, hold on.
She: ...
She: ...
She: ...
She: I don't get it.
Me: Gah!!!!!!!

By Vinnie at 09:20 PM | Comments |

Iraq and McVeigh?

I am not one to believe in conspiracy theories. But this sounds like some good groundwork to linking Iraq and McVeigh--although the connection to 9/11 sounds a bit strained.

Let me anticipate some scoffing here: I heard of Jayna Davis and her pursuit of this story before 9/11. It's not just some Iraq war thing. This has been in the works a long time and I hope it's worth it.

I'm not saying this is true, only that it sounds like Davis has done enough work to raise this idea above the deep muck of half-baked ideas about 4-19, into something that's worth looking into. Remember that the FBI only recently uncovered detonators underneath Terry Nichols' old house.

Why were they still looking?

H/T to Okie on the Lam, a fine blog that makes me homesick.

By See-Dubya at 09:12 PM | Comments |

Reminger: Light Blogging

Just a reminder, I'm on light blogging patrol. I blame Chimpy McBush for this and all other problems.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:24 PM | Comments |

George Galloway Adopts a U.S. Sniper

George Galloway is the British traitor who openly supports Iraqi insurgents killing his fellow citizen. He is currently on tour in the U.S. promoting his book. Had he done this during WWII, when Americans had balls, he would have found himself in jail. Had he done this in Britain during that war, he would have found himself at the end of a noose.

Here is an eBay auction with a novel twist. They are auctioning off a signed copy of George Galloway's book. 100% of the proceeds will be given to American Snipers, and will be used to help our boys kill some of George Galloway's 'freedom fighters' before they blow up some more kids waiting for candy.

P.S.--Ever wonder what would happen if George Galloway were to meet the brave and noble leader of the 'resistance' in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi? (NSFW)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:16 PM | Comments |

When Governors Stop Pointing Fingers and Start Being Real

According to SurveyUSA the Republican governors who haven't been pointing fingers and have been busy from day one in recovery relief (as opposed to political posturing) seem to be fairing a helluva lot better, as far as approval rating, than the Democratic governor of Louisiana.

Governor Party & State 15 Aug 05 19 Sep 05
Governor Kathleen Blanco D-LA 50% 41%
Governor Haley Barbour R-MS 43% 58%
Governor Bob Riley R-AL 46% 58%
Governor Rick Perry R-TX 39% 49%

As usual, actions speak louder than words.

Hit tip: GOP Bloggers

Originally Posted at Conservative Thinking

By at 08:46 AM | Comments |

Sign This Petition

Every time the ACLU wins, your tax money is given to them. Sign this petition to stop this practice.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:44 AM | Comments |

My Tattoos Revealed: WTW

star-wars-tattoos.jpg

Cause nothing says tough like a Star Wars tattoo!

Thanks to Beth. Original photo here.

Other White Trash Wednesday bloggers:

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:41 AM | Comments |

Blogger Testifies Before Congress

Mike Krempasky, of Red State, will be testifying before the Committee on House Administration tomorrow about the Online Freedom of Speech Act, also known as the first Congressional step in protecting bloggers and political speech. Here is the text of his speech. Give 'em hell, Mike!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:28 AM | Comments |

September 20, 2005

Meanwhile, In Hell

Hitler, Hess, Mengele and Goebbels throw a party

By Vinnie at 07:47 PM | Comments |

Everybody Make Fun of Germany (UPDATED)

They gave us a hard time when we couldn't figure out who won in 2000. But now the shoe's on the other lederhosen, ja, Hans? Just hurry up and pick Hasselhoff. We know you want to.

UPDATE: Hasselhoff convenes a Black Power government? Ach du Lieber!

By See-Dubya at 05:57 PM | Comments |

Never Try

Only a handful of people showed to today's talk. I worked two hours on that speech. The words of the wise Homer Simpson:

Kids, you tried your best, and you failed miserably. The lesson is: never try.
Indeed.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:22 PM | Comments |

Run Away!!! Run Away!!!

The ACLU surrenders to a town of 6,000 and an inanimate object.

Sweet.

By Vinnie at 02:15 PM | Comments |

Cindy's Organizer Forgets Permit Protest Broken Up

Yes Cindy says the NYC cops were so rough on me. Whaaa!!!

FOXNEWS:

I was speaking and someone grabbed my backpack and pulled me back pretty roughly," Sheehan said,

I bet you thought is was funny when your opposition got busted at your ralleys now the shoe is on the other foot Cindy.

Mediacrity has more. As does the alway on top of the issues Michelle Malkin.

By Howie at 01:25 PM | Comments |

Constitution Day Speech: What Constitution Are We Talking About Senator Byrd?

Delegates to the Constitutional Convention gave their assent to the document on September 17th, 1787. Today, I'm scheduled to be the key-note speaker at our University's Constitution Day celebration. Here is the text of my speech. I think it might ruffle a few feathers.

What Constitution Are We Talking About Senator Byrd?

On September 17, 1787 all 12 state delegations present at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention approved the document that they had been working on since May 25th of that year. Of those present at the end of the Convention, 39 of 42 delegates sign it. Today, we celebrate the signing of that document, the oldest written Constitution on the planet and the envy of the world. The Constitution of the United States of America is a model for how governments ought to be organized. It is a model of government so powerful that even The Islamic Republic of Iran, a country founded on the notion that America is the ‘Great Satan’, copied the fundamental structure of government set up in The Constitution.

It is ironic then that this model document for how good government ought to be organized is so little known by our own people. It is doubly ironic that the celebration of Constitution Day was mandated by Senator Robert Byrd, who is a self-proclaimed ‘Constitutional Scholar’ who’s only qualification on the subject seems to be that he has been in the U.S. Senate since the Eisenhower Administration. That, and also the fact that he is a former leader of the Klu Klux Klan.

This University was sent a packet from some organization or another giving us helpful hints on how we ought to celebrate Constitution Day. Included in the packet were a number of statistics, all of them designed to make the point that the average American is woefully ignorant of their own Constitution. To this I will not object. The average America is indeed woefully ignorant of this great document. Any of you who have had the unfortunate experience of taking my American National Government class knows how much I bemoan this fact and, if you passed my class, you are sure to remember one thing, if nothing else—the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States which I force all students to memorize.

But to say that the American people know little about how their government is organized is not really to say a whole lot. This is nothing new. I suspect that the average farmer living on the frontiers of Upstate New York had little knowledge about the Constitution in 1789. I suspect that a meat-packer in Chicago at the turn of the century had little knowledge about the Constitution. I suspect a dirt farmer living in the Oklahoma pan-handle had little knowledge about the Constitution even as Roosevelt held his fire side chats in the 1930s. That is to say, there is nothing new about the majority of the American people taking their Constitution for granted. People are just like that, we have lives to live and things to do. The intricacies of the Supremacy Clause are of little concern when you have kids to feed.

However, what is new in America is that while the masses have always been largely ignorant of the Constitution, it is a very recent phenomenon that elites in our society—those with a college education—also have little knowledge about this document. There was a time in the not too distant past that having a college education meant not only greater upward mobility and a larger income potential, but also meant a greater amount of core knowledge than those without one. Why it is today that educated elites are almost as ignorant of the Constitution as those who did not have the privilege of going to college is something of a mystery to me. But that it is a fact seems clear.

For instance, last year I was downstairs in the (name of building) when some organization or another was having a book sale. It was evident that the books were donated by the Arts and Humanities faculty and among the books I found was an old American National Government textbook. The book dated to the 1950s. Inside, some one had left a copy of one of their exams. Here it is. Let me read a portion of it to you, and you who have taken the same class from me and have complained endlessly about how hard it is please listen carefully.

(Read question I: Explain the entire process involved in preparing, modifying, approving, and superviseing the national budget. Include in your discussion the significance of the various organizations within the executive and legislative branches which play a major role in formulating and implementing the national budget.)

That was question I. You don’t want me to read question II, it is very-very long, and we have limited time here today. But the point is that as college education has gone from being something only the privileged few had access to gaining, to something that we all can do, something was lost. The idea was that opening up the doors of higher education to the masses would make the masses more educated, and to some extent that has happened. That is, that the masses would be more like the educated elite. But the opposite has also happened; today the educated elite are acting very much like the uneducated masses. This is a ubiquitous phenomenon, from the lofty towers of Harvard right down to the local community college you are much more likely to hear conversations about Brittney Spears’ new child around campus than you are to hear students debating the merits of the flat tax or the epistemology of Plato versus Kant.

Now, let us return to Senator Byrd and elites in the U.S. government in general. They realize, rightly, that the American people—all of them—are woefully ignorant of this great document, the Constitution of the United States. So, what is their answer to it? They pass a law. The federal government of the United States of America requires the (name of university), a state institution, to celebrate Constitution Day.

The grand irony in all of this is that this is an abject violation of the very document which they purport to revere! Why is this? Because the Constitution embodies a number of fundamental principles in it: the first and foremost principle found in the Constitution is that the federal government is one of limited powers. As Hamilton argues in his objection to a Bill of Rights in Federalist #84, there is no need to specify what the federal government should not do, because that list would indeed need be a lengthy one, instead we have a federal government that can do nothing except where they are given permission.

Having a Bill of Rights, the authors of the Federalist papers argued, would imply that the federal government could do things not expressly listed in the Constitution itself. For instance, if there is no provision in the Constitution which authorized the federal government to prohibit free-speech, what is the use of adding a clause which protects speech? Wouldn’t that imply that the federal government was one of unlimited powers, only restrained in a few areas instead of a government of limited powers, only authorized to do a few and basic things?

So, where in the Constitution, I ask you, does it give the Congress of the United States the ability to tell a state government what it must do? For that is exactly what is happening here today: the federal government has ordered us to celebrate the Constitution of the United States. The fact that we ought to be celebrating the Constitution of the United States anyway, without this order from on high, is really beside the point. A master may tell his slave to do something that he ought to do anyway, yet the relationship still violates basic principles of human equality.

If the first great principle of the Constitution is one of limited federal power, then the second great principle of the Constitution is the idea of federalism. So, Hamilton, Madison, and Jay lost the Bill of Rights argument. But they did not go down without a fight. Madison, the man most responsible for the Constitution snuck a couple of Amendments in there, just to reemphasize the basic point. Of note, and most relevant to this particular talk, is the Tenth Amendment, which reads simply:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Now, if you actually take the time to read the document—and not do what Senator Byrd did when he went to law school (and what all lawyers actually do) which was to read Court cases about the Constitution—and go home today and read, you know, the actual Constitution itself, then I dare you to find anything in the document which would give the federal government authority to force a state institution to implement this or any other program like it. To do so would be to admit that the very document we are here to celebrate today is utterly meaningless, that it does exactly the opposite of the plain meaning of its very words, and that it means only what we want it to mean.

So, despite the good intention of Senator Byrd and elites in our government that want college educated students to have a deeper understanding of the Constitution, the method they have chosen is ill suited to the task. If they really wanted the American people to know more about the Constitution then I recommend starting with members of Congress first, and then some time in the future moving on to college students, and only then if they could do it without violating the principle of state sovereignty. And to show I’m not all talk, I’m willing to fly out to Washington, D.C. at any time and help Senator Byrd and the other 99 members of the Senate unlearn all the garbage they were taught about the Constitution in Law School.

The Constitution is not a series of cases decided by the Supreme Court, it is a document written in 1787, ratified in 1789, and which has been amended exactly 27 times. We’ll begin by sitting down and reading the document that all of them like to pull out of their pockets and wave in front of cameras.

I would recommend all of you do the same.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:06 AM | Comments |

Iran Stirs Up Mookie's Rookies

The British are feeling the pinch from Iran in Basra (h/t The Corner):

British officials are convinced that Iran is implicated in the upsurge in violence and suspect it may be connected to Britain’s hardening position against Tehran’s nuclear programme. Britain has been working closely with Iran over the past two years to reach a compromise. But with the victory last month of the hawkish President Ahmadinejad, Iran has hardened its position.

Sadr's Mahdi Army has killed several British soldiers now, although their leader, a fellow named Fartusi, has been captured.

Rusty linked to an NRO article about Iran and Sadr a while back that predicted exactly this kind of pressure: if the Allies made any move toward Iran's nukes, Iran would unleash the Shiite insurgency against our troops in Iraq:

Sadr is accused of being a pawn of Tehran’s mullahs as well, helping them subvert the progress of Iraqi democracy. If military action is taken against Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Sadr’s Al-Mahdi militia could counterattack within Iraq.

Maybe just the threat of military action was enough to stir up Iran's insurgents. While it sounds like the arrest of this Fartusi is an important first step, Sadr himself is holding the Mahdi together. There are already warrants out for his arrest, as the article points out. Why are we waiting?

By See-Dubya at 06:58 AM | Comments |

North Korea's Latest Shakedown

Any prudent follower of history would know that North Korea regularly commits to agreements and then reneges. In fact, it's a trait of communist police states. Ronald Reagan even formalized a diplomatic skepticism in his "trust but verify" policy in negotiations with the communist Soviet Union. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that, less than a day after signing an agreement to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, North Korea has decided not to comply unless the U.S. ponies up some light-water civilian nuclear power plants.

From ABC Online:

A senior US official says North Korea's claim is not in line with the deal signed in Beijing.

"This was obviously not the agreement they signed and we will see what the coming weeks bring," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

US officials have declined to comment more broadly on Pyongyang's declarations, which appeared to undermine a much-feted set of principles agreed upon earlier in Beijing.

Given North Korea's predictable lack of resolve in complying with negotiated commitments, it's hard to understand why the media has an orgasm every time an agreement is signed. By now, one would think the MSM would just shrug and frown like the rest of us.

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

By at 06:07 AM | Comments |

September 19, 2005

Light Posting Alert

Three reasons:

1) Katrina. I'm broke. Despite the crazy blog money rumors, I don't have any. So, I'm putting my time where my wallet can't help.


2) Church. I got winged by a Bible so the whole Christian thing didn't take all the way, so I recently became a Universalist-Unitarian instead. That's where you get mass-married and a free subscription to The Washington Times, right?

3) Work. Tomorrow is Constitution Day (celebrated at least, it was actually on the 17th), and I'm some sort of key-note speaker or something. The Constitution is that thing with that treasure map on the back of it, right? Wait, or was that the Magna Carta?

Anyway, after that I have some 'research' or some such nonsense that my editor keeps demanding. He and I keep clashing over creative differences. He insists that photoshops of Princess Leia making out with Padme have nothing to do with an analysis of the discurssives of terrorism. That and some such nonsense about it being beneath a University press to have a full pull-out centerfold of Angelina Jolie. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.

I'll be around, but just not around for the next few weeks. E-mail me if it's something personal.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:00 PM | Comments |

Report from Hurricane Zone: The Unavoidable Tragedy

As some of you know, I spent the weekend down in the Gulf helping victims of hurricane Katrina. The area I was in was about 45 miles inland from the coast, so I'm sure that I did not see the worst of it. But after seeing the devestation of the storm, I think I am now in a better position to comment on the grand-standing and finger-pointing of politicians and of pundits alike: you are all full of an enormous amount of bullshit.

The biggest bullshit coming from partisans on the Left, trying to blame the federal government, and partisans on the Right, trying to blame local governments, is that the response was somehow too slow. Let me briefly explain.

Nearly a hundred miles inland I began to see downed trees. By the time we approached about the sixty mile mark from the coast (we were driving from Jackson, Mississipi, towards the coast--so, say 20 miles outside of Hattiesburg) it became worse. Much worse.

Downed trees lined the road. I presume that the majority of them were blown across the highway during the hurricane. They had been roughly cut and then dragged to the side of the road, . Hundreds of them. No, thousands of them.

Each tree had to be moved just to let traffic flow. Every. Single. One. For mile upon mile upon mile. For hundreds of miles. In every direction. This takes time.

And as lanes were cleared and highways opened, trucks and supplies had to move into the zone at the same time as hundreds of thousands of people were trying to move out.

If getting people out of the zone of destruction was a logistical nightmare, getting relief in was an equally daunting task.

Now imagine that same task, and add on severe flooding. Also, you don't know how deep the water is between point A and point B. Difficult under any circumstances, nearly impossible when such a large area was affected.

I spent most of Saturday and Sunday cutting trees off of people's roofs, sheds, and dog pens. By the time we got to their houses most of the trees had been cut out of the roads and driveways, but this took some time depending on a lot of factors.

One man had at least 20 trees (or more) in his driveway. Big trees. After several days of cutting and dragging he gave up. He finally resorted to tearing down a fence and using his neighbors side yard as a temporary driveway.

Repeat that same story, or one very much like it, a thousand times, and ten thousand times, and a hundred thousand times. Now you begin to see the task at hand. Now you begin to see the problem with blaming any single individual or any single level of government.

If you wish to live in a country that is equipped to handle a disaster of this scale, with no hitches, with no difficulties, and with no casualties, you are wishing for a state the size of which could only be rivaled by the Soviet Union. And even then, such a state would be ill prepared to handle the situation. There are simply too many variables to plan for, too many unkowns, and too many offsetting priorities.

Could some of what happened in, say, New Orleans have been averted had public transportation been provided to evacuate the poor and infirm? Absolutely.

Could the nightmare conditions that arose in the days after the hurricane and flooding have been averted? No way, no how.

To say you know what should have been done now, after the fact, is to say you know the end from the beginning. It is a lot like solving a fourth-grade maze puzzle by drawing backwards from the ending point. You may feel like you beat the puzzle, but in reality you just cheated. And in life, since time only flows in one direction, you must take on each turn without quite knowing if that particular path will get you to the end.

You do not know everything. You cannot solve every problem immediately. You are not a genius because you now know what should have done then.

Natural disasters happen. People die because other people are imperfect and incapable of handling tragedies of enormous magnitude. But all people are imperfect, and no one is up to a task of this size. Replace politicians A with politician B and they may not make the same mistakes, but they certainly will make different ones.

It's time for Republicans to stop pointng fingers at local Democrats, and it's time for Democrats to stop pointing finger at Republicans in the federal government. Just shut up. All of you.

If you must blame someone, blame it on everyone. We all share the single trait that could have averted this tragedy: omnipotence.

Now excuse me while I take the rest of the day to lick my wounds, attend to sore muscles, and enjoy what many in the disaster zone are still cut off from: air-conditioning. Sweet, blessed air-conditioning.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 07:53 PM | Comments |

New Tape From Ayman al-Zawahiri

Ayman al-Zawahiri has released a new tape to Al-Jazeera.

Al-Qaida number two Ayman al-Zawahiri has dismissed the legitimacy of Afghanistan's parliamentary elections in a new tape broadcast by Aljazeera, saying the polls took place under the control of what he called "lords of war".

And you are what Mr. Zawahiri?

Also here on CNN.

"There is no reform except through jihad," he said in the video, broadcast on the Arabic-language TV network based in Qatar.

We got some reforming of our own to do Doc. We will find you.

By Howie at 06:17 PM | Comments |

Clinton Overtaken by Events (w/ FEY UPDATE: [UPDATE II With Super-Insider TAWP References)

I'll second Howie's rant here about Slick Willie's poor taste in lighting into Bush. The really pathetic part of it, though, is that he chooses to do so the very same day that North Korea announces it's giving up its nuclear program and turning over the stuff it's made already. Like Al Gore giving a speech about the urgency of global warming on the coldest day of the year, Bill's timing is hilariously lousy.

Of course, Jeff, I don't trust the Norks on this at all: I don't trust them to allow complete IAEA inspections--I suspect there will be a lot of Saddam-style peek-a-boo being played--nor do I trust them to turn over everything like they say. But if they turn over anything at all, well, that's one pile of plutonium or maybe even one completed warhead they're not going to sell to Zawahiri or Assad or anyone else. It'll join Khadaffi's naughty stuff up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. When it comes to yanking them out of circulation, any nukes is good nukes. What's more, this appears not to have affected our own bargaining position in the slightest.

Now: let us remember who let them get that far in the first place:

_36326914_300kim_albrightap.jpg

That is not Condi clinking the bubbly with The Indomitable Man from Mount Paektu! Yes, once again, Bush is cleaning up a Clinton-era problem. Much like we're now hunting down Osama--after Clinton bumbled along and wasted several shots to take him out, and while Gorelick and co. were busy building the wall between intel and law enforcement which helped shelter the Sept. 11 hiackers. Or much like Bush has deposed Saddam, after Billy Jeff looked the other way while oil-for-food corrupted the world and Iraqi children languished under sanctions, or tossed a few cruise missiles Baghdad-way after Saddam tried to take out G.H.W. Bush in 1993.

As Ace likes to say, I question the timing. And the question is, could Bill have screwed the timing up any worse if he'd planned to?

PS Cordial glasses for champagne? No flutes or saucers? Tacky, tacky, Lil' Kim. The sanctions were clearly having an effect.

UPDATE: Sorry, I'm just very curious about those cordial glasses in the picture. They look like these, which are 6.5" high and hold 2 oz.

I think this is a photo-op choice. Since Kim is like five-one with the poof, and Albright couldn't guard Smurfette in a pickup game, they chose tiny glasses for tiny people. Ordinary champagne glasses would have looked like goldfish bowls on these two. Can't have the dignitaries dwarfed by the stemware.

No, I'm happily married, one kid, why do you ask?

UPDATE by Rusty: When will the Clintons ever learn? The only way to fight Kim Long Duck Dong Jong Il is the power of acting. And not F.A.G. actors, either.

kim_jong_il_so_ronery_teamAmerica.jpg

Prediction?

harns_brix_shark_team_america.jpg

By See-Dubya at 03:38 PM | Comments |

Roy Hallums Rescue Video

Shaun at Bareknucckle Politics has it. Notice the terrible conditions 'Roy was kept in, how happy he seems, and listen at the end as he describes his hostage takers beating him so that he would cry during the earlier hostage video.

We're glad you are back Roy.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:23 PM | Comments |

Willing Martyrs or Kidnapped Victims?

FOXNEWS:

Ever wonder why a person would strap on a bomb and blow himself and civilians to bits, me too?

Mohammed Ali, who claimed to be Saudi-born and appeared to be in his 20s, Ali said insurgents kidnapped him from a field near his home earlier this month, then drugged and beat him. His story was similar to those recounted by other captured militants. The captives routinely claim they were either coerced or fooled by insurgent leaders who promised them a role in the holy war against the U.S. military, only to find themselves as would-be suicide bombers sent to attack civilians.

Next.

Musab Aqil al-Khayal, a 19-year-old Syrian, was shown on state television Saturday confessing to his aborted involvement in a bombing earlier in the week in which a companion exploded his car bomb in the midst of day laborers assembled to find work. "Those dogs fooled me," he told Iraqi interrogators.

Ah now I see, come on Zaqueery strap one on and put your money where your mouth is. Having seen some of Al-Zarqawi's methods I would not put it past him.

By Howie at 12:06 PM | Comments |

Poor Bastard Howie Disagrees With Bill

Bill Clinton broke with tradition and has flamed President Bush for just about everything. Actually I've been waiting for this.

On the US budget, Clinton warned that the federal deficit may be coming untenable, driven by foreign wars, the post-hurricane recovery programme and tax cuts that benefitted just the richest one percent of the US population, himself included

Bullshit Bill. I may not agree with everything Bush has done the last six years but being upper lower or lower middle class I have gotten the best tax returns ever. I mean I get back more than I pay if I spend my bucks right. The idea that only the rich benefit from these cuts is just untrue. I got back about 2400 bucks last year and as a single income family of three 2400 bucks is good money for me. The bush tax policies are way better for me than yours ever were. If we want to raise taxes on the rich fine with me. But to reverse the tax cuts will cut my return from 2400 bucks to about 350 under Clinton. I have to ask myself am I better off than I was six years ago? Hell yes I am!!!!. Grrrrrrr.

In the right place has more. As does polipundit on WMD.

By Howie at 08:52 AM | Comments |

British Embassy Bombing in Croatia

There has been a letter bombing at a British embassy in Croatia. The media coverage is detailed at Conservative Thinking.

As more reports come I'll be updating the coverage of the story there.

By at 04:27 AM | Comments |

North Korea Stands Down

In an agreement that can be seen as a step back to the Clinton or an agreement to appease the North Korean government North Korea has decided to stop it's nuclear program in exchange for economic and energy benefits, an agreement to keep the NKs safe, and an open door to later start back up their program later.

North Korea Vows to Drop Nuclear Program (AP):

BEIJING (AP) -- North Korea pledged to drop its nuclear weapons development and rejoin international arms treaties in a unanimous agreement Monday with other countries at six-party arms talks. The joint statement was the first ever after more than two years of negotiations.

The North "promised to drop all nuclear weapons and current nuclear programs and to get back to the (Nuclear) Nonproliferation Treaty as soon as possible and to accept inspections" by the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to the agreement by the six countries at the talks.

"All six parties emphasized that to realize the inspectable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the target of the six-party talks," the statement said.

The North and United States also pledged in the agreement to respect each other's sovereignty and right to peaceful coexistence, and also to take steps to normalize relations.

"The United States affirmed that it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade (North Korea) with nuclear or conventional weapons," according to the statement, assurances echoed by South Korea.

Negotiators agreed to hold more talks in November, where they were expected to move on to concrete discussions about implementing the broad principles outlined in Monday's agreement. The main U.S. envoy, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, has warned that could still be a long process.

Putting aside the question for now, the joint statement said: "The other parties expressed their respect and agreed to discuss at an appropriate time the subject of the provision of light-water reactor" to North Korea.

Pyongyang has also refused to totally disarm without getting concessions along the way, while Washington has said it wants to see the weapons programs totally dismantled before granting rewards. The statement, however, says the sides agree to take steps to implement the agreement "in a phased manner in line with the principle of 'commitment for commitment, action for action.'"

he other countries at the talks said they were willing give energy assistance to the North, including a South Korean plan to deliver electricity across the heavily armed border dividing the peninsula.

While I'm okay with North Korea giving up its nuke program I'm not exactly sure that giving the Communist North what it needs to survive another ten to fifteen years is the best course of action. Let their economy fail and let their people overthrow the communists. A free North Korea is better than a communist one struggling to get what it needs from the rest of the world to survive.

Others Covering the Story:
In The Bullpen
The Moderate Voice

Originally Posted at Conservative Thinking

By at 12:46 AM | Comments |

It Don't Matter To Me, If the Sun Don't Shine

A line from one of my favorite bands of the '60s that no one ever heard of: Bread. And it don't matter to the Western Media (according to Wretchard) just exactly who wins a conflict:

Of all the weapons of the insurgency, it is their ability to set the public terms of the debate that has proven the most powerful. Their model of fighting a combined media-arms campaign has created an alternative reality which Western opinion-makers unconsciously inhabit.
And why is that, exactly? The truth is, there are more important issues than whether or not the sun happens to be shining at a particular time. But you'd never know it by reading the NYT. They're pretty much all about the atmospherics.
By Demosophist at 12:29 AM | Comments |

September 18, 2005

Best and Brightest

One of the most impressive people I know is Dr. Ann Kao. She is a brilliant doctor who recently got written up in the Wall Street Journal for having discovered a new disease (“Tsunami Lung”) in the aftermath of the Indonesian Tsunami.

Ann is also a Christian, an Ivy Leaguer, and (at least the last time I talked to her) quite sensible politically, too. She’s also cute and pleasant to talk to. Where do you go to meet women like this?

Rwanda, of course. She’s now on a fellowship doing refugee medicine there, saving babies from dysentery and staving off the onset of AIDS wherever she can. The conditions are primitive and she’s dreadfully undersupplied, but she’s doing her best. I expect they’re not paying her too well, either.

She has a blog, Letters Home, which she updates now and then from Kigali. Why not check it out, and leave some comments or send her an e-mail, and surprise her? Here's a sample of daily life for Ann:

“The anxiety comes from the moans emanating forth from the rear of the land cruiser – the contractions are coming faster and I hear grunts starting and I say “DON’T PUSH” really loud in English which makes everyone laugh. Then in a completely surreal moment where time seems to freeze the other two women in the Land Rover start singing piercingly beautifully and clearly – “It is a hymn” says Immanuel my driver the words he struggles to translate but says are praising God and creation – and the 19 yo in labor ceases her grunting and slows her breathing to listen to the song. It’s yet another truly indescribable moment – careening down a mountain in pitch black surrounded by banana groves with 3 refugee woman – one nearing delivery and the soundtrack is this beautiful wild song being sung by 2 of them. I think if I die at this very moment going down this mountain – there wouldn’t be any other way I’d rather go.”

But we’d rather you stayed a while, Ann.

P.S. And don’t even tell her where you heard about this. I don’t want her figuring out who I am. Just tell her howdy, and let her know her work is appreciated.

Cross-Posted at Patterico's Pontifications.

By See-Dubya at 10:59 PM | Comments |

Peeing in Lake Wobegon

I went through a stage where I liked A Prairie Home Companion. I call it my "pretentious" phase. Now lefty PHC host Garrison Keillor has lowered the boom on a blogger. Seems this dude was cranking out some T-shirts that said "Prairie Ho Companion" (snicker) and Keillor's big bad lawyers sent him a cease and desist order.

How's that for some free speech? How's that for being hassled by The Man? How's that for humorless priggery?

"This is a great country, and it wasn't made so by angry people." Some liberal said that...some fair-minded wholesome Volvo-driving scribbler named...hmm...ah, yes, Garrison Keillor. --who also noted in the same unhinged rant, "Hypocrisies shine like cat turds in the moonlight!" Yep.

By See-Dubya at 07:49 AM | Comments |

September 17, 2005

Blogabond settles down

Many of you will recognize the name Dafydd ab Hugh from smart comments around the blogosphere. He's also been a co-guest-blogger with me at Patterico's Pontifications, and he has also guest-blogged at Captain's Quarters, and he gets mentioned at Powerline all the time. Oh, and he wrote a bunch of sci-fi novels, too.

Anyway, Daf Ab has fired up his own blog now--part of a bigger site called "Big Lizards" he's been working on for ages. It looks very promising--check out his post on why he doesn't write "Islamofascism" but insists on "militant Islamism". As he uses loaded and atmospheric words for a living, he knows what he's talking about.

(As an aside, I think the good thing tactically about "Islamofascism" is that A: it's somewhat accurate; after all, the Taliban and Baathism are fascist in character and B: it illustrates the odd cleavages in Western politics. Those romantic fools who jumped at the chance to fight Franco in the last century are swanning around with their thumb up their hindquarters in this one, and apologizing for a fanatically illiberal movement and the totalitarians who foster it. )

And now I'm the only person in America without my own blog.

By See-Dubya at 12:39 PM | Comments |

Some Potential Confusion Over Katrina's Toll

A source inside FEMA told me recently that, as of a couple of days ago, the agency had granted 1,758 funeral benefits to families whose pre-disaster address was in Jefferson Parrish. These are confirmed deaths with confirmed identification, but the implication may not be what it seems. So far this number is not in the public domain, and I can't verify it by any independent sources, but I believe it. The thing is, any large population of people will have a certain number of deaths over any 2 week period, so it's not a given that all, or even most, of these deaths occured during the hurricane or flood. In fact, since identification is a fairly rigorous process it's probably accurate to infer that most of these deaths occured under non-disaster conditions, either after the event or before it, and people are simply applying for the funeral benefit because they're without funds. The critical issue isn't the number, but whether these deaths were a direct consequence of the storm, whether the storm was a secondary factor, or whether they would have occured storm or not. And that's simply unknown to us at this time.

But be advised that if numbers like these are leaked to MSM it's very likely that certain people will interpret them to mean that the death toll from Katrina is much higher than the current number of confirmed deaths (579 in the state of Louisiana according to FOX just a few moments ago).

By Demosophist at 11:45 AM | Comments |

She's Back!!!

Yes Cindy and Michael the perfect couple are at it again (ugh mental image I wish I never had but this should help). What can I say but wheeew looney looney looney!!!!!!

Mark In Mexico has the goods on this latest moonbat mission.

Cindy Sheehan's post in the Michael Moore blog is an obvious attempt to place blame for the conditions in New Orleans and Algiers on George Bush. She drops the name of Malik Rahim as though he is backing up her accusations. It doesn't sound like Rahim agrees.

Also Mr. Right is struggling with his blog addiction as well. We know we can't leave it alone either.


By Howie at 10:02 AM | Comments |

Happy Birthday Sweet 218

Today is the birthday of our Constitution

On Saturday, September 17, 2005, we are celebrating the 218th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. This day is known as Constitution Day. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention gathered in Pennsylvania and came up with a great and intricate system of checks and balances. It was decided that our government would have an executive, judicial, and legislative branch. The decision for a bicameral legislative branch came from the argument between the smaller and larger states. The larger states wanted more representation because they had more people, forming the House of Representatives. The smaller states wanted equal representation of every state, forming the Senate.

Cool link.

Hat Tip: Rep. John Shimkus.

Note for Iraqi's this is our second one and it took ten amendments to get it passed. So if you don't like the one you are considering you can always change it. Heck the French have had dozens. Let's see what else Mr. Shimkus is up to. Below the break and it's good stuff. Also this kind of got me thinking. How many think Mr. Shimkus should run for old DICK Durbin's Senate seat? Think about it Mr. Shimkus you'll only have to run every 6 years.


The state of Illinois has established a one-stop hotline for displaced Hurricane Katrina victims coming to Illinois. By calling (800)843-6154, between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, evacuees can get information on state services such as health care, counseling, and temporary housing, food, and clothing allotments.

Be prepared.

Hiring Military Families.

Following an initiative sponsored by the Department of Defense, a new group has been formed in the metro-east. The group, IMPACT JEMS (Jobs/Employment for Military Spouses), has begun working to connect local employers with military spouses from Scott Air Force Base. Anyone who would like to get involved can learn more about this great program on the web at www.impactjems.com, or by calling (800)980-0101.

Buggin out.

On Thursday, September 22, Doug Bugger of my Collinsville district office will be available to help the residents of Dale and Enfield. In Dale, he will be at the Dale Convention Center on Highway 142 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. In Enfield, he will be in the Enfield Village Hall on 115 East Main Street from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Dale convention Center? If any of you have ever been to Dale or Enfield, well if you blink your eye you miss em. So I doubt Dale can handle all that NO convention traffic. It's nice to see a politician that cares about the little guy and you can't get much smaller than Dale or Enfield. Maybe Bunge or Cottonwood, Oh can't forget Pioplois.


By Howie at 08:14 AM | Comments |

September 16, 2005

A Day without Sunshine

Mrs. See-Dubya: "I'm going to order this book called Baking Without Sugar from Amazon. Is there anything you need so we can spend enough to get free shipping?"

See-Dubya: "Sure, get me a copy of Sex Without Orgasms and get yourself a bottle of unscented perfume to go with it. I'll run out and get a keg of O'Doul's to drink with your sugarless bran brownies."

Yes, the couch is breaking in nicely, thank you.

By See-Dubya at 05:59 PM | Comments |

Galloway-Hitchens Post

Heard it. Loved it. Fine Political Theater.

I doubt very much that any minds were changed, but I think Hitchens won in a walk. Galloway savaged Hitchens; Hitchens savaged Galloway, but he also laid out an unrefuted case for regime change in Iraq. Plus many of Galloway's ad hominems lacked any real sting--he triumphantly bellowed that Hitchens had opposed the 1991 Gulf War, but he had apparently changed his mind, so how could we ever trust him again?

That may be a more effective insult in Galloway's fever swamp, where deviating from blind orthodoxy and reconsidering one's position is considered treasonous. Among the right, many of us (not me so much) got here from liberalism after being, as Irving Kristol put it, mugged by reality. It's called growing up.

Anyway, two links of note about the debate:

The first is a useful transcript of the debate prepared by one-man-think-tank George Gooding at Seixon.com. He'll have the second half up soon, but in the meantime look at his other stuff about Iraq casualty reports, Galloway's perjury, and Valerie Plame (who?).

The second--and only a few of you will think this is funny--is this news roundup by the New Criterion's blog Armavirumque (which is Latin for "armavirumque".)

If the wording of one of their links doesn't jump out at you, go here and Dave will explain it for you. Very strange thing to see referenced in that bow-tie and brandy-snifter blog of highbrow literary criticism--but I guess no one's immune to the boyish charm of a bad sportscaster.

(PS It doesn't actually use that phrase in the linked article.)

By See-Dubya at 05:48 PM | Comments |

Heading to Katrina Disaster Zone

I'm flying down to the Katrina disaster zone today to see what little help I can offer. It's the least I can do after I was such an arrogant prick about it. I regret those words. There was no bigger news than Katrina that week or since. I'll be back Monday.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:56 AM | Comments |

Roy Hallums Home, Rescue Video Released

roy_hallums_heads_home.jpgRoy Hallums, the American hostage held in Iraq since November and who's cause was covered extensively at this website, is back in the U.S.

Additionally, the U.S. military has released a video of the rescue operation that led to his release. I will post the video and images from it as soon as I have it. Please e-mail me if you have the video. The video is described below.

Above: A photo taken by Sgt. Jason Mikeworth MNF-I PAO (by way of of DOD) of Roy Hallums shaking hands with Air Force Brig. Gen. Frank Gorenc before boarding a flight home from Iraq.

Susan Hallums sent me an e-mail this morning. I thought I'd share it with you.

Dear Rusty,

I am sorry that it has taken me a few days I have thought of you many many times. I dont have my computer so there has been limited communication.

I have been so thrilled to have Roy back home. We are truly blessed that our prayers were answered and our faith NEVER allowed us to stop believing that Roy would return home.

I didnt know he would request a turkey sandwich and then request to be H-o-m-e, but I am truly extremely thankful and happy for this wonderful outcome.

You were the 1st to help Carrie and I and our interviews are an unforgettable experience, but Roy told me we all helped. We will never forget your huge efforts. My prayers are with the other hostages and their families may God be with them.

Thanksssssssssssssss,
Susan Hallums

And thank you Jawa Report readers for all of your support in the past. The Hallums family is still trying to raise money to cover expenses experienced in this ordeal.

Please visit their website here and donate if you can.

Roy Hallums hostage video described from Roy's hometown newspaper:

The video shows what looks to be a narrow, dark cave covered by steel bars, and a wasted but happy Hallums talking to U.S. soldiers immediately after his release.

The cave was under a farmhouse, and a rug and freezer were placed on the hatch over the hole to conceal it, said U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch. U.S. forces had detained someone they believed had information about Hallums's whereabouts and used the detainee to pinpoint the location, Lynch said.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:54 AM | Comments |

Danes with Disabilities Sex Program

(Denmark) The Danish government has launched a program which pays prostitutes to have sex once a month with disabled people.

The program has created some contentiousness, particularly from Danes that don't get taxpayer-funded hookers. The argument is that every Dane deserves free whores, not just the disabled.

My take is that this is a clear case of discrimination.

By at 10:51 AM | Comments |

Traitors at ACLU Give Propaganda Victory to Enemy

Our enemies are already using the ACLU's latest victory to recruit more jihadis to kill more Americans. Thank you ACLU.

Check out Islam Online's take, if you don't believe me.

Stop the ACLU has more.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:13 AM | Comments |

Aussies: Speak English Immigrants

As I argued in a recent post, while moral decline does not mean an impending end to a nation, cultural decline might. A key cultural attribute of America is the English language. We could learn something from the Aussies.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:05 AM | Comments |

Michael Yon Podcast

Here's your chance to hear Michael Yon. Shawn at Bareknucklepolitics interviews him here. Yon is one of the few embedded reporters sticking it out in Iraq and, unlike the talking heads on CNN, Fox, and NBC who don't ever leave the Green Zone, is actually out and about reporting facts from the ground.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:56 AM | Comments |

Stupid Quote Of The Year

"...[Antonin Scalia and Clarance Thomas] hate the government so much that they would use their position on the bench to override the legislature, to override the will of the people with their decisions."
- Chuck Schumer on "Hannity and Colmes" 9/15/2005

You mean unlike the liberal justices across the country that are overturning valid state laws and votes by the people on issues such as underage death penalty and homosexual marriage?

By at 07:56 AM | Comments |

Partial vs. Total War: Revisiting Tranquil Blindness

The following is an email exchange I had with Nicole Argo, one of the panel on suicide terrorism that I panned recently here. That is, it was unfair to the extent that some of my criticism wasn't so much substantive as atmospheric, and it may also have been unfair to Argo. I still disagree with Pape's policy prescriptions, which I think do not follow from his analysis, and I thought Bloom's attitude rather superficial and trite, reflecting the "unseriousness" of the Moveon crowd. And I still have the sense that the way nearly all of these people frame the issue of suicide terrorism reflects a false dichotomy between "military" and "non-military" strategy.

In the 1940s Roosevelt created an agency that he called the "Board of Economic Warfare," which was chaired, rather ironically, by R. Buckminster Fuller. While this agency wasn't "military," its design purpose was unambiguously to serve the military campaign. If there is value in the work of these researchers attempting to understand the nature of terrorism it probably is not in an alternative to a military strategy, but in service to it... with the laudable objective of preventing a drift toward what Clausewitz calls "Total War."

But Argo was quite gracious in the following note, and in a follow-up (which I won't post because I haven't quite figured out how to respond yet). Anyway, here's the exchange. The quotes from my original post are in bold, her comments in italics, and my responses in plain old, plain old.

hi there,

a friend sent me this, and you actually had me laughing. i don't dispute your take on the tone of that panel, however you cite me and other incorrectly. let me correct the pieces dealing with my presentation, at least...

I was fairly bitter at the time, having just experienced some serious discrimination for my lack of "PC-ness," so my tone was a bit over the top. Sorry, but I sometimes get carried away. As soon as I have time I'll bring the post back to the top and intersperse your comments, for the record.

I neglected to mention a statement by Nichole Argo to the effect that suicide terrorists are "just like us," meaning that they are socio-economically middle class, educated, etc. That struck me as improbable, although she is supposed to be the expert.

i referenced a study of lebanese and palestinian bombers (by alan krueger) which first showed that bombers tend to be above the mean in education and income for their societies (these were all bombers, and many terrorists, from the 80s and 90s). but sageman's network analysis of 400+ qaeda bombers also shows this. and that network is growing. however, i originally chose the words "they're just like us" to sum up the study on psychopathology: we have yet to find depression or sociopathy to describe the terrorists we're finding, or those we research after the fact.

My impression, from some of the reports by our troops on milblogs, is that many of the bombers in Iraq are not above the mean in income or education, but then that's also just their impression. It does make some sense to me that literature on the psychopathology of suicide bombers follows that of other cults and extremist groups... which tends to say that we're all vulnerable. I just think that there's some deliberate exploitation of the sunni underclass in Iraq. But I don't really know.

I do agree with Jerrold Post, however, that there's something about the group dynamic itself that produces the equivalent of a psychopathology. It's pretty ugly business, but I tend to see a close relationship between these groups and more established totalitarian groups, as though they're different phases of the same phenomenon.

Later Pape, in his summary, acknowledged that only about 10-15% of the suicide bombers have been identified, and there's no way to tell if those were a representative sample.

pape was talking about bombers from iraq.

My mistake. [Here, I thought Argo's comments were about terrorists in general, and didn't know she was excluding Iraq. Well... because I didn't here her say so...]

Now, I don't know what the background of these revealed bombers was, or the roughly 85% who are still unknown, but if these were people from the same socio-economic background as the rest of us it sort of undermines the notion that terrorism is the consequence of class conflict, or the result of exploitation or deprivation.

nobody in that panel argued that terrorism was the result of class conflict, exploitation or deprivation. "grievance" was used mostly to connote "occupation" and resentment towards status change and/or oppression (another finding of alan krueger, who argues bombing will most likely occur in those countries with low civil-political liberties).

Well if that's the case (and I agree for both intuitive and analytical reasons) then I just don't understand the "principled" opposition to this project from people like Pape and Bloom. Unless they think that civil political liberties can somehow flow into a totalitarian or authoritarian state through some kind of economic bargaining and external pressure. While these things may work, they usually take a very long time and have uncertain consequences. I suppose I developed some faith in the ability of Ameriacans to sow the seeds of civil democratic reform, by force, from my association with Lipset. And I see "the Left" as, at best, unaware of that potential.

[I'm being rather diplomatic here. The truth is, I think class is essential to the left's opposition to the Iraq War, and to the whole "Neocon Project." But I can't really say that anyone but Bloom is "in the tank" on that approach. Pape might be, but I'm not sure. Several others on the panel definitely were not "class warriors."]

But the main point is that she was willing to state something as fact, which is simply still in doubt. We don't even know enough about suicide terrorists in Iraq, for instance, to make a definitive statement about what part of the Arab world they come from.

it's not in doubt. suicide bombers are not clinically depressed or psychopaths; they are not the most poor, the most uneducated, the most "weak"--often they are leaders. if you know a single scholar/expert in this subject that argues differently, you should post that report. as for the bombers in iraq, nobody on the APSA panel claimed to know where they come from, least of all me, who simply asked the field and the audience to make explicit the ways in which they thought religion motivated the act, rather than assume that people swallow whole the soundbites offered them by the local cleric, or the international terrorist.

Again, I don't think one has to posit that the folks who are susceptible to this kind of influence are necessarily psychopathic. But I do suspect (from my own experience at least) that something about them is different. They cross a threshold that most of us do not. There's some sort of trigger for that. As Post says about the Third Reich, the idea of a Jewish conspiracy fit some element of receptivity in the German public "like a key in a lock." This has more to do with the relationship between charisma and social status than individual psychopathology.

[Here, I just don't think we're talking about the same thing. The bombers themselves may very well be "like the rest of us," at least after you account for the differences in culture and socio-economics of the group they belong to (Palestinian, Arab, etc.). And there are extremists in this culture that seem to look more or less like the rest of us, for instance in the Heaven's Gate group and Jim Jones. The leaders themselves tend to be either cynically manipulative, or psychopathic, however.]

i don't know your blog, but can see you've a knack for writing. as someone who just got off a plane from the palestinian territories and was very jetlagged, i'd tend to agree that the panel functioned less than professionally at times. however, that is a different complaint than the one you make about poor analysis. indeed, your evidence misleads your audience, and explains why you walked away frustrated.

Probably. I'm very frustrated with people like Mia especially. To me they're the modern equivalent of Copperheads. And if they manage to influence the majority I think the Arab world may have a very high price to pay. I don't think they understand either the magnitude or the nature of the stakes.

all the best,

The best to you too. Thanks for contacting me. If there's some way to achieve agreement between the disparate factions in this dispute over policy I'll view it as deliverance. The harshness of the "whole thing" is beginning to tell, on me at least. I find it very depressing.



In a recent debate between Christopher Hitchens and George Galloway, which Wretchard summarizes here, Galloway refers to Hitchens as "a drunk." My impression is that drinking is how Hitchens copes with the fact that his realism about the need for, and propriety of, "partial war" is in tension with his "psychological preference" for peace and cooperation. The difference between he and Galloway, is that Christopher decided that his sense of morality and ethics required him to be consistent even though he is personally repulsed by the implications. He is depressed as a result of his honesty. As for Galloway, I think Hitchens is genuinely incredulous about how he manages to live with himself given the moral inconsistencies in his public position. I think he deeply detests Galloway as a person, and also because he's one of a number of "pied pipers" of the Left, that are leading it to ruin.

The bottom line is that while those who follow Galloway's example may escape some of the depressive consequences for the time being they're doing so by deferring the real consequences of their moral and ethical inconsistency onto others, and onto their own future. This makes them precisely like the Copperheads during the American Civil War, who deferred the consequences of their own moral and ethical inconsistencies onto the black slave population, which they would have left in slavery in order to stop the war. The Moveon Left defer the consequences of their inconsistency onto the victims of totalitarianism and authoritarianism. And even as the Copperheads ultimately paid the price, politically, by remaining out of power almost seventy years the modern Copperheads may pay a similar price. It isn't difficult to see that they've become more like the reactionaries and fascists they claim to hate than have people like Hitchens.

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia)

By Demosophist at 12:53 AM | Comments |

September 15, 2005

Filthy-Dego-Wop Romans, the Conservatives That Love Them, and the Beginning of Empire (UPDATED)

Why are so many conservatives fascinated with Rome? Personally, I think it's latent homosexuality. In contrast, Dean Esmay has a more serious take on the same question for you conservatives of what he calls "the America sucks right."

These are the guys at your church that think God has an invisible shield over the U.S., and that as America slouches toward Gomorroh he slowly raises the shield. This line of thought can go to the extreme and become one that basically says were doomed, DOOMED, DOOMED!

In many ways, this argument is very similar to the namby-pambies of the 'hate America first' Left and self-proclaimed paleocons on the Right who share the belief that America is destined for failure, soon, because that is the fate of all empires.

The remedy? End the empire, bring troops home, etc. Only by ending the empire can America be saved.

Which, of course, is stupid, since at any point in Rome's history the same argument could have been made. Bring troops home from Palestine now, one could have argued in 70 C.E. Of course, 300 years later you would have found the city of Caesaria, near modern Haifa, bustling with activity--all of it Roman.

And what is so great about the Romans anyway? Filthy mass-murdering buggers that they were. Dean writes:

They were a vicious, savage people, given to mass murder on a scale that would make Saddam Hussein seem like a piker--and that was while their Empire was growing. Julius Caesar, before he seized power and turned Rome into an Empire, boasted of slaughtering over 100,000 people in just one of his jaunts into Gaul. Not 100,000 on the battlefield either--no, this included razing villages, hacking off the heads of children, women, old men, the crippled and lame. This was celebrated as a part of Ceasar's greatness, with triumphal celebrations and murals and statues showing in gory detail as Ceasar and his troops raped barbarian women and sliced barbarian children's heads off.

All that, and Rome's greatest days were yet ahead of her.

Let me just add a few other things. The Romans were not the biggest, not the most powerful, and certainly not the most long-lasting empire the world has ever known.

Biggest: British empire. At one time controlled a quarter of the world.

Most powerful: U.S., present day. Is there any doubt about this? Ok, we'll give special runner-up status to Alexander's short-lived but very kick-ass empire and a tie going to Genghis Khan's Mongolian hordes.

Longest lasting: China is by far the longest lasting empire ever known. Before the Romans even began to consolidate power let alone think of empire, China was already an imperial power. The Chinese Empire begins in 221 BCE. And when did it end? It hasn't. Even when China is conquered by external forces, such as during the Mongolian invasion, it continued. Instead of 'Mongolionizing' the Chinese, the Mongolians were Chinafied. How's that for 'end of empire' theory!

And China was, and is, a real empire. Not an empire in the Leninst sense of the word, or an empire in the dependency literature of the new Left, or like an empire, or an empire defined by--well, by whatever definition suits the purposes of polemists who wish to use the word to describe something they don't like, namely, America.

So, when did the Chinese Empire fall? It didn't. It's still in existance today. So, there's no more Emperor. Big deal. Go to modern China today and you will see it is not a 'nation-state' but an Imperial power. Nearly half of China's land mass is located West of where most Han Chinese live. Ask the Uygyars of Xinjiang or Tibetans if China isn't an 'empire'.

The Chinese Empire might suck every bit as much as the Roman one did, but it has lasted for 2,226 years and shows no sign of falling.

Even if we were to date the beginning of the modern Chinese Empire with reunification under the Sui Dynasty in 589 and date its end (wrongfully, I believe) to 1949, when The People's Republic was set up, that's an empire that lasts 1360 years!!

And we've been around, what, a couple hundred years? I bet it will be another 500 before we even begin to invent a food dish that is the cultural equvalent of the all important General Tsao's Orange Chicken.

Is America doomed? Hell no! World, you aint seen nothin' yet.

UPDATE: First, apologies for mispelling 'dego'. It should be dago. Laura is right--if you're going to use racial slurs to get people's attention you really ought to spell it right. I guess I just don't use racist terminology enough......

Second, Dean's orginal post was in response to an updated post by La Shawn Barber, who I have a great deal of respect for, but who I also disagree. Dean has a related posts here.

Like James Joyner, who enters the discussion here, I also have many concerns about some of the moral decline of America. I just believe that the argument that such declines preceed the downfall of a civilization are not backed by historical facts. If one wishes to argue that cultural decline preceeds the downfall of a civilization, I believe you are on to a more solid argument. One that is not, of course, without its own flaws. Part of what makes American culture so different than those others, though, is its ability to adapt and change over time. Further, if anything, American culture is still on the rise and spreading across the globe

La Shawn's argument actually is religious, if you go read her post. As a religious person--which I actually am to the surprise and shock of my readers (You thought I was kidding about being a Christian Universalist who happens to believe only Mormons go to heaven and that God is really a Buddhist?)--I believe La Shawn is basically right in her assessment and characterization of moral issues (with the exception of her not distinguishing between good gay and bad gay). As you all know I don't believe in gay marriage, as a rule, unless it is between two very hot chicks.

But, if you'll close your Qurans for a moment and open the Bible to the book of Ecclesiastes--the entire book--I believe you'll find that the good preacher notices something that many Christians today have overlooked. Let me quote him from the NIV, chapter 8, verse 10:

There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless.
Indeed. Long before Gibbons poor observations on the decline of empire, King Solomon (ascribed) noticed that the wicked often prosper and the righteous often suffer. Buddha, for the non-Christian, made much the same observation. That is just life.

I would suggest to the religious-right in America, and this includes Doc Rampage who makes an even more overtly religious argument here, not to make the error that their theological reading of history is orthodoxy. Even if one were to read the Bible in this way, one might make the argument that God punished the nation of Israel when it was wicked, and blessed it when it prospered, but that Israel is a covenant nation, different then the rest. Rome was not Israel, and neither is America.

Rampage is right, of course, that this is 'in house' fighting. Chomsky hates America, La Shawn doesn't.

Further, I thought it was the Romans that killed Jesus, the encarnation of God in the flesh--something my Sunday School teachers taught was kind of like the ultimate sinful behavior--and yet Rome grew and prospered for hundreds of years after that. I also seem to recall something about throwing Christians to lions, crucifying Peter upside down, and even one emperor (Nero) using them as human torches. All of this, of course, as they were busy buggering (not being buggered, mind you) young boys in the traditional Greek fashion.

And as for China, the longest lasting empire, did you know that the practice of polygamy was not done away with until this century? I have a friend from Hong Kong who comes from the noble class. His grandfather had many wives, not even counting all the concubines.

Last, let me just clarify that I do not believe that America is really an 'empire' in the same way that Rome was or that modern polemists believe. I thought I had made that clear in the paragraph about definitions of empire, but I guess I hadn't. America is Iraq is not empire. California Mafia has a related point here.

However, if you were to define America's empire as within the boundaries of the United States, then I might concede the point. We certainly conquered a lot of territory, colonized it, culturally extinguished native peoples, and subjected them to our wills. Go to Hawaii. Forget Hawaii, go to Virginia. That seems a lot like empire my friends.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 06:08 PM | Comments |

Deep Thoughts...

by Jeff Goldstein:

Shearer’s implicit argument that because not everyone who remained behind in NOLA could have been safely evacuated, attempts to evacuate some or most of those left behind could (should?) not have taken place clearly echoes the anti-war argument that because the US can’t simultaneously overthrow every tyrannical dictator in the world, it is somehow indelicate to rid the world of one (even if doing so jibes with our national interests)—and, in the process, frees 25 million people from a murderous Ba’athist rule.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:57 PM | Comments |

Claim: Second Report of Chemical Attack in Iraq

For the second time in a week, a terror organization has claimed to have used chemical weapons in Iraq. The Islamic Army in Iraq issued a statement yesterday claiming that it had launched ten 120mm mortar rounds loaded with chemicals against U.S. and Iraqi troops stationed in al-Madain.

A translation of the communique can be seen here, via Evan Kohlmann.

On Sept. 13th the Victorious Army Group in Iraq issued a statement claiming that it had used chemical weapons in Baghdad, including against American troops in the Green Zone (story and background here). There has been no confirmation of those reports.

The Islamic Army in Iraq (IAI) has been associated with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq in the past. The IAI stated that the chemical weapons were used to support Zarqawi's losing battle in Tel Afar. However, Zarqawi's group disclaimed any association to the earlier attack by The Victorious Army Group (or Sect, as he translates it) on the Green Zone with chemical weapons.

Terrorism expert Evan Kohlmann passes on information that The Victorious Army Group is rumored to be made of ex-Fedayeen Saddam and Iraqi intelligence personnel.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:34 PM | Comments |

America Doesn't Want You Either, Gwyneth

Gwyneth Paltrow would feel much more at home in Europe where sophisticated and nuanced discussion of America boils down to clever cowboy metaphors and deep analysis about arrogant empires falling, you know, eventually.

We concur. Move to Europe Gwyneth Paltrow. You'll fit in better.

Globe and Mail:

Yes, well, I went to Spain in an exchange program at 15, and I've always been drawn to Europe. America is such a young country, with an adolescent swagger about it. But I feel that I have a more European sensibility, a greater respect for the multicultural nature of the globe. And it's a strange time to be an American now....

I feel like we're really in trouble. I just had a baby and thought, 'I don't want to live there [America].' Bush's anti-environment, pro-war policies are a dis. . . ." Well, you can guess the rest.

And don't come back. At least, not until you get a boob job. I mean, she even looks like she could be a European star--but not an American.....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:18 PM | Comments |

Terrorists Shoot Down U.S. Plane in Iraq

A terror organization in Iraq, Jaish al-Rashideen, has posted a video in which it claims to have shot down a U.S. airplane. Images from the video below.

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al-rashadeen_plane_cia2.jpg

Another victory for the brave mujahadin. Soon they'll be attempting to blow up my Hot Wheels collection with an IED.

Thanks to Double Tap for the video.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:45 AM | Comments |

CAIR Censors 'Indecent' Photo of Woman's Hair

Remind you of something?

stalin_before.jpg

stalin_after.jpg

Robert Spencer has the full story.

UPDATE: Point five has the original photo......

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:47 AM | Comments |

Seven to be Deported from Britain Named

The British government has announced the impending deportation of seven foreign nationals. The men were arrested in a nation-wide terror crackdown. No names were mentioned--possibly because of British laws restricting certain press freedoms in legal matters--but it is almost certain that the seven to be deported were those accused of plotting to use WMD against civilians in the U.K.

The plot was said to have used ricin, cyanide, botulinum and other explosives to cause mass casualties in that country. Eight men were later arrested in the plot. Charges were eventually dropped against four, and four others were later acquitted. One man, the Algerian born Kamel Bourgass, was convicted and sentenced to life.

The seven men to be deported were all connected through London's radical Finsbury Mosque. Some media are now claiming that all seven to be deported are Algerian, thus Khalid Alwerfeli is the only one of the accused plotters who doesn't face imminet deportation:

Samir Asli--Algerian
Khalid Alwerfeli--Libyan
Mouloud Bouhrama--Algerian
Mouloud Sihali--Algerian
Sidali Feddag--Algerian
David Khalef--Algerian (convicted terrorist in Algeria, but has assylum)
Mustapha Taleb--Algerian
Kamel Merzoug--said to be Algerian (Entered UK on false passport)

Guardian:

Britain on Thursday ordered the deportations of seven men detained as threats to national security, including some accused in a terrorist plot to spread the poison ricin.

The men were being held in London and Manchester under the government's powers to deport people ``whose presence in the U.K. is not conducive to the public good for reasons of national security,'' the Home Office said.

It's time the US started deporting radical Muslims, too. As non-citizens, they have no 'right' to be here. They are our guests and have overstayed their welcom. Please e-mail if you have any further details.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:09 AM | Comments |

Socrates: The First Liberal

Guest commentary by Bill Dauterieve:

I was watching "Black Hawk Down" yesterday night. It is a testament to the courage, honor and commitment of American soldiers. I liked the Hollywood treatment of soldiers as a bunch of different guys. You had Obi Wan Kenobi as a office clerk, the Incredible Hulk as a Fonzie like Delta Force fighter, and Lucius Malfoy from Harry Potter as a by-the-book Ranger. When they were under the gun, they set aside all their differences and fought as a single unit. They left no one behind.

It was a microcosm of American life and how people should act when
under attack. But, they are soldiers and are cut from a different
cloth than the rest of Americans. Instead of setting aside our
differences, we have all this infighting. And that got me thinking. I
saw that Argentines are commemorating their 1973 military coup that
eventually brought Gen Pinochet to power. Those on the Left mourn that
day. Those on the Right mark it as a necessary evil. Still, Chile is
a divided society.

Then that got me thinking some more. I thought of Socrates and the
crimes he was alleged to have committed. He was accused of corrupting
the youth of Athens. As he lived in Greece, you might imagine that
corrupting the youth means you have to be some sort of monster. In
their society, banging young boys was a-okay. So you had to do an
awful lot to get accused of harming young people.

Then it hit me. Socrates was the first Liberal. His crime was that of
luring the young citizens of Athens away from productive lives as
artisans and merchants. He was a little bit like the Michael Moore of
his day. He attacked the paid pundits of his time. He basically
called the whole world a bunch of bullshit and recommended reworking
the whole society with strong governmental influence and limited
personal choice except for a select elite. He was accused of "making
the weaker argument seem stronger". He liked to criticize for the sake
of criticizing. Athens was one of the most just, free and egalitarian
societies of its time. But that was not good enough for him.

For that he was put to death.

I am not judging Socrates. I still think of him as that lovable guy from the Bill and Ted movie. But I do think he is the unsatisfiable father of all Leftists.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:29 AM | Comments |

Al Qaeda in Iraq Declares Jihad on Shi'ites, 23 More Murdered in Baghdad

A new audio message from the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has declared jihad on Iraq's majority Shia population. More bombs went off in Baghdad today targetting Iraqi police officers. Zarqawi has claimed the bombings which killed 23.

Al-Jazeera:


"The al-Qaeda Organisation in the Land of Two Rivers (Iraq) is declaring all-out war on the Rafidha (a pejorative term for Shia), wherever they are in Iraq," said the voice which could not be immediately verified but sounded like previous recordings attributed to al-Zarqawi.

"As for the government, servants of the crusaders headed by Ibrahim al-Jaafari, they have declared a war on Sunnis in Tal Afar," the clip added...

What the tape fails to mention is that the President of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, is a Sunni Muslim. President Talabani has recently begged the American people to stay the course and help his country fight the terrorists in his country. Many on the American and European Left, including George Galloway in a debate last night, consider the bin Ladenist terrorists fighting secular and moderate forces in Iraq 'freedom fighters'.
"You must choose between the good side and the bad side."
In the sick world of Zarqawi, the bin Ladenists, and the Western elitist Left, the good side is the side that cuts people's heads off for driving trucks. But wait, there's more:
Any religious group that wants to be safe from the blows of the mujahidin must [disavow] the government of al-Jaafari and its crimes. Otherwise it will suffer the same fate as that of the crusaders," said the tape.

At the same time, "any tribe ... whose allegiance to the crusaders and their agents is proven will be targeted by the mujahidin in the same way the crusaders are".

In the dozens of al Qaeda in Iraq (formerly known as Tawhid and Jihad) videotaped murders, each victim is first made to confess to the 'crime' of apostasy. How is the victim an 'apostate'? He has 'worked with the Zionist-Crusador infidel forces'.

Under traditional interpretations of Islamic law, the maximum penalty for apostasy is death.

An interesting side note from the al Jazeera report refers to Zarqawi as 'the one-legged fugitive'. Zarqawi was reportedly hurt in May, but that was allegedly a serious chest wound. This is the first I had heard about Zarqawi missing a leg. It's time to take out his other one. Start with the kneecaps. Then move to the left arm......

So, why is peg-leg Zarqawi trying to kill as many Shias as possible? He's trying to start a civil war. Unfortunately, many on the Left believe a civil war is already happening in Iraq. But if this is 'civil war', then how come the vast majority of Sunnis are planning to go to the polls in the coming election? Wars begin only when politics fail.

Further, many on the Left openly support those that are fighting our troops, the side that wishes to impose a Taliban-like regime there. These people are traitors.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:11 AM | Comments |

September 14, 2005

Alcohol Vendor Taken Hostage in Iraq Seen in Video, Company Caves to Demands


A video has emerged of the Lebanese-Cypriot employee of an alcohol distribution company taken hostage in Iraq nearly three weeks ago. Images from the video are posted below. The video may be downloaded here (see Sept. 12, first link).

The man, Garabet Jean Jekerjian, can be seen in the video wearing a Corona shirt and shorts and pleads for his company, Geto Trading Ltd. which operates out of Cyprus, to leave Iraq.

The company announced today that it was caving to the terrorists' demands and is ceasing all operations in Iraq.

The terror organization, calling itself The Group for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice had released a video Sunday threatening to kill Jekerjian unless Geto pulled out. Scores of people have been murdered in Iraq by vigilante groups, both Shia and Sunni, attempting to enforce Islamic Law.

I apologize for letting this one slip under the radar screen. A description of the video and images from it follow.

Centcom translates an accompanying statement from the group:

"In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise belongs only to God, and prayers and peace be upon the seal of the prophets, and upon all his family and companions. God Almighty has enabled the mujahidin of 'The Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice Group' to capture one of the suppliers of food and alcohol in Baghdad , who is working with a company that deals directly with the occupying Crusaders in Iraq . It supplies them with alcohol and food. In order for us to release the Lebanese hostage, we ask that his company leaves Iraq as soon as possible. Otherwise, you shall witness punishment for him and for yourselves.
Here is a description of the video. Images from it follow:
The 3-minute 49-second video begins with a visual display of a slightly different version of the above statement. The hostage is then shown sitting on the floor with a masked man pointing a gun towards his chest. The hostage is wearing a Corona Beer T-shirt, shorts, and a black cape is draped over his shoulders. Both his hands and his feet are in shackles. No group banners are apparent in the background. The hostage introduces himself saying: "My name is Garabij John Garbijian, holder of two citizenships, Lebanese and Cypriot. I work with G2 General Trading, which has branches in Lebanon , Cyprus , and Iraq ." He then explains that the company supplies US forces with food and alcohol. He pleads with his company to leave Iraq immediately in order to save his life. The hostage seems to be reading from a series of cue cards. He then calls on the Lebanese embassy to pressure the company to leave Iraq and stop dealing with the occupation and the Iraqi army. He then pleads: "Jubran, Aghu, and Rita and especially you Jubran . . . I ask you to carry out all the instructions of the group, or else I will be beheaded." He continues: "Jubran you are responsible for my life, just like you were responsible for Elie's life, and for what happened, for his death [It is not clear who Elie is]."

Garabet-Jean-Jekerjian-lebanese-hostage2.jpg

Garabet-Jean-Jekerjian-lebanese-hostage3.jpg

Garabet-Jean-Jekerjian-lebanese-hostage4.jpg

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 06:07 PM | Comments |

Al Qaeda on the Run in Northern Iraq

Are things really all that bad in Iraq? Not according to those that are actually there. In a Pentagon press briefing today, a commander from Mosul, Iraq, described a much weakened al Qaeda presence in that region. At least 80% of al Qaeda fighters are dead or captured, and those fighting today are much less organized with far poorer training.

But how can things be getting better in Iraq when so much news--today's news--always seems so bad?

Flipping through the news this morning as I got ready for work, I noticed that CNN and Fox were reporting some very bad news from people who should know how things are going, reporters in Baghdad. However, one thing seemed rather odd to me--both reporters had the same background shot.

In fact, both reporters were at the same Baghdad hotel well inside the Green Zone. So, how are they getting their news? They are getting their news from the DOD just like I am, only they can broadcast their original news from Iraq and thus you get the feeling that they are more authoritative because they are, you know, there, even though there isn't really anywhere near where the stories are happening.

Journalists such as Michael Yon are the exception to the rule. He's embedded with military forces in Mosul, so when Yon reports that things are much better in Mosul today than last year, you better believe him. Yon is actually there where there is.

So, when Army Col. Robert B. Brown, commander of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division's Stryker Brigade Combat Team, reported from Mosul, Iraq, about conditions there you better listen, too. Remember, Yon is embedded with these guys. Stryker Brigade News has a great gallery of the men of the 1/25 here.

Here are some highlights from a DOD press release about Brown's conference. And by 'highlights', I mean pretty much the whole press release. But, as you read it, imagine that I am reporting from inside the Green Zone. I'm sure that will make it much more believable. Here's a visual, to help put you in the mood.

Brown notes that eighty percent of al Qaeda's network in northern Iraq "has been devastated" since January due to the capture or killing of key leaders and the outrage of Iraqi citizens.

The situation in Mosul is "improving on a daily basis," Brown said. "Normalcy has come back into the city."

That wasn't the case prior to the Iraqi elections held in January, Brown recalled, when his soldiers "faced a foreign fighter that was very well-trained." However, the situation has changed significantly since then, he said.

Several events caused the decline of terrorist influence in Mosul over the past year by, Brown said. For one, Mosul's citizens, who'd had enough of the murder of innocent women and children by al Qaeda-sponsored terrorists, began supporting their new government after the elections.

Carnage wrought by foreign terrorists also has caused Iraqis who used to favor the return of the defunct Saddam Hussein regime to change sides and support the new Iraqi government, Brown said.

Today, Mosul's citizens routinely identify insurgents and provide other information to U.S., coalition and Iraqi security forces, Brown said.

"People are fed up with the terrorists' acts," the colonel said, noting that Iraqis "want a brighter future."

Many key al Qaeda leaders in Iraq have been captured or killed in recent months, Brown said, affecting terrorist operations. Brown said enemy mortar attacks in his area have decreased to about six a month, compared to around 300 monthly prior to the January elections.

And "we have not seen well-trained foreign fighters" since the elections, Brown said. Foreign terrorists captured these days are poorly trained and "very young," he noted, ranging in age from 15 to 17 years old.

Al Qaeda is "clearly our biggest threat" in Iraq, Brown said. Of 550 terrorists killed during U.S.-coalition operations in northern Iraq during February and March, he estimated between 60 percent and 70 percent of enemy casualties were foreign fighters.

Brown said he's very proud of his hard-working soldiers. The brigade's victories against terrorists haven't come without cost, he noted, with 33 having lost their lives in Iraq over the past 11 months.

However, the brigade's trademark vehicle has "saved hundreds of my soldiers' lives," Brown asserted. He said 115 rocket-propelled-grenade rounds, as well as myriad machine-gun bullets, have failed to penetrate the Stryker's tough skin during his brigade's tour in Iraq.

The Stryker has "done a fantastic job here in Iraq," Brown said.

Check out Stryker Brigade News, which is very bloggy, for more info coming out of Northern Iraq.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:21 PM | Comments |

Debra Lafave Genitalia Photo Blocked

(Tampa, Florida) Remember Debra Lafave? She's the gorgeous 24-year-old teacher who claims she was insane during mad sex romps with a 14-year-old student. She's scheduled to be tried in December, however, there's a new development in her case.

Apparently, during the investigation of her alleged crimes, the authorities obtained a search warrant to photograph her genitalia to collect evidence corroborating the statements of the 14-year-old boy. The photos are public records and, as such, any citizen can request access. As a result, Lafave's lawyer, John Fitzgibbons, has filed a motion to block public access to the pictures on the basis that they are an invasion of privacy.

From the St. Petersburg Times:

Questioned by detectives a week before Lafave's arrest on charges of lewd and lascivious battery, the boy told them things about his teacher that only intimate contact would have revealed. He mentioned belly button rings and butterfly tattoos. Then he told them about Lafave's "V" shaped tan line along her waist and that she had shaved her pubic area in a "unique" pattern.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Michelle Sisco issued a search warrant last year authorizing Temple Terrace investigators to collect evidence that would verify the victim's account. When detectives brought Lafave to the county jail, they told her they had a warrant to photograph her body, according to the motion filed Tuesday.

A nurse draped a sheet over Lafave and a female jailhouse deputy snapped four pictures of her hips, legs and back. Then they placed Lafave's feet in stirrups and took two close-up photos of her genitals that Fitzgibbons described as "pornographic."

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Wayne S. Timmerman will hear the motion next week which is unfortunate because, in the interim, a curious citizen might walk into the public records room and request access to the photos. If the judge grants the motion to block access, Lafave's privacy could only be invaded if a Tampa Bay area citizen got curious before next week.

Companion post/pic at Interested-Participant.

By at 05:21 PM | Comments |

Goodbye Mike King

Mike King, of Rambling's Journal, is calling it quits. He will be missed.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:20 PM | Comments |

Apprentice Contestant Alla Wartenberg Is Ex Stripper Who Inspired Death Row Inmates Killing Spree: Image Gallery

Alla Wartenberg scandal and photo gallery here.

alla_wartenburg_full2.jpgUpdate from earlier post.

Who is the real Alla Wartenberg, one of the stars of the upcoming season of NBC's Apprentice? A video of her Apprentice audition can be seen here. According to her official website, the 31 year old immigrant from the Soviet Union is a self made multi-millionaire, owns a chain of upscale day spas, and is a real-estate tycoon. However, The Smoking Gun has learned that Ms. Wartenberg was once a Las Vegas stripper who went by the name of 'Ecstasy' at an upscale gentleman's club.

The mother of four was also doing $40 lap dances at precisely the time her biography claims she was starting her day spa business. Can you say happy ending?

Additionally, Alla Kosova, as she was then known, was the kind of dancer who you could pay to spend the entire evening with you--you know, an 'escort'. Eventually, one of her clients--or 'Johns'--became so infatuated with Alla Wartenberg-Kosova-Ectasy that it led to the murder of two Oregon women and a California man. The two women were lesbian lovers.

Kosova's usual MO was to tell her 'dates' that she wanted to marry them. Her 'regular' took her literally and in two robberies gone bad trying to get more money to spend on 'dates', Robert Acremant ended up killing three people. Acrement is now on death row in Oregon.

Wartenberg-Kosova admitted in court documents, though, that she was just using Acrement for the money but that there were never any 'intimacies' between them. Right. We believe you Alla, honey!

Seems to me that she'll fit right in at Donald Trump's house. Alla Wartenberg gallery below.

UPDATE 9/14: (UPI) Trump and "Apprentice" producer Mark Burnett told the New York Post they were aware of her past as a stripper, but did not know about link to Acremant.

"We'll look into that situation," Trump told the Post.

Hat tip: Dummocrats. Original post here.

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By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:16 PM | Comments |

Frisco Judge Rules Pledge Unconstitutional

WTC_flag.jpg
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the Unites States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all. CNN:

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one nation "under God" violates school children's right to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God

So part of living in a democracy is that the minority must be protected from an over zealous majority. I would argue the reverse is also true. The majority should not have to be subject to the whim of an over zealous minority.

John at Stop the ACLU has more and Michelle Malkin.

UPDATE from Rusty: *sigh*

By Howie at 02:00 PM | Comments |

Freedom Fighters Murder Child, Booby Trap Body in Tel Afar

Here are the Left's freedom fighters at work in Iraq. Who are we fighting in Iraq? Extremists who are working to create a Taliban-like state.

"When the terrorists took over the city," the commander of the Third Armored Cavalry Colonel H.R. McMasters said in a State Department briefing yesterday, "they replaced all the imams from the mosques with Islamic extremist laymen; replaced all teachers from the schools with people who "preached hatred and intolerance"; and kidnapped and murdered large numbers of people, "including a Sunni Turkmen imam and a city councilman who was shot about 30 times to the head in front of his family.

"The enemy here did just the most horrible things you can imagine," McMasters said, "in one case murdering a child, placing a booby trap within the child's body and waiting for the parent to come recover the body of their child and exploding it to kill the parents."

Because the local population had been so badly treated by the terrorists, and because Iraqi Army forces were integrated into operations, McMasters said, the civilians have given very good intelligence about the terrorists’ whereabouts and activities.

The main engagements in this fight happened from September 2 through September 6, McMasters said. With between 3,500 and 3,800 U.S. forces and 5,000 Iraqi troops taking part, 118 terrorists were killed and 137 captured, he said. U.S. losses were one killed and 11 wounded, most of whom have returned to action. Iraqi losses were eight killed and 19 wounded, he said.

At length the terrorists abandoned the fight and tried to escape by blending in with the local population, he said, but the Iraqi forces were very good at spotting them and the civilians pointed them out to the coalition. A further 104 of the enemy were captured in outlying areas surrounding Tall Afar on September 12, he said.

Source: State Department press release.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:46 PM | Comments |

Losing the War on Terror One Website at a Time

We won the battle in Afghanistan. We will win the battle in Iraq. But will we win the war on terror? Not without fighting it on its most important field of battle: the internet. Aaron at Internet Hagganah has an important essay:

Afghanistan was invaded.

It had to be done.

It had to be done, and it was not enough.

So it is with the Internet.

There's more.

Al Qaida makes extensive use of the internet to plan and execute operations, train and indoctrinate new generations of terrorists, and generally to overcome what limits the occupation of Afghanistan by US and Coalition forces imposes on them. The Internet is another front, another theater of operations, another "failed state" if you will, where there is no rule of law in any meaningful sense.

Surrendering this territory to Al Qaida without a fight would have disastrous consequences.

Thus I note with no small amount of irony that some of the greatest minds in American counter-terrorism - people who believe whole-heartedly that the US invasion of Afghanistan was the right thing to do despite the fact that Al Qaida survived - are convinced that when it comes to the Internet, resistance is futile. They tell us that shutting down the web sites of the global jihad is a "fool's errand". They believe this is the case regardless of who it is that ultimately decides to shut such websites down.

Governments around the globe should be advised to remove from the books all laws against incitement to violence, and internet service providers must be told that they are obligated to provide services to Al Qaida: the American counter-terrorism experts say so....

If Al Qaida is using the Internet we must combat them on the Internet.

It must be done.

It must be done, and it is not enough.

READ. THE. REST.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:37 AM | Comments |

Bin Laden Said to be Dying (UPDATE: Military Denies Report)

Jawa Report readers will recall that on Sept. 7th we received information that some major news would be coming out of Afghanistan in the following weeks. At the time we labeled our information 'a rumor' since we could not confirm it. Today, Ed Morrissey notices that more rumors out of Afghanistan have begun to percolate to the mainstream media.

The Jawa Report, one step ahead in reporting unsubstantiated rumors.....(thanks to tip from source that wishes to remain anonymous)

UPDATE: Military now denying report. Scroll down for details

Reuters:

"Osama bin Laden is trying to obtain medical attention," Colonel Don McGraw, director of operations at the Combined Forces Command in Kabul, told a group of British reporters, including one from al-Hayat, it said.

"He (McGraw) refused to say what the Qaeda leader is suffering from or whether it is the same kidney disease which Pakistani officials said in the past he was suffering from," the newspaper added.

Al-Hayat said it was not clear how the U.S. military had obtained its information or where it thought bin Laden might be.

Ok, so the report says bin Laden is only sick, but sick is one step away from dying. Plus, if the major news is what I think it is, then we should be hearing more about this in the course of the next week or so.

In related under-reported news, Pakistan is now claiming to be in full control of Waziristan. The area is said by many to be where Osama bin Laden has been hiding out. Further, Pakistan is claiming that "some important men" have been captured in the area.

UPDATE: Thanks to JohnMc for the hat tip. Reuters:

But a US military spokeswoman in Kabul said McGraw had not said that.

"Colonel McGraw did not say Osama bin Laden was trying to get medical attention," said the spokeswoman, Lieutenant Cindy Moore.

"We're working with the editor to correct the record," she said of the report.

Col. McGraw had been asked by a reporter about an Arabic website report several weeks ago saying bin Laden had been wounded.

Col. McGraw said he had seen the report, which security experts said lacked credibility, but had no information, Lt. Moore said.
He was then asked about old reports that bin Laden had suffered from a kidney ailment and Col.McGraw had said bin Laden might have, in the past, sought treatment but he didn't know about now, Moore said.

Lt. Moore said Col. McGraw had presented the reporters with no new report about bin Laden.

We'll keep you updated.

Don't get that prize money out yet Laurence...

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:04 AM | Comments |

WTW Cube Farm Living, Crimson Love Monkey Edition

Yes my company is having an open house this week. We are all supposed to remove any and all traces of personality from our work area. You know make it look just so. The man has sent down orders that all goofy stuff is to come down. My Aussie cube mate and I have formed a rebellion against this evil. For where ever there is a cube we fight for freedom.

Aussie refuses to take down his love monkey.

Howie refuses to take down the Tower of Stupidity.

.Will it last? Who will win this war of personality? We face a long struggle against a powerful enemy. Here is some background on the tower of stupidity. It’s my little 9/11 memorial and also a fun way to have a flag stick up over my cube. On 9/12 we came to work and every cube had a little flag on it. See the small flag on the left hand side it’s an original 9/12 toothpick flag. Worked a couple weekends after that and built the tower from happy meals via my bosses daughters. It’s been standing nearly four years and it will be standing longer. Should Aussie dude and I loose this battle rest assured that as soon as the tourists are gone both the tower and the crimson love monkey will return to their rightful place in our cubes along with my hot Marge Simpson poster. Also for those of you who care Howie did start up that new batch of fine wine this week. Due date on the booze is 10/31. The love monkey was a gift from Aussie's new bride.

Updated: Guess who's coming to the open house Ernie Fletcher. No comment. Well maybe below the break.
.

Well maybe you would think Ernie would appreciate a broken rule or two huh? We loose. I rank him right up there with George Ryan. Sorry all you dead people from NYC the man owns my ass. Nothing pisses me off like a politician that can't follow the law. Especially when it's my party who's reputation gets besmirched. Actually I think Ernie is a pretty good guy it's the men under him that screwed up. I'm so glad that the Governor finally did the right thing. You know Mr. Fletcher I've not spoken about this the whole time I've been blogging because well I fear for my job for one. It was hard enough for the party to get the Gov office in a mostly Democratic state and I'm afraid we've shot ourselves in the foot. I've broken a few rules before myself and its about attitude. You know admit it and take yer medicine. I had to and DICK Mergatroid should too. I think you have been taken by the very people you hired to work for you and good luck. I think you will find that when you stand up and take responsability for your mistakes most people and judges will give you a break. But 77% of the people of your state were miffed at the pardons. I've spoken to a lot of KY Republicans that aren't too happy either

Not quite readable quote from the pic.

It is an honor for a man to cease from strife: But every fool will be meddling. Prov 20:3.

Also a reader points out that David Paulison

This is the same David Paulison who gave us the infamous "duct tape" scare a little over two years ago.

I sent him this. come on everyone knows we trashy white men love duct tape. It's the stuff.

Here are your bloggers

By Howie at 10:19 AM | Comments |

Funny...

...because it's true.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:08 AM | Comments |

Life, Liberty, Property

The Carnival of Liberty XI is up.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:02 AM | Comments |

Feeling Sorry

I'm feeling sorry today. I'm feeling sorry for the families of everyone they are finding dead. I'm feeling sorry for those poor older folks who were left to die in a nursing home. I'm feeling sorry for everyone who has to stare at a ruin where their house used to be and wonder what they're going to do next. I'm feeling sorry for Bush. Before he stood up and took responsibility for any wrongdoing (he's a better man than I ever could be), he knew that he would get nothing but grief over it from both sides of the asile.

But mainly I'm feeling sorry for the country. New Orleans has shown us a lot about ourselves and the direction in which we are headed. During 9/11, we saw firefighters and policemen running INTO harm's way. Now, we see them turning in their badges and joining with the criminals. During 9/11, we all came together. Democrats and Republicans, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Irish, English, it didn't matter. We were all in this together until it was over. But now, as soon as the hurricane hit, we had politicians and politician-wanna-bes stepping up to play politics and see how they could play this natural disaster to their favor. Some, such as Hillary Clinton, were doing it to promote their agenda and attempt to smear any Republican that they could. Others, such as the mayor and governor were attempting to save face in light of horrendous errors on their part. Still others, such as Jesse Jackson and the others who started crying "race" were simply trying to keep their sway over the masses.

Of course this hasn't stopped the majority of the people of the United States from pulling together and doing what needs to be done. But it certainly has given us pause. How many of you have honestly felt reluctant to give money because you wonder how it will be handled. I personally have refused to give to the Bush/Clinton charity because I have heard that all of their money is being funnled straight into the state and local governments. And I'm not giving money so a bunch of cops can have Vegas vacations.

But why does it have to be this way? Why should we be leary of giving? Why are the liberals using New Orleans as a rallying point? Why aren't we seeing all this same crap in all the storm ravaged areas? You certainly aren't seeing this sort of reaction in Mississippi. Nor have you seen it in Florida. So what's the difference?

In New Orleans, the liberals house of cards has come crashing down around their ears. Their bastion of nanny statism is no longer. And the results are plain for all to see. People who have depended on the government for all their wants and needs are now left stranded as their precious government did not provide for them. And seeing as the can't (or won't) provide for themselves when there are no disasters, expecting them to do for themselves during a disaster would be way too much. No, this is not a slam on the people of New Orleans, this is a slam on the system that let them get that way. This is a slam on the welfare that allowed otherwise healthy adults to continue their lethargic existance without actually doing anything. This is a slam on the "assistance" programs that punish people for working. This is a slam on the entire idea of "big government" being in charge of your life.

And this is why I say to the government "Let me be." Let me make my own decisions on how to live my life. Let me make my own mistakes and let me pick myself up and start over when I fall flat on my face. I've certainly done it before. And I've not been too proud to go work at a fast food restaraunt when I had to put food on the table.

The government and the constitution of the United States were created to protect us from things that are too large to handle ourselves. They were made to stop another 9/11 by going out and destroying the terrorists where they live and before they have a chance to come back. They were made to defend our borders from invaders. They were made to help out when the storm comes and the destruction is so immense that you can't even imagine where to start. These are the jobs of the federal government. Making sure you are not offended by something someone else says or does is NOT the job of the federal goverment. Taking care of you when it takes you a couple of extra weeks to find a job is not the responsibility of the federal goverment. And they certainly aren't responsible for taking care of you when you refuse to learn and keep making the same stupid mistakes.

When this tragedy is over and done, we all need to take a long hard look. The federal government needs to look at some of their emergency response procedures. I don't know enough about it to know what went wrong or where, but we certainly owe it to everyone to find out.

They also need to task the Army Corps of Engineers with doing whatever needs to be done to the levee system so that this never happens again. And while we're at it, we need to give a big green finger to all the enviro-weenies who have been stopping us from doing this exact same for nearly 30 years.

The state and local governments of Louisiana and New Orleans need to take a close look at thier policies. If their only policy for emergency evacuation includes "you're on your own" then it probably needs to be updated with something a little better. If they don't think there's an adequate place to shelter people during a storm, maybe something needs to be built. Maybe they need to make some sort of arrangements with neighboring states.

And someone certainly needs to take a look at a police force who can't stand their ground during an emergency. This is what you were trained for, folks! That's why you became cops! You've given a promise and you can't simply bug out during a time of crisis. Maybe they need a change from the head down. But whatever it takes MUST be done to prevent something like this looting and wholescale lawlessness again.

And finally, we, as the people of the United States, need to take a closer look at where the Democrats want to lead us. Do we really want to live in a world where, when the wolves come at your door, you're helpless because you've been depending on the government? Personally, I'd rather know that I can take care of myself no matter what, without relying on the government to give it to me. And if I know that about me, then I also know that about my neighbor. And his neighbor. And once we get there, we'll truly be United States.

Originally posted at Conservative Friends

By at 09:36 AM | Comments |

Terrorists Murder Over 100 Civilians in Iraq

al_qaeda_murders_hundreds_car_bombings.jpg
Terrorists in Iraq has claimed responsibility for a series of bombings that killed over 100 civilians in Iraq today. Reports from the scene conflict as to the actual total of people killed in today's mass murder spree, but a single car bomb is said to have killed at least 88 and wounded 227 in a mostly Shi'ite neighborhood of Baghdad.

Media reports indicate that al Jazeera is reporting that al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the mass murders. No specific claim, though has been made, but al Qaeda may have alluded to the deadly attacks:

The conquest of revenge for the Sunni people of Tal Afar has started," Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al-Qaida Organisation in the Land of Two Rivers said in the statement, whose authenticity could not be verified.

It said its "brigades" had launched a series of attacks, led by its elite "martyrdom-seeking" brigade.

The statement did not claim responsibility for any of the suicide bombings, only promising to "release more (details), God willing, as soon as news comes in of the operations in Baghdad and other cities".

Such statements are an almost daily occurence from the terror organization. It would not be beneath al Jazeera, though, to report in their Arab language broadcast that al Qaeda had claimed the attack and then changed the story for their English versionn.

Reports are mixed, but between five and ten more bombs targetting civilians were heard around Baghdad this morning.

Elsewhere, gunmen entered a village, rounded up those suspected of 'collaboration' and murdered them.

Gunmen wearing military uniforms, meanwhile, surrounded a village north of Baghdad early Wednesday and killed 17 men, police said.

Police Lt. Waleed al-Hayali, in Taji, 10 miles north of Baghdad, said the gunmen detained the victims after searching the village. They were handcuffed, blindfolded and shot. The dead included one policeman and others who worked as drivers and construction workers for the U.S. military, said al-Hayali. [source]

These reports come as Iraqi troops, with U.S. backing, take control of al Qaeda safe havens along the Syrian border.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:02 AM | Comments |

Monumental Ignorance

This is not a fitting memorial to warriors and heroes:
Crescent of Embrace.jpg

This is:
Wallace Monument.jpg

That's the William Wallace memorial near Stirling Castle in Scotland. (Pic from here.) Say it with me: "You can take our lives...but you will never take...our Freedom!"

By See-Dubya at 03:53 AM | Comments |

September 13, 2005

Thanks

Thanks to all of you who participated in the Blog Sabbath Caption 9/11 Edition.

Thanks to Rusty for saying "Go for it."

No one knows what the future holds, but, for now, your memories have been digitally engraved for all the world to see, if they happen upon them.

I need to give a special thanks to Demosophist for letting us know...

...that reminding the Jawa faithful of the foe you faced in the Global War On Classmates.com is FAR MORE important that reminding them of why we fight the Global War On Islamofascism.

Muahahahahaha!

Just messin' with ya. :-)

(aw, come on, you should know me by now, don't you remember the LAST Caption Contest?)

By Vinnie at 11:32 PM | Comments |

Lawlessness in Gaza, Riots in N. Ireland: Bush and FEMA to Blame

(Gaza Strip) Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has promised to put an end to "armed chaos" in the Gaza Strip, a day after the withdrawal of Israeli troops.

"No-one is above the law," Mr Abbas said in a televised speech.

"If these were white people stuck in Gaza," Abbas continued, "I don’t have any [bleep]ing doubt there would have been every single helicopter, every plane, every single means that the U.S. government has to help these people."

Civil Rights groups in Gaza, such as Islamic Jihad and Hamas, have harshly criticized President Bush's FEMA team for their poor handling of the Gaza situation.

Community leader and Hamas spokesperson Mushir al-Masri was pleased at the announced resignation of FEMA chief Michael Brown Monday, but said the move did not go far enough.

"50 years of Zionist occupation and all the President could do was accept Michael Brown's resignation? Where was FEMA when they were needed? Did they send us money? No. Weapons? No. The least Bush could have done was send one of the twins for a martyrdom operation, inshallah."

But Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he was not surprised by the lawlessness in Gaza.

In his first comments since Monday's withdrawal, Mr Sharon said the Palestinian leadership knew they needed to re-impose order, but he said he would wait and see whether they could do so.

"There's no need to blame the Federal government," Sharon said, "the cause of the present situation is clearly on the state and local government."

Meanwhile violence continued in the West Bank. A 19-year-old Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli troops outside the city of Hebron, Palestinian medics said.

Palestinians also took to the street on Tuesday, demanding that the Administration hold FEMA to account for the murder of Jamal al-Dura in 2002.

Chaotic scenes continued in Gaza on Tuesday as Palestinians picked through the rubble of former Israeli settlements.

Democratic Senators were quick to point out that the pressing poverty in Palestine was a constant reminder of why a big federal government is needed.

People across the globe have been horrified by the images coming out of Gaza.

MSNBC talk show host Keith Olbermann was an eyewtness to the state of chaos:

"They were burning down mosques, shooting AK-47s randomly in the air, and ulalating endlessly. Will President Bush do nothing to take control of the situation?"

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland rioting continues for the fourth day as angry Protestant paramilitary gangs battle police and political prisoners--deemed 'terrorists' under Britain's extraordinary anti-terrorism laws--went on a hunger strike.

"FEMA's response has been utterly pathetic," the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party David Trimble said to The Jawa Report. "We need an independent commission to investigate what went wrong."

"An investigation of the Republican administration by a Republican-controlled Congress is like having a pitcher call his own balls and strikes. Yes, I'm familiar with American baseball slang and no I'm not prejudging the Administration's guilt even though they clearly are to blame. That's why we need and independent commission."

In a shocking turn of events, President Bush apologized to the oppressed peoples of Palestine and Ireland today.

"To the extent the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility,” Bush said.

Meanwhile, Leftist bloggers at The Daily Kos have called for Bush resignation in Ulster-Gaza-gate.

"Now that Bush has taken responsibility, he must resign. He has pleaded guilty. He has admitted that he was complicit in the deaths of thousands of people."

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 07:22 PM | Comments |

57% of College Girls Want Sex with Angelina Jolie

A new survey by Playboy indicates that while only 54% of college coeds would cheat on their boyfriends with Brad Pitt, 57% would hook up with Angelina Jolie. Who can blame them?

Flash News:

Here’s some kinky news for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: A lot of female college students want to sleep with them. Both of them.

According to Playboy magazine, 54 percent of college gals would cheat on their boyfriend with Pitt and 57 percent want to get jiggy with Jolie.

In other Angelina Jolie related polls (hey, pollsters have to do something in off-election years too!), 27 percent of 18-59 year old women say that they would 'most like to resemble Anglina Jolie in the bedroom'.

In an unscientific poll conducted by The Jawa Report, 100% of husbands say they wish their wives would resemble Angelina Jolie in the bedroom, too. The margin of error in our poll is plus or minus zero percent.

madonna_brittney_kissing_star_wars.jpgLest we forget, Jolie has admitted that she is 'an expert in lesbian sex' with a lot of experience.

The same poll indicates that it girl and all around media maven Paris Hilton doesn't have what it takes to attract hot lesbian action. Only 12% of college girls would spend one night, er, with Paris. However, mom-to-be Brittney Spears has enough sexiness to tempt 26% of sorority girls into a night of wreckless experimentation.

100% of kabballah-following ex-pat aging female pop stars affirmed that they would sleep with Brittney Spears on film if that would mean resurrecting their fading sex-icon status and help sell a few more poorly written children's books.

Part of an ongoing series of posts designed to fight dhimmitude and support the gays. The good kind. Hat tip to the lovely Sondra K who seems to be thinking of taking her relationship 'to the next level'. (OTB)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:01 PM | Comments |

Death Sentence for Aussie Embassy Bombing

It's about time is all I can say. I've seen some terrorists get like 3 days per victim. Looks like Iwan Darmawan will get his just deserts. But wait appeal in progress. It's also worth while to note that many local Indonesians were killed in this bombing. I can't help but wonder what the sentence would have been if the vast majority would have been Aussies.

"Your punishment will be worse than mine," Darmawan shouted as he was being led to a prison van.

I doubt that Mr. Darmawan, death right back at you sir. Inthebullpen has more.

Rois(aka Mr. Darmawan) said he would be happy to die. He was defiant before the verdict, saying that the bombing could be justified as defending Islam

Ok so we're all happy, good deal.


By Howie at 03:14 PM | Comments |

Pull My Finger

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By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:08 PM | Comments |

Chemical Attack in Iraq?

There is no confirmation of the report, only a claim made by a group. If they actually used chemical weapons, they were ineffective as no injuries were reported from the attack on the Green Zone. The same group had threatened to use chemical weapons on Sept. 11th.

SITE:

In a statement issued today, September 13, 2005, The Victorious Army Group, [Jeish al-Ta'eifa al-Mansoura], claims to have fired chemical rockets today at several targets in Baghdad, including the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Green Zone, and the Security Academy. According to the message, the explosions “shook the whole capital Baghdad,” and ambulances were seen carrying away the dead of the “converters.” The group indicates: “Here are the mujahideen rockets hitting the converters’ dens as a response to the evil thing done by them in Tal Afar.”
What bodies?

AKI:

For the first time, terrorists linked to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are claiming to have struck the Iraqi capital Baghdad with chemical weapons. The claim was made in a statement published on the Internet by Islamic group al-Taifa Mansura (The Victorious Side) which is part of the al-Qaeda network and close to its Iraqi representative, al-Zarqawi.
As we reported earlier, the group responsible is not related to al Qaeda, even though various media reports make the claim. See this from al Qaeda.

The same group last Sunday threatened to attack the Green Zone in Baghdad with missiles containing chemical warheads unless the Americans halted the ongoing offensive against the city of Telafar.

A short while ago, in a second statement the group claimed responibility for missile attacks on central Baghdad from 8.30am till 10am local time on Tuesday morning. The message alleged that chemical weapons hit the interior ministry, the foreign ministry and the American training school which is also located in the heavily fortified Green Zone....

The firing of five rockets was confirmed by an Islamic site close to the Baathist-inspired guerrillas - islammemo - which referred to at least four rockets with chemical warheads. The site, which tends to publish unreliable biased news reports, celebrates it as the first chemical attack in Iraq."

With recent news that the US might respond to the use of WMD with a nuclear strike, now would be a good time for Syria and Iran to rethink their present course of supporting the terrorists.

Others: In The Bullpen

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:23 PM | Comments |

Katrina equal opportunity storm

Are you tired of all the coverage race is getting as if the only ones to suffer were those in New Orleans? So check out his story on NPR’s Morning Edition about St. Bernard parish’s troubles. Click this link then click to listen.

All they are worried about is this race thing. It doesn’t look that way to me because there are just as many whites here as blacks.

Yeah I know NPR but listen anyway.

By Howie at 01:16 PM | Comments |

Dave Chappelle: I'm back, b*tch!

Dave Chappelle is back, only this time he's not funny.

AP

Comedian Dave Chappelle, who walked away from his hit TV series earlier this year, said working in front of smaller audiences is more his speed. Chappelle sold out 10 shows at a northern Kentucky club and said doing standup is "like I'm hanging out with a bunch of people."...

Chappelle has said he was unhappy with the direction of his show. His decision triggered reports that he had mental or drug problems, which he denied. "It was a little weird," he told the newspaper. "It felt like some of the stuff was real tabloid, like raw speculation. "It was like stuff I would normally buy and believe," he added, laughing. "I just took it as a learning experience. It was like becoming a public person and learning all the responsibility that comes with that."

Yeah, I didn't like the direction either. Not enough Rick James humor in season two. And season three would have been much worse. Not alot that is funny about Elijah Muhammed or Malcolm X.

We miss the funny Dave. Come back soon.

Hat tip: James Joyner

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:08 PM | Comments |

Live from D.C., it's John Roberts!

If you don't have something more fun to do, like getting that root canal you've been putting off, you might find watching the John Roberts hearings live interesting.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:50 PM | Comments |

Lodi Terror Suspects Face Bail Hearing

Two of the Lodi terror suspects are up for bail. This is the third bail hearing they've been granted. In the first two hearings they were denied.

The Hayat's lawyers are arguing that the pair are not a threat to the community because they have not been charged with a violent crime. They have been charged only with lying on their immigrant forms. Which, of course, seems like a pretty non-violent and relatively minor crime.

What the lawyers fail to mention, though, is that the specific lie they are charged with denying that they ever supported violent jihad against the U.S. and never attended al Qaeda training camps. Nope, no threat here.

California mafia is covering the story extensively.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:41 PM | Comments |

Urgent Plea for Academic Justice

I have posted about the unconscionable persecution of Jean R. Cobbs at Virginia State University back in April, so forgive me for posting a current letter from the President of the Virginia Association of Scholars (a chapter of the National Association of Scholars which is the "conservative" alternative to AAUP) asking for donations to help Jean fight her case in court. No one is obligated to contribute, especially since the plea specifically targets VAS members, but if you can spare something and regard the cause as just, feel free. This is war, folks. Carey Stronach's letter follows:

Update: Because of a legal technicality, please do not write your check donations for the Jean Cobbs legal defense fund to the Virginia Association of Scholars. This is because we are a non-profit organization. Instead, please make them payable either to "Harris Butler, Esq." (Jean's lawyer), or to "Jean R. Cobbs".

These donations are really loans (short term if the state settles with Jean, longer term otherwise) and will be repaid. You will receive a receipt for any and all funds donated/loaned.

The good news is that we are within $1900 of having sufficient funds to start the case moving.

Cheers,
Carey Stronach
VAS President

Virginia Association of Scholars
c/o Carey E. Stronach, Ph.D. 2241 Buckner Street Petersburg, VA 23805-2207
804-732-8993
cestronach@adelphia.net
September 9, 2005


Dear Fellow VAS Member:

As you are aware, one of the major thrusts of the VAS is the support of faculty rights, especially in cases where professors are mistreated because they are deemed "politically incorrect" and have committed indiscretions such as supporting a candidate for public office not to the liking of their peers or administrators, or of making patriotic pro-American statements in their classes, much to the chagrin of the hate-America neo-Marxist elements on their campuses.

We have such a case at Virginia State University. Dr. Jean Cobbs has been in the sights of the VSU administration ever since the current administration came to power twelve years ago. Jean is a black Republican sociology professor who was fired this past January. The VSU president, Mr. Eddie N. Moore, is a protegéof former governor Doug Wilder, whom Jean did NOT support. This is, as best we can tell, the primary basis for her persecution.

As you may know, the AAUP has censured VSU for its firing of Jean and one other faculty member. Apart from their cases, the stench of corruption on the campus is so thick that one figuratively chokes upon it. I could write a book about it (I already have written one chapter of a book and am planning an article for Academic Questions.)

The bottom line is that Jean needs a lawyer, and good lawyers are expensive. She has retained an attorney in Richmond, but he wants $20,000 to fight the case. Jean has raised $5,000 on her own, even though she's unemployed, I have personally donated $7,000, another VAS Board member has promised $2,000, and the VAS Board has provided $1,000 from its treasury.

We still need $5,000 to start the case in court, and the clock is ticking. Therefore I am, with the support of the VAS Executive Committee, requesting that the VAS membership contribute to this fund. Jean promises to pay back any and all contributions when she wins a settlement or judgment against the VSU administration.

Please be as generous as you possibly can, and send checks or money orders made out to the VAS to Wayne Boese, VAS Treasurer, 3616 Springsberry Place N., Richmond, VA 23233. Please mark them as being donations (loans, actually) to the Jean Cobbs Defense Fund. Your support will be most warmly and deeply appreciated.

Sincerely yours,

Carey E. Stronach, Ph.D.
VAS President

By Demosophist at 12:08 PM | Comments |

Reconstructing Terrorists

Our success in the War on Terror has created an ethical and logistical problem. What do we do with the hundreds of terrorists who have been captured? What is the most just way to deal with pure Evil?

Warehousing them at Guantanamo Bay is, at best, a temporary solution. At worst, not only are our soldiers exposed daily to twisted, malevolent subhumans, but traitors and fools within our own society seek to use their captivity for political profit. We can't transfer custody of many of them to their countries of origin because they might be tortured (though that would be justice for many of the brave jihadi babyhunters). And some of their homelands simply allow them their freedom, so that they can go back to plotting and executing the murders of innocents. We can't (horrors) execute them, because that would be a "waste" of "human life".

So what do we do with the sort of creature who enjoys planning assaults on children?

The Dread Pundit Bluto has a solution. A solution that not only tackles the problem of captured terrorists, but applies it to the solution of another serious, but unrelated, problem, and addresses a secondary evil peripherally. Three birds with one stone.

We have a surfeit of captured terrorists. We have a shortage of healthy organs available for donation. I see a connection.

I see a vast supply of healthy organs of all types, just waiting to be harvested to save the lives of innocent and deserving people. I see terrorists at last being given an opportunity to redeem a small part of their evil by giving back to the world community. I see the market for illegal organs destroyed.

What better way for a terrorist to (partially) redeem himself than by having his organs used to give worthwhile humans a chance at life?

One final note. You may think this is a tongue-in-cheek essay. If I had the power to enact organ donation as the legal form of execution for those convicted of terrorism, it would begin today.

Hat tip to one of the world's finest science fiction authors, Larry Niven, who first used the idea of organ donation as a form of capital punishment decades ago as a story element.

Also posted at The Dread Pundit Bluto.

By Bluto11:53 AM | Comments |

U.S. Peace Activist to be Deported from Australia

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American Scott Parkin, a 36 year old history teacher and peace activist, is about to be deported from Australia because he has been deemed a 'security risk'. Isn't the real question, though, why we should take him back? What if Israel had done the right thing and deported Rachel Corrie? A lot fewer headaches, I'm sure. I was just thinking maybe we ought to start a few deportation hearings of our own........

BBC:

A US peace activist branded a threat to national security by Australia will not fight deportation, his lawyer has said. Scott Parkin will take legal action against officials to find out why they decided he was a security risk, his lawyer Julian Burnside added.

Mr Parkin was arrested following a Sydney protest against US military contractor Halliburton, a firm with close ties to the Bush administration...

Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock told national television that the decision "was based upon a security assessment and security assessments are not matters about which I can comment in any detail".

Parkin is a member of Houston Global Awareness Collective. The group espouses radical conspiracy theories about corporate America.

While they ostensibly are a corporate watchdog group, Halliburton being their main cause, they are actually a radical Leftist organization. Their goals?

1. Halliburton out of Iraq-not the real target. The real target is the war in Iraq. Halliburton's absence, they believe, would force the U.S. out.

2. End the US wars for empire--they include Afghanistan in this definition as well as ALL wars.

3. De-Centralized community-based mobilization: Here's how they explain it. I swear, this could be an episode of South Park

We will help catalyze racially just, non-patriarchal, mass movements to challenge corporate and government power and create socially just, directly democratic, ecological, equitable, and peaceful alternatives
If you can deconstruct that sentence, be my guest.

4. Normalize the use of Direct Action and Popular Education-No idea. Maybe they can teach each other the fourth and fifth stanzas of kumbaya. Just watch out. If you let a hippie drum circle get to big, pretty soon you'll have a full-blown music festival, and after that, well, chaos.

If you think that is bad, check out their manifesto:

We are DANDELIONS breaking through cracks in the pavement. Our roots will side-step middlemen and crumble pyramid schemes of every stripe. We are activists against passive complicity. We conjure open dialogues that inspire ears to listen and voices to sing. We reject all saviors and their offers of pie in the sky-we will have our pie NOW (and eat it, too)-and we will always keep extra pies on hand to serve to any self-proclaimed savior. We will rupture a schism in -isms and tear down the fences that rend our psychic landscapes to embrace a sensual politrix of joy and generosity. We labor for a truly FREE market where love, life and laughter bear no price tags and money's only value lies in its potential as paper airplanes and tiddlywinks.
Here is a flyer from one of their meetings:

And what individuals either belong to or endorse the organization? According to this website:

Professor Noam Chomsky
Professor Edward S. Herman
Professor Gabriel Kolko

In other words, all the usual Leftist academic suspects. The everything is America's fault crowd.

To their credit, the organization espouses non-violence as a matter of principle. So then how could Scott Parkin possibly be a 'securty threat' if his group is explicitly non-violent? It is possible that Parkin is not a security threat at all. It is also possible that there is more to the story than we are being told. This article, for instance, indicates that the Aussies know more about Parkin than is publicly available.

The real problem with the Leftist paradigm is that if one is to take it seriously, then it would be immoral not to openly fight the U.S.--violently. If the U.S. is as bad as they believe, why not fight? Since many on the Left actually believe the U.S. is as bad as Nazi Germany, then what other option does a moral individual have other than to fight? If the terrorists in Iraq are really freedom fighters then what other option does a moral individual have other than to support them? If Haliburton is assisting in genocide than what other option does a moral individual have other than to sabatoge that corporation's abilities to carry out their evil agenda?

When two moral principles collide, one must be chosen over another. Show me a man that chooses 'non-violence' over fighting genocide and I will show you a moral idiot.

There are consequences to our worldviews. We cannot avoid those consequences simply by putting a 'non-violence' diclaimer on each and every statement about genocide, war for corporate empire, and freedom fighters.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:29 AM | Comments |

Chrenkoff Has Left the Building

One of the greats has hung up his hat. Arthur Chrenkoff, the man who brought us his weekly 'Good News From Iraq' has called it quits. God speed. Good News From the Front will now fill the much needed niche.

Hat tip: California Conservative.

Update: I second Rusty's well-expressed sentiments. Aurthur's contribution has been both an inspiration and an example, and we hope his future is bright. See his Finale on Winds of Change. (Probably duplicates the material on Rusty's link, above.)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:14 AM | Comments |

London Bombing Suspect Extradition Upheld

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An Italian court has upheld the extradition of Hamdi Issac, also known as Osman Hussein, to Britain. Issac is suspected of involvement in the botched July 21st London transportation bombings and was arrested in Rome a week later. No one was hurt in the failed terror plot.

Isaac has admitted to involvement in the 7/21 plot, but has said the bombs were meant to 'scare people' and 'not kill'.

However, evidence suggests that Isaac and his fellow conspirators did mean to kill. The reason no one was injured in the attempt was that all four bombs failed to detonate. The one minor explosion was caused when a detonator failed to ignite one of the bombs. One person suffered symptoms of asthma because of the smoke, but no other injuries were reported.

Isaac is expected to return to Britain within the next 10 days. Unfortunately, the U.K. does not have a death penalty. (Sources: AP, Reuters, AFP)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:05 AM | Comments |

Thank You, Scott Boone and Fellow Protest Warriors

Scott Boone participated in a Protest Warrior rally on Saturday outside of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. You have to read his account of events; I'm stationed in Colorado and it made me feel better about being in the military.

Scott Boone, has also supported whatever I was doing whenever I was doing it no matter where I was in the world. He's a true patriot (and a veteran too). I was going to leave a comment at his site but it grew to such length that I might as well blog it:

Out-fucking-standing, Scott.

Thanks for doing it. I still remember protesters outside of MacDill AFB, FL right before I was about to head out for my first time. They irritated me, but at the time they didn’t distract me from the mission and certainly didn’t make me think twice about saying goodbye to my wife and (at the time) two-year-old daughter. You Protest Warriors are great people and you can consider this a thank you from me.

Luckily, ever since 9/11 Tampa, FL has been blessed by the Bayshore Patriots. They would do numerous things but the one thing you could guarantee on was seeing them out on Bayshore Blvd. every Friday afternoon waving their flags and thanking every troop that drove by.

Not too long ago my daughter asked what the Bayshore Patriots were doing out there while we were stopped at the light. I told her that they were great Americans that loved the work mommy and daddy did and this was their way of thanking us. My daughter said that it was very nice and I rolled down the window for her so she could thank them (she's 4).

Things like this make the troops feel good. They make the troops feel like they're not alone in this fight to rid the world of terrorism. Every little bit helps. I only wish I would see more support for the troops here in Colorado.

P.S. I especially like the "I Support the Troops and Their Mission" sign. I wonder where they got that from? I wonder who made the sign?

Scott has some pretty good pictures up at his site. Scott and his Protest Warrior folks are getting together again this Saturday (17 September 2005) so please, if you're in the Tucson, Arizona area show up.

Thanks, Scott. I appreciate it.

Originally Posted at Conservative Thinking

By at 02:19 AM | Comments |

September 12, 2005

Is John Roberts Stingy With the Constitution?

What does it even mean to be 'stingy' with the Constitution? That's what Ted Kennedy is hoping to ask John Roberts at his confirmation hearings. Tom at Scared Monkeys has Kennedy's odd statement on video here.

Is that kind of like, "Hey John Roberts, stop being so 'stingy' with the Constitution and pass it around on the left hand side"?

Man, that Constitution is giving me the munchies. Big time.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:51 PM | Comments |

Staying the Course in Iraq

Dean Esmay has an excellent post on the moral argument for staying the course in Iraq:

With some moral arguments, there really is no middle ground. I'd like to think there is but there isn't. So my suggestion--as "black and white" as it may sound--is simple: take a stand. Do you want to abandon those people in Iraq or do you not? Do we turn them over to the "freedom fighters" who bomb women and children and mosques and cops and elected politicians as well as our soldiers? Or do we protect the victims of those "freedom fighters," recognizing the "freedom fighters" as vicious fascist thugs and theocratic nutjobs, and try to help the real people, the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people, establish a democratic, human rights respecting, and free nation?
I fully support Dean's argument. The time for debating a war, any war, is before it begins. Once it begins the only debate ought to be how to win it in the quickest manner. That is the duty of a patriot.

Further, I believe the war must be won for pragmatic and Realist (I mean this in the foreign policy school of thought sense) reasons. If we do not set up a government that will be allied with the U.S. in Iraq then we will be sending a signal to jihadi forces that terrorism works. Remember, Osama bin Laden first began to believe that America was weak and could be defeated after our retreat from Somalia.

The Left's freedom fighters who we are fighting in Iraq are intent on setting up a Taliban-like state. If they succeed, then not only has the cause of freedom been set back, but the cause of America as well.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:44 PM | Comments |

Apprentice Star is Ex-Escort

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Who is the real Alla Wartenberg, one of the stars of the upcoming season of NBC's Apprentice? A video of her Apprentice audition can be seen here. According to her official website, the 31 year old immigrant from the Soviet Union is a self made multi-millionaire, owns a chain of upscale day spas, and is a real-estate tycoon. However, The Smoking Gun has learned that Ms. Wartenberg was once a Las Vegas stripper who went by the name of 'Ecstasy' at an upscale gentleman's club.

The mother of three was also doing $40 lap dances at precisely the time her biography claims she was starting her day spa business. Can you say happy ending?

Additionally, Alla Kosova, as she was then known, was the kind of dancer who you could pay to spend the entire evening with you--you know, an 'escort'. Eventually, one of her clients--or 'Johns'--became so infatuated with Alla Wartenberg-Kosova-Ectasy that it led to the murder of two Oregon women and a California man. The two women were lesbian lovers.

Kosova's usual MO was to tell her 'dates' that she wanted to marry them. Her 'regular' took her literally and in two robberies gone bad trying to get more money to spend on 'dates', Robert Acremant ended up killing three people. Acrement is now on death row in Oregon.

Wartenberg-Kosova admitted in court documents, though, that she was just using Acrement for the money but that there were never any 'intimacies' between them. Right. We believe you Alla, honey!

Seems to me that she'll fit right in at Donald Trump's house. Alla Wartenberg gallery below. Hat tip: Dummocrats

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By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:15 PM | Comments |

Zarqawi says will use chemical weapons

I kept wonderng why Zaqueery keeps accusing us of using chemicals. Well now we see why. He is trying to justify this.

An Internet notice from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi from the Iraqi division of al-Qaeda and other organizations like Ansar al-Sunnah said, “If the Tel Afer operation does not end in 24 hours, Ceyh al-Taif al-Mansura military office has decided to organize attacks towards important and strategic targets of the occupation and Iraqi forces using chemical weapons developed by the Mujaheeden.”

Yeah right, he is so desperate he is willing to turn to WMD. Hmm..wonder where he got em?


Hat tip: IOERROR

UPDATE FROM RUSTY: The threat, it seems, was not from Zarqawi, but from another terror organization. Not sure why media reports have this wrong. There has been a definite upswing in terrorist communiques and threats in the past 24 hours, all as a response to the Tel Afar offensive.

SITE:

The Victorious Army Group, [Jeish al-Ta'eifa al-Mansoura], in a statement dated September 11, 2005, threatens to utilize “untraditional warfare” and chemical weapons within twenty-four hours if the attack on Tal Afar does not stop. According to the message, “strategic targets” of the “converters” and coalition forces in Baghdad will be struck unless the demand is met. Further, the group asserts that the siege within Tal Afar, and planned attacks by Iraqi forces in al-Ramadi, al-Qaim, Samarra, Haditha, and Rawah, belie the claim of the Iraqi government that these areas are within their control, where the mujahideen “performed the most outstanding jihad.”

By Howie at 03:25 PM | Comments |

It's Official: Nuking Terrorists Now on Table

nuclear_challenges_cover.jpgThe U.S. government has revealed for the first time that a pre-emptive nuclear strike could be used against terrorists who threatened America with weapons of mass destruction. The discussion paper was accidentally posted at a Pentagon Website over the weekend, but has since been removed. The complete .pdf file can be downloaded here.

Washington Times:

A Pentagon planning document being updated to reflect the doctrine of pre-emption declared by President Bush in 2002 envisions the use of nuclear weapons to deter terrorists from using weapons of mass destruction against the United States or its allies.
Highlights from the document:
International reaction toward the country or nonstate entity that first employs weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is an important political consideration....Nevertheless, while the belligerent that initiates nuclear warfare may find itself the target of world condemnation, no customary or conventional international law prohibits nations from employing nuclear weapons in armed conflict.
In other words, nothing prohibits the US from initiating a first strike nuclear attack.

The document uses this figure to show the mix of nuclear and non-nuclear weapons that could be used in a premptive strike.

Throughout the document, the notion of deterrance is discussed. We have discussed targetting Mecca as a nuclear deterrance extensively here, here, and here. The document addresses whether or not non-state actors (ie, terrorists) are actually capable of being deterred:

Deterrence assumes an opposing actor’s leadership proceeds according to the logic of self-interest, although this self-interest is viewed from differing cultural perspectives and the dictates of given situations. This will be particularly difficult with nonstate actors who employ or attempt to gain use of WMD. Here deterrence may be directed at states that support their efforts as well as the terrorist organization itself. However, the continuing proliferation of WMD along with the means to deliver them increases the probability that someday a state/nonstate actor nation/terrorist may, through miscalculation or by deliberate choice, use those weapons. In such cases, deterrence, even based on the threat of massive destruction, may fail and the United States must be prepared to use nuclear weapons if necessary. A major challenge of deterrence is therefore to cnvincingly convey both will and capability to the opposing actor.
Notice in the above, though, that while deterrence might be difficult to use against terrorists, it is not impossible. And when deterrence does fail, the US must be willing to nuke either the terrorist organization or any nation-state that supported that organization.

The above image seems to address all of the major issues involved with deterring terrorists from using WMD against the US. Perhaps the greatest miscalculation that terrorists make is that the use of a WMD against the U.S. would lead to a failure of our resolve. For instance, al Qaeda took fleeing Somalia as a sign of weakness. Our tepid responses to the U.S.S. Cole incident and the embassy bombings in Africa also sent the same signal.

Terrorist networks closely monitor U.S. public opinion on the war in Iraq. Loss of support for that war sends a signal to them that the U.S. is not willing to suffer many casualties before giving up. Thus, in the eyes of the terrorists, the U.S. is weak. If we actually were to leave Iraq, now, then that signal would be greatly amplified. Thus, resolution in Iraq might also be a deterrent to our enemies using WMD against us.

The document continues with discussion of the possibility of terrorists using WMD:

There are numerous nonstate organizations (terrorist, criminal) and about thirty nations with WMD 9 programs, including many rogue [strike is in original] regional states. Further, the possible use of WMD by nonstate actors either independently or as sponsored by an adversarial state, remain a significant proliferation concern.

1) Future adversaries may conclude they cannot defeat US military forces and thus, if they choose war, may reason their only chance of victory is through WMD use.

The relevant question here is whether or not this means that terrorists cannot be deterred from using WMD under any condition. Do they have a win-at-all-costs mentality? I would argue that while terrorists are not 'rational' in the traditional Realist definition of the term, they do have a different kind of rationality. Terrorists have goals and objectives. WMD deterrance might work against terrorists if they understood that the response from the US would be the destruction of their ultimate goal: the world-wide caliphate.

In discussing when nuclear weapons might be employed, at least one example is given involving terrorists:

To respond to adversary-supplied WMD use by surrogates against US and multinational forces or civilian populations.
The implication, though, is that a nuclear strike would target the country that supplied terrorists with WMD capability. However, future WMD wielding terrorists will most likely have either independently developed them or stole them from allies in the GWOT (eg, Russia). Who would we target if there were no countries that actually aided the terrorists?

There is much more in the document. I encourage you to read it and leave your comments.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:58 PM | Comments |

Brothels in Rhode Island?

It seems that a loophole allows brothels to operate legally in Rhode Island. AP:

Sex is for sale in the state capital, and police here say there's little they can do about it. Although soliciting sexual favors on the street is illegal in Rhode Island, authorities say a loophole in state law allows prostitution behind closed doors — including in storefronts that advertise as massage parlors and spas just blocks from City Hall. "We don't have a law criminalizing prostitution indoors," said Providence Police Lt. Thomas Verdi, who leads the department's anti-prostitution efforts.
You'll have to excuse the light blogging for the rest of the day. I'm heading up to Providence on some, er, urgent business....

Hat tip to James Joyner.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:14 PM | Comments |

Your Tax Money at WorK: FEMA Money Used for Louis Vuitton Purchases

If I had just lost my house in the hurricane, I'd go straight to Prada. You know, shopping just makes you feel better. I guess a lot of the victims prefer Louis Vuitton, though. No accounting for taste I guess.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:05 PM | Comments |

Fatwa Issued Against Hot Indian Tennis Player

Sania_Mirza7.jpgIs it me, or are ALL tennis players hot? A fatwa has been issued against Sania Mirza, who became the first Indian woman to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam at the US Open last week.

Mirza's crime? I guess she just looked way too hot in that tennis outfit. I've posted a Sania Mirza image gallery below. For a tennis player, her outfits aren't all that revealing at all.

Telegraph:

The fatwa - in effect, a demand that she cover up - was issued by a senior cleric of the Sunni Ulema Board, a little-known group. Similar fatwas have been issued against Mirza, who comes from a devout Muslim family, but none has ever gained popular support among India's 130 million Muslims.

"The dress she wears on the tennis courts…leaves nothing to the imagination," Haseeb-ul-hasan Siddiqui told The Hindustan Times. "She will undoubtedly be a corrupting influence."

He said she should follow the example of Iranian women who wore long tunics and headscarves to play in the Asian Badminton Championships.

Hat tip to Greg at Rhymes With Right who has more as well as a blog roundup.

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By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:19 AM | Comments |

Zarqawi on the Run, Accuses US of Using Chemical Weapons

In a new audio tape from al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi accuses US forces of using 'poison gas' in its offensive on Tel Afar. The audio of the tape is available here (scroll to Sept. 12th, second link).

Some Arab and hardcore Leftist presses have often repeated the claim that the U.S. is using chemical, biological, and even nuclear weapons in Iraq. [related story here]

Zaraqawi's audio speeches have often come at times when it appeared that al Qaeda was on the run. This tape comes as US forces have launched an all out offensive against al Qaeda in Iraq, with a large measure of success. A similar audio tape emerged after reports that Zarqawi had been shot and after the fall of Fallujah to U.S. forces. Both tapes promised the immenent defeat of the U.S. at a time when al Qaeda was on the run.

On the audiotape, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is heard to say:

The Crusaders mobilised their big armies and used the most destructive and lethal weapons and the most deadly and hurtful poison gas together with their stooges. But God made them drink at the hands of the mujahedeen the different kinds of death and made them face horrible things that they will never forget. [source]
Zarqawi is also heard urging his fighters to be prepared for 'a final battle' with the Americans who he calls 'cowards'. Even though it is al Qaeda that uses the tactics of hit and run attacks, IEDs, murdering hostages, beheading, and hiding among the civilian population, Zarqawi is heard calling US forces 'cowards who always seek to run away."

Tel Afar is now controlled by the Coalition troops and al Qaeda forces are reported to have fled the city. Who was it that ran away Zarqawi?

SITE has a partial translation here, in which Zarqawi claims that hurricane Katrina was an act of Allah brought about by the prayers of the faithful:

I believe that the destructive hurricane which hit America, within its own house, was nothing but the result of a prayer of a father or a mother whose son was killed, or of boy who became an orphan, or of a woman whose honor was violated on the lands of Afghanistan, Iraq or others”.
According to Centcom, the Tel Afar offensive continues. 41 suspected terrorists were captured in that city on Sep. 10th as a result of 'Operation Restoring Rights'. Other media reports indicate that as many as 157 al Qaeda linked insurgents were killed in the Tel Afar offensive.

Abu_Zayd_killed.jpgThis morning, another operation was launched to root out al Qaeda linked terrorists in Iraq's al Anbar province. The new offensive, Operation 'Cyclone', targetted the terrorist safe haven of Rutbah.

For the past several months, terrorists within Rutbah have escalated their intimidation and murder campaign against the local populace and city government officials. The resulting effect was an increased ability to move freely within the area and a base for them to launch attacks against innocent civilians, Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces.

In recent days, Coalition Forces have also captured Ammar ‘Abd-Al-Hafiz ‘Abd Muhummad (aka Ammar Amam Wakhtif or Sheik Ammar), an admitted terrorist and leader of the lnu’man Brigade, in a raid earlier in September in the Ramadi area. Sayf-al-Din Yahya 'Anad (aka Sheik Sayf or Abu Hamza), a Nu’man Brigade cell leader, was also captured during the raid. He was responsible for organizing and directing attacks against Iraqi Security and Coalition Forces.

Abu Zayd, (above right) identified as the current Al Qaeda in Iraq military emir of Mosul, was also killed in a raid.

Others: In the Bullpen

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:43 AM | Comments |

RINOs

This week's RINO sightings is up. Check it out.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:41 AM | Comments |

Bush to tour New Orleans

According to CNN, Bush took Sunday to perform his first tour of New Orleans. When asked if he thought that it would be disrespectful to the 9/11 victims to visit New Orleans on this day, Bush was quoted as saying "What 9/11 victims? Is that how many I managed to kill down here?"

Of course a stunned press asked him to elaborate on his remarks, he simply stated "We thought it was time to take out the trash. Maybe that'll teach them no-good negros about not voting Republican."

Later, CNN's Wolf Blitzer was able to get an exclusive interview with the President and received some elaboration on his remarks.

Blitzer: So, Mr. President, are you stating, for the record, that you are responsible for all of the deaths in New Orleans?
Bush: No, not all the deaths, but if we'd known that police were going to have to start shooting looters, we'd have sure gotten the Army in there quicker so we could have been responsible for a lot more.

Blitzer: Mr. President! That's horrible! But you do finally admit that your criminally negligent environmental policies are the root cause for this hurricane?
Bush: Environmental policies? No. Heck, we sent a space shuttle mission up just a few weeks ago with 100,000 cans of hair spray. We figured dumping that much aerosol directly into the ozone would surely have some sort of adverse effect. But we never dreamed it would start at Category 5 hurricane. This worked out much better than expected!

Blitzer: I see. So were you attempting to do anything specific with your plan of destruction, or just see where it led you.
Bush: Listen when I'm talkin, you dummy. Our whole goal was to wipe out all the poor negros down there. They're voting Democrat in droves and really putting a hurt on us at election time. The only part that really failed was that it came up short and didn't get the Hispanics in Florida at the same time.

Blitzer: So this is all just about getting Republicans elected.
Bush: Of course it is. Why else would we do anything. Do you think we really care about the people we're ruling, er, ah, here to serve?

Blitzer: Well I find all this to be absolutly horrible! I can't believe our government would do such a thing!
Bush: Why not? You people are ready to believe that we started the war in Iraq just because Saddam tried to kill my daddy (which is true, by the way). If you're going to believe the worst about us anyway, we might as well take advantage and just do it.

Blitzer: Well I never...
Bush: You better get used to it. Oh, and I'd stay out of California for about a month. Our earthquake machine is just about finished.

Blitzer: Well, there you have it people. All your worst fears confirmed. The Republicans are evil and are killing people just because they're poor minorities.
Bush: No, because they won't vote for us. Get it right or you'll be next.

Blitzer: This is Wolf Blitzer, signing off.

Originally posted at Conservative Friends.

Update: One of my diligent CF readers has found unreleased photos of Bush visiting New Orleans. These photos only serve to prove exactly how atrocious our President is. We must call for impeachment now!

By at 06:49 AM | Comments |

All Your Money Are..., Part IV: Classmates Caves

Apparently, even though they have this policy of never refunding money once it's been extracted from their customers' bank accounts ClassmatesDotCom is going to make an exception in my case, and issue me a full refund. Since it's rather unlikely that anyone with policy authority was contacted on Sunday, during the fourth anniversary of 9/11, just to fashion a special policy for lil' ol' me, I'm speculating that they refund to anyone who manages to keep up a barrage of five irate emails. (One original and four responses.) You probably don't even need to use proper diction or spelling.

But I'm not just an irate customer who had his pocket picked. I'm also a public policy researcher who would just love to find out how many people Classmates has nipped over the past three years, and since I now have a "free" membership, perhaps (as a commenter suggested) I' could put together a brief survey for people in the institutions where I went to school as a young turk. I know no one will pay me to do it, but it's a logical next step.

In the mean time if you or someone you know has had their account raided in this way you now know the policy prescription: One email followed by four irate responses gets a refund. Pass it on.

By Demosophist at 01:38 AM | Comments |

September 11, 2005

Al Qaeda takes 9/11 anniversary to threaten more attacks

Michelle has the story as well as another good 9/11 post to go along with today’s caption contest.

ABCNEWS link.

Yesterday, London and Madrid. Tomorrow, Los Angeles and Melbourne, God willing. At this time, don't count on us demonstrating restraint or compassion," the tape warns. "We are Muslims. We love peace, but peace on our terms, peace as laid down by Islam, not the so-called peace of occupiers and dictators." American intelligence officials believe the man who appears on the tape to be Adam Gadahn of Orange County, Calif. Last year, Gadahn delivered a similar taped communiqué for al Qaeda. That tape was later deemed authentic.

Michelle has the scoop on him.

As does Rusty here and here.

Also see MTP today. Tim takes NO mayor to task. Oh I can’t wait for a transcript. At least Nagin admits he could have done a better job and gives Mr. Bush a fair shake. Kind of adds to the talk this week what while Mr. Bush was talking up the FEMA director privately he was hot. Intresting Nagan did't do the same for the LA Governor.

Also It's cooling off so Howie is starting a new batch of wine. Yes hard times call for tough measures. And I am going to say again. Don't miss the caption contest it's a hit.

Updated: below the break as promised are those MTP quotes. full transcript here.

Also It apprears John Cole also enjoyed Mr. Russert's work. Since one of his commenters points out that Nagin was a Republican before switching parties to run for Mayor, It's fair to point out that Russert is or was a Democrat.

Update II : Mike Brown has resigned. If anyone has not noticed Bush likes to mangle the names of those he is miffed at. He called him brownie.

Update III. R. David Paulison chosen to replace Mik Brown and FEMA.

MR. RUSSERT: But, Mr. Mayor, if you read the city of New Orleans' comprehensive emergency plan-- and I've read it and I'll show it to you and our viewers--it says very clearly, "Conduct of an actual evacuation will be the responsibility of the mayor of New Orleans. The city of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas. Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific life-saving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedure as needed. Approximately 100,000 citizens of New Orleans do not have means of personal transportation."

It was your responsibility. Where was the planning? Where was the preparation? Where was the execution?

MAYOR NAGIN: The planning was always in getting people to higher ground, getting them to safety. That's what we meant by evacuation. Get them out of their homes, which--most people are under sea level. Get them to a higher ground and then depending upon our state and federal officials to move them out of harm's way after the storm has hit.

Mkay

MR. RUSSERT: But in July of this year, one month before the hurricane, you cut a public service announcement which said, in effect, "You are on your own." And you have said repeatedly that you never thought an evacuation plan would work. Which is true: whether you would exercise your obligation and duty as mayor or that--and evacuate people, or you believe people were on their own?
MAYOR NAGIN: Well, Tim, you know, we basically wove this incredible tightrope as it is. We were in a position of trying to encourage as many people as possible to leave because we weren't comfortable that we had the resources to move them out of our city. Keep in mind: normal evacuations, we get about 60 percent of the people out of the city of New Orleans. This time we got 80 percent out. We encouraged people to buddy up, churches to take senior citizens and move them to safety, and a lot of them did. And then we would deal with the remaining people that couldn't or wouldn't leave and try and get them to higher ground until safety came.

And on President Bush

MR. RUSSERT: How would you grade the president's performance thus far, A through F?

MAYOR NAGIN: How would I rate it?

MR. RUSSERT: Yes.

MAYOR NAGIN: Oh, I don't want to get into that, Tim. I mean, I will tell you this: I think the president, for some reason, probably did not understand the full magnitude of this catastrophe on the front end. I think he was probably getting advice from some of his key advisers or some low-level folk that had been on the ground that this was serious, but not as serious as it ended up being. My interactions with the president is, anytime I talked with him and gave him what the real deal was and gave him the truth, he acted and he made things happen.

By Howie at 11:57 AM | Comments |

All Your Money Are...: Part III: Classmates Blinks

I realize this dispute with Classmates is kind of a distraction from the theme of the day, but there are probably more than a few dollars nipped from my pocket at stake. Plus, in the spirit of sovereignty of Flight 93, I find it depressinng to just keep my seat while this sort of thing goes on. Bear with me. Jeff Jarvis just linked to a guest post on GigaOm by Robert Young about the way Internet 2 is impacting the firm-customer relationship. This situation fits right in. It's about preventing exit.

To get back to the fracas, if I understand Classmates correctly, they're now willing to refund half the money that they extracted from my account without permission. That's a little like offering to return half the toe they've just chopped off, but it's a step in the right direction. It's not a step that suggests they've quite grasped the concept of integrity yet; nor is it very competent from a business standpoint, but it does kind of shred their claim to having an unbreakable policy about refunds.

And there's something else of note. Either "Suzie" is in communication with someone who can make on-the-fly changes in policy (unlikely on a Saturday afternoon), or she's reading from a script that tells her, for instance: "After three irate email responses offer to cut the membership fee in half." But that's not important. What's important is what the exchange reveals about the company's ethical standards, which just aren't very high, and about its business savvy, which also isn't very high. At least, it's not high enough to cope with the very medium that gave them a market opportunity in the first place.

Another note: I'm not sure that the extrapolation I made below, about the total cost to customers of Classmate's "automatic renewal" policy, is statistically reliable. It probably isn't. But I'll bet it's not an order of magnitude off, either. Basically, they're making millions off of this policy, and the only real reason they'd fundamentally change it, is if it starts to cost them more than that amount. Which is why Dell started to change their policies after their encounter with Jeff Jarvis. (And Lord knows, I'm no Jeff Jarvis. His pajamas are way better looking than mine.)

I wonder how long it'll take them to figure out how to pull their fist out of this jar?

If you're interested, here's the latest email with my interspersed reply:

Member Care wrote:

Hi Scott,

I understand your concern, and I would like to assist you.
Unfortunately, your membership is non-refundable and we really don't want to lose you as a Gold member. I am authorized to offer you a membership at half price. This would give you continued Gold benefits at only half the cost. And you will no longer be in the automatic renewal program.

Whether I'm in the automatic renewal program ought to be my choice, not yours. You've just revealed that you can arbitrarily designate people as automatic renewals, nullifying the choices your customers make. Thanks, that's pretty much what I thought.


If you would like to receive your current membership at half price, please respond to this email and I'll be happy to process your request for you.

Because you've offered to, essentially, refund half of the fee that you claim is non-refundable you've admitted that your unbreakable policy pretty much breaks in half. I propose that you go a bit further; crumble it up into tiny bits, and toss it in the trash. I reiterate, just in case you missed it, that I never authorized you to deduct any membership fee from my account subsequent to that first year, so your terms of service have no bearing. I didn't agree to them. That is simply an empirical matter.

Scott, I hope this information was helpful. If we can be of further assistance, please let us know.

Well you're helping me make my case, but you're not helping your customers very much. If you read the comments to my blog posts here and here you'll note that just within the limitted community of readers on those two posts there are several people who have experienced the same thing as I. Extrapolate to the larger population from this small sample and the number of people who've had their pockets picked in this way may very well be large enough of attract the attention of a media mavin or two.

No, seriously... extrapolate the numbers. You took a class in statistics, right? I don't know that all 10,000 readers of The Jawa Report read my posts, but lets say that 1,000 did. Two of those people have had similar experiences. Let's say total traffic on the internet, within the US, is about 200 million (according to figures compiled by Global Reach). Now, assuming that everyone who had my experience spoke up, and that there aren't any people who read, understood, but were too shy to comment, that would mean that there are something like 400,000 people who've been burned in this way, about half of them by your company alone! (Reunion Dot Com got a few too.) That amounts to somewhere around $8,000,000 that has simply "gone missing" from bank accounts due to this questionable "auto renewal" trick. Yeah, I'll bet you don't want to lose me as a customer... but strictly speaking it's your bad luck that you didn't. Because I'd have just taken my fairly returned fee and gone on with my life.

You might also check out Jeff Jarvis' dispute with Dell. It had rather profound consequences for that company, far beyond simply "handling" Jeff's initial complaints. It may take you awhile just to read through that one post of Jeff's, but there were 30 or so that preceded it, going back three months, and there are plenty of other blogs talking about Dell now, thanks to Jeff. Not customers, mind you. Former customers.

We might just be getting started...

Ironically most of the folks who read my blog posts on the Jawa Report are free market capitalists. It's just that they agree with F.A. Hayek that a capitalist economy has to be governed by "just conduct" or it winds up as something less than free, and something less than a market. Not that picking pockets isn't an art, of course.

By Demosophist at 10:53 AM | Comments |

Blog Sabbath Caption 9/11 Edition

This is not your usual Blog Sabbath Caption contest. There won't be a winner. Caption the photo below with what you were thinking and doing on that day.

I'll start off with my two most distinct memories. When it became apparent that this was a deliberate attack, I turned around to my supervisor and said, "Are they insane? Don't they know there's a Republican in the White House?"

When I got home to have lunch, I walked in the door, and my wife turned to me with a look of abject horror on her face and said "What the Hell is going on?" I just said "Well, we're being attacked," with a calm that belied what I was feeling inside.

Your turn.

By Vinnie at 12:48 AM | Comments |

September 10, 2005

Gay Cowboys Eating Pudding

Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain", a tale of homosexual love in the mountains of Wyoming, won the Venice International Film Festiva's Golden Lion award today. Once again proving that everything Eric Cartman ever says is always true.

The movie is adapted from a story by Annie Proulx and stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as love-struck cowboys whose forbidden affair begins in 1963 and ends 20 years later. The director described the low-budget indie flick, shot in Canada to save money, as a story of love against adversity. (Reuters).

The AP describes the as being full of sweeping vistas, lonesome men, bucking broncos and smoldering campfires. It also has sex scenes between two men whose lives are changed, disturbed and entwined after being hired to tend sheep for a summer in Wyoming.

As of this writing, it is not known how much pudding is consumed in the film.

Actual South Park dialogue, describing the South Park Film Festival:

Cartman: No dude, independent films are those black and white hippie movies. They're always about gay cowboys eating pudding.

Wenday: No they're not. Independent films are produced outside the hollywood system. They're movies without all the glitch and glamour of Hollywood.

Cartman: Well, you show one independent film that isn't about gay cowboys eating pudding.

Parker and Stone, modern prophets........

UPDATE: Kevin Aylward finds audio of part of the dialogue as well as a very Beavis and Butthead quote to go along with it.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:57 PM | Comments |

Soldiers in Afghanistan Remember 9/11

It's already 9/11 in Afghanistan. Among the several hundred news articles that pass on the Leftist meme that the U.S. hasn't really accomplished anything after 9/11, I did find one from Reuters reporting from Afghanistan.

Of course, it wouldn't be al Reuters if halfway into the article they cut away from it to remind readers that the U.S. hasn't really accomplished anything after 9/11 in Afghanistan.

Here's how our soldiers in Afghanistan are remembering the day that changed the world. God bless them, every one.

Reuters:

U.S. forces in Afghanistan held a solemn ceremony on Saturday to mark the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, remembering those who died then and in the U.S.-led war on terrorism that followed.

Several hundred servicemen and women gathered in a huge hanger-like tent at Bagram air base, on a sun-baked plain north of Kabul, for a service that began with a brief video of the hijacked aircraft attacks four years ago.

"I'm here, my fellow soldiers are here, because of those attacks. They are with us always," said Sergeant Rick Scavetta, from Hartford, Connecticut.....

small choir sang God Bless America and officers read passages form the bible on courage, honour, freedom, sacrifice and faith at the Saturday service.

"Being here in conjunction with 9/11 means a lot to me, it was a very tragic event, but we're here on a mission to root out terrorism and to ... let freedom prevail," said Sergeant Allison Anderson, from Tacoma, Washington.

Asked about U.S. losses in Afghanistan this year, she said: "When we put this uniform on we're aware of the sacrifices that we have to make".

"Today is not only a day to remember the 9/11 attacks but also to remembers all of our comrades who have fallen in battle over the last four years," said Scavetta.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:20 PM | Comments |

Human Embryos 'Cloned' in Britain

For the first time, a human embryo has been created without a male DNA donor, scientists in Britain revealed today. The British press, though, is being careful not to call what was done 'cloning', for fear of public outcry, instead opting to use the eupemism of 'Parthenogenesis', Greek for 'virgin birth'.

Virgin conception? As if Christians weren't going to be offended enough that humans are being cloned for the first time, scientists and their allies in the press decide to name the procedure after a central tenent of the very faith the euphemism is intended not to offend. Brilliant.

But don't worry, scientists at Edingburgh's Roslyn Institute, made famous for cloning Dolly the sheep, are telling us, this isn't really cloning. Far from it.

The difference between 'virgin conception' and 'cloning'? If I understand the technical issues correctly, parthogenesis stimulates a human egg to start dividing like an embryo without the addition of any genetic material. In other words, the cell is induced to begin dividing, splitting, and then growing on its own. Only the mother's DNA is present, but it is the DNA contained in the original cell. The cells are not implanted.

Cloning is when you inject the mother's DNA into an egg to start the process, and then implant the egg into a host womb.

See the big difference here?

BBC has more here.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:37 PM | Comments |

A Memorial to the Religion of Peace

So, they want to shape the Flight 93 memorial like a crescent? Fitting. Why don't we pour some salt on our wounds and buy an industrial sized barrel of KY while we're at it?

CDR Slamander has some more great ideas, like starting with flying a Nazi flag over the Holocaust Museum.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:11 PM | Comments |

It Pays To Live in a Democracy with a Market Economy (Updated)

Death toll for 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: 120,000 plus.

Death toll for Hurricane Katrina in N.O.: 300 plus.

Zero deaths would be great, sure, but a ratio of .0025 isn't bad for the "worst natural disaster in US history," as MSM is so fond of saying. Anyone who has updated information on the actual death toll from Katrina (not the hyperbolic "estimates"), especially if it includes the entire Gulf Coast, gets well-earned kudos for reporting it here. The 300 number comes from a PBS report yesterday, issued by a N.O. official.

This is a participatory and self-correcting enterprise, unlike the alternative.

Update: Thanks to the entirprise of Oyster and the Associated Press we can now report that the 300+ figure for the death toll from Katrina is not just for New Orleans, but for the entire Gulf Coast. Granted the comparison of a Hurricane with a Tsunami isn't ideal, but a death toll ratio of 1 to 3,300 suggests that there's something to the notion that you're safer living in a market oriented democracy. A comparison of earthquakes in Iran vs. the US yields a similar ratio. Even going back to 1906 to find a quake comparable in magnitude to the one in Bam, Iran, which killed 41,000 we find that the San Francisco Earthquake--the most devastating in US history--killed 3,000. Death tolls from more modern quakes in the US are in single digits. The death toll from the Northridge quake, the most destructive modern temblor, was less than 60. The difference is probably a matter of construction methods and other engineering interventions, as well as communicatons and disaster response and relief. Winds of Change has more.

By Demosophist at 01:31 PM | Comments |

US & Iraqi units enter Tal Afar, Ass wadds in Aswad next.

U.S. and Iraqi troops have enter Tal Afar today.

In the Tal Afar offensive, which had been expected for weeks, coalition forces faced several hundred lightly armed insurgents in the largely deserted city, 260 miles northwest of Baghdad and about 60 miles east of the Syrian border.
There was heavy gunfire in the Sarai district, the oldest part of the city and the major insurgent stronghold." I can see why the terrorists chose this place for a fight, it's like a big funnel of death," Sgt. William Haslett of Rocklin, Calif., said of the twisting streets and alleys in the old city.

While ass wadds in Aswad beg to be next.

Gunmen on Saturday opened fire on workers heading to their jobs at a U.S. military base in Khalis and killed four people, police said. The incident took place in the village of Aswad nearly 30 kilometers (20 miles) northwest of Baquba. The dead were described as civilians. Four other people were wounded as well. Baquba and Khalis are in Diyala province north of Baghdad.

The more things change the more things stay the same.

Hugo caused $7 billion ($9.4 billion in 2000 dollars) in damage in the US (plus $3 billion in the Caribbean). At the time it was the costliest hurricane in US history, but was exceeded in 1992 by Hurricane Andrew in south Florida. In South Carolina, which bore the brunt of the storm on the continent, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was slow in responding and Senator Fritz Hollings referred to them as "a bunch of bureacratic jackasses." An investigation was launched, which led to some reforms in FEMA procedures that helped the agency do a somewhat better job during Andrew, the next catastrophic hurricane to strike the United States.


So are you telling me that since 1992 Democrats have known FEMA was slow and did very little, not even with 8 years of Bill Clinton in the White House? Excuse me for thinking about that. It seems to be the larger the organization the slower and less flexible. That's why little old churches get there first. They are small and flexible no red tape required. It could also be related to the fact that many roads were cleard by a rednecks with a package of Red Man in the hip pocket and a chainsaw in the pickup.

By Howie at 12:20 PM | Comments |

All Your Money Are Belog To Us: Part II

If my dispute with the Classmates Dot Com scam is unfamiliar, and you're interested in taking such scammers to task, see the original post here. Classmate's response to my case, presented in an email, was to simply reiterate their right to extract funds from my account without my knowledge or permission, and to "compensate me" by offering to extend my "membership" by three extra months for free. Which is a little like offering someone a free bucket of scat. It's just the right attitude to take in a public relations strategy promoting a "helping hand" image for their company. The perfect mix of smarminess, cynicism, and untouchable arrogance.

So I'm giving them a little more "free" publicity, understanding fellow that I am.

Just in case it's not obvious, the implications of their claim that a "terms of service" contract--agreed to during the initial sign up of every client--covers any access to their customer's accounts that isn't vigorously and consistently resisted, basically amounts to a license to steal. Fundamentally what it means is that anyone who has ever signed up with this company had better have access to a good lawyer, or resign themselves to the possibility of having their pockets picked once a year, from now on...

Member Care wrote:

Hi Scott,

Thank you for replying. Florence is out of the office, but I'd be happy to assist you. I understand your concerns and frustration with the membership terms. Unfortunately, your membership is non-refundable as stated in the Terms of Service. However, I can offer you an additional 3 months for FREE. Please respond to this email and I'll be happy to update your membership.

And thanks for providing me another opportunity to share your "gotcha" emails with about 10,000 members of the public a day, some of whom are bound to be in your customer base. Please forward this email response, including this link to the aforementioned blog article, to someone on your executive staff willing to take personal and public responsibility for Classmates Dot Com's business practices, including your practice of unannounced and unpoliced "automatic renewals:"

All Your Money Are Belong To US.

The reason you're unlikely to get away with this much more, or the reason this practice of yours is probably going to become a big enough story to provoke a public response, is that it implies you have permanent access to the accounts of everyone who ever signed up for your service, without anyone being able to do a single thing about it. The only brake on the practice that there ever was is based on the supposed good faith of your company, which your refusal to give me a refund exposes as a myth. You would accomplish this little "trompe l'oil" by simply changing their renewal preference to "automatic" without their knowledge, providing them no notice of when their account is about to be, or has been, debited; and subsequently refusing to make restitution on the basis of a bogus "terms of service" contract. I have news for you, such "terms of service" don't cover fraud. But either a fraud investigation or a tort lawsuit would involve extensive discovery, during which time any emails or other messages that you delete, or any computer records you change, become actionable by themselves. And this also applie to any law firm you retain.

And this is nothing compared to the public relations cost to a company that markets itself as a compassionate and understanding service provider promoting romance and friendship, but which cynically regards the property of their clients the way a pickpocket looks at a Start Trek convention.

Simply put, I did not agree to your "terms of service" for any period other than that first year. Everything you taken since then has been taken without my authorization.

My mother taught me to regard what you're doing as theft. Maybe your mommy taught you something else, but I'm willing to bet there are more responsible mommies out there in the public than crooked mommies.


We're very excited about new features we recently introduced: Quick Notes, My Visitors and the redesign of our website. Quick Notes allows you to send or receive a pre-written note from another member. You can see how many people have come to your profile by viewing the My Visitors information. And, we recently improved the look and feel of our site. There are many more new features and benefits coming soon!

And I'm very excited about taking you to task for what is clearly an unethical, and quite probably an illegal, practice. And I'm betting that a lot of your current customers will want to know about this, as well.

We hope that you'll continue to find value by locating and staying connected with school friends, co-workers and military buddies.

I've told you before, I've never found an iota of value in your company or its service, which is why I've never knowingly renewed the service.

Scott, I hope this information was helpful. If we can be of further assistance, please let us know.

Well, I'm letting you know now. You can refund every cent you're ever extracted from my account without my authorization, and if you're smart you'll also issue an abject apology for your clearly anti-customer, anti-public, cynical and unethical business practices.

By Demosophist at 11:52 AM | Comments |

September 09, 2005

I See A Pattern

I just heard Cokie Roberts say that those who've seen both the Christmas Tsunami and New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina have said that N.O. is worse. Now wait just a minute. The death toll from the Tsunami was around 120,000. Most of the hyperbolic comments about Katrina put the eventual N.O. death toll at, possibly, around 10,000. But the most recent estimate put forth by N.O. officials who are actually counting bodies puts the death toll in that city at 300+. Now, if the plus goes up by over 200%, which is a little unlikely, that means that the estimates promoted by mainstream media, that have the Left on Kos screeching that Bush ought to have declared marshal law, are off by a factor of somewhere between 1,000 to 3,000 percent! And the tsunami death toll was a mere 10,000% larger than New Orleans.

So what's all this inaccuracy about? Well, it's about the fact that the Left realizes it can't make a case for its analysis and prescription of social problems using just plain old logic and argument, so it has to use emotion. And in that situation anything you can do to raise the emotional stakes "helps the cause." So Cokie is compelled to say that Katrina was worse than the Tsunami even though an objective analysis puts it at a very small fraction of the Indian Ocean event. With this sort of logic the earth is larger than the sun, and my home town in rural Washington state is a major metropolitan area. So when does Wilbur get its share of the pie, huh? We're waiting...

By Demosophist at 10:38 PM | Comments |

The Sum of All Threats

A reader recently emailed me a link to this post on The Malcontent asking me to comment on the appearance of Marc Siegal on The Daily Show. Siegal is the author of a book that claims we're systematically over-estimating the threat of terrorism. Well, that depends, but it certainly is possible to over-estimate a threat. And it's somewhat ironic that the Moveon folks are currently suggesting that we underestimated the threat to New Orleans, now that the cat has escaped the bag.

Awhile ago an opinion research team conducted a survey in small-town Iowa, asking the question: "What security issue is the most urgent?" (This was long before 9-11.) Of the options, which included terrorism, bad weather, a crop blight, and a disease attacking livestock, the one most frequently mentioned was "crime in the streets." This was rural Iowa, remember. So the interviewer asked a followup: "What crime, in what streets?" Turns out they were afraid of crime in the streets of Chicago, because most read Chicago papers like The Trib or watched Chicago TV News. They were definitely over-estimating that threat, and probably under-estimating the threats to their livelihood from crop blight and livestock disease.

Continue Reading The Sum of All Threats

By Demosophist at 05:37 PM | Comments |

Report of al Qaeda Takeover of al Qaim: "A Crock"

Reports that al Qaim, an Iraqi city near the Syrian border, have fallen into the hands of al Qaeda forces are "a crock of crap", The Marine Corps Times reports today.

The Washington Post had earlier reported that eye witnesses were claiming that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq flag was flying over the city, that a sign reading "Welcome to The Islamic Kingdom of Qaim" hung over a mosque, and that an accused prostitute had been murdered in the city under harsh new Islamic law.

The Marine Corps, deployed in the area, is now denying those reports.

Maj. Neil Murphy, a spokesman for II Marine Expeditionary Force, told The Marine Corps Times that reports detailing an all-out al-Qaida takeover in Qaim were a “crock of crap.”

“Sure, anyone can hang up a poster. That does not mean anything,” Murphy wrote in an e-mail response to questions. “We have a battalion there. [The insurgents] are continually moving to try and find safety, but we are rooting them out and we’ll root them out of Qaim, too.”

Centcom has made no official statement about the developing situation in al Qaim. However, off-the-record, an official at Centcom was wary of denying these reports to The Jawa Report.

The area in and around al Qaim is a well known route used by al Qaeda terrorists between Syria and Iraq. In recent weeks, Iraqis loyal to the government have been fighting tribes loyal to al Qaeda. The US military has been supporting our allies on the ground in the area through an intense aerial campaign.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:50 PM | Comments |

Lock 'em up, throw away the key

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that terrorist traitor and general rat bastard Jose Padilla can be held as an enemy combatent. The ruling means that Padilla does not have claim on US courts for relief and that his hippie-dhimmi allies at the ACLU will just have to continue to annoy us with lawsuits aimed at getting the gays married instead of trying to spring terrorists from the pokie on technicalities.

Two in one day. Dayum it feels good to be a gangsta........

Others:
Ace: Sanity prevails (who's on effin fire and slicing like a hammer today)

Llama Butchers: "Translation: We're at war and you chose the wrong side, you farookin' bastard. And you got caught. Deal with it."

Today's Democracy: "You can easily see this one going to the Supreme Court on appeal." Er, no, not really.....

Another Rovian Conspiracy: Left's panties firmly in wad.

Mad Mikey: "NOW you can sit there forever scumbag and rot for all America cares." Indeed

ITB: "Even though I am very weary of this type of judgement, in the case of Jose Padilla it is fitting in my opinion."

Powerline: no opinion yet

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:58 PM | Comments |

More Charges Against American Terrorist Ahmed Omar Abu Ali

More charges have been filed against Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, the Virginia terrorist linked to al Qaeda. Yesterday, a federal grand jury formally broungt an indictment against the former valedictorian of a Saudi government run Islamic school in Virginia.

The new charges in the indictment alleged that Ahmed Omar Abu Ali plotted to bring members of an al Qaeda cell into the country through Mexico in order to commit acts of terrorism on American soil. The indictment reaffirmed earliler allegations made by the FBI that Ali planned to assassinate President George W. Bush.

The Washingto Post reports:

The new nine-count indictment also adds charges of conspiracy to commit aircraft piracy and destroy aircraft, part of the Justice Department's allegations that Abu Ali was plotting with al Qaeda to conduct a Sept. 11-style attack in the United States that would include hijacking planes.
How have Muslim Americans reacted? The Muslim American Society of America and of North America have no new press releases concerning Ahmed Omar Abu Ali. However, both websites continue to raise money for the traitor Ali's defense.

These two organizations have ties to the original radical Salafist movement, The Muslim Brotherhood. Al Qaeda broke ties with that group in the early 1990s when the former disclaimed violence as a method of acheiving the same goals espoused by both groups. The mosque attended by Ali has direct ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Saudi funded Islamic school attended by Ali, at the time he attended, had a Wahhabi curriculum that included textbooks with anti-semetic conspiracy theories. Ali's father works at the Saudi Arabian embassy. His mother, pictured above, can be seen wearing a full cover veil in public.

For some odd reason, official Muslim advocacy organizitions continue to believe that Ahmed Omar Abu Ali is innocent and that there is a massive plot against him and other Muslims. It's almost as if their first loyalty is with something other than their 'beloved' country. I'm praying for the day that Muslims abandon organizations like MAS and CAIR en masse......

Ali's arraignment hearing is set for next Wednesday. He is expected to plead not guilty.

Others: Robert Spencer

Other related stories:
Abu Ali Pleads Not Guilty to Bush Assassination Plot
Judge Holds Ahmed Omar Abu Ali Without Bail
Ahmed Omar Abu Ali Admitted Plot to Kill Bush, Carry Out Another 9-11
Alleged Terrorist is "Rosa Parks" of Muslim Community
Would Be Assassin's Jihadi Connections
The Muslim Brotherhood Connection to Bush Assassination Plot
More Revelations About "Terror High"
Terrorist Son of Saudi Embassy Worker Attended Saudi Run School
Man Charged in Presidential Assassinination Attempt Valedictorian of Radical Islamic School in Virginia Supported by Saudi Government

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:43 PM | Comments |

Jeff Gannon Raises Katrina Funds

Jeff Gannon's big gay c*ck is raising hurricaine Katrina funds. Wait, did I say Jeff Gannon? I meant Jeff Harrell. Donate, or he will expose himself.*

*Hat tip Feisty Republican Whore who is preempting John Aravosis in uncovering this important scandal.

Because of the hypocrisy!

**Related: I feel so judged

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:51 PM | Comments |

"All your money are belong to us."

A couple of years ago I joined Classmates.com as a premium, or "gold" member, on a trial basis. I decided not to renew the second year, because it simply wasn't worth anything. I didn't get one iota of value out of it. Never successfully contacted anyone, and no one contacted me. Most of the schools I went to have their own alumni organizations that have proven very effective, so this commercial one just never had much value added. I gave it a try, and figured that was that.

Well, not quite. They have this automatic renewal option, but I set it to manual at the time. Apparently somewhere along the line my renewal switch was changed to "automatic" and even though I've assumed I was no longer a member they apparently managed to slip the fee past my radar for the second year. In fact, I didn't notice that they'd deducted a membership fee until a couple of days ago, when I was surprised to see the deduction of $39 for a third year listed on my bank account. I almost missed it this time too, had not my bank manager pointed it out to me. I'm starting to get pretty steamed. I'm having trouble paying for gas money as I work independent contracts to put food on the table, and these guys are stealthily ripping me off...

I want to make clear that since that first year was a "trial," as far as I was concerned, I made certain that my renewal authorization was not automatic, and I just assumed that it would stay that way. At any rate, after having found the charge for the third year barely a week after it was entered I immediately informed them of their mistake and requested a refund. I didn't request a refund for the previous year because I just figured "well, they got me on that one," and it would be sort of messy to point out that I had no idea I even was a member for a year.

Anyway, if some software glitch inadvertently had set my renewal to automatic and I noticed it only a week into the subscription year I figured any ethical company would surely acknowledge the mistake, and issue me an immediate refund--I mean, if their intentions were the least bit honorable. But instead these guys played "gotcha." They claimed that due to their "terms of service" clause I'm not due any refund even though I pointed out the unauthorized charge within a short time. Yeah, it's hard to prove that I set renewal to manual way back when. But if that weren't basically just a cash cow for a scam, wouldn't my word be good enough? Unless, of course, they know they aren't providing any actual value...

"Your money are belong to us," they say.

So basically they ripped me off for one additional year, and are set to rip me off for a third, all because somewhere along the line they set my renewal from manual to automatic. I mean, doesn't the fact that they're playing "gotcha" with my money sort of suggest that they're not quite the customer-friendly and helpful service they claim to be? It's not as though they've ever actually given me anything for that dough, mind you. They just managed to get a hook into it, like some Nigerian bank scam, or Kojo Annan's "real good thing" at the UN.

So, what think you? Do I have a right to expect a refund? How much? One, or two years? Pain and suffering? A free trip to the Carribean? A lifetime supply of Hennessy?

I know this will garner minimal interest, but here's my email reply to their "gotcha" note:

Dear Florence:

No that won't do. I did not authorize the payment, and I also never authorized changing my renewal to automatic in the first place. YOU DID THAT ON YOUR OWN. I don't know whether it was done inadvertently through some sort of software glitch, or deliberately, but if the latter that constitutes fraud. And I would add one more thing; since you're clearly reluctant to refund my money after being informed that I did not authorize the renewal barely a week after you extracted the it, it's reasonable to infer that you changed my renewal to automatic deliberately. Not proof, mind you, but a reasonable inference based on your lack of good faith. Seriously, you just figured I wouldn't notice, right? Especially since I haven't noticed before. I wonder how many others have been in this boat?

I simply don't authorize automatic renewals for this sort, and since I didn't regard Classmates as having provided any value I would not have renewed "manually." In addition, you claim below to have removed me from automatic renewal yourselves. The instant I discovered this sitution from my bank I changed that switch (back) to manual myself, so your claim to have made the change is simply disinformation, unless, in the mean time, you had changed my renewal back to automatic! I have informed you well within a reasonable period about "your mistake," and it would be only ethical good faith for you to refund my fee without the need for further action from my bank, or from me.

Besides informing my bank and making a formal complaint I intend to post the details of this situation on a "blog" that's currently among the top thirty in the country, with over 10,000 hits per day. I may be overestimating the impact of this "infant media" but it's at least possible that, by bringing this to the attention of those few people, we might add more than $39 to your cost of business. And if there are others out there who have been similarly hoodwinked perhaps we can perform some sort of public service.


By Demosophist at 11:52 AM | Comments |

Newsday: Anti-American Rag

The most disturbing part of this Newsday article is not the way they fawn over Cindy Sheehan-lite, Adele Welte, or that they seem to lift parts of her story word-for-word from Code Pink's website. The real disturbing part of this story is that they don't question when Mrs. Welte mentions her 'humanitarian project' of helping medical personel 'sneak across the border' from Jordan into Iraq. Sneak across the border? As in, the Iraqi government doesn't want us there helping the terrorists freedom-fighters, so we have to sneak in.

Why is Newsday's reporting so anti-American? Getting both sides of the story does not qualify as non-partisan reporting. Parties do not go to war, nations do. The nation is at war.

Reporting the other side is reporting the enemy's side. Just because the enemy happens to have domestic allies does not make the story any less sympathetic to the enemy. When you let the assumptions of the enemy go unchallenged you have bought into their world view.

For instance, imagine a war protester during WWII repeating Germany's justification for aggression: Germany had to invade Poland to protect Germans suffering under the boot of Polish occupation in Danzig and the Polish corridor.

Any reporter that didn't blink twice at that statement has bought into a core assumption of the enemy.

Another example. What if a New York newspaper during WWII had let a former member of the German-American Bund--the pro-Nazi front--repeat what he had heard from German citizens about the brutality of the Polish troops on Germans in Danzig? The facts which were in turn learned from Joseph Geobels propaganda machine in the German press?

For instance, Adele Welte says:

Their [her Jordanian friends]accounts of some American soldiers' brutality haunted her.
Yes, and these friends learned about American soldiers' brutality through al Jazeera and its European Leftist allies--such as Giuliana Sgrena's Communist daily rag, Il Manifesto.

What is it that drives people to believe the very worst about their own country and yet be so gullible as to believe the very best about our enemies?

I'm sorry. I feel nothing but contempt for Mrs. Welte and those who use their personal stories to attack the United States of America and our fighting men and women abroad. She is a member of the fifth column in the United States no different than the handful of German-Americans who wished our defeat in WWII. She is a traitor.

Can you imagine the media during the 1940s acutually interviewing a member of the German-American Bund who had lost a son in Pearl Harbor and letting them get away with this? Moreover, can you imagine that if any such interview was done that the newspaper article would not have been sprinkled with phrases like traitor, betrayal, Quisling, and Benedict Arnold?

There were people like Cindy Sheehan and Adele Welte around during WWII. Only, they were in jail.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:36 AM | Comments |

EU Considers Mandatory E-Mail, Internet, Phone Logs

The European Union is considering a plan which would force telecommunications companies to log and store all e-mail, internet, and mobile phone calls for one year. The plan is part of a wave of new anti-terror measures sweeping across the Continent in the wake of the July bombings in London.

There is a growing awareness across Europe that significant portions of the large immigrant population from North Africa and the Middle East have extremist religious views. Terrorist threats are now seen as coming from domestic as well as foreign forces.

Further, there is a growing realization among politicians in Europe--something the intelligence community has known for years--that Europe is exporting jihadi ideology. Dozens of websites operate on the Continent that openly support, raise funds, and recruit for terrorist organizations. Hundreds more preach an extremist version of political Islam, and serve as fronts and ideological supporters of terrorist groups.

The proposed security measures have triggered great debate in Europe. Civil libertarians argue that tracking personal internet and phone data are a violation of privacy rights and could lead to abuse. The telecommunications industry claims the new measures could cost over $100 million.

The fight for the new anti-terror measures is being led by British Home Secretary Charles Clarke. Clarke, however, has failed to garner enough support from the 70 ministers now meeting in England to discuss the issue.

The Independent is reporting that Clarke is still confident that some sort of data storage agreement will be reached by the end of the year. A spokesman for the European Telocommincations Network Operator's Association claims that the data storage provisions violate EU privacy rules.

Phone calls from land lines are already tracked and stored in both Europe and North America. Despite this, we have learned to live with our telephone providers keeping records of our calling habits and understand that those records can be handed over to law enforcement officials upon a court order.

Putting aside the financial concerns, what is the civil libertarian argument that our mobile phone calls, e-mails, and internet viewing records should not be made available to law enforcement, but that our land-line telephone records can? Seriously, what is the major difference?

It seems that the only difference is that there is an expectation of privacy in the former but not the latter. But we do not have an expectation of privacy for our phone records precisely because we know those records are kept and that courts can compel companies to turn them over. If we knew that our e-mails, internet clicking, and mobile phone conversations were being logged we would lose our expectation of privacy in those as well.

One is considered normal because it is already done, the other considered 'a privacy concern' simply because it has not been done already. Circular logic.

Further, most of us already understand that our e-mails are being logged, either by our employers (when done from the office) or our ISPs. Didn't know that? Trust me, as one who has made more than a few requests from ISPs to help track down an IP address because of threatening statements, you should really know that you are being watched online.

The EU should pass this legislation. It makes sense.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:03 AM | Comments |

Freed Hostage Roy Hallums Heading Home

Roy Hallums, the American civilian held hostage in Iraq freed two days ago by Coalition Forces, is heading home to the United States.

The AP is reporting that Roy boarded a C-17 transport plane at a US Air Force base in Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad. Sources tell the Jawa Report that Roy will be landing soon and that the Hallums family will meet privately with Roy. In deference to the family's privacy, we will not reveal the location of this reunion.

Roy is said to be in good health, given the extreme conditions he has endured since Nov. 1st of 2004 when he was abducted from his Baghdad neigborhood with other civilian contractors.

A friend of Roy's from Baghdad, 'Hussein', possibly the last man to see him before he was taken hostage, told the following to the BBC upon learning of Roy's release. A friend from the FBI called him and said, "Sit down and don't cry. We have Roy. He is alive."

"No-one seemed to mention him or to care. It's so unfair." He continued.

We at The Jawa Report, at least, cared.

Speaking of what Robert Tarangoy, the Filipino contractor taken hostage with Roy and released several months ago on rumors that Manila had paid a ransom, had been through, Hussein infered what conditions might have been like for Roy.

"He still has to wear sunglasses, even at night, because they kept [Tarangoy] in a hood for eight months while in captivity.

They used him as a punching bag the whole time, every time they [kidnappers] walked past him they'd kick him, or punch him and slap him."

'Hussein', who's name has been changed, says that Roy Hallums' kidnappers had not made contact in the past month and that worries began to mount.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:20 AM | Comments |

Google: The Moonbat Search Engine

A headline popped up from my news reader that I could barely believe. It was so intriguing that I had to open it up and see what it had to say.

Searching for failure? Try George W. Bush (The Register)

That's right! When you search for the word failure President Bush's biography is the first page that is listed in the Google search engine result page. Not only that Michael Moore's web site is listed number two for the search term, "failure".

I've been studying the Google algorithm for six years now and one thing I know for certain is that for a page to be displayed for a search term on Google it has to have the word(s) you're searching for on the page.

President Bush's biography mentions the word failure exactly zero times. That alone makes you think twice about the algorithm effect on that page. However, Michael Moore's site being second is quite interesting because Michael Moore's home page mentions the word failure zero times as well.

Needless to say this result isn't the work of Google computers; it's the deliberate act of employees at Google (that appear to have a need to push their ideologies on others).

It's bad enough that Google News is run by a pack of liberal wolves but now it would appear that those same wolves are manipulating Google's search engine as well.

Originally Posted at Conservative Thinking

By at 08:04 AM | Comments |

September 08, 2005

Application to Become a HuffPo Blogger

This is one of the true mysteries of the Internet. Why in the world would they post this on the Huffington Post? It just rattles the foundations... I'd actually post the article, but it's more than a tad offensive, in a "That's no lady; that's my sister!" sort of way.

By Demosophist at 06:32 PM | Comments |

Hundreds of Terrorists Captured in Iraq, al Qaeda Leader Killed

The Iraqi Interior Ministry is reporting that hundreds of terrorists have been rounded up in the Tal Afar region near the Syrian border. Of the 200 terrorists captured, 150 of them were foreign fighters from Syria, Sudan, Yemen and Jordan.

Centcom is also reporting that between Sept. 4th and 5th combined Iraqi and Coalition teams captured over 50 terrorist suspects in the Baghdad area. One of the captured terrorists was found with a note indicating he was about to become a suicide bomber.

In addition, US forces bombed a known al Qaeda safehouse in near the Syrian border. The target was a known bomb-making cell leader, Abu Mohammad, who has been linked extensively to other al Qaida terrorists and foreign fighters in Husaybah and throughout the Western Euphrates Valley. Additionally, he is known to have worked directly for Abu Islam, the al Qaida 'Emir' of Husaybah, who was killed by a Coalition air strike last week.

Husaybah is located near the city of al Qaim, said to now be controlled by forces loyal to Abu Musab al Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq. Sources within the U.S. military have not denied these reports to The Jawa Report. Tribes loyal to Zarqawi and those aligned with the Iraqi government have been engaged in severe fighting in the past several weeks. I expect (or hope) that many more bombs will fall on these locations in the next few days.

Way to go Team America, f*ck yeah!!

Others: Dred Pundit Bluto

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:39 PM | Comments |

E-mail a terrorist

We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.--President George W. Bush

I've just spent the last ten minutes of my life watching disgusting videos produced by the Islamic Media Center. One was a high-production video based on candid camera with laugh tracks accompanying the death of American soldiers. Here is the e-mail associated with these disgusting propaganda films.

zubeiddah1417@hotmail.com

Was Joseph Goebels, chief propagandist for Nazi Germany, who never picked up a weapon and killed any one, a legitimate target in war? If so, why are those that produce jihad videos used to bolster the morale of our enemies and recruit new fighters to kill our soldiers not legitimate targets?

Bonus terrorist e-mail:

b52b52@gawab.com Not working *sigh*

If you get a response, please FORWARD the e-mail to me (not just cut and paste)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:11 PM | Comments |

Accountability Now!

I blame the President of the United States for everything. I mean, does the buck stop at his desk or not?

Six Meat Buffet:

Last week, as Hurricane Katrina - WHICH YOU CAUSED WITH YOUR DIABOLICAL WEATHERMAKER MACHINE - passed over the Southeastern U.S., I received a frantic call from my own mother. She said that the hurricane had blown leaves into the pool. There are many leaves in my mother’s pool!!! In between sobs, she said she couldn’t even count how many there were, there were so many. How many times do I have to say it, Mister President Too-Dumb-To-Be-President? Where was FEMA when my mother had a leaf emergency? Surely you didn’t expect her to get those out herself. HEARTLESS FEDERAL BASTARD.
There's more. Much, much more.

On a related note, I also blame Bush for poverty. And 9/11. And the shallow flag waving spectacle that followed.......

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:10 PM | Comments |

Greed in the face of adversity

This news is so stunning that I actually didn't believe it when I first read it. But I went and checked it out for myself and it's true. Planned Parenthood is using Hurricane Katrina as a fundraising event for itself. That's right, they've stooped that low. On the front page of their website (plannedparenthood.com or plannedparenthood.org, I'm not going to link to them), they have a link stating "Help Those Affected by the Hurricane." Well, that would be great if that's what they planned on doing. But when you get to the page where you can make a donation, you find the following information:

100% of your tax-deductible contribution will go directly to helping Planned Parenthood affiliates and health centers in this region

That's right, folks. In the guise of helping the hurricane victims, they are raising funds to be used strictly for themselves. Never mind that people need food, shelter, clothing, etc. These idiots are only concerned that they have to rebuild their abortion mills. I didn't think I could be any more disgusted than I already am with them, but they have managed it.

The two attached screen shots show the web pages in question, just in case PP tries to take them down and deny what they were doing.

Thanks to LifeNews.com for breaking this story.

By at 02:18 PM | Comments |

Capt. Michael "Scott" Speicher Still Alive?

This CNN article implies that the Navy still believes Speicher is alive after 14 years. That would be a miracle indeed. But isn't it more logical to conclude, after all this time, that if any former Hussein regime officials 'know of his location' that they are now talking about the location of his body? I pray that he is still alive, but it would be shocking to find out that he still was.

CNN via Howie:

A Navy pilot shot down over Iraq in January 1991 may have been captured by Iraqi forces, and members of the former Iraqi government "know the whereabouts" of the officer, the Navy has concluded.

A Navy board of inquiry concluded that there is no credible evidence that Capt. Michael "Scott" Speicher is dead, and it reaffirmed his official status as "missing/captured," according to the board's final report.

The board also recommended that the Pentagon work with the State Department, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the Iraqi government to "increase the level of attention and effort inside Iraq" to resolve the question of Speicher's fate....

That fact "leads us to conclude that elements of the former Iraqi regime know the whereabouts of Captain Speicher," the report said.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:34 PM | Comments |

Company Releases X-Ray Glasses

x_ray_glasses.jpg

X-Ray glasses are finally here. It's like a lifelong dream come true. Via Ghost of the Flea we learn that Advanced Intelligence has released a new CCD camera capable of seeing through clothes. And even though they mention that the camera can see through clothes in the very first sentence on their web page, the page later adds that you shouldn't use the camera to view anything 'indecent' like, er, looking through 'tight clothes, swimsuites, or sun dresses'.

The. Thought. Never. Croseed. My. Mind.

Now excuse me while I slip on these glasses....

leia_bikini.jpg

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:18 AM | Comments |

Protestant Missionaries Murder Muslims for Refusing to Convert

Made you look! Now that would be news.

Here's a BBC article via Robert Spencer:

A man was shot five times in the head at close range in an "execution" plotted by a group who had failed to convert him to Islam, a jury has heard.

Adrian Marriot's murder was a "swift and brutal response" to him falling out with the group, the Old Bailey heard....

Mr Marriot had known Mr Archer for several years before he and Mr Stubbs began visiting the house he shared with Tara, David and their mother, Ruth, Mr Kinch added.

"They said they were interested in getting converts to Islam and among their targets for conversion were Adrian Marriot himself, his sister Tara and her friend Jade Okai....

"There may have been some element of pressure brought to bear by the two men but in due course both Tara Marriot and her friend Jade Okai agreed to take the Shahadah, a declaration of faith."

The two women had then been given hijabs, or headscarves, Mr Kinch told the jury.

And Mr Stubbs and Mr Irving-Simpson had brought round DVDs, Islamic books and copies of the Koran.

Nothing to see here folks. Move along....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:58 AM | Comments |

Gitmo abuse?

What abuse, exactly are we talking about here? More MSM bias exposed by Rob.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:52 AM | Comments |

Muslims Attempting to Silence Academics

Why do I blog anonymously? A variety of reasons. The number one reason, though, is that my views are not particularly popular in academia. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany than in academia. Evidence?

On September 12th, 2001, I raised my voice in a class I was a teaching assistant in, and voiced the opinion that Muslims who followed Osama bin Laden's teachings were a grave threat to the United States and Western culture. The professor, literally, looked at me and, literally, began to yell at the top of his lungs that my statements were out of order and that they could have been uttered by a Nazi. Opposition to radical Islam is equated to Nazism......

Richard L. Rubenstein's run-in with those who would make us all dhimmis at an academic conference is further evidence.

The third respondent, Professor Mohamad Al-Khadry of West Virginia University, began by revealing that he had demanded that the program committee withdraw my invitation and apologize to the Muslim community because my speech was “bigoted, racist, hate speech.” He went on to portray me as a racist whose views resembled those of Nazi scholars dealing with Jews....

Disregarding official statistics, Al-Khadry claimed that Muslims constitute only 2% of Europe's population. He complained that I had used “the works of authors and sources who have often been accused of Islamophobia,” ...

Al-Khadry concluded his rant by repeating his Nazi allegation and accusing me of using “made-up evidence” to create “a crisis of Muslim presence that could be dealt with in one of very limited ways, 1) Mass deportations, 2) Sterilization (for lack of Judeo-Christian purity, 3) Incarceration, 4) Mass Murder.” ...

I was later informed that motions were introduced at the conference business meeting to repudiate my address as not representative of PAT-Net and to censure Professor Dan Balfour of Michigan’s Grand Valley State University who had originally proposed inviting me and continued to support me....

To add to the damage, the essay was clearly marked “DRAFT NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION WITHOUT PERMISSION,” but somehow the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) was given a copy. On June 23, 2005, its legal counsel wrote to the president of Grand Valley State University, one of the conference’s sponsors, expressing “strong concern” about the address, essentially repeating Al-Khadry’s invective in abbreviated form....

As noted above, there are Muslims who seek to control what is publicly written and said about Islam. At times, they are abetted by western sympathizers acting either out of ignorance or alienation from their own culture. In addition, many public officials and much of the press are more comfortable talking about the “war against terrorism” than radical Islam’s war against the West. There is risk in openly identifying, as I did, a religious war for what it is. There may be greater risk in failing to do so. [READ THE WHOLE THING]

All academics on the right: be afraid. Be very afraid........

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:49 AM | Comments |

Allies Sentence Terrorist to Seven Years in Australian Embassy Bombing

Kill an infidel, get a light sentence. That seems to be the message out of Indonesia these days. Repeated over and over and over again. 10 people were murdered in this act of terrorism. Seven years for murdering 10 people.........

Related:
*Australian Embassy Bombed in Jakarta
*Bali Bombing Mastermind Sentenced to 4.5 days per victim
*Bali Bombing Mastermind's Sentence Reduced to 3.8 days per victim

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:33 AM | Comments |

Air Americagate

This website has been silent on the Air America scandal. Frankly, it just didn't interest me. No longer. Let the next thousand years um be declared the Franken Millenium!

UPDATE: And yet again.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:53 AM | Comments |

American Racism Exposed

Mary Katherine Ham has looked deep into the heart of America's soul and finds that we are lacking. Wait a sec....did I say America's soul? I meant the souls of the Left. Contrary to popular Leftist discourse, America's profound sense of togetherness is never as great as when tragedy hits.

Are there racists in America? Yes. Is America racist? No.

race31.jpg

UPDATE: Sooper-sekret note to Mary Katherine: ;-)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:18 AM | Comments |

Good News, Bad News

Good News
PA leader not coming to New York for UN opener

Bad News
The most corrupt world institution is in New York

Lesson: Wait, you mean there's a lesson here?

Good News
Soldier cleared of detainee abuse charges

Bad News
Left celebrating Katrina catastrophe as end of empire

Lesson: Detain a Leftist.

Good News
Press: Arafat died due to stroke

Bad News
Arab press still claiming Arafat poisoned by JOOS

Worse News
Reformist in Yemen press routinely harrassed, beaten, killed.

Better News:
Indian Press reports Arafat died of the AIDS

Lesson: Bomb al Jazeera &Yemen, drop Indian newspapers on Middle East

Good News
Members of both parties pay final respects at Rehquist funeral

Bad News
Non-partisan good will goes no farther than the cemetery

Lesson: When funeral crashing, make sure you claim to be an independent

Good News
Tee-shirts blaming liberals for Katrina response catastrophe

Bad News
Bumper stickers blaming Republicans for Katrina response catastrophe

Lesson: It's only funny when you it's the other guy.

Good News
Steve the Llama Butcher is missing, INDCent Bill blamed

Bad News
Robocop star Peter Weller is a Professor of History at Syracuse University

Lesson: Buckaroo Bonzai is a FREAKING PROFESSOR AT FREAKIN SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY?!?!?!!!!!!!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:55 AM | Comments |

WTVW raising cash

Randy at WTVW asks that all his viewers talk this up today. So here goes. WTWV the Evansville/Vanderburgh County police and the Evansville Otters baseball team are holding a telethon this week to raise money for the American Red Cross for Hurricane relief. Last night a total of 20,020 dollars was raised. Calls will be taken on Thursday and Friday from 6 to 10 pm CDT. Donations can be by credit or debit card or if you prefer give your address and they will send you an envelope and you can pay by check. It's not so much how much you give but scrape up that change out of the couch and send it along.

Cingular Wireless has donated cell phones for our volunteers to take pledges. The following numbers will be used to donate during the three days of the phone-a-thon: (812) 618-6956, 618-6957, 618-6958, and 618-6959.


Then don't forget to log donations and mention The Jawa Report. No matter where you are, let's make our presence known. Also if you prefer note the blogadd for mercycorps on our home page.

Also one more thought. Some of the most effective relief efforts I've seen coverage of are done by churches. So toss an extra buck or two their way as well.


Also the company I work for in my real job has added another 20 grand to the effort bringing thier total to 45,000. Way to go.

By Howie at 08:37 AM | Comments |

Guantanamo Prisoners Advised of their Fifth Amendment Rights

If ever there was a bad idea worse than this, I haven't heard of it. Hey, let's get the ACLU down to Cuba so they can advise the detainees that they have the right to remain silent! Remember, it was a detainee in Iraq, presumably who hadn't been read the Miranda warning, who gave up the location of Roy Hallums.

WND:

According to these sources, the ACLU lawyers advised the majority of the prisoners that they did not have to answer questions from military interrogators.

“It’s as if they were shoplifters in the U.S.,” said one source. “The lawyers may have left by now, but the damage is done. We’re sending guys down to interrogate on taxpayer’s dime for absolutely no reason now.”

Apparently, the Pentagon believes the presence of ACLU lawyers at Guantanamo will help persuade the world it can give suspected terrorists a fair trial. The ACLU has been at the forefront of allegations of abuse of prisoners.

Is the Pentagon so naive as to think that anything they do will molify the hard Left? You know, short of full surrender that is.

Hat tip to Jay Stop the ACLU who has more commentary.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:07 AM | Comments |

Blanco Prevented Red Cross From Bringing Food and Water To Superdome

It appears that Nagin's hysterical rant should have been directed at his own governor.

The Red Cross is confirming to Major Garrett of Fox News that it had prepositioned water, food, blankets and hygiene products for delivery to the Superdome and the Convention Center in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, but were blocked from delivering those supplies by orders of the Louisiana state government (State Dept of Homeland Security), which did not want to attract people to the Superdome and Convention Center.

Garrett has no paper trail yet, but will follow up on his verbal confirmation from sources at the highest levels of the Red Cross.

Hugh Hewitt interviewed Garrett after he broke the story. Transcript at Radio Blogger.
The Red Cross backs up Garrett's story on their website here

Update:Confirmation on-camera from a senior Salvation Army official in Washington, D.C. that the Salvation Army was also blocked repeatedly from providing relief and supplies to the beleaugered people suffering in the Superdome and Convention Center.

By at 08:04 AM | Comments |

September 07, 2005

LGF versus Daily Kos

Little Green Footballs is pointing out a jewel of an article over at Daily Kos. The title:

17th street levee bombed by the Army Corps of Engineers

Basically the article takes two "witness" discussions and strings them together. Somehow, this is fit to print and is obviously the result of the massive influx of black helicopters to the region. One quote just totally shot down the story for me:

people are afraid to speak out... everyone who was near there heard the bombings... they bombed seven times.

Seven times? That's the Army Corp of Engineers! At most it would have taken two blasts to send that levee to Mexico with a quickness.

Daily Kos = Unrealistic Ninny

By at 08:04 PM | Comments |

Afghanistan Rumor

A source is telling me that there will be some major news out of Afghanistan in the next few weeks. I wonder what I possibly could be implying?

These rumors have been wrong in the past. Call it wishful thinking. The source, though, is taking this all rather seriously. Not his usual MO.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:50 PM | Comments |

Tammy Imre and Sex With 8-Year-Old Boy

(Bridgeport, Connecticut) Remember Tammy Imre? Last November, the 30-year-old mother was arrested for a laundry list of charges related to having an ongoing sexual relationship with an 8-year-old neighborhood boy who was her 7-year-old daughter's playmate.

According to her attorney Donald Papcsy, in court today Imre agreed to plead guilty to reduced charges at a scheduled court appearance on Sept. 19. Apparently, she will receive something less than the ten-year minimum for first-degree sexual assault. The agreement allows her to claim an Alford plea where she doesn't plead guilty to all allegations but concedes that there is enough evidence to convict her. Prosecutor George Ganim Jr. wouldn't release any details, but said the victim's mother was satisfied with the terms of the agreement.

Consequently, we'll have to wait until September 19 to learn how long she will be sentenced in the slammer. Interestingly, she's already spent nine months behind bars since she couldn't cough up the $250,000 bail.

Companion post/pic at Interested-Participant.

By at 02:47 PM | Comments |

Dumb Quote of the Day

"How come it's so easy to send planes in another country to kill everyone in a second, to destroy lives?"
Celine Dion voicing her anger at the New Orleans rescue delays.

1. It's not. The most ready battalion in the entire United States military takes a bare minimum of 18 hours to deploy. And that's only after they've spent two weeks preparing all of their equipment and everyone is standing by waiting.

2. Because destroying is always easier than the alternative. When you destroy, you can be indiscriminate.

Go back to Canada and sing some more of your horrid music, please.

Oh, but thanks for the million bucks.

By at 02:30 PM | Comments |

American Hostage Freed, Family Reacts

Hostage Roy Hallums has been freed in Iraq. Members of his family have now confirmed this to me personally. They are elated. Family members are en route to a reunion with Roy as we speak. Thank you for your prayers and thanks to the Coalition Forces for rescuing Roy.

More details here.

Below is a reposting. Updates will be put in original post. Please link to original post.

UPDATE: This post to be updated throughout the day.

Roy Hallums was abducted on Nov. 1st along with several other foreign contractors. The U.S. state department refused to comment on whether there was an American hostage in Iraq. On Nov. 30th, The Jawa Report reported that an American hostage was being held in Iraq. On Dec. 2nd, Roy's daughter Carrie and his ex-wife Susan contacted The Jawa Report confirming that Roy was taken hostage in Iraq and clarifying his name.

Since that time we have run dozens of stories on Roy and the other forgotten hostages in Iraq. We have also tried to raise funds for the Free Roy Foundation. I have personally been in contact with the Hallums family since our initial story ran. In the last few months I have feared that Roy was dead, but every so often I would get an e-mail from Susan reminding me to keep Roy in my prayers. Her faith, and the faith of Roy's daughters and grandchildren, never waivered.

I have not heard from Susan or Carrie yet, but I expect some word in the near future. While I am not an official spokesperson for the Hallums family, I am sure that Susan and Carrie would express their many thanks for your prayers and support throughout these trying months.

Thank you Jawa Report readers and friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

--Rusty Shackleford

-----------------------

Cnn: Is reporting that Roy Hallums has been rescued. Details later. This really is good news.

Developing.

Roy Hallums, the U.S. contractor who was kidnapped in November, is rescued in Iraq, ex-wife says. Details soon.

Hat Tip: Filthy.

Also here on FOXNEWS

"I can confirm he's been released," Susan Hallums, 53, told The Associated Press by telephone. "Considering what he's been through, I understand he's in good condition."
UPDATE from Rusty: Today is one of the happiest days of my life. I'm literally crying.

Update 11:56: NYTimes, hat tip Lawhawk. It looks like Roy was freed thanks to a tip from a detainee. Guantanamo? Probably not, but Abu Ghraib is a distinct possibility:

Coalition forces acting on a tip from an Iraqi detainee Wednesday rescued American hostage Roy Hallums from an isolated farm house south of Baghdad, a military statement said. An Iraqi also was rescued....

Hallums was held in a farmhouse 15 miles south of Baghdad, the statement said, adding that rescuers were tipped to his whereabouts by an unidentified Iraqi detainee.

''I want to thank all of those who were involved in my rescue -- to those who continuously tracked my captors and location, and to those who physically brought me freedom today,'' Hallums said in the military statement.

''To all of you, I will be forever grateful. Both of us are in good health and look forward to returning to our respective families. Thank you to all who kept me and my family in their thoughts and prayers.''

This contradicts earlier reports that Roy Hallums was being held near Fallujah, but makes much more sense.


Related:
-The Free Roy Website, run by Roy's daughter Carrie
-Jawa Report Breaks Roy Hallums Story, Hallums family begins correspondence
-Terrorist release Roy Hallums hostage video.
-The Damned of the West Part I: Interview with the family of Roy Hallums
-The Damned of the West Part II: Interview with the family of Roy Hallums
-The Damned of the West Part III: Interview with the family of Roy Hallums

UPDATE II: More from CNN.

CNN:

An American contractor who had been been held hostage in Iraq since November has been rescued from captivity, his ex-wife said Wednesday.

Roy Hallums called from Baghdad on Wednesday, Susan Hallums told CNN.

A Web site devoted to the hostage said "Roy IS FREE!!!!!! 9/7/05." The U.S. military confirmed Hallums was rescued.

"He said that he was well, and he was heading home soon," the ex-wife said.

Speaking by phone from her home in California, she told CNN he said he had been "tied and bound" outside Falluja, a city in the western province of Anbar, in a farmhouse and cannot walk well.

Otherwise, he said he is doing OK, she told CNN.

Susan Hallums said Roy Hallums first called his daughter Amanda in Memphis, Tennessee, and told her, "I was rescued. I love you. I am sorry I'm a little late for Thanksgiving."

12:49 Update: More from Hallums family. Guardian:
Former hostage Roy Hallums' ex-wife said she told him ``our prayers were answered'' after he called from Iraq with news that he had been rescued by the U.S. military 10 months after he was kidnapped.

``I was just telling him about what was going on,'' Susan Hallums told CNN. ``He didn't know about New Orleans. ... He was very sorry for all the people there.''...

``It was just so wonderful to hear his voice,'' Mrs. Hallums told CNN. ``My little granddaughter that's 8-years-old, she talked to him and told him she had a celebration in her head.''

She said the family was hoping he'll be home this weekend.

``Thank God that our prayers were answered and that God saw him through this ordeal, and he's going to be coming back and he said he didn't want to be anywhere else, he wanted just to stay home,'' she told CNN.

Update 12:58: This one via Bart Sullivan at The Memphis Commercial Appeal, who was kind enough to e-mail me:
Hallums' daughter, Amanda Hallums, 24, of Cordova said Wednesday morning that she couldn't talk to a reporter because she was awaiting the imminent arrival of an FBI team at her home. Amanda Hallums has consistently said she believed her father was alive and earlier this year arranged for Arabic-language fliers to be distributed in Iraq promising a $40,000 reward for his release [images of the flyer at bottom of this post].

Roy Hallums's former wife, Susan, and daughter Carrie organized a prayer vigil coinciding with Hallums's birthday on the beach in Southern California in June and have been operating a web site seeking his release.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:19 PM | Comments |

American Hostage Roy Hallums Rescued in Iraq! (UPDATED)

UPDATE: This post to be updated throughout the day.

Update 13:19: Members of his extended family have now confirmed to me, personally, that Roy has been freed. They are elated. Family members are en route to a reunion with Roy as we speak. Thank you for your prayers and thanks to the Coalition Forces for rescuing Roy.

Many of Roy's family and friends, though, know only as much as they are being told in the media. If you have any tips about information that we are not covering, please e-mail me at mypetjawat-at-gmail-dot-com (remove 'at' and 'dot' and replace).

----
Roy Hallums was abducted on Nov. 1st along with several other foreign contractors. The U.S. state department refused to comment on whether there was an American hostage in Iraq. On Nov. 30th, The Jawa Report reported that an American hostage was being held in Iraq. On Dec. 2nd, Roy's daughter Carrie and his ex-wife Susan contacted The Jawa Report confirming that Roy was taken hostage in Iraq and clarifying his name.

Since that time we have run dozens of stories on Roy and the other forgotten hostages in Iraq. We have also tried to raise funds for the Free Roy Foundation. I have personally been in contact with the Hallums family since our initial story ran. In the last few months I have feared that Roy was dead, but every so often I would get an e-mail from Susan reminding me to keep Roy in my prayers. Her faith, and the faith of Roy's daughters and grandchildren, never waivered.

I have not heard from Susan or Carrie yet, but I expect some word in the near future. While I am not an official spokesperson for the Hallums family, I am sure that Susan and Carrie would express their many thanks for your prayers and support throughout these trying months.

Thank you Jawa Report readers and friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

--Rusty Shackleford

-----------------------

Cnn: Is reporting that Roy Hallums has been rescued. Details later. This really is good news.

Developing.

Roy Hallums, the U.S. contractor who was kidnapped in November, is rescued in Iraq, ex-wife says. Details soon.

Hat Tip: Filthy.

Also here on FOXNEWS

"I can confirm he's been released," Susan Hallums, 53, told The Associated Press by telephone. "Considering what he's been through, I understand he's in good condition."
UPDATE from Rusty: Today is one of the happiest days of my life. I'm literally crying.

Update 11:56: NYTimes, hat tip Lawhawk. It looks like Roy was freed thanks to a tip from a detainee. Guantanamo? Probably not, but Abu Ghraib is a distinct possibility:

Coalition forces acting on a tip from an Iraqi detainee Wednesday rescued American hostage Roy Hallums from an isolated farm house south of Baghdad, a military statement said. An Iraqi also was rescued....

Hallums was held in a farmhouse 15 miles south of Baghdad, the statement said, adding that rescuers were tipped to his whereabouts by an unidentified Iraqi detainee.

''I want to thank all of those who were involved in my rescue -- to those who continuously tracked my captors and location, and to those who physically brought me freedom today,'' Hallums said in the military statement.

''To all of you, I will be forever grateful. Both of us are in good health and look forward to returning to our respective families. Thank you to all who kept me and my family in their thoughts and prayers.''

This contradicts earlier reports that Roy Hallums was being held near Fallujah, but makes much more sense.

Related:
-The Free Roy Website, run by Roy's daughter Carrie
-Jawa Report Breaks Roy Hallums Story, Hallums family begins correspondence
-Terrorist release Roy Hallums hostage video.
-The Damned of the West Part I: Interview with the family of Roy Hallums
-The Damned of the West Part II: Interview with the family of Roy Hallums
-The Damned of the West Part III: Interview with the family of Roy Hallums

UPDATE II: More from CNN.

CNN:

An American contractor who had been been held hostage in Iraq since November has been rescued from captivity, his ex-wife said Wednesday.

Roy Hallums called from Baghdad on Wednesday, Susan Hallums told CNN.

A Web site devoted to the hostage said "Roy IS FREE!!!!!! 9/7/05." The U.S. military confirmed Hallums was rescued.

"He said that he was well, and he was heading home soon," the ex-wife said.

Speaking by phone from her home in California, she told CNN he said he had been "tied and bound" outside Falluja, a city in the western province of Anbar, in a farmhouse and cannot walk well.

Otherwise, he said he is doing OK, she told CNN.

Susan Hallums said Roy Hallums first called his daughter Amanda in Memphis, Tennessee, and told her, "I was rescued. I love you. I am sorry I'm a little late for Thanksgiving."

12:49 Update: More from Hallums family. Guardian:
Former hostage Roy Hallums' ex-wife said she told him ``our prayers were answered'' after he called from Iraq with news that he had been rescued by the U.S. military 10 months after he was kidnapped.

``I was just telling him about what was going on,'' Susan Hallums told CNN. ``He didn't know about New Orleans. ... He was very sorry for all the people there.''...

``It was just so wonderful to hear his voice,'' Mrs. Hallums told CNN. ``My little granddaughter that's 8-years-old, she talked to him and told him she had a celebration in her head.''

She said the family was hoping he'll be home this weekend.

``Thank God that our prayers were answered and that God saw him through this ordeal, and he's going to be coming back and he said he didn't want to be anywhere else, he wanted just to stay home,'' she told CNN.

Update 12:58: This one via Bart Sullivan at The Memphis Commercial Appeal, who was kind enough to e-mail me:
Hallums' daughter, Amanda Hallums, 24, of Cordova said Wednesday morning that she couldn't talk to a reporter because she was awaiting the imminent arrival of an FBI team at her home. Amanda Hallums has consistently said she believed her father was alive and earlier this year arranged for Arabic-language fliers to be distributed in Iraq promising a $40,000 reward for his release [images of the flyer at bottom of this post].

Roy Hallums's former wife, Susan, and daughter Carrie organized a prayer vigil coinciding with Hallums's birthday on the beach in Southern California in June and have been operating a web site seeking his release.

UPDATE 15:03: More family reaction. Sadly, it looks like the kidnappers got away. AP:
When former hostage Roy Hallums called his daughter early Wednesday from Iraq with news of his rescue, he apologized for causing her so much grief and pain.

"He apologized to me for putting me through any hardship," his eldest daughter, Carrie Anne Cooper, 29, said in a telephone interview from her Westminster home. "He got to say he was sorry, and I got to say I loved him. We got to say things we never thought we would be able to say."

Coalition troops rescued Hallums Wednesday in an isolated farmhouse 15 miles south of Baghdad, according to the U.S. military. He told his family the kidnappers escaped without a gunbattle.

Hallums had been bound and gagged for much of his time in captivity, but doctors gave him a "clean bill of health" after the rescue, Cooper said. He planned to return to the United States within days.

"I've been waiting for this day, hoping for this day for a long time," Cooper said.

Still developing.......

By Howie at 10:50 AM | Comments |

WTW Snot blogging or is it

It seems lately that I just can't catch a break. Minor bout with the flu last month now the mother of all colds has me feelling down. Several other things not going my way either. Rep says field x is fouled up. Hey that's what you said to put there so I did. Stop whining before I ship you a snotrag via interoffice mail. We've got hurricane Katrina giving everyone an excuse to slam the Government. It was a freaking hurricane dumbasses. Blame the storm. OK lets see what has more power Government VS Nature. Uh duh I'll let you figure that one out yourself. Now to top it all off my hero Bob Denver has passed away. Yes while me Mum finished out college I stayed with the grandparents. I have an aunte that is only about 7 years older. We fought over Dinah Shore VS Gilligan every day. Grandma always let me watch Gilligan much to my Aunt's dismay. Howie lives so far and I'll not give in but may be a bit scarce for a few days. Best to save the blogging until I can think. You know, the nice thing about a run of bad luck is it will eventually end.

Congrats to Mark on the new grandbaby.

See this cool post on Califonia conservative.

Yes I've seen that happen before. But see Sean if yer boat is not so full of reporters you can open that sucker up and the water will drain out the plug hole and then you stick the plug in there no bailing required. River rat experience teaches many things.

Malcontent goes off on Author Marc Siegel

Author Marc Siegel was on "The Daily Show" last night, flogging his book False Alarm: The Truth About the Epidemic of Fear. I have not yet read the book, but his interview with Jon Stewart was troubling, to say the least.


Here are your bloggers

A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest.
A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself.

A simple friend has never seen you cry.
A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears.

A simple friend doesn't know your parents' first names.
A real friend has their phone numbers in his address book.

A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party.
A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.

A simple friend hates it when you call after he has gone to bed.
A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.

A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems.
A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.

A simple friend wonders about your romantic history.
A real friend could blackmail you with it.

A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument.
A real friend calls you after you had a fight.

A simple friend expects you to always be there for them.
A real friend expects to always be there for you!

A simple friend reads this e-mail and deletes it.
A real friend passes it on and sends it back to you!


Hat tip: Aunte Frannie

Here's a quote from someone who witnessed a recent interaction between an elderly woman and an antiwar protester in a Metro station in DC

"There were protesters on the train platform handing out pamphlets on the evils of America. I politely declined to take one. An elderly woman was behind me getting off the escalator and a young (20ish) female protester offered her a pamphlet, which she politely declined.

The young protester put her hand on the old woman's shoulder as a gesture of friendship and in a very soft voice said, "Ma'am, don't you care about the children of Iraq?"

The old woman looked up at her and said, "Honey, my first husband died in France during World War II, my second husband died in Korea, one of my sons died in Vietnam, a Grandson died in Desert Storm, all so you could have the right to stand here and bad mouth our country. If you touch me again. I'll stick this umbrella up your rear and open it."

Hat tip: Rick.

By Howie at 08:58 AM | Comments |

Civil War in Palestine? Arafat Cousin Assassinated, Nephew Taken Hostage

Not even a UN recognized nation-state, Palestine slowly creeps toward civil war. Who is in control of Gaza and the West Bank? No one. Israel fears bad press from its Western allies for striking at militant terror organizations such as Hamas, who openly display their weapons in organized press events, and the Palestinian Authority fears its own people, who support the terrorist cause. This is an intractible problem.

Not only did The Popular Resistance Committee assassinate the former head of PA security and cousin of Yasser, Moussa Arafat, they also have taken his son hostage.

Washington Post:

The former head of general security in Gaza, Moussa Arafat, was killed before dawn Wednesday when gunmen stormed his home here, dragged him outside and shot him in the street. The incident threatened to aggravate tensions among Palestinian factions and security services struggling for power in the Gaza Strip following Israel's evacuation of its 21 Jewish settlements here.

A militant faction known as the Popular Resistance Committees comprising disaffected members of various Palestinian parties asserted responsibility for the assassination of Arafat, who was a cousin of the late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. The group also claimed to have kidnapped his son, Manhal, a major in the Palestinian military intelligence service, from the three-story family home shortly after 5 a.m....

Arafat held the rank of minister and served as Abbas' military affairs adviser at the time of his murder, carried out in the street only a half-mile from the presidential compound.

"The way this was carried out underlines a very strong message, even if that message may not have been intended," said Ziad Abu Amr, an independent member of the Palestinian Legislative Council who often serves as a mediator between the various Palestinian factions. "It points out the chronic failure of the Palestinian Authority to establish law and order in Gaza and the price it is now paying for past decisions not to do so." ...

We are saying that we can take responsibility," Shaath told reporters here. "We will take all the steps necessary, and I don't think there is any doubt in anyone's mind. This is not political resistance to the occupation. This is a crime by any definition - no justifications, no pretext."

Moussa Arafat, 65, was a senior member of the important Fatah Revolutionary Council. The committee guides the secular nationalist movement that is the largest faction in Palestinian politics and whose members fill out the ranks of the Palestinian Authority....

The statement read over the phone described Moussa Arafat as a "collaborator," a term used to describe Palestinians who assist Israeli intelligence services. "He was one of the heads of the corruption and his poison spread among the Palestinian people," said a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, who identified himself as Abu Abeer. "We're going to deal with his son according to the results of the investigation we are conducting."

In response, there have been calls for the resignation of the Interior Minister, Naser Yousef, to resign. Xinhua:
A Palestinian intelligence officer Wednesday held interior minister Naser Yousef responsible for the assassination of former security chief Musa Arafat and urged him to resign.

Palestinian intelligence chief in the West Bank city of Nablus, Maher al-Fares, told a press conference that he wondered the Palestinian security forces didn't react quickly to the early morning attack on Musa's home in Gaza City which is just few metersaway from the preventive security headquarters.

He called on the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to find and punish those behind the assassination.

The one common theme running throughout press reports about the assassination and kidnapping, is that Moussa Arafat was wildly unpopular, especially among the militant youth movements in Palestine. He was at the center of accusations of corruption in the Palestinian Authority. The fact that his name was Arafat, connected his variouis high-ranking positions to the nepotism of the first-family of Palestine.

But notice that the specific charge that led to his assassination was collaboration. Thus, his execution was justified on Islamic grounds. Collaboration with the infidels is the most common reason given when terrorists murder hostages.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:49 AM | Comments |

An Idiot of the Highest Caliber

It seems that lately I've been taking a lot of shots at the New York Times. But when someone paints a bullseye 10 stories tall on themselves, it's kind of hard to resist. And the Times seems to enjoy associating itself with all sorts of disreputable idiots who feel no need to report facts.

In the case of Maureen Dowd today, I'm not even sure it's fair to call this an opinion piece. Speculation piece might be closer the target. Wild, drug induced, toxic fantasies would probably be just about on target. Of course Maureen, like every other looney liberal out there, is trying to find someone to blame for her perfect nanny state of New Orleans falling apart so horribly. After all, it couldn't have been the existing liberal social policy that caused the widespread violence and theft. The lack of law enforcement before all of this began surely couldn't have contributed to the rapes and murders that went on during the disaster. And lack of planning and action by the people who were actually in charge, the state and local government, wouldn't have had ANYTHING to do with the number of dead.

No, in Maureen's world, the fault lies with Dick Cheney. It's because he went on vacation and bought a house. Or maybe it's because he was late showing up. It's kind of hard to tell what exactly Maureen is trying to get at with her first paragraph.

It took a while, but the president finally figured out a response to the destruction of New Orleans.

Later this week (no point rushing things) W. is dispatching Dick Cheney to the rancid lake that was a romantic city. The vice president has at long last lumbered back from a Wyoming vacation, and, reportedly, from shopping for a $2.9 million waterfront estate in St. Michael's, a retreat in the Chesapeake Bay where Rummy has a weekend home, where "Wedding Crashers" was filmed and where rich lobbyists hunt.

Oh, I get it now. The presiden't hasn't done anything but send Cheney down to New Orleans. He hasn't deployed 40,000 troops to the area to drop in food and water and rescue survivors. He hasn't gotten FEMA into the area to start renting houses and apartments and building temporary shelters for displaced persons. He hasn't had anyone coordinate a massive movement of people to other areas so they could get food, shelter and medical treatment. But wait, if he didn't do all that, who did? Or is it that the mainstream media is lying to us again and showing us old clips of people being rescued during Andrew just to make us think that Bush is doing something? Because after all, you know how the press is in cahoots with Bush. And Maureen would surely never lie, so if she says Bush hasn't done anything, than it must be true.

Maybe Mr. Cheney is going down to New Orleans to hunt looters.

I would certainly hope so. The police down there don't seem to be able to do a very good job of it. And whatever he does down there, Maureen, it will be a hell of a lot more than you've done so far. Let's see, what has Maureen done so far. She's sat on her fat ass and whined about Bush. I'm sure the people of New Orleans appreciate the hell out of that Maureen. Just as I'm sure they are putting Planned Parenthood's free birth control to good use.

The water that breached the New Orleans levees and left a million people homeless and jobless has also breached the White House defenses. Reality has come flooding in. Since 9/11, the Bush administration has been remarkably successful at blowing off "the reality-based community," as it derisively calls the press.

This is rich stuff here. Maureen doesn't even know who the "reality-based community" is. Let me give you a clue, Maureen. You're a member of the press and we would never accuse you of having anything to do with reality. Maybe Maureen needs to brush up on her Wikipedia.

But now, when W., Mr. Cheney, Laura, Rummy, Gen. Richard Myers, Michael Chertoff and the rest of the gang tell us everything's under control, our cities are safe, stay the course - who believes them?

This time we can actually see the bodies.

As the water recedes, more and more decaying bodies will testify to the callous and stumblebum administration response to Katrina's rout of 90,000 square miles of the South.

As opposed to when? When did we not see the bodies? Oh, that's right. We didn't see the bodies during the Mississippi River flooding. We didn't see the bodies during Andrew. We didn't see the bodies during the four hurricanes that Forida has endured this year. We didn't see the bodies during the mudslides and forest fires that wrack California and the midwest every year. You want to know why? Because local and state governments know that these things are going to happen and they plan for them. When these natural disasters occur, they get people out of harm's way. They don't leave 300 buses sitting useless while the poor try to figure out where they're going. They don't tell the people of their commuinty that "You're responsible for your safety, and you should be responsible for the person next to you." And here's another hint. It wasn't the federal governemnt getting these people out of the way. It was the state and local government. Anyone who says that this job was too big to be handled on the state and local level (and I've heard quite a few), needs to go take some lessons from Jeb Bush and his mayors. Or Rudy Guilliani. Or maybe even Ahnald.

The Bush administration bungled the Iraq occupation, arrogantly throwing away State Department occupation plans and C.I.A. insurgency warnings. But the human toll of those mistakes has not been as viscerally evident because the White House pulled a curtain over the bodies: the president has avoided the funerals of soldiers, and the Pentagon has censored the coffins of the dead coming home and never acknowledges the number of Iraqi civilians killed.

Is this dumb bitch actually going to say that we don't have counts of the dead in Iraq every single day on the news? Is she actually going to try to tell me that headlines have never read "7 soldiers and 10 civilians killed in car bombing." Why I'll bet I could find some of those headlines in a quick search of just the New York Times. Her statement is nothing but a flat out lie and anyone with any journalistic integrity should fire her on the spot for even attempting to print things like that.

But this time, the bodies of those who might have been saved between Monday and Friday, when the president failed to rush the necessary resources to a disaster that his own general describes as "biblical," or even send in the 82nd Airborne, are floating up in front of our eyes.

Which Monday through Friday is she talking about? Let's take a look at how things unfolded.

  • Thursday, August 25: The hurricane hasn't hit. Nothing that Bush can do
  • Friday, August 26: The hurricane hasn't hit, but it's getting closer. State and local governments have declared a state of emergency, but aren't yet moving anyone out. I suppose, Bush could have seen how the Governor and the Mayor were screwing the pooch and sent the 82d in to forcefully take over the town and handle the evacuation. That could be what Maureen is wanting here, but I doubt it.
  • Saturday, August 27: The National Hurricane Center says that the hurricane is going to hit New Orleans within 24 hours. The Governor and Mayor finally start moving people out. Of course by now, the roads are jammed because 150,000 people are trying to leave in a short period of time. But I'm sure that Bush adding FEMA and/or federal troops to the mix would have made things a lot better. I guess they could have directed traffic.
  • Sunday, August 28: As the hurricane hits, the Mayor finally orders mandatory evacuations. Bush declares a state of emergency and orders federal assistance. Of course the winds are hitting 160MPH, so flying resources in probably isn't going to work. And getting them over land takes way too long. But, as Maureen says, I'm sure Bush could have done something.
  • Monday, August 29: Katrina makes landfall in two separate locations. Regardless what Maureen thinks, no one's going in or out of the area today. And for those of you not in the know, the hurricane doesn't have defined boundaries. We were still getting winds strong enough to down trees at my house which is 14 hours north of New Orleans. Flying anywhere near enough to make any difference would be very dangerous.
  • Tuesday, August 30: The military starts to move in at the request of FEMA.
  • Wednesday, August 31: Bush flies over the Gulf Coast. The entire region is declard a public health emergency. Evacuations begin.
  • Thursday, September 1: Looting begins. The National Guard is mobilized.
  • Friday, September 2: 154,000 people have been evacuated to Texas. More to other states. Bush signs a $10.5 billion disater relief bill.
  • Saturday, September 3: Tens of thousands are evacuated. Utility copanies begin to restore power. ACOE starts to move in pumps and generators

Timeline courtesy CNN

So I ask you. What more did you want done? The one stage that I can see where things may have gotten screwed up is between the 31st and the 1st. It's possible that by deploying the National Guard earlier, some of the looting might have been stopped. But who could have seen that coming? We certainly haven't had it in any other city during a national disaster. And deploying those Guard troops is the purview of the Governor, not Bush.

But when people around the world look at Iraq, they don't see freedom. They see chaos and sectarian hatred. And when they look at New Orleans, they see glaring incompetence and racial injustice, where the rich white people were saved and the poor black people were left to die hideous deaths. They see some conservatives blaming the poor for not saving themselves. So much for W.'s "culture of life."

I don't know what people she's been talking to, but I'm certain that Iraq The Model would disagree with you. As would most anyone else I talk to. If the Iranians and Lebanese didn't believe we liberated Iraq, why were they asking us to do the same for their countries?

And the only racism I see coming out of this is from you and your fellow journalists. Who left them in the city? The black mayor. Is that racism? Didn't think so. Who's rescuing them? Everyone. So I don't see where you get that racism crap from except it, like the "they're going to take your rights away" argument comes out every time you want to discredit a Republican and don't have any hard facts or evidence.

She goes on to babble about how the war on terror didn't make New Orleans safer, but it's so detached from anything making any sense that it's not worth going over. All in all, Maureen just needs to go soak her head. For about an hour. Without taking a breath.

By at 08:37 AM | Comments |

Jawa Report in MSM: Google and Evil in the Same Sentence?

Is the MSM out to wreck The Jawa Report? Yes. Er, at least that's what the CIA is beaming into my head through this uncomfortable tin-foil helmut as we speak. As you know, The Jawa Report is back in the Google News business. Just when I was trying to kiss and make up with the great provider of eyeballs, Pixy Misa of Ambient Irony sends me this Scotsman article:

Like many web users, I admire their anti-corporate approach and their pledges not to be evil. But now, some people are beginning to question if this terribly successful company might not be the new Microsoft. (For those of you you not au fait with these matters, there is a certain online consituency who view "Micro$oft" as the root of many of the world's evils)....

A site that does not have any Goodle ads on it is MyPetJawa.mu.nu. Referring to Revelation 13:16, it suggests that Google is the antichrist.

So much for "Don't be evil."

Did I say antichrist? I meant, incarnation of Christ. Come on Goo