More proof that the Moonbats are simply attacking Bush on the NSA terrorist surveillance program for purely political reasons. Jimmy "History's Worst Monster" Carter did warrantless surveillance and then prosecuted the targets in court. (Heck, I don't even think that Bush has used info from warrantless surveillance as evidence in court...)
ARC: St Wendeler
Saturday, February 11, 2006
H/T to the Skipper at Barking Moonbat Early Warning System
Well, Moonbats... all of your worst fears are proven out in this bust:
Here's the "analysis" from a poster at Huffington post. (While I realize that HP is probably great source for Moonbattery, I just... can't... take... it...)
he National Guard honored President Bush with a life-size bust at a gala ceremony in Washington, DC on Thursday. And what's the bronze Bush wearing?
A flight suit.
But that's not the scary part. Notice the inscription on the marble pedestal.
The inscription noting the duration of Bush's presidential term doesn't read "2001-2009." It reads "2001-BLANK." In other words, the statue says he's going to be president from 2001 through infinity! Everyone knows that Bush is supposed to leave office in January of 2009. No mystery. No uncertainty. The 22nd Amendment makes it so. It's the law. No gray area.
Or is there?
I knew this would slip out somehow, but I never thought the leak would come from a statue. Is someone at the National Guard trying to warn us? Does President Bush plan to use his Executive authority under his wartime powers to cancel the 2008 election because a change in leadership here might embolden the terrorists? The statue says 'yes.'
Go to the White House website and confirm that I didn't Photoshop a damn thing. It's absolutely real.
Surely this is a parody, right? Nope... these guys are just idiots. Check out the comments...
Question: What if Bush dies (of natural causes or perhaps b/c of one of you Moonbats going postal) before leaving office on Jan 20th, 2009? Don't you think it's a bit presumptious to inscribe 2009 on the bust until the actual transfer of power occurs?
BTW, if Bush does declare himself President for life, you'll find plenty of allies on the Right. And that's good for you, b/c God knows you Lefties don't believe in gun ownership.
ARC: St Wendeler
Repeating public assertions about the NSA terrorist surveillance program in private - and allowing them to be transmitted to the White House press corp:
Donating Member (1000+ posts)
Fri Feb-10-06 03:19 PM
Latest Bush administration leak comes from ... BushEdited on Fri Feb-10-06 03:30 PM by sabra
Latest Bush administration leak comes from ... Bush
Thanks to an error by a White House technician, the sound of what were supposed to be private remarks to G-O-P House members was relayed to the White House press corps.
Bush made a brief public speech to lawmakers at their retreat on Maryland's Eastern Shore. He then shooed out reporters and photographers, saying, "I support the free press, let's just get 'em out of the room."
Once they were gone, Bush -- not realizing he was still audible -- said, "I expect this conversation we're about to have to stay in the room." He added, "I know that's impossible in Washington."
Bush then spoke for roughly two minutes on the war on terror and his warrantless eavesdropping program before the outside feed was switched off. On the surveillance, he repeated earlier assertions he'd cleared the program with top government lawyers.
more... this looks like a Rovian ploy, check out this headline:http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=1603961
Bush Reveals Rationale Behind Surveillance
In Candid Remarks to Fellow Republicans, Bush Talks About Rationale Behind Surveillance
CAMBRIDGE, Md. Feb 10, 2006 (AP)— President Bush defended his warrantless eavesdropping program Friday, saying during what he thought were private remarks that he concluded that spying on Americans was necessary to fill a gap in the United States' security.
"I wake up every morning thinking about a future attack, and therefore, a lot of my thinking, and a lot of the decisions I make are based upon the attack that hurt us," Bush told the House Republican Caucus, which was in retreat at a luxury resort along the Choptank River on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
The president said he asked the National Security Agency to devise a way to gather intelligence on terrorists' potential activities, and the result was the super-secret spy outfit's program to monitor the international e-mails and phone calls of people inside the United States with suspected ties to terrorists overseas. Bush said lawyers in the White House and at the Justice Department signed off on the program's legality, and "we put constant checks on the program."
"I take my oath of office seriously. I swear to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States," Bush said.
The president's comments on the NSA eavesdropping came after six minutes of remarks intended for public consumption. In them, Bush stroked lawmakers with thanks and gave a gentle push for his 2006 priorities in a scaled-back version of last month's State of the Union address.
It JUST HAS to be a Rovian ploy, since we know that if Bush really didn't know about the open mics, he'd have given the true reason for the NSA surveillance program - stopping political opposition by the Moonbat Left. At least, that's what all the commenters believe, like this one.
Be sure to read the whole thread... it's always good for a laugh. ARC's Law* proven in the original post, in case you're keeping track.
(* ARC's Law: As a Lefty online discussion thread grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one.)
ARC: St Wendeler
John Stossel's show on 20/20 last night was a must see... I'll summarize each of the points, but here's the full story from ABCNews.com (and accessible here as well) if you've got the time... (and I noticed that it doesn't follow the transcript exactly, which is unfortunate because Lou Dobbs shows himself to be a complete moron):
John Stossel's "Myths, Lies and Nasty Behavior"
Think Gas Is More Expensive, Urban Sprawl Is Bad? Think Again
— - Here's my latest list of things you may have been led to believe are true -- but aren't. I'm also including some nasty behaviors that are more than just annoying, they cost us all money.
I hope this will give you a different perspective about your money, your neighbors and your politicians.
No. 10 -- NASTY BEHAVIOR -- Littering
Summary: Littering's bad, okay? People say they're against littering, but many people do it anyway and don't get caught.
No. 9 -- NASTY BEHAVIOR: Extra Cell Phone Fees
Summary: Cell Phones are cheaper today than ever, although the government's fees are becoming a larger share of the costs. Instead of complaining to the cell phone companies, talk to your government reps (from city hall to the feds). He gives the example of Baltimore, MD which tacks on $7.00 per cell phone line. Thanks, Baltimore!!
No. 8 -- NASTY BEHAVIOR -- Noise
Summary: Noise is bad... people are inconsiderate and think others should have to "deal with it."
No. 7 -- MYTH -- Gas Prices Are Higher Than Ever
Summary: Gas is cheaper when you adjust for inflation. Compare price of gas to other products and this becomes apparent, especially when you consider the cost of extracting, refining, and distribution involved.
No. 6 -- NASTY BEHAVIOR -- Congress' Pork Barrel Spending
Summary: Say hello tho the Ketchican bridge! Many on the Left view Stossel as a right-winger, but he's clearly a libertarian. This one proves it. He excoriates Sen. Don Young for the "bridge to nowhere."
No. 5 -- NASTY BEHAVIOR -- Welfare for Farmers
This one was GREAT. Summary: Subsidies HAVE GOT TO STOP. If you can't turn a profit, you shouldn't be in business. He also shows how those receiving subsidies are actually doing pretty well (living in NYC apartments next door to the Spielbergs, for example).
No. 4 -- MYTH: Outsourcing Is Bad for American Workers
Summary: People who are against outsourcing haven't researched the subject. Stossel interviews a couple that were recommended to him by the AFL-CIO and it turns out that outsourcing has benefitted one of them greatly (since she landed a more challenging and (financially and emotionally rewarding job as a secretary). Stossel examines the other economic benefits derived from the outsourcing of a Levi plant in Tennessee and the outsourcing of programmers in California.
The best part is that Lou Dobbs shows that he needs to go back to high school, during this exchange with Stossel (paraphrased by me, since it's not in the ABCNews.com post):
STOSSEL: Many of the companies that we've interviewed who have outsourced have told us that they've become more successful since outsourcing, even expanding their businesses here in the US and hiring more people. Isn't that proof that outsourcing is good?
DOBBS: If a company can't be successful with American workers, then they shouldn't be in business.
WHAT?!?!? So, Dobbs solution is for companies to just shut their doors and deliver ZERO ECONOMIC BENEFITS? (Frankly, I wonder if much of the criticism of outsourcing isn't due to the destination of many of the jobs (China, India, Asia, etc). If these jobs were heading to Britain, Canada, or Australia, would there be this much furor? And you can't use the "jobs going to Commie China" canard here, since India is closer to our economic system (now) than many European countries. No, there something else going on here...
I could characterize Dobbs statement thusly:
If a white, middle class American can't have the job, no one should.
No. 3 -- MYTH: Public Schools for Poor Kids, Not Politicians' Kids
Summary: Stossel goes after opponents to school vouchers that (hypocritically) send their kids to the most exclusive of private schools. He hits Jesse Jackson Jr especially hard, who attended private schools himself and plans on sending his own children to the same.
No. 2 -- MYTH -- Urban Sprawl Is Ruining America
Summary: He examines the economic cost of "smart growth" in Portland, Oregon. While it sounds nice, the housing prices in Portland have skyrocketed, leaving many poor people without the opportunity to live in Portland. (Frankly, I think this is one of the reasons by some for promoting smart growth.)
Portland's great if you're rich. But if you're not, you may be squeezed out. Land prices went way up after land where building is permitted was limited. That's why smart growth is dumb.
I told Kunstler "smart growth" is destroying the lives of poor people, that he's basically telling low-income people who want back yards that they can't have one.
"Well, you can't have everything," Kunstler said.
Read the whole thing...
MYTH No. 1 Sharing Would Make the World a Better Place
Summary: Ownership is better than sharing, since owners have a vested interest in maintaining the property. He compares public restrooms to private restrooms, public fishing waters to private fishing waters, and even the poaching of elephants on public lands to authorized hunting of elephants on private lands. A must read...
Why do we have so many catastrophic forest fires? Did you know that most of them are on government land -- land we share? The feds own only a third of the forests, but they have most of the forest fires. Private forests are less likely to burn, because the livelihood of "greedy" timber companies depends on having healthy trees. But the government, managing land we all share, is less careful.
The experiment in a high school class is great... and I wish and hope that more teachers are giving their students this lesson on public vs private ownership.
In related news (H/T to Hugh Hewitt), more college students are studying economics than ever... Let's just hope that Ricardo and Smith play a prominent role in their studies. (If it doesn't include those two, can it even be considered "economics"?)
This is good news, as new graduates entering the workforce and politics will have a better understanding of how the world works... While the concept of a rigid and planned economy is tempting to some, it has been demonstrated (often cruelly) to be an abject failure. As Hayek pointed out, the millions of decisions on a daily basis that comprise a free market economy are significantly better than the decisions of a handful of bureaucrats (or 535 elected representatives). While the prospect of this is scary to some, especially those that distrut the wisdom of the people (ie referring to them as sheeple, stupid, etc, etc), the results speak for themselves.
ARC: St Wendeler
I mean, what better way to show that you're not a radical and extremist group of believers with a penchant for ultra-violance and the destruction of non-believers than to torch embassies, kill innocents, and publish cartoons about one of the worst episodes of genocide in history? Finding offense in everything from some silly cartoons (some of which have been proven to be laughably fake) to swirly graphics on top of a carton of ice cream really shows that you've got things together and should be taken seriously. (Note that I'm referring to the radical believers which are taking these radical steps, not the religion - and yes, there's a difference.)
(Reminds me of Charles Manson showing up to parole hearings with a swastika carved into his forehead.)
I was watching Charlie Rose on Thurs night and was astonished at the slant put forward by the Al Jazeera (or perhaps it was the CAIR) representative. He was decrying the fact that the cartoons were just the last in a long series of caricatures of Middle Eastern characters, with the primary stereotypes being that those from the region are oil-rich princes, terrorists, misogynists, and backward. He was saddened that the media (from the news reports to hollywood) didn't show the wonderful familial bonds in the Middle East (although there are horror stories here to be sure), the historical achievements of the Middle East, the true tenents of Islam, etc. Well, unfortunately, until the radical believers stop playing to type, the stereotypes will continue - and it is unfortunate, because it really does make discussions with the "moderate" Muslims almost impossible, as they immediately seek the mantle of victimhood and become defensive of their radical brethren.
And the cult of victimhood (which presumably is the rationale for the ultraviolent response to any controversy) is a major problem in itself. Until the Middle East looks internally to the causes of their current state of affairs, it's unlikely that much will improve. As one of the publishers in Denmark commented, publishing these cartoons gives a level of respect to the Islamic faith and its adherents, since he is treating them in a similar way to other religions. Other news outlets have been unwilling to demonstrate this equality - presumably because they have a lesser opinion of the Muslims when compared to believers of other faiths, essentially the soft bigotry of low expectations applied to religion.
Hugh Hewitt has requested that any blogger commenting on the subject should answer these two questions, so here are my responses (in bold):
Are we at war with Islam? no
Do you want a war with Islam? no
We are not at war with Islam... and we shouldn't want a war with Islam. However, we are at war with a segment of believers which have declared war on us and others who do not share their views. As I mentioned above, until the moderate Muslims (from the Al Jazeera rep to the CAIR rep) stop defending the indefensible and taking on the mantle of victimhood, it is difficult to clearly delineate whether the radicalization of Islam is structural and fundamental to its teaching or whether it is a bastardization of a peaceful religion with a strong traditions. I hope that we will be able to prove the latter, but without the assistance of Muslims themselves, many will be quick to paint the whole of Islam as the former.
I post the following questions (H/T to MVRWC)-
Is this offensive?
How about this?
Finally, I just wanted to pose this question which I asked a few days ago. What are these riots meant to accomplish? Other than playing into the hands of those that view the entire Islamic faith as a violent and aggressive religion seeking to dominate the world? Because, it's tough to play the "victim" when you've got a molotov cocktail in your hand...
ARC: St Wendeler
Friday, February 10, 2006
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
It seems that John Bolton has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize:
John Bolton Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
By Susan Jones
CNSNews.com Senior Editor
February 08, 2006
(CNSNews.com) - John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is one of two Americans who have been nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.
Last year, Democrats and a few Republicans refused to confirm Bolton to the U.N. post, forcing President Bush to resort to a recess appointment.
Bolton and Kenneth R. Timmerman were formally nominated by Sweden's former deputy prime minister Per Ahlmark, for playing a major role in exposing Iran's secret plans to develop nuclear weapons.
They documented Iran's secret nuclear buildup and revealed Iran's "repeated lying" and false reports to the International Atomic Energy Agency, a press release said.
Bolton formerly served as U.S. undersecretary for arms control and international security, and he authored the Proliferation Security Initiative, an international effort to block WMD shipments. The effort eventually unmasked the secret nuclear network directed by Pakistan nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan.
Timmerman, an independent researcher, has written extensively on Iran's nuclear activities for more than 20 years. His report for the Simon Wiesenthal Center in 1992 first detailed Iran's ties to A.Q. Khan. His most recent book, "Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran," was published last year.
In June 2005, Senate Republicans fell six votes in their second effort to end a Democrat filibuster of Bolton's nomination to serve as U.N. ambassador.
Bolton's supporters complained that Bolton was the target of a Democrat smear campaign. A number of Democrats and some Republicans complained about Bolton's brusque dealings with co-workers and underlings.
Here's the CNSNews.com article that appeared when Voiney shed his first tear.
The thought that John Bolton might be confirmed as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations brought one Republican senator to the brink of tears on Wednesday.
Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) choked up on the Senate floor, as he urged his colleagues to vote against Bolton's nomination on Thursday:
''I'm afraid that when we go to the [Senate] well, that too many of my colleagues -- (voice breaking) -- that too many of my colleagues are not going to understand that this appointment is very, very important to our country," Voinovich said.
"At a strategic time, when we need friends all over the world, we need somebody up there that's going to be able to get the job done.
"I know some of my friends say, 'Let it go, George, it's going to work out.' I don't want to take the risk," Voinovich said. "I came back here [to the Senate] and ran for a second term because I'm worried about my kids and my grandchildren. And I just hope my colleagues will take the time (pause) and before they get to this well, do some serious thinking about whether or not we should send John Bolton to the United Nations. I yield the floor."
So, the next time Voiney gives you advice, it's best to just ignore it.
Bolton's 'tache - often cited as the reason for his "brusque dealings with co-workers and underlings" - could not be reached for comment.
ARC: St Wendeler
Nothing to see here... please do not read this article:
Congress's Secret Saddam Tapes
BY ELI LAKE - Staff Reporter of the Sun
February 7, 2006
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is studying 12 hours of audio recordings between Saddam Hussein and his top advisers that may provide clues to the whereabouts of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
The committee has already confirmed through the intelligence community that the recordings of Saddam's voice are authentic, according to its chairman, Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, who would not go into detail about the nature of the conversations or their context. They were provided to his committee by a former federal prosecutor, John Loftus, who says he received them from a former American military intelligence analyst.
Mr. Loftus will make the recordings available to the public on February 17 at the annual meeting of the Intelligence Summit, of which he is president. On the organization's Web site, Mr. Loftus is quoted as promising that the recordings "will be able to provide a few definitive answers to some very important - and controversial - weapons of mass destruction questions." Contacted yesterday by The New York Sun, Mr. Loftus would only say that he delivered a CD of the recordings to a representative of the committee, and the following week the committee announced that it was reopening the investigation into weapons of mass destruction.
The audio recordings are part of new evidence the House intelligence committee is piecing together that has spurred Mr. Hoekstra to reopen the question of whether Iraq had the biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons American inspectors could not turn up. President Bush called off the hunt for those weapons last year and has conceded that America has yet to find evidence of the stockpiles.
Mr. Hoekstra has already met with a former Iraqi air force general, Georges Sada, who claims that Saddam used civilian airplanes to ferry chemical weapons to Syria in 2002. Mr. Hoekstra is now talking to Iraqis who Mr. Sada claims took part in the mission, and the congressman said the former air force general "should not just be discounted." Mr. Hoekstra also said he is in touch with other people who have come forward to the committee - Iraqis and Americans - who claim that the weapons inspectors may have overlooked other key sites and evidence. He has also asked the director of national intelligence, John Negroponte, to declassify some 35,000 boxes of Iraqi documents obtained in the war that have yet to be translated.
"I still believe there are key individuals who have not been debriefed and there are key sites that have never been investigated. I know there are 35,000 boxes of documents that have never been translated. I am frustrated," Mr. Hoekstra said.
He added, "Right now, it's not my job to investigate the specific claims. We are doing this a little with Sada. But we still don't fully understand what happened in Iraq three years after the invasion, three years after we control the country. There are enough people coming to the committee, Sada is not the only one, saying, 'you really ought to look under this rock.' This gives me cause to take up the issue again."
Mr. Hoekstra is one of many who believe the question of what happened to Saddam's weapons of mass destruction is still unresolved. Last week Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld voiced similar doubts at the National Press Club. "We have not found them. We also have found a number of things we didn't imagine. We found a bunch of jet airplanes buried in Iraq. Who buries airplanes? I mean, really. So I don't know what we'll find in the months and years ahead. It could be anything," he said.
The former chief of the State Department's Iraq Intelligence Unit, Wayne White, and Mr. Rumsfeld's former undersecretary of defense for policy, Douglas Feith, have told the Sun they believe the question of what happened to the weapons is still open. The former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Force, Moshe Ya'alon, told the Sun in December that he believed Saddam sent chemical weapons to Syria before the war in 2002. The last chief American weapons inspector, Charles Duelfer, said in the preamble to his final report that looting of sites may have severely weakened his team's ability to piece together a complete picture of Iraq's weapons program.
Mr. Hoekstra said he is not yet prepared to say President Bush was premature in calling off the hunt for the weapons last year, but conceded that his inquiries may lead him to that conclusion if some of the leads offered to his committee check out. He also said the White House has been supportive of his inquiry.
The chairman of the House intelligence panel said he is frustrated with the American intelligence community's lack of curiosity on following up these leads, particularly the story from Mr. Sada. "I talked to one person relatively high up in DNI, and I asked him about this and asked are they going to follow up, and he looked at me and said, 'No we don't think so.' At this point, I guess you guys don't get it.
"I am trying to find out if our postwar intelligence was as bad as our pre-war intelligence, " Mr. Hoekstra said.
Even if we did find a DHL tracking number that had the description "WMD" on it, with the origination address of Baghdad and the destination address of Damascus, somehow I don't think the story would get reported by the
ARC: St Wendeler
Cartoon protest death toll up
Qalat - Four people were killed on Wednesday during new protests in Afghanistan against cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, the army said, taking the death toll from five days of demonstrations to 11.
The latest deaths occurred as protestors and police clashed in Qalat, the capital of southern Zabul province, while new demonstrations were held in the national capital Kabul and in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
The continuing unrest in Afghanistan comes despite a joint call by the United Nations, European Union and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference for restraint and dialogue in the row over the drawings.
Talk about losing your life for a worthless cause...
What exactly are these riots and deaths supposed to achieve again? Will this bring about the caliphate? More likely, nutjob islamists that are killing each other over these cartoons will only get a muted apology from the Danes.
However, any people that are willing to collectively wear yellow stars of David in order to protect their Jewish citizens and neighbors from the Nazi onslaught isn't likely to be moved by a bunch of Islamofascists burning flags and killing each other.
Of course, the Islamofascists don't even believe that the Holocaust occurred... but somehow, it's a subject that can be used in a cartoon... wow, wrap your head around that "logic."
And it appears that 1 of the 3 most offensive cartoons (which were never published) has been identified as a fake. There's no doubt that word of this will NEVER reach the rioting idiots.
GatewayPundit also has this post of the rioters and compares them to the cartoons... The sign of a good editorial cartoon is that it contains some truth (which is why Ted Rall is just terrible.)
ARC: St Wendeler
Part 1 of Unashamed USAToday is here. As my travel schedule has picked up, USAToday has inserted itself into my life. I don't get my news from USAToday, as most of the information it provides I've already seen. But, the reporting in it is just atrocious, so this will be a running series. (Since ARC:Brian is traveling as well, perhaps he could weigh in on occasion.)
Speaking of a time and a place, this little article from yesterday's USAToday appeared outside my hotel room yesterday... as usual, I didn't get a chance to read this piece of pulp fiction until I was on the plane and out of laptop battery. However, it's a clear example of how serious Bush Derangement Syndrome is. Erica Jong (a poet & novelist) has this article about the James Frey kerfluffle, giving her thoughts on the publishing world, steps that Frey could've taken, etc - I've excerpted some of the more boring bits. But, it all circles back to Bush for her:
The truth about books (and us)
In digging into the Frey controversy, one can learn plenty about the author, but even more about the state of this country.
By Erica Jong
By now everyone from Oprah Winfrey, the queen of candor, to Maureen Dowd, the queen of clever, to Liz Smith, the queen of gossip, has weighed in about the Strange Case of James Frey — as Dickens might have termed it. OK, we know the basics: Frey published a “memoir” — whether on his own say-so or at the request of his publisher is not clear.
There are more than 3.9 million copies in print, and The Smoking Gun found that he did not spend months in jail, among other exaggerations and inaccuracies. Oprah chastised the author on her show, and he looked suicidal. After Oprah changed her mind about the book because of its lying, the author also sheepishly agreed with her. Does he have no opinions of his own?
I've now read it (chalk up one more copy sold) and found it sloppily written and emotionally bankrupt (capitalizing nouns as people did in the 18th century does not emphasize their importance — it's just a typographical tic). I've been to the famed Minnesota recovery clinic Hazelden, and the scenes there are impossible.
If Frey had been self-effacing and honest, who could have objected? It's difficult to sell books, and authors are desperate. Few people have time to read. Most talk shows want only Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie boxing. Authors used to appear on The Tonight Show in Johnny Carson's day (we appeared last, of course), but we're no longer welcome.
Promoting books is tough. So who could blame Frey for courting Oprah and obeying his publisher? I don't. But he didn't have to dither around on Larry King. He could have just said: “Writers exaggerate, and I'm a writer.” End of story.
But then, he never would have gotten all that ink. So maybe he's a lot smarter than I thought he was. Still, there's no denying that much of this blurring of the line between fiction and fact has gotten trickier — since we've had a misleader in chief who says “clear skies” for pollution, and we have a Pentagon that says “transfer cases” for the shipping of human remains instead of the body bags we spoke of during the Vietnam War. The American language has been utterly polluted from the top down.
I used to think that it didn't much matter who was president because we still had our system of separation of powers and a piece of parchment called The Constitution and a Bill of Rights to protect us. I have been proven wrong. This White House and its minions have outdone all previous ones in propitiating the Big Lie. And they still seem to be getting away with it — unlike the Clinton White House — despite plummeting poll numbers. They seem to know something woolly admirers of the Enlightenment (like me) don't: The American people are too busy, too stressed, too underpaid and undereducated to realize how thoroughly they've been rooked. If you can perfect fake news, fake reporters, fake slogans — and charge the poorest taxpayers for them — there's no limit to how far you can go. Throw in some electronic voting machines with no paper trails, and you can spin this theory of the Potemkin presidency out forever.
Character no longer matters, nor does truth — whatever that is. But you can tell the truth in books — at least for a little while longer (probably because nobody reads 'em) — so books remain the final repository for truth. Let's not lose that, OK?
Erica Jong, poet, novelist and memoirist, has a memoir, Seducing the Demon, coming out in March.
What amazes me is that this sentiment is considered to be that of the intellectuals and the elites in the country.
Memo to Erica - Forming your opinions from stories in the New York Times, DailyKos, and 9/11 Truth does not make you an intellectual. It makes you an uninformed idiot.
ARC: St Wendeler
There's a time and a place for partisan politics. The Democrats clearly need some help in this regard. Here's one general rule of thumb that they could follow:
IF THERE'S A DEAD BODY IN THE ROOM, IT'S NOT THE TIME OR PLACE FOR PARTISAN POLITICS.
But, hey... who am I to judge?
A funeral is not the time or place for a discussion on the merits of a war (or its causus belli).
A funeral is not the time or place for discussion of the foreign intelligence practices of the US military.
The primary justification in the mind of the Left for such classless attacks is that Republicans are evil. When you believe that your opponents are beneath contempt, you are justified - obligated even - to take every opportunity to attack them, regardless of the appropriateness of the forum.
If only the Moonbat Left would view our REAL enemies as evil...
ARC: St Wendeler
Monday, February 06, 2006
Great editorial cartoon in today's USA Today:
Meanwhile, some don't see a problem with Iran getting nukes... and actually think that our unwillingness to allow them to develop their nuke program is stifling their evolution as a nation-state. Scary...
And, Mark Steyn provides his thoughts on the cartoon controversy in today's Chicago Sun-Times:
'Sensitivity' can have brutal consequences
February 5, 2006
BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
I long ago lost count of the number of times I've switched on the TV and seen crazy guys jumping up and down in the street, torching the Stars and Stripes and yelling ''Death to the Great Satan!'' Or torching the Union Jack and yelling ''Death to the Original If Now Somewhat Arthritic And Semi-Retired Satan!'' But I never thought I'd switch on the TV and see the excitable young lads jumping up and down in Jakarta, Lahore, Aden, Hebron, etc., etc., torching the flag of Denmark.
Denmark! Even if you were overcome with a sudden urge to burn the Danish flag, where do you get one in a hurry in Gaza? Well, OK, that's easy: the nearest European Union Humanitarian Aid and Intifada-Funding Branch Office. But where do you get one in an obscure town on the Punjabi plain on a Thursday afternoon? If I had a sudden yen to burn the Yemeni or Sudanese flag on my village green, I haven't a clue how I'd get hold of one in this part of New Hampshire. Say what you like about the Islamic world, but they show tremendous initiative and energy and inventiveness, at least when it comes to threatening death to the infidels every 48 hours for one perceived offense or another. If only it could be channeled into, say, a small software company, what an economy they'd have.
Meanwhile, back in Copenhagen, the Danes are a little bewildered to find that this time it's plucky little Denmark who's caught the eye of the nutters. Last year, a newspaper called Jyllands-Posten published several cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed, whose physical representation in art is forbidden by Islam. The cartoons aren't particularly good and they were intended to be provocative. But they had a serious point. Before coming to that, we should note that in the Western world "artists" "provoke" with the same numbing regularity as young Muslim men light up other countries' flags. When Tony-winning author Terence McNally writes a Broadway play in which Jesus has gay sex with Judas, the New York Times and Co. rush to garland him with praise for how "brave" and "challenging" he is. The rule for "brave" "transgressive" "artists" is a simple one: If you're going to be provocative, it's best to do it with people who can't be provoked.
Thus, NBC is celebrating Easter this year with a special edition of the gay sitcom "Will & Grace," in which a Christian conservative cooking-show host, played by the popular singing slattern Britney Spears, offers seasonal recipes -- "Cruci-fixin's." On the other hand, the same network, in its coverage of the global riots over the Danish cartoons, has declined to show any of the offending artwork out of "respect" for the Muslim faith.
Which means out of respect for their ability to locate the executive vice president's home in the suburbs and firebomb his garage.
Jyllands-Posten wasn't being offensive for the sake of it. They had a serious point -- or, at any rate, a more serious one than Britney Spears or Terence McNally. The cartoons accompanied a piece about the dangers of "self-censorship" -- i.e., a climate in which there's no explicit law forbidding you from addressing the more, er, lively aspects of Islam but nonetheless everyone feels it's better not to.
That's the question the Danish newspaper was testing: the weakness of free societies in the face of intimidation by militant Islam.
One day, years from now, as archaeologists sift through the ruins of an ancient civilization for clues to its downfall, they'll marvel at how easy it all was. You don't need to fly jets into skyscrapers and kill thousands of people. As a matter of fact, that's a bad strategy, because even the wimpiest state will feel obliged to respond. But if you frame the issue in terms of multicultural "sensitivity," the wimp state will bend over backward to give you everything you want -- including, eventually, the keys to those skyscrapers. Thus, Jack Straw, the British foreign secretary, hailed the "sensitivity" of Fleet Street in not reprinting the offending cartoons.
No doubt he's similarly impressed by the "sensitivity" of Anne Owers, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons, for prohibiting the flying of the English national flag in English prisons on the grounds that it shows the cross of St. George, which was used by the Crusaders and thus is offensive to Muslims. And no doubt he's impressed by the "sensitivity" of Burger King, which withdrew its ice cream cones from its British menus because Rashad Akhtar of High Wycombe complained that the creamy swirl shown on the lid looked like the word "Allah" in Arabic script. I don't know which sura in the Koran says don't forget, folks, it's not just physical representations of God or the Prophet but also chocolate ice cream squiggly representations of the name, but ixnay on both just to be "sensitive."
Jim Hoft (aka the GatewayPundit) has been covering this story (and reports today that 4 have been killed in the riots), especially the fact that some of the cartoons which have sparked the riots were never published and cannot be traced back to Denmark.
ARC: St Wendeler
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Senior Hamas member Musa Abu Marzuk described the Palestinian Authority’s recognition of Israel as “an error, which can be rectified,” speaking to reporters in Cairo Sunday.
Meanwhile, Israel just has more reason to continue erecting that wall...
*** UPDATE ***
For some more idiotic thinking, see this post from our new entry to the Moonbat blogrool, Steve Gilliard at The News Blog:
Europeans are in no position to give Muslims lectures on proper decorum. They left way too many bodies behind in Muslim countries for that to be taken seriously.
And while the Danes are justifibly proud of their tolerance and record on human rights, do they think vuglarly attacking another religion lives up to that tradition? Yes, there is free speech, but also human decency. Not one Danish cartoonist is running for his life in the middle east today. But decent people, doing NGO work, are.
They had every right to do what they wanted. It's a guaranteed right. But the reason you can't yell fire in a crowded theater is because people could die. The same applies here. If you mock or degrade Muhammad, Muslims will feel highly offended. Is it right to riot? Of course not, but when you hand a tool to Islamic radicals, they will, of course, use it.
The fact is that Europeans now live in multicultural societies and they better consider that. They chose to invite Muslims to live in their countries and now they need to respect their traditions like every other religion
I recall when the Danes left so many Syrian bodies laying around.... oh, wait... Gilliard is just a tool.
Fortunately, Gilliard has the cojones to include criticism from one of his lefty contributors:
Gilly has it all wrong here, and I think that he (and the many Riotoing Mob Apologists in the comments) are confusing all kinds of issues.
Colonialism is an issue here? Oh, yeah, right, I forgot about that time when Norway invaded Syria. Oh, wait, they didn't. But doesn't anyone remember the group of Tibetians that burned down the Chinese consulate in DC, sacked their stores, and threatened to kidnap takout delivery guys, in retaliation for treatment of Tibetians in Tibet by China? Oh, yeah, I forgot, that didn't happen either. This isn't about the Crusades or anything like that.
Muslims are living in Europe now, so EUROPE has to respect THEIR religion? Erm, quite the other way around, methinks. The laws of the home country apply to all, regardless of religion, at least in anyplace I'd want to live (unlike most of the countries where these folks are fleeing from). As one poster sagely pointed out, answer these questions in a yes or no fashion, and make your conclusions accordingly: Can you open a mosque in Copenhagen? Can you open a Pentecostal church in Mecca? And let me add: What would the results be?
Should Europeans have to "respect" self-censorship, along with honor killings, burquas, beheadings for herasey, slavery and conquest of nonbelievers, and bans on pork products, lest they give offense? And, frankly, I (and I'm sure most Europeans) don't give a shit if these are part of "real pure Islam" (which please remind me, has the global headcount equivalent of Catholic Italy or Protestant Scandinavia in what part of the world?) or "local tribal cultures"--they seem to pop up as part of the mainstream, not isolated fringe incidents. When you have national laws preventing women from driving, leaving the country without a male relative, etc. it's gone a bit beyond "local practice" methinks.
Ditto for the countless offensive anti-Semitic cartoons that are published in government-sponsored newspapers throughout the Middle East. You can't claim something is "fringe behavior" when it's also "national policy."
Then there's the Disney Response, the "its an interconnected world, we all need each other, get used to it." Erm, I don't have to "get used" to the problem of homelessness in New York by letting a junkie sleep in my living room. Europe does not "owe" any group visas or jobs or walking on eggshells.
Europe spent centuries getting the balance between state and religion right (ie largely eliminating it from daily life), which is the exact opposite of the station that Islam occupies in the Middle East today. There seems to be a base incompatibility here. Why should Europe dismantle itself in order to accomodate those who would gladly send it back to the Dark Ages?
As I have said earlier, watch for a gradual choking-off of visas given to residents of nations that have participated in violent anti-Danish and anti-European riots, as well as nations that harbor fundamentalist mullahs at high levels as well. I would include Palestine--whose current government seems to be taking a stand of "please don't cut us off financially OR WE'LL KILL YOU"--in this group. The last time I checked, there were plenty of non-rioting, non-burqua insisting, non-honor-killing folks in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union (two huge labor pools that were only not acessible in the past due to the Iron Curtain), India, China, the Phillipines, etc. who are standing ready to fill any labor "need" in Western Europe.
I think a lot of liberals here--who would be singing a very different tune had the furor been over an anti-Christian cartoon (South Part, any episode, almost, anyone?)--are being "colorblinded" by this case. They see what they perceive as "oppressed" people (by their own governments, folks...) "rising up" against nasty imperialist whities (hey, anyone remember when Denmark invaded Iran? Oh, yeah, they didn't) who insult their core values (by giving them jobs, housing and welfare?). Don't fall into the trap. It is not "anti-Islam" to refuse to bend to the most extreme of its practitioners, nor is it an insult to point out its worst practices.
Read the whole thing... good demonstration of mushy thinking by Gilliard. And this is EXACTLY why the Dems in Congress are going to have problems. If Gilliard's fellow contributor sees the idiocy that he's trying to push, it's likely that much of the Dem base recognizes the same.
And with Clinton ("the centrist") sympathizing with the rioters (and effectively condoning their actions), it's a clear division within the relativism of the progressives.
ARC: St Wendeler
Well, I'm not able to enjoy SuperBowl XL with my friends & family... I'm on a Rovian assignment in one of the Red States this time... so, I'm sitting in a decent hotel room, watching the game on a 26" Tv.
And I have to say that I'd be happy with either team winning this year. However, I always have to side with my favorite AFC team, the Steelers. I was rooting for the Colts in the AFC this year, primarily so Dungy, Peyton, & Harrison could finally get the win. But, since they weren't able to make it, the Steelers are my pick.
The only reason that I'd root for Seattle is because Seattle has never been to the game. Of course, Holmgren already has a ring... so, I'm rooting for Steelers coach Cowher to finally crack a smile. (And besides, Seattle will always be an AFC team to me...)
Oh, and you know that Rendell is ticked that the Steelers made the big game... nothing like Lynn Swann being able to rely on some Steelers magic come November.
I would create a separate post for this, but check out this comment to my post about Iran getting nukes and Bush's multi-lateral approach. I sure hope it was a joke.
*** UPDATE ***
Apparently, I'm liveblogging the SuperBowl. (ahh, the joys of travel.)
ARC: St Wendeler