Sunday, December 28, 2003

Whither Osama

Like a bad penny, stories of the whereabouts of our arch-enemy, Osama bin laden, keep circulating anew. Recently Monsoor Ijaz, a usually reliable observer of the scene, claimed to have information that OBL is a guest of the Revolutionary Guards in Iran. Now the Financial Times has run a story saying the same thing.

Personally, I believe that OBL has been dead for two years, but, there DOES seem to be some coherence to the sightings, i.e. in a small area on either side of the Afghanistan border, either in the Tribal trust Lands on the border with Pakistan, or along the border with Iran. I've been there, and there is no great structural edifice delineating this border. The Durrand line, between Afghanistan and Pakistan, was constructed by the British Empire, and in no way respects the reality of the people living on that ground. Colonel Durrand was concerned merely with the military defensiblity of the line, not cultural congruence. The border with Iran, on the other hand, has been firm for less than fifty years, and was decided by people living far from the border area. Much of the border is a trackless waste, with no landmarks for miles, or even a tree. On either border, the tribe or family which controls the land on one side of the line usually controls the land on the other.

You must understand the religious-historical background of the region as well: Muslims attacked and subjugated these areas over a millennium ago, and as a result the local population became Muslims, and pretty devout Muslims at that. In many ways, Osama bin Laden represents the bloodline of Mohammad to many of these people. Thus he enjoys the status of almost a demigod among some Muslims there, and he has exploited this history to make himself into something of a cult leader, especially among the Pashtuns, who could be expected to protect him - or to conspire to convince others that he is still alive. Those who don't know very much about it may make too much of the enmity between the Shia and the Sunni. The relationship is a lot more complicated than a mere feud.

We may never know what happened to Osama. If he is dead, his legend will go on forever. If he is alive, however, we can expect to see him, sooner rather than later. If he has made a deal with the Revolutionary Guards in Iran, he has bound up his future in Iranian politics. One thing is for sure, though: if he IS alive, he won't be for long. Living on the run in that part of the world, with a twenty five million dollar price on your head, is not congruent with long life.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

"Unilateral": Newspeak for "Sovereign"

Unilateral - Newspeak for Sovereign

George Orwell had a way with words. His explorations of the use and abuse of power are necessary to the modern undestanding of politics. Newspeak, now more often referred to as "code words," is quite common in our political discourse, as pundits and candidates abuse the language to insert their ideas into the audience's mind. The latest abuse of the English language, used by the Left to brainwash the public, is the way that they, and I refer here especially to Howard Dean, are using the term "unilateral."

As any kid in grade school can tell you, "unilateral" means "one-sided," or "acting alone." This is somehow to be considered a terrible way for a nation to act, but how can he accuse us of being "unilateral" when we have 60 other nations at our side? Clearly we have to look further to see what is meant when he uses the term "unilateral." Clearly he is condemning us for acting as a sovereign nation. He gave the show away when he, in the question and answer period after his speech at the Pacific Council, said the he would have gone to war only if the United Nations had given us "permission" to act. Since they had already given us broad power to act, under Security Council resolutions starting with S.C.R. 678 in 1990, but made absolutely clear with S.C.R. 1441 in 2002, he was waiting for some really, really specific "permission."

To reveal his thinking this way was a major mistake by the presumptive Democrat nominee. Thus revealing his Transnational agenda, and his belief in a one world government, shows that he uses "unilateral" when he means that we acted as a "sovereign" nation, without "permission." Why the secrecy? Why obfuscate his real agenda? Because one world government is an antidemocratic concept. There can be no democracy when the scope is world-wide. Not if the citizens of America have their vote devalued into nothingness. This two hundred fifty million person nation will never allow itself to be submerged within the five billion (and rising) on the planet. India and China alone control the World under this form of government. So the only way for the Tranzis and Dean to ever gain their dream is by secrecy, and backing the nation into the deal with blinders on. Concepts like "international law" are used to inure the people to the idea that we must allow the rule of those who are far away, since the truth, that the twenty five million of Afghanistan should be able to outvote the twenty two million of California, will surely never fly if the people have their eyes open. Thus the strategy to slide these concepts past us, until they can present us with a fait acompli, an inevitable fact, the way they tried to slip the Kyoto protocol past us.

Now, you can call me a wild eyed lunatic for my ravings today, and I hope that you are correct. I would sleep better if I did not believe that the Utopian movement is still alive. You might point out that it is illogical for any American to favor a single government for the planet. And you would be right. But all Tarnzies are atheists, and Transnational Progressivism is their religion. It seems that we humans are hard-wired for Faith, and those who talk themselves out of a belief in God are left vulnerable to crackpot ideas, like TP, or Environmentalism, which they believe in with a zeal that any fundamentalist could recognize. No logic is required, where faith is involved.

So keep an eye on Dean and the rest of the crowd who use "Unilateral" to describe the actions of the U.S.A., and see for yourself if they are really accusing America as merely acting like a sovereign nation, or are they accusing us of acting ALONE. The COWBOYS! How unsophisticated those Americans are!

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Uncommon Knowledge

It is no secret to my regular readers that I hold the common knowledge in disdain. The problem with common knowledge is that it is always wrong. This tendency for masses of people to get things wrong is compounded by our news media, who in their zeal to make every human event into a crisis, misinform us as a matter of course. And that which they can not make a crisis they make a mystery.

Like the mystery of the democrat nominee. As my regular readers know for over a month now, Howard Dean already has enough votes to get the nomination. Absent a horrendous misstep by his campaign, he's the loser-designee. Anything you hear about a "race" in the democrat party is being told by either someone with an agenda or someone who doesn't know. Yet everywhere you turn, the race is depicted as being in doubt, with Dean in the lead. Not so. It's already over.

Global Warming. While anyone who has been paying attention knows that global climate today is somewhere in the warmer range of historical climate, but nowhere near historic highs; this debate, and others driven by junk science, threatens to overwhelm us. Yet the hubris of the belief that we puny humans can, by altering our behavior, change planetary climate, is a juggernaut that seemingly can not be stopped.

And now we have Mad Cow Disease, or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. A disease of a new type, caused by replicating proteins called Prions, that thrive in brain tissue. Now that a single case, in a single cow, has been found in America, the hysteria has begun. Every person and organization with an agenda is beating the bushes to create a crisis. The fact that the entire world-wide extent of Mad Cow disease in humans runs to just over a hundred cases, and you must eat cow brains to get it, will not stop the foretellers of doom. Nations will now embargo American beef, and dietary habits will change. All for what?

To bring down the cost of my T-Bone steaks, or course! Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Some Democrats ARE Unpatriotic

Yesterday the inevitible democrat nominee gave a speech at Warren Christopher's Pacific Council in an attempt to prove that he could expound upon foreign affairs and not merely excoriate the President. He failed.

Whatever happened to CSPAN? They used to be the most impartial presenter of current political affairs, but, alas, those days are gone. In their attempt to give Dean the best boost that they could, they showed Dean's speech last night at least three times. Luckily, however, those extra viewings allowed those of us who were paying attention to see how Dean's most strident whimperings were kept out of the official transcript, which I have linked above. The transcript omits his claim that "Bush is single-handedly responsible for the fact that North Korea has become a nuclear power" aa well as a few other choice statements, but what else could be expected from such an unserious candidate? While his present primary battle is against others of his ilk, soon he must face the mass of the American electorate and, without some tragedy that might befall Bush's administration, such easily detected tricks will all see the light of day.

In today's Wall Street Journal a democrat, Orson Scott Card, offers his plea to his party to attempt to occupy the mainstream, and glumly concludes that this effort will have to take place after the Dean defeat. Yet some of his prose is so precious, it almost brought a tear to my eyes.
There are Democrats, like me, who think it will not play, and should not play, and who are waiting in the wings until after the coming electoral debacle in order to try to remake the party into something more resembling America.

But then I watch the steady campaign of the national news media to try to win this for the Democrats, and I wonder. Could this insane, self-destructive, extremist-dominated party actually win the presidency? It might--because the media are trying as hard as they can to pound home the message that the Bush presidency is a failure--even though by every rational measure it is not.

And the most vile part of this campaign against Mr. Bush is that the terrorist war is being used as a tool to try to defeat him--which means that if Mr. Bush does not win, we will certainly lose the war. Indeed, the anti-Bush campaign threatens to undermine our war effort, give encouragement to our enemies, and cost American lives during the long year of campaigning that lies ahead of us.
Reuters recently ran a feature that trumpeted the "fact" that U.S. casualties in Iraq have now surpassed U.S. casualties in the first three years of the Vietnam War. Never mind that this is a specious distortion of the facts, which depends on the ignorance of American readers.
In other words, the Iraq campaign isn't over--and President Bush has explicitly said so all along. So the continuation of combat and casualties isn't a "failure" or a "quagmire," it's a "war." And during a war, patriotic Americans don't blame the deaths on our government. We blame them on the enemy that persists in trying to kill our soldiers.
Am I saying that critics of the war aren't patriotic?

Not at all--I'm a critic of some aspects of the war. What I'm saying is that those who try to paint the bleakest, most anti-American, and most anti-Bush picture of the war, whose purpose is not criticism but deception in order to gain temporary political advantage, those people are indeed not patriotic. They have placed their own or their party's political gain ahead of the national struggle to destroy the power base of the terrorists who attacked Americans abroad and on American soil.

Patriots place their loyalty to their country in time of war ahead of their personal and party ambitions. And they can wrap themselves in the flag and say they "support our troops" all they like--but it doesn't change the fact that their program is to promote our defeat at the hands of our enemies for their temporary political advantage.

Think what it will mean if we elect a Democratic candidate who has committed himself to an antiwar posture in order to get his party's nomination.

Our enemies will be certain that they are winning the war on the battleground that matters--American public opinion. So they will continue to kill Americans wherever and whenever they can, because it works.

Our soldiers will lose heart, because they will know that their commander in chief is a man who is not committed to winning the war they have risked death in order to fight. When the commander in chief is willing to call victory defeat in order to win an election, his soldiers can only assume that their lives will be thrown away for nothing. That's when an army, filled with despair, becomes beatable even by inferior forces.
When did we lose the Vietnam War? Not in 1968, when we held an election that hinged on the war. None of the three candidates (Humphrey, Nixon, Wallace) were committed to unilateral withdrawal. Not during Nixon's "Vietnamization" program, in which more and more of the war effort was turned over to Vietnamese troops. In fact, Vietnamization, by all measures I know about, worked.

We lost the war when the Democrat-controlled Congress specifically banned all military aid to South Vietnam, and a beleaguered Republican president signed it into law. With Russia and China massively supplying North Vietnam, and Saigon forced to buy pathetic quantities of ammunition and spare parts on the open market because America had cut off all aid, the imbalance doomed them, and they knew it.

The South Vietnamese people were subjected to a murderous totalitarian government (and the Hmong people of the Vietnamese mountains were victims of near-genocide) because the U.S. Congress deliberately cut off military aid--even after almost all our soldiers were home and the Vietnamese were doing the fighting themselves.

That wasn't about "peace," that was about political posturing and an indecent lack of honor. Is that where we're headed again?
And that's just a sample. Every American should read this cogent, comprehensive examination of democrat and liberal tactics, and their consequences.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Urgent Action on a Non-Problem

Human history is replete with wasted energy and failed diplomatic initiatives, but surely the Kyoto Protocols are the most grievous example. In order to address a problem that may or may not exist, and, if it exists, it may or may not be a problem, the Kyoto protocols were born. But, the one thing that most scientists can agree upon is that there is nothing that humans can do that will make an iota of difference to human climate. Yet 4000 delegates from 188 countries have been convened since December 1 in Milan at the ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The delegates will be joined later this week by at least 74 environment ministers from around the world.

The real joke of the exercize is that it is well within the capability of the human race to curtail the emission of Carbon Dioxide, yet the solution is expressly barred from consideration. Yes, the solution, if one is needed, is nuclear energy. Only nuclear energy can lift Hydrogen from being an idea that will generate even more CO2 into a solution to the energy problem that the proponents of Kyoto claim that they are concerned with. But a solution is far from what these myrmidons of a failed ideology seek. They have seized an issue, one that they wish to use to transfer wealth from "the North to the South." And even as the scientific community debates the issue, the one possible effective solution is expressly barred from consideration.

What the World needs is to unfetter Science from politics. Kyoto will not advance that agenda. And as long as America is led by men and women who refuse to commit national suicide, Kyoto will be merely a venue for a complete waste of time, energy, and money on a grand scale.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Storm Clouds Over Europe

A friend sent me this and asked that I pass it along. After checking it for factual accuracy, I present it here. It is a warning, and an action plan.

I ask each of you to read this and perhaps reflect how lucky we are here in the US, but what are we doing about the rest of world. I am beginning to dislike the French very much! Rocks have been lifted all over Europe, and the snakes of Jew-hatred are slithering free.

In Belgium, thugs beat up the chief rabbi, kicking him in the face and calling him "a dirty Jew."

Two synagogues in Brussels were firebombed; a third, in Charleroi, was sprayed with automatic weapon fire.

In Britain, the cover of the New Statesman, a left-wing magazine, depicted a large Star of David stabbing the Union Jack.

Oxford professor Tom Paulin, a noted poet, told an Egyptian interviewer that American Jews who move to the West Bank and Gaza "should be shot dead."

A Jewish yeshiva student reading the Psalms was stabbed 27 times on a London bus.

"Anti-Semitism", wrote a columnist in The Spectator, "has become respectable . . . at London dinner tables." She quoted one member of the House of Lords: "The Jews have been asking for it and now, thank God, we can say what we think at last."

In Italy, the daily paper La Stampa published a Page 1 cartoon: A tank emblazoned with a Jewish star points its gun at the baby Jesus, who pleads, "Surely they don't want to kill me again?"

In Corriere Della Sera, another cartoon showed Jesus trapped in his tomb, unable to rise, because Ariel Sharon, with rifle in hand, is sitting on the sepulcher. The caption: "Non resurrexit."

In Germany, a rabbinical student was beaten up in downtown Berlin and a grenade was thrown into a Jewish cemetery. Thousands of neo-Nazis held a rally, marching near a synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath. Graffiti appeared on a synagogue in the western town of Hereford: "Six million were not enough."

In Ukraine, skinheads attacked Jewish worshippers and smashed the windows of Kiev's main synagogue. Ukrainian police denied that the attack was anti-Jewish.

In Greece, Jewish graves were desecrated in Loannina and vandals hurled paint at the Holocaust memorial in Salonica.

In Holland, an anti-Israel demonstration featured swastikas, photos of Hitler, and chants of "Sieg Heil" and "Jews into the sea."

In Slovakia, the Jewish cemetery of Kosice was invaded and 135 tombstones destroyed.

But nowhere have the flames of anti-Semitism burned more furiously than in France:

In Lyon, a car was rammed into a synagogue and set on fire. In Montpellier, the Jewish religious center was firebombed; so were synagogues in Strasbourg and Marseilles; so was a Jewish school in Creteil. A Jewish sports club in Toulouse was attacked with Molotov cocktails, and on the statue of Alfred Dreyfus in Paris, the words "Dirty Jew" were painted.

In Bondy, 15 men beat up members of a Jewish football team with sticks and metal bars. The bus that takes Jewish children to school in Aubervilliers has been attacked three times in the last 14 months.

According to the police, metropolitan Paris has seen 10 to 12 anti-Jewish incidents per day since Easter. Walls in Jewish neighborhoods have been defaced with slogans proclaiming "Jews to the gas chambers" and "Death to the Jews."

The weekly journal Le Nouvel Observateur published an appalling libel: It said Israeli soldiers rape Palestinian women, so that their relatives will kill them to preserve "family honor."

The French ambassador to Great Britain was not sacked -- and did not apologize -- when it was learned that he had told guests at a London dinner that the world's troubles were the fault of "...that shitty little country, Israel."

"At the start of the 21st century," writes Pierre-Andre Taguieff, a well-known social scientist, in a new book, "we are discovering that Jews are once again select targets of violence. . . Hatred of the Jews has returned to France." But of course, it never left. Not France; not Europe.

Anti-Semitism, the oldest bigotry known to man, has been a part of European society since time immemorial. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, open Jew-hatred became unfashionable; but fashions change, and Europe is reverting to type.

To be sure, some Europeans are shocked by the reemergence of Jew-hatred all over their continent. But the more common reaction has been complacency.

"Stop saying that there is anti-Semitism in France," President Jacques Chirac scolded a Jewish editor in January. "There is no anti-Semitism in France."

The European media have been vicious in condemning Israel's self-defense against Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank; they have been far less agitated about anti-Jewish terror in their own backyard.

They are making a grievous mistake. For if today the violence and vitriol are aimed at the Jews, tomorrow they will be aimed at the Christians. A timeless lesson of history is that it rarely ends with the Jews.

Militant Islamist extremists were attacking and killing Jews long before they attacked and killed Americans on Sept. 11.

The Nazis first set out to incinerate the Jews; in the end, all of Europe was ablaze. Jews, it is often said, are the canary in the coal mine of civilization. When they become the objects of savagery and hate, it means the air has been poisoned and an explosion is soon to come. If Europeans don't rise up and turn against the Jew-haters, it is only a matter of time until the Jew-haters rise up and turn against them.

French Anti-Semitism Finally and long overdue, your people, oppressed and disgraced by hatred and maliciousness, have achieved justice: now you enjoy full citizen's rights, but you'll remain Jews nonetheless." Franz Grillparzer (1791-1872), Austrian author.

A gunman opened fire on a kosher butcher's shop (and, of course, the butcher) in Toulouse, France; a Jewish couple in their 20s were beaten up by five men in Villeurbanne, France. The woman was pregnant; a Jewish school was broken into and vandalized in Sarcelles, France. This was in the past week.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, from September 9, 2000, at the start of the intifada, through November 20, 2001, there were some 330 acts of anti-Semitism just in and around Paris. In addition to literally scores of firebombings of synagogues, just before Rosh Hashanah, 200 Arabs attacked Jews on the Champs Elysees. The pace has only picked up since then:

In December, a French cinema in Paris refused to allow a Hanukah showing of
Harry Potter to 800 Jewish children because of French-Palestinian threats (the threats were confirmed by French police who then went on to do nothing, not even giving details). It was one incident in an eventful month when synagogues continued to be firebombed and a Jewish kindergarten was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti and set ablaze.

We can understand anti-Semitism among the French people. There is nothing the French love like their traditions and, on the question of hating Jews, they certainly have tradition galore. What, however, can explain the sometimes muted, sometimes defensively outraged reaction of French officials?

Simple. There are approximately 5,000,000 to 6,000,000 Muslims presently living in France and many more arrive daily. There are only about 600,000 Jews still living in France. Moreover, France has been the number one European exporter to Iraq, totaling over two billion dollars per year in exports since 2000. To those who are at a loss to explain why French elected officials seem "helpless" to stem the tide of anti-Semitism, I say that something smells awfully Vichy around here.

You already know that Israel is at war against a fearsome enemy, which has brought the fight to its streets. Much of the civilized world (well, at least on this side of the Atlantic), finally understands this fact.

What is not being acknowledged, however, is that this is not a war against Israel, or as propagandists and demagogues worldwide would have it, occupiers.

This is a war against each and every individual, Israeli or not, religious or not, Zionist or not, right, left or center, who identifies himself or herself as Jewish. Israel is only the publicized front line and if you are not in Israel, and the fight has not arrived at your front yard, just wait. Or, perhaps, we shouldn't wait. Perhaps history has finally taught us, of all people, that waiting and hoping for succor and sympathy from the nations of the world will lead only to more burned synagogues, pogroms, and, down the road, grim-faced dignitaries mouthing "never again" while dedicating yet another memorial museum. We cannot wait inactively and hope to have security or peace for our children or ourselves. We dare not privately rail against irrational, virulent hatred while letting the world believe that we remain disinterested, accepting our lot with equanimity or, worse, resignation. We can and must do more than simply grieve.

So I call on you, whether you are a fellow Jew, a friend, or merely a person with the capacity and desire to distinguish decency from depravity, to do, at least, these three simple things:

First, care enough to stay informed. Don't ever let yourself become deluded into thinking that this is not your fight.

Second, boycott France. Only the Arab countries are more toxically anti-Semitic and, unlike them, France exports more than just oil and hatred. So boycott their wines and their perfumes. Boycott their clothes and their foodstuffs. Boycott their movies. Definitely boycott their shores. If we are resolved we can exert amazing pressure and, whatever else we may know about the French, we most certainly know that they are as a cobweb in a hurricane in the face of well directed pressure.

Third, send this along to your family, your friends, and your coworkers. Think of all of the people of good conscience that you know and let them know that you and the people that you care about need their help.

The number one best selling book in France is "September 11: The Frightening Fraud," which argues that no plane ever hit the Pentagon.

Our only strength is the strength of our community and there can be no community without communication.

This is really scary stuff, Read it very carefully and thoroughly. We cannot allow this to continue. You MUST pass it on to as many people as you know, so we can curb this hideous anti-Semitic wave and squelch it ... before it grows and engulfs us all.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Peace or Piece

I don't know whether to laugh or cry this morning. Some Israeli dissidents, without even a strong minority of Israeli support, have offerred a peace plan that gives away even more than the fantasy plan advanced by Barak, yet the Palestinian shills involved can't even agree that this plan offers enough. More territory, including the Temple Mount, coupled with less security guarantees for Israel, means that this plan has absolutely no chance of passing any Israeli plebiscite. Yet even this is not enough for the Palistinian enemies of humanity.

Anyone with fantasies that the Pali leadership is serious about wanting any sort of peace that includes living Jews remaining in the Holy Land should have had their bubble burst, yet nobody expects the "antizionists" to discern any such thing. Even though their military strength is marginal at best, and even their terrorist reach has failed to kill more Israelis than automobile accidents, it is more clear than ever that they will choose no plan that limits their freedom to kill and die in the pursuit of Jewish blood.

Yet the atmospherics of the plan are comical. Almost all of the "World Leaders" who are associated with the plan are no longer able to wield power in their own countries. Famous has-beens starting with, of course, our own national joke Jimmy Carter, followed by such notables as Lech Walesa and former Presidents Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union and F.W. de Klerk of the Apartheid regime of South Africa. Yossi Beilin, the Israeli who is spearheading the effort has become so marginal in his politics that he no longer even qualifies (as, now, a member of the fringe Meretz party) for the Israeli Knesset. Yet the Palestinians who had allowed their names to become associated with the plan are now trying to end that association. About 700 guests, including many intellectuals and celebrities from both sides of the divide are due to attend. I haven't seen a guest list, but the Master of Ceremonies is said to be the noted self-hating Jew Richard Dreyfuss. I don't doubt that his buddy and fellow self-hater Noam Chomsky and the rest of that evil crowd will attend as well, but that is just my surmise.

The Palestinian position is so craven, so phony, that I will quote a news article that is sympathetic to the plan:
Ahead of his departure to Geneva, Rajoub underlined that his presence did not necessarily signify that Arafat was giving it his official seal of approval. "This decision reflects a desire by the Palestinian leadership to encourage the Israeli peace camp," Rajoub told AFP.

The decision by Arafat to despatch Rajoub and Fares to Switzerland came shortly after the Fatah central committee formally rejected the accord. But Fatah deputy Hatem Abdel Qader said that Arafat did not want to toss away the chance of gaining the upper hand over Sharon in their battle for international support. "President Arafat does not want to sacrifice the gains that the Geneva Initiative can bring him," Qader told AFP. "This is the reason why the Palestinian leadership has adopted an ambiguous rather than a clear-cut official position."

According to Fatah heavyweight Sakher Habash, Arafat is looking to seize the intiative as a chance to appear as a man of peace, thus portraying Sharon as an obstructionist for his rejection of the project.
To sum up - even though the Palestinian leadership has officially rejected the plan, they believe that the credulous international "community" will allow them to use their "acceptance" of the plan to their advantage. If they are right, and I believe that they are, it will be a sad moment in the history of the Jews. That's why I have to laugh. Or cry.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Something to be Thankful For

Love him or hate him, everyone must agree that our president has balls. Going to Baghdad in that big plane, right into the belly of the beast, tweaking the enemy's nose, having turkey with the troops, and going home before he was even missed, took some big cojones.

And no writer reported it better than Francis W. Poretto, the Curmudgeon Emeritus at Palace of Reason.
Imagine being one of those miscreants. Imagine learning, as they all have by now, that the man you'd most like to kill, the man you've already tried to kill once, has just flown quite literally into your midst, sat down to a hearty dinner with his retainers, and flown out again without mussing a hair.
Just a taste. Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Honest Opposition

My mother always told me that if I wanted to criticize something I had to offer a positive alternative. I guess my mother was smarter than the mothers of those who oppose our president. All they seem to be able to do is tear things down. When they offer alternatives, they do not offer serious alternatives. They offer that we should turn over the Iraq situation to the UN, as if the UN hadn't already abandoned the country, as if G.W. hasn't already done everything in his power to get them to go along.

But the biggest dishonesty of the left is their failure to accept the plain honest fact that we are already in Iraq. They might have opposed our move into Iraq, but they will have to get over that now. "Working with world leaders to abolish war" (Dennis Kucinich) is a fine idea, but utterly dishonest. If elected, Kucinich would be the only world leader who has expressed an intention to abolish war. But, while Kucinich is in deep denial about reality, he is not alone. "Turn over operations to NGOs and the UN" (Wesley Clark) would run afoul of the fact that that they have already cut and run. And the best one is the almost unanimous agreement of the nine dwarves in the debates that, whatever else we do, we have to get these American companies in Iraq off of the gravy train. Alternative please? French and German companies perhaps?

The reason these democrats offer no solutions is because they believe that their credulous constituency seeks none, and needs none. The democrat party has shown an almost imperial propensity to ignore the issues of their constituency. And who can say that they are wrong? The blacks, to whom they offer nothing, grant an almost unanimous voting bloc to the democrats. The republicans, who give high office and endless deference to members of the black race, get almost no votes (10% in 2000) at all from that group. The trial lawyers, who finance the democrats almost single-handedly, get (and demand) nothing more than a total lack of tort reform, No action is demanded for all of that money. At least in that case, no action is a good thing. The seniors, offerred an entirely new entitlement for medicare drug benefits, are about to experience a filibuster from the democrats, attempting to block the first attempt to expand this entitlement in almost thirty years. But no serious observer believes that this stand against their interests will cost the left any senior votes.

But now we are involved in a world war. Our very way of life and even our survival is at stake. And the democrats? Have they offerred anything at all besides empty criticism of the Bush approach? Ok, they hate Bush. They really really wish that we had never disturbed Saddam Hussein and had stayed home. They can't believe that Bush ignored France and Germany on this one. But he did. Now what? These are men who actually wish to be put in charge of operations. One would think that they, or at least one of them, would offer a plan that reflects some simulacrum of reality. But if they have, I haven't seen it.

I believe them when they indicate the depth of their enmity towards G.W.Bush. I don't understand it, but I believe it. But until and unless they offer some semblence of a plan for moving forward, they are not electable. It is utterly dishonest. My mother always knew how to detect honesty. And, as a democratic pol for fifty years, at the age of eighty nine, even she will be voting for G.W. next November. Again.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Ration(al) Energy

As I contemplate the world that my children will inherit from us, it pains me to see the extent to which crucial decisions regarding the shape of that world are founded upon junk science and demagogue-inspired hysteria. If only scientific decisions could be made by the dispassionate consideration of science, rather than the emotional feelings of misinformed masses. So much single-interest politics decides so many debates.

But wait a minute! Am I not falling into the trap set by the leftie crowd, which believes that so many political questions could be resolved if only the rest of us would realize that the left is correct, and not ideological in the least? Is there really a right and a wrong, even in science? Specifically, can the Global Warming and Nuclear Energy debates ever be resolved by consideration of the science?

In Europe, Germany has begun a total phase out of nuclear power generation.
Germany disconnected the first of its 19 nuclear power stations Friday, beginning an unprecedented phase-out that underscores differences between some European nations and the United States on securing future energy supplies.
Germany is the first major industrialized nation to renounce the technology. Under a deal negotiated after years of wrangling between the government and power company bosses, all Germany's nuclear reactors are to close by 2020.
In October 1998 a coalition government was formed between the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Green Party, the latter having polled only 6.7% of the vote. As a result, these two parties agreed to change the law to establish the eventual phasing out of nuclear power.
But the Greens, who were instrumental in pushing through this policy change, have no idea how the power generated by nuclear plants will be replaced. Presently about one third of electric power generation is handled by nuclear plants. Has anyone even considered how much extra air pollution will be created by this folly? And, aren't the Greens the same ones who are demanding that the German government comply with the Kyoto protocols? Consider:
Germany's other main fuel for base-load electricity is brown coal (which produces about 1.25 tonnes of carbon dioxide per MWh). Over half the country's electricity now comes from coal. Arising from the Kyoto accord, and as part of the differentiated EU "bubble", Germany is committed to a 21% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2010.
German public sentiment in the last few years has swung strongly in support of nuclear energy. A poll late in 1997 showed that some 81% of Germans wanted existing nuclear plants to continue operating, the highest level for many years and well up from the 1991 figure of 64%. The vast majority of Germans expected nuclear energy to be widely used in the foreseeable future. The poll also showed a sharp drop in sympathy for militant protests against transport of radioactive waste.
In November 1998 Germany's electric utilities issued a joint statement pointing out that achievement of greenhouse goals would not be possible without nuclear energy. A few days later the Federation of German Industries declared that the "politically undisturbed operation" of existing nuclear plants was a prerequisite for its cooperation in reaching greenhouse gas emission targets. Nuclear energy currently avoids the emission of about 170 million tonnes per year of carbon dioxide, compared with 260 Mt/yr being emitted by other German power plants.
But these are practical considerations. The fact that nuclear power is the cleanest and safest power generating technology has never been seriously refuted. The emotional effect, however, is the point of the exercise. Radiation is BAD. Children are in danger. Mean nasty capitalists will profit. Case closed. Who needs so much electricity anyway? We can conserve. Something else will be invented. Don't worry, better technologies already exist, but the bad capitalists have bought the patents and are keeping the technology off the market. When these greedy capitalists have no choice, all will be revealed. Power will flow. Air will be clean. Children will be happy.

The environmental movement today is some sort of an institutional Andy Rooney: All they have to do is complain. Their sole responsibility is to point out dangers. It will ever be someone else's problem to clean up the mess that these destructive policies create. In May the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service pointed out that "the Endangered Species Act is broken", due to the flood of litigation from environmental groups. These groups sue the government over the designation of habitat, even though there is plenty of evidence that this litigation hurts, rather than helps the animals they claim to support:
Faced with mounting numbers of court orders from six years of litigation, the Interior Department’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will soon run out of funds to designate critical habitat for threatened and endangered species, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Craig Manson said today.

More important, the flood of court orders requiring critical habitat designations is undermining endangered species conservation by compromising the Service’s ability to protect new species and to work with states, tribes, landowners and others to recover those already listed under the Act, Manson said.

In July, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will exhaust the funds required to meet its obligations to designate critical habitat under court orders and settlements for FY 2003.
“The Endangered Species Act is broken. This flood of litigation over critical habitat designation is preventing the Fish and Wildlife Service from protecting new species and reducing its ability to recover plants and animals already listed as threatened or endangered,” Manson said. “Imagine an emergency room where lawsuits force the doctors to treat sprained ankles while patients with heart attacks expire in the waiting room and you’ve got a good picture of our endangered species program right now.”
And so it goes. The Global Warming debate threatens to impoverish the developed countries, even as the science becomes more and more equivocal as to whether mankind-induced warming even exists, and there is no consensus that there is anything humans can do to affect global temperatures anyway. The Senate recently convened hearings on the subject, and before the hearings even began the Senators leading the inquiry, McCain and Lieberman, announced that the outcome was not in doubt, and the only reason that they were having the hearings was to decide on exactly what kind of legislation they would create. But then, most congressmen don't even believe that the place is on the level. But one thing is certain: over 90% of senators and congressmen are reelected come election time. And single interest politics trumps the science almost all of the time. As Spock once said: "Cry for the children."

Sunday, November 16, 2003


Almost a month ago I announced that I could not support Bush for reelection. I wrote that no democrat could be worse. I wrote that voting for the least bad candidate, even though I disagreed with the way he was doing his job, was the wrong thing to do. I wrote that Bush was incompetent.

I was wrong.

Since I wrote that post a lot of American troops have died. American helos have crashed. And the reality of slipping approval poll numbers combined with a surging Dean candidacy have brought the concept of a President Dean into better focus. So I reevaluated my position from a fresh blank piece of paper (it's what I call Zero Base Thinking), and the only conclusion that I could make is that, despite his faults, there is no choice but to support G.W.Bush with all of my heart. And there is one single reason that trumps all other considerations: he will never abandon the American nation and people to the will of the enemy.

He, alone among the other candidates for president, knows that we are in a war of survival. He, alone among the candidates, has a strong moral center that can not be swayed by polls. He, alone among the candidates, is a man of his word. He, alone among the candidates, will support Israel no matter what happens. And, most important of all, when he says that we will never abandon the fight, unlike the other candidates, I believe him. And our enemies are coming to believe him as well.

It may be true that he has had some trouble getting his team on the same page that he is on. He has had some trouble managing the rest of his agenda. He has promoted a new and unnecessary entitlement program. He is a big government, protectionist, prohibitionist, deficit raiser. He represents what used to be the platform of the democrat party. But.

We are in a war against an enemy who will not stop trying to destroy us until he is soundly defeated. Such a defeat is something only a president can prosecute and win. The congress can slow or stymie a president who tries to do the wrong thing, but congress can not make the president do the right thing. Congress can not have vision or a coherent plan. President Bush does.

I am not going to shut my eyes, hold my breath and vote for Bush. I shall campaign for Bush. I shall try to get others to vote for him. I have embraced his presidency and will support his vision without reservation.

There is no other choice. He is not the least bad candidate. He is the best candidate. He is the only candidate.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Words Have Meaning

Definitions of words are definite. Words Have Meaning. There is no doubt about it. The problem is, however, that we can not always agree on exactly what the meaning is. We can, however, always understand our own names when called

In my house we have two pre-teen boys running around, and the meaning of words is a source of frequent discussion. Even names can become a subject of heated debate. My youngest, we call Gobo, while my name for my eldest is Bogie. Gobo would rather be referred to as Bogie, while Bogie would prefer Sir. My wife insists that she can never remember which is which, so she calls them by no name at all, and relies on body language to differentiate the boys. Each of my sons has a host of alternative sobriquets for his counterpart. Yet no matter what name we use, we always know to whom we are referring, and we always know when our number is being called. When someone at the opposite end of the house yells out "DADDY!" it can sound an awful lot like "EDDIE!" (another name for Bogie) yet I always know when it is me they want.

Now we are advised that a majority of Europeans believe that it is Israel that is the primary source of instability in the world. We are also advised that it is Zionism that is a festering sore on the body politic, that this is not to say that it is the Jews that stand in the way of world-wide harmony. But we can put all of that on an equal footing with the viability of the purchase of a lottery ticket as a solution to a shortfall in this month's rent: it is not believable. With remarkable clarity, it is now apparent that a preponderance of opinion holds the Jews responsible for many of the world's ills. That an immense number of people agree that "these little people are the root of evil" as the composer of "Zorba the Greek" claims. 36 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote stunningly that
My friend, I do not accuse you of deliberate antisemitism. I know you feel, as I do, a deep love of truth and justice and a revulsion for racism, prejudice, and discrimination. But I know you have been misled--as others have been--into thinking you can be 'anti-Zionist' and yet remain true to these heartfelt principles that you and I share.

Let my words echo in the depths of your soul: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--make no mistake about it."
Yet a major American national political party allows a vicious anti-semite to contend for its presidential nomination, as if it is OK to lobby one's constituency to murder, as long as the intended victim is a Jew. But at least Brother Al doesn't hide behind words like Zionism as the excuse for his hatred. Why do we allow Europe to do so? Zion means Jew. We all know that.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

What Islam is this?

This was supposed to be a restful day. The wife had gone off with my youngest for some event at Sunday school, my eldest was safely asleep for at least the next two hours, and I had just settled into my chair with a cup of java and made the mistake of firing up the Windows box as the radio began a couple of hours of Breakfast with the Beatles. As the greatest ouvre of British music ever created played in the background, my computer screen revealed the most significant event since 9/11/01.

The murderous, death-and-pussy-seeking bastards have attacked, successfully, their own. Not for the first time; not by any means. But this time, everyone has noticed. Every Muslim, at least. At midnight, at the feast of Ramadan, Arab families in Riyadh celebrating Mohammad's sanctity together were deliberately blasted to kingdom come by their "brothers." The timing was deliberately chosen so as to kill and maim the maximum number of women and children, who were all consummating the end of the fast together with their men-folk.

This time even Reuters gets it:
RIYADH (Reuters) - Shocked and angered at an apparent suicide bombing against Muslim families in the midst of the holy month of Ramadan, ordinary Saudis said the bombing on Sunday would destroy any lingering support for Muslim militants.

Bombarded by brutal television and newspaper images of carnage caused by a midnight explosion at the housing compound of Muhaya, on Riyadh's desert outskirts, many were united in condemning the second deadly attack in their capital in six months.

"What Islam is this? They are terrorists," said Hamdan Youssef, a 39-year-old businessman.

The attack came almost six months to the day after May 12 suicide bombings in Riyadh -- which Saudis describe as their own September 11 -- killed 35 people, including nine Americans.
But Sunday's targets were overwhelmingly Arab and Muslim.
Just as on 9/11, in an instant, the world has changed. Muslims everywhere can no longer understand or support the death-craving lunatics, who have finally revealed their true agenda in terms that even a mutilated little girl could understand. No longer just bystanders. No longer any excuses. No person who has read and understood the Koran can accept these tactics: deliberately killing Muslim men women and children is NOT ALLOWED! This is not the work of believers in the teachings of Mohammad. This is the work of power mad fanatics who want something far more pedestrian that the reappearance of the Madhi. They simply want to replace the house of Saud and become the rulers of the oil kingdom. That's how al Jazeera sees it, and until this morning they were fans of bin Laden and his followers.
The deadly bomb attack on a housing complex in Riyadh represents the latest battle between the Saudi Arabian monarchy and its armed opponents in a war to eliminate the other.
So, my restful Sunday is shot. I will be reading, writing, and monitoring the situation for the next few hours, at least. I am interested to see how the Western media perceive this event. They have an almost unbroken string of misperception of events in the Arab world. Our intelligentsia and media seem to feel a commitment to avoid the truth about the war that we have been in for the last decade. But today is big. This is unavoidable. Al Qaida has revealed its new strategy. Since December of 2001, when bin Laden was killed (OK, maybe just horribly wounded, but I don't believe that he's alive) they have seemed to lack focus. But this latest attack is focused like a laser beam. It is temporal, secular power that its current leaders crave. This is great stuff. They want to kill their own. What a break for us. Even if they destroy the House of Saud, and take power in the desert kingdom, their credibility is shot among their own crowd. No Mahdi would violate the Koran in this way. This is not the beginning of a new Caliphate. This is a war for the oil wells and Mecca, between Arabs. I wish both sides the best of luck and good shooting in this next chapter of the war.

Let the Games Begin!

Friday, November 07, 2003

Time to Get Serious About War

The President made a magnificent speech yesterday at the 20th Anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy. It bears reading by all serious Americans. It was followed by an even more magnificent column by Victor Davis Hanson in today's National Review.

Times are critical now. We must either get serious about what we are doing or stop. Being in between doesn't do anyone any good. We are either in a war to save civilization, or we surrender until our enemy either fades away or convinces a bigger majority of us that they are serious. I don't believe that surrender is an option, but warfare is either waged or not; there is no middle ground.

We know precisely the crisis and we know the enemy. The mixture of autocracy, religious intolerance, and feelings of inferiority brought on by globalization has created a lethal brew in all the unfree parts of the Islamic Arab world. Again, our crisis is not really with the majority of Muslims who live under consensual or semi-democratic auspices — in Turkey, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, or India. Instead it is in the Middle East where a minority (encompassing millions) has turned to fundamentalism and hatred of a dominant West to account for the misery incurred by its own economic and political failures. And these belligerents will only quit when they believe it is in their own interest to do so.
Some skeptics of democracy assert that the traditions of Islam are inhospitable to the representative government. This "cultural condescension," as Ronald Reagan termed it, has a long history. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, a so-called Japan expert asserted that democracy in that former empire would "never work." Another observer declared the prospects for democracy in post-Hitler Germany are, and I quote, "most uncertain at best" -- he made that claim in 1957. Seventy-four years ago, The Sunday London Times declared nine-tenths of the population of India to be "illiterates not caring a fig for politics." Yet when Indian democracy was imperiled in the 1970s, the Indian people showed their commitment to liberty in a national referendum that saved their form of government.

Time after time, observers have questioned whether this country, or that people, or this group, are "ready" for democracy -- as if freedom were a prize you win for meeting our own Western standards of progress. In fact, the daily work of democracy itself is the path of progress. It teaches cooperation, the free exchange of ideas, and the peaceful resolution of differences. As men and women are showing, from Bangladesh to Botswana, to Mongolia, it is the practice of democracy that makes a nation ready for democracy, and every nation can start on this path.

It should be clear to all that Islam -- the faith of one-fifth of humanity -- is consistent with democratic rule. Democratic progress is found in many predominantly Muslim countries -- in Turkey and Indonesia, and Senegal and Albania, Niger and Sierra Leone. Muslim men and women are good citizens of India and South Africa, of the nations of Western Europe, and of the United States of America.

More than half of all the Muslims in the world live in freedom under democratically constituted governments. They succeed in democratic societies, not in spite of their faith, but because of it. A religion that demands individual moral accountability, and encourages the encounter of the individual with God, is fully compatible with the rights and responsibilities of self-government.

Yet there's a great challenge today in the Middle East. In the words of a recent report by Arab scholars, the global wave of democracy has -- and I quote -- "barely reached the Arab states." They continue: "This freedom deficit undermines human development and is one of the most painful manifestations of lagging political development." The freedom deficit they describe has terrible consequences, of the people of the Middle East and for the world. In many Middle Eastern countries, poverty is deep and it is spreading, women lack rights and are denied schooling. Whole societies remain stagnant while the world moves ahead. These are not the failures of a culture or a religion. These are the failures of political and economic doctrines.

As the colonial era passed away, the Middle East saw the establishment of many military dictatorships. Some rulers adopted the dogmas of socialism, seized total control of political parties and the media and universities. They allied themselves with the Soviet bloc and with international terrorism. Dictators in Iraq and Syria promised the restoration of national honor, a return to ancient glories. They've left instead a legacy of torture, oppression, misery, and ruin.

Other men, and groups of men, have gained influence in the Middle East and beyond through an ideology of theocratic terror. Behind their language of religion is the ambition for absolute political power. Ruling cabals like the Taliban show their version of religious piety in public whippings of women, ruthless suppression of any difference or dissent, and support for terrorists who arm and train to murder the innocent. The Taliban promised religious purity and national pride. Instead, by systematically destroying a proud and working society, they left behind suffering and starvation.
Just a taste, kiddies. Your assignment for today: read them both. Today

Today's Funny (or not)

I got this in my email from a vet I know. While it's funny, it is sadly all too true as well. See if you can figure out where he served in Nam.

The Differential Theory of US Armed Forces (Snake Model)

Upon encountering a snake in the Area of Operations (AO)...

1. Infantry: Snake smells them, leaves area.

2. Airborne: Lands on and kills the snake.

3. Armor: Drives over snake, laughs, and looks for more snakes.

4. Aviation: Has 12-digit grid coordinates of snake from GPS. FAC gives steer to target. Can't find snake. Returns to base for refuel, crew rest and manicure.

5. Ranger: Plays with snake, then eats it.

6. Field Artillery: Kills snake with massive Time On Target barrage with three Forward Artillery Brigades in support. Kills several hundred civilians as unavoidable collateral damage. Mission is considered a success and all participants (inc. cooks, mechanics and clerks) are awarded Silver Stars.

7. Special Forces: Makes contact with snake, ignores all State Department directives and Theater Commander Rules of Engagement by building rapport with snake and winning its heart and mind. Trains it to kill other snakes. Files enormous claim for travel pay settlement upon return.

8. Combat Engineer: Studies snake. Prepares in-depth doctrinal thesis in obscure 5 series Field Manual about how to defeat snake using countermobility assets. Complains that maneuver forces don't understand how to properly conduct doctrinal counter-snake ops.

9. Navy SEAL: Expends all ammunition and calls for naval gunfire support in failed attempt to kill snake. Snake bites SEAL and retreats to safety. Hollywood makes fantasy film in which SEALS kill myriad extremist snakes.

10. Navy: Fires off 50 cruise missiles from various types of ships, kills snake and makes presentation to Senate Appropriations Committee on how Naval forces are the most cost-effective means of anti-snake force projection.

11. Marine: Kills snake by accident while looking for souvenirs. Local civilians demand removal of all US forces from Area of Operations.

12. Marine Recon: Follows snake, gets lost.

13. Combat Controllers: Guides snake elsewhere.

14. Para-Rescue Jumper: Wounds snake in initial encounter, then works feverishly to save snake's life.

15. Supply: (NOTICE Your anti-snake equipment is backordered.)

16. Transport pilot: Air-drops expired snakebite kits two grid squares away on roof of children's hospital.

17. F-15 pilot: Misidentifies snake as enemy Mi-24 Hind helicopter and engages with missiles. Crew chief paints snake kill on aircraft fuselage.

18. F-16 pilot: Finds snake, drops two CBU-87 cluster bombs, misses snake target, demolishes embassy 4 km east of snake due to weather. Cites inclement weather (Too Hot, Too Cold, Clear but overcast, Too dry with Rain, Unlimited ceiling with low cloud cover etc.) Suggests procurement of million-dollar, air-to-ground anti-snake bomb.

19. AH-64 Apache pilot: Unable to locate snake, cold-blooded snakes don't show well on infrared. Infrared only operable in desert AOs without power lines or SAMs.

20. UH-60 Blackhawk pilot: Finds snake on fourth pass after snake builds bonfire, pops smoke, lays out VS-17 to mark Landing Zone. Rotor wash blows snake into fire.

21. B-52 pilot: Pulls ARCLIGHT mission on snake, kills snake and every other living thing within two miles of target.

22. Missile crew: Lays in target coordinates to snake in 20 seconds, but can't receive authorization from National Command Authority to use weapons.

23. Intelligence officer: Snake? What snake? Only four of 35 indicators of snake activity are currently active. We assess the potential for snake activity as LOW.

24. Judge Advocate General (JAG): Snake declines to bite, citing grounds of professional courtesy.

The Next Phase of the War

Dr George Friedman of Strategic Forcasting Inc. has written a brilliant essay that puts the situation in Iraq in perspective and, I believe, gets it exactly right. I read it about three weeks ago but, what with reality and other silly things, never posted it. But now, with the passage of almost a month since he wrote it, it is even more true and on the mark. Unfortunately, Stratfor's free website doesn't have it anymore. But, thanks to my brilliant research techniques (Google, of course) I found it in Italy, in English, here.

I won't go on or quote extensively from it, because you must read it for yourself, but I can't resist just one tidbit:
We need to recall the two strategic reasons the United States had for invading Iraq -- as opposed to the public justifications:

1. Seizing the most strategic country in the region as a base of operations from which to mount follow-on operations against countries that collaborate or permit collaboration with al Qaeda.

2. Transforming the psychological perception of the United States in the Islamic world from a hated and impotent power to a hated but feared power.

The most significant impact the guerrilla war has had on the United States concerns the second goal. The perception (as opposed to the reality) of the war is that the conventional forces of the occupying power were helpless in the face of the guerrillas. There was certainly truth to that, but only in this sense. The guerrilla movement has remained well below critical mass -- it in no way threatens either the occupation or the operational capabilities of the United States. Total casualties relative to the force are insignificant from a military point of view.
He goes on to identify our real goals and problems and, not surprisingly, doesn't seem to agree one bit with the nine dwarves. RTWT

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Alaska vs. Wolves

Alaska game officials on Tuesday approved the state's first program in more than 15 years to shoot wolves from aircraft. In perusing the coverage (thank you Google News) from the various outlets, a funny thing happens. The Alaska news outlets report a very different story than that portrayed by the establishment media outlets. Let's take a look.

In the Anchorage Daily News the story is reported as non-controversial, while the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner is positively enthusiastic, with both papers pointing out that the local residents need at least 150 Moose to survive, while the burgeoning Wolf populations have made Moose and Caribou populations decline to the point where no more than 90 animals can be harvested any more. At the same time, the stories carried by Newsday and CNN are full of angst about the poor wolves, and the unnecessary meanness of the process of hunting Wolves from the air. They give short or no shrift to the fact that families are going hungry and that the people and government of Alaska find this to be a fair balancing of the equities in this situation.

In Alaska, the debate is over whether private or state employed hunters will cull the Wolves. In fact, if Governor Murkowski would allow state game control officials to do the shooting he would not have needed this (unanimous) ruling by the Alaska Board of Game. But Priscilla Feral, president of the Connecticut-based advocacy group Friends of Animals, has threatened a national boycott of Alaska tourism if this policy is implemented. I am sure that Priscilla has never dined on Moose or Caribou. I am also sure that the death of a Wolf is more important to her than the hunger of an Alaskan family. I'd bet that the only feral beast she's ever consumed is her husband (sorry, couldn't help mysef from using that pun, but she surely has an appropriate name for someone with her job description).

What is it about liberal do-gooders that they feel that they have the right to interfere in other people's business? And how much of it comes from their feeling that they have the power to interfere in the first place? These are the same people who go off to Africa on eco-tours to see the animals. They are not about to boycott Kenya over its bush meat economy. I have never heard them making a fuss over Central and South American's fondness for Monkey and Guinea Pig meat. In Alaska, where Wolves are not endangered and therefore are hunted and trapped for their pelts all the time, the death of 200 more is not very controversial. What is far more important is families that need to find Moose to survive. I have eaten Moose and Caribou and can assure those who haven't that Beef, Sheep, and Pork are far better tasting. No one is shooting these animals for fun. The cost of a tenderfoot hunt in Alaska combined with the latest prices for taxidermy make pleasure hunting for Alaska Moose pretty rare, and not much done in this particular area of the state anyway. We are talking about food for people who have no other choice. So why is Ms. Feral and her buddies so up in arms?

Because they think that they have an issue. Something that they can use to get the great unwashed (that's us) interested in the poor little Wolf cubs that will lose their mothers to the cruel, cruel airplane men. They have already lost the fight over the trappers, so they are going after the pilots who are being empowered to shoot a maximum of 200 Wolves in a very small area of a very big state.

"The Wild" is a very misleading term, since people live almost everywhere. Many of the residents of Alaska are refugees from Connecticut and other "civilized" places. That's part of the problem, of course, since the indigenous population is a protected victim class so beloved of the multi-culti liberals. But Viet Nam veterans who moved to Alaska to live free away from the America that spat on them after they returned from serving their country get no such regard, and they make up a substantial part of the population of this part of Alaska. The coming days will show whether this story has legs. But, with Newsday and CNN pumping the story already, it doesn't look good.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Boom Times Coming

While the democrats and your local paper and broadcast network news shows will not admit it, the economy is heating up. I don't know about you, but my industry, Television, is already in a boom, and many of my neighbors are telling of better margins, and the anticipation of a big Christmas season coming up. All of this is obvious to anyone who looks at the signs. No, the real story is the lack of coverage of the improving economy. As John Berlau reports in the latest Insight article,
Brian Wesbury, chief economist of Griffin, Kubik, Stephens and Thompson, a brokerage firm in Chicago's Sears Tower, says that in the year before Bush took office there were a great many signs the boom had ended, all ignored by the mass media. Now, he says, these same media are ignoring what he calls the new Bush boom. "In 2000, the stock market was down, housing was slowing, manufacturing was slowing, we had declining industrial production, job growth was slowing and you could clearly tell that we were going into a slower-growth period. And yet the media missed it," says Wesbury, who was chief economist for the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) of Congress in the mid-1990s. "What has happened in this past year is that the economy has been accelerating sharply, and yet story after story after story has been about how somehow there is something wrong with the economy, when in fact it's firing on all cylinders and accelerating sharply. ... What we're seeing here is an incredible turnaround."
It seems that no matter what the democrats do, the economy will be undeniably in full boom by the next election. And, judging by the roster of democrat candidates available, they will not be able to put a serious candidate up.

If you saw any of the democrat debates (the latest one was last night) you know what I mean. With these clowns vying for a place to contend against G.W.Bush, It is hard to see what will happen next November. The democrats will pick a clown to run against a fool. It would be funny if it were not tragic. but one thing seems certain: absent an unforseeable tragedy, Bush will have an economic boom as a running mate next year.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Why Bush Must Go

I have been getting a lot of friction from my friends lately, about my abandonment of George W. Bush. "What's so bad about George?" "Doesn't he have a grand vision that you agree with?" "Isn't he the best friend Israel has had in the White House to date?" "Isn't his foreign policy stance a breath of fresh air from the appeasers who preceded him the last dozen years?"

I can't say that I disagree with any of that; it's all true. And then comes the kicker: "If we dump him, who will take his place?" That's the trump card, isn't it? He is certainly light years better than Dean, Clark, Lieberman, or the Clinton crew. But is that enough? Isn't that blackmail? Because, whatever else the man might be, the fact remains: George W. Bush is incompetent. Great vision is nothing if a man can't realize it. Great policy ideas mean nothing if a man can't stand up to his subordinates. Each cabinet secretary seems to have his own kingdom, accountable to no one. Israel is no better off today than she was under Carter or Clinton or any of the others who would just as soon have had the Jewish State disappear. Colin Powell has more to say about that than his boss does, even though Bush waxes eloquent about the need to protect the Jewish homeland, and her right to defend herself against terrorists like Arafat. Yet Powell defends Arafat. John Ashcroft has less respect for the constitution than Bush has in his little finger. Yet no man in Washington has better job security, or less oversight, than John Ashcroft.

G.W.Bush's Justice Department is pursuing a major initiative to imprison Physicians who prescribe large doses of narcotic pain killers. Ashcroft and his DEA decide how large is too large, the AMA and other physician groups be damned. Is this compassionate conservatism? Bush's EPA is committed to reductions in CO2 emissions, irrespective of the boss's expressed wishes and a 95 to 0 vote of the Senate that the science of climate change in inconclusive. Bush's State Department is so deep into Saudi Arabia's pocket that I half expect Colin Powell to start wearing a djellabba and turban. Bush's Homeland Security Department is about to imprison a college kid who was just trying to point out some of the weaknesses in our defenses, and it has done everything in its power to make it impossible for a pilot to carry a gun regardless of the expressed desire of Bush or the vast majority of the American people to arm our pilots. In the armed forces, Muslim Chaplains were found participating in treasonous activity, so every Presbyterian and Jewish chaplain is about to undergo a fresh security check. Worst of all, we may be about to lose the peace in Iraq. All of these things can be remedied by the stroke of Bush's pen. But he does not have whatever it takes to rein in his subordinates. There is no better example of incompetence in an executive than out-of-control subordinates.

George W. Bush must go. No democrat could be worse. At least a democrat would have the nation's best political thinkers and pundits in opposition, as well as a hostile Congress. Bush must go.


- I have retracted this post and have posted, an eloquent, if I may say so myself, and heartfelt endorsement of Bush. Changing my mind is one of the things that is so great about Zero Base Thinking. Today's opinion is not swayed by a need to stay the course, when the course is wrong.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Jews Rule The World?

Yesterday, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad claimed just that, saying "Jews rule the world by proxy" and exhorted the world's 1.3 million Muslims to unite for a "final victory." This is not the first time that the outspoken Prime Minister of the world's largest Muslim nation has said such a thing, but this time he said it in front of the year's largest and most prestigious assemblage of Islamic political leaders, plus Russian President Vladimir Putin and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo attended as special observers because of their large Muslim minorities.

And these words were well received! No less a light than the Foreign Minister of Egypt, one of our putative allies in the Arab world said " "I think it was a shrewd and very deep assessment of the situation. I think he elaborated a program of action that is wide and very important. I hope the Islamic countries will be able to follow this very important road map." Shrewd and very deep to blame all of their problems on the Jews. This echo of Hitler has not yey attracted the attention of the western media, for some reason that is clear only to them. As far as I am concerned, this should be the leading headline in America's papers today. We must know our enemy. Hiding from the truth will not make it go away. Allowing such a blood libel to resonate can do no good for anyone in Christendom.

So what happened yesterday? Palestinian terrorists attacked and killed American diplomatic personnel, and the leader of the world's largest Islamic democracy blamed all of their problems on the Jews, and America's leaders and major media outlets keep quiet about it. This bodes ill for our continuing war against those who would bury us. While President Bush released a statement on the bombing, major networks and Papers either buried the story of skipped carrying it altogether, and Mahathir's statement was hardly carried at all.

Even Mohammad Karzai, who knows that he needs America desperately, issued kind words in response to Mahathir's speech. He must think that he is on firm ground; after all, who gives a shit about the Jews? We shall see, but it is clear that Kobe Bryant is more important than the impending murder of another six million. I am reminded of the joke about the two Jews in Israel, where one asks the other why he reads the Arab newspaper. He replies that the Israeli press makes everything look bad, while in the Arab press he can read about how "the Jews rule the world, and are in control of everything, the media, the government, the banks; everything.

I wish!

We Are Not In Kansas Anymore

At 0930 on 1 Oct 2003, the Honorable John McCain of Arizona opened a committee hearing of the U.S. Senate on The Case for Climate Change Action. He began by stating "there is broad scientific consensus that global warming is occurring, that human activity is causing it [via greenhouse gas emissions], and that its consequences are extremely serious." Declaring that "no excuse for inaction on this issue is acceptable," he went on to say that he and Senator Joseph Lieberman "believe that a market-based approach, combined with mandatory caps and federal oversight, offers the best way for the nation to respond to a growing global environmental threat." Hence, he reported they were calling for "a mandatory carbon dioxide reduction program."

It would really be funny if it were not tragic. Just as the scientific community is coming around to the conclusion that action by humans is NOT indicated at this time, the political clowns decide that therefore their hearings must exclude anyone who is skeptical of their political plans. So they invite religious leaders to tell them what Jesus would do. McCain and Lieberman, two failed candidates for the highest office in the land, standing behind the curtain, pulling the levers, trying to scare everyone. What a sad tableau to behold. Thankfully this sideshow got next to no press. Read the rest if you have the strength.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Rush and Drugs -- the Conservative Dilemma

Guest Post by Steve Dasbach

Conservative icon Rush Limbaugh has confirmed the rumors - he's addicted to prescription pain medication. It's obvious that he has roken our nation's drug laws. Which poses an interesting dilemma for his fellow conservatives.

According to Rush and other conservative drug warriors, "drug users ought to be convicted and sent up" as Rush himself put it. Sent up, as in sent to prison.

So here's the conservative dilemma. Should Rush, a self-admitted "drug user" be "convicted and sent up?"

If they say yes, they're advocating silencing the most powerful and influential conservative voice in America -- imprisoning a man they admire and respect. If they say no, they're contradicting everything they've claimed for years about the need to fight the War on Drugs with stiff criminal penalties, including jail time, for drug users.

Do conservatives think that society will be better off if their friend and idol Rush serves a long stretch behind bars as "punishment" for his drug use? Or that a long prison term will somehow "rehabilitate" him? If not, then why would they advocate such treatment for the sons and daughters and friends of ordinary Americans?

Conservatives argue that stiff criminal penalties, including jail time, are necessary to deter drug use. But such penalties failed to deter Rush, a strong willed individual who preaches self-reliance, responsibility, and the importance of the rule of law for three hours every day. If draconian drug laws and mandatory minimum sentences didn't deter him, how likely are they to deter lesser mortals?

One presumes that conservatives embrace the ideals expressed in the Pledge of Allegiance, including "justice for all". That means the same laws are supposed to apply to everyone, whether it's a wealthy celebrity like Rush or a faceless inner-city man mired in poverty. In fact, Rush himself has advocated jail time for athletes and Hollywood celebrities who use drugs.

So if conservatives still believe that drug users should be sent to prison, doesn't that mean that Rush should be imprisoned too?

Some conservatives seem to be having problems coming to grips with this dilemma. When the bombastic Ann Coulter was repeatedly asked if she thought Rush should be sent to prison, the best she could come up with a lame comment that if her mother committed murder, she wouldn't want her sent to prison. Sorry, but that really isn't an answer.

Another prominent conservative focused on the fact that Rush got hooked on legal drugs, conveniently ignoring the fact that he bought them illegally, and that the drug laws conservatives support make no such distinctions. As far as the law is concerned, Rush is no different than the person who buys marijuana, cocaine, or heroin.

So how will conservatives resolve this dilemma? Some will probably decide to sacrifice Rush on the altar of principle. Others will demonstrate by their actions that they are simply hypocrites. They'll support Rush in his time of need while continuing to advocate prison for other drug users.

But perhaps, just perhaps, Rush's addiction will be the catalyst that prompts fair-minded conservatives to reevaluate their unquestioning support for the War on Drugs. Perhaps they'll decide that if it makes sense to let Rush decide for himself how to deal with his drug problem, perhaps it makes sense to let other drug users make their own decisions as well.

This isn't an abstract issue for me. As the father of four nearly grown children, I've had to face the challenges posed by tobacco, alcohol, and drug availability that all parents must confront. Of all the fears associated with confronting these issues, my greatest fear has always been the one Rush's friends are confronting now - the possibility that someone I care for will make a bad choice and have their lives destroyed by the criminal justice system that is supposed to protect us.

Nothing will be gained by sending Rush to prison. Nothing is gained by imprisoning other less-famous drug users either. If Rush's fellow conservatives resolve their dilemma with compassion, perhaps we can all agree to stop treating drug use as a crime and stop wasting lives. And we can continue to enjoy "Excellence in Broadcasting" for many years to come.


Steve Dasbach was National Chairman of the Libertarian party, 1993-1998 and National Director of the Libertarian Party, 2000-2002.

Democrat Conundrum

Peter Beinart of The New Republic has skewered the democrat conundrum: how can the democrat party aspire to the White House without convincing the American electorate that they are serious about, and have a plan for, international geopolitics in the world of American military dominance. As he puts it in hisTNR column on the subject:
Yet, now, with the Bush administration finally recognizing that defeating terrorism requires making sure Iraqis have electricity and clean water, the Democratic presidential candidates are looking for any excuse to avoid saying yes. Pandering to public isolationism may make short-term political sense, but, in the long-term, it will simply confirm what many Americans already believe: that you can dress up the Democratic Party in whatever uniform you want, it still doesn't have a strategy for the defining challenge of our time.
He shows the vacuousness of the positions of the democrat candidates for the White House, whether Kerry, Clark, or Dean, and points out the obvious contradictions between what they are saying and what a leader of this nation will have to do. Kudos to Peter for pointing out the obvious.

We seem to be seeing a raft of democrats who are willing to concede some obvious truths lately. Can these few comments coalesce into a plan that will unseat Bush and Co? We shall see, as the campaign unfolds in the next 13 months.

Monday, October 13, 2003

How Hip-Hop Holds Blacks Back

At least some elements of the Black community are beginning to come out of the closet about the effect of rap music on the behavior of it's youth, or at least some elements therein, as this piece by John H. McWhorter in the City Journal shows so elegantly. This is not written by one of the right-leaning voices from that community, nor from a right-leaning publication. It therefore bears more than a cursory look. Far be it for me to dissect the work; as a conservative libertarian Jew, I have no standing. But as McWhorter says:
Sadly, some black leaders just don’t seem to care what lesson rap conveys. Consider Savannah’s black high schools, which hosted the local rapper Camoflauge as a guest speaker several times before his murder earlier this year. Here’s a representative lyric:

Gimme tha keys to tha car, I’m ready for war.
When we ride on these niggas smoke that ass like a ’gar.
Hit your block with a Glock, clear the set with a Tech . . . .
You think I’m jokin, see if you laughing when tha pistol be smokin—
Leave you head split wide open
And you bones get broken. . . .

More than a few of the Concerned Black People inviting this “artist” to speak to the impressionable youth of Savannah would presumably be the first to cry out about “how whites portray blacks in the media.”
But McWhorter does not blame the whites. He's speaking within his own community.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

WaPo Stumbles Upon the Truth

In these days when our political discourse has become so coarse, and the truth is so hard to find, it is a pleasure when we can see anything that suggests a trend in the opposite direction. Friday we noted that Alan Colmes, a professional liberal. supported the truth about Rush Limbaugh in the McNabb Afair. And now we find the Washington Post telling the truth about the report from David Kay:
Mr. Kay's report contains powerful evidence that significant illegal weapons programs were not discovered by U.N. inspectors and that Saddam Hussein was aggressively violating U.N. Resolution 1441, which offered him "a final opportunity" to voluntarily disarm. The report says the team "discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002." These include "a clandestine network of laboratories" suitable for producing biological weapons; a prison laboratory that may have been used to test biological agents on humans; and strains of biological organisms concealed in a scientist's home. Most remarkable are multiple and extensive Iraqi programs for producing banned long-range ballistic missiles, one of which continued even while the inspectors were in Iraq.

The unclassified piece of Mr. Kay's report supports his conclusion that Saddam Hussein never abandoned his intention to produce biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and would have manufactured such weapons as soon as inspectors departed -- or, in the case of some weapons, even while they were in Iraq. It is also possible that some stocks of chemical weapons remain: In an interview on PBS's "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," Mr. Kay said that "general officers" of the Republican Guard told his group that "their units were readied" to use chemicals against U.S. troops during the war, though the munitions have not been found.

For opponents of the war, Mr. Kay's report ought to raise the question of how the illegal and dangerous activity he has uncovered would have been stopped without military intervention, given Iraq's success in concealing it from inspectors.
Albeit this is from an editorial, and many news items from the WaPo persist in spreading leftie propaganda, but we feel that zero base thinkers must recognize even baby steps toward truth telling in the mainstream media. The onslaught of lies that began even before the Kay report was released, claiming that Kay had found nothing, has been overwhelming. Indeed, most people that I have discussed this with to date have the impression that nothing is all that Kay has actually found. The editorial board here at Zero Base Thinking applaud these efforts that some elements of the left are making toward reclaiming their place as honest arbiters of the truth.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Colmes Gets Something Right

Alan Colmes, of Fox News Channel's Hannity and Colmes Show, makes his living holding up the left end of this tabloid television news commentary/debate show, and usually can be relied upon to represent the views of the left wing of the Democrat party. Tonight he deviated from the leftie script, by defending something that Rush Limbaugh said.

Rush has come under withering leftie fire for what should be an uncontroversial statement. He had accused the mainstream media of exaggerating the prowess of an NFL quaterback due to his status as an African/American. Lets review exactly what Rush said:
"I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well," Hush said during ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" show in reference to Eagles QB Donovan McNabb. "There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."
Limbaugh, as an expert spectator of Football and the NFL, thought that most football fans would agree with him. He has said as much. He claims to have thought long and hard before he made these remarks, but the politically correct left has granted him absolutely no license, and have gone after him hammer and tongs. As a result he resigned his position with ESPN's Countdown show.

Leslie Marshall was the guest on the Hannity and Colmes Show designated to go after Rush on this issue, and a more empty-headed leftie they could not have found. After repeating the drivel that should be expected of anyone of her ilk, Alan Colmes came to Rush's rescue! We can credit Sean Hannity's absence for some of Colmes's boldness, but Alan must get some credit for stating the obvious, especially since it goes against his leftie roots. He said that what Rush said was not racist, but merely accused the media of a sort of "reverse" racism. In the face of such obvious truth, Ms. Marshall stuck to her guns, and accused Rush of a towering insesnitivity, and claimed the "if even ONE PERSON was offended, then Rush should have been fired." This statement ignores the fact that Rush resigned, but she should be forgiven since, as a leftist, resignation is something that one should never do, merely to stem the embarrassment of one's employers.

But Alan Colmes acted like a mensch tonight. He said the necessary things, even though his constituency is taking this incident as nothing morenor less than an excuse to rail against Rush Limbaugh, a figure that they would like to bring low, however they can. It is possible that that is exactly why ESPN hired him in the first place, much like MSNBC hired and fired Michael Savage (but I have no inside information that this is what happened here, like the inside dope I had on MSNBC). Yet, what else did ESPN think was going to happen? They are the ones who hired Rush Limbaugh in the first place. He is a controversial figure, who makes his living saying controversial things. They got exactly what everyone should have expected, and kudos to Alan Colmes for calling it as he saw it.

Kyoto Dead, Chirac Throws Fit

This past week at the World Climate Change Conference in Moscow, Russia's leaders have cast doubt on the chances that Russia will ever ratify the Kyoto Agreement. The response from France has been typically French: Chirac is stamping his feet, threatening Russia...
French President Jacques Chirac on Monday joined calls for Russia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, saying future relations between the European Union and the Russian Federation depended on it.

Chirac made the plea in a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who backed away on Monday from an earlier pledge to swiftly ratify the U.N. pact on global warming, a step necessary to bring the agreement into force worldwide. Ratifying the pact "would underline Russia's determination to accept all the responsibilities of a large modern country towards future generations," Chirac said...

"I therefore see in it an essential element to the constitution of the common economic area we decided to create in St Petersburg," Chirac said, referring to plans for a common European economic space.
France and Germany like the Kyoto protocols because they are the two industrialized countries that would have the easiest time complying with them. But with nations that account for over two thirds of global greenhouse gas enissions not affected by the pact, Russia's stance is the only sensible position for them to take. Now almost three quarters of the world's emission emitters are out of the pact. How amusing that it may be for the wrong reasons, but at least the world has made the right decision.

Much Ado About Nothing

It's truly amazing how much attention has been lavished on the controversy over the outing of the CIA operative, Valerie Plame. If ever a story needed some Zero Base Thinking, it is this one. There is so much noise here, and almost no substance at all.

The law, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, was enacted in 1982 and was designed to protect the identities of covert U.S. agents. It was a response to an organized campaign led by former CIA agent Philip Agee to identify CIA and other U.S. covert agents around the world. The law calls for a finding that the CIA employee not only be a "covert operative" but also to have been operating out of the country within the last five years. According to Robert Novak, the columnist who started this mess: "Valerie Plame was an analyst, not a spy, not a covert operator, and not in charge of undercover operatives." So far as I can glean from public sources, Ms. Plame has not been out of the country for the last six years.

Those enemies of the Bush administration who are trying to use this brouhaha to cast aspersions are ignoring these facts. Rather than investigating the truth of her status as a covert operative, they are concentrating on the "leak." It is a sad state of affairs that this nation is in, that the news media are pushing this anti-Bush propaganda as if it was a serious story. It is not. Just as with their behavior in covering the global warming phenomenon, the media can't report the truth and still pursue their agenda. So they report on the Emperor's new clothes, while those with the eyes to see realize that the clothes are not new, there are not any clothes at all.