This comic reminds me of the ill-read little twit who tried to claim that Tolkien ripped off the Shannara series in a bookstore SF/Fantasy section.
He was given a round of Zen Enlightenment slaps until a clue penatrated his thick skull.
HT to Ace
Monday, October 31, 2005
This comic reminds me of the ill-read little twit who tried to claim that Tolkien ripped off the Shannara series in a bookstore SF/Fantasy section.
Sometimes Chris Rock nails it. By way of Rob at Say Anything
The messed up thing about taxes is you don’t ‘pay’ taxes. The government TAKES them. You get your check and money is GONE! It was not an option! That ain’t a payment, that’s a JACK! I been TAX JACKED!…[The] worst part about it, we pay taxes for [stuff] we don’t even use….Why are black people paying Social Security? I won’t get the money till I’m 65….Meanwhile, the average black man dies at 54. Hypertension, high blood pressure, police….I used to work at McDonald’s making minimum wage….I would get $200 a week and they would take out $50 in taxes. That’s a lot of money if you only making $200….What do you get with that $50? All the free street light in the world. As far as I am concerned, give everybody a candle. Just give me back my $50.
– Chris Rock
Mr. Rock should take a look at the Fair Tax.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
I've been listening to the reactions of Fitzgerald's indictments and the various pundits are starting repeat themselves.
Let's review some details.
- This investigation has been going on for two years, without the White House or operatives of the White House, "declaring war" on Fiztgerald.
- Rove walked alway clean.
- "Scooter" was charged with 1 count of obstruction of justice, 2 counts of making false statements to FBI Special Agents and 2 counts of perjury to a federal grand jury.
The five charges against Mr. Libby are all for actions that took place after the investigation started.
So...No charges that a "covert" agent was exposed and no charges of mishandling of classified material.
Jay Tea has a good summary:
1) From what I've heard so far, Libby is being indicted for lying about how he told the truth about a liar.
2) Apparently, the strongest evidence against Libby is the contradictions between he told investigators and his own notes taken at the time, notes that he provided the investigators. So, in essence, he "hung himself out to dry" by telling a different story from what he had documented, then turned in.
3) None of the things that Libby has been indicted for occurred before the start of the investigation. In other words, as of right now there was apparently no crime committed in the actions that triggered the investigation.
4) It looks right now like Libby was guilty of being either stupid, arrogant, or both. There was nothing criminal that needed covering up, but still he managed to obfuscate and obstruct enough about nothing to get his own ass in a sling
Let's not forget Judith Miller, who has already spent time in jail over this case, didn't publish anything about Plame, and is being attacked by her own paper.
Update: JunkYardBlog takes a serious look at the timing of fake Niger-Iraq documents that Joe Wilson based his report on.
Friday, October 28, 2005
"History doesn't always repeat itself. Sometimes it just screams, 'Why don't you listen to me?' and lets fly with a big stick." --John W. Campbell Jr.
"The future is already here, it just isn't evenly distributed." -- William Gibson
SNAFU, TARFU & FUBAR...The three sons of Murphy...
"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion." --Norman Schwartzkopf
"Coffee falls into the stomach ... ideas begin to move, things remembered arrive at full gallop ... the shafts of wit start up like sharp-shooters, similies arise, the paper is covered with ink ..." -- Honore de Balzac
"This is typical retrograde, low-tech, Chevy Impala-type thinking. We non-linear, postindustrial children of the Information Age, however, know that the important thing is the Big Picture." - Cecil Adams, The Straight Dope
English doesn't "pick up" loan words, it consciously stalks them.
Some people like a insanity in their daily routine...I'd like a little routine in my daily insanity.
The girl who remembers her first kiss now has a daughter who can't even remember her first husband.
"A millions years of evolution have produced that wonderful killing machine known as Man. Adrenalin, hormones, tunnel vision, tachypsychia--all these are part of the tools God designed into us. What's wrong with being a weapon? So something is made to kill; so are we." -- Robert A. Uhl
"The truth is rarely pure, and never simple" - Oscar Wilde
Thursday, October 27, 2005
The violent jihad movement of Islam is similar to, or even worse than, Nazism, and that for the West not to oppose it will lead to consequences worse than Nazi Germany.
Preferential treatment was given to companies from France, Russia and China, the report says, all permanent members of the Security Council, who were more favorable to lifting the 1990 sanctions than the America and Britain.
The independent inquiry committee, which began its work in 2004, said in an earlier report that the program became deeply corrupted as Saddam arranged for surcharges and kickbacks while an overwhelmed UN headquarters failed to exert administrative control over the program.
HT to Mr. Reynolds
Just a reminder to those interested in such things, the modern "Shaolin Temple" in China was rebuilt, and is owned and operated by the Communist Chinese government. The buildings were in ruins just a couple of decades ago.
It is a good way for the Communist Chinese government to gather in hard western currency by the barrel full from tourists.
Jay Tea has the story on illegal aliens marching on the Boston State House, demanding the rights of legal citizens of the Commonwealth.
The real story is why wasn't INS at the rally with a convoy of paddy wagons and a big stack of deportation forms.
"The 2,000 service members killed in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone. It is an artificial mark on the wall set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives."
-- U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boylan
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
The Independent publishes the following:
George Galloway, the British MP, was last night accused of lying by a US Congressional committee when he testified earlier this year that he had not received any United Nation food-for-oil allocations from the deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
In a report issued here, Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman and his colleagues on the Senate Subcommittee for Investigations claim to have evidence showing that Mr Galloway's political organisation and his wife received vouchers worth almost $600,000 (£338,000) from the then Iraqi government.
Not only has former Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz testified to paying off Galloway, the Senate Subcommittee has wire transfers recorded by both Citibank and the Arab Bank showing payoffs to Galloway.
HT to the Confederate Yankee
Update: Galloway, Terror's Lord Haw-Haw.
By way of Lesile Bates, comes the views of actor Bruce Campbell on the actual problems with Hollywood and the Movie Industry.
"Why is this happening? I think they have been creatively bankrupt."
"I love how they try to explain it: 'Oh, it's piracy issues. Piracy, that's the problem.'
But it's like, 'Well, your movies stink.' I avoid every movie between May and the end of August."
Les also points us to the way cool Cynthia Rothrock Demo Reel.
More than 64 percent of voters favored keeping arms sales legal, the electoral court said with 75 percent of the expected 122 million votes counted.
Only 35 percent supported the ban even though some 36,000 people were killed by guns last year in Latin America's largest country, where bloodshed and violence are a daily concern for many citizens. [Yeah, it's a Reuters story, so you have to expect asides like that.] Full results were expected by midnight (0200 GMT).
"We didn't lose because Brazilians like guns. We lost because people don't have confidence in the government or the police," said Denis Mizne of anti-violence group Sou da Paz.
An instapundit reader in Brazil tells the story from the local viewpoint:
Hi Glenn, I live in Brazil and believe me, you don't know the half of it. The level of propaganda from the pro-ban side, which included the current government, the Church, the Globo television network (think CBS, ABC and NBC combined) and the arts/intelligentsia crowd was beyond the pale and clearly directed at the less fortunate. In other words, it was presented as a class vote. The margin of victory indicates that Brazilians of all classes voted against this ridiculous referendum. It is a sure sign of the steady but certain maturing of democracy in this country.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Hillary Clinton is seems is the answer. She returned a campaign donation from one of her husbands strongest supporters.
Flynt, a lifelong Democrat and 1st Amendment advocate, says that he is "used to this kind of hypocrisy."
HT to Rob.
"There are long knives out for Judy Miller at the New York Times." -- Juan Williams, Liberal NPR correspondent, Fox News Sunday 10/23/05.
HT to Dan C. for spotting my spelling error [now corrected], and suggesting another incorrect spelling to replace it.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Glenn Reynolds has a good round up on Syrian and Lebanese officials involvment in the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the roll of very senior UN officials in the investigation. Read the whole thing, and keep in mind Mr. Reynold's wrapup question.
Are there any tyrants Annan won't cover for?
Update: Dr. Reo Symes has details on the UN covering up the truth.
Friday, October 21, 2005
Gateway Pundit reminds us that convictions on voter fraud are still being handed down.
The St. Louis area has seen 16 Democrat election workers convicted of voter fraud or similar charges this past year. This past week an obstruction of justice and plotting to murder a government voter fraud witness can be added to that list of Democrat convictions:
Let's review the felony crimes committed by Senator Schumer's dirty tricks team.
It's time for Senator Schumer to come clean.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee staffers who admitted to illegally obtaining the credit report of Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele in July 2005.
The two members of Senator Schumer's Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee used Mr. Steele's Social Security number to obtain his credit records, reportedly seeking evidence of damaging debts. The first black elected to statewide office in Maryland, Mr. Steele is set to announce his candidacy next week for the Senate seat being vacated by Paul Sarbanes in 2006.
The two criminals in question dmitted to illegally obtaining the credit report of Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele in July 2005.
The incident, first reported Sept. 20 by the Associated Press, has lead to felony investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney in Washington.
Other than characterizing it as an "isolated incident," Schumer has refused all comment (and requests for documentation) related to the incident.
What is Senator Schumer hiding?
What did he know and when did he know it?
This has all gotten a bit labyrthine, but long story short, Tim Russert's denial about telling Libby about Plame is a narrow one with some wiggle room, and Libby continues insisting he heard this from Russert.
So... why would Russert make the public semi-denial? Because he wouldn't want to be accused of helping the Bush Administration.
'Course, to get information, sometimes reporters have to offer some first, and everyone in DC gossips and speculates about politics.
I don't know. I'm having a hard time seeing what Fitzgerald could prove with regard to the underlying matter. Let's say Russert says he didn't tell Libby and Libby says he did. It's he said, he said. How can you prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt?
Go read the whole thing and don't forget the comments.
Here are are some comment highlights:
Is it just me, or is this the most boring fucking whdunit ever? I mean, when all is said and done, who the fuck cares? Imagine you're the scriptwriter trying to turn this snoozer into a television treatment -- where's the action, the glitz, the conflict? All you have are a bunch of flabby uninteresting politicos and journalists calling each other names and denying everything while blaming other people for the whole mess.
Add to that the fact that it's not even clear a crime was committed at all, and I'm left wondering why this complete zero of a nothing is still hitting headlines.
Watergate had a break-in. Iran-Contra had guns, terrorists and insurgents. Lewinsky had blowjobs, and *everybody* loves blowjobs.
This? This has negative interest to anyone but inside baseball pukes, and masturbating KosKids.
Thing is, even if Libby and/or Rove did all the things that the NYT/KosKids/AP et al think that they did, it STILL doesn't mean a that a crime was committed under the statutue designed to proctect agents. An essential element of that crime is Plame's status as of the time of the leak and I have yet to read anything that clearly disposes of that question.
Update: Arianna Stalking Russert, JustOneMinute has a roundup.
Update 10/23/05: Tim Russert dedicated a large portion of his show today to the Plame Game without once mentioning his time testifing before the Grand Jury on this case.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Guns are dangerous. But myths are dangerous, too. Myths about guns are very dangerous, because they lead to bad laws. And bad laws kill people.
"Don't tell me this bill will not make a difference," said President Clinton, who signed the Brady Bill into law.
Sorry. Even the federal government can't say it has made a difference. The Centers for Disease Control did an extensive review of various types of gun control: waiting periods, registration and licensing, and bans on certain firearms. It found that the idea that gun control laws have reduced violent crime is simply a myth.
I wanted to know why the laws weren't working, so I asked the experts. "I'm not going in the store to buy no gun," said one maximum-security inmate in New Jersey. "So, I could care less if they had a background check or not."
It's not a new observation:
"Gun Control? It's the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I'm a bad guy, I'm always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You pull the trigger with a lock on, and I'll pull the trigger. We'll see who wins." -- Sammy "The Bull" Gravano,VANITY FAIR 9/99 page 165
The United States and its allies should threaten to cut the budget of the United Nations if it fails to end corruption and adopt badly needed reforms, the man who led the probe into the U.N. oil-for-food scandal said yesterday.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that he opposed a unilateral U.S. withholding of U.N. dues, but that a "de facto alliance" of nations demanding reform could cut through the world body's "culture of inaction."
The message, he said, should be: "Look, if the organization isn't ready to reform itself, that has budgetary implications."
The Iraq oil-for-food program has proven to be the biggest financial scandal in U.N. history, tarnishing the reputation of Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other top U.N. officials and fueling calls for a complete overhaul of the body's internal oversight and personnel practices.
Jacob Weisberg writes Slate:
"Hold the schadenfreude, blue-staters. Rooting for Rove's indictment in this case isn't just unseemly, it's unthinking and ultimately self-destructive. Anyone who cares about civil liberties, freedom of information, or even just fair play should have been skeptical about Fitzgerald's investigation from the start. Claiming a few conservative scalps might be satisfying, but they'll come at a cost to principles liberals hold dear: the press's right to find out, the government's ability to disclose, and the public's right to know."
HT to the Washington Times Inside Politics column
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
The new Corvette Z06 offers an experience notably missing from standard versions of the outstanding Chevrolet sports car.
The Corvette Z06's 7-liter 505-horsepower engine sounds like lots of small things exploding. Find a short highway on-ramp, stomp on the gas, and the explosions start coming faster and faster, turning into a roar.
Beyond about 3,500 RPM, the Z06's second set of exhaust pipes opens up. Those extra pipes don't have much muffler in them, you see, so as not to use up too much power pushing out the exhaust gases. The car's throat is wide open.
You stay in first gear -- the Z06 handles zero-to-sixty in as little as 3.7 seconds in this gear alone -- and the sound gets louder until there's an Alaskan brown bear riding shotgun and, man, he is really ticked.
It continues on from there...go read the whole thing and it's ok to laugh...
Glenn Reynolds writes about a NPR story that says firearm ownership after Hurricane Katrina is up, both by law abiding citizens and law enforcement.
He posts an email from instapundit reader Sean Malloy reaction to another NPR story from years back:
In 1999 or so, NPR ran a story about an armed gang of about 30 men in Bosnia rounding up all the military-aged men/boys in a village and executing them in their village square. About 300 were killed.
The thought "it would take a whole lot more than 30 men to kill 300 villagers in an armed society" occurred to me, and I joined the NRA that evening.
NPR execs would have puppies if they knew.
Like Mr. Reynolds, I like puppies.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
By way of milblogger Ron Long comes the story of another boots on the ground view of the President's meeting with US troops serving in Iraq:
A Chattanooga soldier now in Iraq with the 278th Regimental Combat Team said soldiers used their own words during comments made last week in a satellite discussion with President Bush.
"We wanted to give President Bush a no-kidding assessment of what we have all been working 14- (to) 18-hour days on for the last 11 months," said Lt. Gregg Murphy, of Chattanooga. "We gave him the God’s honest truth as we know it."
The dialogue was among President Bush and 10 U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq last Thursday on the eve of Iraq’s constitutional referendum. Media outlets have called the event staged because the solders went through a rehearsal before talking live with President Bush.
"Staged infers that we were given scripts and that we followed those scripts," Lt. Murphy wrote in an e-mail to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "This is not true. None of the members on the panel used any words that were not their own."
Lt. Murphy said he was chosen to travel to Tikrit, Iraq, for the interview because he had spent the last three months leading an Iraqi army training program at a 278th base near the Iranian border. He said the soldiers got together before the interview and discussed what they wanted to say.
"We shared our different experiences of working with the Iraqi army," he said. "We started brainstorming about what questions the president was sure to ask." Lt. Murphy said White House officials later told the soldiers President Bush wanted to talk about the referendum and the Iraqi security force’s role in Saturday’s vote on a proposed Iraqi constitution.
"They continuously told us that the president wanted us to explain the situation in our own words in a way that the American public could understand," Lt. Murphy said.
Chattanooga attorney Robin Flores served alongside Lt. Murphy when the two were members of another National Guard unit. "I'm a staunch Democrat, but if Gregg Murphy tells you it was his own words, then it was his own words," Mr. Flores said. "His word is as good as gold."
Lt. Murphy said time was limited for the interview, so the soldiers selected a mediator and organized who would field each question. He said the only guidance the solders received was to avoid using military jargon that would confuse the general public and to write out bullet points to keep their comments concise and clear. Lt. Murphy said writing out key points kept the soldiers from being nervous.
HT to Ms. Malkin
From todays Washington Times Inside Politics Column
Prosecutors in Travis County, Texas, acknowledged Friday that they lack physical proof of a list of Republican candidates that is at the heart of money-laundering indictments against Rep. Tom DeLay and two of his associates, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The list is key to prosecutors' case that corporate money that could not be spent legally on Texas candidates was specifically exchanged at the national level for donations that legally could be spent on Republican candidates for the Texas House, reporter R.G. Ratcliffe said.
Indictments against Mr. DeLay, Jim Ellis and John Colyandro state that Mr. Ellis gave "a document that contained the names of several candidates for the Texas House" to a Republican National Committee official in 2002 in a scheme to swap $190,000 in restricted corporate money for the same amount of money from individual donors that could be legally used by Texas candidates.
But prosecutors said Friday in court that they had only a "similar" list and not the one supposedly received by then-RNC Deputy Director Terry Nelson. Late in the day, they released a list of 17 Republican candidates, but only seven are said to have received money in the scheme.
Hmmm...it seems for democrat prosecutors, actual evidence is optional.
The successful referendum [in Iraq] underscores just how impotent al Qaeda has become since the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Four years ago, al Qaeda was able to launch a coordinated attack that killed 3,000 people in the United States. Now, al Qaeda has proven unable to oppose the United States after American troops have liberated two countries in al Qaeda’s backyard. These singular failures belie the claims of a quagmire coming from the mainstream media and critics of the Administration. Al Qaeda has been rejected by the people of Afghanistan and Iraq.
The American strategy of bringing democracy to Iraq is succeeding. So are the tactics that are being used to implement it. While the results are unknown, just the fact that the elections were held and were mostly violence-free is a victory in and of itself. The fact remains that the United States is achieving its objectives, while al Qaeda is not – al Qaeda is even failing to prevent the American objectives from being met. By any objective standard, al Qaeda is losing the war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. The only places they seem to be winning are in a number of newsrooms in the United States, and in Spain, where a series of bombs (combined with a major public relations misstep by the Spanish government) led to a change in government and Spanish withdrawal from Iraq.
This is not surprising. A number of the major media outlets have been focusing on the IED attack du jour, while missing the bigger picture. Also, since the failure to locate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, the media has taken a line that the liberation of Iraq was not worth the casualties (which are half of the total of fatalities suffered by the allies on D-Day). The media’s tendency to accentuate the negative has given al Qaeda a bit of a lifeline – their only hope for victory is that the anti-war movement, fuelled by the mainstream media, will wear down the political will of the United States.
HT to John Hawkins
Yup, Vietnam is the liberals favorite American war.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
You have to be a serious SF & Pulp geek, like me to appreciate the story of that Barsoomian punk, Jane Carter of Mars.
It's part of Michael Swanwick's Periodic Table of Science Fiction.
Check it out.
While "Insurgents" Behead Schoolteachers In Iraq, "Protesters" Loot Convenience Stores In Ohio
ABC News gets it wrong.
White Supremacists Riot in Toledo, Ohio
Mayor of Toledo, Ohio, Declares Emergency, Sets Curfew After Hundreds of White Supremacists Riot
HT to Michelle Malkin on ABC holding up the quality standards of the MSM
The Bookworm reminds us of the bloody history of two Communist executioners: Chairman Mao, who holds the world title, throughout history, for the most deaths attributable to one man; and Che Guevera, a cold-blooded, sadistic killer who is this decade's fashion statement.
Jay Tea has the story on hate crimes that are not be prosecuted as hate crimes.
The police in Somerville, Massachusetts recently arrested a guy they'd been looking for for some time now. There's been a rash of graffiti around the city, and it's had quite a few people concerned. But after a few breaks, they caught their guy, and he's charged with defacing public property.
According to 19-year-old Jason Cutler, he wasn't the only one responsible for it, but admits to being a part of a group of about 10 young people who didn't care for the way the city was changing. Somerville is moving upscale, with poorer people moving out, richer people moving in, and old stores making way to such things as coffee shops.
So, what was the response of Cutler and his friends?
They started tagging the city with the rallying cry "KILL A YUPPIE."
I'm glad he's been arrested, but I have one niggling question:
Why isn't he being charged with a hate crime?
He freely admits he was calling for the murder of people based solely on their economic and social class. In my book, that qualifies as a hate crime, as is commonly defined.
But I guess yuppies aren't considered a "protected class" under the law.
Ann Althouse notes this clip from the NY Times:
"Karl Rove nosed his Jaguar out of the garage at his home in Northwest Washington in the predawn gloom..."
Her reaction is definately on target:
Is this the beginning of some pulp novel? No, it's just another nonstory about the Plame investigation. The White House is "jittery." Check. There is "a mood of intense uncertainty." Noted.
Be sure to read the comments as the reads start their own Bulwer-Lytton contest.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
NewsBusters has the story on the Today Show "reporter" who got caught reporting from a canoe in 4 inches of water!
Check out the video! It's hilarious!
SGT. Ron Long, an Army combat medic, was at the press conference in Iraq. He has blogged his response to the MSM Bush-bashing.
Yesterday, I (bottom right corner in the picture) was chosen to be among a small group of soldiers assigned to the 42ID's Task Force Liberty that would speak to President Bush, our Commander-in-Chief. The interview went well, but I would like to respond to what most of the mass-media has dubbed as, "A Staged Event."
First of all, we were told that we would be speaking with the President of the United States, our Commander-in-Chief, President Bush, so I believe that it would have been totally irresponsible for us NOT to prepare some ideas, facts or comments that we wanted to share with the President.
We were given an idea as to what topics he may discuss with us, but it's the President of the United States; He will choose which way his conversation with us may go.
We practiced passing the microphone around to one another, so we wouldn't choke someone on live TV. We had an idea as to who we thought should answer what types of questions, unless President Bush called on one of us specifically.
President Bush told us, during his closing, that the American people were behind us. I know that we are fighting here, not only to preserve our own freedoms, but to establish those same freedoms for the people of Iraq. It makes my stomach ache to think that we are helping to preserve free speech in the US, while the media uses that freedom to try to RIP DOWN the President and our morale, as US Soldiers. They seem to be enjoying the fact that they are tearing the country apart. Worthless!
HT to Ms. Malkin
Connecticut state House Minority Leader Robert M. Ward wrote to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California democrat, to remind her that "arrogance and corruption", are not the traits of just Republicans. The Washington Times Inside the Beltway column goes on to write:
Mrs. Pelosi then read about the Democratic lawmaker from Norwalk who was convicted of accepting a cash bribe for helping somebody obtain a pistol permit; about the Democrat from Hartford who resigned when slapped with 85 criminal counts of bribery, fraud and witness tampering; and the Democrat from Pomfret who resigned after pleading guilty to charges of sexual abuse.
"Just last month, state Sen. Ernest Newton of Bridgeport resigned his seat and pled guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for securing state contracts, and abusing campaign funds," Mr. Ward said. "It should be noted that all the legislators I mention have one important thing in common with you, congresswoman: They are all Democrats.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
PARIS (AP) - France's former U.N. ambassador has been taken into custody as part of an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing in the Iraq oil-for-food program, judicial officials said Tuesday.
Jean-Bernard Merimee, 68, who also was ambassador to Italy from 1995-98 and to Australia in the 1980s, is suspected of having received kickbacks in the form of oil allocations from the regime of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. He was also a special adviser to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan from 1999 to 2002.
HT to Mr. Reynolds
Slowly but surely, the investigative circle grows closer to Kofi Annan.
Monday, the former French ambassador to the United Nations, Jean-Bernard Merimee, was arrested in Paris on suspicion of having taken kickbacks from Saddam Hussein in the form of vouchers from the U.N.'s Oil-for-Food program.
From 1999 to 2002, Merimee was Secretary-General Annan's special assistant for European affairs. And there's a possible Oil-for-Food connection to Annan's son, Kojo, and brother, Kobina — themselves under investigation for their alleged involvement in the program.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Monday, October 10, 2005
Let me get this straight: Clinton-appointed FBI Director Louis Freeh goes on CBSNews “60 Minutes” to accuse the former president of a) promising, but failing to pursue the perpetrators of the 1996 Khobar Towers terror attack in Saudi Arabia—in which 19 members of the US military died without being able to raise a weapon, and b) soliciting a donation for his future presidential library from then-Crown Prince Abdullah of S.A. as quid pro quo for not pursuing the investigation--and CBS goes to Sandy Berger to rebut the charges?
When the convicted burglar of classified material is set forth on a long-running television network news program as the voice of integrity, you know the level of contempt that the network has for the American public. Along with Mary Mapes’ and Dan Rather’s dogged insistence on the veracity of information contained in patently forged documents, asking Sandy Berger for confirmation of anything more complicated than whether rain is wet or not is a sign of how ignorant CBS believes the average citizen is.
The frightening part about this is that CBS may be correct.
Jay Tea reminds us that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
He also says "it's a lesson that others never seem to learn."
In the Rathergate scandal, Rather and Mapes had their own version of events locked firmly in mind. George W. Bush had served less than honorably in the National Guard, shirking his responsibilities and using his family connections to evade being held accountable. Then, when they received those infamous fake memos, they let themselves be blinded by that belief and refused to give those memos even the most casual scrutiny that would have revealed them for the blatant forgeries they were.
It's happened again.
The Left has its image of George W. Bush. Since he was born again at the age of 40, they're convinced he's a religious zealot, a fanatical Jesus freak who uses his belief in God as his touchstone on every single major decision.
And last week, when Nabil Shaath, the former Palestinian Foreign Minister told London's Guardian that President Bush had told him that "God had told him to invade Iraq," and later God had told him to help establish a Palestinian state.
This was exactly the kind of story the Guardian and others on the left could sink their teeth into. Here was clear and convincing proof that the leader of the free world wasn't being guided by principle, or politics, or even pragmatism, but the direct, personal, one-on-one word of God -- much like the Islamic terrorists who scream their god's praises as they saw off people's heads and blow up bombs strapped to themselves.
In their eagerness, though, they never questioned the credibility of their source. And why should they? They all KNEW that what he said was accurate, if not necessarily true. So the need to nail down the finer details was lost in the rush to disclose the "greater truth."
What they should have done was note several facts:
1) The statements, while confirming their perceptions of George W. Bush, was completely out of character for any other of his public statements.
2) Bush has never been particularly fond of the Palestinian leadership, and would not be likely to make such an intimate confession to people he doesn't trust.
3) The phrasing itself is awkward, and not in the usual Dubya clumsiness. To my ear, at least, it has the hallmarks of someone for whom English is not their first language, but one they have studied and learned -- unlike Dubya's stumblemouthedness, which is more of a dialect of English itself.
But that simply didn't matter. The Guardian (among the most liberal of London's papers, with a long history of simply getting things wrong, out of ideology, laziness, or both) rushed the story to print.
And now that they've committed themselves, their original source is backing off. The White House (apparently not asked to comment before publication) has said, unequivocally, that Bush never said any such thing. And Mahmoud Abbas, the current Palestinian leader who was also at that meeting, has also denied Shaath's account -- who cannot be reached for comment.
But facts are pesky things, especially when THE TRUTH is obvious. Just ask Mary Mapes or Dan Rather.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Paul over at Wizbang found evidence of even more unused buses in New Orleans.
If you were the Mayor of New Orleans and you needed busses fast to evacuate the city, would you:
A) Get on the radio and whine that the Federal Government should "Get off their asses" and send some.
B) Pick up the phone and call the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority and ask them if they had any.
We all know what Nagin did. To paraphrase the old movie line, "He chose unwisely." If he had called the RTA, he might have found 150 city busses that could have been to the Superdome in 10 minutes.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
The left supports free speech, unless they disagree with you are saying, then acts of criminal acts vandalism are called for in their view.
Ken Potts calls himself a patriot. That's what his front yard tells you too.
Metal American flags are staked in the ivy beside the driveway. A red, white, and blue pinwheel spins near the front sidewalk. One flagpole flies the American flag. A second flagpole carries the banner of the Army's 101st Airborne. ...
But he says that in the last year the mailbox has been blown up twice with fireworks. The house has been egged. Paint has been thrown on the house too. The flags have been torn down and ripped up more than once.
And the 101st Airborne flag has had the word "murder" and a swastika written on it with a permanent marker.
"It's really difficult for me to see something like this and not feel sad," Potts told us of the vandalism that started around election day last year. Especially, he says, since the 101st led the charge in World War II to defeat Nazi Germany.
But the biggest insult to this house with a permanent Bush-Cheney placard attached to the second story and a collection of mostly Republican election signs in the side yard, is the spray paint someone left on his vinyl siding this past weekend.
In two-foot tall letters on the side of his house facing Meridian someone painted "Bush Nazis." ...
This former soldier with three tours of Vietnam says he feels like his own freedom of speech is under attack.
"When you have someone or a group of people who want to take that away from you, who probably didn't do a thing to defend them in the first place, it's really sad."
HT to Leslie Bates
Update: This worthy of it's own entry here.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
The latest offering from Richard Marcinko, the retired Navy Commander who founded SEAL Team Six and did time in a federal prison for pissing off Admirals.
Good solid Rogue Warrior TM fare. Demo Dick and team are running amuck in the Homeland, yes, that means he's under contract to the Department of Homeland Security (the book is dedicated to those in the department, including First Responders).
Marcinko the author learned from his last book, and teamed up with a solid writer again. It makes for a more solid book and a better read.
One of my favorite parts is where his team does their Red Cell thing to a Nuclear Power Planet just north of New York City.
They even stole an ambulance from my old home town, Wappingers Falls, NY, for the caper. One thing that caught my eye was the mention of all the details about the plant, available from various anti-nuclear web sites, that made his job of "playing" terrorist all the easier.
If you are a fan of Mr. Marcinko's books, you'll probably like this one too, and probably better than the last one.
John Ringo departs from his usual SciFi-MilFic for a straight action adventure set in modern day with more than a bit of kink.
Richard Marcinko has this to say about this book, “John Ringo’s done it again! Ghost is a complete adrenaline rush, filled with nonstop, kick ass action and hair-raising suspense.” Plus the added feature of explicit sex scenes involving B&D/S&M.
To be honest, it's about as shocking to todays mainstream literature as Ian Flemings sex scenes in the 1960's James Bond books.
It's nothing that Elf Sternberg didn't do over a decade ago. Mr. Sternberg is a self-published internet author however, while John Ringo is a NY Times best selling author.
Leaving the steamy sex, even the sex involving two barely legal (18 & 19) college girls, aside, the rest of the book is good straight forward action/adventure. The bad guys are terrorists, mostly Islamic, some former Soviet Client staters, and really bad.
The good guys are good, even if some of them have issues, like the hero of the book...
One way funny part of the book was here one of the college freshman co-ed was on the phone with her mother and finds out that her parents have been into "the scene" longer than she has been been alive and has to answer very technical and clinical kinky sex questions from what she thought was her uptight suburban mom.
If you like rough and tumble close quarters military action, especially where terrorists drop like flies, and are not upset by equally rough and tumble sex, stop by your local bookstore and pick up Ghost (or order it through Amazon using the handy link).
If you have never read anything by John Ringo before, the hardcover contains a CD with all of his previous work in several unencrypted formats, plus two books by Travis "Doc" Taylor.
All Jacked Up, Gretchen Wilson's latest CD.
A good solid country CD. Some of the low reviews at Amazon are probably due to the fact that her first CD was a fornicating great country CD, and All Jacked Up pales in comparison. Leaving that comparison aside, IMNSHO, it's a gospel song short of being a classic Country CD. On a 5 star scale, I'd give it 3, plus one more for the bonus track. A cover of a Billy Holiday song that proves that this ex-bartender has paid her dues and can sing the blues. The intro to the song points out that it's done right, "Four Players, one voice, one microphone, one take." My favorite track, besides the bonus song, One Bud Wiser.
Broken Lizard is a comedy troupe that so far has produced (written, directed and stared in) two films.
Super Troopers and Club Dread. The first is about some high spirited Vermont Highway Patrolmen and their unfriendly competition with the local town police. The second is a send up of slasher films on a tropical resort island.
Super Troopers was the funnier film. Club Dread was set on a tropical island filled with spring breakers, so there was more topless young women, and it had a very funny Bill Paxton, but comedy wise, it didn't measure up to Super Troopers. The writing in Super Troopers was, IMNSHO, better. The meow scene alone proves that. If you watch Club Dread, don't cheat yourself and get the unrated version.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
By way of Jay Tea, comes the story of a journalist who seems to be on very friendly terms with terrorists.
The journalist in question is AP and Reuters photographer Bilal Hussein.
Jay has a good summary
I think it's indisputable that Mr. Hussein is not simply capturing images of the Iraqi war, but is actively cooperating with the terrorists. In fact, they like him so much that they will pose for him, in dramatic postures and weapons, helping him put them in their best light.
I think it's safe to say that Mr. Hussein clearly has sympathies in the war... and it's with those who target and kill civilians wholesale, those that behead hostages on videotape while screaming "God Is Great!," and send suicide bombers after such targets as school buses and marketplaces. And the AP and Reuters seem to be glad to continue to subsidize his efforts.
Orson Scott Card reviews Serenity
So here's what I have to say about Serenity:
This is the kind of movie that I have always intended Ender's Game to be (though the plots are not at all similar).
And this is as good a movie as I always hoped Ender's Game would be.
And I'll tell you this right now: If Ender's Game can't be this kind of movie, and this good a movie, then I want it never to be made.
I'd rather just watch Serenity again.
I saw it over the weekend. I'll probably see it on the Big Screen again, and buy the DVD when it comes out.
I already have the complete TV series on DVD.
It's a good film, and has a very Traveller like look and feel.
Ace points out the following tidbits from the NY Times corrected columnist Krugman's multiple errors about the 2000 recount.
First the NYT's previous ombudsman says the following about Krugman:
I learned early on in this job that Prof. Krugman would likely be more willing to contribute to the Frist for President campaign than to acknowledge the possibility of error. When he says he agreed ‘reluctantly’ to one correction, he gives new meaning to the word ‘reluctantly’; I can’t come up with an adverb sufficient to encompass his general attitude toward substantive criticism.
Then he comments on Gail Collins comments on the subject:
Gail Collins cooked up a silly "editorial" of her own about the Times' correction policy in which she herself corrects Krugman's error, as he, we must assume, refuses to do so himself.
Bonus points: she claims that the correction wouldn't run appended to a Krugman column (the Times' stated policy as regards op-ed corrections) because she wanted to avoid "cruelty to readers."
Nice. The New York Times now accepts that its liberal yuppie audience has been so successfully coccooned by their left-liberal bias that to inform them of discomfitting facts would constitute actual "cruelty."
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
The Washington Times Inside Politics Column reminds of how a Clinton Administration treated anybody who got in it's way:
"Right as she steps up her 2006 re-election campaign, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will face new criticism stemming from a years-old event," Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.
"Kathleen Willey Schwicker, who says she was groped in the Oval Office by President Clinton as she sought a job, tells us she is going to release a new book that slams Hillary for not stopping the White House spin machine from crushing her. 'It's not so much about the incident but about what they would do to an ordinary American woman,' she tells us. 'Hillary Clinton champions herself for female workers' rights and for women, but she doesn't. She didn't support the women involved in all of Clinton's messes.'
"Like: Retaliating for Willey Schwicker's '60 Minutes' appearance by approving the release of letters Willey Schwicker sent the president, after the alleged incident, in which she calls herself his No. 1 fan. 'I just want people to know what it is like to be in their cross hairs,' she says. Clinton's office had no comment."
Sunday, October 02, 2005
I'm not talking about Jake or Elwood Blues. This time it's Travis County, Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle.
Byron York has seen a documentary that points out the Earl is motivated more by the Word of God than the Law of Man.
On several occasions in the film, Earle engages in monologues on what he believes is the sinister effect of money in politics. "The root of the evil of the corporate and large-monied interest domination of politics is money," Earle says as he takes the filmmakers on a nighttime drive around Austin. "This is in the Bible. This isn't rocket science. The root of all evil truly is money, especially in politics. People talk about how money is the mother's milk of politics. Well, it's the devil's brew. And what we've got to do, we've got to turn off the tap."
The film points out that Earle is leading a one man Crusade based on his religious beliefs:
At one point in the picture, Rosemary Lemberg, an assistant district attorney in Earle's office, explains that Earle singlehandedly pushed forward the DeLay investigation over the objections of colleagues. "Ronnie was the only person in maybe a group of six or seven lawyers in a room who thought we ought to go ahead and investigate and look at those things," Lemberg says.
"The problem that Ronnie has is that he sees something that he believes is wrong," says Roy Minton, an attorney for one of the organizations investigated by Earle. "If you ask him, when he says, 'They're doing this' and 'They're doing that,' you say, 'Alright, let's assume they're doing that, Ronnie, is that against the law?' He will say it's wrong. You say, 'Well, OK, let's assume that it's wrong. Where is it that it is against the law?'"
The left is constantly going on about the problems with the Religious Right. Perhaps they should turn that same critical eye to the Religious left and see if withstands the same scrutiny.
Update: Captain Ed points out that even the Washington Post Editorial Board finds Earle's crusade against DeLay more than a bit thin.
He also reminds us that the Texas Democratic Party used the exact same manuever in the same election cycle. No word from Earle's office about expanding his Crusade to include those Evil Doers.