Urbin Report

Friday, June 30, 2006

The New F Word...

Firefox Fan film.

R.I.P. Jim Baen

Publisher Jim Baen, of Baen Books, died on June 28, 2006 after suffering a strong on June 12, 2006.

Jim Baen introduced several bestselling authors, including David Weber and John Ringo. He was a champion of the unencrypted ebook publishing model and made it work.

Toni Weisskopf and Dave suggest that people who wish to make a memorial donation purchase copies of THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN and donate them to libraries or teenagers of their acquaintance.

He's got a point...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Looking back on five years of war against Islamofacism.

Austin Bay takes an insightful look:

In 2001, bin Laden was promoting a “global caliphate.” The Islamist terror bombers who committed mass murdered in Madrid intended to restore Spain (Al Andalus) to Islam. A week before Iraq’s historic January 2005 democratic elections, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi declared a “fierce war on this evil principle of democracy.”

Iraq now has a democratically-elected government. Bin Laden hides in a cave. Spain remains subject to terrorist threat, but Catalonian-led regional separatism is a far bigger political threat to Spain than Al Qaeda.

Read the whole thing.

That Lion of Juda thing...

The Israeli military is taking proper action against terrorists.

They also delivered a wake up call to the President of Syria, a known supporter of terrorists.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The MSM view of Iraq as Vietnam

Jack Kelly has a good article on how and why the MSM & liberals view Iraq through Vietnam colored glasses:

The one great similarity between Vietnam and Iraq is that our enemies, despairing of victory on the battlefield, sought to win with a propaganda campaign.

In Vietnam, this strategy succeeded. If it fails in Iraq, it will be chiefly because of the emergence of the new media.

The turning point in Vietnam was the Tet Offensive of February, 1968. It was a crushing defeat for the Viet Cong.

"Our losses were staggering and a complete surprise," said North Vietnamese Army Col. Bui Tin in a 1995 interview. "Our forces in the South were nearly wiped out. It took until 1971 to re-establish our presence."

"The Tet Offensive proved catastrophic to our plans," said Truong Nhu Tang, minister of justice in the Viet Cong's provisional government, in a 1982 interview. "Our losses were so immense we were unable to replace them with new recruits."

The news media reported this overwhelming American victory as a catastrophic defeat.

"Donning helmet, Mr. Cronkite declared the war lost," recounted UPI's Arnaud de Borchgrave. "It was this now famous television news piece that persuaded President Lyndon Johnson...not to run for re-election."

Shaken by Tet, he planned to seek terms for a conditional surrender, the North Vietnamese commander, Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, wrote in his memoirs. But our news media's complete misrepresentation of what had actually happened "convinced him America's resolve was weakening and complete victory was within Hanoi's grasp," Mr. de Borchgrave said.

Journalists are repeating in Iraq the errors (or worse) they made in Vietnam. Earlier this month, the Army sponsored a conference for retired general officers at Fort Carson, Colorado. They were addressed by recent returnees from Iraq, including Col. H.R. McMaster, commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

"All returnees agreed we are clearly winning the fight against the insurgents but are losing the public relations battle," said a retired admiral in an email to friends.

A disturbing anecdote from Col. McMaster illustrates why. His 3rd ACR broke the insurgents' hold of the city of Tal Afar last September in an operation which generated these effusive words of praise from the town's mayor:

"To the lion hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets...(you are) not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism."

Time magazine had a reporter and a photographer embedded with the 3rd ACR. When the battle was over, they filed a lengthy story and nearly 100 photographs.

"When the issue came out, the guts had been edited out of the reporter's story and none of the photographs he submitted were used," said the admiral, quoting Col. McMaster. "When the reporter questioned why his story was eviscerated, his editors...responded that the story and pictures were 'too heroic.'"

Go read the whole thing.
HT to the Gay Patriot.

Hell, even Andrew Sullivan gets it:
But if we do pull out too soon, and Maliki is too weak to survive, we will have to deal with the Jihadist-riddled failed state that may emerge (and already has emerged in an embryonic form) in Iraq. Those forces will not decide to leave us alone because we have left. if anything, the reverse is true. They will claim victory and press the war further onto our shores and elsewhere. The one thing we have to keep in mind is that, however screwed up the Iraq policy has become, the enemy has not gone away. Withdrawal from Iraq would not mean that this existential struggle is over. It would mean that the enemy has been strengthened and ready to take the war against the West (and “heretical” Islam) to a more lethal stage.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

70's TV trivia

I just watched an early (first season) of the old TV show Kung Fu. John Saxon played a bounty hunter after Caine.
At the time, he was probably a better martial artist than David Carradine.

Bad News for the Taliban

The Strategy Page reports:

June 25, 2006: Battles with the Taliban have left 80 of the rebels dead in the last few days, and over 150 dead in the last two weeks. Afghan and Coalition dead have been much lower (a few dozen). While the Taliban claim to have over 10,000 armed men in action across southern Afghanistan, it is believed that there are only about 2,000 of them. Actually, there may now be less than that, since morale among the Taliban is getting shaky.
...many of the tribes in southern Afghanistan are actively opposing the Taliban, and Taliban terror tactics are not working to change minds. Most Taliban gunmen are in it for the money, but the Taliban isn't paying enough to justify the increased risks.

Guess who wrote this...

Back in late 2001, the following appeared in a major US Newspaper:

Organizing the hijacking of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon took significant sums of money. The cost of these plots suggests that putting Osama bin Laden and other international terrorists out of business will require more than diplomatic coalitions and military action. Washington and its allies must also disable the financial networks used by terrorists.

The Bush administration is preparing new laws to help track terrorists through their money-laundering activity and is readying an executive order freezing the assets of known terrorists. Much more is needed, including stricter regulations, the recruitment of specialized investigators and greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities. There must also must be closer coordination among America’s law enforcement, national security and financial regulatory agencies.

That was the NY Times. Now their editorial policy appears to be aiding those terrorists is OK as long they get to take a cheap shot at the President.

HT to Cold Fury.

It is a tribute to the American government and its support of the 1st Amendment that the NY Times was able to publish the details of a major government anti-terrorist operation, which could lead to the deaths of American service personnel and civilians. The US Government knew of the story in advance, and while requested the story not be run (members of the government asking the story not be published included 9/11 Commission Chair Ben Hamilton, a liberal democrat Clintonite), it did not even stoop to the Clinton era tactic of threatening to cut off government access to try and stop the story.

The real question is why the NY Times chose to publish a story aiding the Islamofacist terrorists whose stated goal is to kill Americans and other proponents of basic Human Rights and freedom. The kindest theory is an advanced case of BDS.

The Ann Coulter Grateful Dead Interview...

A long time Deadhead with more than sixty shows under her belt, here is Taylor Hill's interview with Ann Coulter solely about the Grateful Dead.

I'll bet it won't get as many Oscars...

,,,but if this movie ever gets made, I'll bet it makes more money!

It's Carnival Time!

We have the 2nd Amendment Carvnival and Carnival of Cordite site! #52 is coming up.

Monday, June 26, 2006

When are Whistleblowers bad in the left's view?

When they are ACLU members ratting out the the ACLU! NRO's The Corner tells us of "The delightful saga of the ACLU's efforts to place a gag order on its own board members continues."

According to the New York Times:

A lawyer in the New York state attorney general's office informally warned the American Civil Liberties Union that his office had concerns about proposed standards that would limit the group's board members from speaking publicly about policies and internal operations, according to three board members

The Corner's John Miller points out that:
One of these "three board members" is Wendy Kaminer. The other two "were granted anonymity because they were afraid to speak publicly given the pending proposals." They aren't afraid of the state attorney general's office, but of the ACLU itself.

al-Qa'eda new home base

From the Telegraph UK:

Islamic militia in control of much of southern Somalia yesterday appointed a hardline cleric on Washington's most wanted list as its supreme leader.

Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys was named as the head of the Islamic Courts Union's "consultation committee", replacing the more moderate Sheikh Sharif Ahmed. Mr Ahmed, a former teacher who led the alliance in taking control of Mogadishu earlier this month, is being given a lesser role.

Mr Aweys's elevation raises doubts about a deal negotiated last week with the interim government, based in the city of Baidoa. Mr Aweys has condemned the interim government in the past.

A spokesman said the group had changed its name from the Islamic Courts Union to the Somali Supreme Islamic Courts Council. It believes a government based on strict Islamic law is the only way for the country to emerge from 15 years of anarchy.

In a May report, the United Nations accused Mr Aweys of setting up military training camps for his militiamen in violation of a widely-flouted arms embargo in Somalia.

His appointment will further stoke fears, especially in Washington, that Somalia will become a "Talibanised" safe haven for al-Qa'eda, much as Afghanistan did in the 1990s.

HT to Jimmy K., who points out:
Bill Clinton's Cut and Run policy in Samalia has now created another al-Qa'eda, Taliban State.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Which is it?

Ed Driscoll points out a shifting story from the left:

It's amusing to watch the pushback from the left after Santorum's press conference yesterday. Beginning in mid-2003, the mantra began that Saddam had no WMDs--zip, zero, nadda. Or as Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said as recently as last week, "There are two things that don't exist in Iraq: cutting and running, and weapons of mass destruction."

Now the latest version being fielded is that, well, Saddam had them, but they were old, outdated. pay them no mind.

Of Senator Kerry's time in Vietnam, James Lileks once wrote, "The past was more malleable than you had ever expected." But if anything, that's even more true when it comes to Iraq than the Winter Soldier's salad days.

Read the whole thing

Friday, June 23, 2006

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Reality knocks...

originally uploaded by Red Brained.
...or in this case cuts.

"Gun Control advocates, providing a safer working environment for violent criminals for the past 150 years"

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Elvis' Kenpo Karate Gi

Elvis' Kempo Karate Gi
Elvis' Kempo Karate Gi,
originally uploaded by "dancing" Stan.
For all you fans of the King, he was very serious martial artist. This is one of his more sedate uniforms though. We're talking Elvis after all.
The patches show this was for Ed Parker's American Kenpo.
The thick red stripe plus one thin one signifies a 6th dan rank.

Sounds like a good idea.

The town of Hazleton, PA is going to start "one of the toughest crackdowns on illegal immigrants in the United States," according to the AP.
The city government approved a measure that would revoke the business licenses of companies that employ illegal immigrants; impose $1,000 fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants; and make English the city's official language.

Opposing this common sense legislation is the racist group La Raza.

Interesting photographs...

At least Flickr finds these photographs of mine interesting.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Journalistic ethics

One Journalist covers his fellow reporters views on the subject:

...says he gets the same rush from breaking a news story that he did from snorting cocaine. To get coke, he lied, cheated and stole. To get his scoops, he has done much the same. As long as it isn't illegal, he told me, he'll do whatever it takes to get a story, especially to nail a corrupt politician or businessman. "A scoop is a scoop," he trumpets in his memoir. "Other journalists all whine about ethics, but that's a load of crap."

Where has this "journalist" with such a loose view of ethics worked? Not Fox News or the Washington Times, but "such big-time news organizations as the Los Angeles Times, Dow Jones Newswire and Salon."

The person writing the article is Joe Lauria, a freelance writer whose work appears in the Boston Globe, the Sunday Times of London and other publications. In this case, it is the Washington Post. He is writing about the left wing extremist fantasy writer, Jason Leopold.

HT to Rob at Say Anything.

Top dems accused of racism...

I predicted this, but not the target. House Minority Leader Pelosi forced democrat Rep. from Louisana William "Cold Cash" Jefferson from his seat on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

Of course the democrat Congressional Black Caucus is saying that Ms. Pelosi's actions have a racial motivation.

This causes me to ask if the democrat Congressional Black Caucus has been paying attention to Ms. Pelosi's press releases over the past six months?

China's dirty secret...

...well one of them at least. This one is reported by Business Week. It is the growing ecological disaster that is Communist China.

...it is also fast becoming an ecological wasteland, home to world-class smog, acid rain, polluted rivers and lakes, and deforestation. Environmental problems play a role in the death of some 300,000 Chinese people each year, according to World Bank estimates.

Best Wishes to Jim Baen

Jim Baen, of Baen Books, one of the key publishers in Science Fiction today recently suffered a stroke.

The strange fellow at Justbarkingmad summed up his contribution quite well:

Jim Baen single-handedly pulled SF back from the brink of Lit-er-a-choor and into the gutter where it belongs. By the early 80’s SF was little more than utopianistic, leftist drivel. By not very good Leftists. He has earned the enmity of the SF literati for doing so; but he dragged the genre kicking and screaming back to the place where Story and Plot still live and have meaning.

Jim is also near single-handedly battling the evil that is DRM. He has sponsored the Baen Free Libary and was working with several authors to go to the next step. He has launched the best e-book business in the genre, perhaps the best in the entire industry. He has just launched a new SF e-magazine that has the best writers in the business contributing. He has, recently, brought in more new writers…Lois Bujold, David Weber, John Ringo, Eric Flint, Doc Travis, Michael Z. Williamson, Tom kratman and a host of others…than any other current publisher.

So send prayers, healing thoughts or whatever your personal faith says is best to help people get well. We could use a few more years of Jim’s vision.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

BBC fails in basic research.

The BBC put out a story yesterday claiming that:

Russia is to build the world's first floating nuclear plant, designed to provide power for remote areas.

Back in the 1960s, the US Army Corps of Engineers built the MH-1A Sturgis, the world's first floating nuclear power plant.

The converted WWII Liberty ship hull had a 10,000 kilowatt pressurized water nuclear steam plant installed. I remember visiting it while it was being installed. My dad was on the original crew. I also remember seeing it in Gatun Lake, while it provided power to the Panama Canal Zone grid from 1968 to 1975.

It was decommissioned in 1976, thirty years before the Russians are attempting to build their own floating Nuclear power plant.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Civil Rights Victory in San Francisco

According to this AP article, a state trail judge overturned the anti-Civil Rights ban on legal firearm sales and legal handgun owership inside the city of San Francisco.

San Francisco County Superior Court Judge James Warren said a local government cannot ban weapons because the California Legislature allows their sale and possession.

HT to Ms. Malkin


Via The Corner:

Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has informed Karl Rove that Rove will not face indictment in the CIA leak investigation, National Review Online has learned. Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, released the following statement moments ago:
On June 12, 2006, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald formally advised us that he does not anticipate seeking charges against Karl Rove.

In deference to the pending case, we will not make any further public statements about the subject matter of the investigation. We believe that the Special Counsel's decision should put an end to the baseless speculation about Mr. Rove’s conduct.

More from Pajamas Media, Austin Bay and Tom Maguire.

HT to Mr. Reynolds

Sunday, June 11, 2006

He's no William Shatner...

Damn Ace for providing the link to the David Hasslehoff video of Secret Agent Man.

Death From Above gets an update.

According to the Daily Mail, British Special Forces (and probably American as well) are using personal "steath wings" to glide up to 120 miles after being dropped from a high flying aircraft before opening their parachutes.

This is Cool

H. Beam Piper at Project Gutenberg and at Many Books.

Time for an overhaul at Turtle Bay

Wizbang points out that the UN is blaming the messenger for their sins:

Okay, let's see if we can get this straight. What plagues the UN is unchecked US criticism of it. Not, we suppose, the Oil-for-Food scandal; the disgusting venality of Kofi Annan; the UN's payment of a large pension to crook Benon Sevan; the strikingly tardy UN concern over its peacekeepers' rapes of underaged girls in the Congo; UN failures in Rwanda, Somalia, etc.; the cover-up of UN high commissioner Ruud Lubber's sexual harassment; or any other number of internal UN problems.

No, the real problem is US concern over this inefficient and ineffective institution. And, since America is the largest contributor to the UN's budget--paying 22 percent of its costs--we suppose that Americans shouldn't be so unhelpful as to criticize it at all. That's awfully unproductive of us.

He quotes UN watchdog Claudia Rosette:
Here's one for the new ethics office at the United Nations: Not only do we now know that Secretary-General Kofi Annan accepted a $500,000 prize from the ruler of Dubai, courtesy of a judges' panel rife with U.N. connections, one member of which Annan then appointed to a high U.N. job. Less well known is that Annan was advised to take the prize money by another senior U.N. official, Mark Malloch Brown--according to Malloch Brown himself in an interview this past February.

Since then, Annan has promoted Malloch Brown from U.N. chief of staff to the U.N.'s number-two post of deputy secretary-general. With role models like these in the executive suite, small wonder the U.N. remains gridlocked over reform.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Top Tango Toe Tagged...

I know I'm late on this one, but I'm travelling right now, seeing the exciting sites of the East Bay area.

A major al Qaeda leader in Iraqi had a meeting with a pair of US 500 pound bombs.
Both the bombs and Al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian-born Sunni militant, did not survive the encounter.

US Senator Joe Biden (d-Delaware) summed it up well:

"There's a special place in hell reserved for him."

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Verifrank looks at the Canadian terrorist arrests

He connects dots and has a damn good summary:

While the left was wetting its pants over the "Cartoon controversy" and making everyone go "absolutely flapjack" on the issue of "evil President Bush and his illegal NSA domestic phonetaps",it appears that a group of solid professionals on our side,both at home and abroad managed to stop June 5th from being remembered as something more than the day before D-Day.

Why am I paying attention to Canada and not the case thats going in the UK? First, theres only so many hours in the day, and second, its Canada. Canada is what every single leftist thinks we should be like and act like, from its foreign policy to its health system, and yet, here we are looking at the most dangerous cell of terrorists since Mohammded Atta was at work and yet, these guys were going to attack Canada! Not that there ever is a rational argument but there is no possible rational justification for this attack. This should serve as a marker for anyone about the distance our enemy is willing to go to accomplish its goals. There is no middle ground, no compromise, no "common ground" with these people. It's either victory or death.

While were all chattering away about the "Terrible Mexican border Situation" or "Harriet Miers" or the "UAE controlling our ports" or "Muhammad as a Cartoon" or "The NSA is listening to our phone calls", other people in our communities were working quietly behind the scenes in an effort to kill us. All those made up nightmares pale in comparison to what these people could have accomplished had our professionals not kept their eyes on the ball.

And boys and girls I need to remind you... this was only one cell.

And there are more out there, just waiting for the right moment.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Meanwhile in Canada...

Members of a suspected terrorist ring were arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for attempting to purchase three tons of ammonium nitrate from undercover officers. There people were arrested, including 18 under the age of eighteen. They are charged with plotting an attack in southern Ontario.

Michelle Malkin has more as does the Pajamas Media.
Rob is asking good questions about this.

Update: Canadian Terror Probe expands to 7 other nations.


Brought to by Mr. York:

Q: Was U.S. economic growth higher during the time John Snow was Treasury Secretary, or during the time Robert Rubin was Treasury Secretary?

A: It was the same , 3.8 percent.

HT to Ace & Mr. Reynolds, who notes:
Poor Snow could never get a break. Funny, though, it seems that we heard a lot more good news about the economy when Rubin was in. Go figure.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Democrat candidate encourges illegal aliens to vote in the US.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, On Thursday night, Francine Busby, the Democratic candidate for the 50th Congressional District, was speaking before a largely Latino crowd in Escondido said:

“You don't need papers for voting.”

She is backing away from encouraging a felony crime, but she was caught on tape.