Monday, December 17, 2007

Biofuels subsidies: Unintended consequences

Are biofuel subsidies REALLY "going green"? Nope.

Researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), known for their global warming alarmism at that, argue that American biofuel subsidies are boosting deforestation in the Amazon. How? STRI's staff scientist William Laurance explains the cascade of effects that occur as the result of $11 billion per year in corn subsidies.

The US is the world's leading producer of soy, but many American soy farmers are shifting to corn to qualify for the government subsidies. Since 2006, US corn production rose 19% while soy farming fell by 15%.

The drop-off in US soy has helped to drive a major increase in global soy prices, which have nearly doubled in the last 14 months. In Brazil, the world's second-largest soy producer, high soy prices are having a serious impact on the Amazon rainforest and tropical savannas.

"Amazon fires and forest destruction have spiked over the last several months, especially in the main soy-producing states in Brazil," said Laurance. "Just about everyone there attributes this to rising soy and beef prices."

High soy prices affect the Amazon in several ways. Some forests are cleared for soy farms. Farmers also buy and convert many cattle ranches into soy farms, effectively pushing the ranchers further into the Amazonian frontier. Finally, wealthy soy farmers are lobbying for major new Amazon highways to transport their soybeans to market, and this is increasing access to forests for loggers and land speculators.

Remember the First Law of Ecology is "everything is connected to everything else." That also applies to market economics.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rumsfeld was right

Forget the liberal media memo that he screwed up and their very reluctant concession that the surge is working. Rumsfeld's "soft footprint" strategy worked.

How did it work? The same way that boxer Muhammad Ali fought his opponents in the past: rope-a-dope.

Defense Secretary Rumfeld’s small-footprint force-protection strategy (to mimimize casualties) meant that Al Qaeda In Iraq couldn’t attack American troops without getting immediately annihilated.

In order to get the “continuing violence” that their allies in the Western media could use to create American defeat on the home front, the Saudi and Iranian proxy warriors in Iraq had no choice but to wage war on the Iraqi people.
The enemy understood the risks: that playing for a "Tet Offensive Revisited" media victory would cost them the war on the ground. This is clear in the letter that al Qaeda #2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, wrote to al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the Fall of 2005:

"The policy followed by the brothers in Baghdad is a media oriented policy without a clear comprehensive plan to capture an area or an enemy center. (In) Other word(s), the significance of the strategy of their work is to show in the media that the American and the government do not control the situation and there is resistance against them. This policy dragged us to the type of operations that are attracted to the media, and we go to the streets from time to time for more possible noisy operations which follow the same direction.

This direction has large positive effects; however, being preoccupied with it alone delays more important operations such as taking control of some areas, … That is why every year is worse than the previous year as far as the Mujahidin’s control and influence over Baghdad."
[From the CENTCOM translation of Zawahiri's letter, May 2006, not identified as coming from Zawahiri, but containing much language in common with the captured Zawahiri letter that was released to the public in October 2005]
And so it was settled. Al Qaeda’s would attack Iraqis, creating media events that the Western media could use to try to lose the war at home. It was understood that this strategy would turn the Iraqis against al Qaeda, losing the war on the ground, but maybe not before the Democrats and their media allies managed to lose the war in America. It would be a race: could the Democrat/ al Qaeda alliance create defeat in America before the American military would win the war in Iraq?
Now it is true that General Petraeus has changed the strategy. But Petraeus' new more aggressive strategy not only puts our troops at greater risk, it also relies upon Rumsfeld's timing:

This has been par for the course for four years. The media knows as well as al Qaeda that this is a race, and it looks now that the race has been won by our military, thanks to the switch to a more aggressive finishing strategy orchestrated by General Petraeus. What has allowed the “surge” strategy to succeed so spectacularly is the Iraqi people’s almost unanimous hatred for al Qaeda, created by the Democrat/ al Qaeda media strategy of blowing up Iraqis. This turn against al Qaeda was fully formed during Rumsfeld’s tenure. To make use of that hatred, all Petraeus had to do was switch from force protection to population protection. Protected from retaliation, Iraqis expressed their hatred of al Qaeda by pointing to the bad guys.
Should we have used the Petraeus strategy from the outset? That’s a little like seeing Ali come off the ropes in the 8th round to "KO" Foreman and thinking: “hey, he should have done that in round one.” Petraeus’ “clear, hold and build” strategy might have worked earlier, but it also might have altered al Qaeda’s strategy. If our troops had been more exposed, al Qaeda might have concentrated more on military targets and less on the Iraqi population, which was the key decision that determined everything. Induce al Qaeda to make a different decision, and who knows how things might have turned out?
Thanks to Alec Rawls at Error Theory.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The appeal of Ron Paul

How can such a wacky man, whose foreign policy is pigheaded isolationism at best, be so appealing? Because on domestic issues, he gets it. Kim Strassel explains.

It helps, too, if voters know you mean it. In nearly 20 years in the House, Mr. Paul can boast he never voted for a tax hike. Nicknamed "Dr. No," he spent much of the time Republicans held a majority voting against his own party, on the grounds that the legislation his colleagues were trying to pass--Sarbanes-Oxley, new auto mileage standards, a ban on Internet gambling--wasn't expressly authorized by the Constitution. He returns a portion of his annual congressional budget to the U.S. Treasury--on principle.

On the stump, Mr. Paul whips up crowds with his libertarian talk of "less taxation, less regulation, a better economic system." While Mitt Romney explains his support of No Child Left Behind, Mr. Paul gets standing ovations by promising to eliminate the Department of Education. Rudy Giuliani toys with reducing marginal rates; Mr. Paul gets whoops with his dream to ax the income tax (and by extension the IRS). Mike Huckabee lectures on the need for more government-subsidized clean energy; Mr. Paul brings cheers with his motto that environmental problems are best solved with stronger property rights. His rhetoric is based on first principles--carefully connecting his policies to the goals of liberty and freedom--and it fires up the base.
(...)
Compassionate conservatism" was a smart move on George W. Bush's part, maybe even necessary to win. The GOP was dogged by a reputation as the heartless party, amplified by the 1995 government shutdown and the clunky Dole campaign. And it had learned from the success of welfare reform that message matters. Many Republican voters believed Mr. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" was just that: a way of selling conservative reforms. Tax cuts would help the working poor. Vouchers would help minority kids. Charities would fare better getting people off drugs than government bureaucrats.

Mr. Bush got his tax cuts, but voters found out too late that he was no small-government believer. School vouchers were traded away for more education dollars. A new Medicare drug entitlement has added trillions to the burden on future taxpayers. Government-directed energy policy is larded with handouts to political patrons in the corn and ethanol lobbies. A lack of budget discipline encouraged a Republican Congress to go spend-crazy, stuffing bills with porky earmarks. Much of this was simply a Republican majority that had lost its way. But at least some of it was promoted by Bush advisers who specifically argued that "compassionate conservatism" was in fact a license to embrace Big Government--so long as Big Government was promoting Republican.
As for me, I look at libertarian economics and cheer. I look at their constitutional emphasis and cheer. I look at their "anything goes" policies on drugs and sex, and I wince a bit, because the real world doesn't work that way. I look at their foreign policy and recoil in horror, because the real world *definitely* doesn't work that way.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Al Qaeda in Iraq -- The NYT still can't admit it

From a New York Times Baghdad report:

Three days ago, a prominent Sunni extremist, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, called for an escalation of attacks against local residents who aligned themselves with American forces.

Mr. Baghdadi is the purported leader of the Islamic State in Iraq, a militant group linked with Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a homegrown Sunni Arab extremist group that American intelligence agencies have concluded is foreign led.
Cliff May, a former Times reporter, notes at National Review Online that the NYT just can't stop its weasel wording:

Maj. Gen Kevin Bergner has repeatedly said that--based on intelligence obtained from the captured al-Qaeda leader Khalid al-Mashhadani--it is clear that Omar al-Baghdadi is only "the fictional head" of al-Qaeda in Iraq, a character played by an "actor . . . they use another individual to be his voice."

Why does al-Qaeda do that? Bergner says: "To put an Iraqi face on the leadership of al-Qaeda" in Iraq. Bergner adds: 'The Islamic State of Iraq is a front organization that masks the foreign influence and leadership within al Qaeda in Iraq . . ."

Here’s the kicker: It appears the fictional character of Omar al-Baghdadi was created by the al-Qaeada leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri. Know what al-Masri means? It means “the Egyptian.”

It’s hard to believe that Times editors are ignorant of all this. More plausibly, like many opponents of the war, the Times is invested in the narrative that the U.S. is a foreign occupier being fought by an indigenous Iraqi resistance movement. Evidence
contrary to that narrative is not fit to print.
Of course, the New York Times has decreed, as a matter of editorial style, that al Qaeda in Iraq--which it insists on calling "al Qaeda in Mesopotamia"--is a "homegrown" Iraqi group that has nothing to do with al Qaeda, which has nothing to do with Iraq, uh, Mesopotamia.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bah, Humbug! The Growing War Against Christmas

Have you noticed how a growing number of businesses no longer say "Merry Christmas" on the phone or in their stores?

Have you seen how stores are celebrating "Happy Holidays," not "Merry Christmas" in their advertising and store displays?

They want money for the Christmas celebration but intend to deny even the existence of Christmas.

I've noticed that the vast majority of Jews and other non-Christians have no problem hearing "Merry Christmas" from someone, or even saying it themselves. After all, it is meant in a spirit of good cheer and best wishes.

Only a handful of politically commiecrat liberal activists and liberal media elite have a problem with it.

Many retailers have sadly caved into this liberal commiecrat assault on Christmas.

Perhaps they just need to be told by the good guys to buck up and not listen to the Scrooges of the Left.

Dr. James Dobson has put together a list of stores and their policies about calling a spade a spade and declaring Christmas "Christmas", or not.

In your own daily life:

1. Say it: Say "Merry Christmas". And if someone says "Happy Holidays," reply with joy "Merry Christmas." Don't lose an opportunity. (If they wish you a Happy Chanukah in response, thank them, smile and give the thumbs up. I like Jews with pluck).

2. Your cards: Make sure your Christmas cards don't say "Seasons Greetings" or "Happy Holidays" like the leftist Political Thought Police want. Proclaim Christmas in Christ-centered cards, even if you are not particularly religious, just to piss off the Left.

3. Christmas Purchases: Avoid shopping at stores that fail to say Christmas in their ads or in the stores. Feel free to let the manager know, it can help change the policy.

Finally, here's a spoof on anti-Christmas—you'll like it. Click here for Happy Ramahanukwanzmas.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"The New Girl Order"

A really thoughtful article by Kay S. Hymowitz in "CityJournal". Her thesis is that the economy has shifted from industrial production to post-industrial service, and a good many of the new industries (advertising, marketing, publishing, etc.) are tailor made for women, combined with a pattern of marrying later in life.

The social implications of this are striking: falling birthrates, delayed marriages, the rise of single professional women as the target market. Not just in the USA and Western Europe, but now Eastern Europe and much of Asia and Latin America. Notable execptions: the Muslim world and Sub-Saharan Africa.

But two commentators note that there are dark clouds on the horizon:
The new culture celebrates female narcissism in a way unthinkable for males. Future commentators will look back at this time as one utterly indulgent to a generation of women. "However much a man's world it was in 1960, men were never culturally free to place their self interest ahead of the interest of the society to which they belonged. Women today are taught that their greatest duty is to themselves, that their own personal happiness is paramount. It is a system swung out of balance, an overreaction to the limits of the past spurred on by technological changes and economic incentives. Centuries of traditional cultures are being swept away in the blink of an eye and are being replaced by an unsustainable hedonism, an explosion of individualism unchecked by any sense of responsibility. The severing of ties to the past and the rejection of responsibility for the future is how cultures end. I really don’t think Girl Power in the long run will fare very well against Islam."
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that liberal feminism is a demographic dead end. The new girl order will eventually become the old maids club. Without a doubt the new girl order is going to end up on the trash heap of history."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Don't attack Hillary personally

Kathleen Parker is sharp, at least here. Attack Hillary as inconsistent and two faced (see the illegal alien issue), but don't attack her qua woman:

That is, yes, women will vote for Clinton because she's a woman —if men target her as a woman.

Translation: Gentlemen, if you don't want another Clinton in the White House, do not say unkind things about her persona, demeanor, appearance — even if bull's-eye true. Not even in your own kitchen with your own wife.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Reuters fellates Hugo Chavez

Just like they did the Sandinistas two decades ago. Something about that Latin Look among Leftist dupes.
"Chavez, who called former conservative Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a fascist at the weekend meeting, has courted controversy at summits before, most notably last year by calling U.S. President George W. Bush the devil at the United Nations.

Political analysts say Chavez relishes such fights because he uses them to fire up his support base among the majority poor at home with blunt rhetoric that plays on their misgivings of rich countries' investments in Latin America.

On Tuesday, he said the king's "arrogance" exposed that colonial attitudes toward South America have not died out.

But the folksy president also showed he had a sense of humor over the flap.

When a reporter asked him a series of questions about the raft of constitutional changes expected to be passed in next month's plebiscite, he joked: "Why don't you shut up?"

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tailgunner Joe, although drunk, was right on

M. Stanton Evans’ long-awaited investigative work Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and his Fight Against America’s Enemies debunks several popular falsehoods about McCarthy and the McCarthy era—myths which are routinely repeated by “progressive” ideologues, historians and journalists alike. Evans’ book is a must-read for anyone interested in pursuing the documented record about McCarthy, Soviet espionage, and communist infiltration during the Cold War era.

In the late 1990s, during the declassification of Venona-related documents from the Soviet archives, a steady stream of information revealed the extent of communist infiltration in the U.S. government during and after the Second World War.

If only he had done the Twelve Steps--he could have done this country a lot of good.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Republican's Limited Government dilemma

A great essay by William Voegeli of the Claremont Institute. Big government just keeps on growing, despite the GOP lip service to reverse it. And no, it's NOT because of military spending increases:

Military spending is a minor factor in the overall growth of government. It was 23.2% of federal spending and 5.2% of gross domestic product in 1981. Those percentages peaked in 1987 at 28.1% and 6.1%, respectively. Defense spending fell steadily thereafter, and was just over 16% of the federal budget and 3% of GDP from 1999 through 2001. Since September 11, defense spending has climbed to 20% of the federal budget and 4% of GDP. Despite the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both figures are lower than they were at any point during Jimmy Carter's presidency.

The engine driving the growth of government has been "human resources"--the Office of Management and Budget's category that includes Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, along with other programs for health, education, veterans and income security. Spending on human resources in 1981 was $362 billion, slightly more than half (53.4%) of all federal outlays. That proportion declined to slightly less than half (49.7%) by the time Reagan left office in 1989. But it turns out there was a peace dividend after the fall of the Berlin Wall: National defense spending dropped from 26.5% of federal outlays in 1989 to 16.1% in 1999. That savings--a tenth of the budget--migrated to human resources, where spending climbed to 60% of outlays by 1995. The category has stayed above that level ever since, reaching almost two-thirds of federal spending (65.6%) and 13.1% of GDP in 2003.
So what's the problem? The problem, as the National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru put it, is that,

while a conservatism whose "central mission" does not emphasize the fight against Big Government is inconceivable, a "political coalition in America capable of sustaining a majority" for that mission is unimaginable. Conservatism, in other words, can have a purpose or it can have a prospect. It cannot, apparently, have both.
It is common for one faction of the GOP to blame another faction for betrayal of the conservative campaign against Big Government. All such explanations, however, assume that but for the weakness or hubris of some key player, the conservative project could have succeeded. Sorry, but cutting back the welfare state is MUCH more difficult than that, and those who earnestly try to do so usually get slaughtered politically:

Lacking an appreciation of the challenges they would face, conservatives never developed a political strategy adequate to the task. There was no systematic effort to pare back the welfare state, no disciplined preparation for the inevitable and aggressive counterattacks by interest groups and liberal journalists. Instead, conservatives time and again were shocked to discover that the people who built the welfare state were so unhelpful about dismantling it. Right-wingers fell into long periods of sullen, stupefied resentment, punctuated by frontal assaults that were brief, furious and futile. Think of David Stockman's crusade to cut spending in 1981; or the 1995 government shutdown, the Pickett's Charge of the Gingrich rebels.
So what to do? Mr. Voegeli suggests that:

It makes sense for conservatives to attack liberalism where it is weakest, rather than where it is strongest. Liberals sell the welfare state one brick at a time, deflecting inquiries about the size and cost of the palace they're building. Citizens are encouraged to regard the government as a rich uncle, who needs constant hectoring to become ever more generous. Conservatives need to make the macro-question the central one, and to insist that limited government is inseparable from self-government. To govern is to choose. To deliberate about the legitimate and desirable extent of the welfare state presupposes that we the people should choose the size and nature of government programs, rather than have them be chosen for us by entitlements misconstrued as inviolable rights.

No political strategy can guarantee success. Under no foreseeable set of circumstances will liberals fear giving voters their spiel: We want the government to give things to you and do things for you. Conservatives can only reply that single-entry bookkeeping doesn't work; every benefit the government confers will correspond to a burden it has to impose. A government that respects citizens as adults will level with them about the benefits and the costs. A conservatism that labors to reverse liberalism's displacement of Americans' rights as citizens with their "rights" as welfare recipients may not achieve victory, but it will at least deserve it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Clarence Thomas is angry? Damn right, he should be

This is from law professor Ann Althouse: “Unforgiven: Why is Clarence Thomas so angry?”

That’s the title of this Jeffrey Toobin piece in The New Yorker. I don’t think that’s a very accurate title and suspect his editor was hot to spread the Thomas-is-angry-meme. What concerns Toobin is Thomas’s attachment to conservative politics.

She goes on to quote Toobin’s concluding paragraph, (as she notes, not “about anger at all”) which says that “There is less to celebrate in the way that Thomas has used the opportunity to speak power to truth.”

This is switch on Anita Hill’s claim to have been “Speaking Truth To Power”–actually, of course, she was engaging in a series of malicious lies–on behalf of the majority party in the Senate at the time, which hardly seems to fit the Mahatma Gandhi/Rosa Parks image conjured up by those words.

And what Toobin calls speaking “power to truth” is no more than strict constitutionalism, and a belief that criminals, if guilty, should be punished.

But what Toobin is objecting to is who Thomas is believed to be mad at: Democratic Senators, and liberal journalists like Toobin. (And Anita Hill, of course.)

After what he went through in his confirmation hearings, and in the press since, I don’t blame Thomas for being mad at any of those people–but Toobin seems to think it’s wrong.

Well, boo hoo hoo, Jeffrey Toobin. And up yours.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Michael Medved essays

He does a pretty good job of it:

1. Reject the lie of white "genocide" against Native Americans. Read this article

2. Six inconvenient truths about the U.S. and slavery. Read this article

3. The Founders intended a Christian, not secular, society. Read this article

4. No, America's never been a multicultural society. Read this article

5. Corporate power blesses, not oppresses, the American people. Read this article

6. How government expansion worsens hard times. Read this article

7. The third party temptation discredits its candidates (and their ideas). Read this article

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween: The ghost of GOP feuds returns

Jonah Goldberg urges infighters not to kill the buzz.

Liberals have an inherent advantage. As long as they promise incremental, "pragmatic" expansions of the government, voters generally give them a pass. And every new expansion since FDR and the New Deal has created a constituency for continued government largesse.

If Hillary Clinton promised to socialize medicine — which, let the record show, she has attempted to do in the past — she would lose. But her current campaign promise to simply expand coverage sounds reasonable enough — even though there's no reason to think she'll stop pushing for a national single-payer health-care system (a.k.a. socialized medicine).

"Liberals sell the welfare state one brick at a time, deflecting inquiries about the size and cost of the palace they're building," writes William Voegeli in an illuminating essay, "The Trouble with Limited Government," in the current issue of the Claremont Review of Books.

Committed conservatives, meanwhile, find themselves at a disadvantage: They advocate smaller government for everybody — when Americans generally (including most Republicans) want smaller government for everybody but themselves.

Some conservatives respond to this dilemma with an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" shrug. If voters don't embrace limited government — which really just means self-government — then have them choose between a big government that does right-wing things and one that does left-wing things. Some of those people are called "compassionate conservatives." Others seek comfort in the soothing irrelevance of purism and adopt libertarian candidates and causes that will never, ever win at the ballot box.

But there is another course for conservatives: Simply do what you can, where you can, including supporting the most conservative candidate who can win and succeed in office.

Meanwhile, writes Voegeli, it "makes sense for conservatives to attack liberalism where it is weakest, rather than where it is strongest." Unlike the utopianisms of the left, conservatism is defined by an understanding that this life can never be made perfect. So you state your ideals and then you compromise when life gives you no other choice. Pry free the bricks you can, loosen the ones you can't, and make peace with the ones you can't budge, until you can.


Meanwhile, Tony Blankley notes an odd attack on Mike Huckabee from what he calls "Small-tent conservatives". Indeed, the attack is odd. If Mr. Huckabee is called a RINO, one can only ask: "Relative to whom? Giuliani? McCain?"

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Arnold Ahlert: The "Top 10" of illegal immigration

Are you sick and tired of hearing there are no “good” solutions to the problem of illegal immigration? So am I. See if my “Top Ten” works for you:

1. Stop telling the American public we need “comprehensive immigration reform.” They know it’s amnesty, and they aren’t buying it. Not now, not ever.

2. Stop using the term “undocumented immigrant” when you’re talking about “illegal aliens.” Who do you think you’re kidding?

3. If Americans genuinely “refuse to do the jobs illegal aliens do,” and fruits and vegetables will be left “rotting in the fields,” two immediate solutions come to mind: either able-bodied American welfare recipients or American prisoners can take up the slack. Why should either group continue to be underwritten by the taxpayers for doing nothing?

4. Demand that the Social Security Administration, the IRS, and the Dept. of Homeland Security share data bases. Think the government doesn’t know who’s using phony Social Security numbers to get work? Think again. Privacy issues? Privacy for who, people who snuck into the country illegally?

5. Build the damn wall–all of it! Stop stalling, stop pretending that “virtual fences,” or “high-tech” whatever are viable substitutes for bricks and mortar. And while we’re at it, create an atmosphere where Border Patrol agents–rather than border-busters–get the benefit of the doubt in any altercations.

6. End the “anchor baby” nonsense. Another item that galls the American public, especially when the MSM trots out the sob stories of illegal parents forced to leave their citizen children behind if America gets tough on illegal immigration.

7. Pass federal legislation requiring the states to use picture IDs for voting. The 2000 presidential election hinged on less than a thousand votes. Would you be willing to bet that less than a thousand illegals cast illegal votes nationwide–in ANY recent election? Those against picture IDs for voters–aka liberal Democrats–are revealing their true motive for keeping 12-20 million non-Americans in the country. The issue is currently before the Supreme Court. To say the future of the nation depends on the outcome is no exaggeration.

8. Phase out all benefits for illegals. In-state college tuition, Matricula Consular IDs, drivers licenses, etc. Can’t be done? Welfare reform put a time limit on benefits, and welfare rolls dropped like rocks nationwide. This one also answers the “lament” about how we can’t deport 12 million people all at once. True, but who said anything had to be done all at once? Swinging the pendulum in the right direction is a great place to start. It’s called “attrition.”

9. End sanctuary cities. Quite simply, this is anarchy masquerading as compassion. Federal law is not “optional,” and those who refuse to enforce it should be held to account.

10. Reform the LEGAL immigration process. We’ve made chumps out those immigrants who’ve stood in line, obeyed the law and want to become productive citizens of America the RIGHT way. Streamlining the process has two benefits: one, America gets more of the kind of people who made this country great and; two, it exposes the outright lying of those who say anyone against the illegal alien free-for-all is nativist, xenophobic or racist.

Immigration is a make-or-break issue in 2008. Survey after survey shows the Americans public is fed up with the idea that big business, in cahoots with the political elite, can radically alter the nature of our country for their naked self-interest. None of the above is “impossible”–and the public knows it.

The elitists can take their “open borders,” “citizens of the world” mentality–and shove it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A commie mommy's son volunteers for Iraq

And Rochelle Reed of San Luis Obispo is shocked, shocked!

When I tell people that Evan has joined the Army, their reactions are almost always the same: their faces freeze, they pause way too long, and then they say, "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry for you." I hang my head and look mournful, accepting their sympathy for the worry that lives in me. But as it dawns on them that Evan wasn't drafted, as Vietnam still clings to my generation, their expressions become quizzical, then disbelieving. I know what they're thinking: Why in the world would any kid in his right mind choose to enlist when we're in the middle of a war? I begin telling them the story, desperate to assure them it wasn't arrogant patriotism or murderous blood lust that convinced him to join. What finally hooked him was a recruiter's comment that if he thought the country's role in Iraq was so screwed up, he should try to fix it.

In a country founded by men who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to secure our liberty, what a tragedy it is that many of its citizens can even conceive of asking that question, or imagine that the only answers to it could be “arrogant patriotism” or “murderous blood lust.”

But this sentence is the real kicker--to repeat it:

What finally hooked him was a recruiter's comment that if he thought the country's role in Iraq was so screwed up, he should try to fix it.

Gee, lady, that sounds like "arrogant patriotism" to me....thinking we can make the lives of people in Iraq better! How dare we (blank)ist and (blank)ophobic Americans think we can do that? Lady, did you forget your multicommunist and politically communist brainwashing?

But as much as you and your sad-faced friends decry your son's decision to enlist, it means a lot to the Iraqis. It means salvation.

In the Name of God the Compassionate and Merciful

To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.

To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.

To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children, and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days, and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city.

Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi’s followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them.

I have met many soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment; they are not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism.

The leaders of this Regiment; COL McMaster, COL Armstrong, LTC Hickey, LTC Gibson, and LTC Reilly embody courage, strength, vision and wisdom. Officers and
soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era. The mission they have accomplished, by means of a unique military operation, stands among the finest military feats to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and truly deserves to be studied in military science. This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage.

God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget. To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child, and in every flower growing in this land. Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.

Finally, no matter how much I write or speak about this brave Regiment, I haven’t the words to describe the courage of its officers and soldiers. I pray to God to grant happiness and health to these legendary heroes and their brave families.

NAJIM ABDULLAH ABID AL-JIBOURI
Mayor of Tal ‘Afar, Ninewa, Iraq


And let's not forget that Zarqawi was an invited guest of Saddam Hussein.....but Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, right? Ah, the Dhimmicrat canards fall hard, don't they?

Meanwhile, this kid had other reasons of his own to enlist:

And on a deeper, personal level, he signed up hoping that after, somehow the Army would help him find what young men these days often try to fill with alcohol, drugs and video games: a sense of purpose.

A teenager when his father and I divorced, he'd never had anyone to teach him what it meant to be a man, he told him when he explained his decision to join the Army. He couldn't concentrate on college courses, he was resisting promotion at his job, and he not only wanted but needed challenge and discipline, he said. The only way to get it, he'd decided, was to pit himself against drill sergeants, armed insurgents and Improvised Explosive Devices. If he could do it, he told me, he'd have the self-assurance he hadn't found in his old life.

So, commie mommy, you in a way brought this upon yourself--breaking up with his dad for your new lover whoever he is (or given San Luis Obispo, whoever she is) wasn't such a good idea now, was it?

Mrs. Reed's piece is also quite a window she provides into the "liberal Democrat and antiwar" subculture of which she is a part. Because of her commie mommy politics, "never in a million years" did she think her son would join the military. The people she knows see his decision as a cause for sorrow, not pride. Mrs. Reed has to talk them out of the assumption that only "arrogant patriotism" (the adjective itself is telling) or "murderous bloodlust" would motivate someone to serve his country, that no "kid in his right mind" would do so.

Judging by Mrs. Reed's account, American liberals harbor a deep and invidious prejudice against the military--a prejudice Mrs. Reed herself is now overcoming, thanks to the bravery of her son.

A year ago, a famous liberal Democrat remarked, "You know, education--if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." Perhaps he didn't know any better. Rochelle Reed now does.

But this lady's response to the commie mommy says it best of all:

I wondered as I read Ms. Reed's article why she was so focused on -- as she puts it -- "the worst case scenario"... not once does she ever mention or even consider that her son may make Iraqi friends... that he will be bringing security to Iraqis... that he will probably help open any number of schools and medical centers or clinics to help those Iraqi mothers and their children... that he will actually SAVE the INNOCENT sons of Iraqi mothers and only defend himself against those who are trying to kill him... Not once does she even consider that her son is working to establish peace for Iraq... and help bring peace to the Middle East. Her story was all about her... (and who CARES what those people think???)

So, Dear Rochelle, I know how you feel... I have felt the fear... but I have also felt immeasurable pride in my soldier -- something I am very sorry that you apparently do not share. And I will tell you what I have told others with the "whoa is me" attitude: IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU.

I hope you can find the time to recognize what a special and selfless person your son is and that perhaps he really CAN and will make it better.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

How San Jose (and the Bay Area) became unaffordable

A fascinating Cato Institute study on how anti-growth and rail transit policies are screwing over San Jose and leading to the very L.A.-style sprawl that advocates of such policies claim to oppose.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Global capitalism saves the children

Rich Lowry gives us sone common sense debunking of the Left.

But he does let one little leftist dogma go by:

Better practices to protect against disease and to enhance nutrition — more vaccinations and mosquito nets, more breast-feeding and vitamin A drops — played a role, but the most important factor in this global good-news story is economic growth. (bold emphasis mine)

It has been a dogma of the Left that evil corporations like Nestle and others tried to stir 3rd world women away from breast feeding. Never mind that at the time baby formula first came to the 3rd world, the adult mothers frequently were themselves malnourished and as a result they couldn't lactate! "Better to at least have the babies properly nourished" was the reasoning of a good many aid agencies, and baby formula was greatly appreciated.

Are mothers in those countries now better nourished so that they can breast feed? All the better. But are we too assume that these 3rd world women are too stupid to think for themselves in their feeding decisions? Now THAT is a kind of arrogant paternalism that used to be associated with colonialism!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bjorn Lomborg debunks the hysteria.

Nothing like a scientist who actually looks at the data.

Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and our own USA (Via Alaska) are making territorial claims on the "offshore" Arctic Ocean, because the region is a source of fossil fuel which can be used for energy. What does this have to do with global warming? Well, it takes around 800,000 years to convert decayed plant, animal and fish matter to crude oil. This process required being under water for eons. It is obvious that the North Pole had a different climate at one time. The idea that humans can control the climate changes which have occurred throughout the earth history is simply a faith-based religion. The planet has been around a lot longer than human beings and the climate changed constantly before humans and will change constantly with humans. We cannot stop this. The North Pole says it all.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Al Qaeda -- In Iraq!!!

The New York Times just can't help itself:

And General Petraeus, unruffled in the face of the Congressional grilling, was more than willing to push back. When Representative Gary L. Ackerman, Democrat of New York, suggested the war was not integral to the anti-terror effort since members of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, sometimes called Al Qaeda in Iraq, the homegrown Sunni
Arab extremist group that American intelligence agencies have concluded is foreign-led, is not part of the Qaeda network behind the Sept. 11 attacks, the general offered a quick retort.

“There is no question that Al Qaeda-Iraq is part of the greater Al Qaeda movement,” General Petraeus said.

“Isn’t it true, General, that Al Qaeda in Iraq formed in 2005, two years after we first got there?” pressed Mr. Ackerman.

“Congressman, I’m not saying when it started,” the military commander said. “I’m saying merely that Al Qaeda-Iraq clearly is part of the overall greater Al Qaeda network.”

So the "foreign led" outfit that Zarqawi built is "not connected" to Al-Quaeda?

They just don't give up with the semantics, do they????

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

09/11/01: Six years later....

Michelle Malkin reminds us:

Every American, however, has a role to play in protecting our homeland — not just from Muslim terrorists, but from their financiers, their public relations machine, their sharia-pimping activists, the anti-war goons, the civil liberties absolutists, and the academic apologists for our enemies.

Earlier this year, jihadist enablers attempted to intimidate citizen whistleblowers who said something about the suspicious behavior of six imams on a US Airways flight in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The legal battle to protect ordinary Americans from such lawsuits gave rise to the John Doe movement. Pro bono lawyers and GOP members of Congress stepped up to provide protection. And Americans across the country expressed solidarity with the airline passengers targeted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations and its ilk.

The Left greeted the John Doe movement with mockery and derision, preferring instead to suck its collective thumb, wield the grievance card and play the blame game. But it's the John Does of the country, not the race-hustling litigators and speech-stiflers, who will help prevent the next terrorist attack. They are John Does like Brian Morgenstern, the young Circuit City employee who contacted authorities after viewing a jihadist training video by the Fort Dix Six Plotters.

"It was a difficult decision at first," Morgenstern told Fox News. "I went home, and I talked with my family about it. And we all came to the general conclusion that it was the right thing to do." No regrets. No apologies. And no "if onlys."

Not everyone is willing to do the right thing. When the FBI recently asked for the public's help in identifying two men acting suspiciously on Pacific Northwest ferries, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper refused to run the photos — and instead held a reader haiku contest mocking the terrorism concerns.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Random Thoughts By Thomas Sowell

Too good not to repeat:

I can't get as fiercely involved as some other people do in controversies about the origins of human life on earth. I wasn't there.

Barack Obama is the newest face on the political scene, expressing some of the oldest notions. Virtually everything he says is vintage 1960s rhetoric, as if he has learned nothing from the many disasters that 1960s notions have led to in the decades since then.

People who lament the small percentages of women in some high-end jobs seem unaware that top jobs often involve 70 or 80 hours of work per week. A mother may work that many hours at home taking care of a family, without adding the same number of hours at the office.

A recent study showed the median income of major corporate CEOs to be about $8 million a year. That's less than a third of what Alex Rodriguez earns and less than one-thirtieth of what Oprah Winfrey makes. But no one is denouncing them for "greed."

It is amazing how many people who want us to get out of Iraq want us to go into Darfur. As if Saddam Hussein was behaving better than the Sudan's current regime.

A joke says that a poll was taken in California, asking if people thought illegal immigration was a serious problem. The results showed that 29 percent said, "Yes, there is a serious problem." But 71 percent said, "No es una problema seriosa."

People who refuse to face the reality of hard choices are forever coming up with some clever "third way"— often leading to worse disasters than either of the hard choices.

Sometimes it looks as if the Democrats are out to win at all costs, while the Republicans are out to compromise at all costs.

Although I am ready to defend what I have said, many people expect me to defend what others have attributed to me.

Wise people created civilization over the centuries and clever people are dismantling it today. You can see it happening just by channel surfing on TV or hear it in rap music or read it in the pompous nonsense of academics and judges.

Many on the political left are so entranced by the beauty of their vision that they cannot see the ugly reality they are creating in the real world.

With all the old movie favorites being shown again and again on television, it is remarkable that the old movie classic "Alfie" is seldom shown. Could it be fear that the scene where cold-blooded Alfie breaks down and cries at the sight of an aborted baby is something that would unleash the furies of the feminazis?

It is amazing how many people see no problem with having pay levels determined according to what third parties would like to see, instead of according to supply and demand.

One of the great non sequiturs of the left is that, if the free market doesn't work perfectly, then it doesn't work at all— and the government should step in.

We all believe that people are innocent until proven guilty. Some on the left believe that they are innocent even after being proven guilty.

Chutzpah department: When disbarred former D.A. Michael Nifong mailed his Bar card back to his state Bar Association, he included a note decrying "the fundamental unfairness" with which the Bar had treated him. This from a man who was ready to ruin three lives and polarize a community, in order to win an election.

Thomas Sowell: No "Health Care"? GOOD!



Thomas Sowell points out facts and debunks myths about the 1950's, before "Great Society" Federal Government involvement in health care:

(1) Out of pocket isn't that punitive, and in fact forces wiser decisions:
 "During the first 30 years of my life, I had no health insurance. Neither did a lot of other people, back in those days.

During those 30 years, I had a broken arm, a broken jaw, a badly injured shoulder, and miscellaneous other medical problems. To say that my income was below average during those years would be a euphemism.

How did I manage? The same way everybody else managed: I went to doctors and I paid them directly, instead of paying indirectly through taxes.

This was all before politicians gave us the idea that the things we could not afford individually we could somehow afford collectively through the magic of government.

When my jaw was broken, I was treated in an emergency room and was given a bill for $50 — which was like a king's ransom to me at the time, 1949. But I paid it off in installments over a period of months.

Like most young people, I was lucky enough not to have any heavy-duty medical expenses that would have required major operations or a long hospital stay.
(2) Government health care, like Social Security and Medicare, will mean the young subsidizing the old:
That is still true for most young people today, which is why many people in their twenties do not choose to pay for medical insurance, even when they can afford it.

They know that, in an emergency, they can always go to an emergency room. And today the idea that you ought to pay for that out of your own pocket is considered almost quaint in some quarters.

It is not uncommon — especially in California, with its large illegal immigrant population — for hospitals to have to shut down because so few people pay for the emergency room care they receive.

There are, of course, people with huge medical bills that they cannot possibly pay. Believe it or not, that also happened back before the modern welfare state.

Some hospitals — whether public or private — could absorb such costs, with the help of donors. There were people with polio living in iron lungs, which is why rich and poor alike gave money to the March of Dimes.
(3) "Not being able to afford health care" does not mean not being able to have a new Iphone because you paid your out of pocket medical bills instead:
But that is very different from hospitals being stiffed every day by emergency room users whose only emergency is that they want to keep their money to spend on fun, instead of on doctors.
(4) The biggest of the big lies in the "health care" hype is that a lack of insurance means a lack of medical care.

(5) The second biggest lie is that health care and medical care are the same thing.
Doctors cannot stop you from ruining your health in a hundred different ways, so statistics on everything from infant mortality to AIDS are not proof of a need for government to take over medical treatment.
(6) Few people show the slightest interest in what has actually happened in countries with government-controlled medical care.
We are apparently supposed to follow those countries' example without asking about the months that people in those countries spend on waiting lists for medical treatments that Americans get just by picking up a phone and making an appointment.

It is amazing how many people seem uninterested in such things as why so many doctors in Britain are from Third World countries with lower medical standards — or why people from Canada come to the United States for medical treatment that they could get cheaper at home.
(7) Government price controls on pharmaceutical drugs are more of the same illusion of something for nothing.
People who are urging us to follow other countries that control the prices of medications seem uninterested in the fact that those countries depend on the United States to create new drugs, after they destroyed incentives to do so in their own countries.

Since it takes more than a decade to create a new drug, a politician can be elected president by hyping price controls on drugs, spend eight years in the White House, and be living in retirement before people start to notice that we no longer get the kinds of new medications that successively conquered deadly diseases in the past.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

No secret ballots? Voter intimidation...

If there was any doubt about the communistic nature of the political Left, consider the case of SB 180 by Carole Migden, which just passed the Senate on a party-line vote on its way to the governor. SB 180 replaces vote by secret ballot for farm worker organizing elections with a process euphemistically called “card-check,” in which a ballot can be thrust in front of a worker by any one at any time.

I guess the Demunists are really taking their cues from Hugo Chavez and his style of "democracy", aren't they?

Hey Carol baby, what is it about the right to a secret ballot that bothers you?

That’s exactly what this issue comes down to: the right of every worker to hear both sides of a question and then – in the privacy of a voting booth free from coercion, intimidation or recrimination – the worker is free to cast his or her ballot according to his or her own conscience and best judgment.

This right assures that whatever the pressure – whether from the employer, the union, the supervisor, the shop steward, even the spouse – that the workers, in the private sanctity of the voting booth, can cast their own votes according to their own best lights – without worrying how it will affect employment or friendships or working relationships.

This is the absolute, fundamental pre-condition for ANY representative republic – NOBODY can look over your shoulder while you cast your vote. NOBODY.

This measure utterly guts this fundamental principle upon which all free societies are based. It provides that one side can cajole, pressure, threaten, plead, and demand that a worker cast his or her vote while in the presence of the mob. Hugo Chavez and other "populist" goons would be proud.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Goths at Disney: Turning Rebellion Into Money...



Original LA Weekly Story here. Quotes from that article:

Despite Fastpasses and supplies of $3 churros, there is plenty of time to kill in line as we stand among the goths, leaving ample opportunity for contemplation. How young is too young to start dressing your child as a goth?
Is it bad form to run up to goths and snap their picture without asking, lest your digital photo inadvertently steal their immortal souls?
How does one maintain the requisite deathly white pallor in this relentless California sun?
(Judging by a good many, one doesn't). The author goes on:

Sure, I was a poser goth in high school. I shared black eyeliner with my boyfriend and read Rilke and Oscar Wilde. I listened to Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Smiths (who are arguably not goth) and the Cure (who are inescapably goth). But I was never able to sufficiently answer any of these questions.
Last year I was at the Magic Kingdom, not on this "Bats Day", and there were quite a few gothy kids around, riding the Haunted Mansion and the Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror over at the adjacent California Adventure Theme Park.

According to one of the park employees I spoke to, Disneyland officials at first tried to discourage the goths, but then decided to cater to them, with a gift shop the specialized in Goth paraphenalia and items. As well as hiring a Goth or two to work at the ride. That's not a Goth visitor, that's a park employee:
And why not? These people have kids too, future Disney customers:
And are these not family values? Fathers, Mothers and sons and daughters:



Although I could never go all out like that (I had a job to hold down and night school to go to, and I still have a day job to hold down now), I always liked and still do like these people. And I too still often wear black on the outside, because that is how I feel on the inside. And if I seem a little strange, well, that's because I am...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Will they ever tell the WHOLE truth about slavery?

Probably not, because it doesn't fit the agenda of America-bashing.

While large parts of America once had slavery, it’s NOT an American idea. It STILL goes on in Africa, and America is where a Civil War was fought to stop it. American slave traders bought slaves in Africa not because they uniquely coveted or disliked Africans, but because it was the only place in the world people were still conveniently for sale. Neither Europe nor Asia had that distinction.

In 2000, at an observance attended by delegates from several European countries and the United States, officials from Benin publicized President Mathieu Kerekou’s apology for his country’s role in “selling fellow Africans by the millions to white slave traders.” “We cry for forgiveness and reconciliation,” said Luc Gnacadja, Benin’s minister of environment and housing. Cyrille Oguin, Benin’s ambassador to the United States, acknowledged, “We share in the responsibility for this terrible human tragedy.”

Also, remember, while the Atlantic Slave Trade and the horrors of the Middle Passage are what every American learns about in school, it wasn’t the only slave trade, and they weren’t the only horrors. Long before Columbus discovered America, Africans were selling other Africans to Arab slave traders in the North of Africa, and marching them north through deserts where many of them died. (Sadly this still goes on, as Sudan shows).

In the meantime, while whites are apologizing all over the place for their distant ancestors’ role in African slavery, (Clinton apologized, George W. Bush apologized, the next President will probably apologize) slavery still goes on in Africa, including Benin.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Let's Hear It For Newsweek

Global Warming Fraud mixes with chutzpah:

Introducing Newsweek's Aug. 13 cover story on global warming "denial," editor Jon Meacham brings up an embarrassing blast from his magazine's past: an April 1975 story about global cooling, and the coming ice age that scientists then were predicting. Meacham concedes that "those who doubt that greenhouse gases are causing significant climate change have long pointed to the 1975 Newsweek piece as an example of how wrong journalists and researchers can be." But rather than acknowledge that the skeptics may have a point, Meacham shrugs it off.

"On global cooling," he writes, "there was never anything even remotely approaching the current scientific consensus that the world is growing warmer because of the emission of greenhouse gases."

Really? Newsweek took rather a different line in 1975. Then, the magazine reported that scientists were "almost unanimous" in believing that the looming Big Chill would mean a decline in food production, with some warning that "the resulting famines could be catastrophic." Moreover, it said, "the evidence in support of these predictions" — everything from shrinking growing seasons to increased North American snow cover to record-setting tornado outbreaks — had "begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it."
Yet Meacham, quoting none of this, simply brushes aside the 1975 report as "alarmist" and "discredited." Today, he assures his readers, Newsweek's climate-change anxieties rest "on the safest of scientific ground."

Do they? Then why is the tone of Sharon Begley's cover story — nine pages in which anyone skeptical of the claim that human activity is causing global warming is painted as a bought-and-paid-for lackey of the coal and oil industries — so strident and censorious? Why the relentless labeling of those who point out weaknesses in the global-warming models as "deniers," or agents of the "denial machine," or deceptive practitioners of "denialism?" Wouldn't it be more effective to answer the challengers, some of whom are highly credentialed climate scientists in their own right, with scientific data and arguments, instead of snide insinuations of venality and deceit? Do Newsweek and Begley really believe that everyone who dissents from the global-warming doomsaying does so in bad faith?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dennis Prager: Putting the Party before America?

Dennis Prager observes that the Democrat Party:

....has linked all its electoral hopes on domestic pathologies, economic downturns and foreign failure. It is actually difficult to name any positive development for America that would benefit the Democratic Party's chances in a national election.
He then gives the examples of the Iraq War, race relations, marriages, and immigrant assimilation. And those examples do prove a point: that disgusting anti-American, anti-family, and "multicultural divide-and-conquer" viruses have infected the Democrat Party.

However, on one other example, Dennis is on shakier ground:

Concerning the economy, the same rule applies. The better Americans feel they are doing, the worse it is for Democrats. By almost every economic measure (the current housing crisis excepted), Americans are doing well. The unemployment rate has been at historically low levels and inflation has been held in check, something that rarely accompanies low unemployment rates. Nevertheless, Democrats regularly appeal to class resentment, knowing that sowing seeds of economic resentment increases their chances of being elected.

Well, Dennis, the disastrous economy of the late 1970's led to Carter being thrown out on his arse, and the economy of 1993-1994 was still in the doldrums, which helped fuel the Gingrich rebellion in the Congressional elections of 1994. Surely a Republican challenger will take advantage of an economic recession on his opponent's watch as well.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Now available online: "Alien Nation"

Now available online: Peter Brimelow's landmark 1995 book Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster. Download it here.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Former Communist Agent makes revealing remark


Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former agent from the formerly Communist Romania, says "Take it from this old KGB hand: The left is abetting America's enemies with its intemperate attacks on President Bush." Nothing new there.
But one paragraph in his essay gave me pause:
During the Vietnam War we spread vitriolic stories around the world, pretending that America's presidents sent Genghis Khan-style barbarian soldiers to Vietnam who raped at random, taped electrical wires to human genitals, cut off limbs, blew up bodies and razed entire villages. Those weren't facts. They were our tales, but some seven million Americans ended up being convinced their own president, not communism, was the enemy.

Monday, August 06, 2007

"Californian" terrorist plot

Of course, the “Californian” turns about to be - well, read on:
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 3 — Federal authorities said Friday that a California man has been arrested on terrorism-related charges and indicted along with his Malaysian brother, a fugitive and suspected leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, the group blamed for killing 202 people in the 2002 bombing of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia.

Rahmat Abdhir, 43, a United States citizen of Malaysian descent living in San Jose, was arrested at his workplace in Sunnyvale on Thursday after officials issued a 16-count indictment charging him with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, lying to federal officials and contributing goods and services to a “global terrorist.”
Californian Arrested on Terror Charges, New York Times, (no byline), August 4, 2007.

This censoring of the race and/or national origin of crime suspects is generally justified on the grounds that race and/or national origin is irrelevant - absurdly, because no facts can ever be completely irrelevant.

But in this case the news that terrorists are not appearing among native-born California Girls (and boys) is highly relevant. So is the news that U.S. immigration and naturalization policy is apparently failing to exclude terrorists.
 That, of course, is exactly why the news is being censored.

The New York Times has a “Public Editor“. Readers should ask him why the headline was not the more truthful (and relevant) “Immigrant Arrested On Terror Charges”.

But is this just the out of touch East Coast elites of the New York Times? No, the terrorist suspect is also referred to as “San Jose Man“ by the local Jerk-The-Knee News, “South Bay Man” by San Francisco's KGO Channel 7, and even “U.S. Citizen,” by ABC News!!!

But one headline writer did refer to him him and his brother as ” Malaysian brothers.” That’s Eddie Chua’s story, "Malaysian brothers charged with having terror links." It’s in the Malaysian Star. Which is published in Malaya.

And the liberal media wonders why newspaper readership and network news viewership declines....

And that even goes if the terrorists ARE locals--of the "correct" religion AND the "correct" race. When I heard that the story of a worker at “Your Black Muslim Bakery” in Oakland, California who shot a journalist wasn’t getting as much play as you might expect, I wasn’t surprised. Even when the murder victim was a crusading African-American journalist for an African-American community newspaper.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Renewable Energy Realities

A great article debunking the "green" energy nonsense. Not only is it not economical, it ISN'T "green"!

Large-scale power generation from biomass would require that “vast areas be shaved or harvested annually,” Ausubel says. It would take 2,500 square kilometers of prime Iowa farmland to produce as much electricity from biomass as from a single nuclear power plant.

“Increased use of biomass fuel in any form is criminal,” Ausubel stated in a media release. “Every automobile would require a pasture of 1-2 hectares.” He added.

Wind power? While it’s much less land intensive than biomass, that’s not saying much. A 770-square-kilometer area would only produce as much electricity as a single 1,000 Megawatt nuclear plant.

A wind farm the size of Texas would be required to extract, store and transport annual U.S. energy needs. “Every square meter of Connecticut” would have to be turned into a wind farm to provide all of New York City’s electricity demands.

Solar power is also quite a land hog. As photovoltaic cells are only 10 percent efficient and have seen no breakthroughs in 30 years, U.S. electric consumption would require a 150,000-square kilometer area of photovoltaics, plus additional land for electricity storage and retrieval.
The photovoltaic industry would have to step up its production by 600,000 times to produce the same amount of power as that generated by single 1,000 Megawatt nuclear plant.

Aside from land misuse, Ausubel also raises the other undesirable consequences of renewables: wind power produces low-frequency noise and thumps, blights landscapes, interferes with TV reception, and chops birds and bats....and solar power would require that large areas of land be essentially “painted black” with photovoltaic cells.

In terms of resource use, the infrastructure of a wind farm takes five to 10 times the steel and concrete used in a 1970-vintage nuclear power plant.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Monica Lewinsky


Today we celebrate a special birthday. Monica Lewinsky turns 34. Can you believe it? It seems like only yesterday she was crawling around the White House on her hands and knees. They grow up so fast, don't they?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What are you going to do--throw them all out?

Such is the snarky rhetoric of bogus "comprehensive immigration reform" (in reality, illegal alien amnesty) advocates.

And for a while, I actually believed such rhetoric myself. I focused upon walling and fencing off the southern border, because the efforts to round up and deport illegal aliens would be much more costly in comparison.

Moreover, the efforts at employer enforcement would prove fruitless, given the massive size of the for cash "underground" economy, in which millions of US citizens, let alone illegal aliens are involved, or so I reasoned.

And there is an even bigger problem with employer sanctions: Employers are to be punished for not detecting and excluding illegal immigrants, when the government itself is derelict in doing so.

Employers not only lack expertise in law enforcement, they can be sued for "discrimination" by any of the armies of lawyers who make such lawsuits their lucrative specialty.

But no penalties are likely to be enforced against state and local politicians who openly declare "sanctuary" for illegal immigrants. Officials sworn to uphold the law instead forbid the police to report the illegal status of immigrants to federal officials when these illegals are arrested for other crimes.

Like most pro-alien nation rhetoric, the "we can't throw them out" argument is disingenuous.

First, there is the reality of deterrence. Just as we don't need to solve every crime and catch every criminal, in order to have deterrents to crime, neither do we have to ferret out and deport every one of the 12 million illegal aliens in this country in order to deter a flood of new illegal aliens.

Second, this argument masks the reality that in many cases, we have never even tried. All across this country, illegal aliens are being caught by the police for all sorts of violations of American laws, from traffic laws to laws against murder. Yet in many, if not most, places the police are under orders not to report these illegal aliens to the federal government.

Third, the obvious fact is that imprisoning known and apprehended lawbreakers for the crime of illegally entering this country, in addition to whatever other punishment they receive for other laws that they have broken -- and then sending them back where they came from after their sentences have been served -- would be something that would not be lost on others who are here illegally or who are thinking of coming here illegally.

Just as people can do many things better for themselves than the government can do those things for them, illegal aliens could begin deporting themselves if they found that their crime of coming here illegally was being punished as a serious crime, and that they themselves were no longer being treated as guests of the taxpayers when it comes to their medical care, the education of their children, and other welfare state benefits.

Mark Steyn cleverly tears apart the phony argument as well:

Everyone wants to sound reasonable and be the chap who charts the middle course between the Scylla of open borders and the Charybdis of mass deportation. But these are not equivalent dangers. The Charybdis of mass deportation is a mythical monster: It does not exist. It will never exist. No politician is arguing for it, and no U.S. agency is capable of accomplishing it. Indeed, even non-mass deportation does not exist. Go on, try it. Go to your local immigration office and say: Hello, boys. Here I am. I'm an illegal immigrant, got no right to be here, been breaking the law for 20 years, but I've seen the light and I want you to deport me back to Mexico, Yemen, you name it. The immigration guys will say: Leave your name and address and we'll get back to you in a decade or three.

But the Scylla of open borders does exist. It's the reality of the situation. What else would you call it when a population the size of Belgium's (the lowball estimate) or Australia's (the upper end) moves onto your land? And with the connivance of multiple state agencies, not to mention those municipalities that proudly declare themselves to be "sanctuary cities?"

Friday, July 13, 2007

"Seeing Al Qaeda Around Every Corner", are we?

So says New York Times putz Clark Hoyt.

He starts off apologizing to the lamestream media Party cadres about how the New York Slimes has "slipped" in its coverage:

But these are stories you haven’t been reading in The Times in recent weeks as the newspaper has slipped into a routine of quoting the president and the military uncritically about Al Qaeda’s role in Iraq — and sometimes citing the group itself without attribution.

And in using the language of the administration, the newspaper has also failed at times to distinguish between Al Qaeda, the group that attacked the United States on Sept. 11, and Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, an Iraqi group that didn’t even exist until after the American invasion.
But then, in a news story a few days later, the New York Times reporters MICHAEL R. GORDON and JIM RUTENBERG note all the foreign (i.e., Al Qaeda) influence in the "homegrown" Iraq insurgency. They try to pass this off by explaining that:

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian who became the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, came to Iraq in 2002 when Saddam Hussein was still in power, but there is no evidence that Mr. Hussein’s government provided support for Mr. Zarqawi and his followers.
Uh, sorry, but events unapproved by Saddam unhappened in his Iraq. Moreover, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a personal guest of the Saddam regime. He DIDN'T come to the Kurdish rebel zone, or any zone where Shi'ite militias held sway.

The NYT reporters go on to admit that:

Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy, questioned Mr. Zarqawi’s strategy of organizing attacks against Shiites, according to captured materials. But Mr. Zarqawi clung to his strategy of mounting sectarian attacks in an effort to foment a civil war and make the American occupation untenable.

The precise size of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia is not known. Estimates are that it may have from a few thousand to 5,000 fighters and perhaps twice as many supporters. While the membership of the group is mostly Iraqi, the role that foreigners play is crucial.

Abu Ayyub al-Masri is an Egyptian militant who emerged as the successor of Mr. Zarqawi, who was killed near Baquba in an American airstrike last year. American military officials say that 60 to 80 foreign fighters come to Iraq each month to fight for the group, and that 80 to 90 percent of suicide attacks in Iraq have been conducted by foreign-born operatives of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.
The report concludes with this:

The broader issue is whether Iraq is a central front in the war against Al Qaeda, as Mr. Bush maintains, or a distraction that has diverted the United States from focusing on the Qaeda sanctuaries in Pakistan while providing Qaeda leaders with a cause for rallying support.
Oh, puhleeze. A pullout from Iraq would allow Al Qaeda to claim victory, period. There are many fronts in this war, whether or not the New York Slimes wants to admit it.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Supreme Court: Never mind the Demunists, Here's the RINOs

A narrow victory was squeezed out of the Supreme Court today! Another nail in the coffin of Affirmative Racism and social engineering!

The Forces Of Good:
Alito
Kennedy (if barely)
Roberts
Scalia
Thomas

The Forces Of Evil:
Breyer
Ginsburg
Souter
Stevens

Note that Justice Kennedy is just barely hanging on here and is somewhat of a wuss:

Justice Kennedy agreed that the Court has jurisdiction to decide these cases and that respondents' student assignment plans are not narrowly tailored to achieve the compelling goal of diversity properly defined, but concluded that some parts of the plurality opinion imply an unyielding insistence that race cannot be a factor in instances when it may be taken into account.
One can only hope this leads to a reconsideration of the convoluted reasoning of Grutter v. Bollinger, where "diversity" was upheld to be a compelling state interest.

And in court decision after court decision, the trouble has more often than not come not from the Clinton Democrat appointees, but from the RINO Republican appointees (Souter, Stevens, to say nothing of the former Justice O'Connor, and Anthony Kennedy comes dangerously close)

Justice Thomas just kicks ass:

Lacking a cognizable interest in remediation, neither of these plans can survive strict scrutiny because neither plan serves a genuinely compelling state interest. The dissent avoids reaching that conclusion by unquestioningly accepting the assertions of selected social scientists while completely ignoring the fact that those assertions are the subject of fervent debate. Ultimately, the dissent's entire analysis is corrupted by the considerations that lead it initially to question whether strict scrutiny should apply at all. What emerges is a version of "strict scrutiny" that combines hollow assurances of harmlessness with reflexive acceptance of conventional wisdom. When it comes to government race-based decisionmaking, the Constitution demands more.
(...)
Most of the dissent's criticisms of today's result can be traced to its rejection of the color-blind Constitution. See post, at 29. The dissent attempts to marginalize the notion of a color-blind Constitution by consigning it to me and Members of today's plurality.19 See ibid.; see also post, at 61. But I am quite comfortable in the company I keep. My view of the Constitution is Justice Harlan's view in Plessy: "Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens." Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U. S. 537, 559 (1896) (dissenting opinion). And my view was the rallying cry for the lawyers who litigated Brown. See, e.g., Brief for Appellants in Brown v. Board of Education, O. T. 1953, Nos. 1, 2, and 4 p. 65 ("That the Constitution is color blind is our dedicated belief"); Brief for Appellants in Brown v. Board of Education, O. T. 1952, No. 1, p. 5 ("The Fourteenth Amendment precludes a state from imposing distinctions or classifications based upon race and color alone");20 see also In Memoriam: Honorable Thurgood Marshall, Proceedings of the Bar and Officers of the Supreme Court of the United States, X (1993) (remarks of Judge Motley) ("Marshall had a 'Bible' to which he turned during his most depressed moments. The 'Bible' would be known in the legal community as the first Mr. Justice Harlan's dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U. S. 537, 552 (1896). I do not know of any opinion which buoyed Marshall more in his pre-Brown days ...").

The dissent appears to pin its interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause to current societal practice and expectations, deference to local officials, likely practical consequences, and reliance on previous statements from this and other courts. Such a view was ascendant in this Court's jurisprudence for several decades. It first appeared in Plessy, where the Court asked whether a state law providing for segregated railway cars was "a reasonable regulation." 163 U. S., at 550. The Court deferred to local authorities in making its determination, noting that in inquiring into reasonableness "there must necessarily be a large discretion on the part of the legislature." Ibid. The Court likewise paid heed to societal practices, local expectations, and practical consequences by looking to "the established usages, customs and traditions of the people, and with a view to the promotion of their comfort, and the preservation of the public peace and good order." Ibid. Guided by these principles, the Court concluded: "[W]e cannot say that a law which authorizes or even requires the separation of the two races in public conveyances is unreasonable, or more obnoxious to the Fourteenth Amendment than the acts of Congress requiring separate schools for colored children in the District of Columbia." Id., at 550-551.

The segregationists in Brown embraced the arguments the Court endorsed in Plessy. Though Brown decisively rejected those arguments, today's dissent replicates them to a distressing extent. Thus, the dissent argues that "[e]ach plan embodies the results of local experience and community consultation." Post, at 47. Similarly, the segregationists made repeated appeals to societal practice and expectation. See, e.g., Brief for Appellees on Reargument in Briggs v. Elliott, O. T. 1953, No. 2, p. 76 ("[A] State has power to establish a school system which is capable of efficient administration, taking into account local problems and conditions").21 The dissent argues that "weight [must be given] to a local school board's knowledge, expertise, and concerns," post, at 48, and with equal vigor, the segregationists argued for deference to local authorities. See, e.g., Brief for Kansas on Reargument in Brown v. Board of Education, O. T. 1953, No. 1, p. 14 ("We advocate only a concept of constitutional law that permits determinations of state and local policy to be made on state and local levels. We defend only the validity of the statute that enables the Topeka Board of Education to determine its own course").22 The dissent argues that today's decision "threatens to substitute for present calm a disruptive round of race-related litigation," post, at 2, and claims that today's decision "risks serious harm to the law and for the Nation," post, at 65. The segregationists also relied upon the likely practical consequences of ending the state-imposed system of racial separation. See, e.g., Brief for Appellees on Reargument in Davis v. County School Board, O. T. 1953, No. 3, p. 37 ("Yet a holding that school segregation by race violates the Constitution will result in upheaval in all of those places not now subject to Federal judicial scrutiny. This Court has made many decisions of widespread effect; none would affect more people more directly in more fundamental interests and, in fact, cause more chaos in local government than a reversal of the decision in this case").23 And foreshadowing today's dissent, the segregationists most heavily relied upon judicial precedent. See, e.g., Brief for Appellees on Reargument in Briggs v. Elliott, O. T. 1953, No. 2, p. 59 ("[I]t would be difficult indeed to find a case so favored by precedent as is the case for South Carolina here").24

The similarities between the dissent's arguments and the segregationists' arguments do not stop there. Like the dissent, the segregationists repeatedly cautioned the Court to consider practicalities and not to embrace too theoretical a view of the Fourteenth Amendment.25 And just as the dissent argues that the need for these programs will lessen over time, the segregationists claimed that reliance on segregation was lessening and might eventually end.26
To which Justice Stevens replies with truly pathetic vaporing:

There is a cruel irony in The Chief Justice's reliance on our decision in Brown v. Board of Education, 349 U. S. 294 (1955). The first sentence in the concluding paragraph of his opinion states: "Before Brown, schoolchildren were told where they could and could not go to school based on the color of their skin." Ante, at 40. This sentence reminds me of Anatole France's observation: "[T]he majestic equality of the la[w], forbid[s] rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread."1 The Chief Justice fails to note that it was only black schoolchildren who were so ordered; indeed, the history books do not tell stories of white children struggling to attend black schools.2 In this and other ways, The Chief Justice rewrites the history of one of this Court's most important decisions. Compare ante, at 39 ("history will be heard"), with Brewer v. Quarterman, 550 U. S. ___, ___ (2007) (slip op., at 11) (Roberts, C. J., dissenting) ("It is a familiar adage that history is written by the victors").
Oh up yours. The schools in these cases were trying to assign students to places solely on the basis of race, not financial need or economic circumstance.

But it gets worse: Justice Stevens prattles on:

The Chief Justice rejects the conclusion that the racial classifications at issue here should be viewed differently than others, because they do not impose burdens on one race alone and do not stigmatize or exclude.3 The only justification for refusing to acknowledge the obvious importance of that difference is the citation of a few recent opinions--none of which even approached unanimity--grandly proclaiming that all racial classifications must be analyzed under "strict scrutiny." See, e.g., Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peńa, 515 U. S. 200, 227 (1995). Even today, two of our wisest federal judges have rejected such a wooden reading of the Equal Protection Clause in the context of school integration. See 426 F. 3d 1162, 1193-1196 (CA9 2005) (Kozinski, J., concurring); Comfort v. Lynn School Comm., 418 F. 3d 1, 27-29 (CA1 2005) (Boudin, C. J., concurring). The Court's misuse of the three-tiered approach to Equal Protection analysis merely reconfirms my own view that there is only one such Clause in the Constitution. See Craig v. Boren, 429 U. S. 190, 211 (1976) (concurring opinion).4
Which is precisely the problem. Justice Stevens still pushes the "living breathing document" crap vs. a true rule of law, which is like a yardstick. Dare I say it, a "wooden" yardstick!

Justice Stevens concludes with this monumental statement:

It is my firm conviction that no Member of the Court that I joined in 1975 would have agreed with today's decision.
Sorry, Justice Stevens, but "The Lone Ranger", were he still alive, would certainly have agreed with it.

Butg even if that is true with respect to the other justices besides Rhenquist, then perhaps it's time for Justice Stevens to just retire or die, then?