Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Stupid GOP Leadership?

This morning, I tooted the GOP horn, focusing on differences in how the GOP and the Dems handled sexual scandal.

Not the horn-toots are starting to sound painfully off-key. WaPo:

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) was notified early this year of inappropriate e-mails from former representative Mark Foley (R-Fla.) to a 16-year-old page, a top GOP House member said yesterday -- contradicting the speaker's assertions that he learned of concerns about Foley only last week.

Hastert did not dispute the claims of Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.), and his office confirmed that some of Hastert's top aides knew last year that Foley had been ordered to cease contact with the boy and to treat all pages respectfully.

Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, became the second senior House Republican to say that Hastert has known of Foley's contacts for months, prompting Democratic attacks about the GOP leadership's inaction. Foley abruptly resigned his seat Friday.

House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post on Friday that he had learned in late spring of inappropriate e-mails Foley sent to the page, a boy from Louisiana, and that he promptly told Hastert, who appeared to know already of the concerns. Hours later, Boehner contacted The Post to say he could not be sure he had spoken with Hastert.

Cover-ups and lies are not what we expect from a morality-based leadership of a morality-based party. I'm not a pollyanna. I don't expect a great deal from people who choose politics as a career. But I expect much more than this shameful stupidity from the leaders of our party.

I also know better than to believe what MSM say the story is. I'll watch it unfold ... prepared to be disgusted as it does.

Inhofe Blasts Media On Global Warming

Sen. James Inhofe gave a barn-burner of a speech on global warming on the Senate Floor last week. (Don't worry; "barn-burner" is a figure of speech; the only harmful greenhouse gas released was CO2 from Inhofe's exhales).

On Thursday, he took the highly unusual act of defending the speech against biased coverage from CNN. Here's a lengthy excerpt; you can read the whole speech here. (Because the excerpt is so long, I'm not indenting it.) A little past half-way through, you'll see "Heinz Foundation" in boldface. If you're skimming stoop there; it's interesting stuff about the role of the foundation Mrs. John Kerry chairs and its role in Warmieism.

[Start of speech] This past Monday, I took to this floor for the eighth time to discuss global warming. My speech focused on the myths surrounding global warming and how our national news media has embarrassed itself with a 100-year documented legacy of coverage on what turned out to be trendy climate science theories. My speech ignited an internet firestorm. So much so, that my speech became the subject of a heated media controversy in New Zealand. Halfway across the globe, a top official from the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition challenged New Zealand’s television station to balance what he termed “alarmist doom-casting” and criticized them for failing to report the views of scientists in their own country that I cited here in America.

Over the last century, the media has flip-flopped between global cooling and warming scares. At the turn of the 20th century, the media peddled an upcoming ice age -- and they said the world was coming to an end. Then in the 1930s, the alarm was raised about disaster from global warming -- and they said the world was coming to an end. Then in the 70’s, an alarm for another ice age was raised -- and they said the world was coming to an end. And now, today we are back to fears of catastrophic global warming -- and again they are saying the world is coming to an end.

Today I would like to share the fascinating events that have unfolded since my floor speech on Monday.


This morning, CNN ran a segment criticizing my speech on global warming and attempted to refute the scientific evidence I presented to counter climate fears.

First off, CNN reporter Miles O’Brien inaccurately claimed I was “too busy” to appear on his program this week to discuss my 50 minute floor speech on global warming. But they were told I simply was not available on Tuesday or Wednesday.

I did appear on another CNN program today -- Thursday -- which I hope everyone will watch. The segment airs tonight on CNN’s Glenn Beck Show on Headline News at 7pm and repeats at 9pm and midnight Eastern.

Second, CNN’s O’Brien falsely claimed that I was all “alone on Capitol Hill” when it comes to questioning global warming.

Mr. O’Brien is obviously not aware that the U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly rejected Kyoto style carbon caps when it voted down the McCain-Lieberman climate bill 60-28 last year – an even larger margin than its rejection in 2003.

Third, CNN’s O’Brien, claimed that my speech earlier contained errors regarding climate science. O’Brien said my claim that the Antarctic was actually cooling and gaining ice was incorrect. But both the journals Science and Nature have published studies recently finding – on balance – Antarctica is both cooling and gaining ice.

CNN’s O’Brien also criticized me for saying polar bears are thriving in the Arctic. But he ignored that the person I was quoting is intimately familiar with the health of polar bear populations. Let me repeat what biologist Dr. Mitchell Taylor from the Arctic government of Nunavut, a territory of Canada, said recently:

“Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present.”

CNN’s O’Brien also ignores the fact that in the Arctic, temperatures were warmer in the 1930’s than today.

O’Brien also claimed that the “Hockey Stick” temperature graph was supported by most climate scientists despite the fact that the National Academy of Sciences and many independent experts have made it clear that the Hockey Stick’s claim that the 1990’s was the hottest decade of the last 1000 years was unsupportable.

So it seems my speech struck a nerve with the mainstream media. Their only response was to cherry pick the science in a failed attempt to refute me.

It seems that it is business as usual for many of them. Sadly, it looks like my challenge to the media to be objective and balanced has fallen on deaf ears.


Despite the traditional media’s failed attempt to dismiss the science I presented to counter global warming alarmism, the American people bypassed the tired old traditional media by watching CSPAN or clicking on the Drudge Report and reading the speech online.

From the flood of overwhelming positive feedback I received, I can tell you the American people responded enthusiastically to my message.

The central theme was not only one of thanks, but expressing frustration with the major media outlets because they knew in their guts that what they have been hearing in the news was false and misleading. ...

You have to be a pretty poor investigator to believe that. Why would 60 prominent scientists this last spring have written Canadian Prime Minister Harper that “If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary.” (source)

My speech ignited an internet firestorm. So much so, that my speech became the subject of a heated media controversy in New Zealand. Halfway across the globe, a top official from the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition challenged New Zealand’s television station to balance what he termed “alarmist doom-casting” and criticized them for failing to report the views of scientists in their own country that I cited here in America.

As the controversy in New Zealand shows, global warming hysteria has captured more than just the American media. ...

I do have to give credit to another publication, Congressional Quarterly, or CQ for short. On Tuesday, CQ’s Toni Johnson took the issues I raised seriously and followed up with phone calls to scientist-turned global warming pop star James Hansen’s office. CQ wanted to ask Hansen about his quarter of a million dollar grant from the left-wing Heinz Foundation, whose money originated from the Heinz family ketchup fortune.

As I have pointed out, many in the media dwell on any industry support given to so-called climate skeptics, but the same media completely fail to note Hansen’s huge grant from the partisan Heinz Foundation. It seems the media makes a distinction between ketchup money and oil money.

But Hansen was unavailable to respond to CQ's questions about the 'Ketchup Money’ grant, which is highly unusual for a man who finds his way into the media on an almost daily basis. Mr. Hansen is always available when he is peddling his increasingly dire predictions of climate doom.


I have been engaged in this debate for several years and believe there is a growing backlash of Americans rejecting what they see as climate scare tactics. And as a result, global warming alarmists are becoming increasingly desperate.

Perhaps that explains why the very next day after I spoke on the floor, ABC News’s Bill Blakemore on Good Morning America prominently featured James Hansen touting future scary climate scenarios that could / might / possibly happen. ABC’s “modest” title for the segment was “Will the Earth Become Too Hot? Are Our Children in Danger?”

The segment used all the well worn tactics from the alarmist guidebook -- warning of heat waves, wildfires, droughts, melting glaciers, mass extinctions unless mankind put itself on a starvation energy diet and taxed emissions.

But that’s no surprise – Blakemore was already on the record declaring “After extensive searches, ABC News has found no such [scientific] debate” about manmade catastrophic global warming.

On Tuesday’s program, the ABC News anchor referred to Blakemore as “passionate” about global warming. “Passionate” is one word to describe that kind of reporting, but words like objectivity or balance are not.

I believe it’s these kinds of stories which explain why the American public is growing increasingly skeptical of the hype. Despite the enormous 2006 media campaign to instill fear into the public, the number of people who believe that weather naturally changes -- is increasing.

A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll in August found that most Americans do not attribute the cause of recent severe weather events to global warming, and the portion of Americans who believe that climate change is due to natural variability has increased over 50% in the last five years.

Given the diminishing importance of the mainstream media, I expect that trend to continue.

I hope my other colleagues will join me on the floor and start speaking out to debunk hysteria surrounding global warming. This issue is too important to our generation and future generations to allow distortions and media propaganda to derail the economic health of our nation. [End of speech]

Well done.

hat-tip: Greenie Watch

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Foley And The GOP-Dem Contrast

Mark Foley exemplifies ... in a wierd way ... GOP values. Caught appearing to solicit sex from a minor in a timid series of emails, he promptly resigned his office, because the GOP is not the party that winks at perverts.

The contrast between the GOP and Dems when it comes to sex scandals is best exemplified by the Congressional Page scandal of 1983, when the House Ethics Committee determined that one Republican, Dan Crane of Illinois, and one Dem, Gerry Studds of Massachusetts, had been having sex with 17-year-old male Congressional pages.

Crane's jailbait was a female. Studds' was a male. Both pled guilty and both were reprimanded by the Ethics committee and censured by the House. The similarity ends there.

Crane tearfully apologized and promptly lost his bid for re-election.

Studds, however, defiantly refused to apologize and even called a press conference in which he appeard with the page and declared they were consenting "adults" -- even though one of them was 17. The Dems continued to re-elect Studds until he retired from Congress 13 years later.

And of course, there's another famous Massachusetts Congressman, Barney Frank, who didn't even think about resigning after his boyfriend was found in 1989 to be operating a bisexual prostitution ring out of his home. The case came to light when Frank was accused of fixing parking tickets for his pimp-lover. Resign? Nah. Frank got a reprimand and a re-election.

The Dems will point to these tales and say they are tolerant, and they'll puff themselves up as they say it because tolerance is value #1 with the secular left. But tolerant of what? Breaking the law to have sex with underage boys or girls? Fixing parking tickets? Condoning prostitution?

By standing for simple, straightforward moral values, the GOP is appealing to the growing sector of American politics -- childbearing families -- while the Dems appeal to gays, urban "anti-spawners" and liberal pro-abortion rights advocates who routinely kill off their next generation.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

The Global Warming Debate Is Over

"The 'hockey stick' picture of dramatic temperature rise in the past 100 years following 1,700 years of relatively constant temperature has now been proven false," says David Legates, Delaware state climatologist. (source)
The "hockey stick" is, of course, the fundamental DNA of the global warming argument. Unless you can prove, as the graph proports to, that recent temperature rises are exceptional and unprecedented, all we have is a normal cycle of global temperature flux, and we humans are kicked off the field to watch from the sidelines.

The quote above is from a post on the Daily Policy Digest of the National Center for Policy Analysis, which also states:

Experts testifying before a Congressional subcommittee said a graph used by some environmentalists to illustrate "unprecedented global warming in the twentieth century" is fraudulent. ...

Because the hockey stick image has been regularly used to promote and justify proposed climate change legislation, Congress asked the National Academy of Sciences to examine the controversy. The NAS report confirmed criticisms leveled against the hockey stick:

  • Whereas the authors of the research that produced the hockey stick concluded "the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium," the NAS found little confidence could be placed in those claims.
  • In addition, the NAS found the original researchers used proxy data for past temperature reconstructions that were unreliable; that the historic climate reconstruction failed important tests for verifiability; and that the methods used underestimated the amount of uncertainty in the conclusions it reached.

The main conclusion of the hockey stick study:

  • Based on the evidence cited and methodology used by the hockey stick researchers, the idea that the planet is experiencing unprecedented global warming "cannot be supported."
  • The close ties between scientists in the small paleoclimatology community prevented true peer review of the hockey stick and related analyses. [See also: "Incestuous Amplification."]
I'd keep this going, but Al Gore says the debate over global warming is over. Sigh.

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Latest Gitmo Outrage!

Oh, the horrors! Cruel US military prison guards are ... oh, the inhumanity! ... overfeeding the Gitmo detainees!

Just wait 'til the anti-obesity crusaders link up with Michael Moore (ooops, bad pick there) ... link up with Dem operatives on this, from Claudia Rosette's blog:

Only in America would you find authorities trying to cope with terrorist detainees by over-feeding them. We of the media were served the same halal meal as that offered to the detainees, which meant a lunch including — this is only a partial list — spiced meat patty, egg salad, tuna, yogurt, fresh dates, freshly baked bread, juice, and a down-home Middle Eastern dessert, which left us licking from our fingers the honey and nuts of the same baklava we were told is served to Hambali, Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the rest of the gang. Of course, this being Ramadan, the detainees have the option of dining on a different schedule, fasting by day and tucking into the baklava at night. All told, they are offered a menu that provides 4,200 calories per day — more than the 3,800 allotted for a U.S. combat soldier in Iraq.

Apparently, Al Qaeda is eating this up. Guantanamo officers say that while most of the detainees upon arrival at Gitmo ranged from underweight to normal, today the 460 or so held on the base range from normal to overweight to mildly obese. Even the two detainees currently on hunger strike, being fed through tubes, are close to normal weight. We were told that one detainee, who apparently cleans his plate — or his styrofoam meal box — weighs 410 pounds, though we did not get to see him (it is against the Geneva Conventions to put prisoners on display, so our military follows the same rule for the Gitmo detainees).
I get it. It's a set-up. We take away their baklava until they talk! Or, "Get on the treatmill, Tubby! We'll let you off so you can go back to the mess hall if you spill the beans."

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Will Dems Push For Felons On Docks?

You remember how the Dems found their national security voice on the Dubai Ports deal? Suddenly they had a message they could rally around: The need to keep our ports safe.

Lately, Nan Pelosi has been repeating the message as a core campaign theme: Bush hasn't sealed the ports, so let's let the Dems take care of business.

But now that the Dem-backing longshoreman's union has come out against port security, what's Nan & Co to do? Here's the story, from an editorial in today's WSJ:

House and Senate conferees are trying to work out a final port security bill this week, and a provision sponsored by Senator Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) would prohibit dock workers convicted of certain felonies -- including murder, espionage or treason -- from obtaining access to secure areas. Workers convicted of other felonies -- say, extortion, smuggling, bribery, identity fraud or the unlawful possession or distribution of firearms -- would be prevented from getting clearance until seven years after conviction. The Department of Homeland Security has issued a similar regulation, though it isn't final.

Yet the longshoremen's union -- the same outfit behind the 2002 West Coast port shutdown -- and its labor allies are muscling Congress to strike the DeMint provision. Larry Willis, the general counsel for the Transportation Trades Department at the AFL-CIO, says that the felonious categories that would bar workers are "too broad."

This isn't the sort of Congressional debate that bathes in a media spotlight, so the Dems will probably feel comfortable voting for union money instead of national security. Then they'll have to lie about their position on port security.

That should pose no problem for them, of course.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Next Kofi?

You're looking at who just might be Kofi Annan's replacement when the Sec Gen steps down in December, as required by the UN Charter.

He's Ban Ki-moon, South Korea's foreign minister. There was a day when that would be good news for the US, but not any more. Korea is all over the place on foreign policy and remarkably ungrateful for the fact that US intervention is the only reason why they exist today.

Here's the BBC's report on Ki-moon's progress:
The 15 members of the Security Council voted on seven candidates in their third secret ballot on Thursday.

Mr Ban comfortably beat Shashi Tharoor, the Indian UN Undersecretary General for public information who came second. ...

Other candidates come from Thailand, Jordan and Sri Lanka. Latvia's president and an Afghan candidate entered the contest recently.

In the latest vote delegates indicated whether they "encouraged", or "discouraged" a candidate, or whether they had no opinion.
Another secret ballot will be held Monday, this one using colored paper. No word on when the white smoke will appear.

Two candidates, Jordan's Prince Zeid al-Hussein and Afghanistan's Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, would be the first Muslim Sec Gen if appointed.

I heard a brief interview with ki-Moon the other day; he praised himself eloquently. Tharoor had a lovely voice, but was clearly genetic UN material. Latvia's president made a case for having a woman Sec Gen to inspire "all the girls" -- but she's getting swept away by the drive to have the next Sec Gen from Asia. Afghanistan's candidate sounded great, but with US and NATO forces on his home turf, he's got zero chance.

Once the Security Council decides on a preferred candidate, the name goes to the General Assembly for a confirmation vote. Read the candidates' bios here; don't expect anything revolutionary.

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Goes Without Saying

"Augmented Breasts Will Require Additional Inspection at Airports"--headline,, Sept. 27

What else is new?

hat-tip: Best of the Web

Great Moments, Great Orators

Bookworm had a great post yesterday. Had to be great; after all, it was called "Great moments in Democratic rhetoric."

Could she have inspired James Taranto at Best of the Web? Here's one of his (very funny) posts from today:

Great Orators of the Democratic Party

  • "One man with courage makes a majority."--Andrew Jackson

  • "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."--Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • "The buck stops here."--Harry S. Truman

  • "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."--John F. Kennedy

  • "You just gotta make the judgment. You also have to make the judgment, which I'm pretty much feeling, I'm saying that I have something to say, I have some unfinished business from the last round, I don't like what they did, I don't like how they framed it, and I don't like what they're doing for the country today, and I think we can do better."--John Kerry

  • "This is a time when the Golden Rule really should be in affect [sic in written release]. Do not do unto others, what you would not have them do unto your troops, your CIA agents, your people in the field."--Nancy Pelosi
Wow. Book's in good company.

Dems Fight Victory In Iraq PR War

Turning their back on a false Dem-generated controversy, officials at the Pentagon have wisely awarded The Lincoln Group a $6.2 million 2-year contract to:
... "build support" in Iraqi, Arabic, international and U.S. audiences for what the military describes as its goals in Iraq, such as destroying the insurgency and helping Iraqis build a democracy, according to contract documents.
Last year, Lincoln Group became controversial when word that it had pay-for-play arrangments with Iraqi newspapers involving small payments of $50 or so in return for placing pro-American stories. Dems pretended to be outraged if for no other reason than it was a good idea and might actually help the cause of victory in Iraq.

They're still pretending to be outraged, according to AP:
Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J., who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, said he would be asking the Department of Defense for information about how this "controversial" vendor was chosen, saying the choice of the Lincoln Group "concerns me greatly."

But, Andrews said he's more concerned about the fact that the contract was awarded at all, not just to the Lincoln Group.

"I wish that our problem in Iraq was that the military wasn't getting good PR," Andrews said. "The problem seems to be that the country is sliding into civil war."
If the country's sliding into civil war, wouldn't you throw everything you can at halting the process? Wouldn't that include promoting a positive image for American forces and Iraqi democracy?

As usual, the journalists are in lockstep with the Dems:
Lucy Dalglish, the executive director of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, based in Arlington, Va., said she was worried about whether the military would be creating its own news through its own newspapers or Web sites.

"If they're trying to influence Iraqi opinion of Americans, I almost find that to be unconscionable because that would say that they do not value a free and independent press in Iraq," Dalglish said.
What an abomination! All the reporters Dogdish represents use PR routinely in their work. If the PR comes from the DNC, defense lawyers, the ACLU, one Soros-funded group or another, Hamas or Hezbollah, that's all peachy. But if it comes from the U.S. military it's unconsionable?

Our soldiers have fought and died so Iraq can have, among other things, a free press. For this disgusting little pipsqueak to demean their sacrifices, and for her to call into question these simple efforts to counter the Islamists' powerful PR machine, is what's unconsionable.

It lets you know what you should think about big-time journalism and small-time hack Democrats.

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Porn Will Be At Base Of Bailey Killings

Duane R. Morrison is dead, and he took with him a sweet young girl, Emily Keyes. On his way to his self-inflicted and fatal gunshot in a Colorado classroom, he reportedly threatened and sexually assaulted his six young female hostages, who he picked carefully from a class.

One thing is absolutely certain: When authorities in Bailey, Colorado check out the van Morrison was living in, they will find it chock full of pornography. I absolutely guarantee it.

Those who say pornography is harmless ignore its role in sexual assaults, rapes and pedophilia -- not to mention its role in destroying marriages. Porn advocates will say their wares spice up marriages, but you only need to attend a separated or divorced support group to find its role in the obliteration of the trust that is key to successful marriages.

They will say the vast majority of users aren't sexual assaulters or child molesters or rapists, and they're right. But the vast majority of sexual assaulters, child molesters and rapists use porn -- and porn pushes them deeper into their criminality.

The ACLU, the courts, the Clinton Administration (which loved getting money from the porno industry), the free Internet, and the American people are to blame for porn's ready availability. We have more urgent issues to deal with, but as long as it is available, it will contribute to the crimes the Duane Morrisons carry out in previously peaceful towns like Bailey.

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Poll Shows Iraqis Hostile To US

With information that a new poll shows a pretty strong majority of Iraqis think it's just fine to attack American troops -- 61%, up from 47% in January -- I did what I always do: Study the nature of the poll.

I'm a bit out of my element, since I have little idea of how one would conduct a balanced and scientific poll of 1,150 Iraqis. But there are clues that the poll's findings -- which are quite dramatic -- aren't to be trusted to represent an accurate view of Iraq.

The poll was conducted for the Program for International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland, so as a product of US academia, it shouldn't be taken at face value. The questions themselves seem straightforward enough, but the sampling is questionable. Pollsters over-sampled Sunnis for "additional precision within this group," adding 150 Sunnis to their 1,000-person balanced sample. Given the highly negative attitude of Sunnis, this would skew the results anti-government and anti-American. How much? Hard to tell.

We can tell is that PIPA and its sister organizations do not receive their funding from conservative organizations. They report a very liberal funding base:
  • Rockefeller Foundation
  • Rockefeller Brothers Fund
  • Tides Foundation
  • Ford Foundation
  • German Marshall Fund of the United States
  • Compton Foundation
  • Carnegie Corporation
  • Benton Foundation
  • Ben and Jerry's Foundation
  • Americans Talk Issues Foundation
  • Circle Foundation
That's a pretty good indication that the sample will turn out to have a bias. Still, since polling of Iraqi public opinion is rare, it merits a review of other significant news from the survey:
  • Sunnis are the most negative towards America and the new government of Iraq.
  • Iraqis of all ethnic groups are vehemently opposed to attacks on Iraqi police and Army forces (96%), and Iraqi civilians (100%).
  • They see Iran and Syria as destabilizing, as they do America (52%, 55% and 79% respectively).
  • 61% of Iraqis believe the struggle of the last few years has been worth it, down from over 70% in January.
  • They despise Osama bin Laden (94% -- much less popular than America).
In every category, the poll shows Sunnis present the problem. They like bin Laden more and the US less. There's even 5% of them that support attacks on Iraqi civilians, according to the poll.

A better understanding of the validity of the data is needed, and more polls by groups with differeing points of view would be helpful.

In the end, global decisions can't be made based on polling. But even bias will not make the poll all wrong, so we need to remember that we have created a democratic country in Iran, and the next elections could result in a radically anti-American government taking office. That should have an impact on our policies.

It is clear that the war cannot go on there forever. We need to stay there to take out more terror leadership and bring the Iraqi government and security forces up another notch or two. But we also need to create a sense among Iraqis that there will be a hand-over, if not entirely to Iraqi security forces, at least to their forces with the help of someone other than the US, and that it can be done fairly quickly with their cooperation.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Our Crumbling Civilization: Pornguy's Progress

You're a former child star with a geek reputation. Now you're a hunky black belt short on bookings. What do you do?

In a healthier civilization, you'd work hard. In our civilization, pardon the gutter-pun, you'd do "hard" work:
He may have played nerdy eighth-grader Samuel (Screech) Powers in the sitcom "Saved by the Bell." But former TV geek Dustin Diamond [is] the star of his very own sex tape.

Everyone who remembers Diamond as a lovable putz is in for a shock once they see a 40-minute video in which he [Well, there's no way to make that suitable for C-SM]. ...

Diamond's manager, Roger Paul, said his client has become a successful standup comic and will appear on the ABC sitcom "The Knights of Prosperity."

"I haven't seen the tape," Paul told us. "I've heard rumors. Dustin has been trying to escape the Screech typecast. So this may help me get more bookings." (source)

Uh-huh. What sort of bookings?

Obviously, this is just an act of hopeless desperation by a man willing to debase himself -- and a couple women -- in an effort to immerse himself once again in that tantalizing sin, vanity. Unfortunately, our civilization gives him the means -- and the ability to think this approach is a plausible one.

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Quote Of The Day: Hot Air Edition

"We can save our planet and boost our economy at the same time." -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

California's going to do it's part to slow global warming. It's going to cool its economy.

The Gov. said it ain't so at a bill-signing ceremony for a new law that makes California the first state in the nation to cap greenhouse gasses. It was such a blue-ribbon event that NY Gov. George Pataki blew any chance of carbon neutrality by flying in for the occasion. (Tony Blair, on the video screen, only burned electrons.)

The new law imposes emissions caps on utilities, refineries and manufacturing plants in a bid to curb the gases that scientists blame for warming the Earth

In a SacBee story that relegated all voices of sanity to paragraphs 21-23 of a 25-paragraph story, the bill was heralded as the greatest thing since the Little Ice Age:

"It will begin a bold new era of environmental protection in California that will change the course of history," [the Gov.] said.

He expected other states, the federal government and even other nations to follow.

"I'm convinced of that ... because nothing is more important than protecting our planet," he said.

I'm not convinced. California already has the strictest emissions standards in the nation. That means states have not been racing to make themseves as business-unfriendly as California so far -- why would they start now?

Schwarzy says the economy in the Golden State will stay golden because (quoting the Bee), "the law will lead to a new business sector in California devoted to developing the technologies industries can use to meet the tougher emission requirements."

But if businesses are leaving the state because they can't compete and meet the new standards, why would any business devote itselve to developing technologies for industries that are no longer here? And could those enlightened new businesses manufacture their friendly new products here, under the tougher emission requirements -- or would they have to manufacture them elsewhere?

Even if California meets the ridiculous goals Schwarzy has set for us, Pepperdine econ professor emeritus George Reisman shows just how great it will be:
California accounts for about 2.5 percent of the world's man-made carbon-dioxide emissions. Thus, if the new law achieves its objective, then, other things being equal, those emissions will be reduced by slightly more than six-tenths of 1 percent. This would scarcely be noticeable in any case and will be utterly lost alongside the vastly greater increases in emissions that are almost certain to take place in China, India, and elsewhere. (source)
I'd say something about all this, but I've heard the debate on global warming is over. Sigh.

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Leakers Not Satisfied With Results

Dem leadership, clearly upset that the ploy of leaking only portions of the NIE report to the media in the final weeks of election season didn't pan out as they hoped, have responded by deepening their attack on American security.

It's not enough that the weekend leak resulted in a boost for terrorist recruitment and morale; now they want the entire report divulged, despite the safe assumption that portions of it remain classified in order to protect intelligence assets and the country.
... Democrat Senators Edward Kennedy, Hillary Clinton and Carl Levin said the public needed to know more from the report and accused the administration of selective declassification.

"The American people deserve the full story, not those parts of it that the Bush administration selects. President Bush should declassify the entire NIE," Senator Kennedy said.

They also called for a briefing behind closed doors with John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence. (BBC)
Yeah, and the American people deserved a better story than that leaded by Dem ops and/or their sympathizers on Saturday for Sunday's papers.

And as for the Negroponte briefing, the Intelligence Committees have been briefed; that's all that needs to happen, or should happen. The Dems have shown they cannot be trusted with sensitive information.

Don't you think that we're done with this matter, other than tracking down the leakers? Sure, it'll be fine to throw a few journalists in jail for a while for not revealing their sources, and it'll be good to subpoena some Sept. 10ers at Langley and their friends on Congressional staffs. But to continue to play out the NIE as theater benefits only bin Laden and crew.

The report says what it says: Fighting terrorism is a messy, messy thing because they're a nasty, nasty enemy -- but it beats not fighting terrorism. Some ups, some downs, as should be expected. What would we learn from more disclosure? A half dozen more lines for Dems to use and a half dozen more for the GOP?

That's not the purpose of the NIE, and if the Dems had any sense, they'd acknowledge that.

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Running On Empty

Just five days after Howie Dean layed out the Dem campaign game-plan, saying ...
Republican policies of the last five years have damaged our economy and failed Americans.
... this happens:
Stock prices rose in early trading Wednesday as investors shrugged off a lackluster durable goods report and a modest increase in oil prices. In early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 23.45, or 0.20 percent, at 11,692.84, just over 30 points away from its record high close of 11,722.98.
So they can't run on security, they can't run on the economy. What's left?

Oh, that's right. Run on lies.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Uh ... Kudos (!) To The LATimes (Gasp!)

Reading the NYTimes and WaPo reports on the release of the National Intelligence Estimate, you'd think the released Key Judgments document supported every biased distortion they published on Sunday.

Here's the NYT lead:
The war in Iraq has become a “cause célèbre” for Islamic militants, “breeding a deep resentment” of the United States in the Muslim world, according to declassified excerpts from a major intelligence report that were released late this afternoon.
And WaPo's:
The Bush administration yesterday released portions of a classified intelligence estimate that says the global jihadist movement is growing and being fueled by the war in Iraq even as it becomes more decentralized, making it harder to identify potential terrorists and prevent attacks.
As of this hour, the LATimes still has not run a story on the released document, running instead a story headlined "Iraq War and Terrorism Report to be Declassified." It reads as if the whuppin' it had just received actually disciplined the brat's ornery behavior:
WASHINGTON -- President Bush denied today that the world is more dangerous for Americans because the U.S. war in Iraq has created more terrorists than it has eliminated, and he ordered some of a classified intelligence report made public to prove it.

"I think it's a mistake for people to believe that going on the offense against people that want to do harm to the American people makes us less safe," Bush declared at a joint press conference with Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, after meeting with Karzai at the White House.

An April national intelligence estimate, prepared by the government's 16 spy agencies, states that the U.S. war in Iraq has radicalized many young Muslims and made the world more dangerous for the United States, the New York Times first reported on its website Saturday.

"I'm not surprised the enemy is exploiting the situation in Iraq and using it as a propaganda tool to try to recruit more people to their murderous ways," Bush said.

But he added that the last 20 years have shown that staying out of Iraq would not have yielded "a rosier scenario, with fewer extremists joining the radical movement."

Even before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the subsequent invasion of Iraq, Bush said, "thousands of fighters were trained in terror camps" in Afghanistan. American forces were not in Iraq when terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in 1993 and U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 2000, he said.

"If we weren't in Iraq, they'd find some other excuse," he said. "They kill in order to achieve their objectives."

Bush fell back on a familiar argument, saying that "the best way to protect America is defeat these killers overseas so we do not have to face them here at home. We're not going to let lies and propaganda by the enemy dictate how we win this war."
That's got to be one of the longest un-interrupted presentation of President Bush's defense of the War on Terror that has ever appeared in one of the Big Three. And it even goes on from there, with more Bush and supporting quotes from John Negroponte.

Of course, I expect all this to change once the LAT editors read the NYT and WaPo stories. They'll be soooo embarassed!

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Quotes Of The Day: Lying MSM Edition

Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, as having failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight. The jihadists regard Europe as an important venue for attacking Western interests.

Concomitant vulnerabilities in the jihadist movement have emerged that, if fully exposed and exploited, could begin to slow the spread of the movement.

Anti-US and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests.

-- Declassified Key Judgments of the NIE, April 2006

The National Intelligence Estimate summary released today, although barely four pages long, contains much more meaningful information than all the Sunday stories based on the NIE leak combined.

The take-away on reading the entire document is that the jihadist threat is real, diverse and possibly firing other radical terrorist movements, that it does have vulnerabilities, and that winning in Iraq is an essential containment strategy. The articles Sunday said nothing about any of this, nor did they cover Syria and Iran's role in instigating terror, which is clearly stated in the report.

All in all, the report is a resounding confirmation of the soundness of the Bush strategy. Like the war in Iraq or not, it's sucking in the jihadists, concentrating them like nowhere else in the world, and giving us the chance to give them a psychological drubbing ... if Kerry, Murtha et. al. don't get in and screw things up.

The NYT, WaPo, LAT, AP and others who propagated Sunday's dreadful story have been hoisted on their own petards. They knew from the experience gained from previous leaks too many to number that the leaked information they received was partial, biased and agenda-driven. Since they are biased, agenda-driven and not even partially ethical, they ran with with it.

What price will they pay? Whatever it is, it will be too little.

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The President Takes My Suggestion

It was thrilling to learn the President reads C-SM:

More thrilling is the bluntness with which he laid out the reason for the leak of the classified National Intelligence Estimate:
"I think it's a bad habit for our government to declassify every time there's a leak. But once again there's a leak out of our government, coming right down the stretch in this campaign, in order to create confusion in the minds of the American people, in my judgment is why they leaked it."
The media knew they were handling damaged goods when they ran with the NIE leak, as evidenced by the fact that none of the print Big Three ran a disclaiming quote from the administration in their original stories. It's shameful, it's unethical, and now it's been called for what it is.

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"If You're A Good Believer, You'll Kill Your Parents."

In the third and final installment of the OCRegister's investigation into Adam Yahiye Gadahn, Azzam the American on al Qaeda tapes, we learn of his mentors, Hisham Diab and Khalil al-Deek, who tutored the young Islam convert in the mean ways of Islamism.

After Adam Gadahn's conversion in 1995, Diab and Deek were drilling the teenager "24-7" on their version of Islam, [Saraah Olson, ex-wife of Diam] said. Gadahn was barred from talking to his own family and was told that "if you're a good believer, you'll kill them."

"They were his parents," said Olson of Gadahn's relationship with Diab and Deek. "They were very strict and mean. But they were his parents."

Ryan Olson, now 20, remembers Gadahn as polite and considerate compared to the other men, who beat him and treated him like a servant. Gadahn worked hard to fit in with others in the secretive, cult-like group, Ryan Olson said.

The grandson of a Jew, Gadahn heartily joined in when a group of fundamental Muslims gathered for their weekly Friday-night meetings in apartments in Anaheim and Garden Grove. While drinking tea and coffee and eating sweets, the group of 50 to 60 men would preach about "the ongoing corruption of the West" and their hatred for Israel, the Olsons remembered.

The culprit "always came down to being described as 'Jews,' " Ryan Olson said. " 'Jews who are running America. Jews who are running Israel.' Jews this and Jews that."

The conversion of the grandson of a liberal Jew was complete. Gadahn was hate-filled enough to be accepted by Qaeda.

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Woe, Woe Are We!

How depressing it must be to be an environmentalist. Threats and worries abound, there is no peace! Here's a scan of headlines from today's list of lead articles at the Society of Environmental Journalists:
There are the glass-half-full people and the glass-half-empty people. The world was built by the former and their work was criticized by the latter in a negative drum beat that has sounded through the eons and seems to be reaching new crescendi at the nexus of negative environmentalists and negative journalists.

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Latest On Hariri Report

The UN's investigation into the murder of Lebanon's former PM Rafik Hariri drones on. I heard John Bolton on the radio last night saying they still haven't ID'd the instigator of the plot. Here's the latest on when we'll see something, from yesterday's UN press briefing:
Question: Could you tell us anything about the Hariri report? Did the Secretary-General have a meeting this morning?

: Yes, the Secretary-General met with Serge Brammertz this morning. The report is in the process of getting to the Security Council ambassadors, a process which we are trying to quicken. The Council ambassadors will get it, we hope, very shortly.

: What does the process consist of? Does it consist of any reading and editing?

: There is no editing. It consists of us receiving the report and the Secretary-General writing a standard cover page, and someone actually carrying it from the 38th floor, down to the Security Council and then giving it to the Security Council ambassadors.

: Will we see him?

: I don’t think you will see him before Friday when he is scheduled to brief the Council.

: Does he plan to hold a briefing then?

: We will try to convince him.

: Will the SG say anything on the report?

: No, he will not. This is an update report to the Security Council.
So maybe leaks this week, report over the weekend. Bolton said the report did not counter anything in the earlier steps in the investigation.

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Time To De-Classify NIE Report

President Bush can ill afford to lose more skirmishes in the PR War on Terror. Dems and/or anti-Bush intelligence officials and their MSM friends scored a win over the weekend with the selective leaking of negative news from the classified National Intelligence Estimate.

A report today on In from the Cold convinces me it's time to strike back with the declassification of selected portions of the report to show America the dangerous anti-American game the leakers are playing. Unlike the NYT, WaPo and LAT accounts, Spook 86 at In from the Cold quotes actual passages from the report, leaked to him from sources within the intelligence community. Here's a sampling:
  • "Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves to have failed, we judge that fewer will carry on the fight."

  • U.S.-led efforts have "seriously damaged Al Qaida leadership and disrupted its operations."

  • "Threats to the U.S. are intrinsically linked to U.S. success or failure in Iraq."
See also Jack Kelly at Real Clear Politics, who writes:

[Andrew] Cochran [of Counterterrorism Blog] proposed that President Bush authorize the 9/11 Commission to review the NIE and release an unclassified version "as soon as possible."

I'm for declassifying as much of the NIE as can be done without breaching security. But the Bush administration should not be put in the position of having to choose between protecting itself (by declassifying the report and exposing distortions) or protecting our nation's secrets.

What should trouble us most about the New York Times story is not the dubious proposition it advances that the war in Iraq has made the struggle against Islamic radicalism more difficult. It is that there are people in the intelligence community who use secret intelligence for partisan political purposes.

How is it that the supposedly intelligent people at the major media continue to think they can get away with unethical presentation of the news? Frankly, it's because our government's response is no different than its response to al Qaeda during the 1980s and 1990s.

As long as the media goes along, unconfronted, undefeated, it will continue to bias the news towards its un-American perspective. It cares not one iota about we bloggers, but it does care about national embarassment on mainstream outlets -- not just a proverbial cruise missile launched at an empty training camp, but an ongoing campaign of discrediting and embarassing the decision-makers at these papers. The NIE story is the perfect launch vehicle.

Will Bush fight or fold?

hat-tip: memeorandum
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Monday, September 25, 2006

Quote Of The Day: Dense, Dense Foggy Bottom Edition

"To deny habeas corpus to our detainees can be seen as prescription for how the captured members of our own military, diplomatic and NGO (non-governmental organization) personnel stationed abroad may be treated. The Congress has every duty to insure their protection."
-- 33 Former Diplomats

In their criticism of the terrorist interrogation bill deal struck last week, these 33 former diplomats who wrote Congress of their concerns underscored the word "former" in their title.

The only people who would threaten "our own military, diplomatic and NGO personnel" overseas, and who would not be granted habeas corpus if captured, are the ones who wouldn't give a pig's whistle about habeas corpus. The proposed bill covers only the ones who behead for jihad, not because of diplomatic tiffs.

So many of the problems we face in fighting the jihadists come from this sort of Sept. 10th thinking by people who defend the position that we should treat Khalid Sheikh Mohammed no differently than Col. Klink treated Col. Hogan.

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Government Can't Solve Energy Crisis

Here in California, voters will decide in a few weeks whether to impose a $4 billion tax on oil in order to fund a new state alternative energy push. Proponents think raising oil prices will create a disincentive to use oil, which in turn will make new energy sources more feasible.

Before they vote on Prop 87, they should consider California's current state-sponsored push for alternative energy, the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which has been in effect for four years, has raised $319 million from consumers thus far, spent none of it, and created only 241 megawatts of new power.

The state needs 8,000 megawatts of new power sources to meet the RPS goal of 20% of California's energy from renewable power sources by 2010.

In a SF Chronicle story that's ideally timed to discourage votes for Prop 87, the RPS program is portrayed as a bureaucratic, over-regulated nightmare that does more to suppress innovation than encourage it.

Big surprise -- government not being as effective as the private sector!

What is surprising, however, is the forcefulness with which the usually green-sympathizing Chronicle lays out the story. For example, the article talks about a 100-turbine wind farm in Solano County that's generating enough electricity for 75,000 homes:
"We like to say this project was built in spite of the RPS, not because of it," said Jim Caldwell, director of regulatory affairs for PPM Energy, which owns the new Solano County wind project. The company bypassed the state's regulatory process and simply built the project without a guarantee that any utility would buy the power.

"If we would have gone through the process, we thought we'd never get the damn thing built," Caldwell said.

Skipping the process lost them guarantees their energy would be purchases -- a big risk, but they're selling all they can produce.

Part of the problem is that the bureaucracy-crazy Cal Legislature required these projects to win approval of both the California Energy Commission and the Public Utility Commission -- twice as much regulation as most states require -- and of course they have to run through the diabolic California Environmental Quality Act process as well. The result:
Despite good intentions, the result is that renewable-power projects take several years to complete in California. Compare California's 241 new megawatts of renewable power to Texas' more than 2,200 megawatts of wind energy since it adapted renewable targets in 1999.

Texas' legislation enacting the renewable requirement was 10 paragraphs long. California's legislation was 13 pages.

The world's largest wind developer, FPL Energy in Florida, announced earlier this year that it would not propose new wind projects in California during the next two years, even as it invests $2 billion around the country. The company won a bid through the California RPS process in 2004 to add 30 megawatts of wind power to an existing project, but a company official pointed to the project's estimated completion date -- April 2008, four years later -- as an example of why investing in California is difficult.

"We are committed to California, but we look at where we can actually move forward and build projects," said Diane Fellman, director of regulatory affairs for FPL Energy.
Could there be a more compelling "No on 87" argument? Leave energy to the free market, reduce environmental regulations for energy projects, disincentivize enviro litigation, nuke the energy bureaucracies ... then we'll get somewhere.

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Kerry Gets It Wrong In Two Theaters

NATO troops have been kicking butt in Afghanistan:

Lt. Gen. David Richards, head of the 20,000-strong NATO-led force in Afghanistan, said the insurgents have been forced out of the volatile former Taliban heartland, and reconstruction and development efforts there would soon begin.

Alliance officials have said more than 500 militants were killed during the two-week operation, centered mainly in Panjwai, Pashmul and Zhari districts of southern Kandahar province. (source)

There's a sharp focus on Afghanistan in response to new stirrings by the Taliban -- we are not about to concede control of the nation to the thugs who so decimated it until we tossed them out.

Now, for the John Kerrys amoung you, a history lesson: NATO is what you call an alliance. It's not unilateralism, it's nations working together toward a common end.

In other words, using NATO is kind of thing John Kerry likes; it's the next best thing to using the U.N. Kerry doesn't like Bush because he's a cowboy, pursuing unilateralism, not mulitlateralism.

So what's with this Kerry op/ed, from today's WSJ?
We cannot allow Afghanistan to become a terrorist stronghold and a staging ground for attacks on America.

If Washington seems to have forgotten Afghanistan, it is clear the Taliban and al Qaeda have not. Less than five years after American troops masterfully toppled the Taliban, the disastrous diversion in Iraq has allowed these radicals the chance to rise again. Time is running out to reverse an unfolding disaster in the war we were right to fight after 9/11.
Did Kerry's staff forget to tell him about the NATO offensive? Did the candidate simply tire of bashing America via Iraq and decide to change theaters?

Not exactly. Kerry wants to use Afghanistan as a cover for withdrawl from Iraq. His op/ed calls for 5,000 US troops from Iraq to be redeployed to Afghanistan.

Were that to happen, he would immediately write that Bush has not committed enough troops to Iraq.

This is a presidential candidate? The man is a fool.

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Flower Child Dad; Al Qaeda Son

Here's your link to part II of the OCRegister's story on Adam Gadahn, the voice of al Qaeda. It focuses on Adam's dad, Seth (right), a flower child of the 60s who never embraced the radical politics of his day.

Psychedelic music was his focus; a VW bus with daisy stickers was his transportation, and Christianity was, and is, his faith. He raised Adam and the younger kids on a goat farm in rural Riverside County.

It was those goats, which Seth sold to Muslims in LA, that introduced Adam to Islam. The younger Gadahn later wrote Muslims were "not the bloodthirsty, barbaric terrorists that the news media and the televangelists paint them to be."

Then he went on to become a bloodthirsty, barbaric terrorist.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Quote of the Day: Freakin' Edition

"I'm still waiting for the first father to tell me he doesn't mind his daughter dancing that way."
Aliso Niguel High School Principal Charles Salter

Salter recently cancelled future dances at Aliso Niguel High School after witnessing kids "freakin'" and a recent dance. He said freakin' -- which basically involves groin and butt contact grinding -- looked like "simulated sex" and verged on sexual harassment -- in fact, 20 percent of the school's students agreed in a recent poll that freakin' freaked them out sexually.

In a sign that our crumbling civilization may not be crumbling all that fast, 700 parents showed up at a meeting at the high school yesterday -- and applauded Salter for his action. Reports the OC Register:
The decision has sparked discussions among parents, students and education officials about the roles of parents and schools. Salter said he had received letters of support from as far away as Michigan.

"It's an issue that is not just related to our school," said Robert Healand, a parent of a freshman at the school.

In New Hampshire, a school recently banned school dances because of the dance.
I am reminded of early bans on rock 'n roll, and pray that 20 years from now, as students are copulating on the dance floor, they don't look back at Salter's ban as a quaint anachronism from a more innocent time.

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From Liberal Jew To Al Qaeda In Two Generations

Carl K. Pearlman, now deceased, was an East Coaster who moved to Santa Ana in OC in 1948, with his wife Agnes to practice medicine. He is the grandfather of Adam Yahiye Gadahn, the mouthpiece of al Qaeda in the West.

Today's OC Register has an interesting article, the first in a three-parter that will trace the Pearlman's love of music, the arts, Israel and peace between religions through their somewhat rebellious son and on to their famous, terrorist grandson. To say it's an interesting tale is underplaying the story.

One doctor who worked with Dr. Pearlman recounts how he was shocked that a ...
... young man related to Pearlman, a Jew who won a humanitarian award for promoting peace among religions, could be part of one of the fiercest anti-Semitic terror organizations in the world. A family known for its love of social tolerance, education and the arts suddenly had to answer for violence-spewing videos featuring Gadahn, now known as "Azzam the American," an angry and articulate voice calling for the streets of his own country "to run red with blood."
The article also reports:

Although Pearlman's colleagues described him as "completely secular," they also recalled that he was a supporter of Israel, which was created just about the time the Pearlmans moved to their home in Santa Ana's Floral Park neighborhood.

"In our conversations, he had a very strong feeling for Israel," said Dr. Mel Singer, a pediatric cardiologist in Orange. "He felt very sincerely and deeply that he wanted that country to survive and make peace with the Arab nations around it."

I'm left in wretched wonder. Here is a family that was active, close, loved nights with Carl on the violin and Agnes on piano, who supported good causes and lived a good life. It is not the typical spawning ground for terror -- even less a spawning ground than John Walker's Marin County.

Yet it happened. A young man turned completely against everything his grandfather, who raised him for a time, stood for ... everything, that is, except his early draw to nihililstic heavy metal, which is still in his heart, if not heard by his ears ... and became a vile promoter of the worst hatred.

Even so, Adam Gadahn returned from Pakistan to attend is grandfather's funeral, then went back to the bosom of al Qaeda, where he lives to today. How curious a creature is Man.

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NIE: What Was Leaked And Why

There's one thing you can conclude about the National Intelligence Estimate report that's top-lining papers around the country today: What's being written about with great definitiveness is actually about as trustworthy as yesterday's reports of Osama bin Laden's death.

Update: The White House says what I say -- news reports do not reflect the full content of the NIE report. Did none of the media think to call the White House for comment before publishing their reports?

I've read the reports in NYT, WaPo and LAT, and they're all remarkably similar: They summarize the report's "findings," even though none of the papers has seen the full report or even its executive summary, then they compare those "findings" to recent speeches by military, intelligence and administration officials.

That the story broke nationally caused the papers to go through machinations to make it look like hard reporting -- not politically motivated leaking -- was behind the news. Here's how NYT painted the picture:
More than a dozen United States government officials and outside experts were interviewed for this article, and all spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a classified intelligence document.
It's obvious that all the twelve-plus calls (I'm guessing 13) were made yesterday, as the papers scrambled to fluff up the leak. WaPo and LAT were also busy calling sources.

Curiously, not one of the sources the NYT said it talked to makes it into the NYT article, which pulls most of its quotes from earlier speeches and intelligence assessments. LAT quotes only one "official familiar with the document":
"It paints a fairly stark picture of what we all know, and that this is a movement that is spreading and gaining momentum around the world. Things like the Iraq war have given the terrorists recruiting tools and places to ply their trade and a training ground."

The official said the estimate touches on a number of factors fueling the jihadist movement, but that "the reference to Iraq was the main one."
WaPo also only quotes one secret intelligence source:
"It's a very candid assessment. It's stating the obvious."

"What these guys at NIC are supposed to do is to lay it out in very clear, understandable terms. It's not the role of the NIC to offer recommendations."
"These guys" is a clear admission that the official quoted is not NIC and was not involved in preparing the report.

So what we have is the orchestrated leaking of nothing more than the alleged themes of a classified document. Such high quality leaking typically means a political organization is hard at work, and this campaign almost certainly is the work Dem electeds who wanted to put an end to the bump in the polls Bush has enjoyed since going to the people to explain the war on terror. How else to explain that the report has sat unleaked ever since it was completed in April -- only to be released now, less than six weeks before the election?

The articles create a Dem talking points memo for countering the war: Iraq generates Jihadist recruits, there are many more Jihadists today than five years ago, the threat has become more decentralized. Look to hear these points next week from Palosi, Kennedy, Murtha and Kerry -- and their editorial friends at the papers, networks and cable outlets.

What's not addressed

The NIE -- what we know if it anyway -- does not answer "so what?" or "now what?" That's not its job.

So what: Too much is made of Iraq in the story as reported. Jihadism was growing before Iraq; otherwise there would have been no 9/11. If there were not a war in Iraq, there would not be nothing. Saddam would be in power funding terrorism, we would be in Afghanistan generating Jihadist recruits, and our intelligence and military community would be attacking terrorism, causing it to become more decentralized.

Now what: If we run from Iraq, will recruiting stop or become energized, and will they not apply whatever they've learned there (or from Dem/media leaks of classified documents) elsewhere? If we run from the place where terrorists are most concentrated, how will we deal with the supposedly more decentralized terrorist organizations? Will Iran stand idle if there's a power vacuum in Iraq? Will the terror states feel less empowered if we leave?

Don't look for any of that to surface in any of the Dem talking points. There's nothing for them there, so they'll stick to the NIE report they selectively leaked.

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Cross-Leggin' The Gangstas

It's a strategy as old as Lysistrata, and it still works!
A sex strike organised by the girlfriends of gang members in one of Colombia’s most violent cities to protest against a wave of murders has been hailed as a success by the local security chief.

The action became known in the Colombian media as the “crossed-leg strike” because of the women’s refusal to have sex with their men until they promised to give up violence.

After 10 days of abstinence the women of Pereira were said by the security chief to have proved that they could win their battle with “very noble weapons”.

As one gang member said: “You listen to your woman.”

Pereira, a city of 500,000 inhabitants, has one of the worst crime rates in the country, with 488 recorded murders last year; 90% of gang members killed were aged between 14 and 25.

The women produced a rallying song for local radio, which went: “I choose how, where and when I give in. Women united against violent men. Let’s close our legs." (source)
Good enough to stop the Peloponnesian War, and still good enough to stop a contemporary drug war. Unfortunately, it will never work to stop jihad, because if the young, largely unmarried jihadists have girlfriends who are putting out, they (the women, not the men) would be stoned to death and wouldn't have much power to influence.

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bin Laden Probably Still Alive

The good news: We may still be able to interrogate him.

The bad news, via the Times of London, is that we may still be able to interrogate him:

Aftab Khan Sherpao, Pakistan'’s interior minister, responded to questions about Bin Laden last night by saying: "“We have no such information. I have never heard anything about this."”

Intelligence officials in America and Asia insisted they would have known about the report if it had been true, and said no such information had crossed their desks in recent days. One Washington-based official said: "“I don'’t think this is a piece of information that would remain secret for long — no one would have any interest in keeping it quiet."”

A source with indirect links to Al-Qaeda claimed Bin Laden had been seen alive by one of his commanders earlier this month.

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Greenies' Campaign Against The Poor

Regular readers know how disgusting I think wealthy European and American environmentalists are, cushioned and comforted on all sides by their nations' advanced technology, because they routinely impose their beliefs on struggling third-world families. My most recent post on the subject was about the Greenies' cavalier killing of thousands of Africans and Asians by refusing to allow DDT to be used to control malaria.

Another disgusting example is in today's Rocky Mountain News, authored by leftist journalist turned anti-environmentalist documentary film maker Phelim McAleer, whose new film Mine Your Own Business documents an environmentalist attack on a proposed mine in Romania.

My admiration for environmentalists started to decline when I was lucky enough to be posted to Romania as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times. There I covered a campaign by Western environmentalists against a proposed mine at Rosia Montana in the Transylvania region of the country.

It was the usual story. The environmentalists told how Gabriel Resources, a Canadian mining company, was going to pollute the environment and forcibly resettle locals before destroying a pristine wilderness.

The usual story indeed. In Mexico, Borneo and Bolivia, all over the world Greenies create trophy battles that come in handy for fund-raising and making them feel important. But the campaigns are scams.

But when I went to see the village for myself I found that almost everything the environmentalists were saying about the project was misleading, exaggerated or quite simply false.

Rosia Montana was already a heavily polluted village because of the 2,000 years of mining in the area. The mining company actually planned to clean up the existing mess.

And the locals, rather than being forcibly resettled as the environmentalists claimed, were queuing up to sell their decrepit houses to the company which was paying well over the market rate.

In my business, I see this again and again. In one case, the Greenies continue to say our client "will grade the entire site" even though we've shown them the plans, which call for 50% of the site to remain untouched. In another, they continue to say the plan will severe the a wildlife corridor, even though we have shown them how the plan retains the corridor.

But in the Third World it's much worse:
As I spoke to the Western environmentalists it quickly emerged that they wanted to stop the mine because they felt that development and prosperity will ruin the rural "idyllic" lifestyle of these happy peasants.

This "lifestyle" includes 70 percent unemployment, two-thirds of the people having no running water and using an outhouse in winters where the temperature can plummet to 20 degrees below zero centigrade.

One environmentalist (foreign of course) tried to persuade me that villagers actually preferred riding a horse and cart to driving a car.

Of course the Rosia Montana villagers wanted a modern life - just like the rest of us. They wanted indoor bathrooms and the good schools and medical care that the large investment would bring.

Environmentalists were intent on denying others comfort, while they lived in heated apartments and ate hearty meals in comfortable bistros. The selfishness of this movement nothing short of stunning.

You can order McAleer's film here and watch a trailer here. (The link to the trailer in the op/ed does not work.)

Hat-tip: Real Clear Politics
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