Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, April 30, 2007

Is She A Nut Or A Key?

Is Sarah Dacre the bee woman?

No, not because of the rig she's wearing, but because of something I wrote about a couple weeks ago: Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a troubling phenomenon that occurs when all a hive's' worker bees disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers.

One -- and only one -- study conducted by Dr. Jochen Kuhn at Landau University found that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby. It's not a done deal by any means:
Even its author, Dr Jochen Kuhn, is cautious about overstating the finding, saying it "could" provide a "hint" of a possible cause.
Enter Sarah Dacre, self-diagnosed with "electrical sensitivity." Let's pick it up from The Daily Mail:

Sarah, 51, is one of a growing band of people who claim to be experiencing extreme - and incapacitating - sensitivity to electrical appliances, as well as to certain frequencies of electromagnetic waves.

"Wi-Fi, or wireless broadband networks, seem to be the worst thing," she says.

"Closely followed by mobile phones - particularly if they're being used in an enclosed space - the base stations of cordless telephones and mobile phone masts.

"I have to restrict the amount of time I spend on the computer or watching television, and make sure I don't have too many household appliances on at once, because that sets me off as well."

This may sound bizarre, but there is no doubt that Sarah's symptoms are real.

To date, they include hair loss, sickness, high blood-pressure, digestive and memory problems, severe headaches and dizziness.

They strike with such ferocity that, since diagnosing herself as "electrically sensitive" in May 2005, she has been marooned at home. (hat-tip Jim)

There are at least two possible conclusions from this: that Sarah Dacre is a certifiable loon in the advanced stages of an intense hypochondriac hallucination, or she has something wrong with her that might be the same thing that's wrong with the bees.

I tend to think its the former because the world has been awash with electrical radiation of all sorts since its creation, because there's no logical reason why a sensitivity would wait until she's 51 years old to kick in, and because all the other critters -- human and otherwise -- don't suffer from electrical sensitivity.

I'd pass the whole thing off as one more unfortunate crazy person afraid of technology if it weren't for the bees. If the honeybees stop going back to their hives, we're toast. Einstein said we'd have three years or so before dying off if there were no honeybees around to pollinate crops, and unless there's a genetic solution of some sort in the offing, we'd best find out why some bees are wandering off.

Maybe Dacre's not a nutcase. Maybe we can learn something about a bee's brain from figuring out if she's really suffering from electrical sensitivity, and if so, why.

I hope someone smarter than me gets buzzing on this.


Is Maliki Firing Top Enforcers?

The most viewed article in the NYT today is not one supporters of victory in Iraq want to read:

BAGHDAD, April 29 -- A department of the Iraqi prime minister's office is playing a leading role in the arrest and removal of senior Iraqi army and national police officers, some of whom had apparently worked too aggressively to combat violent Shiite militias, according to U.S. military officials in Baghdad.

Since March 1, at least 16 army and national police commanders have been fired, detained or pressured to resign; at least nine of them are Sunnis, according to U.S. military documents shown to The Washington Post.

Although some of the officers appear to have been fired for legitimate reasons, such as poor performance or corruption, several were considered to be among the better Iraqi officers in the field. The dismissals have angered U.S. and Iraqi leaders who say the Shiite-led government is sabotaging the military to achieve sectarian goals.

"Their only crimes or offenses were they were successful" against the Mahdi Army, a powerful Shiite militia, said Brig. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard, commanding general of the Iraq Assistance Group, which works with Iraqi security forces. "I'm tired of seeing good Iraqi officers having to look over their shoulders when they're trying to do the right thing."

If you're thinking that this sounds like AG AG II, i.e., another Gonzales and the federal prosecuters scandal in a teacup, you're not alone. It was my first impression, too.

But AG AG was never accused of sectarianism.

According to some in the U.S. military, including Col. Ehrich Rose, chief of the Military Transition Team with the 4th Iraqi Army Division, sectarianism still rules the Iraqi military.

The Iraqi army, as far as capability goes, I'd stack them up against just about any Latin American army I've dealt with," he said. "However, the politicization of their officer corps is the worst I've ever seen."

Iraq needs to be an equal opportunity enforcer. Bad guys of all sects need to be taken out, and if it takes Sunni officers to take out the Mahdis and Shi'ite officers to take out al Qaeda, then so be it. It's unfortunate that the Iraqi Army isn't a secular bunch that puts Iraq ahead of intra-Islamic differences, but that's not yet the case.

However, if it works to have Sunnis in charge of Shi'ite bad guys and vice versa, it works, and Maliki should let it work. He says he is:

Sadiq al-Rikabi, a political adviser to Maliki, said the first two months of the Baghdad security plan show that Maliki "is not working on any agenda but the national agenda."

"The Baghdad security plan is working on a military and professional basis without any regard for any sect or ethnic group or any political factors," he said.

True, all things are upside down in Baghdad since Bush approved new rules of engagement and started sending more troops. Maliki may have made an old-time error in new times, carrying out firings that made sence then, but are not being tolerated under the new conditions.

He doesn't have too many more chances to make mistakes.

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Big Money Chasing The Top Dems

Two articles ran today with different takes on the same theme:
  • WSJ reports that corporations are shifting their donations in a big way from the GOP to Dems. Pelosi and her three top House cohorts raised $2.24 million in the first quarter of 2007, more than three times as much as the $697,694 they raised in the same quarter last year.

    House and Senate committee chairs are experiencing similar, or even better, surges: Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel of New York: $761,000 in the first quarter of 2007 from $57,000 two years earlier; Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell, $376,000, up from $112,000; Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, $217,000, up from $39,000; and House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton, $227,000, up from $57,000.

  • The NY Sun reports that Hillary and Obama are sucking money out of the pockets of former Bush supporters, with each attracting about 150 former Bush supporters, including the CEO of Yahoo! (their stupid exclaimation point, not mine). One such switcher is investment banker John Canning, who gave over $100,000 to Bush in 2000. Says the Sun:
    Mr. Canning, whose defection to Mr. Obama was reported by Bloomberg News, said he was a big fan of Mr. Bush in 2000. However, he said he later fell out with the president and other Republicans over a dispute involving a brain-injured Florida woman, Terry Schiavo, as well as subjects like global warming, stem cell research and diplomatic relations with Iran and Syria. "A lot of these issues didn't exist when Bush first ran," the banker said. "How do you support a guy when he shows the door to everything you believe in?"
How are you going to argue with that? Canning was obviously looking for a liberal GOP candidate and got instead a man who is what he said he was on social issues and on dealing with terror-sponsoring states.

It's odd that companies like Allstate and Aflac will give to Barney Frank because he intends to hold hearings that will lead to new regulations on insurers. Or that oil producers will ratchet up giving to John Dingell, who's seen as the point man for global warming regulation in Congress.

They will tell you that all they expect is time in return for their contributions, and that face time is more critical to them when Dems are in power than when the GOP is in power.

But what's to become of this money? Will it sit in bank accounts, humbling accruing interest? No way! It will be spent to further the Dem agenda of higher taxes, more regulation and a more favorable field for trial lawyers.

Is the face time really worth all that? Methinks not. Even those who no longer like Bush should be writing checks to the GOP election committees.

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Sunday, April 29, 2007


Click the photo for a larger image. If you're still having trouble reading the caption, it is:
American Flag = $25
Gasoline= $2
Cigarette Lighter = $2.50
Catching yourself on fire because you are a terrorist asshole: PRICELESS
hat-tip: Wake Up America


Mass Transit, Mass Stupidity

One of my favorite columnists is a free market guy who sees over-regulation all around him and gives Greenie rhetoric no quarter. His name is Patrick Bedard, and if you aren't familiar with him, it's becuase you're not a subscriber to Car and Driver.

His newest column, which isn't available on-line, assaults U.S. transportation policy, which shuns the roads we all love, and squanders big money on mass transit -- a mode of transportation Bedard is quite familiar with from having lived in New York, where everyone knew how to do the subway or bus or taxi calculation.
I can still do "the calculation," and it tells me that once you leave Manhattan and maybe Boston and Washington, D.C., "light rail" is a fraud on the taxpayers. Here's why. Everyone is more than four blocks from the train stops, and so are their destinations If you have to drive to the train, well, you might just as well keep driving. Even the worst traffic beats having some pierced-tongue gangbanger eyeing you as you wait on a lonely platform.
Here's some numbers Bedard provided; do your own calculation:
  • Number of new lane-miles needed to ease projected congestion: 104,000
  • Projected cost: $533 billion over 25 years, or $21 billion a year
  • Earmarks in 2005 spending bills: $50 billion
  • Money needed to relieve LA traffic congestion: $66.7 billion
  • Long-range funding for LA mass transit: $66.9 billion
  • Percent of LA population using mass transit to commute: 4.8
  • Estimated cost of congestion per year in fuel, pollution and lost time: $200 million annually
  • And once again, the cost of building the lane-miles we need to relieve congestion: $21 million annually
Planners may think we all ought to live in dense, dirty, crime-ridden cities and ride mass transit to near-by jobs, but as long as this is a free country, the people won't do what the planners think they should do.

By the millions of mortgages, they're opting for the suburbs and a commute by car. Are the planners and bureaucrats admitting that reality? Nope. Do Americans care? Other than about the squandered money, nope.


To Fight Again Tomorrow

Turn back the clock to the 1940s. Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini have managed to defeat the Allies and conquer the world.

The Articles of Surrender are before the Congress and the forced acceptance of this harsh reality settles over the Capitol like a burial shroud. Muted, broken, despairing, the Senators and Representatives realize the crushing reality of defeat.

Contrast that to the Dem's effort to seal our defeat in Iraq, as reported in The Hill on March 23.
Many House Democrats stayed on the floor, reveling in their victory. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey and Representative John Murtha hugged each other while a smiling [majority leader Steny] Hoyer shook every hand he could find. . . . [majority whip James] Clyburn joked with members as [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi kissed and hugged her colleagues.
It was a reprehensible show by a party that has decided to put its welfare in 2008 ahead of the long-term welfare of the nation; to spare the troops some hardship today, assuring a longer, nastier war ahead.

The big question: As Reid and Schumer gleefully count the votes the Dems will get for voting for defeat, are they disgusting America or speaking to America?

hat-tip Jeff Jacoby via RCP

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Darfur: The Near-Perfect Leftist Cause

At the bottom of Mark Steyn's column today was this announcement he found somewhere in his Internet trolling:
"On Sunday, April 29, Salt Lake Saves Darfur invites the greater Salt Lake community of compassion to join with us as we honor the fallen and suffering Darfuris in a day of films, discussion and dance with a Sudanese dance troupe."
Here's a bit more, from a Deseret News op/ed by a SLSD (Save LSD? No, Salt Lake Saves Darfur.):
Salt Lake Saves Darfur, the local organization of the international Save Darfur Coalition, in observance of the Global Days for Darfur, April 21-29, is sponsoring a series of events to bring the plight of these suffering people to the vision and the hearts of the great people of Salt Lake and Utah. On Saturday, we will be sponsoring, in partnership with the Westminster College chapter of STAND, a lecture by noted Africa and Sudan expert John Prendergast titled "Stopping the Genocide in Darfur." This lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. in the Gore Auditorium on Westminster College's beautiful campus in Salt Lake, and will also be broadcast for those unable to attend.

On Sunday, April 29, Salt Lake Saves Darfur invites the greater Salt Lake community of compassion to join with us as we honor the fallen and suffering Darfuris in a day of films, discussion and dance with a Sudanese dance troupe, Kakwa Union USA, at Salt Lake's magnificent Main Library and Plaza, from 1-5 p.m. This event is also free and open to all. We will discuss ways to get our government to insist on the immediate placement of adequate United Nations peacekeepers to "stop the killing now," get our government to pay its fair share of the costs for this international peacekeeping effort and insist that our government and institutions divest themselves of any entity deriving profit from the inhumane Al-Bashir regime and the slaughter of the innocent people of Darfur.
I'm sure these people are well-intentioned, but their leftist approach is a tragicomedy. Darfur's tragedy; our comedy. They 're going to teach and appreciate and talk and talk and talk. Yet for all of this, they are utterly without a clue. They're only true action is buried in another of their endless discusions:
We will discuss ways to get our government to insist on the immediate placement of adequate United Nations peacekeepers to "stop the killing now," [and] get our government to pay its fair share of the costs for this international peacekeeping effort ...
Do these people not read the news? Everyone wants U.N. peacekeepers in Dafur, including "our government" ... except for one bunch: the Islamists in Khartoum, who block every effort to stop the killing. The Save Dafur group should be saying to stop relying on the U.N., which already has added Dafur to Rwanda on its list of African genocides it did not stop, but they love the idea of the U.N. so much they can't reject the reality.

And I can't for the life of me understand why the Save Dafur crowd wants us to reduce the amount of our contribution to the U.N. efforts, but there it is: "... get our government to pay its fair share of the costs ..."

Over at, the looniest mothership since the Heaven's Gate cult suited up for the coming of the Comet Hale-Bopp. Here's their call to action:
  • Push for the deployment of a strong UN peacekeeping force.

  • Increase humanitarian aid and ensure access for aid delivery.

  • Establish a no-fly zone.
  • With the exception of the no-fly zone, which will do nothing to stop the killers who arrive by Toyota pickup and camel, they have absolutely nothing new to offer, and no way of offering it, other than the U.N. Humanitarian aid is good, great actually, but its effect will be temporary if people continue dying. It won't make much difference if their stomachs are full or empty when the Janjaweed arrive.

    All this points to one conclusion: The Save Dafur crowd should be pushing for military action by the U.S. in Dafur. They know it's the only think that will save the Christians -- funny, they never mention this is a Muslim-run genocide of Christians -- is an invasion to take out Umar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir and his thugs in Khartoum, as we took out Saddam Hussein and his thugs in Baghdad.

    But they can't bring themselves to call for such an action because recognizing the need for Iraq, and thus aligning with Bush, is more evil to them than the genocide in Sudan.

    While Dafur is a universal cause, the approach has become a near-perfect leftist cause, right up there with global warming. There's no risk to them that they'll actually have to do anything beyond the symbolic. There will be no draft to stop either crisis, and most important, it appears that there will be no solution to either any time soon.

    That means they can go on watching Sudanese dance troops, discussing options, and most important of all, feeling holier than the GOP, for the indefinite future.

    Steyn said what this all reminds him of, and he's absolutely right on. I remember seeing the bumper sticker 40 years ago, and the noble struggle (no sacrifice required) goes on today:

    It's a shame Tibet is under China's' thumb, and it's an abomination that al-Bashir remains free to kill Christians in Dafur. But neither country is the least bit strategic so they suffer on, far outside the spotlight, while the world, conservative and liberal alike, are appalled ... and unable to muster the will to take the fight to Khartoum.

    p.s.: One thing I like very much on the Save Dafur Web site is its call for divesture of investments in companies that do business in Sudan. I hope they will reciprocate, and share my enthusiasm for Divest Terror, which does the same for all terror-supporting states.

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    Saturday, April 28, 2007

    Bush Sets Up Dems For Losing Energy Debate

    When the Dems say we've got to cut our reliance on foreign oil, they're thinking of course of draconian laws to force changes we don't want -- like mass transit -- down our throats. President Bush is teeing up another approach that should lead to an interesting debate.

    The Interior Department will announce a proposal Monday to allow oil and gas drilling in federal waters near Virginia that are currently off-limits and permit new exploration in Alaska's Bristol Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, according to people who have seen or been told about drafts of the plan.

    The department issued a news release yesterday that was lacking details but said that it had finished a five-year plan that will include a "major proposal for expanded oil and natural gas development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf." Department officials declined to describe the plan.

    Congress would still have to agree to open areas currently off-limits before any drilling could take place off Virginia's coast.

    Greenies, who think the internal combustion engine -- not al Qaeda -- is the biggest threat to America, were lining up to rant about the proposal, the most interesting concern coming from Richard Ayers of Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper, who told WaPo he's worried that drilling might cause boomtowns.

    Horrors! People would be able to work! Improve themselves! Contribute to society! What are the Bushies thinking?!

    There is no place suitable for oil drilling in the Greenies eyes. We're working on residential development projects on land that has been oil fields for 100 years, and the Greenies continuously refer to it as "pristine." If an oil field is too "pristine" to be developed, then where can we develop oil?

    The answer, of course, is that Greenies want no more oil produced. They want no more jobs, no more commerce, no more growth. They feel America just can't stand any more capitalism.

    Never mind that only about 6% of America has anything built on it.

    The timing of Interior's proposal is perfect. The matter should come up for debate this summer, just as gasoline makes its annual price jump. The Dems will puff up about the risks -- ignoring the fine record turned in by offshore operations in the Gulf -- and basically demand that we keep shipping our Middle East-bought oil half way around the world in tankers instead of simply dipping the straw a few miles off the coast.

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    Mexico, China And Meth

    A $200 million -- $200 million! -- drug bust in Mexico of a naturalized Mexican citizen from China who's been importing meth-making compounds from China and selling the finished product to the U.S. -- what's going on here?

    It's "Super-Mex Meth Labs," and you can read about it here.

    Troubling stuff.


    Burying The Good News On Iraq

    Why does Harry Reid think we're losing the war in Iraq? Well, we all know it's because he's a slave to polls, but one also could present a compelling argument that it's simply because he reads the MSM.

    Take for example this story from AP that contains some very encouraging news about a major win by our side that further implicates Iran in the attacks. Let's get to that, shall we?

    First, there's the headline: Explosion near shrine in Iraq kills 55. So the story's about the endless violence Reid pegs as evidence of the war being lost -- can there really be any good news? Maybe the lead is better.
    BAGHDAD - A parked car exploded Saturday near one of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines in the city of Karbala as people were headed to the area for evening prayers, killing 55 people and wounding dozens, officials said.
    Nope. Paragraph 2? Nope. More on the bomb.

    Paragraph 3? No, it's about another bomb that exploded in the same area a while back.

    Paragraph 4? Nope, more on the bomb.

    Paragraphs 5 or 6? Big nope. In fact, they feed Reid's belief that all of Iraq is consumed by ugly, anti-government sectarian strife:
    An angry crowd gathered after the explosion, many of them searching frantically for missing relatives. Some threw stones at the police and at the office of the provincial governor, accusing them of failing to protect the people.

    Police fired weapons in the air to disperse the crowds.
    Paragraphs 7 come 11? Nope; eyewitness statements and TV images -- indications that the reporters were busy scribing away in front of TV sets in the Green Zone.

    Paragraph 12? Nope. Another bomb outside a police chief's house that killed some security personnel.

    Lucky paragraph 13? Yes! Finally, AP gets around to telling us something good and significant as opposed to the bad news of minor real significance, unless you live in Baghdad:

    Elsewhere, U.S. forces detained 17 suspected insurgents in raids targeting al-Qaida in Iraq on Saturday, the military said, a day after the Pentagon announced the capture of one of the terror network's most senior and experienced operatives.

    "We're achieving a deliberate, systematic disruption in the al-Qaida in Iraq network," Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a U.S. military spokesman, said in a statement.

    U.S. and Iraqi officials in Baghdad declined to comment about Abdul Hadi al-Iraqi, 46, who was captured last fall on his way to Iraq, where he may have been sent by top terror leaders in Pakistan to take a senior position in al-Qaida in Iraq, officials said Friday in Washington.

    The insurgent group has claimed responsibility for some of the deadliest attacks in Iraq, including the bombing last year of a revered Shiite mosque in Samarra, which touched off a cycle of sectarian killings.

    After being secretly held by the CIA for months, al-Iraqi — who was born in the northern city of Mosul and once served in Iraq's military — has been shipped to the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military prison for terror suspects, the Pentagon said.

    Marines working off of information from a captured insurgent found a truck loaded with explosives early Friday near Fallujah, the military said. After the area was evacuated, American fighter jets destroyed the truck, the military said.

    In Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi forces detained eight suspected insurgents and confiscated three caches of weapons during a raid on an apartment complex on April 22, including mortars, rockets and ammunition. The weapons appeared to be new and "were stamped with recent dates and Iranian markings," the military said.

    The United States has frequently accused Iran of allowing insurgents to enter this country carrying weapons such as deadline roadside bombs used to attack U.S. and Iraqi convoys.

    Wow. We caught 25 suspected insurgents in two raids before they could kill who knows how many troops, police and innocents. We did it because of improved intelligence (which, by the way, we won't be able to do if redeployed "over the horizon"), we blew up a truck bomb before it could do any damage, and we siezed dangerous weapons that implicate Iran further in the war -- showing the Dems don't just want to surrender to the Iraq insurgents; they want to surrender to Iran as well.

    Oh wait, there's more:

    Separately, Denmark also announced it is sending special forces to southern Iraq in an effort to stop stepped-up attacks against Danish and British soldiers in the Shiite-dominated area near the southern city of Basra.

    Danish officials said the troops were on a temporary mission that would not affect the country's plans to withdraw its contingent by August and replace it with a smaller helicopter unit.

    "I can confirm that the Iraqis, Danes and British are putting a great effort into finding the elements that are shooting at Danish and British soldiers day and night," Defense Minister Soeren Gade told Danish broadcaster TV2.

    You mean there's actually a coalition of some sort fighting this war? Really?!

    The MSM will tell you this is an objective story, with 12 paragraphs (actually 13; it ends on a sour note) about insurgent victories and 11 paragraphs on insurgent defeats.

    Now I know Harry Reid is pandering and cowardly enough to buy that excuse ... but is anyone else? Not Capt. Ed, who sums it all up nicely:

    This [violence] is what happens when abandoning an area with a weak security apparatus in place. Now that the Brits and Danes have given the people of Basra a drop-dead date for their withdrawal, they have set in motion a fight for power that will only amplify as the withdrawal date approaches. Instead of throwing in with the central government, the flight of the Coalition has convinced Iraqis in that area that they have to find the strongest warlord for protection.

    We can expect this across the country if the US withdraws precipitately from Iraq. A pullout will embolden the violent and frighten the law-abiding, and the end result will be a completely failed state. Regardless of whether one supported the invasion or not, it is obviously not in the American interest to leave behind a collapsed Iraq where the boldest and most vicious terrorists rise to power in fiefdoms small and large.

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    Left Gets Off On Tobias' Fall

    There is an undeniable and delicious irony (or tragic irony, depending on whether you're looking at it from the left or the right) in the resignation of Randall Tobias as Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator.

    The Left deridingly calls Tobias "the abstinence czar" because of his efforts to push abstinence to help reduce the incidence of AIDS, and the Left hates abstinence because it gets in the way of feelings, so they're positively giddy about the news.

    The Tennessee Guerrilla Women, who peddle "Panties for Peace" on their blog, had this to snark:
    And just two days ago Bushie was praising Tobias for his work on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. Randall Tobias -- aka the Bush AIDS Czar -- is infamous for bashing condoms and praising abstinence while allegedly getting massages from call girls and working to alleviate the AIDS epidemic.

    As a commenter over at The Blotter asks:

    So did Tobias wear a condom when he didn't have sex or not?
    Tobias is a Christian, a Republican, a white male and a believer in abstinence. No wonder they hate him so. Nevertheless, he was able to make a good point on the subject of abstinence:
    Tobias, who was in Berlin for the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS' 2004 Awards for Business Excellence, said that promoting abstinence and monogamy are "far more effective" than distributing condoms for preventing the spread of HIV, according to Agence France-Presse. "Statistics show that condoms really have not been very effective," Tobias said, adding, "It's been the principal prevention device for the last 20 years, and I think one needs only to look at what's happening with the infection rates in the world to recognize that has not been working." (emphasis added)
    Without offering a peep of sound rebuttal, the incorrectly named AmericaBlog said the Tobias/Bush position on abstinence is an "outrageous view" that "is widely criticized by thinking people." These "thinking people" believe in their hearts (or perhaps their pants) that abstinence is a false road simply because they cannot imagine an individual having the power to not yield to lust -- so it's no wonder they are so gleeful that Tobias yielded to his.

    Given all this, Tobias had no choice but to resign. He would be utterly ineffective if he attempted to continue his efforts -- the "He's lying" signs would be replaced with something much, much worse.

    And what exactly is he lying about, by the way? Obviously, abstinence is healthier than unprotected sex and anyone who says otherwise is lying. The Bush policy, despite the Left's lies to the contrary is "ABC," abstinence first, being faithful second ... and in third spot, condoms. The "Bushies" are not in support of unprotected sex.

    Whatever. Let's not let facts get in the way of a good roll. Speaking of being on a roll, over at HuffPo, Roy Sekoff says self-righteously:
    I really don't give a damn what Tobias does in his down time; it's the endless hypocrisy of the holier-than-thou crowd on the right I can't stomach.
    Sekoff apparently has no problem with the hypocrisy of the Left: Al Gore's energy consumption, "man of the people" John Edwards' mansion and haircuts, Bill Clinton's over-sized Bible, billionaire George Soros' demands for wealth redistribution, Sheryl Crow, who just made millions from Clairol hawking their latest noxious chemical bath for hair suggesting we use one square of TP to save the planet.

    Nonetheless, a sad good riddance to Tobias. He let bad personal decisions harm the Administration he served, so you'll not find a word of defense here at C-SM. You will find, however, a word of compassion. Like Lt. Col. William H. Steele, and like millions of other men, Tobias folded under the unrelenting onslaught of sexual temptation forced on us by the sex, porn and lust industries (and that includes ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox).

    It's too bad he didn't seek help; if he did, he would still be doing important, meaningful, life-saving work instead of struggling to save his marriage and his self esteem.

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    Friday, April 27, 2007

    God Called

    A few days ago, I wrote this:
    I'm a firm believer in the idea that God placed most of us here for a very small task. Perhaps we open the door for someone one day instead of barging through, and that little action starts a cascade that saves someone (temporally or eternally).
    There's a very nice passage on this subject in the post, God Called, by Laurie Kendrick. We pick up midway through a point God was making:

    God: But that’s not what you needed. That’s not what Madolyn Welsh needed, either.

    LK: Madolyn Welsh? My college roomate?

    God: If you wouldn’t have been you, you wouldn’t have gone to the University of Texas, moved into the dorm and you wouldn’t have roomed with Madolyn. When her mother was killed in that car crash that fall, you wouldn’t have been there to help her. That was a very difficult time for Madolyn. She needed you and you needed to be there. And the fact that you were there made a difference. It saved her life. Saved yours too. Remember? You were having a very tough Freshman year.

    LK: I remember. And what would the alternative have been?

    God: You don’t want to know.

    LK: Wow.

    God: We’re talkin’ real “It’s A Wonderlife Life” stuff. One life affects so many others in ways you aren’t aware of.

    LK: I’m glad I was there for Madolyn.

    God: And be glad she was there for you. It wouldn’t have worked in any other way. Did you know she went on to become a doctor. A surgeon. She saves lives everyday and you helped make that possible.
    Besides getting into free will, predestination and why bad things happen to good people, God even explains Sanjaya.

    That should make you click even if that other theological stuff doesn't.

    hat-tip: Sigmund, Carl & Alfred

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    Hiding From Sharia Law

    Where's GLAAD? They're apparently too busy preparing for tomorrow night's Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Media Awards to take note of some very real -- as opposed to their usual perceived outrages -- threats against lesbians.

    Also mum: The ACLU, Human Rights Watch (both too busy bashing the U.S.) and the entire state of Massachusetts (taking off for a gay wedding). But BBC has the story:
    A Nigerian lesbian who "married" four women last weekend in Kano State has gone into hiding from the Islamic police, with her partners.

    Under Sharia law, adopted in the state seven years ago, homosexuality and same-sex marriages are outlawed and considered very serious offences. (Sing along with me, "Everybody, let's get stones!")

    The theatre where the elaborate wedding celebration was held on Sunday has been demolished by Kano city's authorities.

    Lesbianism is also illegal under Nigeria's national penal code. ...

    Islam says a man can take up to four wives if he is able to support them.

    "As defenders of the Sharia laws, we shall not allow this unhealthy development to take root in the state," the Hisbah's deputy commander Ustaz Abubakar Rabo told Nigeria's This Day newspaper.

    Mr Rabo told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that if the women were found guilty of lesbianism they faced one of two punishments.

    For a married woman the offence would be considered adultery for which the punishment is death by stoning. A single woman would be caned.
    For moral and societal reasons, I'm all for not letting lesbian or gay marriages take root, but stoning or caning? Only Islam forces its beliefs on others with such brutality.

    The gay community, dominated as it is by Libs, has not been completely silent on the issue, but you have to dig pretty deep into the GLAAD site to find only a little exposure of what goes on behind the Allah Curtain -- and when you find it, it's decidedly strange, like this story:

    Human Rights Watch: Iranian Teens Were Hanged for Rape, Not Gay Sex But Questions Remain
    by Rex Wockner

    The two male teenagers hanged in Mashad, Iran, July 19 were executed not for having sex with each other, as has been reported, but for raping a 13-year-old boy, Human Rights Watch is claiming.

    The New York Times and the Times of London separately reported the same thing.

    Mahmoud Asgari, 18, and Ayaz Marhoni, 19, allegedly raped the boy at least 14 months prior to their executions, meaning at least one, and perhaps both, of them were minors at the time. ...

    So, if they were hanged for rape instead of being gay, is Sharia all right with the gay community? And if they were hanged for being gay, what's' GLAAD to do about it? The organization's Web site is full of solicitation for funds and calls to action -- but its Muslim/Arab American page includes no calls to action against Islam's inhumanity to gays.

    It's a tough trap for the gay/lesbian/whatever community: Speak out against Islamic extremism and align with all the Bush-buddies, or let the Islamists kill the gays and keep your liberal banner waving proud.

    Decisions, decisions ...

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    The Effects Of Regulation On Blogging

    My only other post so far today was at 7:34 a.m., almost 12 hours ago -- highly unusual. Blame it on the California Coastal Commission.

    I have a client that has been trying for 4 1/2 years to get a hearing before the Commission. The staff asked for study after study forcing delay after delay. Twice we've been scheduled, only to be postponed, once because staff wasn't ready and once because ... well, I'd best not say, but it had nothing to do with our team's willingness to proceed.

    Now, we're scheduled to appear in May, and my client has asked his core consulting team (three biologists, two engineers, one flood expert, one lawyer, two Coastal Commission lobbyists, one groundwater hydrologist and me) to be available for meetings from 8:30 to 5 every week day until our hearing on May 10.

    "We'll see about weekends, based on how well we're getting through everything," he joked (I hope) when setting up the meetings.

    Even after 4 1/2 years, there is enough to do that we're challenged to get it done before the hearing.

    What are we proposing that takes so long and requires so much? A nuclear power plant? The dredging of virgin reefs? The creation of a massive new harbor?

    No, just one residential neighborhood.

    If we get approval of the number of homes I expect we'll end up with, the cost of preparing for our Coastal hearing will add perhaps $25,000 to the cost of each home -- on top of the $125,ooo per home in public benefits and infrastructure improvements the developer has already agreed to pay in order to get approved.

    And you wonder why homes in coastal California are so expensive!

    Anway, expect light blogging on weekdays for the next couple of weeks.


    Dems Carry A Big Carbon Footprint

    Four of the five major Dem candidates for Prez -- Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden -- voted yesterday to change history by voting to, for the first time ever, tell the enemy months in advance the day we will lose a war, then each hopped onto his or her own deluxe private jet and carbon-footprinted their way to South Carolina for the first Dem Prez debate.

    No word on Edwards. He may have driven to the debate from his 25,600-square-foot workingman's shack and carbon smudge. He usually uses a jet owned by Dallas trial lawyer (natch!) Fred Baron, who is also the finance chairman (natch!) of his presidential campaign, according to Newsday.

    Granted, the GOP Prez crew flies in private jets all the time, too, but they don't step off their jets to hypocritically attack global warming and profess their eagerness to to shackle the economy in the name of battling our true enemy, not AQ but CO2.

    Interestingly, in all the debate reports I've read this a.m., global warming isn't mentioned. If Al Gore thinks he can ride into the White House (which may emit a bit less death-gas than his Tennessee spread) on the global warming ticket, he'd best ask himself whether the horse he's riding is named Fringe Issue.

    Quiz time: Name the Dem Prez candidates in this NYT photo:

    I got all but one ... Mike Gravel ... and I admit I was unsure whether he or Chris Dodd was Chris Dodd.

    Gravel, only slightly less obscure than the newest Dem Prez candidate, Jim Gilmore (scroll waaaay down) had the best crazed Dem line of the night:

    Indeed, on this listless stage, it fell to Mr. Kucinich and his equally long-shot rival in the race, Mike Gravel, a former senator from Alaska, to stir the drink. Mr. Gravel at one point loudly belittled the four senators on stage who had earlier in the day voted in Washington for a bill that would set timetables for bringing troops home from Iraq, but that would continue financing their efforts.

    What should be done instead? “A law making it a felony to stay there,” Mr. Gravel thundered, as Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama stared quizzically at the unfamiliar man sharing the stage with them. (NYT)

    Wow. Out-Kuciniching Kucinich. Quite a feat.

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    Boy, Do I Know How To Pick 'Em

    I may not know how to write 'em ... my entry into this week's best post picks from Watcher of Weasels scarfed up one second-place vote ... but I know how to pick 'em, with my #1 and #2 choices coming in ... #2 and #1. Here's the skivvy:

    First was one of the better question-raisers about Climate Change, going all the way back to the creation of the Earth to make good points, Earth Day by Done With Mirrors.

    I really liked Bookworm's Presidential Power and Criminal Terrorists that answered every question I have about how to handle terrorist detainees in Guantanamo. Even, "Why not just line 'em up and shoot the *************?"

    Rounding out this week's winners: Helots by Eternity Road, On Winners and Losers -- Harry Reid and Defeatism by Joshuapundit, One Day Has Passed by The Glittering Eye, Into Every Life, Some Reid Must Fall by Big Lizards,

    Reid and the Dems: Cowardly, Immoral Jellyfish by Right Wing Nut House, Cohen Must've Got Lost by Soccer Dad, Quota Baseball by The Colossus of Rhodey, and yours truly, Kevin Granata: Virginia Tech Hero.

    It was the same deal on the Non-Council entries, the #1 and #2 were my #2 and #1.

    The Big White Lie by City Journal, Where Kurdistan Meets the Red Zone by Middle East Journal, Getting the Message by The Mudville Gazette, A Failure of Doctrine, Not of People by Winds of Change, A Time for War by Treppenwitz,

    We Get the Government We Deserve by The QandO Blog, NY Times Public Editor Examines Paper's Duke Coverage by TalkLeft, "To Jaw-Jaw Is Always Better Than To War-War." by Wizbang!, Chomskyite Billionare Pleads Oppression by Diary of an Anti-Chomskyite and Why the Liberal Media Whores Out for Terror by Breath of the Beast.

    There was not a bad entry among them. If you're looking for some good reading, spend some link-clicking time here.


    Thursday, April 26, 2007

    NBC Errs Again: Keeps Child Molester On The Air

    Alec Baldwin, found profoundly guilty of vicious verbal child abuse in the phone message he left his 11 year old daughter (here, here), wants out of his 30 Rock obligations so he can, according to CNN, "devote his time to the issue of 'parental alienation.'"

    Wait a minute! Even from a man who gives weirdness a dirty name, that's an jaw-dropper of a quote.

    Isn't "parental alienation" about him? Isn't he supposed to be thinking about his daughter? Didn't he mean to say he wanted out, "so I can devote my time to repairing my relationship with my daughter Ireland, who for obvious reasons thinks I'm an incredible jerk?" Instead, he's identified a depersonalized "issue" to concentrate on, leaving his daughter and himself out of it.

    I wonder what color the rubber wrist bracelet will be ... yellow?

    Back to the matter at hand. Baldwin wants out of 30 Rock. He shouldn't have to ask; he should have been canned the day after the tape of his voicemail to Ireland was made public.

    Did NBC, the network that brought us the Cho "manifester" and calls it good journalism despite the universal retching heard from psychologists familiar with the minds and motivations of mass killers, happily take Baldwin up on his offer?

    What do you think?

    You're right:

    NBC, however, quickly shot down the idea. The actor has become a key asset for the freshman sitcom, stealing the show as an oily but charming network executive overseeing a "Saturday Night Live"-type program.

    "Alec Baldwin remains an important part of '30 Rock.' We look forward to having him continue his role in the show," NBC said in a statement Wednesday.

    If I had ever seen the show, I would stop watching it. I hope millions do, driving down its ratings to the point that NBC drops it. In the meantime, here's NBC's contact us page. Go ahead -- be verbally abusive.

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    Warmie Psychic: Warmies To Be "Shocked"

    Wooo Wooo Warmie, the global warming psychic, has a new mystical revelation: Any minute now, you will hear Warmies saying they are "shocked."

    How does Wooo Wooo know? Because he read this:
    WASHINGTON (AP) The government declared two swaths of the country critical to the nation's electricity grid Thursday, pushing for construction of major power lines in southern California and along the East Coast.

    The Department of Energy proposed two "national interest electric transmission corridors," the first of their kind under a 2005 law that could overcome local objections in order to relieve bottlenecks in the electricity grid.

    The current grid "is aging and stressed. Simply put, it is no longer adequate to meet the demands of the 21st century," said Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman. He also said the government would take a more aggressive role in energy projects opposed by local groups.

    "The parochial interests that shaped energy policy in the 20th century will no longer work," he said.

    The proposed Southwest corridor would be composed of seven counties in southern California, three in Arizona and one in Nevada.

    The mid-Atlantic corridor would run north from Virginia and Washington, D.C., and include most of Maryland, all of New Jersey and Delaware and large sections of New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

    The proposed corridors were announced a day after some House Democrats criticized the 2005 law's possible effects.

    The law gave the federal government greater say on where high-priority transmission lines should be built. If states and regional groups fail to build such lines, the government could order them built.

    Warmies and Greenies, like all Libs, are perfectly fine with the federal gov usurping state's rights on issues like air quality, water quality, abortion and what gets taught in school -- but allow the feds to mandate that power lines be built over local opposition and ... well, they're "shocked."

    Greenies have hated power lines for years, calling them growth-inducing. As if that's a bad thing! Even if past growth has stressed out the grid to the point of collapse, they will focus on the new growth that supposedly will follow the lines. Yeah, that's what I do.

    "Look, Hon! A new power line! Let's buy a house right here!!"

    Now Warmies will join the fray, saying that new power line corridors won't be necessary because we'll all be shifting to solar, wind and biofuel so we'll be able to meet our own tiny carbon footprints with our own energy, sans grid.

    I have tucked away in a box somewhere a book called Earth, Energy and Everyone that was published by leftyorgan Rolling Stone in 1975. It detailed all the alternative sources of energy and predicted that we would be off oil entirely by 2000 -- in part because oil would be scarce, and in part because these new technologies were so attainable.

    Wrong on both counts, and it'll be wrong for a long time to come. The grid is efficient. The grid is cheap. The grid makes volumes of energy needed for industry available. The grid separates us from Third World hell holes.

    So of course the Greenies and the Warmies will fight against it.

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    Lt. Col. Steele's Tragedy

    Here's a tragic story, worthy of the attention of a new Shakespeare:
    BAGHDAD (AP) - A senior U.S. officer has been charged with nine offenses, including aiding the enemy and fraternizing with the daughter of a detainee while he commanded a military police detachment at an American detention facility near Baghdad, the military said Thursday.

    Army Lt. Col. William H. Steele was accused of giving "aid to the enemy" by providing an unmonitored cell phone to detainees.

    Steele was the commander of the 451st Military Police Detachment at Camp Cropper, a U.S. detention center on the western outskirts of Baghdad, when the offenses allegedly occurred between October 2005 and February, military spokesman Lt. Col. James Hutton said. ...

    The other charges included unauthorized possession of classified information, fraternizing with the daughter of a detainee, maintaining an inappropriate relationship with an interpreter, storing classified information in his quarters and possessing pornographic videos, the military said.

    Steele also was charged with improperly marking classified information, failing to obey an order and failing to fulfill his obligations in the expenditure of funds, the military said.
    What a complete fall from grace! One can assume that Steele, having attained the rank of Lt. Col., was passionate about his military career and his country, and spent years in dedicated service. He was willing to put his life at risk for his country and obviously had made sacrifices to be where he was.

    No comfy life in the suburbs, no going to the game with buddies on Saturday, no easy job in the corner office; instead, Steele opted to serve. Close the curtains on Act One.

    In Act Two, we begin to see Steele's fatal weakness manifest itself, as he begins to make a bad decision here, is forced to cover up a small error there. A cycle of lies, secrets and self-recrimination follows.

    As Act Three opens, Steele has sworn to himself that he can change his ways and he does; he's strong and focused and worthy again. But then the detainee's daughter enters the scene.

    Alluring, shapely and possibly available, his focus tragically shifts from his desire to change to his desire to see her change into something more comfortable. She keeps him awake at night; she poisons his thoughts.

    As the act unfolds, he makes his fatal mistake, providing the phone. He gets sloppy because his mind is lustily involved elsewhere, and forgets to return files. Then he tries to cover it all up by not following a direct order from his superior officer. And everything crashes.

    Steele falls far, from warrior to traitor, and we leave him at the final curtain alone in his cell in Kuwait, torn between feelings of guilt and failure ... and thoughts of her.

    What was Steele's fatal weakness? It lies in one of the minor charges against him, "possessing pornographic videos."

    Steele didn't fall for money or false allegiances. He fell to lust, a sex addict whose addiction caused him to make a series of bad choices and live a life of secrets and lies.

    Lust fueled by pornography destroyed Lt. Col. William Steele as it does millions of greater and lesser men every year. What he didn't know is that there is a life free of this addiction.

    For Christian men, visit Celebrate Recovery. There should be a Celebrate Recovery group at a church near you. Here are the program's workbooks. And here's a message from Pastor Rick Warren on addiction and recovery.

    Any concerned man or concerned wife should also read Out of the Shadows by Dr. Patrick Carnes, the premier secular work on the subject.
    For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. (Phil. 2:13 NIV)
    Update: True to form, a porno spam-bot latched onto this post and posted a comment with links to porn sites. I've deleted it, of course, but it shows the lengths the porn industry goes to suck in new addicts and to get more money out of those it's already ensnared.

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    Watcher Nominees

    It was a big week for Harry Reid in this week's Watcher's Council nominees, with three Council members picking his "All is lost! We're losers!" quote as a launching point:

    Into Every Life, Some Reid Must Fall - Big Lizards
    On Winners and Losers -- Harry Reid and Defeatism - Joshuapundit
    Reid and the Dems: Cowardly, Immoral Jellyfish - Right Wing Nut House

    Bookworm entered an excellent piece on one of the major sideshows of the war: how to handle detainees: Presidential Power and Criminal Terrorists. Soccer Dad chimed in with another war-related theme, writing on Israel and its enemies in Cohen Must've Got Lost.

    On Virginia Tech, I submitted Kevin Granata: Virginia Tech Hero and The Glittering Eye filed One Day Has Passed.

    Done With Mirrors noted Earth Day with a well-researched piece on the history of global warming and cooling and its political implications.

    A fascinating piece on race and sports, Quota Baseball, was filed by The Colossus of Rhodey, while The Education Wonks filed a story on excellence in another endeavor, Boy Scouts, in Merit-Based Success: James Calderwood.

    Rounding out a great week of nominations were Helots, Eternity Road's musings on Sparta's successes and our failures, and The Problem With Political Speech Limitation by Rhymes With Right, on political campaign contributions.

    The Watcher's Council nominees for non-Council blog posts of note were:

    1. Where Kurdistan Meets the Red Zone - Middle East Journal (my nominee)
    2. The Big White Lie - City Journal (which I wrote about last week)
    3. Getting the Message - The Mudville Gazette
    4. NY Times Public Editor Examines Paper's Duke Coverage - TalkLeft
    5. Chomskyite Billionare Pleads Oppression - Diary of an Anti-Chomskyite
    6. A Time for War - Treppenwitz
    7. A Failure of Doctrine, Not of People - Winds of Change
    8. "To Jaw-Jaw Is Always Better Than To War-War." - Wizbang!
    9. Who's in Denial? - News Bloggers
    10. Hillary Losing Critical Constituency - Captain's Quarters
    11. The Mainstream Media: Islamist Facilitators - Family Security Matters
    12. Why the Liberal Media Whores Out for Terror - Breath of the Beast
    13. We Get the Government We Deserve - The QandO Blog
    14. Cho Inspired Drivel - Dodgeblogium


    Wednesday, April 25, 2007

    Sheryl Crow's Bum Steer: Two Terrific Comments

    I think I've figured out how to deal with Sheryl Crow's one-quarter of four-square thinking. Patent pending.

    Over at the Aussie blog Straight Shooters , we're treated to two hillarious responses to Crow's pee-plea regarding TP:
    Well, personally I think Cheryl is WASTING paper. I steam the stamps off my mail and use them. Sometimes there is a really big stamp, so I use half.
    Don't use the sticky side.
    Great work Cheryl, you are making a big difference. I'd like to shake your hand. Err, on second thought......
    hat-tip: Jim

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    Stupid Enough To Be Ivy League

    Maybe there's something to this whole "Bush is stupid" thing. After all, he went to Yale.

    Stage weapons will again be allowed in University theatrical productions, in a reversal of last week's ban, Yale spokeswoman Helaine Klasky said Tuesday morning.

    Administrators decided Monday afternoon to require that audiences instead be informed of the use of stage weapons before the start of every performance, she said. (Yale Daily News)

    I'm sure since you are all intelligent human beings you're wondering how the Yale drama department will handle the delicate task of informing theater-goers about the props.

    Well, worry no more, because C-SM has acquired through unnamed sources a draft of the announcement to appear in this weekend's performance of Julius Caesar:


    The weapons you see may look real but they're not.
    Also, the actors you see may look like Romans,
    but they're not. And the stage sets may look real,
    but in fact they're really just two-dimensional.

    Yale's action over-rides the earlier decision by Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg to ban all realistic prop weapons from Yale productions following the VA Tech massacres. Rather than admit the idea was insulting to students, the admin hid behind the common excuse of not wanting to infringe free speech.

    I wonder ... if realistic plastic weapons represent free speech, can students begin protecting themselves by asserting their 1st Amendment, as opposed to 2nd Amendment, right to carry real weapons to class?

    Anyway, Trachtenberg is defiant despite the wrist-slapping:

    "I think people should start thinking about other people rather than trying to feel sorry for themselves and thinking that the administration is trying to thwart their creativity. They're not using their own intelligence. … We have to think of the people who might be affected by seeing real-life weapons."
    Unbelievable. We are forced to live in a world of falseness and foolishness, of shameless pandering to the weakest among us at the expense of the strong, so we can feel appropriately sorry, appropriately tolerant, appropriately spineless.

    And this is a school that's supposed to turn out the leaders of tomorrow? They won't be able to lead their way out of a paper bag. They'll be too worried that ripping the bag apart might offend people who like paper bags the way they are.

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    The Most Ridiculous Story Of The Year?

    There's a new file in my bookmark files: Ridiculous. Yes, I'm starting a little collection of work serious writers present in all seriousness that goes far, far beyond the sublime and settles heavily into the imbecilic.

    The inspiration for this new collection came from a source that should surprise no one, since UK's leftist The Guardian is a regular repository of the ridiculous. But they outdid themselves with Naomi Wolf's "Fascist America in 10 easy steps."

    Wolf, an American with utterly no comprehension of America, has this thesis:
    From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And ... George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all.
    Wolf has defined 10 steps that any good megalomaniac general would undertake to crush a democracy and seize power, and then she sees W hard at work behind all 10.

    Here's the Readers' Indigestion of her piece:

    1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy, in which W nefariously uses 9/11 and some pixie dust to dupe Congress into passing the Patriot Act.

    And, even worse, Bush has gotten us into a war that has no clearly defined end. Unlike the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, all of which apparently always had clearly defined end-dates early on. The Dems should take a tip from Dennis Miller and stamp each new conflict with an expiration date.

    2. Create a gulag, as mentioned earlier. Here's what Wolf has to say:
    Once you have got everyone scared, the next step is to create a prison system outside the rule of law (as Bush put it, he wanted the American detention centre at Guantánamo Bay to be situated in legal "outer space") - where torture takes place.
    Just a couple days I wrote about the real torture of three missionaries in Turkey at the hand of some Islamofascists:
    "He had scores of knife cuts on his thighs, his testicles, his rectum, and his back," Ugras said. "His fingers were sliced to the bone.

    "It is obvious that these wounds had been inflicted to torture him," he said.
    People like Wolf not only destroy all respect for pundits, they destroy perfectly good words like "torture." And speaking of words, it might help clarify her thinking if she looks up "prisoner of war" in her dictionary of choice. She will find that detention with an uncertain term, i.e., the uncertain term of all wars, is standard procedure.

    3. Develop a thug caste. The Brownshirts! It's true! Didn't you know?
    Groups of angry young Republican men, dressed in identical shirts and trousers, menaced poll workers counting the votes in Florida in 2000.
    And under Clinton, groups of angry old Democratic men and women, dressed in identical polyester, couldn't figure out butterfly ballots, throwing America into chaos. Hey, it's as likely to destroy America as some group of GOP kids -- or the Dem kids in Wisconsin who slashed GOP tires on election day. But they weren't wearing the same kind of shirts.

    4. Set up an internal surveillance system. You know this one already. The NSA program to scan data -- not voices -- of international calls to or from terrorist locales. From this action, which unfortunately had to be stopped when the order came down, Wolf leaps to this:
    In Mussolini's Italy, in Nazi Germany, in communist East Germany, in communist China - in every closed society - secret police spy on ordinary people and encourage neighbours to spy on neighbours. The Stasi needed to keep only a minority of East Germans under surveillance to convince a majority that they themselves were being watched.
    Yep, that's America under Bush for you. I'm sure you've felt it too.

    And it goes on through six others, including some hilarious laughers like "Control the press."

    And who are the heroes standing between W and a totalitarian America? Why it's "a handful of patriots" like the Center for Constitutional Rights, which defends the bloodthirsty terrorists, incarcerated at Guantanamo ... er, the gulag ... and the ACLU. Oh, and the Europeans, whose help she feels we desperately need.

    God save us.

    Please forward any nominees for consideration.

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    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    Why The Left Calls Us Hate-Mongers

    Driving back the San Jose airport this afternoon, I heard a somewhat confused 82 year-old caller accuse Michael Medved of "Hate, hate, hate! Everything you say is hate!"

    I've listened to Medved for years and can't recall him ever spewing hate, but I wasn't confused one whit. I recall when my mother and I both read the same column by a Christian talk show host; I found it thoughtful and illuminating, she found it a repulsive screed of hate. Same words, same genes, different politics.

    Part of the cause of this is the Left's reliance on emotions to fuel their thoughts, since secularism deprives most of them of a more solid inner compass. They hold their beliefs emotionally -- war is bad, giving the rich man's money to the poor is good -- so when their precepts are attacked, they respond emotionally.

    Writer Andrew Klavan of The City lays out another reason:
    This is leftism’s great strength: it’s all white lies. That’s its only advantage, as far as I can tell. None of its programs actually works, after all. From statism and income redistribution to liberalized criminal laws and multiculturalism, from its assault on religion to its redefinition of family, leftist policies have made the common life worse wherever they’re installed.

    But because it depends on—indeed is defined by—describing the human condition inaccurately, leftism is nothing if not polite. With its tortuous attempts to rename unpleasant facts out of existence—he’s not crippled, dear, he’s handicapped; it’s not a slum, it’s an inner city; it’s not surrender, it’s redeployment—leftism has outlived its own failure by hiding itself within the most labyrinthine construct of social delicacy since Victoria was queen. ...

    And because we’ve allowed leftists to define the language of political good manners—don’t say women are less scientific; don’t remark that black people bear the same responsibility for their actions as whites; don’t point out that the gunman was a Muslim, it’s not nice—the sort of person willing to speak the truth isn’t always the sort of person you want to be seen with.
    I've certainly let untruths and mischaracterizations fly unchallenged at various social events with my family out of fear of disrupting the polite social equillibrium. The politician or talk radio host who beats down every leftist logic softball breaks the calm, and because breaking the calm is not loving (have you ever noticed how whisper-quiet leftists mellowly talk?), he who dares to challenge is seen as hateful.

    Of course it's not hate; it's truth, and truth cannot be hate.

    Caveat: None of this applies to the crazy Left, the faction that relishes opportunities to shout profanities and offend those who don't share their beliefs through their T-shirts, bumper stickers, puppets and group chants.

    Counter-caveat: When not in their packs, these leftyloons usally speak in those quiet, thoughtful tones and take great offence at the truth spoken by conservatives.

    hat-tip: Real Clear Politics

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    Dirty Bird

    Not that she'd ever fling herself at me, and not that I'd accept her advances in any case, but I've decided that if Sheryl Crow ever gets a hankerin' for this hunk o' manhood, I'm turning her flat-out down.

    Why? Here's why:
    Singer Sheryl Crow has said a ban on using too much toilet paper should be introduced to help the environment.

    Crow has suggested using "only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two to three could be required". (BBC)
    Just ick, yuck and gross. This Crow is a dirty, stinky bird.

    Oh, I know I'm being flip. Ms Crow is very, very serious. She's given this a lot of thought ... presumably while on the can, contemplating the TP roll:
    "I have spent the better part of this tour trying to come up with easy ways for us all to become a part of the solution to global warming," Crow wrote.

    "Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating.

    "I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting."
    So, who's signing up first to be part of the enforcement arm that's going to sniff out violators?

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    Hillary's Bloated "Schip" Of State

    Schip? Never heard of it!

    It's the rich residue of Hillary's failed universal health care initiative, the State Children's Health Insurance Program. It started modestly enough, with $40 billion over 10 years, which would be matched by states in order to extend health care benefits to the children of those living in poverty.

    That was in 1997. Today, it's a massive "underfunded" program the Dems are pushing forward as their health care Trojan horse for the upcoming elections. As the WSJ led off its editorial today:
    Any doubt that "universal" health care has returned as a dominant political issue vanished with last month's forum for Democratic Presidential candidates in Nevada. "We need a movement," Hillary Clinton declared. "We need people to make this the No. 1 voting issue in the '08 election."
    No. 1? That's the new way to insult our troops. First we say they've lost the war, then we make universal health care more important than their mission.

    The Schip battle is shaping up like this: It's due up for renewal in September, and Bush, foolishly, wants to expand it by $4.8 billion to make it a $30 billion program over five years. Instead, he should force the law to be rewritten, as I'll explain in a minute.

    The Dems want it to be hiked by $40 or $50 billion to take care of the "underfunding" that's occurring, which they estimate to be $900 million and rising. Oh my gosh! How did we so grossly underestimate the health care needs of children in poverty? The Dems would have you believe it's because there are more children in poverty (not so!), but WSJ tells the truth:

    But this "crisis" arose because some states have grossly exceeded Schip's mandate. They are using the program to expand government-subsidized coverage well beyond poor kids -- to children from wealthier families and even to adults. And they're doing so even as some 8.3 million poor children continue to go uninsured.

    The Schip legislation defines potential recipients as children in families making twice the federal poverty line, or $41,300 a year for a family of four. But states are encouraged to apply for waivers to allow for more flexibility. Now 15 states have eligibility thresholds above 200% of poverty, and nine of those are at or over 300%. In New Jersey, the figure is 350%. New York recently passed a budget raising eligibility to the highest in the nation at 400% -- or $82,600 for a family of four. That's an income close to what Democrats usually define as "rich" when they're trying to raise taxes.

    Some states are using Schip to create universal child health programs, regardless of need. Governor Rod Blagojevich recently expanded the Illinois Schip program to insure all children, with premiums and co-pays based on parental income. Pennsylvania's "Cover All Kids" and Tennessee's "Cover Kids" programs do the same.

    As of February 2007, the Government Accountability Office found that 14 states were using Schip to cover adults: pregnant women, parents of Medicaid or Schip kids -- and even childless adults. Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin cover more adults than children. In 2005 Minnesota spent 92% of its grant insuring adults, and Arizona spent two-thirds the same way.

    Why is this happening? Because there's no reason in the law for the states not to expand Schip to other populations -- and the proposed Dem modifications would make it even worse, because it proposes that if a state doesn't spend all its Schip funds, it will get less the next year. It's incentivizing waste.

    So as the Dems ramp up their arguments for universal health care, remember this: We already have it. Naescent, for sure, but growing in reach and cost, expanding the entitlement mentality and fidelity to the Dems as it spreads. That's why Bush's position should be no new funding until the law is tightened up to forbid its use for any population other than children living in poverty.

    But that's not Bush's position, tragically. I'll leave the conclusion to the editorial writers at WSJ:

    In other words, what began as a hard-cap grant to cover the working poor is evolving into an open-ended entitlement to cover whatever promises states make. And all under the political cover of helping "children." Instead of debating government-run health care on its merits, Democrats are building it step by step on the sly. Or as Mrs. Clinton put it in Nevada, "Make no mistake. This will be a series of steps."

    There's a lesson here for Republicans, who agreed to create Schip in a trade for Mr. Clinton's signature on their "balanced budget." Balanced budgets vanish in the blink of an election, while entitlements like Schip live on and expand as an ever-larger claim on taxpayers. Mark this down as another case in which Bill Clinton outfoxed Newt Gingrich. The least Republicans can do now is work to return Schip to its original, more modest purposes.

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    Monday, April 23, 2007

    Solar Energy? What Solar Energy?

    I just flew into San Jose a couple hours ago. The hotbed of high tech. The bastion of nuveau billionaires who love to fund liberal causes. The heartbeat of greenie innovation against the dreaded demon of climate change.

    So take a guess: During the long approach, how many buildings did I see that had solar panels on their roofs?

    No, it wasn't even that many!

    One. One building in the entire approach path owned by someone who put eco-image and itty-bitty carbon footprints ahead of reasonable return on investment. Well, maybe not. It looked like it might be a government building, so forget return on investment.

    What's with the Warmies? Why aren't they putting their money where their mouths are? Are they waiting for some government program to subsidize their purchase of solar panels further before they'll commit?

    Is the Warmie movement all hot air and no hard cash commitment?

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    Chalk One Up For The Hitlerites

    It's a tough getting folks to accept Nazism and good ol' Adolph these days. Ridicule, scorn, hate: That's all the Nazis ever get.

    Well, one man in a small town in British Columbia made it his personal mission to make Hitler-worship more accessible and acceptable to the mainstream:

    A Canadian man has been arrested after he was found walking around naked with a swastika taped to his body to mark Adolf Hitler's birthday, police said on Friday.

    Police in Nanaimo, British Columbia, on Canada's Pacific coast, said they were called to the scene by concerned residents, and the man told them he was "honoring Hitler's birthday." He was detained and will undergo a psychiatric assessment. (Reuters)

    You just have to ask yourself why Goebbles didn't think of that. Maybe they really could have won the war ....

    Nanaimo's finest may not have been speaking for everyone when they said:

    "Although the swastika symbol causes some concern and is usually associated with hate and the Nazi regime, in this instance this male posed no threat to the community."
    Maybe they were right. He didn't have a Luger taped to him, after all.

    Is Harry Reid Bi? Partisan?

    Harry Reid had this to say today about Pres. Bush's anticipated veto of the Dem's Iraq Surrender Act:
    "If the president disagrees, let him come to us with an alternative. Instead of sending us back to square one with a veto, some tough talk and nothing more, let him come to the table in the spirit of bipartisanship that Americans demand and deserve."
    If I hear him say "bipartisan" again, I think I'll bifurcate.

    Here's how partisan Bi-Harry was in his comments today:
    • He called the Vice President "the president's attack dog."
    • He said, in comparing Bush to Lyndon Johnson, that Bush's motivation in Iraq is to "save his political legacy" (not containing Islamofascism)
    • He said Bush "is the only person" who fails to see Iraq the way the Dems see it. (What was their margin of victory in '06 again?)
    The man, who is still reeling from the turmoil over his declaration that the war has lost, just can't shut his mouth. Look it up in your Gray's Anatomy: The jaw locked in "open" is one of the final symptoms of Bush Hatred Symptom, one step short of slipping into full-blown insanity.

    Reid has gotten so bad that even David Broder, the purported "dean" of the liberal DC press corps, is saying the Dems should dump their speaker. Here's the transcript from an XM radio broadcast:

    EDWARDS: White House and congressional Republicans really blasted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for saying the war in Iraq is lost. Do Republicans believe it can still be won?

    BRODER: Uh, Republicans, some of them believe that, and Democrats, by and large, wish that Harry Reid would learn to engage mind before mouth opens. This has become kind of a pattern for him, and, uh, I think at some point down the road the Democrats are gonna have to have a little caucus and decide how much further they want to carry Harry Reid. They’ve got able people on the Senate side, and they don’t have to put up with this kind of bumbling performance forever.

    EDWARDS: You think Harry Reid is an embarrassment to the Democrats?

    BRODER: I think so. I mean, he has been a pretty effective leader but he is verbally just a real loose cannon and it seems to me, Bob, that about every six weeks or so there’s another episode where he has to apologize for the way in which he has bungled the Democratic case.

    I got that from Think Progress which just added an update to its original story in a little fact-check for Broder:
    UPDATE: Greg Sargent: “I just checked with Reid’s office, and they told me in no uncertain terms that Reid has not apologized for any of his remarks during his first four months as majority leader.”
    The partisan in me would like Reid to stay. He's so obnoxious and weaselly that he's a natural vote-getter for the GOP.

    But the American in my, who wants rational minds to prevail so our troops are taken care of an the threats to our security are minimized, would rather have someone a little more ... bipartisan.

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