Saturday, December 31, 2005

I don’t even like the Left and this was still troubling….

A recently unearthed letter from Upton Sinclair reveals that he knew, prior to publishing Boston, that Sacco and Vanzetti were actually guilty. That’s according to conversations he had with their lawyer. Sinclair struggled with his obligation to tell the truth – and then proceeded to keep the secret beyond his grave.

Next thing you know, it’ll turn out that there weren’t bits of people being ground into hamburger meat.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Sometimes it’s best to run roughshod over the opposition….

In Kanryo, a fascinating book about Japan’s bureaucracy, journalist Tadahide Ikuta laments that the strong political leadership that would be needed to reform these entrenched agencies simply did not exist. That was true in the mid nineties, when the book was written, but, thanks to Koizumi, times have changed. Here’s a summary of Koizumi’s resolve and tactics in dissolving the lower house and getting his Postal reform passed. Notice how many nervous nellies and political opponents he had to stiff-arm to see it through.

VDH takes it to the hole

The gist: Mr. Hanson asks - why are DNC leaders bitching and moaning so loudly? Mr. Hanson answers - because we're winning the war. Good stuff.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The country formerly known as Burma continues to play hell with map makers

Is the Burmese government’s relocation of the capital to another area of the country a reflection of a new center of power? Apparently not:

The decision to shift the government of Myanmar (Burma) to a mountainous inland
hideaway has flabbergasted the world--and the military regime's government
Perhaps the new locale was chosen because of its convenience and comfort?

It's [Pyinmana] … prone to malaria, full of poisonous snakes and generally a
miserable backwater. No one understands why anyone would choose to move there.

Well, no doubt, the government planned the relocation well and will have everything set up for the arriving government workers, right?

…. When they arrived, they found there were no apartments built yet, so
they are sleeping at their offices. They eat meals prepared by co-workers.

Fortunately, the current government workers can choose to leave their posts so they can stay with their families and choose to join the private sector. Psych!

By law, government officials cannot resign without permission--which is not
often granted.

Sounds like the government is trying to make itself less accessible to the people.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Let's give a shout out to our Polish allies

The reality community holds these assertions to be self evident

The Mao’s little red book hoax reminds me of a similar fake-but-accurate story a few years ago at UCO where a middle eastern student was told by immigration officials that he/she (the gender changed with the telling) would have to give up Islam and convert to Christianity to become a citizen. It never happened, but I’m sure the myth lives on. In this case, Ted Kennedy is more than happy to keep the belief alive.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Peter Cushing

If there was a vampire lurking about, snatching pretty girls in the neighborhood and tossing aside their bloodless husks, this is the Van Helsing I’d want on the case.

His best quality? His main strength as a vampire killer? He’s able to take command of the situation – always. He stays calm and he thinks and you never see him lose his nerve. He’s a man of action, but he’s also book learned. He tends to create the opportunities to turn tragedies into successes.

Ever wonder what you should do if you got bit? Follow and learn:
First, heat an iron –

Then sear the bite thoroughly –

Dowse generously with holy water –
Wait – Heaven takes care of the rest –

He enters a room without hesitation – though he's mindful of the danger. I’m not sure where his confidence comes from since he never seems foolhardly or reckless. Quite the contrary, he’s inquisitive and direct, as here, where he deduces the fears of the local innkeeper right in front of him – tells him he knows what they are afraid of and that he knows it is evil:
And when it’s time to confront evil, face to face, his steely nerves allow him to act unassuming and casual. Because he knows the vampire is not an athiest.

And you can always count on a good finish, as in Brides of Dracula, where Cushing turns a windmill into a crucifix.

Stills from the Horror of Dracula and The Brides of Dracula.

China prefers no reform at the UN

Vice-Foreign Minister Qiao Zonghuai Monday reiterated China's position in the
reform of the United Nations (UN), saying "priority (of the reform) should be
given to increasing the representation of developing countries especially
African countries."

Translation: the 2nd largest economy in the world should not be on the security council.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Is Newsweek even trying anymore?

Arlene Getz wants to know where the outrage is regarding the NSA story. The answer: in newsrooms across America and few other places. She goes off on a ridiculous parallel between the U.S. and S. Africa that would embarrass any person living north of the Bush Fever Line:

Back in the 1980s, when I was living in Johannesburg and reporting on apartheid
South Africa, a white neighbor proffered a tasteless confession. She was "quite
relieved," she told me, that new media restrictions prohibited our reporting on
government repression. No matter that Pretoria was detaining tens of thousands
of people without real evidence of wrongdoing. No matter that many of them,
including children, were being tortured—sometimes to death. No matter that
government hit squads were killing political opponents. No matter that police
were shooting into crowds of black civilians protesting against their
disenfranchisement. "It's so nice," confided my neighbor, "not to open the
papers and read all that bad news."

Yes, the comparisons are obvious, aren’t they? But the manure doesn’t stop there. Getz describes Desmond Tutu’s reaction – not to the spy story, but to the 2004 election?

Tutu recalled teaching in Jacksonville, Fla., when Bush won re-election in 2004.
"I was shocked," he said, "because I had naively believed all these many years
that Americans genuinely believed in freedom of speech. [But I] discovered there
that when you made an utterance that was remotely contrary to what the White
House was saying, then they attacked you.

I know I’ve been living in the Bush bubble, but what is the Tutu talking about and what does the 2004 election have to do with anything?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Friday, December 23, 2005

This is about right

And there's more Lileks here from the Hewitt show. Lileks makes the following observation:

"...the people who are worried about civil liberties in this case, being somebody from Karachi calling somebody in San Diego and telling them where to plant the little nasty sticks. That's one level of civil rights violation, if it is. The other level of civil rights violation is martial law, because Washington has been taken out, and we have to take our orders from somebody in a NORAD bunker deep in the southwest. And you want to see civil rights violations, you ain't seen nothing yet."

Scroll down on Radio Blogger to see the Thursday Mark Steyn segment - where he discusses the House of Lords, aka the Senate.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

If it looks like treason, smells like treason and acts like treason….

then it must be something we should not question. To me, at least, it seems clear that the liberal death star laid down some suppressing fire to give Democrats cover while they killed the Patriot Act. There are other possibilities for the timing of the NSA spy story: they could’ve used it to drown out the Iraqi elections or simply to coincide with the author’s book. Maybe the editors felt they had a damning story that they could release at an opportune moment. Perhaps a combination of all those. One thing is certain: it ain’t news and no matter how you feel about the program – legitimate scandal or a bunch of hooey – national security interests were the editors' least concern.

Another thing is certain: this president can’t fart sideways without his opponents screaming that he’s stifling debate or lashing out. It’s not every day that Newsweek sounds as unhinged and hysterical as kos or nonfamous.

UPDATE: This is a house of cards. Drudge did a little spade work and found executive orders from Clinton and Carter authorizing warrantless searches and surveillance. I, for one, have never been as impressed with Carter as in this instance. And here's Andrew McCarthy's take. Make no mistake, Democrats will proceed with the rhetoric of fear.

Meanwhile: Hugh Hewitt had Jonathan Alter, the writer of the Snoopgate piece, on his show. You can see a transcript of the interview here.

And finally - goodbye.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

It's about his sche-du-al....

Honestly, does a week go by when Biden isn't on Meet the Press or Face the Nation? I just switched on the boob tube and there he was again - I call it the Sunday Sermon. He and McCain have some sort've tag team going on.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ted Rall should be this clever....

via Ace of Spades

Freedom on the march

The Iraqi's have been able to voice their opinion so much this year that this vote almost seems like old news. What a great thing. Anyway, Iraq the Model has been posting extensively on it. Also, Pajamas Media is on the beat.

UPDATE: Since I didn't brave the car bombs to cast an Iraqi ballot, I feel like dying my finger purple is not the best way to show my support. However, what better way to express support and confidence with the Iraqi people than buying dinars? It's a win-win: you're telling them that you believe the economy is going to boom, and when it does, you stand to make a killing - though not in the self whacking sense. Just be sure that the bills are legit (i.e. - no Saddam picture).

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Israel's going to need a bigger fence

Abbas is giving money to relatives of suicide bombers, former Israeli settlements are now being used as terror camps, the Iranian loon wants Israel to move to Europe, lock, stock and barrel….or be destroyed or preferrably both. And it’s a small wonder that the UN doesn’t care for Israelis – they, too, don't even think they should exist.

Lileks has a 2005 year in review that will be funny to some, real to others

Monday, December 12, 2005

Gateway Pundit also has comprehensive coverage of the Iraqi elections

so far. Lots of stuff on Iraq, Australia & China - just keep scrolling.

Gateway pundit has the most complete coverage

of the People's Government crackdown on the People - that I've seen, at least.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

One of the great ones dies

Richard Pryor died of a heart-attack at 65.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Iranian nuke situation may escalate into discussions....

According to the BBC headline, El Baradei warned that the world is losing patience with Iran. That's pretty meaningless left on it's own, but after reading the story, he's never even quoted as saying that. Instead (and perhaps this is the result of lost patience) the story says:

Mr ElBaradei said European negotiators should continue talking to Iran.

"The parties need to sit together, discuss their grievances and reach a solution," he said.

"If we can do that without escalating the problem, all the much better."

Give that man a Nobel Prize!

Stop the NYTimes presses: Tax cuts work!

Here's an impressive graph. And the House is working on more tax cuts. Notice that the Krugman cat index hasn't been updated in a while - perhaps because the puss is orbiting beyond the range.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

While it's important to remember December 7th

It's also important to remember the years that followed. I believe the photo is of the USS Pennsylvania, followed by the Colorado moving towards the Philippines, 1945.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Monday, December 05, 2005

Rumsfeld delivers a stellar speech on Iraq

"the idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong..."

"I've seen this before in my life. This is the same situation we had in Vietnam. Everybody then kept saying, 'just another year, just stay the course, we'll have a victory.' Well, we didn't have a victory, and this policy cost the lives of an additional 25,000 troops because we were too stubborn to recognize what was happening."

"I think we need a strategic redeployment over a period of two years," Dean said. "Bring the 80,000 National Guard and Reserve troops home immediately. They don't belong in a conflict like this anyway. We ought to have a redeployment to Afghanistan of 20,000 troops, we don't have enough troops to do the job there and its a place where we are welcome. And we need a force in the Middle East, not in Iraq but in a friendly neighboring country to fight (terrorist leader Musab) Zarqawi, who came to Iraq after this invasion. We've got to get the target off the backs of American troops."

Note to GOP: Dean just handed you the stick, now beat him over the head with it. We'll see how many of the Democrats in Congress side with him over the President.

LDP wants to allow Internet campaigning

A wake-up call for who?

Here’s a curiously incoherent piece by Fareed Zakaria. Summation: China is using soft power to out-charm us, but they’re not really that charming, but it’s working anyway and the U.S. is missing the boat by not being invited to the upcoming Asian summit that was designed by China to leave us uninvited, though this year we did receive an open invitation from China though we’re not going. Still with him? He goes on: the region resents American involvement in the region to counteract Chinese power…I mean soft power…though they are now realizing that Chinese power…I mean soft power….isn’t in the region’s interest so they expanded participation in the summit to Australia, New Zealand and India…and the U.S., which is still not going. And the above countries don’t share U.S. interests so our interests will not be represented? Oh yeah, and anti-Americanism is rampant all over Asia, including, Zakaria tells us, Japan. According to Zakaria, an Asian government with close alliances to the U.S. is at a political disadvantage if there be voting in that country…

To believe that last statement, you’d have to disregard the pro-American leaders recently voted in by the people in places like Indonesia, Australia, Mongolia and…Japan. And I’d bet that the Taiwanese people feel safer and freer under the U.S. military than that of China. And if push came to shove, I would bet on the S. Koreans to come to their senses and side with the U.S. instead of China. And if the Burmese could decide for themselves, little doubt they’d cling to the U.S. over their own autocracy or China’s.

Zakaria, like most other Newsweek and Time reporters, apparently believes that overly hedging your bets is the best way to create an aura of objectivity. As in a recent piece of his where hs was saying that China is a growing threat, war might be on the horizon, but then again it’s unlikely, but there are ominous clouds nonetheless. Does the future belong to China? Maybe, maybe not. What’s the point? The problem is that by layering caveat over caveat, Zakaria convolutes everything until his article is practically meaningless.

If you dig down deep enough in his current article to hit the thin vein of logic therein, that the U.S. needs to pay more attention to Asia as a whole, then you’ve reached a conclusion the that Bush Administration reached quite some time ago. Zakaria laments that everyone in Washington is too dense to know that the charming/uncharming China is out-charming/uncharming us…but hold on there, Fareed! Bush just got back from the region where he tried to put a focus on American relations to the region. Bush deftly criticized China’s human rights record and encouraged reform there as well. He also did so through other countries in the region, and behind the cameras, Rice was doing the same. Bush was the first president ever to visit Mongolia – an ally on the war on terror and a country that worries about its southern neighbor. Bush’s message was comprehensive, dynamic and forward looking – touching on increasing freedom, reforming government, taking care of health crises and improving trade, etc. The press, of which Zakaria is a member, had little interest in Bush’s message. I happened to watch much of Bush’s visit on Japanese television & it seemed that every time an English speaking journalist opened his/her mouth it was to ask about Iraq or prison abuse or the Mertha deal – just to let you know what they consider the pressing issue to be. True enough, Iraq has occupied much of the President's time. Yet, he still has not forgotten about all the things that the press has forgotten: Afghanistan, trade issues everywhere, bird flu (though if that can be used against the President, they’ll quickly remember), Taiwan, etc. It’s true that Zakaria has been warning about Chinese power for years, but when he frets that there is nobody in Washington to define the long term American role in Asia, he betrays his bias against the President who has been defining that very role since his first day in office. Perhaps the wake up Zakaria seeks is for his own colleagues.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Squirrel padawons

I'm not sure if the squirrels that killed the dog in Russia were Syth lords, or not