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Hamas takes Paleo election
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Great White North
David Warren: The urban angle
Well worth the read, as is usually the case.
Posted by: Fred || 01/26/2006 00:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6479 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The urban angle:

'O Nanny "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..."
Like isolated and primitive peoples elsewhere, they develop superstitions -- “urban myths” -- that account for the mysterious provision of their public services, and they worship their “rainmaking” urban political gods. Their lives are regulated by principles of “political correctness” bound in on every side by taboo.

The postmodern conurbation is vast, and the person who lives in the middle of it, lives 10 or 20 or 30 miles from the nearest open space. He walks or drives past thousands on his way to work. He participates in what used to be called a “rat race”. He adapts quickly in neighbourhoods subject to constant inundation by strange new people -- often speaking languages he can’t understand. His home is something that can be quickly exchanged, more likely rented than owned. He develops a profound sense of personal powerlessness, together with the compensating vanity --


Someone once told me that a curriculum vitae should contain one hundred facts....

1. I walked across the Hungerford footbridge over the Thames River in London, England, in the presence of Christ, on Thursday, April 15th, 1976.

2. I was born under a full moon, on April 29th, 1953 -- the last time a full moon would fall on that day, until April 29th, 2037.

3. My mother's mother's mother spoke Gaelic, & her mother spoke Gaelic only (in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia).

4. My father's mother....

Posted by: Max Planck || 01/26/2006 6:55 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
LTC Steve Russell answers LA Times "I don't support the troops"
He's sent this to the Times -- I could be a wealthy woman (as in a bet) that they won't publish this response

A Soldier's Response to Joel Stein

No doubt readers are aware of yesterday’s LA unabashedly anti-war/anti-soldier column in the Los Angeles Times, “Warriors and Wusses” by Joel Stein. Reuters among others has a piece on the huge fallout, while talk host and blogger Hugh Hewitt interviewed Stein yesterday.

LTC Steve Russell sent me his reply to the Times, which it may or may not print.

LTC Russell commanded Task Force 1/22nd Infantry in Iraq (bagged Saddam) and is currently Chief of Tactics at the Infantry School.

John B. Dwyer 1 25 06

Here is what LTC Russell wrote:

Mr. Stein’s commentary on soldier support is remarkable because it reflects more than just his opinion. It may even express a viewpoint.

While most of Mr. Stein’s commentary is indicative of a man who has enjoyed our freedoms with none of the responsibility (by his own admission), he has at least one point of merit. He does not conceal his true conviction. When one considers those that say they support the troops but not the war, it is hard to distinguish which is more harmful to the soldier.

Mr. Stein alludes to this as trying to have it both ways and implies this is a moral cop out. He may be right. It can also be viewed as similar to telling the trash man, “Thanks.” It is seldom sincere. It is just so the trash will keep being taken away by someone willing to do it so one does not have to get his hands dirty.

Mr. Stein’s tragedy is not his clear conviction but rather that he steals freedom from his sacrificing countrymen. He sees no moral dilemma with that—which is indicative of an attitude prevalent among some self-proclaimed, high-browed, educated types that believe there is somehow a moral superiority in non-involvement. To defend his position, Mr. Stein is critical of what he calls ‘American imperialism.’ To borrow what he surely intended as a denigrating analogy, we can indeed see parallels in attitude if not government and conquest.

Rome had its internal critics. So did Greece. But when the vast majority of Romans began to view the finer points of life as morally superior to the lower points of necessity, Roman youth lost their appreciation for what held Rome together in the first place. Soon, hired or conquered levies replaced Romans in the ranks. Why should Romans fight wars that they could not see any reason for fighting? After all, what impact did they have in Rome?

Eventually, the theory of a moral superiority in non-involvement met the cold steel of non-theoretically superior sword thrusts from Vandals and Huns that replaced Romans in the Roman empire.

I take exception to Mr. Stein’s comment about soldiers ignoring their morality. And as a soldier that has served in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, none of those experiences ever made me feel ‘lucky.’ The noble ‘wars’ and ‘fights’ are seldom noble for the soldier. They involve pain and human suffering on a grand scale. Mr. Stein I am quite certain has never killed a man and is proud of that. I have had to kill several men in desperate, close combat while I watched my opponents facial expressions change as life ebbed out of them. I am quite certain that I am not proud of that.

But what separates him from me is certainly not education. Nor is it conviction of purpose. It is indeed morality. But of a nobler kind. No greater love has a man, than he lay down his life for his friends—even when they act and write unfriendly.

As an American, I no longer draw a distinction of who qualifies to be one or is best suited to appreciate democracy. After serving nine years overseas and on multiple continents, I do not see white or black or Hispanic or Indian or oriental or educated or simple-minded Americans. I only see Americans. Even the unfriendly kind. And when I am old, I will be able to look in the mirror and know that I acted on my convictions to preserve what others will not. Cannot. Do not. And what I will see is a man with a clear conscience and a moral sense of purpose.

I am thankful I do not have to look into Mr. Stein’s mirror.

LTC Steve Russell

Posted by: Sherry || 01/26/2006 16:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6488 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I am thankful I do not have to look into Mr. Stein’s mirror.

As am I as well. What a piece of kak.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/26/2006 16:59 Comments || Top||

#2  I'd be willing to bet that Stein's career is over. He'll be selling shoes or possible fetching coffee by next year.

LTC Russell is our "Army of Steve" guy, right?
Posted by: Penguin || 01/26/2006 17:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Penguin __ get serious.

This will mean a promotion to the NYT as OOE - Offensice Opinion Editor.
Posted by: Jomong Craiter9134 || 01/26/2006 17:25 Comments || Top||

#4  Penguin -- yes, this is our "Army of Steve" guy. Assumed he was in Iraq with the 4th Infantry, but seems not.
"LTC Russell commanded Task Force 1/22nd Infantry in Iraq (bagged Saddam) and is currently Chief of Tactics at the Infantry School."
Posted by: Sherry || 01/26/2006 17:32 Comments || Top||

#5  My goodness, that's quite a response. Thank you Colonel Steve.

Penguin: the 'Amry of Steve' started here as an in-joke (two moderators and several regulars of the name). When we learned that LTC Steve was, well, a Steve, we were proud to include him in the ranks. And based on what he wrote today, along with the kind of man he's been all along, I'm proud, as well as not worthy, to share the name.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/26/2006 17:39 Comments || Top||

#6  Hell, I may have to change my name to Steve after this response.
Posted by: BH || 01/26/2006 18:04 Comments || Top||

#7  The Colonel is right, but he is wrong in his rebuttal, in that he is not the issue.

He is an honorable man in an honorable cause, and such men need little justification--it is obvious to those who know and respect them, both who they are, and what they do and have done. Their carriage alone speaks to their personal pride, even without earned rank and decorations on display.

That is, the subject here is not the honorable men. Not in the rebuttal, and not in the original story.

The subject is the dishonorable man. The man who must explain his cowardice, who rationalizes his spite and hatred as a noble cause, and who seeks profit in agitation--in defiling that which is honorable and beloved.

Such dishonorable men learn early on that they do not have the intestinal fortitude to be great and noble. And thus they are consigned to never following the paths of glory, but only to walk in the gutter, unheralded, uncelebrated and unremembered. It fills them with spite, which they easily convert to contempt and the desire to blacken and corrupt that which is better than them.

Later, these dishonorable men, knowing they cannot truly challenge the honorable, pretend to be honorable themselves. They feign rank, commendation, and the scars of battle, so that they can brag of their imaginary achievements, and dispute the honor of others. Sometimes they even claim dishonorable acts, sacrificing their imaginary character to disabuse others; such as pretending to have committed war crimes, "which we all did."

But the sorriest comment that can be made about Joel Stein is that he is just the willing toady of his publisher. A publisher who is losing more and more money with the paradigm of the LA Times. A publisher who directed Stein to write something so offensive that it would give publicity to that failing leftist rag.

Given this assignment, at least it can be said that Stein wrote from the heart. Or at least the gall bladder, wherein resides the bile on which he chokes.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/26/2006 18:07 Comments || Top||

Hillary's Wet-Finger / Novelty Campaign
The original is a Joycian stream of consciousness - the paragraph breaks are mine.
Hillary Clinton wants to be all things to all people.

In the last couple of weeks, she has stepped to the left of the president on health care, to the right of the president on Iran and into the realm of radicalism on race. Positioning herself for the 2008 presidential campaign, Sen. Clinton (D-N.Y.) is simultaneously broadening and narrowing her policy positions. Mostly, she just calls repeatedly for "new leadership." Hillary's policy positions are nothing new. She has nothing particularly interesting to say.

In fact, Hillary's talking points are the same as 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's were during his failed run. Both Hillary and Kerry criticize Bush's handling of health care in eerily similar language. "Today, we're making things worse with deliberate neglect and flawed policies that are diminishing the coverage that Americans have. That is shifting costs to others and leaving consumers, businesses and local governments with the bill," Clinton said this week.

And here's Kerry, circa October 2004: "Bush has turned his back on the wellness of America. And there is no system. In fact, it's starting to fall apart … because of the larger issue that we don't cover Americans."

Hillary wants to be viewed as a hawk on foreign policy, just as Kerry did. And she is simultaneously taking money from pro-Iran sources, just as Kerry did. Kerry repeatedly called Iran a bigger threat than Iraq during his 2004 campaign yet took hundreds of thousands of dollars from pro-regime groups and individuals. Hillary called for United Nations sanctions and even placed the threat of military action against Iran on the table this week; meanwhile, she accepts campaign donations from wealthy Muslim Americans connected to the pro-regime American Iranian Council.

Hillary's racial pandering is nothing new, either. With Al Sharpton looking on, Hillary remarked this week in Harlem that the House of Representatives was run "like a plantation." John Kerry's pandering was slightly more amusing; he remarked that rap "has a lot of poetry in it. There's a lot of anger, a lot of social energy in it. And I think you'd better listen to it pretty carefully 'cause it's important."

Hillary votes like Ted Kennedy on a consistent basis. Congressional Quarterly compiles a list of "key votes" each year: In 2001, Clinton voted like Kennedy 9 out of 10 times, in 2002, 12 out of 13, and in 2003, 13 out of 14. She receives a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America each year. In 2004, she received an 11 percent rating from the National Taxpayers Union; in 2003-2004, she received a 78 percent rating from the American Civil Liberties Union; and in 2003-2004, she received a 100 percent rating from the NAACP.

Hillary is a doctrinaire liberal. She follows the party line. Read transcripts of her speeches, and she is indistinguishable from Harry Reid, Tom Daschle and a hundred other Democratic hopefuls. She is not a great thinker. She is not a great speaker. She has one thing going for her: novelty.

Hillary might as well wear a T-shirt reading: "Vote for Me: I'm the Woman Who Married Bill Clinton." Were Hillary not Bill's wife, she would likely be an obscure partisan hack working at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Because she is Bill's wife, she is the leading contender for the Democratic nomination in 2008.

There's only one problem for Hillary: Novelty campaigns do not win presidential elections. She will not win the presidency simply on the basis of her gender. She will not win simply because she can bring out Bill to rally the crowd (just ask Al Gore and John Kerry). Winning our nation's trust -- and our highest office -- requires more than a pantsuit, nicely coiffed hair and a purse.

Americans are not sexist; we are quite willing to vote a woman into office. We are not willing to vote a woman into office, however, simply because she is a woman. Just ask Geraldine Ferraro, Michael Dukakis' running mate. That novelty gambit garnered Dukakis slightly more votes than Dukakis had family members; he was defeated by a 465-to-111 margin in the Electoral College.

American politics has become identity politics, but it still takes more than identity to be elected. The novelty of a high-ranking woman in politics doesn't even last on television -- ask Geena Davis, whose "Commander in Chief" ratings have been falling steadily since the beginning of the season. It certainly won't last in the real world, where decisions actually matter.

"I just dropped in
To see what position
My position was in..."
Posted by: .com || 01/26/2006 03:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6481 views] Top|| File under:


The Big Empty * Meet Hidden Agendas

1) "Today, we're making things worse with deliberate neglect and flawed policies that are diminishing the coverage that Americans have. That is shifting costs to others and leaving consumers, businesses and local governments with the bill," Clinton said this week.

2) "Bush has turned his back on the wellness of America. And there is no system. In fact, it's starting to fall apart

3) The House of Representatives was run "like a plantation."
Make Way for Chocolate Politics
Posted by: Hillary Nagin for Prez || 01/26/2006 7:52 Comments || Top||

#2  She is not a great thinker. She is not a great speaker. and she is not a great looker.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/26/2006 8:34 Comments || Top||

#3  Hillary Clinton wants to be all things to all people.

Only until re-elected.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 01/26/2006 8:46 Comments || Top||

#4  Honestly O-dotted-one, that headline brought to mind a HORRIBLE image.

I need to go scrub my brain. . .
Posted by: Doc8404 || 01/26/2006 11:08 Comments || Top||

#5  I wonder if she'll have to do a fan dance at the Castro in the California primary to clinch the nomination.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 01/26/2006 11:13 Comments || Top||

#6  JoeMendiola posted this late last night about Hillary and it still works for this thread as well so I pulled it over:

"Like many on the Net I believe Y2006 vv the Rogues/WOT will decide what Der Waffen SS Marx/StalinMaterfrau does for 2008. Save MSM-verif Bush/GOP-blamed nuke mushroom clouds over US cities and or US Milfors oversea vv "brinkmanship", Hillary's got nuthin - her "MEN BAD, WOMEN GOOD", Absolute Political Neutralism = Absolute Truth/Reality, hyper-correct MSM strategems are not getting her anywhere. Other than new casualty-intesive 9-11's events by the Spetzlamists, only Dubya himself admitting to being complicit or ordering 9-11 or Y2000 elex fraud can save her POTUS ambitions for 2008. The DemoLefties know it - anti-US War(s) and Cold War-style nuke "brinkmanship" are all they hsve left.

In other words, Hillary do'nt stand a chance.
Posted by: TomAnon || 01/26/2006 12:18 Comments || Top||

#7  There will be a white van pulling up outside soon to take me away as I have just quoted Joe...... sheesh...
Posted by: TomAnon || 01/26/2006 12:19 Comments || Top||

#8  When he becomes SecGen at the UN, the first one who publishes a JM Dixionary stands to make a fortune...
Posted by: .com || 01/26/2006 12:22 Comments || Top||

#9  Ferraro was Mondale's running mate. Benson was Dukakis' Get your history right.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 01/26/2006 12:30 Comments || Top||

#10  The terms "wet finger" and "Hillary" should never, ever be combined for use in the same sentence. Totally disgusting.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/26/2006 16:01 Comments || Top||

#11  Doc / B-man - I'm sorry. I won't do it again. Promise. I'm gonna go do some pennance. I think I'll make Panaeng Kai.

Posted by: .com || 01/26/2006 16:14 Comments || Top||

#12  So, yesterday we had the MamaMoonbat/BJ juxtaposition, and today we have the Hillary/wet finger.

I'm afraid to come back here tomorrow...
Posted by: Xbalanke || 01/26/2006 16:26 Comments || Top||

#13  Panang Kai vir 2 ? Extra curry on mine please. I'll bring the Guinness.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/26/2006 16:41 Comments || Top||

#14  Chopped lime leaf on top?

Heh. Just finished prepping the chicken, (kai) and got the rice going. Sesame oil in the skillet... Coconut milk, pea pods, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts ready and waiting...
Posted by: .com || 01/26/2006 16:52 Comments || Top||

#15  Hey B-Man, ever notice how Hillary is never pictured from the waste down? Kinda of the Roosevelt and his crutches?
Posted by: TomAnon || 01/26/2006 16:53 Comments || Top||

#16  Yes, I've noticed. Waste up is bad enuf, and FDR even though he was a worthless democrat, was more pleasing to the eyes.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/26/2006 16:56 Comments || Top||

#17  .com

Chopped lime leaf eh? Obviously you are an excellent cook. Do you like balding old buggers, and stories about gladiators? I'll be right over.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/26/2006 17:03 Comments || Top||

#18  Heh, you a curry man?

I was taught how to make Thai red curry, and I prefer the Panaeng style with coconut milk, by my beloved Kuhn Mae - a mama-san I met on Patpong waaay back - I miss her. She'd prolly give me the look, not a word spoken if course, because it was a little thin this time. Taste was great, but just a tad thinner than she (lol, I) prefer.

She also taught me how to make Masaman Neu-ah (beef stew in peanut sauce), but I never quite get it right, damnit, so I go out when that craving hits. Gawd I love Thai food, lol. I have no chrome on my bumper hitch, at the moment, lol. I hit about pet 9 on the farang scale. The Thai scale is a whole 'nuther thing, lol.

We could put CCR's Run Through The Jungle on and lose several layers of skin and most of our taste-buds, lol.
Posted by: .com || 01/26/2006 17:36 Comments || Top||

#19  Amazing coinkydink - I had Panang Curry for lunch today. Good stuff.
Posted by: BH || 01/26/2006 18:07 Comments || Top||

#20  Lol - I knew you had good taste, BH!
Posted by: .com || 01/26/2006 18:12 Comments || Top||

#21  I'd offer to help you with all that curry, but my belly is already protesting the abuse from earlier.

This place has great food.
Posted by: BH || 01/26/2006 18:33 Comments || Top||

#22  Hillary has (stinky) wet finger waiting for Bill to come.
Posted by: Captain America || 01/26/2006 20:14 Comments || Top||

#23  jeeeeez.. Capt....the olfactory stank finger

Posted by: RD || 01/26/2006 21:11 Comments || Top||

#24  DNA that finger - cross check Janet Reno and Donna Shalala....*urp*

happy now?
Posted by: Frank G || 01/26/2006 21:30 Comments || Top||

Does Hamas still want you dead?
With the Islamic Jihad, you know where you stand.

They want you dead.

It's part of a worldwide movement of wanting you dead. They take orders from people in Damascus who want you dead, people in Tehran who want you dead, people south of Beirut who want you dead.

With Hamas, knowing where you stand is less cut and dried. With infinitely more support, personnel, sitzfleisch, than the Jihad, with more ideological independence, and a network of free medical clinics and free schools, it almost makes you wonder about the Death to Israel and Death to America and the second graders they dress up and parade around in fatigues and miniature M-16's and garlands of plastic grenades.

Now as Hamas prepares to enter the Palestinian parliament, and perhaps the cabinet, it's time to ask - Will the real Hamas please stand up?

Forget the learned punditry. It all comes down to this: Does Hamas, in fact, want you dead?

On the one hand, there's Nouvelle Hamas, Hamas Lite, the latter-day Islamic Resistance Movement of conciliatory if studiously ambiguous statements.

The poster boy for the New Hamas is Sheikh Mohammed Abu Tir, he of the leprechaun orange beard, who dispenses homespun medical advice as he chats amicably, disarmingly with reporters on the Palestinian campaign trail. The color of his beard and hair? Henna. It's proven itself good for dandruff, he observes. Even seems to have helped ease the migraines he once suffered.

Then there's Hamas Classic. The Hamas of Khaled Mashaal. No negotiations. No clever wording. No part of "No" to misunderstand.

"We don't have to make concessions to satisfy Israel," Mashaal said this week, "Our position now is not to negotiate with Israel. We will not kowtow."

There was a time, starting with Hamas' founding at the very outset of the first Intifada, when it was no problem to know where you stood with them. They wanted you dead and/or gone from here. They had decided that we were all either from Russia or America, and we could all go back there now, thank you very much.

At first they weren't prepared to do anything about it. They were later on, though. With a vengeance.

Either because we killed their master bombmaker with an exploding cell phone to the ear, or in order to show their continued explosive capability, or both, they decided to decide the 1996 election and put Benjamin Netanyahu in power. It took them nine days. Four bombs, Ashkelon, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv. Sixty deaths. Hundreds and hundreds of injured.

Feeling somewhat guilty about having helped them in the early 1980s, when we thought them to be apolitical, anti-Marxist, useful, we tried everything to stop them. Exiling 400 of them to a snowy, windblown hilltop in south Lebanon, including their pediatrician/president Abdel Aziz Rantisi, did nothing to deter them. We tried assassinating them, pressing the PA to jail them, pressing the PA to stop releasing them soon thereafter, assassinating them and assassinating them and assassinating them.

Now we're at a loss. They're about to join the cabinet next door, and there's nothing we can do about it.

Can we trust them? The question is academic. We won't trust them. We'll give good reasons why not. Take Sheikh Abu Tir. Now 55, he's spent most of his adult life in Israeli administrative detention or otherwise jailed for weapons possession, membership in a terrorist organization, and/or directing activities of Hamas' armed wing, Iz al-Din al-Qassam.

"Israel respects us when we are strong," Khaled Mashaal told a television interviewer. "This requires a long battle."

Any way you look at it, however, the battle has changed. The last time Hamas launched a suicide bombing was in August, 2004.

The tone has changed as well. Even the unbending Mahmoud Zahar, whose son was killed in an Israeli air strike and who narrowly escaped assassination himself, has given a measure of ground in recent statements.

"Negotiation is not a taboo," Zahar told reporters this week. "Negotiations are a means. If Israel has anything to offer on the issues of halting attacks, withdrawal, releasing prisoners... then 1,000 means can be found."

But a campaign is a campaign, and Zahar couldn't resist a dig at the rival Fatah party. "The political crime is when we sit with the Israelis and then come out with a wide smile to tell the Palestinian people that there is progress, when in fact, there is not."

Oddly, the only moderating influence that seems to have consistently worked on Hamas is Palestinian public opinion.

The group has entered politics, and even for those unafraid of a martyr's death, there is little more terrifying for a politician than his own constituents.

"You are about to enter the Authority. We welcome you," Fatah Gaza leader Mohammed Dahlan told Zahar on the eve of the elections.

"It's time for you to discover the suffering of being in government."
Posted by: Seafarious || 01/26/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6481 views] Top|| File under:

Iran Means What It Says
The thesis of the article:
U.S. and European diplomats need to take seriously the rhetoric used by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regarding nuclear programs and the destruction of Israel. Tehran has proven itself to be an insincere diplomatic partner. Engagement has backfired. Instead of continuing failed diplomatic efforts, world leaders should work together to help the Iranian people create a truly representative government.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/26/2006 13:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6503 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The crux of the biscuit. Amen, B-man.
Posted by: .com || 01/26/2006 15:53 Comments || Top||

#2  Instead of continuing failed diplomatic efforts, world leaders should work together to help the Iranian people create a truly representative government.

Maybe, just maybe, world leaders should take a radical step of worrying less about the "Iranian People" and worrying more about their own (hint: it's not about Israel).
Posted by: gromgoru || 01/26/2006 16:04 Comments || Top||

#3  And I say again that we must use this small window of opportunity to convey a message to the Iranian people.

We should broadcast every horrifying image, real and imagined, of what nuclear war is to them via satellite. Documentaries about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, showing the devastation of radiation on the human body. The movie "Threads". Surely there is much, much more. Not for entertainment purposes, but to both frighten and nauseate them.

Even given this limited amount of time, we could fill several channels with horror and death--to let them know both what their nation is pursuing, and the destruction it is facing.

This to break any illusions they have about nuclear weapons. To show that it is not just a "big bomb" like any other. To try and give them a strong taste of what Americans and Russians dreaded for 40 years of Cold War.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/26/2006 18:17 Comments || Top||

#4  There is still much that can be done between symbolic sanctions and military force. The problem in Iran is not the Iranian people, but rather the ideology and grasp on power of an elite few. Besides rhetorical outreach, the Bush administration has done little to advance freedom or liberty in Iran. As the State Department debated how to allocate $3 million to groups advancing freedom in Iran, the Congress funded a $400 million bridge in Alaska. More money is allocated to landscaping around Washington's Kennedy Center than on programs to support the Iranian people.

Ouch Micheal. That hurts to much to not be true.
Posted by: Secret Master || 01/26/2006 20:05 Comments || Top||

Terror Networks
Steyn: Osama doesn’t matter any more
So they decide to take the precaution of bogging them down in Afghanistan. In post-Watergate Washington, you can’t put down ‘Covert Operation to destabilise the Hindu Kush’ as a line item on the Federal budget. So the administration has a quiet word with their chums in the region, and the House of Saud, whose expenditures are subject to less rigorous audits than the CIA’s, agrees to pony up the cash and run the recruitment ads, and Pakistan’s ISI comes on board as the local liaison. The Democrats rage all the time about the ‘outsourcing’ of American jobs to the Third World, but the outsourcing of a critical anti-Soviet operation reverberated all the way to 9/11. It dramatically enhanced both the reach and prestige of Saudi Wahabism and the ISI, and it deluded the jihadi into believing they’d overthrown the Soviet Union because the Great Satan was a big sissy who was too scared to do it himself.

Now what’s left of al-Qaeda’s leadership sits around a semi-ruined village crossing names out of its Rolodex — the A-list Saudi princes who no longer return calls — and hoping that the next time one of its freelance operations kills a bunch of people, they won’t be yet another bunch of Muslims, as they have been remorselessly in Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Bangladesh, etc. Yet every time they switch on the TV, there are the experts bleating about the Iraqi quagmire and Democrats asserting that an historically low rate of casualties is too high a price to pay and we need to skedaddle out of there. You can’t blame Osama or whoever makes his audio tapes for being confused. I’ve written before about the media bubble — the tendency of Democrats and the press to reinforce each other’s illusions. But I’m saddened to think you can be halfway round the globe in some of the wildest turf on earth where no state’s writ runs and still be trapped in the media bubble. Osama may be the most pitiful example of a man who made the mistake of confusing media conventional wisdom with reality.

In the old days he was a smarter than average nutter. He created a terror organisation whose diffused structure made it hard for its enemies to tell whether they were winning against it. But, by the same token, that structure also makes it hard for him to tell whether he’s winning against us. And right now, as that whiney loser cassette tape suggests, they’re the ones who could use a victory. Osama bin Laden is, in that sense, just another symptom rather than the cause of our recent troubles. The spread of Wahabism, which Prince Turki and others persuaded the CIA to use as a strategic asset of convenience, is a bigger problem. And the Saudi-funded radicalisation of Muslim populations around the world is a bigger one still, and may yet prove terminal for parts of Europe.

But a man in Waziristan or Overtheristan watching Cindy Sheehan on CNN? He’s not what it’s about any more.
Posted by: tipper || 01/26/2006 10:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6476 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is just an excerpt... tipper's teasing us.

Go to BugMeNot for a Spectator (http://www.spectator.co.uk) login. This puppy's 5 pages long - and well worth the read.

"It is almost four years since I mooted that the bin man had gone to the virgins. If he hasn’t, then I wonder what he makes — beyond the desperate ‘truce’ gambit offered as a cynical enticement to Democrats and Europeans — of the way things are going. Afghanistan will never be his again. The House of Saud’s double-game is a lot more one-sided these days. And, as the visit of General Musharraf’s Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to Washington made plain, the prospect of Talebanising Pakistan has slipped beyond Osama’s grasp: the AQ Khan network has been busted up, there are said to be American ‘observers’ at the nuke facilities, and the ISI, the country’s deeply duplicitous intelligence service, is on a tight leash. President Bush underlined to Shaukat Aziz this week that America intends to continue exercising its right of hot pursuit and either send choppers into Pakistan to seize suspects or cut to the chase and blow up their homes. On the whole, Musharraf is cool with that: if someone has to incinerate remote villages, he’d rather it was the Great Satan. For his part, Bush is happy for the General to be as co-operative as he can without getting assassinated. Eighteen people died in the attack on Damadola, and OK, some of them were women and children, but others were men Osama can ill afford to lose, and at one of the three houses reduced to rubble his Number Two, al-Zawahiri himself, is known to have swung by for dinner from time to time. Sorry, but that’s war: you have the enemy round for cocktails, your pad’s on the target list from then on. And yes, it means your wife’s sister, who’s never been terribly political and indeed didn’t utter a word all night, gets incinerated with the al-Qa’eda mastermind. ‘Message: I don’t care,’ as George Bush Sr might say."
Posted by: .com || 01/26/2006 12:05 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
LILEKS: Simple Rules for Making a Fool of Yourself on the Internet
The Washington Post had to suspend comments on the ombudsman's blog because flame-belching trolls overwhelmed the conversation. Apparently she made the mistake of writing something contrary to received wisdom, and was strung up and burned in virtual effigy.

Disclaimer: The ombudsman, Deborah Howell, is a former employer of yours truly; we go way back. Ms. Howell, it should be noted, could dress down the drill instructor from "Full Metal Jacket," so the fact that the blog commentors are still breathing is a testament to the anonymity and distance the Web allows.

But why the surprise when dissent took such a nasty turn? Potty-mouthed jerks have been part of Internet discourse since they hooked two UNIVACs together and the second accused the first of being a !$&(;? John Bircher. Great swaths of the blogosphere are rich and smart and civil, yes. Other areas are infested with people whose hatred for George W. Bush is so intense they keep a squeegee by the TV to wipe the spittle off the screen.

Ever since Bush imposed martial law and shot the cast of "The View" -- sorry, since Bush won the last election, hard-left nuttery seems more mainstream. Bob Dole did not post on bulletin boards that claimed Bill Clinton would soon use FEMA to herd everyone into U.N.-run camps where everyone would get Mark of the Beast bar codes on their necks. John Kerry, on the other hand, has posted at the Daily Kos, whose neck-vein-popping contributors seem to think Bush spends his nights getting hammered and ordering Halliburton to poison Iraqi water so he can get kickbacks from the Pepto-Bismol Crime Syndicate.

The good news is that you, too, can be like Kerry, and rant as you please in unmoderated comment sections. But you have to ask yourself, punk: Do you have the chops to truly make a fool of yourself to disinterested observers? Well, do you?

Here are some rules for being an idiot on the Internet. Clip 'n' save:

-- Make Up Funny Names. If a right-wing figure's name starts with K, like Kate, by all means call her KKKate. Everyone on the right probably shares the values of the Klan, anyway. Especially if they're against affirmative action and don't believe in judging people on the color of their skin. (This goes for the other side, too: Hillary Clinton is so much funnier as "Hitlery." Wanting single-payer health insurance, wishing to enslave Europe under Aryan yoke -- what's the diff?) Remember: Boil down the object of your hate to a single phrase that betrays your incomprehension of the fundamental issues, but lets others know where you stand right away.

-- Swear angrily. Not just the classics, but the ones relating to excretion and genitalia. Nothing shows you're a serious thinker like a torrent of obscenities. It's the reason Courtney Love is invited to speak to the U.N. so often. Added bonus: Lots of cursing means no one will suspect you're a Christian. If you are a Christian, you'll be one of the cool ones who listens to Howard Stern spank lesbian midget strippers. Which automatically means you're pro-choice, so whatever with the God thing.

-- Hyperbolize everything. Granted, everyone punches a little too hard sometimes; everyone throws too deep. Feisty debate is energizing. Nothing is more boring than the torpid droning you get in the Senate, where solons are duty-bound to call each other "my good friend" even if they were stabbing each other with Bic pens in the cloakroom five minutes before. But the pestilential keyboard pounders had best realize they're just screaming to the choir. Persuading the middle means acknowledging that the opposition is not composed of subhuman Moorlocks who hope global warming drowns coastal-dwelling gay stem-cell researchers. People on the right may be wrong, but it's quite possible they don't actually want a fascistic corporate state where the elite tour the country in giant hovercraft, vaporizing Wal-Mart labor organizers with microwave rays. You could treat them like fellow human beings. But where's the fun in that?

Now go out there and give Google something vile to cache for your kids to see someday!
Posted by: Steve || 01/26/2006 08:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6512 views] Top|| File under:

"torpid droning"????

Great, now I got to go find the friggin dictionary!!
Posted by: macofromoc || 01/26/2006 11:03 Comments || Top||

#2  No, just ask me, the walking dictionary. Torpid means sleepy, or drowsy. Droning means monotonous.
Yes, there was some use to majoring in English. Paypal donations accepted.
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 01/26/2006 22:30 Comments || Top||

#3  one of the cool ones who listens to Howard Stern spank lesbian midget strippers.

I tried to figure that image out but my left frontal lobe started cramping
Posted by: Frank G || 01/26/2006 23:17 Comments || Top||

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