Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Awesome

This is great news. I hope and pray that this is the beginning of continued improvement, and not the end of it.

The attack raised to at least 73 the number of U.S. service members who have died in Iraq in July, the lowest number since November 2006, when at least 70 U.S. deaths were reported. The monthly toll topped 100 in April, May and June.
Everyone's complaining about the Iraqi parliament adjourning and saying things like "if they don't care, why should we?". I was getting annoyed with some guys on the local morning show for this sentiment. The truth is, politicians are politicians the world over. Many Iraqis are fighting and dying with us now, and to ascribe the actions and beliefs of their politicians to them is just as wrong as it would be to compare congress with America.

The real strides on the ground in Iraq have been made on the local level. If we win the locals, we win the country. Thats the same way it works here, though no one will admit it.

Read the rest.

Very Interesting

I make no bones about my faith in God and my disbelief of macroevolution. However, up til now I'd never stumbled upon something like what this guy has going. His premise is beautiful, his execution flawless -- and I love the application of scientific theory back on itself.

Patterns occur naturally - no help required from a 'designer'. Many patterns occur in nature without the help of a designer – snowflakes, tornados, hurricanes, sand dunes, stalactites, rivers and ocean waves. These patterns are the natural result of what scientists categorize as chaos and fractals. These things are well-understood and we experience them every day.

Codes, however, do not occur without a designer. Examples of symbolic codes include music, blueprints, languages like English and Chinese, computer programs, and yes, DNA. The essential distinction is the difference between a pattern and a code. Chaos can produce patterns, but it has never been shown to produce codes or symbols. Codes and symbols create information, which is not a property of matter and energy alone. Information itself is a separate entity on par with matter and energy.

Proof that DNA was designed by a mind: (1) DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism. (2) All codes we know the origin of are created by a conscious mind. (3) Therefore DNA was designed by a mind, and language and information are proof of the existence of a Superintelligence.
Enjoy.

Read the rest.

Operation YouTube Smackdown

YouTube is a public forum for hosting videos. Because of the ease of uploading a video, there are a great many videos on there at any given time that violate their terms of use and are waiting to be flagged as inappropriate and summarily removed by the YouTube staff. Unfortunately for the world, apparently YouTube is being a little...shall we say...selective about what they do and don't censor. And not in the way you'd hope:

Reader Rickbert tells me that a group of Whittle's readers are doing something called the YouTube Smackdown, which requires no money and only a little effort for you to help with. Here's the deal: Towelheaded terrorists are using YouTube to post tons of Jihad videos, and for some unfathomable reason, YouTube lets them stay on.

I have a seriously HUGE personal beef with this dammit (aside from the fact that it's completely wrong and evil). About a year ago, I posted a video showing the following: squirrel on tree trunk, John throwing very small rock at squirrel, and squirrel jumping into the path of the rock, which would not have hit him if he'd stayed on the tree. The squirrel got pinged but you can plainly see him landing on the ground and running away unharmed. It was one of the most hilarious 15 seconds I've ever witnessed. Anyway, within an HOUR of posting that, it was removed by YouTube and I got an email saying it contained "inappropriate content" and was against the rules because it showed "cruelty to animals". One viewer had flagged it, and it got yanked. WHAT? THE? HELL?

No squirrel pinging allowed, but Islamic dickheads can post all the videos they want, calling on people to join the Jihad against the infidels (that means YOU). It's truly abominable. QuothTheRaven shows you what to do about this:

Jihadist videos have found a home at YouTube. Our enemies are using this site to spread propaganda and recruit new terrorists. We're going to shut them down. To play along you need to do the following:

1. Log into YouTube and run a search. Any of the following key words will land you in the right spot: IED, Jihad, Death to Israel, Islamic Republic of Iraq, etc. You won't have any trouble finding them; they are legion.
2. Open the jihadist video, then click the icon that says "Flag as inappropriate." Use the drop down menu and click on "hate speech."
3. This last step is going to take a great deal of self-control. You're going to see a lot of comments cheering on the terrorists as they blow up American and allied soldiers. Don't answer these comments directly. We want your comment directed at YouTube management. Something like: "This video aids and abets our enemies in time of war and should be deleted" will be sufficient.

This is linked from Rachel Lucas and you can help by going here to join Operation YouTube Smackdown.

Read the rest.

Cheating

I'm just gonna reprint a comment of mine that I posted on Willisms.com because I'm too lazy to post anything new today. Is that cheating?

...One thing I've been saying for a while is that the press is simply in over its head when it comes to military matters -- that goes for Hollywood too. I love to watch movies with my buddies from the Corps so we can laugh at them "gaggle" along through enemy territory. The left doesn't serve, so they just don't know...so what you get is what they imagine it to be like. Its easy to understand why they hate America -- because they think the stuff they publish is the way it is. Wouldn't you hate it if our boys really were mass murderers and baby killers? Its sad, really.

I digress. The point I was trying to make is the massive ignorance on the part of the press was readily apparent during the buildup that preceded the current surge. Everyone was talking about it as if a buildup was a military action. They continued to misuse the terms "counterinsurgency" and show that they literally have no comprehension of the difference between "capture and hold," "search and destroy" or "counterinsurgency," all three mission types having been employed in Iraq.

Its hard to write a good article about why this strategy is different than the last when you're writing the article before its began. Its like a QVC host trying to describe the difference (and effectiveness) of a new 4-2-5 defense before the game's even begun! They've got the worst kind of ignorance...ignorant ignorance. They don't know that they don't know.

Read the rest.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Casing the joint

With incidents like this on the rise, I am beginning to expect a terrorist attack. I hope its not here, and I hope its not successful.


They asked him for identification, but the man hit the gas and drove through the checkpoint, then crashed into security barriers a short distance away, Wilburn said.

"When he hit that, he jumped out of the car and ran away. He left the car there with the engine still running," Wilburn said. He said the guards told him the car had been hot-wired.

Wilburn said no weapons were in the car. "They checked the car very thoroughly before they moved it. They found nothing," he said.
Was this a probe of strength? Was he "casing the joint"?

Why is no mention made of his ethnicity? This would be much less worrisome if it was a drunk white male or something than a scarfed middle eastern man.

Read the rest.

Chilling

This article's inside look into Russia under the rule of Putin is literally frightening.


Slogans such as "Russia for the Russians" now attract the support of half of the population. Echoing Kremlin propaganda, Nashi denounced Estonians as "fascist", for daring to say that they find Nazi and Soviet memorials equally repugnant. But, in truth, it is in Russia that fascism is all too evident.

Just as the Nazis in 1930s rewrote Germany's history, the Putin Kremlin is rewriting Russia's. It has rehaabilitated Stalin, the greatest massmurderer of the 20th century. And it is demonising Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first democratically-elected president. That he destroyed totalitarianism is ignored. Instead, he is denounced for his "weak" pro-Western policies.

Russia barely commemorates even the damage it did to itself, let alone the appalling suffering inflicted on other people. Nashi is both a symptom of the way Russia is going - and a means of entrenching the drift to fascism.

Terrifyingly, the revived Soviet view of history is now widely held in Russia. A poll this week of Russian teenagers showed that a majority believe that Stalin did more good things than bad.

If tens of thousands of uniformed German youngsters were marching across Germany in support of an authoritarian Fuhrer, baiting foreigners and praising Hitler, alarm bells would be jangling all across Europe. So why aren't they ringing about Nashi?
The answer is that the Hitler youth didn't jangle bells across Europe. Someone so well versed in history should remember the denial, the slogan of "peace in our time".

I often wonder, now, if a modern counterpart to Churchill will arrive, for surely history will repeat itself. If not Russia in the early 21st century, then someone else later.

Read the rest.

Required Reading

This is quite literally one of the best editorials I have read. Ever. Its one of those tie-it-all together stories that mainstream media can't or won't publish.

The surge is more of a refinement than a novelty. Earlier coalition efforts were not in error as much as they were incomplete. American troops would clean out an area, turn it over to an Iraqi unit and depart. The Jihadis would then push out the unseasoned Iraqis and return to business. This occurred in Fallujah, Tall Afar and endless times in Ramadi.
...
The situation as it stands is very close to that of the final phase of Vietnam...[Tet] was an utter rout, with the communists losing something in the order of 60,000 men. The Viet Cong were crippled as a military force and never did recover.

But panicky reporters, many of whom had never set foot on a battlefield...were badly shaken by the opening moves of the offensive... Their reportage, broadcast and printed nationwide, portrayed a miserable defeat for the U.S. and its allies, with the Viet Cong and PAVN striking where they pleased and making off at their leisure.

The media portrait of a beleaguered American war effort was never corrected, and became the consensus view.
Read it all. You won't be sorry!

Read the rest.

Iraq - something to unite for

Iraq's soccer team represents an opportunity for the entire country to unite in a way that simply hasn't happened before. Its an odd thing where ideology and subcultural gaps can be shattered by a simple game.

Hundreds of pages have been ripped from the calendar since Iraqis last showed the unity and happiness that flowed across the land on Sunday.

And it would have been foolhardy to predict a soccer team - the determined Lions of the Two Rivers - would unleash a flood of joy held back for decades by the dam of Saddam Hussein's tyranny and four-plus years of war since America toppled him.

But after the team's victory in the prestigious 2007 Asian Cup, the Iraqi people seemed far ahead of their leaders in letting sectarian bygones be bygones and allowing ethnic atrocities to fade.
...The Iraq team's win dripped with symbolism, not least in the makeup of its front-line strikers: one Kurd, one Shiite, one Sunni.
I'm not saying its going to last, and I don't think this is something that can happen overnight. But the idea that dissimilar cultures can't exist peacefully under one flag as one nation is belied by this event. If Sunni and Shia and Kurdish Iraqis truly did not think of themselves as members of the nation of Iraq, they would not have been moved by this team's win.

At least on some level, this shows that there is a sense of national identity available to draw upon, however faint the spark. The job of their parliament, now, is to fan these flames, rather than blow them out with bullheaded politics.

The question remains in my mind, though. If England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, (independent, fierce nations who literally slaughtered each other) can all come together, albeit reluctantly, to call themselves Britons, and along the way become one of the most expansive empires the world has ever seen...why do we begrudge Iraqis the same possibility?

Update: Dafydd has a well written post titled Miracle on Sand on this same topic here. Enjoy.

Read the rest.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

BDS Lives on

In a stunningly status quo move, Barack Obama is pointing his campaign into the winds of Bush Derangement Syndrome rather than solid positions. In a recent conference call with reporters he solidifies this by expressing a desire to differentiate himself from Bush, rather than do something that makes sense.

...National reporters really only wanted to hear Obama talk about one subject. Mike McAuliffe with the New York Daily News noticed how Obama had compared Hillary Clinton's debate answer about diplomacy to the Bush-Cheney approach. Does he really believe that?

Obama: “I don’t just believe it, I think that’s the record. The Bush administration’s policy is to say that we will not talk to these countries unless we meet explicit preconditions. And that is the question that was asked at the debate.” He continued: “You’ll have to ask Sen. Clinton: what differentiates her position from theirs?”
Never mind whether or this is the correct approach -- Bush did it, therefore its wrong. Never forget that.

Somehow, though, I think running against Bush may not be the wisest policy for the next election.

Read the rest.

Unfortunate

It is exceedingly unfortunate that this sentence exists in the Media in a legitimate publication.

Hispanic groups and illegal immigrants sued in federal court to overturn the measures, saying they usurp the federal government's exclusive power to regulate immigration, deprive residents of their constitutional rights to equal protection and due process, and violate state and federal housing law.
I've highlighted two things there. First, how on earth is it possible that an illegal immigrant can sue in federal court without being summarily deported? Second, since when are residents protected in the constitution, rather than citizens?

And, of course, the AP smear machine must bend the news to its political agenda:
[The measure] was pushed by Hazleton's Republican mayor last summer after two illegal immigrants were charged in a fatal shooting.
All part of the plan to discredit Republicans in the eyes of hispanic voters.

Read the rest.

Truthers

9/11 "Truthers" are funny, and stupid. Here's another example of how hydrocarbon fires can do tons of damage to steel-based structures.

A gasoline tanker crashed and burst into flames near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Sunday, creating such intense heat that a stretch of highway melted and collapsed. Officials predicted a traffic nightmare for Bay Area commuters for weeks or months to come.
I suppose Karl Rove was behind this one too? I also heard that a firefighter told another firefighter to get back off the bridge, because they were going to "pull" it.

Read the rest.

Wow

I was going to satirize this article in order to make fun of John Edwards, but it really isn't necessary. I'll just quote it instead.

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards squeezed into a pair of Spandex bike shorts today and pedaled on the RAGBRAI route with champion cyclist Lance Armstrong.
...
"This is actually not hard, this is fun," Edwards said as he climbed a hill on County Road T16 on a black Trek road bike he borrowed for the day. "The biggest problem is my butt hurts. Is that normal?"

Read the rest.

I like Fred

I don't know if Thompson is necessarily the man for the job, but I do like his bearing and style:

After the woman interrupted Thompson by questioning his conservative credentials, the likely candidate said, “Don’t fuss at me. You asked me a question. Let me answer it.”

Read the rest.

GCC Update

With all the wailing from global warming climate change activists about heat, there sure are plenty of stories about unusually cold spells all around the world. Here's another example.

At least 70 children have died during a spell of freezing weather in the Andean regions of Peru, officials have said.

Forecasters in Peru are predicting the cold spell will continue until September.

Even low-lying jungle regions are facing unusually cold weather, with temperatures dropping to 10C (50F).

Read the rest.

Propaganda

This is a nice example of a propaganda piece -- all fluff, no substance, leaving you with precisely the image the author wants you to have. The article is titled "Sheriff urged to close immigrant hotline," which is misleading in itself. The hotline in question is not for immigrants, but illegal immigrants: two decidedly different groups of people.

Latino leaders and faith-based organizations want Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to disconnect the hotline he created for people to report information about undocumented immigrants, saying it raises the chance of racial profiling.
And yet there are no Latino leaders named, no churches or faith-based organizations mentioned in the article. The infamous "some say" line is used. "Some" meaning an unnamed mass of people, ranging anywhere from 1 to 1,000,000.

The only quote besides the sheriff himself is from someone who has a decidedly un-Latino name:
Some Latino advocacy groups will launch a hotline of their own to take tips from people who believe they've been unfairly reported to Arpaio's hotline, said activist Mary Rose Wilcox, a Maricopa County supervisor.
So the media is, essentially, repeating verbatim the assertion from an activist. There's some responsible journalism.

In the meantime, back in reality, the hotline is helping law enforcement do its job. Over 300 calls have come in less than a week.

Some say its a great boon for the community.

Read the rest.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Libertarian Leanings

On occasion I have moral dilemmas that I can't quite solve for myself. One of the recurring themes in this area is the fight between personal liberties, which I hold to be incredibly important, and the right of society to regulate itself.

People often are dishonest with themselves when it comes to personal liberties. Many people who oppose seatbelt laws or chafe at the idea of cigarette taxes or smoking bans will handily denounce pornography and will call for its ban. This sort of cognitive dissonance stems from Man's inner conviction of self-righteousness: My frame of reference is correct, and yours is not.This is outlined by Robert Heinlein in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress:

"Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws - always for other fellow."
Defining the problem thusly -- that its none of my business what someone else does -- involves a certain amount of acceptance that his frame of reference, his morals (or lack thereof) differ from my own. This inevitably leads into moral relativism which, in turn, ultimately reduces to nihilism. If we can't establish an absolute frame of reference for our personal decisions (what is right and what is not) then we have no footing to make decisions for anyone but ourselves -- and therefore cannot judge anyone's actions. Under this umbrella, all actions becomes equally permissible, and there is no wrong or right. This is a major tenet of modern political Liberalism.

Needless to say, I find that somewhat distressing. I personally believe that there is absolute right and wrong in the universe. I don't profess to know these standards to perfection, but social evolution appears to point toward certain rights that lead to healthier, better societies, something I attribute to the blessings from God that embracing of such laws brings about. Western society is, in terms of competition, beating the pants off of more rigid and less free society. I believe that Locke hit upon some major planks in the absolute right and wrong of the universe when he defined his natural rights.

On a different tack, there is also the fact that no human being lives completely isolated from another. Existential though it may be, even small actions we make every day can have large effects on others. This completely undermines a large aspect of man's right to do whatever he pleases -- because every person is a small part of a summation that makes up society. A society of free deadbeats is not necessarily a successful society.

And therein lies the problem. Society has a self-preservation interest as strong as any individual being, and will strive to regulate its members in such a way that it will survive; individuals, however, have the right to personal liberties which may or may not contribute positively to society.

So where to draw the line? It becomes difficult to develop any sort of rule that will adequately serve to answer generally to the problem because every single action can ultimately be evaluated on a cost or benefit to society, while in turn every action of society that reduces liberty is inherently wrong.

An anecdote is in order:
Drug use is of questionable value to society. People who are addicted to drugs tend to not be stellar examples of civilization. High levels of drug use will kill you, and even moderate amounts of certain drugs can render you socially useless. By this definition, drug usage is something that more competitive societies will not allow.

However, drug use does not, on the surface, negatively impact anyone but the user. How then can we reliably apply a general rule to outlaw drugs without violating Man's right to liberty?

And even then, society is often irregular on its own definitions of what is and isn't beneficial to itself -- see the debate on the merits of alcohol versus marijuana.

This same dilemma applies almost universally to any action, from abortion to religious freedom to same-sex marriage. The only difference is the clarity of the benefit or harm to society and the price of liberty to be paid.

Ultimately I find that Western ethics tend to have worked pretty well so far in the world -- a loose standard to make moral decisions by, but one that transcends a mere acceptance of the values of my religion. Further, I believe that society ought to more often err on the side of liberty than the side of regulation -- because I do know that liberty itself (and the appreciation thereof) has value when measuring the success of a culture.

This can be expanded to politics through another Heinlein quote:
"There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him."

Read the rest.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I hate Sheehan

I really do. I was discussing this with my fiance last night and it really is distressing to me. I hate her because she says things like this:

“The administration has abused our soldiers. They've abused our freedoms,” Sheehan said. “They have killed my son and countless others. And they must be held accountable.

“Impeachment is not a fringe movement. It is mandated in our Constitution. Nancy Pelosi had no authority to take it off the table,” Sheehan said.
It makes me want to vomit. My problem with Sheehan goes beyond her raving or her socialist tendencies. I can tolerate that. What really burns me up is when she says that Bush killed her son.

The lives of soldiers in the military are offered willingly by them as patriotic sacrifices. If anyone insinuates that somehow their free will has been violated, that their lives were somehow torn from them, rather than offered -- they have just reduced the most noble sacrifice a man can make into a pitiable situation. And that is the theft of something precious.

Read the rest.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Where's FEMA?

You know, there's a lot of flooding going on -- where the heck is FEMA?

Amid concerns that the government-run Environment Agency acted far too slowly in responding to serious flood alerts from the Met Office, parts of the West Country woke up this morning to another day under water and the Thames Valley now faces being inundated.

An estimated 90,000 gallons of water a second was surging down the swollen River Thames last night towards Oxford, Reading and Windsor.

There will be fresh calls for more funding to cope with flood defences. The Times has also learnt that, despite the promise of an extra £200 million to the Environment Agency to update defences over the next three years, the Government is stalling over payment of the cash. Baroness Young of Old Scone, the agency’s chief executive, said that about £1 billion a year was needed to improve flood defences, because climate change would lead to increased rainfall.
After all, FEMA has about as much right to go into the UK uninvited as they do to go into Louisiana.

I wonder if there will be a chilling revelation as to how the government purposefully denied funds and assistance because "Bush doesn't care about black people"?

Read the rest.

Useful website

Victory Caucus is a great tool for finding fact-based information on Iraq. Wean yourself from the MSM gloom'n'doom lies.

Read the rest.

Beautiful

This is precisely the sort of information that makes me want to dance with joy when it comes to Iraq. I've been waiting to read this article for years!

Fed up with being part of a group that cuts off a person’s face with piano wire to teach others a lesson, dozens of low-level members of al-Qaeda in Iraq are daring to become informants for the US military in a hostile Baghdad neighbourhood.

The ground-breaking move in Doura is part of a wider trend that has started in other al-Qaeda hotspots across the country and in which Sunni insurgent groups and tribal sheikhs have stood together with the coalition against the extremist movement.

They are turning. We are talking to people who we believe have worked for al-Qaeda in Iraq and want to reconcile and have peace,” said Colonel Ricky Gibbs, commander of the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, which oversees the area.

The sewage-filled streets of Doura, a Sunni Arab enclave in south Baghdad, provide an ugly setting for what US commanders say is al-Qaeda’s last stronghold in the city. The secretive group, however, appears to be losing its grip as a “surge” of US troops in the neighbourhood – part of the latest effort by President Bush to end the chaos in Iraq – has resulted in scores of fighters being killed, captured or forced to flee.
Brilliant. I love it.

This is more than just good news, however. Agents turning from their organization, betraying it to their arch-Nemesis, represents far more than the individual arrests and shootings we're able to carry out from their information. For Sunni to turn in Sunni, for AQ to turn in AQ, there must be an awakening of the evils of irhabism -- and, perhaps, the fledgling beginnings of Iraqi nationalism.

And therein lies the key. When (and if) Iraqis develop a sense of identity that relates to their nation rather than their social, religious or regional self, then they will be able to weather any sort of attack.

Read the rest.

It makes no sense

The National Council for The Race (National Council of La Raza, something they don't translate so you don't get upset at the title) is the proponent of some really stupid stuff.

The nation's largest Hispanic advocacy group says it must come up with a strategy to combat "a wave of hate" its leaders say came from talk radio's efforts to sink the Senate's immigration bill.

"That had an extraordinary impact in the Senate, and as a nation, I don't think we should be comfortable with the fact that the United States Senate responded to what was largely a wave of hate," Cecilia Munoz, the National Council of La Raza's senior vice president for research, advocacy and legislation, told The Washington Times after meeting with NCLR affiliates to talk about a new strategy.
These idiots, who presume to speak for me as a person of Hispanic heritage, simply don't get it. I don't care what you say or who you are, but the last bill to come across the floor wasn't opposed because of some deranged white man fear of the vatos and locos here in America. The people of America aren't racist. We don't hate Mexicans. We do hate people who break the law. We abhor cheaters in this country. And illegal immigrants do both -- and flaunt it. Even then, when openly living outside the law, they (or their backers, who speak for them) have the audacity to make demands on the legitimate citizens of this country, an attitude so offensively brazen that it makes me sick.

Every time anyone says that this bill was race motivated you can add them to your personal list of morons. The only reason it appears that this bill comes down more heavily on Hispanics is because the vast majority of offenders are Mexican, Guatemalan or from some other central American country.

If the fictional people from the country of Xuazahua happened to have a statistical penchant for murder, would our murder laws be targeting them? Or would it simply be an unfortunate coincidence?
She cited amendments she said would require even naturalized citizens to produce records showing they aren't claiming Social Security benefits for time they worked illegally and an amendment she said will come up later this month to apply to foreign-born legal residents and food stamps.

"All these people who have been saying to us, 'We just want people to follow the rules and be here legally; we have no problem with legal immigrants ...' — Well, they're going after legal immigrants on the floor [of Congress] about once a week," she said. "And some of those attacks don't just go after legal immigrants; they go after U.S. citizens, if they happen to be foreign-born. So that sounds to us like this is not about legal immigration. This is a broader attack, and that attack looks like it's against us."
Again with the stupidity. Us. Who is us? You can only have Us if you have Them. Some of these "attacks" go after citizens -- yes. Just like thousands of US Citizens are prosecuted for breaking countless other laws every year. Please, Miss Senior Vice President for Research for the National Council of The (Hispanic) Race, explain to me then: are you speaking for Hispanics or for criminals as a whole?

Edit: I'm enjoying the mental image of the fiasco that would erupt if there existed such an organization as "The National Council die Arische Nation"...

Read the rest.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pentagon lays it out

The Pentagon says what Republicans have been saying all along: liberal defeatism is akin to enemy propaganda.

"Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia," Edelman wrote.

He added that "such talk understandably unnerves the very same Iraqi allies we are asking to assume enormous personal risks."

"If we're not planning for it, it will be difficult to execute it in a safe and efficacious way," [Hillary Clinton] said then.
It should be noted that she didn't really answer the accusation. Edelman didn't suggest that we not plan; in fact, I am very sure that the Pentagon has all sorts of contingency plans, many of which would have great amounts of diplomatic and public repercussions should they be made public. He said that her talk was anti-American and undermines our efforts in Iraq.

Its a brilliantly worded statement that can't be truly answered by the left because its true.

Read the rest.

Plame dismissed

As I said, way back when, the Plame story is dead.

Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had accused Vice President Dick Cheney and others of conspiring to disclose her identity in 2003. Plame said that violated her privacy rights and was illegal retribution for her husband's criticism of the administration.
I kind of suspect that international spies in deep cover at some point forfeit their "privacy rights". Black on black, and all that. Or, you could also look at it as her admission that the case was baseless because she was no longer covert.
Armitage and Rove were the sources for that article, which touched off a lengthy leak investigation. Nobody was charged with leaking but Libby was convicted of lying and obstruction the investigation. Bush commuted Libby's 2 1/2-year prison term before the former aide served any time.

Though Bates said the case raised "important questions relating to the propriety of actions undertaken by our highest government officials," he said there was no legal basis for the suit.
What more do you need?

Read the rest.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Iraq Recap

For your reading pleasure and self-edification, here is a self-linkfest (can you do that?) on my recent Iraq posts.

Good News
Buqaba
Is the "surge" working?
It begins
News from iraq
Great post

Read the rest.

The litany begins

The MSM has been dying to ignore the ineffectual democratic congress ever since it became obvious that Reid and Pelosi are more interested in publicity stunts and globe trotting than actually passing legislation. However, with congress' approval ratings in the pits, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that our current congress is inept and corrupt at levels never seen before.

Thus, to come out of this with any sort of political capital, democrats need to start shoveling -- quickly. The easiest way to get away with anything in politics is to point out that it wasn't your fault. And so the litany of excuses begins. One USA Today editorial caught my eye:

Whatever it is that stirred the voters eight months ago, it is clear that they are sadly disappointed with Congress today.

it is equally possible that the Democrats may have inadvertently contributed to the discontent by overselling their capabilities to the American people. After all, they're missing one essential ingredient in the formula for bringing real change to Washington: a working majority.
Ah, I see! Its not congress' fault at all. Its those darned voters. We didn't elect enough of them. Now in political NewSpeak not only do you need a majority to get anything accomplished, we have political scientists coining a new "working majority" requirement. How daft would the American voters need to be to buy this? The Democrats in congress have been around long enough to know how the game works (except Obama - hah). They knew exactly what they were getting into. Its not that they've crafted spectacular legislation only to have the mean ol' Republican minority shoot it to pieces; they've literally done nothing.

To be frank, though, the USA Today article also points out why American voters really are quite dense.
The American voters are unhappy with their handiwork. They went to the polls in November with a variety of objectives. Some cast their votes against Republican candidates out of frustration with the war in Iraq. Others were upset about gasoline prices. Still others saw an opportunity for payback for the botched handling of Hurricane Katrina.
None of those are really legislative actions. Kicking Republicans out and replacing them with Democrats will (surprise) fix none of those.

Read the rest.

Monday, July 16, 2007

First muslim in congress - dumb

America's first Muslim congressman is an idiot. His originality has led him down the never before explored path of comparing Bush to Hitler.

"It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that," Mr Ellison said. "After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader [Hitler] of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted."

To applause from his audience of 300 members of Atheists for Human Rights, Mr Ellison said he would not accuse the Bush administration of planning 9/11 because "you know, that's how they put you in the nut-ball box - dismiss you".
Right, because, you know, comparing George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler is even remotely sane. I mean, really. 9/11 -- 3,000 killed in an act of terrorism. Reichstag fire, a fire "set" by "communists". Bush supported the Patriot Act which resulted in the arrests of a few bad guys and a few terrorist conversations being recorded. Hitler supported the Reichstag "Emergency Decree" which resulted in a twelve year reign of terror over Germany, leading to thousands of political dissenters being interred or killed without trial and ultimately to the concentration camps and ghettos that are so often related with Nazis.

Yes, the resemblance is absolutely striking.
Vice-President Dick Cheney's stance of refusing to answer some questions from Congress was "the very definition of totalitarianism, authoritarianism and dictatorship", he added.
Oh really?
to·tal·i·tar·i·an (tō-tāl'ĭ-târ'ē-ən)
adj. Of, relating to, being, or imposing a form of government in which the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life, the individual is subordinated to the state, and opposing political and cultural expression is suppressed

au·thor·i·tar·i·an /əˌθɔrɪˈtɛəriən, əˌθɒr-/ –adjective
2. of or pertaining to a governmental or political system, principle, or practice in which individual freedom is held as completely subordinate to the power or authority of the state, centered either in one person or a small group that is not constitutionally accountable to the people.

dictatorship -noun
a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)
Perhaps I'm illiterate, but I don't see how Cheney refusing to submit to a constitutionally coequal branch of government represents anyone in the government controlling all aspects of personal life.

Unfortunately for Kieth Ellison, words have meanings that are independent of his opinions.

Read the rest.

Ted Rall - Moron

Go ahead, throw up. Its sickening isn't it? Its bad enough when the Left says Bush=Hitler, because at least Bush is a public figure. But to even come close to insinuate that Americans are morally equivalent to suicide bombers in any way is disgusting. Of course, Ted Rall knows this; he's an idiot, but he's sly, see? He needs the ratings.

But I'll humor him and go ahead and explain why everything he shows in this comic is wrong (almost). If you remove the pictures and take his "profile" of a suicide bomber -- which is intended to show the "similarities" between Islamic "holy" warriors and our boys -- you get an image that in no way fits either the members of the US military or suicide bombers.

Rall says that suicide bombers are characterized by the following descriptions: Male, willing to die for a cause, religious fervor, poor education, blind obedience, poverty, belief in life after death, and immaturity. Never mind the fact that the descriptive words don't match syntax-wise...some are adjectives while others are nouns.

However, fundamentally he's flat out wrong. Most suicide bombers are not the poor, ignorant, or immature. As the UK stupid-bombing showed us, at best they are inept. But by and large, they come from well-to-do families, are educated, and largely cosmopolitan. Blowing oneself up for Allah is the chic thing to do in happening Islamic families these days. The prodigal son doesn't leave with his inheritance to gamble it away; he leaves to fight the infidel, with the family's blessing.

Additionally, the labels don't appropriately apply to American soldiers. American servicemen represent a cross section of the US in every way, from race and religious creed to economic background. In fact, the US military has lower numbers of religious people of a every sect than the general population, and more atheists to boot. The military also pulls generally from the middle of the economic pool, with very few recruits coming from either the very poor or the very rich sections of society. Mean income of recruit families was $41,141 in 1999, and $42,8222 (adjusted) in 2003, compared to a national average of $41,994.

US Military members aren't stupid either, no matter what liberals may tell you. In fact, 98% of recruits have high school diplomas, compared to 75% of the general population.

Finally, the US military is the worst example in the world of a rigid, inflexible system of people who don't think for themselves. The US soldier is the poster child for original thought; enlisted personnel in our armed services do fewer things "by the book" than any other military in the history of the world, ever. Period. We push autonomy down. Its one of the trademarks of the US military and the reason that we're consistently victorious in battle, from the AVG in China, the grunt Leatherneck on Guadalcanal, to the Hua on the ground in Buqaba.

I know its pointless to post this, as Rall is unaffected and those who think like him are impervious to facts -- but it does make me feel better.

Read the rest.

Why I hate ethanol

Ethanol has got to be the worst product in the world. Ever. Corn is for eating or drinking, not burning. To quote myself:

Ethanol is not going to replace gasoline. Period. Never. Its not going to happen. Not only is it a net energy loss proposal, but the only way its even close to being economically viable is through massive government subsidies. To make matters worse, even if we used 100% of our farmland to convert we still wouldn't have enough corn to replace fossil fuels. Currently we're making a whopping 3 billion gallons of ethanol per year...using a decent chunk of our current corn production. Sounds like a lot, right? Wrong. The US uses 134 billion gallons of gasoline per year. Not to mention the crippling effect using more and more corn for ethanol instead of food could have on our food supply.

Ethanol [also] produces more CO2 per mile than gasoline. If you believe in anthropogenic global warming and are concerned about your "carbon footprint," you should absolutely not use ethanol over gasoline.
But that's not why I hate it; that's why I'm fundamentally opposed to idiotic programs like GM's "Live Green, Go Yellow" sample of stupidity.

I hate ethanol for this reason alone:

This month, the price of milk in the United States surged to a near-record in part because of the increasing costs of feeding a dairy herd. The corn feed used to feed cattle has almost doubled in price in a year as demand has grown for the grain to produce ethanol.

You better stay away from my Blue Bell, ethanol, or there will be hell to pay.

Read the rest.

Russia vs UK

The Litveninko murder is shaping up to be a real row. I find this sort of thing highly interesting because, frankly, it hasn't happened much in my news-aware lifetime.

Britain and Russia are on Monday braced for a major diplomatic stand-off, as London formally responds to Moscow’s refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, wanted by UK authorities for the murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko.

Amid intense speculation that Britain will expel Russian diplomats from London for the first time in more than a decade, David Miliband, the UK foreign secretary, is preparing to outline the action to be taken in a statement to parliament this afternoon.

I think the whole murder is intriguing. The use of polonium 210 as a poisoning agent seems almost intentionally blunt. I'm no expert on international diplomatic intrigue, but it would appear to me that this case, much like the Iranian abduction of British sailors, is being used to intentionally provoke the UK to gauge Britain's resolve and mettle.

It would appear, at least for now, that the British are much more willing to get nitty gritty with Russia than Iran.

Read the rest.

Webb: typical

One thing that really burns me is politicians saying inane things like "I'm for the troops but against the war." You can't do that; its like being for business but against capitalism, or being for Al Gore but against liberalism. Or being for Ken Lay but against Enron. Or Pro A Rod but anti- World Series.

Not supporting the war, undermining the war, denying funding and support for the war, hollering about it being a defeat before it even begins, calling it a quagmire, referencing Vietnam, are all things that ultimately hurt our troops.

So thats why James Webb really annoys me. He says stuff like this:

"This is one thing I really take objection to — may I speak? — is politicians who try to put their political views into the mouths of soldiers," Webb said over his opponent's interruptions.
Yeah? Well one thing all of the Marines I know take objection to are liberals.

It really gets down to 100% typical liberal tactics when he says this:
"Have you been to Iraq?" Graham demanded.

"I've covered two wars as a correspondent," Webb said. "I have been to Afghanistan as a journalist."

Graham: "Have you been to Iraq and talked to the soldiers?"

Webb: "You know, you've never been to Iraq, Lindsey."

The Republican pointed out he's been there seven times.
Not only does Webb not answer the question -- because hasn't been to Iraq -- he also is flat out wrong. Not once or twice wrong, but seven times over. Then he backpedals and says that Graham's visits don't "count" because he's a congressman and its a dog and pony show. Sure, that happens -- but at least Graham was there. Because he's for the troops, not against the war.

Read the rest.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Haditha case "weak"

As predicted, the case against the Marines involved in the so-called Haditha 'massacre' is fizzling, largely due to the fact that the only evidence against the devil dogs in question are statements from locals.

A deeper blow came in a report made public Tuesday by Lt. Col. Paul Ware, a career Marine prosecutor who strongly urged that all charges against Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt be dismissed.

In his report, Ware labeled allegations against Sharratt “unsupported” and several times called them “incredible.”

He also suggested that some of the dead Iraqis were insurgents, as the defendants have maintained.

Ware, who presided over the pretrial hearing for Sharratt last month, said accounts by Iraqi witnesses seemed inconsistent with the forensic evidence available.

Such evidence showed that “each was shot facing forward, from a distance, and with a 9 mm pistol, which I find inconsistent with an execution or persons reacting to an execution,” Ware wrote.

He noted that relatives of the dead Iraqis refused to allow the U.S. military to exhume the bodies to conduct autopsies. He also said the Iraqis had a powerful motive to lie, given that the Marine Corps would sometimes pay $2,500 to the family of an Iraqi civilian killed by U.S. forces.

Giving credence to the statements of these Iraqi witnesses would set “a dangerous precedent that, in my opinion, may encourage others to bear false witness against Marines as a tactic to erode public support of the Marine Corps mission in Iraq,” Ware wrote. “Even more dangerous is the potential that a Marine may hesitate at the critical moment when facing the enemy.
The families of the dead refuse to allow the bodies to be exhumed by the Marines for autopsies to prove or disprove the allegations. My suspicion is that if they dug them up, they'd find that the families would no longer be eligible for their $2,500 grief money.

An excellent IBD editorial had this to say:
As it turns out, the insurgents whose communications were intercepted, revealing the planned ambush, were the same two men who were the sources of the fallacious and dishonest March 27, 2006, Time magazine story that prompted the charges against the Haditha Marines.
So, y'know, that kind of puts a damper on things, doesn't it? Makes me wonder where Cindy Sheehan or Jack Murtha are to recant their "cold blooded murder" insinuations.

For that matter, where is Time magazine with an official apology? Where is any major newspaper covering the story at all? Go do a Google search for Haditha, you'll see something like this:
Only one article about the Marine's potential acquittal. The rest of them are either part of the smear campaign or results thereof.

Read the rest.

Back

I was on a business trip with little access to the internet, but I'm back now...sort of.

Here's your amazing news of the day, with one of the best phrases I've seen in print in a long time.

"At this point we are planning on going forward with a lawsuit," said Lisa Duke of the San Antonio law firm of Anderson and Duke. "We have not filed the paperwork yet, but we will soon."

Incoming freshman Wycoda Fischer was cut after tryouts were held for six positions on the squad. Seven girls tried out. The family contends that because an exception was made for the varsity cheer squad, nine girls were allowed on instead of the eight called for in the high school's cheerleader constitution, that an exception should also be made for allowing Wycoda on the squad. The high school principal and cheerleading sponsor approved the expanded JV squad, but superintendent Deborah Kneese ordered tryouts.
I personally think we need more constitutions in this country. Cheerleader constitutions, pro athlete constitutions, hairdresser constitutions...the more the better!

Read the rest.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Just...wow.

I really hope this happens. It will be the biggest harpy-fight ever in the history of the world.

Cindy Sheehan, the soldier's mother who galvanized the anti-war movement (When did she do that? I thought she quit because they didn't like her?), said Sunday that she plans to seek House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's congressional seat unless she introduces articles of impeachment against President Bush in the next two weeks.

Sheehan said she will run against the San Francisco Democrat in 2008 as an independent if Pelosi does not seek by July 23 to impeach Bush. That's when Sheehan and her supporters are to arrive in Washington, D.C., after a 13-day caravan and walking tour starting next week from the group's war protest site near Bush's Crawford ranch.

"Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership," Sheehan told The Associated Press. "We hired them to bring an end to the war. I'm not too far from San Francisco, so it wouldn't be too big of a move for me. I would give her a run for her money."
Democrats and Americans eh? They are not one and the same, something I've been saying for a long time. The fact I'm close to agreeing with Sheehan is a nightmare.

The woman is stark, raving mad. She has a snowball's chance in hell at winning an election versus Pelosi, even in Haight-Ashbury land. However, I don't think this is going to happen; Sheehan is notorious for lying through her teeth when it comes to commitments...let's see the list she's failed at: hunger strikes, staying in Crawford until she meets Bush, quitting the "Peace Movement" scene.

We'll just tack political candidacy onto the end.

Read the rest.

Al Gore or Unabomber?

Try this quiz out. I scored a 50%. I make no claims that this means anything, other than that Al Gore's writing on the environments mirrors that of the Unabomber.

Of course, it could mean that Al Gore is crazy, too.

Read the rest.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Do I need glasses?

Either I can't read, or this article is just stupid. From "Al Gore slams global warming doubters at Live Earth"...

"Some who don't understand what is now at stake tried to stop this event on the Mall," the former Democratic presidential candidate said in a thinly veiled hit on members of President George W. Bush's Republican party.

"But here we are," he said as an image of a bright Earth shined behind him. "And it wasn't the cavalry who came to our rescue, it was the American Indian."
Now I don't know about you, but where I come from, them's fightin' words.

Read the rest.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

GCC

Apparently the Earth actually was warmer at some point in the past -- mysteriously without any humans around to do it! (Hint: it must have been methane!)

Scientists who probed two kilometers (1.2 miles) through a Greenland glacier to recover the oldest plant DNA on record said Thursday the planet was far warmer hundreds of thousands of years ago than is generally believed.

DNA of trees, plants and insects including butterflies and spiders from beneath the southern Greenland glacier was estimated to date to 450,000 to 900,000 years ago, according to the remnants retrieved from this long-vanished boreal forest.

That contrasts sharply with the prevailing view that a lush forest of this kind could only have existed in Greenland as recently as 2.4 million years ago, according to a summary of the study, which is published Thursday in the journal Science.

The samples suggest the temperature probably reached 10 degrees C (50 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer and -17 C (1 F) in the winter.

They also indicated that during the last period between ice ages, 116,000-130,000 years ago, when temperatures were on average 5 C (9 F) higher than now, the glaciers on Greenland did not completely melt away.
Did ya read the last part? Even if it was super duper hot (5 C hotter than now), the glaciers didn't melt.

What's the IPCC predicting these days? Oh, right...0.5 C.

Read the rest.

Biden lays it out

Whew! Joe Biden had this to say today.

“This guy is brain dead,” Mr. Biden said to surprised applause and laughter from the crowd. “I know I’ll be quoted, I’ll be killed for that.”

“This is a guy who is on the balls of his heels, here’s a guy who is lower off in the polls than any president in modern history and he goes ahead and he does something that just flies in the face of the sensibilities of the American people.”
The scary thing about the second half is that if you don't know who's saying it, you wouldn't know whether they were talking about Scooter or immigration. That's how bad the nuts on both sides have become.
A few minutes later, Mr. Biden turned his sights on Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, and a Republican running for president. “I can hardly wait to debate Rudy Giuliani if he is their nominee,” he said. “Because I will eat his lunch. The next time I hear a Republican talk about us being tough on terror – give me a break!”
I can hardly wait myself. Rumor reports he's going to up the ante from insults such as "brain dead" to the more devastating "stupid face".

Read the rest.

Trap

I need to find something really controversial to post to lure a liberal or five in here. Its so much easier to write when I'm responding to someone than when I'm off the cuff.

Bush rocks, anthropogenic global warming is a gigantic scam, Hillary wears army boots, and socialism is bad.

There. That ought to do it.

Read the rest.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

GCC

People not as stupid as once thought, study shows...

The Ipsos Mori poll of 2,032 adults - interviewed between 14 and 20 June - found 56% believed scientists were still questioning climate change.

There was a feeling the problem was exaggerated to make money, it found.

The Royal Society said most climate scientists believed humans were having an "unprecedented" effect on climate.
Note the nomenclature used here. We're given an exact figure, an exact number of people who do not believe in the hype. And then there's that word, "most". What does that mean, exactly? A majority? 51-49? Or 90-10? Is that number supported by anything other than anecdotal evidence? A survey, perhaps?

Its reports like these that make people mistrust organizations like the Royal Society. If you read carefully you'll note that there's never a number given on scientist support of anthropogenic global warming. Its always words like "consensus" or "most" or "a significant number". You gotta stay on your toes.
The survey suggested that terrorism, graffiti, crime and dog mess were all of more concern than climate change.
I'd say thats about right.

Read the rest.

On Scooter

Liberal furor over Bush's use of executive power to commute Scooter Libby's sentence is great. I love it.

One thing most of these comments ignore is that the president did not pardon Libby. He commuted his sentence. The man still is on probation and must pay a $250,000 fine. For those of you who can't count zeros, that's a quarter of a million dollars.

Just so this is framed correctly in your mind, all of this is coming on the heels of a case about a leak of a CIA operative's name who wasn't covert who was playing political games with nepotism by pushing to get her husband a job on an otherwise sensitive diplomatic mission. And the best part is, Libby isn't even charged with leaking the name -- only "obstruction of justice" and perjury. Its a game of gotcha; the investigation has yielded no results, other than sufficiently harassing and questioning and re-questioning a member of the Bush administration until they caught him in a lie.

To make matters worse, the judge presiding over the case ignored federal sentencing guidelines, giving Libby 30 months of jail time in addition to his quarter million dollar fine and probation, all of these well over the maximum suggested punishments.

This is justice?

Anyway the best part about all of it is the liberal talking point that Bush's actions somehow turn topsy-turvy the "Rule of Law". The reason they can say this is because the president's actions follow the law the Left is most likely to ignore, subvert, pervert, or otherwise misapply -- the US Constitution. Other folks recognize it as the law of the land, and understand that when it says "The President ... shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment" that his actions are well in line with the rule of law. Now re-read some of these.


"In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing." - Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

"It is time for the American people to be heard - I call for all Americans to flood the White House with phone calls tomorrow expressing their outrage over this blatant disregard for the rule of law." - Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.

"When it comes to the law, there should not be two sets of rules - one for President Bush and Vice President Cheney and another for the rest of America. Even Paris Hilton had to go to jail. No one in this administration should be above the law." - Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

"The Constitution gives President Bush the power to commute sentences, but history will judge him harshly for using that power to benefit his own vice president's chief of staff who was convicted of such a serious violation of law." - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
I intentionally put Reid's last; its the only relatively coherent one. He recognizes that the rule of law is not being subverted with this, and instead is simply rendering his own judgment. I do find the last bit interesting though -- "such a serious violation of law". Which part, I wonder, does he find serious? Perjury? Because, as we all know, the Democrat Savior of the World (not to be confused with his Prophet, Al Gore) perjured himself in front of a grand jury. I don't recall Bill Clinton serving jail time for the exact same crime. In fact, he also never paid a fine, or even went on probation. To my knowledge, he never even apologized.

Hillary Clinton came out swinging, offering this:
"This commutation sends the clear signal that in this administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice." - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.
which is so ironic I don't think I could read it aloud without gagging, or laughing, or both. Safe to say it would be hazardous to my health to attempt it.

Drudge conveniently posted a link to the Department of Justice list of Bill Clinton's pardons...and it generally doesn't pertain to people who perjured themselves in a non-investigation investigation. A short scan brings up such reasonable cases for pardon such as
  • Mail fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Counterfeiting Federal Reserve notes
  • Distribution of narcotics (marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines all make the list)
  • Extortion
  • And...you guessed it... obstruction of justice!
Why hello Pot. This is my good friend Kettle.

Edit: I was so busy laughing at the left that I forgot to include my own opinion on the pardon -- I'll make it brief. Bush is fine, in my opinion, with commuting Libby's sentence. I tend to be a rule follower when it comes to public action, and I think the Libby was wrong to lie under oath, no ifs, ands or buts. However, it does annoy me that Bush has a double standard when it comes to pardons. Namely, border patrol agents Ramos and Compean (brief link here) who are still in jail for doing nothing wrong. Johnny Sutton put them in jail and let a drug dealer go free -- and his office has a history of unreasonably prosecuting persecuting border patrol agents.

Bush said he would let their appeals go through, let the justice system run its course before he even considered the case. Where is that same standard now? Why is Libby free while Ramos and Compean are rotting away in prison? The difference is significant as Libby was to go to jail for something he actually did wrong.

I don't like the double standard.

Read the rest.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Lexicon

In summation with my recent gains in knowledge of Arabic, I hereby pledge myself to attempt to refer to Islamic terrorists as jihadists no longer. Now I'm not sure if this is smart, seeing as it occurs to me that every muslim is a potential suicide bomber, but I'm willing to give them all the benefit of the doubt.

Therefore, lets now label terrorism as irhab, Arabic for terrorism, thus allowing us to call the terrorists irhabis, irhabists and irhabiyoun rather than "jihadis" and "jihadists" and "mujahideen" and "shahids" (martyrs), thus depriving them of the moral martyrdom they so badly crave.

Fight fire with fire.

Read the rest.

Good News

Good news out of Iraq: Civilian deaths down, insurgent deaths up coinciding with the surge. That's how its supposed to work, right?

The latest numbers, compiled from interior, defence and health ministry figures and made available to AFP, indicate that 1,241 civilians died last month, compared to 1,951 in the previous month.
The gloom 'n doom media can't stand it though, and have to follow up with this piece of propaganda in the next paragraph.
However, car and roadside bombings allegedly carried out by Sunni insurgents continue to rock Baghdad and neighbouring provinces, with at least three people killed on Sunday.
Don't get too excited, America. You can't win this war, remember?

Au contraire, mis amigos. In addition to dropping civilian casualties, we have massive amounts of progress going on in the Pink to White counterinsurgency operations taking place in Baghdad. Baghdad is the nose ring of Iraq -- control the head, and you control the rest of the nation. And our nose piercing operations are proceeding ahead of schedule:
Fil said American and Iraqi security forces now control 48% to 49% of the 474 neighborhoods in Baghdad. That is up from 19% in April, he said. Two weeks ago his boss, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, said about 40% of the city was under control.

Fil defined "control" as "where we have our security forces there and we're denying that space to enemy forces."

U.S. and Iraqi forces are conducting clearing operations in 36% of the capital's neighborhoods — about the same percentage as in April, he said. In neighborhoods that are neither under control nor in the process of being cleared, coalition forces are "disrupting" insurgent forces, Fil said.
Now unwarranted extrapolation is stupidity's evil step cousin, but I'll employ some here. Assuming we've got a case of diminishing returns (i.e. you can't ever really kill all the roaches in the house) and Baghdad will always have its share of unrest, you could make a reasonably wild prediction that we may have it under effective 100% control by October.

Patraeus may well be the man of the hour by November '08.

Read the rest.

Boo Hoo

I love the fact that democrats have achieved absolutely nothing on their agenda thus far in congress. I also love the fact that they're blaming it entirely on the evil republicans.

She pinned the blame on "the obstructionism of the Republicans in the United States Senate."

Immigration has joined Iraq, stem cell research, Medicare drug pricing, the 9/11 Commission's recommendations and other promises in the dustbin of the current Congress. Heading into a July Fourth recess after a bruising failure on immigration, Congress has a public approval rating in the mid-20s, lower than Bush's and no better than Republicans' ratings on the eve of their catastrophic election defeat in November, when the GOP lost control of the Senate and the House.

"Congress is a big institution to turn around," she said. "A new president comes in, and he or she is given every opportunity, because we -- everybody wants the new president to succeed. A Congress comes in, and it's Congress. It's an institution that has not been popular."

At which point, Reid interjected, "Nancy, honestly, one other thing. Let's be realistic about this. The war in Iraq is dragging down people's confidence in what's going on in this country."
You can't see me right now, but I'm pantomiming a crying face. Their job is just so hard.

Read the rest.