Friday, October 31, 2003

This is scary. As bad as the thought police are here, they can't hold a candle to the Brits. Thank God for what's left of the First Amendment.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Broken Baghdad Brutal, Bloody and bellowing A well balanced article from the New York Observer, not a right-wing rag by any standard. We have grabbed onto a real tar baby here, but we don't have the option of letting it go just yet. We're going to have to be there for years I'm afraid.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Ya gotta love Lileks. If for no other reason that the fact that he's a voice of reason in Minneapolis. Perhaps THE voice of reason in Minneapolis.

This article goes right to the heart of Daniel Pipes book, The Hidden Hand, about the Middle East and its obsession with conspiracy theories. Combine this with a cultural obsession with shame and honor as described by David Pryce-Jones in The Closed Circle and the US is in a no-win situation. If we do something right we've shamed them, and if we do something wrong it's part of a conspiracy controlled by the Jews.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

This can't be true Because as we all know, Saddam had no connection to terrorists. Especially at Salman Pak where, before the war, groups of men would train on how to hijack a jet with knives, using an actual jet fuselage that was parked in full view of our spy satellites. The Iraqis claimed that they were actually anti-hijacking special ops forces practicing methods of fighting hijackers. Oh.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

It's not the President, stupid This is great. The president doesn't have much effect if any on the national economy, and for either party to claim credit or be blamed for it is ridiculous. I wish every person who claims the economy was good under Clinton because of Clinton would explain to me exactly what he did to bring it about. They can't. Same with blaming Bush for the current state of the economy. What did he do that caused the effect? Do people really want to argue that tax cuts cause unemployment to rise? How does that work?

Friday, October 17, 2003

This is amazing. I guess some things never change. I assumed there were articles critical of the European reconstruction but it's funny to see the same terminology used as you find in today's New York Times. At first I thought it was a parody, similar to others I've seen inserting Germany or Japan in place of Iraq into the defeatist hand wringing we've seen so much of in the press. From my limited knowledge of Dos Passos (reading his USA trilogy) my recollection is that he was decidedly on the left end of the political spectrum, so his pessimism here is to be expected. What a great find. Mark Twain (I think) said that history doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme. This sure looks like a rerun to me

Jonah Goldberg: 'Imminent threat' is revisionist spin I wonder how long we'll have to hear this "Bush lied, people died" nonsense? Oh yeah, until next November.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

The Bad News Is the Good News Is Irrelevant God is this depressing. I never counted on Social Security for my retirement but plenty of people do. When the shit finally hits the fan I wonder what the reaction will be? Will people finally start to think and act for themselves and vote accordingly? Neither party seem to want to do anything about this.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Why We Went to War Are the Dems pretending not to remember any of this? This isn't propaganda, this is what we knew before the war thanks to THE U.N! Not the Bush Administration, the U.N. How can they ignore all this? Oh, yeah, now I remember.

'A Gift From God' Renews a Village Here's another example of how we've totally screwed up by going to war in Iraq. Oh wait, no it isn't. It another one of those stories that the pro-Saddam crowd won't pay any attention to as they seek to revise history.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Parents Sue School Over Wireless Network This what you get when you combine Luddites with lawyers. God is this stupid. The lawyer who took (or more likely dreamed up) this case should be disbarred.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Guilt lies only with the Bali killers This by a 22-year old Aussie kid named Jake Ryan who was badly injured in the Bali terrorist bombing. He became somewhat famous (at least in Australia) when he attended the trial of the bombers and loudly cursed out one of the bastards as he was being led into the courtroom. Afterwards, blogger Tim Blair held a fundraiser to buy Jake a beer and raised over $10,000.

Mark Steyn nails it again. You really have to wonder which side the CIA and State Department are on sometimes. The leak story still makes no sense as it's been portrayed in the media, but the Left is still dying to turn it into something that it isn't. Again, Andrew Sullivan's comment about the fifth column at work seems quite prescient.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Wildlife author killed, eaten by bears he loved It would seem that the bears loved him and his girlfriend too. What fools. Anyone who thinks it would be an "honor" to wind up in bear shit has his head waaaay up his ass. I wonder if his girlfriend thought it was an honor too. Too bad they had to kill the bears. I heard David Foreman, the founder of Earth First, give a speech years ago. He suggested that wilderness areas should be, in essence, rescue free zones. In other words, once you go in there you are on your own, just as you would have been 100 years ago. I kind of like the idea.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

I hope the old Washington bureau chief for the Daily Telegraph leaves instructions for the new guy to read his last dispatch before starting his post. Nice to hear a European journalist who doesn't sound superior isn't it?

Reason Magazine article about Iraq. These guys haven't hesitated to bash Bush in the past. It's good to see they can be balanced. Too bad more haven't been which is what the article is about. Iraq isn't Paradise, but it isn't Hell either, at least not anymore.

Here's an ex-CIA guy who explains the reasons for the war quite well. I wish we could bury our heads in the sand and not get involved in world affairs. But like it or not, we'll be involved or way or the other.

There is so much about this CIA leak story that doesn't make sense. This article lays out some of the many strange questions the incident raises.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Opening a Window on North Korea's Horrors Good God. Not much to say about this one as it really speaks for itself. The rest of the world sits by and accuses the US of being the terrorist state and now these people have the Bomb.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Farewell to the nation that lives the ideal Now this is beautiful. It's the final column from the London Telegraph's U.S. correspondent. This guy was paying attention.

This is appropos of nothing but I just wanted to see what this photo would look like in a larger format. I shot it last weekend through a window screen and the autofocus locked on the screen instead of the lighthouse. In other words it was a mistake that turned out well.

This editorial from the WSJ also helps explain what the CIA fake scandal is about. Career bureaucrats at State and in intelligence think they know better how to run the world and will do what they have to to protect their turf. Apparently an occasional 9/11 is the price we pay for living in the UN's world.

Our Instant Experts Just yesterday I was arguing many of these same points. What is Iraq supposed to look like right now? How would things be different in an alternative universe? The place was a mess, and still is in many ways, but it's getting better.

This is one of the better explanations of this CIA mess that I've read so far. If it was a real scandal it would have been one two and a half months ago when the story first came out. The Bush Administration has left the field to their enemies for the last few months. They have a year to go and they better get busy.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

An excellent editorial from the Washington Post. It's titled Democrats in Denial, but easily applies to either party regarding their approach to federal deficits and spending. There is a fiscal train wreck in this country's future and nobody wants to go near it, because then you have to talk about cutting spending, and talking about cutting spending is so easy to demagogue. Either party would rather defeat their opponent than accomplish something and the American people are so used to handouts by now that the squeals would be deafening if anyone tried to take away our government checks. It's a depressing day today. I don't have a lot of faith in the future at the moment.

I read a version of this article a few weeks ago but didn't save it at the time. It's by the former head of the Romanian Secret Police who defected to the west in the 1980s. Here he explains what he thinks happened to Iraq's WMD, and brings up something I remembered from right before the war began about the two Russian generals in Baghdad for some unexplained reason. This, combined with reports about convoys of trucks heading to the Syrian controlled Bekka Valley in Lebanon right before the war paint a pretty clear picture of what probably happened. Saddam may not have had much left of what he started with, but it seems more likely than not that he still had something.

This is an essay by an excellent writer named Bill Whittle. It's long but well worth the time to read it. It's on Power and its use, specifically the use of American power. He writes a blog called ejectejecteject.com and every couple of months posts something like this, very thoughtful and well written. The last one I even saved to the hard drive. Go read it.

CIA Leak Is a Poor Excuse for a Scandal A good Max Boot column from the LA Times on this nonsense. It's amazing how the letters to the editors brigade is already declaring this to be treason, putting agents lives at risk, blah, blah, blah. No one has even determined what her job is yet or if it fits the definition of the law in question. I still can't figure out how, if this was a deliberate "leak," how it was supposed to intimidate Wilson. It seems more like it was mentioned in passing, which is how Novak describes it, and he's the one it was leaked to. He'd know better than anyone, yet his denials are ignored. But then, facts rarely matter in politics.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Kuwait foils smuggling of chemicals from Iraq This looks interesting if true. You have to consider the source of course.

Jonah Goldberg has a good piece here on how Democrats seem to have such flexible principles. With as feckless, irresponsible and inconsistent as this crew has been I can only imagine and shudder what things will be like the next time they are in power and we get hit again by terrorists.

Tim sends along this article from Time Magazine.http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101031006/story.html The article makes some valid points but here is part of what Bush actually said from the deck of the Abraham Lincoln (the whole speech is here http://www.gopteamleader.com/myissues/view_issue.asp?id=884):

We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We are bringing order to parts ofthat country that remain dangerous. We are pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes. We have begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons, and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated. We are helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools for the people. And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people. The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done. Then we will leave -- and we will leave behind a free Iraq.

He never said we're done there and it's going to be a breeze from here on out. But things are getting better than they were and with the exception of a few areas around Baghdad the country is peaceful for the first time in 50 years. Mass graves are no longer being filled with women and children, people are no longer being mutilated or fed into shredding machines. For the first time in history there is a chance for an Arab democracy to come into being that might actually be an inspiration to other Arab countries.

What I'd like to know is, what is Iraq supposed to look like at this point? What do all these arm chair generals and Monday morning quarterbacks think we should do or should have done that we aren't doing? They are very efficient in pointing out all the mistakes now that they have 20/20 hindsight, but what do they want us to do? I haven't heard that.

Robert Novak: The CIA leak How the hell has this become a big story? I remember when it first came out in July and now two months later it's got "gate" attached to it? Even if it was intended to somehow intimidate Wilson or any other critics of the administration, how would that work? This reminds me of the "Rats" nonsense during the 2000 campaign. In other words, a completely made up controversy that the media grabs and runs with until they realize that nobody cares. Once this runs out of steam they'll find another one, about which "questions continue to be raised".

A great piece in today's WSJ on at least a couple reasons why people still hate Bill Clinton. I too voted for him in 1992 because I didn't believe Bush deserved a second term. The way he let the first Gulf War end and the way he didn't seem to want to accomplish anything drove me to disgust. I had no idea what disgust was. Clinton was on C-Span a couple weeks ago, at it again, lying about how Republicans tried to add arsenic to drinking water and how they want to take police off the streets and pass the savings on to Halliburton or whatever. The man makes my skin crawl.