Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina and Disgusting Exploitation

Tragedies happen, and my daughter and her family are happy just to be alive. Their losses and those of hundreds of thousands of other innocents deserve mourning, prayer and respect.

That is why the response of environmental extremists fills me with what only can be called disgust. They have decided to exploit the death and devastation to win support for the failed Kyoto Protocol, which requires massive cutbacks in energy use to reduce, by a few tenths of a degree, surface warming projected 100 years from now.

Katrina has nothing to do with global warming. Nothing. It has everything to do with the immense forces of nature that have been unleashed many, many times before and the inability of humans, even the most brilliant engineers, to tame these forces.

Giant hurricanes are rare, but they are not new. And they are not increasing. To the contrary. Just go to the website of the National Hurricane Center and check out a table that lists hurricanes by category and decade. The peak for major hurricanes (categories 3,4,5) came in the decades of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, when such storms averaged 9 per decade. In the 1960s, there were 6 such storms; in the 1970s, 4; in the 1980s, 5; in the 1990s, 5; and for 2001-04, there were 3. Category 4 and 5 storms were also more prevalent in the past than they are now. As for Category 5 storms, there have been only three since the 1850s: in the decades of the 1930s, 1960s and 1990s.

But that doesn't stop an enviro-predator like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. from writing on the Huffingtonpost website: "Now we are all learning what it's like to reap the whirlwind of fossil fuel dependence which Barbour and his cronies have encouraged. Our destructive addiction has given us a catastrophic war in the Middle East and - now -- Katrina is giving our nation a glimpse of the climate chaos we are bequeathing our children."

Monday, August 29, 2005

See No Evil, Hear No Evil This makes you want to scream. How can they not follow up on this or not even discuss it? Someday we'll learn the truth. I just hope I'm alive to hear it.

Readers of The Weekly Standard may be familiar with the stories of Abdul Rahman Yasin, Musab Yasin, and Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. Readers of the 9/11 Commission's final report are not.

Those three individuals are nowhere mentioned in the 428 pages that comprise the body of the 9/11 Commission report. Their names do not appear among the 172 listed in Appendix B of the report, a table of individuals who are mentioned in the text. Two brief footnotes mention Shakir.

Why? Why would the 9/11 Commission fail to mention Abdul Rahman Yasin, who admitted his role in the first World Trade Center attack, which killed 6 people, injured more than 1,000, and blew a hole seven stories deep in the North Tower? It's an odd omission, especially since the commission named no fewer than five of his accomplices.

Why would the 9/11 Commission neglect Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, a man who was photographed assisting a 9/11 hijacker and attended perhaps the most important 9/11 planning meeting?

And why would the 9/11 Commission fail to mention the overlap between the two successful plots to attack the World Trade Center?

The answer is simple: The Iraqi link didn't fit the commission's narrative.

A War to Be Proud Of Hitchens on why the war is worth fighting. If Bush won't make the case I guess it's left to pundits like Hitchens to do so.

I have a ready answer to those who accuse me of being an agent and tool of the Bush-Cheney administration (which is the nicest thing that my enemies can find to say). Attempting a little levity, I respond that I could stay at home if the authorities could bother to make their own case, but that I meanwhile am a prisoner of what I actually do know about the permanent hell, and the permanent threat, of the Saddam regime. However, having debated almost all of the spokespeople for the antiwar faction, both the sane and the deranged, I was recently asked a question that I was temporarily unable to answer. "If what you claim is true," the honest citizen at this meeting politely asked me, "how come the White House hasn't told us?"

I do in fact know the answer to this question. So deep and bitter is the split within official Washington, most especially between the Defense Department and the CIA, that any claim made by the former has been undermined by leaks from the latter. (The latter being those who maintained, with a combination of dogmatism and cowardice not seen since Lincoln had to fire General McClellan, that Saddam Hussein was both a "secular" actor and--this is the really rich bit--a rational and calculating one.)

There's no cure for that illusion, but the resulting bureaucratic chaos and unease has cornered the president into his current fallback upon platitude and hollowness. It has also induced him to give hostages to fortune. The claim that if we fight fundamentalism "over there" we won't have to confront it "over here" is not just a standing invitation for disproof by the next suicide-maniac in London or Chicago, but a coded appeal to provincial and isolationist opinion in the United States. Surely the elementary lesson of the grim anniversary that will shortly be upon us is that American civilians are as near to the front line as American soldiers.

It is exactly this point that makes nonsense of the sob-sister tripe pumped out by the Cindy Sheehan circus and its surrogates. But in reply, why bother to call a struggle "global" if you then try to localize it? Just say plainly that we shall fight them everywhere they show themselves, and fight them on principle as well as in practice, and get ready to warn people that Nigeria is very probably the next target of the jihadists. The peaceniks love to ask: When and where will it all end? The answer is easy: It will end with the surrender or defeat of one of the contending parties. Should I add that I am certain which party that ought to be? Defeat is just about imaginable, though the mathematics and the algebra tell heavily against the holy warriors. Surrender to such a foe, after only four years of combat, is not even worthy of consideration.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

ScrappleFace: Leak: Draft of Bush Answer to Cindy Sheehan The White House should fire their speech writers and hire this guy.

You ask for what noble cause your son died?

In a sense he died so that people like you, who passionately oppose government policies, can freely express that opposition. As you camp in Crawford, you should take off your shoes, for you stand on holy ground. This land was bought with the blood of men like your son.

Now, 25 million Iraqis cry out to enjoy the life you take for granted. Most of them will never use their freedom to denigrate the sacrifice of those who paid for it. But once liberty is enshrined in law, they will be free to do so. And when the Iraqis finally escape their incarceration, hope will spread throughout that enslaved region of the world, eventually making us all safer and more free.

The key is in the lock of the prison door. Bold men risk everything to turn it.

Mrs. Sheehan, everyone dies. But few experience the bittersweet glory of death with a purpose -- death that sets people free and produces ripples of liberty hundreds of years into the future.

Casey Sheehan died that freedom might triumph over bondage, hope over despair, prosperity over misery. He died restoring justice and mercy. He lived and died to help to destroy the last stubborn vestiges of the Dark Ages.

Monday, August 22, 2005

North of the Border An excellent piece from Matt Labash on the Minutemen and the border.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Mark Steyn in The Spectator.co.uk

Ever since America’s all-adult, all-volunteer army went into Iraq, the anti-war crowd have made a sustained effort to characterise them as ‘children’. If a 13-year-old wants to have an abortion, that’s her decision and her parents shouldn’t get a look-in. If a 21-year-old wants to drop to the Oval Office shagpile and chow down on Bill Clinton, she’s a grown woman and free to do what she wants. But, if a 22- or 25- or 37-year old is serving his country overseas, he’s a wee ‘child’ who isn’t really old enough to know what he’s doing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Omission Commission The Bush Administration has the most incompetent communications staff ever to work the White House. How can they not be talking about this?

The Middle East Intelligence Bulletin summarized the report from al-Watan al-Arabi:

Al-Watan al-Arabi (Paris) reports that two Iraqis were arrested in Germany, charged with spying for Baghdad. The arrests came in the wake of reports that Iraq was reorganizing the external branches of its intelligence service and that it had drawn up a plan to strike at US interests around the world through a network of alliances with extremist fundamentalist parties.
The most serious report contained information that Iraq and Osama bin Ladin were working together. German authorities were surprised by the arrest of the two Iraqi agents and the discovery

of Iraqi intelligence activities in several German cities. German authorities, acting on CIA recommendations, had been focused on monitoring the activities of Islamic groups linked to bin Ladin. They discovered the two Iraqi agents by chance and uncovered what they considered to be serious indications of cooperation between Iraq and bin Ladin. The matter was considered so important that a special team of CIA and FBI agents was sent to Germany to interrogate the two Iraqi spies.

Interestingly, journalists such as Amir Taheri considered al-Watan al-Arabi to be a pro-Saddam publication--not surprising given its Parisian readership. Despite its reporting against its presumed interests, the al-Watan al-Arabi article generated no interest either at the time or afterwards. A scan of the Commission report finds no mention of these arrests in Heidelberg, nor any of the CIA or FBI interviews reported by al-Watan al-Arabi.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

This article from the London Times is unbelievable. Apparently everything the police initially said about the guy they shot in the tube station was a lie. They just walked up to him and fired according to this report. But then in an earlier report supposed witnesses claimed the guy was running and looked terrified, WTF?

Cindy Sheehan is her own worst enemy Here's hoping she'll be gone soon.

“Cindy, I was reading some of the essays that you’ve been writing about the war over the last couple of months,” Cooper began. “In one you say the war is blatant genocide and you go on to say, and I quote, ‘Casey was killed in the global war of terrorism waged on the world and its own citizen by the biggest terrorist outfit in the world, George and his destructive neocon cabal.’ Do you really believe the president of the United States is the biggest terrorist in the world?”

The answer was yes. “I believe that he’s responsible for the needless and senseless deaths of more people than any other organization right now,” Sheehan said.

“But when you say that the president, I mean you’re essentially saying the president is a terrorist,” Cooper responded.

The answer was yes. “Well, you know,” Sheehan said, “I’ve heard a lot of — a lot of definitions of that, and it’s the definition they kill innocent people, you know, and his policies are responsible for killing innocent people, and I say the organization is killing innocent people and it needs to stop.”

Rich Lowry on Cindy Sheehan. The same people who are rushing to stand beside this woman are the same ones who thought it was shameful when loons used to accuse Bill Clinton of having Vince Foster killed. Sheehan's rhetoric is along the same lines as that yet it's considered credible.

She has charged that Bush — "that lying bastard," "that maniac" — killed her son. This is unforgivably sloppy moral reasoning. An Iraq insurgent killed her son (some outrage directed toward that killer would seem appropriate, but apparently Sheehan can't muster it). The Iraq war was congressionally authorized by bipartisan majorities. If Bush killed her son, so did Kerry, who voted to authorize the war. If supporting the war is tantamount to murder, someone should arrest Sen. Joe Biden for vocally supporting our continued presence in Iraq.

Maybe Sheehan's accusation is just the sloppy rhetoric of a grieving mom? No, she means it. On a July 12 posting on the left-wing website DailyKos.com, Sheehan raved that she was undertaking her protest "for all our brave souls (American or Iraqi) who have been murdered by the Bush crime family. I told my Congressman that he needs to speak out against the lies and murder." This is paranoia reminiscent of the Clinton-murdered-people charges of loony right-wingers during the 1990s. Except those people never got media attention, unless it was to discredit them.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Cindy Sheehan's Sinister Piffle - What's wrong with her Crawford protest. By Christopher Hitchens You can always count on Hitchens to call bullshit when he sees it, and it's hard to miss here. This woman is crazy. Whether she was crazy before her son was killed is impossible to know. But it sure seems to have driven her around the bend. Here's Hitchens:

I think one must deny to anyone the right to ventriloquize the dead. Casey Sheehan joined up as a responsible adult volunteer. Are we so sure that he would have wanted to see his mother acquiring "a knack for P.R." and announcing that he was killed in a war for a Jewish cabal? This is just as objectionable, on logical as well as moral grounds, as the old pro-war argument that the dead "must not have died in vain." I distrust anyone who claims to speak for the fallen, and I distrust even more the hysterical noncombatants who exploit the grief of those who have to bury them.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

IRAQ THE MODEL is a blog written by an Iraqi in Baghdad. Here he writes an open letter to Cindy Sheehan.

I know how you feel Cindy, I lived among the same pains for 35 years but worse than that was the fear from losing our loved ones at any moment. Even while I'm writing these words to you there are feelings of fear, stress, and sadness that interrupt our lives all the time but in spite of all that I'm sticking hard to hope which if I didn't have I would have died years ago.

Ma'am, we asked for your nation's help and we asked you to stand with us in our war and your nation's act was (and still is) an act of ultimate courage and unmatched sense of humanity.
Our request is justified, death was our daily bread and a million Iraqi mothers were expecting death to knock on their doors at any second to claim someone from their families.

Your face doesn't look strange to me at all; I see it everyday on endless numbers of Iraqi women who were struck by losses like yours.

Our fellow country men and women were buried alive, cut to pieces and thrown in acid pools and some were fed to the wild dogs while those who were lucky enough ran away to live like strangers and the Iraqi mother was left to grieve one son buried in an unfound grave and another one living far away who she might not get to see again.

We did nothing to deserve all that suffering, well except for a dream we had; a dream of living like normal people do.

We cried out of joy the day your son and his comrades freed us from the hands of the devil and we went to the streets not believing that the nightmare is over.

We practiced our freedom first by kicking and burning the statues and portraits of the hateful idol who stole 35 years from the life of a nation. For the first time air smelled that beautiful, that was the smell of freedom.

The mothers went to break the bars of cells looking for the ones they lost 5, 12 or 20 years ago and other women went to dig the land with their bare hand searching for a few bones they can hold in their arms after they couldn't hold them when they belonged to a living person.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Washington Prism has a great interview with Chris Hitchens on what happened to the Left after 9/11 and it's failure to denounce Islamofacism and support the war against it.

But its not only that. It’s a missed opportunity for the left. Think of it this way: If a group of theocratic nihilists drive planes full of human beings into buildings full of human beings announcing nothing by way of a program except their nihilism and if they turn out to have been sheltered by two regimes favored by the United States and the national security establishment, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to be precise, two of only three countries to recognize the Taliban, and if Republicans were totally taken by surprise by this and if the working class of New York had to step forward and become the shield of society in the person of the fire and police brigades, it seemed to me that this would have been a good opportunity for the left to demand a general revision of all the assumptions we carried about the post cold war world. We were attacked by a religious dictatorship and the working class were pushed into defending elites by the total failure of our leadership and total failure of our intelligence. The attack emanated partly from the failure of regimes supported by that same elite national security establishment– Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. If the left can’t take advantage of a moment like that: whats it for? whats its secularism for? Whats its internationalism, class attitude, democracy for?

Victor Davis Hanson on Islamism VDH says we should listen to what the jihadis are saying if we want to know what they want.

So as we try to assess the causes of Islamists’ venom toward the West, it seems wiser to listen to what they say rather than what we say they say.

If we would do that, we would conclude that the hatred of radical Islam is fed by envy, frustration, and pride — and thus existential: They despise Americans for who we are.

That’s why al Qaeda must constantly find new grievances, whether the West Bank, Israel itself, Jews, oil prices, troops in Saudi Arabia, Oil-for-Food, Afghanistan, or Iraq.

Indeed, the latest two-hour training video is little more than cut-and-paste from the Michael Moore Left and hand-me-downs from Euro anti-globalist radicals. Thus America, al Qaeda assures us, “seeks to ravage the entire globe for the interest…of corporate companies,” and so kills the sons of Islam “in Palestine, Afghanistan, the Balkans, Indonesia, the Caucuses, and elsewhere.”

Apparently about three billion Europeans, Asians, Russians, and Indians have been picking on poor suicide bombers and terrorists, who, in fact, are incognito environmentalists bent on stopping corporate exploitation of Mother Earth.

Yet there is one and only one legitimate objection of the crackpot radical Islamists that rings true: We in the West don’t listen to them when they promise us our deaths.

We should. They are yelling as loud as they can to tell us something that we don’t really want to hear.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Mark Steyn on multiculturalism, entitled "Not All Men Are Equal."

The only thing these guys have going for them is our undervaluation of ourselves and perverse boosting up of them. By pretending that all cultures are equal, multiculturalism doesn’t ‘preserve’ traditional cultures so much as sustain them in an artificial state that ensures they’ll develop bizarre pathologies and mutate into some freakish hybrid of the worst of both worlds. With the Innu, the destructive ‘compassion’ of guilt-ridden white liberals is no big deal — at least for us. The Innu live a long way away from anybody else and so for the most part they mostly harm each other.

From Tim Blair's blog, this is the description of a seminar on improving academic writing at Melbourne University.


AT 2.00 PM to 5.15 PM

Friday 12 August, 2005
Prince Philip Theatre (Architecture Building)

Panel Discussion: (Re)writing Culture

“Writing Culture” is an invitation to discuss the almost total neglect of writing in academia, in general, and in the social sciences in particular. Rather than confront the notion that style and mood are as determinant as logic, or that anthropologists and cultural studies have a special responsibility to work a style congruent with their subject matter, the prevailing practice assumes that writing will look after itself, and is of no great interest or consequence, presumably because there is an implicit assumption as to the existence of just one, standard, style of distanced, neutral, objectivist, representation, best thought of as invisible or transparent thereby radically truncating the possibilities for invention.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Yankee Go Home - Who's leading the anti-war movement? Congressional Republicans. This is a surprise. I don't remember that much Republican opposition to Bosnia at the time. Clearly a politician's position on war depends on who is in the White House.

Some Democrats call Republicans who make these arguments unpatriotic. Republicans reply that they're serving their country by debunking and thwarting a bad policy administered by a bad president. You can be sure of only two things: Each party is arguing exactly the opposite of what it argued the last time a Republican president led the nation into war, and exactly the opposite of what it will argue next time.


Saturday, August 06, 2005

Claudia Rosett on United Nations & Oil-for-Food Scandal Here is the most important story that nobody knows anything about. Benon Sevan, who ran Oil for Food was on the take and can't keep it secret anymore, and is now complaining about leaks.

Sevan has a legitimate complaint. His lawyer is quite right that the U.N.’s “Independent Inquiry,” led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, is engaging in high-handed and unjust tactics. Volcker’s committee has already leaked its intention to lambaste Sevan in a report due out early next week, and since last year has been choreographing the tone and timing of its reports in ways more attuned to managing the news than getting at the full truth. The result so far has been to spare U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan while fingering a handful of his subordinates, and to delay until just before the opening of the U.N. General Assembly in September a “main report,” which Volcker has already telegraphed as likely to divert blame from the U.N. Secretariat (which ran the program) to the U.S. (which at least did more than any other U.N. member to try to clean it up).

Worst of all, Volcker has parked himself for more than a year atop U.N. records that might have helped outside investigators crack some of the Oil-for-Food schemes involving ties to terror, organized crime, arms rackets, and political bribery, all of which are salted among the more than $110 billion of Saddam Hussein’s deals administered by the U.N. under Oil-for-Food. It is welcome that Sevan is at last protesting in public the secrecy of these proceedings.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Here's the text of an e-mail conversation I've been having with a columnist with the St. Louis Post Dispatch over racial profiling. It alternates from me (in italics) to him in decending order, from oldest to most recent. His point was unclear to me, but he seemed to be opposed to racial profiling as an over-reaction. He particularly jumped on the use of the "Norwegian grandma" as an example of who we don't need to be checking, and suggested that an interview Norman Mineta gave where he said that he hoped Norwegian grandmas and young Muslim males would be treated the same as far as security is concerned was an urban legend. Here's the original column: In Search of the Norwegian Grandma

Subject: Norwegian grandmas

I'm not quite sure what the point of your story was, but the interview with Norman Mineta you referenced (where he said a 70 year old white woman and a Muslim male should be similarly scrutinized) was with Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes. I believe it aired in December of 2001.



-----Original Message-----
From: emink@post-dispatch.com [mailto:emink@post-dispatch.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 4:21 PM
To: Galvin, Dan
Subject: Re: Norwegian grandmas

Thanks, Dan. No huge point, really. I was just intrigued that this concept had become a fixture of our contemporary language and tried to find out how.....

Thanks, too, for pointing me to the December 2, 2001, Kroft piece, the transcript of which I just retreived. Your memory's astounding. Here's the relevant comment by Kroft:

KROFT: Are you saying at the security screening desks, that a 70-year-old white woman from Vero Beach, Florida, would receive the same level of scrutiny as a--a--a Muslim young man from Jersey City?

So the guy at the immigration conference had the right idea but the wrong reporter, wrong network, wrong female category, wrong locale, wrong male place of origin.....just about everything.

Here's how he (Stephen Steinlight of the Center for Immigration Studies, May 4, 2004) put it:

"I will never forget Norman Mineta saying to the qeustion by Tim Russert, Tim Russert said, 'Let's imagine a scenario in the airport. You have two people. You have a woman -- we're in the Twin Cities airport -- you have a Norwegian grandmother with six suitcases. . . . . And you have a Jordanian, someone traveling on a Jordanian passport, a young man of 22.....' "

In fact, the Mineta interview Steinlight "will never forget" had no grandmother, Norwegian or otherwise.....etc.

Fascinating....

Thanks for getting in touch.

Eric


You're welcome. I remember it so well because I found it so outrageous. That Mineta, just a few months from 9/11, could be so willfully obtuse as to suggest the level of threat was equal between a young male (Muslim or otherwise) and an old woman told me that he was not up to the job. Yet years later, he's still there.

I fly all the time and see how the TSA puts its time and resources to use, by forcing obvious non-threats (children and yes, Norwegian, or in the case of my 71 year old mother, Irish grandmas) through secondary inspections, by threatening to confiscate the Congressional Medal of Honor from a WWII veteran (its sharp points could have been used as a weapon) and a nail file from a pilot, who presumably could have used it to force himself to take over the plane he was already flying. So the "Norwegian grandma" is a valid metaphor for government wasting resources on unnecessary security measures, while avoiding the necessary ones in the interest of being PC. Obviously the speaker you heard had not seen the real Mineta interview but his point, though inaccurate, was well made.



-----Original Message-----
From: emink@post-dispatch.com [mailto:emink@post-dispatch.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2005 2:44 PM
To: Galvin, Dan
Subject: RE: Norwegian grandmas

Hi Dan.....

There's no question that Mineta took a pretty hard line on this, but I think it's a vast oversimplification to write it off as willfully obtuse.
Remember what was happening right after 9/11:

There was great concern about possible violence against American Muslims and people of Arab ancestry. There actually were some incidents, although relatively few and isolated. The government was taking this issue very seriously. Bush himself -- within days of 9/11 -- made a very strong public statement underscoring the importance of NOT lumping people into categories. He went to a mosque, in D.C. as I recall, to drive the point home. So to load this approach on Mineta's shoulders overlooks what his boss was saying and doing.

Second, Mineta's approach was partly -- but only partly -- shaped by his family's experience as Japanese Americans who were rounded up, taken from their homes and shipped to camps during World War II. This was not a theoretical or hypothetical concern to him. It happened right here in America, solely because of irrational fear after the shock of Pearl Harbor.

But maybe most important of all was the simple fact pointed out by the DOT general counsel's office in a memo to the airlines on 9/21/2001: It is against the law -- existing federal statutes, the law of the land -- to discriminate against passengers on the basis of national origin, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, etc. etc......The federal government can hardly be expected, much less encouraged, to knowingly approve or engage in breaking the law.

NOW......reasonable people can discuss, debate, and disagree about exactly what kinds of screening amounts to discrimination and what kinds are justifiable exercises of necessary security measaures. But to simply dismiss the whole thing as silly is, I think, unfair. I assure you Prof. Pushaw, the law professor I quoted in the column, did not regard these concerns as silly at all. A conservative legal guy with great credentials and strong views, he completely understood the complexity and delicacy of this issue, as well as the high priority for effective security.

Thanks again for the Kroft clue.

Eric


I never said I thought not profiling was "silly", I think it's much more serious than that. Not profiling willfully ignores reality.

I remember vividly what was happening right after 9/11. A group of young Arab males had just killed thousands of people after spending months, and in some cases years, living in this country. It's true that there was plenty of concern expressed in the media and on college campuses about the horrible backlash against Arabs that was sure to be coming any day now (because hey, you know how those Americans are, right?). We're still waiting for that pogrom. As you say, there were a few isolated incidents, but I bet I can count them on one hand. Bush bent over backward to emphasize the point that we shouldn't blame all Arabs for the actions of a few and that people shouldn't take the law into their own hands. That's all well and good. No argument there. But it doesn't change the fact that the risk we face today is from young Islamic males. That risk is not evenly distributed throughout the population.

If the Irish Republican Army was blowing things up in this country and hijacking planes I would expect a bit more scrutiny myself going through airports. That would make sense because I would then fit the profile of the people causing the problem. Pretending (as Mineta seemed to be doing as he toed the company line) that there is an equal risk of violence from an old woman and a young male and therefore they should be treated equally is absolutely crazy. Treat them equally at the ballot box, in hotel accommodations or at a lunch counter but when the goal of SOME Muslim males is to kill people via public transportation then it only makes sense to look more closely at ALL young Muslim males when they are seeking to board public transportation. If they think that is unfair, too damn bad. They should be more upset at their fellow believers for putting them in the situation.

When the police have a suspect description in a bank robbery case they don't randomly question anyone they come across. They look for someone who fits the description of the suspect. If some innocent person who fits the description of the bank robber is questioned a little more closely I don't happen to think that is a crime against humanity. That is just the police doing their job. And if the law says that no discrimination is to be allowed under ANY circumstances then the law needs to be changed to reflect reality. Sure, if I were a law-abiding Muslim and got checked and rechecked every time I got on a plane it would make me mad. But I don't happen to think that the occasional mass death is the price we have to pay for living in a society that goes out of its way to protect the feelings of its most sensitive citizens.

A great piece here on the war and its opponents. I especially like the way it lays out what Bush was faced with in 2002.

All right, you’re the president. The Taliban is gone, but so too is the great measure of America’s deterrence. Meanwhile, Islamic terrorism remains a very real threat. As you survey the festering political landscape of the Muslim world, you must now ask yourself which dictatorial thug is most likely to capitalize on that formula for waging war against the United States?

Saddam Hussein in Iraq is a strong candidate. He also happens to be in violation of United Nations Resolution #687, the ceasefire agreement that ended the first Gulf War in 1991, which allowed him to remain in power on the condition that he provide full and accurate disclosure of all long-range missiles and WMDs — so that U.N. inspectors could verify Iraq's disarmament. Saddam has never lived up to the terms of the cease fire; indeed, he’s repeatedly kicked out the inspectors and ignored a dozen subsequent U.N. resolutions demanding that he come into compliance. In short, there’s a solid legal basis for toppling Saddam.

So do you go after him or not?


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

This kind of data is always good to have on hand. From the Heritage Foundation:

Under the Bush Administration, education spending has surged by 78 percent, from $34 billion to $58 billion. Nearly all of this growth took place between 2001 and 2003, as the No Child Left Behind Act was being implemented. Most of the new spending was for aid to K-12 schools (in-cluding special education funding), which jumped from $19 billion to $32 billion. An $8 billion hike in college student financial aid dominated the rest of the spending increase.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Deroy Murdock on Salman Pak This is one of those things that we supposedly got all wrong. Down the memory hole it goes. Terrorist training? In Iraq? Never happened.

Monday, August 01, 2005



This story made me think of our trip to Berlin and Poland in February of 2003, right before the Iraq war began. While we were there we got to observe an "anti-war" rally of about 500,000 people that marched right through the Brandenberg Gate on the Unter den Linden. What really struck me at the time was the large number of apparent communists in the crowd. How could I claim to know who in the crowd was a communist? Well, the large number of Che t-shirts was one clue, though that could have been just a fasion statement. More indicative than that were the people marching under the old flag of the Soviet Union and carrying red flags with Marx, Engels and Gorbachev on them (not to mention the Cuban flag, in a march to express opposition to a war in the Middle East!? Huh?).

After awhile we walked about a half mile down the Friedrichstrasse to what was left of Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall. I wondered if any of the ernest young marchers up the street had ever been there and what they thought of how their city used to look. Did they even remember that a few short years before they wouldn't have even been able to march very far through the gate because the wall would have stopped them? Within a few days we were in Auschwitz and I couldn't help but remember all the posters people at the rally were carrying that portrayed Bush as Hitler. And yet it's Americans who supposedly know nothing of history. And now they want to dig up Lenin's head and put it back on display. I'd recommend placing it at the massive tribute memorial to the Red Army that sits in the Tiergarten to commorate the "liberation" of Berlin in 1945. Maybe some of them really do miss their jailers.

Andrew C. McCarthy on War on National Review Online For some reason someone in the Bush Administration decided that we needed to rename the "War on Terror." I didn't know it had officially been named in the first place, but this is ridiculous.

So, the folks who brought you "compassionate conservatism" now offer "The Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism." Perfect: A war that's not called a war for fear of making people think about war, which is waged against an enemy who is not identified for fear of offending mass-murderers and the people who coddle them, and which occurs everywhere on the planet so no one is left out, but nowhere specific so no one is put in.