Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mickey Kaus notes Immigration & New Silent Majority

Mickey Kaus notes that the MSM will never report the results of a Rasmussen Poll showing that a Third Party promising a Fence along the US southern border would outpoll the Republicans frozen-in-the-headlights and the anarchic Democrats on the Immigration Issue:
Things You Won't Read in The Note: A Rasmussen robo-poll reports that a third party candidate who promised to build a barrier along the Mexican border and make enforcement of immigration law his top priority

beats the generic "Republican" nominee by 9 points-- 30 to 21--and runs practically even with the generic "Democratic" nominee (who gets 31%). The border-centric third-party candidacy actually takes more votes from the Democratic side than the Republican side!. But it draws heavily from both parties, and as heavily from "moderates" as from "conservatives."

th the immigration issue candidate as an option, 36% of conservative voters opt for the Republican candidate while 35% take the third party option. Among political moderates, 34% pick the Democrat while 32% prefer the third party option.

Yes, this is a robo-poll (though voters may feel more comfortable telling a robot what they really think). ... Yes, as Rasmussen notes, "This result probably reflects unhappiness with both parties on the immigration issue rather than a true opportunity for a third party."... And yes, candidates with appealing specifics often beat undefined, generic party choices. ... Still, it raises suspicions about the hothouse, semi-confected Beltway CW that a tough, non-"comprehensive," enforcement-first approach is a political loser in the short term, no? ...

Yes, the will of the majority be damned. The inside-the-Beltway cowardice trumps any public opinion polls to the contrary.

LA Mayor Demonstrates Important Sense of Priorities

The incessant tom-toms of the MSM touting the Illegal Alien General Strike and how glorious an event such a demonstration of solidarity must be got a hoseful of cold water in the face when LA Mayor Villagairosa
flies to Dallas Monday to lobby for an NFL franchise rather than demagogue a bunch of layabout slackers taking a day off.

I wonder how the MSM cheerleaders for anarchy will note his absence. Perhaps as a bit of sanity and political savvy on the part of a political survivor?

The article goes on in delirious self-regard:
An immigration rally on March 25 in Los Angeles drew at least 500,000 people and was credited with rattling Congress as it debates the divisive issue.

Reuters obviously believes its own hype, as it is the news service saying that Congress is "rattled." Plus maybe AP and the lefty agitprop newsmags. And Bush. But not Congress.

The "wish being father to the thought."

Chicken Little interviewed by Mother Hen

The Democratic Party's bevy of unregistered media agents is led by Newsweek this week as the vertically-challenged [I met her twice back in DC and if she is more than 4'11" I am Shaquille O'Neal] Teensy-Mind-in-Teensy-Body Eleanor Clift asks questions of the Pink-Bunny-in-Perpetual-Motion Gorebot. Get a load of the intro:
"The former vice president, who has abandoned a relatively low profile to promote the movie,"

Maniac raver Gore has been screeching and shouting endlessly---the low profile might be that everyone sane tunes him out---about how GWB is the worst ever, the sky is falling, the world is coming to an end as we know it, and Kyoto will solve it all.

Anyhow, the piece does demonstrate that Gore now has acquired a heartily deserved sense of self-deprecation, and tends to use the term "tipping point" often, perhaps in deference to his chief advisor, Tipper?

Clift says the movie about the environment and the coming end-time has met with positive reviews, but nobody except lefty wack-jobs has seen it, so go figure.....

Saturday, April 29, 2006

"The Office" Transformed into "Le Bureau"

The Financial Times's Weekend Section has an hilarious article about the new French version of "The Office," the British sitcom whose spinoff in America has found mild success with Steve Carell on NBC-TV. "Le Bureau" is on Canal Plus, which is the only TV channel in France worth watching, but is a pay-per-view and only has 5 million subscribers.

Like "Les Carnets de Major Thompson," it appears that La Manche is the dividing line between more than just two countries. I would love to see the French version, which substitutes Champagne for Ale, but is otherwise roughly faithful to the British original, which I have only seen one episode of.

Chirac and De Villepin Implicated in Sarkozy Smear

The French version of the NYT, Le Monde, has come out with a story that implicates French President Jacques Chirac and his chosen successor, Dominique de Villepin, in an attempt to smear the head of the UMP and Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy in a kickback scheme. And Le Monde appears to have been informed about this by one of France's senior secret service agents, General Philippe Rondot, who claims that de Villepin personally asked him to implicate Sarkozy in the lowng-brewing scandal in 2004.

The Financial Times has the story in detail in two segments today.
French president Jacques Chirac on Friday categorically denied any involvement in an alleged smear campaign against Nicolas Sarkozy, the interior minister and his potential successor, in a scandal that risks embarrassing his prime minister and undermining the government.

The Clearstream scandal, named after the Luxembourg-based financial house cited in corruption allegations at the heart of the affair, is spiralling into a damaging affaire d’?tat, tarnishing the final year of Mr Chirac’s rule and becoming a decisive issue in the battle to succeed him.

Dominique de Villepin is fighting to save his premiership after a retired senior intelligence officer accused him of lying about his role in a corruption inquiry into Mr Sarkozy, his main rival on the right in next year’s presidential elections.

Mr Chirac issued a statement yesterday denying claims he had told Mr de Villepin to launch a probe into Mr Sarkozy, their common rival. Mr Chirac said he “categorically denied having asked for the slightest inquiry targeting political personalities.”

Members of the ruling UMP party have called for a cabinet reshuffle, while speculation rises that Mr de Villepin’s job is on the line. Already weakened by his humiliating climbdown over a bungled labour reform earlier this month, his approval ratings have hit a record low.

The Clearstream scandal has exposed the personal animosity at the top of the government, with Mr Sarkozy accusing the prime minister of sitting on a secret service report that cleared his name. Underlining how the atmosphere has deteriorated at the top of the French government, Jean-Louis Debr?, head of the National Assembly and a close Chirac ally, said: "Sarkozy has put a bullet in Villepin’s head. He wants to put a second one in straight away to make sure he is dead."

On Friday, Mr de Villepin issued a statement admitting he had ordered a series of investigations into the Clearstream scandal as foreign minister, but denying allegations that he personally ordered a probe into Mr Sarkozy’s involvement.

This was contradicted yesterday by retired general Philippe Rondot, a former de Villepin ally and leading French intelligence expert. Mr Rondot told Le Monde that Mr Villepin, under “instructions” from Mr Chirac, personally ordered him to extend his probe to include Mr Sarkozy.

Anyone familiar with the long history of French scandals knows that the French government can suppress investigative journalism by methods unheard of in the US or UK. When I was living and working in France, the Watergate Scandal had the French mystified, as the French government had just suppressed a similar scandal of wiretapping through a "table d'ecoutes" the HQ of Le Canard Enchaine, and when Le Canard made a big fuss about it, the government simply raised the price of newsprint paper to the news outlets and that was that.

Of course, the US press believes it is empowered to leak information damaging to national security with impunity---as long as it fits the MSM agenda to damage the GWB administration.

This story is unlikely to get much traction in the NYT and MSM in general, since Chirac and de Villepin earned the undying gratitude of the ultra-left MSM when both conspired successfully to thwart efforts of the Bush Administration to get UN support, which de Villepin had previously promised to Colin Powell not to oppose, and then kept its German houseboy from supporting the US as well.

This has earned Chirac and de Villepin slavish adulation from the American MSM and it is doubtful that the latest Chirac "chienlit" will be noticed, unless in a way to pin the blame on Sarkozy.

BTW, it is worthwhile to note that both Chirac and de Villepin have ratings that make Bush look wildly popular in comparison. The feckless Dominique, never elected to office in his political career, looks dead-in-the-water as far as next year's presidential elections are concerned. However, Chirac, like a dead scorpion, still can poison Sarkozy from beyond his political grave.

The happiest politicians in France are the Socialists, who watch the UMP self-destruct in obvious anticipation of gaining the presidency next year.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Children's Activities and Fairy Tales

Daffy and Dandy were part of my childhood and Struwwelpeter was an obsession of a girl I dated who told me she still had nightmares about having her fingers cut off. As I recall, the girl's father spent most of his retirement visiting military cemetaries from World War II in Europe. He too was raised on Struwwelpeter, perhaps?
There was also this ucky feature in Children's Activities, a magazine for little heathens, actually for the over-civilized mothers of little heathens, that was called Daffy and Dandy. Dandy always did thinkgs right (and had blonde hair --part of the reason I love "yo-lin's" "brown Haired princess," even though my hair once was black -- but now is crone-red --cackle, cackle) and Daffy of course being "bad" had black hair. They were drawn as stick figures with big baloon heads and all I remember is how badly I felt for Daffy for he was advenurous and imaginative. Dandy, forgive me for being uncharitable, was truly dorky. (grin) We all knew kids like him in school who somehow always looked like they had just stuck in their thumb and pulled out a plum. We were more likely to be looking like we just had a subversive thought. (grin)

I always had a secret affection for Daffy's intrepid nature, and found Dandy ninnified.

UN: Worse than Useless

The United Nations is becoming more than just a collection of clueless corrupt imbeciles gathered in New York to attempt to get rich nations guilt-tripped into giving more money to corrupt clueless regimes scattered across the Southern Hemisphere. Here is another colossal bit of nonsense from the Cave of Winds on Turtle Bay:
"Iran's president said on Friday his country would pay no attention to international calls to halt its nuclear work, hours before the U.N. atomic watchdog reports on whether Tehran has met U.N. Security Council demands," Reuters reports from Tehran:

"Those who want to prevent Iranians from obtaining their right, should know that we do not give a damn about such resolutions," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a rally in northwest Iran, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Mohamed ElBaradei, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is expected to tell the council and the agency's board on Friday that Iran has not stopped enriching uranium or fully answered IAEA queries as the U.N. body asked a month ago.

On a related subject, here's an April 10 U.N. press release:

The recent record of the Disarmament Commission was far from satisfactory, but now, more than ever, it should use the opportunity of an agreed agenda to strengthen the disarmament machinery to effectively deal with new emerging threats and challenges, the new Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, Nobuaki Tanaka, said today upon the opening of the Commission's substantive session. . . .

In other business, the following delegations were elected as Vice-chairpersons, by acclamation: Chile, Uruguay and Iran.

Chairing the U.N.'s disarmament commission is a country whose head of state doesn't "give a damn" about his obligations to the U.N. In light of all this, of what use is the U.N.? Indeed, isn't it worse than useless?

I wonder if Iran, in light of its intransigent refusal to stop trying to acquire nuclear weapons, will be stripped of its post of "Vice-Chairperson" of the Disarmament Commission? Indeed, the UN is such a corrupt discredited institution that I doubt if the General Assembly, whose collective psychosis appears to be institutional, even recognizes that Iran has a "conflict of interest."

Such an exalted ethical concept would appear beyond the capability of the GenAss. Lord knows the "journalists" at Reuters probably have trouble figuring out the newsworthiness of Iran's Vice-Chairpersonship of the Disarmament Commission themselves, as they are generally recruited for their ideological perversions rather than reportorial or investigative capabilities.

United 93

Slate has an example of left-wing whining about the [four stars from Ebert] excellent film.

I have not seen it yet in theater, but plan to this weekend. Ron Rosenbaum complains that there are now too many films about Flight 93 and, besides, this film shows problems at Air Traffic Control and at FAA HQ, etc, etc.


The final complaint is that 9/11 has been hijacked by conservatives who are exploiting it.

How about, 9/11 has been ignored by liberals and their meretricious blogosphere which has been fighting against GWB's Global War on Terror with lies, exaggerations, civil-liberties hysteria, illegal leaks, all adding up to passive support for terrorism.

The only liberals I want to hear from are those who served a full 364 and a wake-up in Vietnam or fought in Kuwait and/or Iraq. The rest are comprised mostly of delusional one-worlders who resemble Jimmy Carter in their pious sanctimony concerning American attempts to pursue a rational national security agenda.

MAYDAY Leftist Rallies for Lawbreakers

Reuters is plumping up and proleptically cheerleading for the Illegal Immigrant demonstrations almost as much as NPR, a publically-funded enthusiast for law-breakers.

It isn't much of a surprise that California's State Senate also approves of breaking laws, as the anarchy reigning in that crime-ridden collection of sociopaths reflects the absurdity of a legislature approving breaking laws.

California's collective psychosis is slowing moving, lemming-like, toward a suicidal plunge into aneantissement, as Berkeley perfessers like to call it!

The funniest part of it is to listen to Kos wannabees make statements like:
"There will be 2 to 3 million people hitting the streets in Los Angeles alone. We're going to close down Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Tucson, Phoenix, Fresno," said Jorge Rodriguez, a union official who helped organize earlier rallies credited with rattling Congress as it weighs the issue.

Of course, this is reminiscent of the manifestoes and chest-thumping chief-ninny Kossack indulges in just before his [17 so far] Democratic candidates lose elections.

The last thing the USA wants is to become more like the corrupt thuggish crime syndicate named the Republic of Mexico.

World's Wisest Canadian Speaks Out on the Radio

Yesterday, the BBC Evening News quoted Tony Blair on the latest St. Vitus Dance hysterical frenzies afflicting the British press with a statement that could have applied to US news organizations as well. Tony said something like "in today's excitable media environment, every mistake is a disaster, every problem is a catastrophe, and every accident is the end of civilization as we know it."

I just wish that GWB was one-tenth as articulate as Tony B, but George don't talk well and we have to live with that for another two years.

But Mark Steyn on Radioblogger gives Hugh Hewitt his opinion on just what ails the MSM barons as they whinge and natter about how persecuted they are becoming just because of a few treasonous stories that in almost every country with any self respect would give them a bullet in the back of the head for:

HH: And from Canada or Vermont or New Hampshire, or someplace way up north, Mark Steyn, columnist to the world. Mark, how are you today?

MS: Good to be with you, Hugh. I'm doing great.

HH: Did you by chance see Bill Keller's e-mail yesterday, suggesting that the liberties of journalists are at stake, and that this administration is threatening them in ways previously unheard of?

MS: Yes, I did, and I think it more or less reveals the bubble of the fading guild class. They sound increasingly like a closed shop union did in the 1960's or 70's.

HH: Well Mark, a couple of questions and answers today about that subject from a live audience. And I think there is a deep hostility, not within the Bush administration, but within the American people to the elite media leaking secrets, and acts which under most ordinary analysis, would amount to espionage. Do you hear that when you're out on the road? Do you think it's widespread? Or simply unique among conservatives who might come to Hugh Hewitt book signings?

MS: No, I don't think so. I think there is a genuine skepticism about the media's claims of special privilege. And I think in this case, it's particularly true, because there's not doubt that they're now awarding themselves prizes for acts that most previous societies throughout human history would have regarded as treason, and jailed people for it, if not executed them. And I think they don't realize quite the absurd reflecting mirror world they live in. They're all so busy reinforcing each other's illusions.

Yes, in the days of featherbedding and massive union corruption, the proletariat could dictate a lot of apodictic nonsense to the public at large and get away with it. And the senior craft guild of MSM journalism, whose governance by such disinterested---NOT! cabals like the Pulitzer Prize Committee can reward its members for treasonous activity and be praised by its underlings for suicidal tendencies---that is a guild ready for destruction, self-destruction by its own delusions of self-importance and legislative privilege---just like the trade unions did to themselves in recent years.

And if blogging and bloggers can grease the skids of this descent back into reality by the MSM, more power to blogging and bloggers!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

First Israeli "Civilian" Government Formed

The Economist has a good story on the new Israeli Government entitled Farewell to the Generals. Worth the read on how a new era in Israeli history might be commencing.

But watch out for the charismatic Chief of Staff of the IDF, Dan Halutz. He may be a political comer.

NFL: In a League of Their Own

The Economist has a brilliant article on the American National Football League which demonstrates why the Economist is the best weekly news mag in the world and why Condoleeza Rice, a very smart woman, wanted so badly to be NFL Commissioner.

Spoiler alert: The Cincinnati Bengals and Milwaukee Brewers get badly dissed in the article.

When Pigs Learn to Fly? They're Circling over the Beltway!

Hillary Clinton is running for President in 2008. That can be confirmed as a sure thing because she attended FoxNews 10th Birthday Party last night, in an attempt to get the Number One News Cable to regard her in a more fair and balanced fashion, perhaps?

The sclerotic CNN News turned 25 recently without a big bash, since there was not much to celebrate unless one enjoys a high dive into a shallow pool, or a trip southward real fast. CNN is going down as fast as NYTimes stock prices.

And Hillary wants to get viewership credentials rather than the praise of the cranially-impaired hard-left blogosphere, where Kerry, Gore, and Dean are peddling their snake-oil nostrums. Hillary is mainstream versus the aforementioned kook-left wannabees.

And in the tradition of the Godfather, Hillary wants her friends close and her enemies closer---while tossing off an Italian salute to the HuffNPuff Crowd.

French Threat to iTunes

I think it was in Arthur Clarke's great sci-fi thriller that a character described the French, in a nasty obiter dictum, as the "world's greatest second raters." Now even the fop-loving leftish tabloid New York Times is knocking the French penchant for their anti-competitive, anti-capitalist dirigiste bias.

Still, the article's author and others note that in the past, France has been strong on intellectual property rights. Perhaps the reason for the irrational French stance lies in the growing senility of what once was a major creative force in the world, French inventiveness.
"France has been the global leader in enforcing strong copyrights." Usually, rich countries don't meddle with others' intellectual property because they fear retaliation. So why don't the French fear retaliation now?

One reason may be that they have concluded France will never really compete. If the Internet will always have an American accent, why not go after it? Sometimes, the red flag of revolution is surprisingly hard to distinguish from the white flag of surrender.

Indeed, the Financial Times has an article on the politically bankrupt president of the country's new drive to create a French version of Google. Fine, go ahead and waste your money, but just don't try to get Chinese and block French users from the much better technology and faster service Google provides.

Since Waterloo and more notably, the Franco-Prussian War, the French have had to live on their historical laurels in any pretensions to political/economic/military ascendancy. But their penchant for delusions lives on in the 35-hour workweek, the Common Agricultural Policy, and promotion of their language and culture in an extravagant fashion. French membership on the UN Security Council was a post WWII sop to keep the country from veering into a Communist dead end and is now an anachronism. Now they want to be Luddites on the Information Superhighway. The author ends his article with an historical reference apt for a globalizing world:
The other reason, though, could be that the French politicians simply did not consider the possibility that other countries might retaliate against the intellectual property of French companies. The heads of several French biotechnology, telecommunications and electronics companies are probably starting to fidget.

The fate of France's budding intellectual property revolution now rests with the French Senate, which will decide in the coming days whether to proceed. Before declaring pre-emptive war on iTunes, however, perhaps the French would do best to remember a lesson from 1789. Sometimes the very people calling for revolution are the ones who end up losing their heads.

No chance that the Sorbonne and Nanterre campuses will empty into the streets to protect iTunes's rights in the near future. The next generation of French students, as Daniel Cohn-Bendit has noted recently, is as backward and selfish as the '68 May students were avid for change and renewal.

Weisberg: Oil and Politics Make a Combustible Mess

Jacob Weisberg has an article in the FT that is inexplicably blocked except for pay-to-viewers while freely available on Slate. Perhaps FT might make Weisberg's regular Thursday contributions free on its web-site to avoid the appearance of web-site ninnyhood.

Weisberg makes a lot of good points, but like all oil commentators of both left and right, commits the sin of omission of avoiding the elephant in the living room---the continuing absurdity of environmentalism-run-amok opposition to ANWAR in Alaska. Perhaps George Will can contribute some light on the darkness of America's continuing foolhardiness of invading Iraq to secure oil supplies [oops, pardon the inconvenient truth!] while refusing permits in the Gulf of Mexico and blocking development of North Slope fields based on the most foolish and spurious arguments ever made in support of national economic suicide.

Here are Weisberg's otherwise sensible observations:

Few topics seem to addle the collective brain of Washington like high gas prices. Politicians who raise this issue can generally be assumed to be partisan, cynical, demagogic, and dishonest. But one must not discount the possibility that something about the subject actually makes them stupid.

With gasoline prices now spiking around $3 a gallon—near their inflation-adjusted 1981 peak—we are witnessing stupidity on wheels. Republicans, who as incumbents fear that they will be blamed, are in a kind of frenzy to abandon free-market principles, basic economic reasoning, and increasingly, reason itself. Their week began with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert calling upon the Bush administration to investigate possible price-gouging and market manipulation. The Republican leaders went so far as to recommend "sweeps" of gas stations to confirm that price increases reflect "changes in market conditions" and are not merely attempts by businesses to earn money. The next day, President Bush joined in calling on the Bush administration to launch an investigation. As it happens, a Federal Trade Commission investigation into possible market manipulation is already under way from last year, when Bush and Congress asked for one following a post-Hurricane Katrina gas-price rise. While he was at it, Bush also asked Congress to repeal the tax breaks they joined together to give to the oil companies last year.

Republican talk about price-gouging is inane at several levels. If you don't have some sort of monopoly power, gouging is another word for charging the highest price the market will bear, also known as capitalism. This is why the FTC investigation has turned up nothing. What constrains filling stations from marking up gas excessively is not the fear of prosecution but competition from other filling stations. Even many Republican congressmen understand this, but calling for an investigation is a good way to deflect attention from the party's favoritism toward corporations that are now so profitable that they have become unpopular. Of course, there is outrageous anti-competitive conduct in the petroleum industry—it's called OPEC. But no presidential administration, especially the current one, takes seriously the idea that this price-fixing cartel is a criminal conspiracy under American law. Republicans would sooner propose a windfall-profits tax—an anti-market notion if ever there was one—as Sen. Arlen Specter recently did.

Democrats, who can barely restrain their glee at this political opportunity, bandy the same implausible complaints about gouging and "speculation" and speak even more enthusiastically about confiscating oil-company profits. They also have their own distinctive form of gas-price stupidity, which is to ignore the conflict between the environmentalism they espouse and the cheap fuel they demand. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi even moaned about high gas prices in her Earth Day statement last week. If you care, as Pelosi claims to, about clean air and preserving the coastline, you should welcome high gas prices. Even Al Gore, who once called cars "a mortal threat to the security of every nation," decried high gas prices when he ran for president in 2000. Democrats like to argue that gas prices are high because Bush has done too little to develop alternative energy sources and reduce dependence on imported oil. But it is high oil prices, far more than ethanol subsidies or incentives to buy hybrids cars, that will drive the development of new fuels.

And then there are the gas-related idiocies that afflict both sides. Bob Menendez, a Democratic senator from New Jersey, has already raised the perennial Republican notion of "suspending" the 18-cent-per-gallon federal gas tax, an idea that is bad for too many reasons to enumerate in a single day. A number of Republicans are now repeating the Democratic shibboleth that overpaid oil-company executives, rather than supply and demand, are somehow to blame. Whichever party is out of office tries to assert that the party in office has the power to reduce gas prices but simply chooses not to do so. Everything Democrats are now saying about Bush echoes what Republicans said about Bill Clinton when gas prices spiked in 2000. When you're out of power, you attack the president for not using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or, if he gives in to your demands, you denounce him for misusing it. "The strategic reserve is meant for times of war or a major disruption in oil supplies," Bush told an audience in October 2000, when he was criticizing Al Gore for (hypocritically) proposing to do the same thing Bush has just ordered done. If you are a Democrat, you get the option of either attacking the president for not leaning on his Saudi buddies to turn on the oil spigot, or accusing him of manipulating the Saudi oil supply for political gain in advance of an election.

What none can acknowledge is that higher gas prices in the United States are a good thing. To be sure, oil at $70 a barrel causes hardships for working people and delights some of the world's worst dictators. But cheap gasoline imposes its own costs on society: greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and its attendant health risks, traffic congestion, and accidents. The ideal way to cope with these externalities would be with higher gas taxes or a carbon tax. But these are politically impossible ideas at the moment—Democrats lost control of Congress in part because they passed a 4-cent-per-gallon tax increase in 1993. The next best solution is the one that has arrived on its own: a high market price for oil, which spurs conservation and substitution. Sustained high prices will bring about behavioral and political changes: energy conservation, public transportation, less exurban sprawl, and eventually the economic viability of alternative fuel sources such as biomass, fuel cells, wind, and solar power, which may one day undermine the power of the oil oligarchs. Are politicians too stupid to understand this, or just smart enough not to say it aloud?

AIPAC: Opposing its Influence Not Anti-Semitic

Steve Sailer has a good common-sensical follow-up on the Harvard Paper accusing AIPAC of excessive influence on US foreign policy, a stance I agree with. I often have verbally abused Richard Cohen in my blog, but this time I find him again on the side of the angels, and Charles Krauthammer again on the side opposing the angels. Sailer is right on Feith, but not correct on Sharon, although in the end Arik did the right thing in founding Kadima. Here is Sailer's piece:
Some common sense: From the Washington Post:
No, It's Not Anti-Semitic
By Richard Cohen
During the Jim Crow era, many American communists fiercely fought racism. This is a fact. It is also a fact that segregationists and others often smeared civil rights activists by calling them communists. This technique is sometimes called guilt by association and sometimes "McCarthyism." If you think it's dead, you have not been following the controversy over a long essay about the so-called "Israel Lobby."

On April 5, for instance, The Post ran an op-ed, "Yes, It's Anti-Semitic," by Eliot A. Cohen, a professor at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a respected defense intellectual. Cohen does not much like a paper on the Israel lobby that was written by John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard University. He found it anti-Semitic. I did not.

But I did find Cohen's piece to be offensive. It starts by noting that the paper, titled "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," had been endorsed by David Duke, the former head of the Ku Klux Klan. It goes on to quote Duke, who, I am sure, has nodded his head in agreement over the years with an occasional piece of mine, as saying the paper is a "modern Declaration of American Independence." If you follow Cohen's reasoning, then you would have to conclude that David Duke and the Founding Fathers have something in common. I am not, as they say, willing to go there.

Unfortunately, Cohen's piece is not unique. The New York Sun reported on its front page of March 24 an allegation from Alan Dershowitz that some of the quotes from the Israel lobby paper "appear on hate sites." Maybe they do, but Mearsheimer and Walt took those quotes (about press coverage of Israel) from a book written by Max Frankel, a former editor of the New York Times. To associate Mearsheimer and Walt with hate groups is rank guilt by association and does not in any way rebut the argument made in their paper on the Israel lobby...

My own reading of the Mearsheimer-Walt paper found it unremarkable, a bit sloppy and one-sided (nothing here about the Arab oil lobby), but nothing that even a casual newspaper reader does not know. Its basic point -- that Israel's American supporters have immense influence over U.S. foreign policy -- is inarguable. After all, President Bush has just recently given Israel NATO-like status without so much as a murmur from Congress. "I made it clear, I'll make it clear again, that we will use military might to protect our ally Israel," Bush said. This was the second or third time he's made this pledge, crossing a line that previous administrations would not -- in effect, promulgating a treaty seemingly on the spot. No other country gets this sort of treatment.

Israel's special place in U.S. foreign policy is deserved, in my view, and not entirely the product of lobbying. Israel has earned it, and isn't there something bracing about a special relationship that is not based on oil or markets or strategic location but on shared values? (A bit now like Britain.) But I can understand how foreign policy "realists" such as Mearsheimer and Walt might question its utility and not only think that a bit too much power is located in a specific lobby but that it is rarely even discussed...

An abridged version of the Mearsheimer-Walt paper was published by the London Review of Books and is available online at . Read it and decide for yourself whether it is anti-Semitic. Whatever the case, their argument is hardly rebutted by purple denunciations and smear tactics. Rather than being persuasive, Mearsheimer and Walt's more hysterical critics suggest by their extreme reactions that the duo is on to something. These tactics by Israel's friends sully Israel's good name more than Mearsheimer and Walt ever could.
Sailer's Comment:
Personally, I don't find America's special relationship with Israel all that bad for America. No matter what our relationship with Israel, we'd have lots of problems with the Arabs anyway, because they are Arabs. As I've said several times, the more America stays out of the Middle East, the more we can afford to indulge Israel. But the more we get involved on the ground in Arab countries, and thus become more dependent on not offending Arab popular prejudices, the more our soft spot for Israel becomes excessively expensive. The American Republic could afford favoring Israel, but the American Empire cannot.

Ironically, the chief cheerleaders for an American Empire have also been the chief cheerleaders for Likud, which says a lot about their strategic acumen.

Perhaps we should outsource our foreign policy-making to Israel, because Israeli governments often possess a hard-headed realism that we frequently lack. The Israeli government was a lot less enthusiastic about our Iraq Attaq than the civilians in the Pentagon. It's hard to imagine a Douglas Feith, for example, rising to such a crucial position in an Israeli government. For all his flaws (such as the tendency for massacres to happen on his watch), Ariel Sharon was a great man and a realist. Feith is a fool and a fantasist.

No, the real problem has been twofold: First, Iraq policy has been made not by Israelis but by Israeli-wannabes in Washington, not all of whom are Jewish. As Francis Fukuyama pointed out in The National Interest when Charles Krauthammer implied he was anti-Semitic:

"What I said in my critique of [Krauthammer's] speech was, of course, quite different. I said that there was a very coherent set of strategic ideas that have come out of Israel's experience dealing with the Arabs and the world community, having to do with threat perception, preemption, the relative balance of carrots and sticks to be used in dealing with the Arabs, the United Nations, and the like. Anyone who has dealt with the Arab-Israeli conflict understands these ideas, and many people (myself included) believe that they were well suited to Israel's actual situation. You do not have to he Jewish to understand or adopt these ideas as your own, which is why people like Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld share them. And it is not so hard to understand how one's experience of Arab-Israeli politics can come to color one's broader view of the world: The 1975 "Zionism is racism" resolution deeply discredited the UN, in the eyes of Jews and non-Jews alike, on issues having nothing to do with the Middle East. This is not about Judaism; it is about ideas. It would be quite disingenuous of Charles Krauthammer to assert that his view of how Israel needs to deal with the Arabs (that is, the testicular route to hearts and minds) has no impact on the way he thinks the United States should deal with them. And it is perfectly legitimate to ask whether this is the best way for the United States to proceed."

Sailer again:
Second, you have to be very brave or very secure in your job or very Jewish to point out these facts

UN Postal Archives Sold for a Pittance

UN Investigators are characteristically taking forever and a day to investigate the clandestine sale of its irreplaceable Postal Archive. For anyone who has worked with or for this organization, the "corporate culture" of the UN can baffle and confuse even veterans in the various areas the UN affects or oversees.

Could it be just a coincidence that the only person publicly identified with the clandestine sale of the Postal Archives also happens to be under suspension for possible involvement in the Oil-For-Food scandal? Hmmm.... What would Sherlock say?

To date, the only U.N. official publicly identified with the sale is the man who signed the letter that was included the auction catalogue. He is Andrew Toh, currently Assistant Secretary General of the Office of Central Support Services (OCSS), which includes the UNPA. According to the letter in the Geneva sales catalogue, Toh was then serving as Director of the U.N.’s Facilities and Commercial Services Division.

Toh, who has held his current job since February 2003, is one of eight U.N. officials who was placed on "administrative leave with pay" — effectively suspended — in the wake of revelations about the ongoing procurement scandal. The U.N. emphasized at the time that the suspension was not intended to imply any wrong-doing on Toh’s part. Toh himself told FOX News that he and the others have been unjustly placed "in limbo."

When questioned by FOX News about his postal archive letter, Toh declared that he couldn’t recall the circumstances of the sale, and said that the process leading up to the auction "all started years before."

Yes, all lost in the UN fog of bureaucratic non-accountable chicanery. The article comments on the general, pervasive, all-encompassing incompetence of the UN:
The postal archive sale may be yet another instance of what Paul Volcker’s investigation into the Oil-for-Food scandal described as "systemic problems in United Nations' administration," involving lack of accountability, oversight, or even basic clarity in the organization’s activities. Despite the historic importance of the postal archive, senior U.N. officials contacted by FOX News professed to know nothing about it — including some in departments specifically charged with approving or blocking the dispersion of U.N. historical material.

And it seems a pandemic of forgetfulness in general when the institutional memory of the UN is challenged to dig out the records and find how the invaluable collection ended up being sold outside the specific rules and regs the UN itself has put in place to ensure the probity of its operations:
Official consent forms required under Secretariat rules for the disposal of archival material have not been found in archival records, according to sources familiar with those records. Nor can U.N. sources familiar with the archive section recall any discussion or find any record of approval for the postal archive sale. As one of these archival veterans told FOX News, "I don’t recall anything about it."

Seems scandal-challenged UN SecGen Kofi Annan has to endure another instance of malfeasance under his spectacularly incompetent and dishonest tenure as perhaps the worst Secretary General yet in a hotly-contested field with such notable disasters as Boutros Boutros Ghali and Kurt Waldheim to contend with. Wonder who he'll blame this one on? Bush, of course.

Mexico: A Failed-State Kleptocracy Whose Chief Export is Crime.

Every Congressman and Senator Should be Obliged to Read the Following Testimonial from an American Executive Who had the Misfortune to be Posted to Mexico City---capital of a Thuggish Brutal Corrupt Crime-Syndicate called the Republic of Mexico:

From: "Robert Wenzl"

The following from a director with SW BELL in Mexico City.

"I spent five years working in Mexico.

I worked under a tourist visa for three months and could legally renew it for
three more months. After that you were working illegally. I was technically
illegal for three weeks waiting on the FM3 approval.

During that six months our Mexican and US Attorneys were working to secure a
permanent work visa called a FM3. It was in addition to my US passport that I
had to show each time I entered and left the country. Barbara's was the same
except hers did not permit her to work.

To apply for the FM3 I needed to submit the following notarized originals
(not copies) of my:

1. Birth certificates for Barbara and me.

2. Marriage certificate.

3. High school transcripts and proof of graduation.

4. College transcripts for every college I attended and proof of graduation.

5. Two letters of recommendation from supervisors I had worked for at least
one year.

6. A letter from The ST. Louis Chief of Police indicating I had no arrest
record in the US and no outstanding warrants and was "a citizen in good

7. Finally; I had to write a letter about myself that clearly stated why
there was no Mexican citizen with my skills and why my skills were important to
Mexico. We called it our "I am the greatest person on earth" letter. It was fun
to write.

All of the above were in English that had to be translated into Spanish and
be certified as legal translations and our signatures notarized. It produced a
folder about 1.5 inches thick with English on the left side and Spanish on the

Once they were completed Barbara and I spent about five hours accompanied by
a Mexican attorney touring Mexican government office locations and being
photographed and fingerprinted at least three times. At each location (and we
remember at least four locations) we were instructed on Mexican tax, labor,
housing, and criminal law and that we were required to obey their laws or face
the consequences. We could not protest any of the government's actions or we would
be committing a felony. We paid out four thousand dollars in fees and bribes to
complete the process. When this was done we could legally bring in our
household goods that were held by US customs in Loredo Texas. This meant we
rented furniture in Mexico while awaiting our goods. There were extensive fees
involved here that the company paid.

We could not buy a home and were required to rent at very high rates and
under contract and compliance with Mexican law.

We were required to get a Mexican drivers license. This was an amazing
process. The company arranged for the licensing agency to come to our
location with their photography and finger print equipment and the laminating
machine. We showed our US license, were photographed and fingerprinted again
and issued the license instantly after paying out a six dollar fee. We did not
take a written or driving test and never received instructions on the rules of
the road. Our only instruction was never give a policeman your license if
stopped and asked. We were instructed to hold it against the inside window away
from his grasp. If he got his hands on it you would have to pay ransom to get
it back.

We then had to pay and file Mexican income tax annually using the number of
our FM3 as our ID number. The companies Mexican accountants did this for us and
we just signed what they prepared. I was about twenty legal size pages

The FM 3 was good for three years and renewable for two more after paying
more fees.

Leaving the country meant turning in the FM# and certifying we were leaving
no debts behind and no outstanding legal affairs (warrants, tickets or liens)
before our household goods were released to customs.

It was a real adventure and If any of our senators or congressmen went
through it once they would have a different attitude toward Mexico.

The Mexican Government uses its vast military and police forces to keep its
citizens intimidated and compliant. They never protest at their White House or
government offices but do protest daily in front of the United States Embassy.
The US embassy looks like a strongly reinforced fortress and during most
protests the Mexican Military surround the block with their men standing
to shoulder in full riot gear to protect the Embassy. These protests are never
shown on US or Mexican TV. There is a large public park across the street
where they do their protesting. Anything can cause a protest such as proposed
law changes in California or Texas.

Please feel free to share this with everyone who thinks we are being hard on
illegal immigrants.

Thank God for Congressman Sensenbrenner [R., Wis] and the U.S. House of Representatives. We should build an Israeli-style [or Saudi-style on its Iraqi border] thirty feet high from California to Texas patrolled by volunteer vigilantes empowered to shoot on sight any illegal immigrants crossing the border.

Peggy Noonan: Love Her When She's doing an Aria!

I started out reading kausfiles today and got to a para where he points out "Et tu, Peggy?" for Ms. Noonan's infractions against Republican me-tooism, along the lines of Tony Snow's past criticisms of the Bush track record. I went to the last of Mickey's links to Peggy's nitpickings and found a little gem dating back to February, 2004, in the middle of the primaries just after Howard Dean gave his "I have a scream" speech.

Peggy goes through Bush's manifest failings as a great communicator and compares him unfavorably to Peggy's boss Ronald Reagan, who like Bush could never remember talking points, but had a zest and wit about him that rose above the petty bullet-point mentality that interviews always engender and seek to elicit. [The subject was an uninspired Bush interview by Tim Russert on Meet The Press].

Then Peggy launches into an almost operatic riff on the differences between Democrats, who are political junkies and can recite long lists of talking points verbatim endlessly and [in John Kerry's case] sonorously without a hint of self-consciousness about the serial imbecility of their behaviour. The Democrats are mesmerized by lists and minutiae, enchanted by desk jockeys and petty functionaries regulating and enforcing small-minded codes of legal behavior---hence the disproportionate numbers of lawyers among senior Democratic politicos.

And hence, my own preference for Bill Richardson, a large-minded gentleman with few inhibitions about actually speaking his own mind, rather than reciting agendas of politically correct balderdash about gas prices or whatever else is a target of opportunity to bb-gun cheap-shot artistes of the Howard Dean variety.

And finally, Peggy notes that quite a few Republicans have a philosophical bent that actually inhibits their ability to perform in interviews, as expounding on the decadence of popular political culture and the Untergang des Abendlands just doesn't fit into neat sound bites that an interview demands of its participants. Peggy is too kind to point out that even in the philosophy department, GWB has seriously tongue-tied drawbacks. However, she correctly notes that the average American can see that GWB is just as intelligent as John Kerry [at the time, George's higher GPA at Yale compared to his election opponent was unknown].

She also notes that the pundits and TV editors pounce on every stutter and mumble and mispronounced adjective and malapropism that GWB utters and repeat them in seemingly endless loops. The MSM is ultra-left and loves to ridicule GWB and all his works, even when they are successful, but easy to nitpick.

So I continue to read Peggy and look forward to watching Tony Snow fend off the ravers and spewing sputum-flecked WH newsies as they jockey for the most anti-Bush question of the day during feeding time in the press pit.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

CNN Propaganda Machine Full Throttle on Iraq

I happened to catch a bit of commentary by a female CNN correspondent named Arwa Damon evidently in the press entourage with Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleeza Rice during their quick visit to Iraq.

This specimen of disinformation proceeded to say that "all" the soldiers in Iraq she had spoken to had said that the visit would not make any difference in the overall fight to liberate Iraq. As if that were the purpose of the visit, rather than a fact-finding and morale-boosting stop in an important US policy area.

Then this attitudinally-maladjusted employee of a rapidly-diminishing MSM cable outlet went on to make a totally unprovable and completely biased statement to the effect that ALL the soldiers in Iraq want is to get out of there and get back home. Not that they all want to get back home. But that that sentiment is all they want.

Where does CNN find such incompetent losers, or perhaps that's the type of "journalist" they are looking for?

How this imbecilic agitprop disseminator was able to divine the sentiments of "ALL" the soldiers and get the information that "ALL" they wanted was to go home was left unstated, because this piece of journalistic nonsense obviously didn't and probably never will have a clue as to anything but what her puppeteer Jon Klein and his crew of defeatist losers want hear from her and dozens of other CNN marionettes chanting leftist mantras as though it was "news."

And CNN ratings continue to tank, as an American public can see through phonies like Klein and his horde of lying losers.

Remember when chronic drunk atheist said that CNN would squash Fox News like a "bug?"
Of course, Turner was probably drunk or high on illegal substances at the time he said this. Thankfully, he has been s***canned for incompetence and mindless idiocy in public that embarrassed both his CNN outlets and the parent companies that got rid of him as soon as they could. And of course, Fox now exceeds CNN in both ratings and quality of news.

Turner for his part turned the American "dream" into a drugged-up alcoholic haze.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hitchens: Time for a Special Prosecutor?

Christopher Hitchens uses his Slate soapbox to slice and dice the discredited 42nd President for bombing a Sudanese pharma factory to distract from his dalliances with portly sex-object Monica L. Hitchens masterfully does an autopsy on the feckless rogue CIA before and after 9/11:

That [Sudanese second-guessing by senior CIA types] was an exceptionally rich harvest of high-level disagreement overridden by a sitting president. And it strengthened the case for, to put it no higher, more "transparency" in the famously overpaid and underperforming CIA. This case has become no weaker, to say the least, in the years of George Tenet and other Clinton holdovers who left us under open skies on Sept. 11, 2001.

But now, instead of being rewarded for her probity, Mary McCarthy has been given the sack. And the New York Times rushes to her aid, with a three-hankie story on April 23, moistly titled "Colleagues Say Fired CIA Analyst Played by the Rules." This is only strictly true if she confined her disagreement to official channels, as she did when she wrote to Clinton in 1998. Sadly enough, the same article concedes that McCarthy may have lied and then eventually told the truth about having unauthorized contact with members of the press.

Well! In that case the remedy is clear. A special counsel must be appointed forthwith, to discover whether the CIA has been manipulating the media. All civil servants and all reporters with knowledge must be urged to comply, and to produce their notes or see the inside of a jail. No effort must be spared to discover the leaker. This is, after all, the line sternly proposed by the New York Times and many other media outlets in the matter of the blessed Joseph Wilson and his martyred CIA spouse, Valerie Plame.

I have a sense that this is not the media line that will be taken in the case of McCarthy, any more than it was the line taken when James Risen and others disclosed the domestic wiretapping being conducted by the NSA. Risen's story is also the object of an investigation into unlawful disclosure. One can argue that national security is damaged by unauthorized leaks, or one can argue that democracy is enhanced by them. But one cannot argue, in the case of a man who says that his CIA wife did not send him to Niger, that the proof that his wife did send him to Niger must remain a state secret. If one concerned official can brief the press off the record, then so can another.

It has long been pretty obvious to me that the official-secrecy faction within the state machinery has received a gigantic fillip from the press witch hunt against Lewis Libby and Karl Rove. What bureaucrat could believe the luck of an editorial campaign to uncover and punish leaking? A campaign that furthermore invokes the most reactionary law against disclosure this century: the Intelligence Identities Protection Act? It was obvious from the first that the press, in taking Wilson and Plame at their own estimation, was fashioning a rod for its own back. I await the squeals that will follow when this rod is applied, which it will be again and again.

Joseph Wilson update: In my article last week on Wilson's utter failure to notice the visit of Saddam Hussein's chief nuclear diplomat to Niger, I mentioned his substitution of another Iraqi name—Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf—as having just possibly approached some Niger businessmen and officials at an OAU summit in Algeria in 1999. Sahaf is now better known to us as the risible figure of "Baghdad Bob," which allowed Wilson to make mock of the whole thing. It is almost irrelevant when set beside the visit of Wissam al-Zahawie to Niger itself the same year, but at the time he attended the Algiers meeting, "Baghdad Bob" was—as I ought to have known and have since found out—Saddam Hussein's foreign minister. This fact is not mentioned in Wilson's terrible book, either. And Sahaf still had time to meet with some people from a tiny African state known only for its uranium!

Wilson now can be unmasked as an agent provocateur, in a passive sense, for a CIA faction aiming to discredit GWB's intention to invade Iraq. The British MI-6 still insists there was some connection between Iraq and Niger, but the MSM has gone tabloid and found a Special Prosecutor to serve in Ken Starr's role vis-a-vis Bush.

Another Special Prosecutor will be investigating real treason, not the third-tier desk jockeys that Plame and her compliant hubby, both gold-diggers on the make, obviously turned out to be.

Rogue CIA Leakers Imperiled as IG Officer McCarthy Busted

Looks like the polygraph-flunker Mary O. McCarthy denies leaking secrets to Dana Priest for the Pulitzer-winning secret prisons story [which has never been proven by frantic EU searches for the supposed "secret prisons"]. Her credibility with the MSM is unscathed by her inability to pass lie-detecter tests, which girlie-men oath-breakers like Larry Johnson and Roy McGovern will deny have any credibility or usefulness.

Allahpundit has a long blogroll of articles and blogs pertaining to the busted McCarthy, whose meteoric rise in the CIA may have been assisted [dare I surmise] by hidden hands with similar agendas?

For instance, McCarthy and discredited whistleblower Wilson may have conspired to embarrass the Bush Administration on the yellowcake/Niger connection. As Christopher Hitchens has pointed out, Wilson had no expertise on WMD or much else in Africa, and was probably sent as part of a nepotistic [both marital and ideological] cabal to undermine GWB's GWOT.

Feckless Eff-Up James Scheuer was too busy publishing anti-Bush agitprop to properly do his job catching UbL. Funny how these left-wingers mess up and then point fingers [like the massive decades-long CIA wrongheadedness on the USSR---not the spooks fault that the USSR crumbled---that was the fault of Reagan and the Pope].

The best part of Allahpundit's piece is as follows [has anyone else noted that the huge national security leaks are usually accompanied by photos of Rove and Libby---as if Plame were some sort of VIP? The MSM uses old NKVD agitprop tricks as a matter of course]:
Porter Goss personally oversaw the McCarthy investigation instead of handing it off to the DOJ per standard protocol. Why? Maybe because he wanted to send a message to other CIA employees. Maybe because the story she spilled the beans on was so sensitive. Or maybe because McCarthy, by virtue of her position in the IG’s office, is perfectly positioned to roll over on other leakers inside the agency. If anyone’s likely to know who else is leaking, it stands to reason it’d be someone within the CIA’s version of internal affairs; possibly Goss figures that if he knocks her over, a lot of other dominos will tumble. There do seem to be plenty of other dominos out there: nearly every story this weekend about McCarthy emphasized that her dismissal is part of a broader campaign to ferret out leakers in various parts of the intelligence community. This AP story – illustrated with a photo of Scooter Libby, natch – claims there are “dozens” of leak investigations under way. And one sensational report from MichNews quoted former DoD official (and current NRO contributor) Jed Babbin as saying the crackdown may lead to polygraph tests for Democratic Senators Jay Rockefeller and Dick Durbin, both of whom have been accused of leaks in the past. It’s not clear from the article whether Babbin has an inside scoop or whether he’s just thinking out loud, but wild speculation sure is fun!

Yes, it sure would be great to see moles like Durbin and Rockefeller spewing out epithets like "Hitler" and "Nazis" again if and when their perfidy were unmasked. Too bad that probably won't happen, as the Senate is full of leakers on both sides of the aisle and will probably provoke their own skewed "legislative privilege" arguments.

Too bad Bush will probably allow himself to be Mau-Maued by the MSM's elevation of Mary McCarthy into an existential hero. A rogue CIA needs to be brought under control, and GWB will probably blink rather than wade into a bloodbath at Langley.

UPDATE: More fun for connect-the-dotters:
Righty bloggers have also been having fun playing connect-the-dots with the various moonbat hearthrobs making cameos in this story: McCarthy, Beers, Richard Clarke (for whom McCarthy once worked at the NSC), Joe Wilson, John Kerry (who received the lion’s share of the McCarthys’ political donations), and Dana Priest and her husband William Goodfellow, who happens to be Executive Director of the Center for International Policy, which advocates rapprochement with Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Smells real bad, but there’s much less here than meets the eye: as mentioned above, the best anyone’s been able to do thus far conspiracy-wise is put McCarthy and Wilson on the NSC at the same time eight years ago, which is hardly damning. Some bloggers have attempted to link Goodfellow’s CIP to something called the Iraq Policy Information Program, which allegedly arranges anti-war speaking gigs for Joey Yellowcake. I’ve tried Googling the IPIP, though, and I can’t even find independent confirmation that it exists. The only mentions of it come from Discover The Network, FrontPage, Free Republic, and a few righty blogs. If anyone can help, I’d appreciate it. UPDATE: Existence confirmed. See below.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Long Range: Bush Has History on his Side

Natan Scharansky is a man who paid dearly for his belief in democracy and ultimately succeeded. He spent nine years incarcerated, and like John McCain, came out a better man for the experience.
Today, we are in the midst of a great struggle between the forces of terror and the forces of freedom. The greatest weapon that the free world possesses in this struggle is the awesome power of its ideas.

The Bush Doctrine, based on a recognition of the dangers posed by non-democratic regimes and on committing the United States to support the advance of democracy, offers hope to many dissident voices struggling to bring democracy to their own countries. The democratic earthquake it has helped unleash, even with all the dangers its tremors entail, offers the promise of a more peaceful world.

Yet with each passing day, new voices are added to the chorus of that doctrine's opponents, and the circle of its supporters grows ever smaller.
Critics rail against every step on the new and difficult road on which the United States has embarked. Yet in pointing out the many pitfalls which have not been avoided and those which still can be, those critics would be wise to remember that the alternative road leads to the continued oppression of hundreds of millions of people and the continued festering of the pathologies that led to 9/11.

Now that President Bush is increasingly alone in pushing for freedom, I can only hope that his dissident spirit will continue to persevere. For should that spirit break, evil will indeed triumph, and the consequences for our world would be disastrous.

We should remember that the totalitarian right and the totalitarian left have both been defeated in the last century. Bush is continuing to fight the good fight, now against religious extremists abroad and defeatist degenerates at home. Our future must neither be an Islamic Ummah nor a feminized effete France.

Bush is the happy medium.

And that makes the enemies of American democracy very unhappy.

Schlesinger's the Proof: No Fool Like An Old Fool.

Ed Driscoll points out how the always fraudulent scholarship of Arthur Schlesinger Jr goes way back before his recent mis-statements in the Washington Post. Here is a hilarious piece dug up concerning the spurious imposter Schlesinger before his senility became dominating:
HatTip: inopinion

"after Arthur Schlesinger, just back from a trip to Moscow in 1982, said that President Reagan was delusional about the crumbling state of the Evil Empire:"
"I found more goods in the shops, more food in the markets, more cars on the street -- more of almost everything," he said, adding his contempt for "those in the U.S. who think the Soviet Union is on the verge of economic and social collapse, ready with one small push to go over the brink."

This pungent fruitcake of the left thought a stroll around Moscow's diplomatic quarter constituted proof of the economic strength of the USSR just a few years before it crumbled into the dustbin of history. Guess whose side he was on: Reagan's America or the Communist USSR?

Old Fools never die; they just write Op-Ed pieces for the NYT and WaPo.

Oh, and a Postscript: Schlesinger quotes Abe Lincoln, a Republican, but wrote The Age of Jackson, which got him a Pulitzer for Left-Wing Extremism, in this case extolling and exalting a Democrat who defied the US Supreme Court with his famous extra-constitutional remark: "SCOTUS has made its decision, now let it enforce it." Even in its infancy, even before the Civil War, the Democrats scorned the US Constitution, as the Dem Corps in the CIA and MSM do today.

Politicized CIA Tilts Leftward, Extralegally

Apropos of my previous blog's last paragraphs, Andy McCarthy has an interesting riposte to the lefty blogger Josh Marshall that Mary McCarthy's large political donations for Kerry make no difference concerning her treasonous acts.

Andy on NRO Online has the following exposition refuting the fatuous arguments that a spy's personal politics should be out:
[Mary]McCarthy’s situation cannot be considered in a vacuum. Even with McCarthy considered alone, we are not talking about a single leak – the reporting indicates that she may be a serial leaker, the black-sites story being only the most prominent instance. But the broader context here is an intelligence community that was, quite brazenly, leaking in a manner designed to topple a sitting president. A big question here -- maybe not for purposes of guilt under the espionage act, but for the more important policy issue of a politicized CIA -- is whether she was part of a campaign that was grossly inappropriate for the intelligence community to engage in.

Remember Michael Scheuer, aka “Anonymous.” It is simply dumbfounding that, as an intelligence officer heading up the bin Laden team (i.e., the unit targeting the number one, active national security problem facing the country) he was permitted by the CIA to write books about what he was doing. He has indicated, though, that it was fine with the agency as long as he was slamming the Bush administration.

Valerie Plame Wilson thought the whole Bush administration notion that Saddam was trying to arm up with nukes was crazy. She maneuvered to have, not an objective analyst, but her husband – with no WMD expertise but an enemy of the president’s policy – sent to Niger, whence he returned and wrote a highly partisan, misleading and damaging op-ed in the NYTimes about the Bush administration’s case for toppling Saddam … which op-ed he was permitted by the self-same CIA to write notwithstanding that his trip was (and should have been) classified.

All the while, there has been a steady drumbeat from the former intelligence officers – who anonymously fill Seymour Hersh books when they are not venting their spleens on the record – attacking every aspect of the administration’s handling of the war on terror.

This has all been steady since 9/11. But it was especially frenetic in the run-up to the 2004 election (and the flavor of it ran throughout the 9/11 Commission hearings and, to a somewhat more muted extent, in the Commission’s final report). The transparent purpose of it was to get Senator Kerry elected.

Now we find that an intelligence officer who was leaking information very damaging to Bush was a Kerry backer to a degree that was extraordinary for a single person on a government salary, and, even more extraordinarily, gave $5K of her own money to Democrats in the key swing state (Ohio) that, in the end, did actually decide the election.

From where I sit, that’s pretty damn relevant.

Yes, to everyone except the exempt multicultural MSM and their CIA outlying sources this looks like a politicized attempt to overthrow the established policies of a duly-elected administration by extra-constitutional means.

In a word, TREASON, entrenched in an intelligence organization whose members put their own agendas ahead of the American national interest.

Repulsive Twit Snoop at LAT Fired for Fake Names

Just when you started to believe that the left side of the blogosphere was pretty much totally populated by insane screeching females with compulsive hatred toward religion and the US Constitution [My Left Wing], along comes the story of a snooping anonymous weirdo male at the Los Angeles Times who unsurprisingly represents the ultra-left side of the state's leftish politics.

Howie Kurtz at the Washington Post has the goods on this moral leper, but in characteristic fashion lets his sources do the talking.
The Times suspended Hiltzik's blog on the paper's Web site last week after he admitted using one or more pseudonyms, in violation of the company's policy, to post derogatory comments on his and other people's blogs. The anonymous blasts by "Mikekoshi" were usually aimed at the same people he peppers on his Golden State blog, which is far more personal and inflammatory than his newspaper column on financial issues. Hiltzik also got into trouble in 1993, when the Times recalled him from the paper's Moscow bureau after he was caught hacking into colleagues' e-mail. He was exposed through an internal sting operation when he asked about phony messages that had been sent to other staffers in the bureau. "His answer was that he was nosy and curious," says Carey Goldberg, a former colleague in the Moscow bureau who now works for the Boston Globe. "We were extremely upset. It was an incredible invasion of privacy. There were a lot of personal e-mails in there."

Well, so we've established that this is a true low-life snooper and just the kind of colleague you don't want working with you on overseas journalistic assignments. But this creep has very few friends stateside alse. Another journalist has this:
Seipp says Hiltzik has apparently been taking potshots at her because she criticized him at the time of the 13-year-old incident. While Hiltzik is "a very smart reporter and writer," Seipp says, his behavior "suggests that this guy has a history of snooping around and is dishonest and doing things he shouldn't be doing. It's also self-destructive."

But of course, there's "no fault on the left," as the Leninist maxim holds and the usual it's okay because he was bashing Bush and the GWB supporters:
Claude Brodesser, who writes a Los Angeles column for the Web site Media Bistro, writes that anonymous posting is part of the Internet culture and that even reporters should enjoy that freedom. "Hiltzik might have cloaked his identity -- something seemingly at variance with the Times' policies -- but what he did was hardly lying or, for that matter, extortion," Brodesser says.

And so it goes. Lying, deception, treason: all okay if Kerry supporters and Berger proteges leak CIA national secrets to left-wing newspapers to weaken Bush. But Bush cannot declassify documents to support his own case like every other president, including sanctimonious prig Gee-mah Carter has done, because that's unfair.

Maybe we should allow the CIA senior-level Clintonista holdouts to blog anonymously and complete shred this country's credibility as anything other than a left-wing nuthouse.

But in the meantime, the CIA left-winger McCarthy should be prosecuted with extreme prejudice. I want to see the journalistic termites come out and defend treason openly, instead of aiding and abetting it under the table.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

THE SKY IS FALLING---again and again, etc!

Mark Steyn has his usual trenchant analysis on the preposterous blubbering idiot who was VEEP under Clinton and who now has his own TV network. You know, the one the state of Florida should be eternally thanked by the rest of the country for keeping this boring fool out of the White House. Here's Mark on Al Borebot:
Do you worry? You look like you do. Worrying is the way the responsible citizen of an advanced society demonstrates his virtue: He feels good by feeling bad.
But what to worry about? Iranian nukes? Nah, that's just some racket cooked up by the Christian fundamentalist Bush and his Zionist buddies to give Halliburton a pretext to take over the Persian carpet industry. Worrying about nukes is so '80s. "They make me want to throw up. . . . They make me feel sick to my stomach," wrote the British novelist Martin Amis, who couldn't stop thinking about them 20 years ago. In the intro to a collection of short stories, he worried about the Big One and outlined his own plan for coping with a nuclear winter wonderland:

"Suppose I survive," he fretted. "Suppose my eyes aren't pouring down my face, suppose I am untouched by the hurricane of secondary missiles that all mortar, metal and glass has abruptly become: Suppose all this. I shall be obliged (and it's the last thing I feel like doing) to retrace that long mile home, through the firestorm, the remains of the thousands-miles-an-hour winds, the warped atoms, the groveling dead. Then -- God willing, if I still have the strength, and, of course, if they are still alive -- I must find my wife and children and I must kill them."

But the Big One never fell. And instead of killing his wife Martin Amis had to make do with divorcing her. Back then it was just crazies like Reagan and Thatcher who had nukes, so you can understand why everyone was terrified. But now Kim Jong-Il and the ayatollahs have them, so we're all sophisticated and relaxed about it, like the French hearing that their president's acquired a couple more mistresses. Martin Amis hasn't thrown up a word about the subject in years. To the best of my knowledge, he has no plans to kill the present Mrs. Amis.

So what should we worry about? How about -- stop me if you've heard this one before -- "climate change"? That's the subject of Al Gore's new movie, ''An Inconvenient Truth.''

Yes, meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Only instead of nukes, it's CO2. Golly! Mark goes on to bring up the new Earth Day sect/cult's ascendancy:
The mullahs won't get a chance to nuke us because, thanks to rising sea levels, Tehran will be under water. The editor of the New Yorker, David Remnick, says the Earth will "likely be an uninhabitable planet." The archbishop of Canterbury, in a desperate attempt to cut the Anglican Communion a slice of the Gaia-worship self-flagellation action, demands government "coercion" on everything from reduced speed limits to ending cheap air travel "if we want the global economy not to collapse and millions, billions of people to die."

Environmentalism doesn't need the support of the church, it's a church in itself -- and furthermore, one explicitly at odds with Christianity: God sent His son to Earth as a man, not as a three-toed tree sloth or an Antarctic krill. An environmentalist can believe man is no more than a co-equal planet dweller with millions of other species, and that he's taking up more than his fair share and needs to reduce both his profile and his numbers. But that's profoundly hostile to Christianity.

Almost as hostile to Christianity as the Archbishop of Canterbury, or Bishops Spong and Griswold and the fey Bishop Gene Robinson of the angelic Anglican geldings. Steyn points out very inconveniently for the latest faddist and nudist-colony social lepers that from 1940-70, the same insane leftist maniac hysterical hyperbolic morons were talking crazily about "global cooling" and how we were on the cusp of a New Ice Age. The glaciers were poised to come rolling down the fjords and Alpine valleys, until:
Here's an inconvenient truth for "An Inconvenient Truth": Remember what they used to call "climate change"? "Global warming." And what did they call it before that? "Global cooling." That was the big worry in the '70s: the forthcoming ice age. Back then, Lowell Ponte had a huge best seller called The Cooling: Has the new ice age already begun? Can we survive?

The answer to the first question was: Yes, it had begun. From 1940 to 1970, there was very slight global cooling. That's why the doom-mongers decided the big bucks were in the new-ice-age blockbusters.

And yet, amazingly, we've survived. Why? Because in 1970 the planet stopped its very slight global cooling and began to undergo very slight global warming. So in the '80s, the doom-mongers cast off their thermal underwear, climbed into the leopardskin thongs, slathered themselves in sun cream and wired their publishers to change all references to "cooling" to "warming" for the paperback edition. That's why, if you notice, the global-warming crowd begin their scare statistics with "since 1970," an unlikely Year Zero which would not otherwise merit the significance the eco-crowd invest in it.

But then in 1998 the planet stopped its very slight global warming and began to resume very slight global cooling. And this time the doom-mongers said, "Look, do we really want to rewrite the bumper stickers every 30 years? Let's just call it 'climate change.' That pretty much covers it."

So we're still stuck on warming, or rather STUCK ON STUPID, as the trenchant analyst of the New Orleans Katrina aftermath incisively put it. Steyn finally hits on what appears to be a wonderful solution: self-culling.
Given the plummeting birthrates in Europe, Russia, Japan, etc., a large chunk of the world has evidently decided to take preemptive action on climate change and opt for self-extinction. Pace the New Yorker, much of the planet will be uninhabited long before it's uninhabitable. The Belgian climate specialist will be on the endangered species list with the spotted owl. Blue-state eco-bores will be finding the international sustainable-development conferences a lot lonelier.

What are the chattering classes going to worry about after they extinct themselves through abortion and non-sustainability?

Probably the barbarians at the gate; and they will be speaking an Asian language or two or three. And they will carve up the feminized girlie-men prelates and academicides for a nice amuse-guele before carrying off [probably grateful] womenfolk to propagate manly Asiatics who know how to kick girlie-men's asses.

I just wonder what Naomi Wolf would have thought if she survived the takeover.

Gateway Pundit: Today's Culture of Treason: Scooter's Back! & Dana's Pinko Hubby

Gateway Pundit: Today's Culture of Treason: Scooter's Back! & Dana's Pinko Hubby

Treason on the Left: Berger Conspiracy Exposed!

Gateway Pundit has a good sum-up of the connections on just how cozy with each other all the traitors connected to Dana Priest and James Risen, the two traitors who won the Pulitzers this year. Mark Levin:
They're fixated with the weather and gas prices — and anything else that will divert the public's attention from the stunning revelation that a Sandy Berger crony has apparently been leaking top-secret information from her high post at the CIA. The media will continue to downplay this story as they cover-up their own role in exposing our nation's secrets, including the supposed existence of CIA prisons in Europe.

She'll be called a "whistleblower" and praised as some kind of patriot (a patriot, in the eyes of the media, is anybody who undermines this administration and the war effort by leaking national security secrets to them). They will downplay that McCarthy was a Clintonoid who somehow managed to land a top post at the CIA, ultimately winding up in the CIA's Inspector General's Office, from where she could monitor CIA internal investigations of, well, leaks, among other things.

The news spin, to the extent attention is being paid to this by the big media outlets, is that McCarthy's firing is unprecedented! Or it's Bush's fault! In one of the most absurd comments by any newsman anywhere, notes that Bob Schieffer of CBS Evening News asserted that "it is no secret that the current administration does not like its people hanging out with news reporters without permission" and he described the firing as "a first — a dubious first, to be sure." Here. Is this guy for real?

Newbusters also quotes plagiarizer Nina Totenberg along the same lines as the perfidious Shieffer.

The MSM colludes with Muslim terrorists to weaken America. And none dare call it treason.

NYT: All the PR Fit to Print

The continuing slide in the NYT stock price is mirrored by its sloppy, lazy journalistic standards, obviously aided by an ideological favoritism towards Clintonistas, that Mickey Kaus unmasks in his latest irrepressibly funny deconstruction of the old Grey Hooker on the Hudson:
"New York Times Scammed by Clinton-Burkle Spin? The NYT's John Broder and Patrick Healy describe the origins of the life-giving friendship between Bill Clinton and Ron Burkle with a PR-perfect paragraph that should have set off the BS-meter:"

You really have to link the article to understand how the blowsy old hooker NYT kow-tows to Burkle and Clinton, including a quote by Burkle that Bill Clinton "spends 500 hours/year with me going around on my private plane to humanitarian activities" besides mentioning how other ex-Presidents have profitably prostituted themselves for lucre after their terms of office [except for Gee-Mah the Eff-Up Carter, who gets praised by the NYT for messing up the monitoring of elections around the world with his clueless platitudes.]

It turns out that Burkle may be the NYT's new humanitarian-of-the-month because he invests in losing enterprises like Al Gore's invisible TV network and donates mucho dinero to the Democrats.

Of course, no mention was made of Burkle's very messy divorce in the NYT, nor of the New York Post Page Six psychodrama Burkle instigated, possibly to keep his divorce papers from going public.

Nor does the Op-Ed piece in the NY Post concerning the $500 million investment the California Pension Fund has invested in Burkle's Yucaipa Enterprise get mention in the NYT, which reserves its Pulitzer-reporting to treasonous law-breaking exposes of America's national security defenses. [It's obvious to all but the NYT that there is a giant slush-enterprise operating at the Burkle Company HQ that reeks of Democratic Party cronyism].

As the NYT stock price plummets further south, perhaps the CALPERS Democratic slush operation might decide to subsidize this agitprop outlet of the MSM's leftish fringe.

Charlie Sheen: Left-Wing Darling's Personal Foibles

If you have any doubts that the path of free expression and total civil liberties inevitably leads to edifying behavior, then the personal odyssey of paragon of Conspiracy Theories Charlie Sheen may solidy those doubts.

The morality of prating lefty celebrity-pundits has always been suspect. But it must be said that along with his fellow substance-abusing wife-deserter pal Alec Baldwin, Sheen paves the way for the Brat Pack's progress [or is it dissolution] into middle age.

Predictably this will exalt him even higher in the anarchic left's pantheon of heroes. Here is a snippet from wife Denis's sworn affadavit:
In a remarkable sworn declaration (a copy of which you'll find below) filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court, Richards also charges that Sheen, 40, assaulted her and threatened her life during a December 30 incident at the actress's Los Angeles home. Richards claims that an enraged Sheen--who was over for a visit with the couple's two children--told her she was "fucking with the wrong guy" and called her a series of vulgar names in front of the children. The actor, Richards said, then shoved her to the ground and screamed, "I hope you f--king die, bitch." As Richards, 35, tells it, Sheen was angry because she had told her divorce attorney about discovering details of Sheen's porn-surfing practices. Richards's declaration, filed in support of her request for a restraining order against Sheen, contends that Sheen "belonged" to "disturbing" sites "which promoted very young girls, who looked underage to me with pigtails, braces, and no pubic hair performing oral sex with each other." Other sites visited by Sheen, Richards alleges, involved "gay pornography also involving very young men who also did not look like adults." Richards claims that she also discovered that Sheen "belonged to several sex search type sites" on which he "looked for women to have sex with." His online profile, Richards adds, included a photo of "his erect penis." The Richards evisceration also portrays Sheen as a lousy father who urged her to abort their first child. And, when she was about to give birth to their second child via a C-section, Sheen's attention was "diverted to his pager for the results of his betting." (17 pages)

Read the whole 17 Smoking Gun pages to find out what a swell fellow the son of proselytizing Catholic-weirdo Martin has become, presumably because of the father's ultra-leftist beliefs in the eternal perfectability of mankind.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

CIA Leaker "Played by Rules" says NYT

The MSM has a very hard time coming to terms with the fact that it plays fast and loose with America's national security while it plays extremely tight with frivolous unimportant coups de pouce like the spurious specious Plame kerfuffle.

This is inadvertently [?]revealed by the headline today in America's most anti-American MSM outlet, the fast-and-loose-with-national-securityNew York Times which has the ridiculous headline: Colleagues Say C.I.A. Analyst Played by Rules leading one to ask: What rules?

It turns out that they may mean the "Sandy Berger" rules, which means stuffing your clothes with Top Secret documents from a National Archives viewing room. Or the "Bill Clinton" rules, which means that we shouldn't take Osama bin Laden from Sudan because our lawyers foresee all sorts of problems, so let's let them export him to Afghanistan. [The treasonous suspect McCarthy was already a member of the NSC for Warning at the time and would have been involved in making the determination.]

Yes, it is treason to hand over Top Secret info to major US outlets, whether the treasonous Pulitzer Committee, famous for giving a Journalism Prize to Walter Duranty, a traitor working for, who else? the NYT, back during the Stalin Purge Trials [Duranty bathed the vicious dictator in praise, exciting the Pulitzer Committee enough to give him one of their America-bashing awards]. Or maybe it is the "Colleagues" cited in the article, all of whom appear to have worked in the incompetent Clinton Administration, which fought terrorism with cruise missiles. Messrs Simon and the ubiquitous Bush-basher Johnson are hardly trustworthy character witnesses for the treasonous McCarthy.

The great news is that the whole "secret prisons" gambit may be a sting operation by the CIA to ensnare the Clintonista leak-brigade, a la the plumbers of long ago, and have caught a senior CIA functionary.

She should be prosecuted by the Justice Department with extreme prejudice, and never mind the MSM baying to the moon about her good intentions, and all that Frenchified girlie-man blather.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Pres Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan comes to DC

The problem with some of the world's best newspapers lies in their pay-to-read online commentary or Op-Ed pieces. A prime example is how the Financial Times buries its sometimes brilliant editorial content in pay-per-view slots. Today's less-than-insightful comments by Philip Stephans on the next visit of a head of state to DC, President Ilham Aliyev, to meet GWB at the White House, however, do not reach the FT's usual level of excellence.

I was one of the control officers at Amoco Corporation's HQ in the Standard Oil Building in Chicago when Ilham came through town in 1995 during negotiations over the pipeline from Baku to the Mediterranean. For about three hours, there was a hole in his schedule and he and I simply hung out in the Amoco Boardroom and then walked down to the Loop for a short time. He was modest, unassuming, and gracious; very unlike his father Heydar whom I met only once, but had an overpowering aura of authority and Soviet brutality about him.

Stephens points out that Azerbaijan has lots of oil, a recently-completed pipeline to the West, and is a strategic geographic keystone to the troubled areas of the region---Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and the Caucasus.

Stephens unaccountably praises Aliyev fils for his pro-Western attitude, but turns up his nose at the sins of omission supposedly committed in the recent elections, which then, of course, gets laid like everything else nowadays at Bush's door as Bush's fault. Stephens then claims, without going through the drudgery of pointing them out, that there are many ways Washington could pressure the Azeris to reform.

Stephens mentions the clannish nature of Azeri politics, but doesn't mention the on-again, off-again hostilities with neighboring Armenia, nor does he mention Vladimir Putin's desire to overturn the Azeri policy toward Washington, nor does he mention a huge number of refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh that still remain unhoused.

But this FT philosopher does point out that Azerbaijan is one of "the easiest cases" to push for reform.

I'm sure Condi and the NSC Advisor would love to hear Mr. Stephens' suggestions in detail in camera, since he hasn't shared them with his reading audience.

Danes: Troublesome Cartoons and Liquor Problems

My blogging has been interrupted by troubles with Internet Explorer---Gates & Co are too busy hosting Hu Jing Tao in Seattle to mind their browser! So excuse the hiatus and weird linking problems that are only partly my fault.

The Miami Herald has an article on a Danish supermodel getting arrested for a brawl with a [presumably female] flight attendant on a Martinair flight to Miami from Amsterdam.

I flew in Martinair both ways from Jeddah to Jakarta and back, in the company of some former Dutch bush pilots who let me fly in the cockpit of the giant McDonnell-Douglas DC-10.

More vividly, when I was US Vice Consul in Lyon, my Vice Consul colleague from Denmark introduced me to the wonders of Akvavit [sp?]

I was young and strong in those days and ended up carrying him from a French bar on my back partly across downtown Lyon when he passed out trying to do shooters with the appropriate fish aperitif-amuse-gueles.

Ah yes, I wasn't even stopped by the gendarmes or CRS, who were always on the prowl for disruptive students back in the day. I was in my late twenties, and our consular IDs would have sufficed, but no notice was taken since it was after dark and a cold winter night.

So Danes and liquor are one of those subliminal memories; as is another bizarre episode with the Dutch Judo Team at Expo 67 in Montreal, when I was almost creamed by a Dutch gentleman [allegedly a Judo champion] built like a house who accused me of drinking a giant stein of his excellent Dutch beer while chatting up his girl. [I was guilty and afterward actually made it to third base with the girl from Missouri.] But I ran and lived to fight another day. French genes somewhere back there, I guess.

I have many more memories that occasionally surface after decades.

"Others drink to forget, the Irish drink to remember."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

British Facing Far Right Reaction to Immigration

Fascists on the Rise is the name of a piece about the upcoming council elections in the U.K.

The prospect of electoral success for the fascists of the BNP has been the subject of several news stories this Bank Holiday weekend.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation said up to 25% of voters admitted they "might vote" for the far-right party.
It put the support down to feelings of "powerlessness and frustration".
The BNP has said it is putting up more candidates than ever before - 356 - for May's local elections.
It currently has 15 councillors in councils across England.
At the launch of the party's campaign on Good Friday, Mr Griffin said the party could add "another 15 or 20" council seats to its tally.

Labour MPs worried about the rise of the British National Party (BNP) are setting up a parallel campaign organisation because they fear their own party is not doing enough to counter the far-Right.

More than 50 MPs in areas where the BNP is strong are working closely on tactics with the new organisation - Labour Friends of Searchlight - before May 4's local elections, in which it is feared the extremists will at least double their number of council seats
Every Labour MP has been sent a letter alerting them to the need for a more highly organised anti-BNP strategy.

Jon Cruddas, the Labour MP for Dagenham and a former No 10 adviser, said the threat could no longer be ignored. Because of the electoral system, Labour, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats tended to concentrate their election efforts on key marginal seats, overlooking their "core vote".
"But we have to complement the current strategy in key marginals with one that also addresses some of the consequences in our traditional Labour heartlands. That is what we are trying to do."
Labour Friends of Searchlight campaign, which also helps the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats against the BNP, is led by Frank Dobson, the former Labour Cabinet minister. It is concentrating on bringing sophisticated canvassing, mailing and leafletting approaches to those areas where Labour is strong but the BNP is on the rise.

Margaret Hodge gives an interview reminiscent of Thatcher's 1978 "swamping" speech: a moment which was widely regarded as having taken the wind out of the National Front's sails, by courting its voters:

In a sensational claim, Margaret Hodge, one of Tony Blair's closest allies, said that eight out of 10 white people in her east London constituency of Barking are threatening to vote for the far-Right party in next month's local elections. Once traditional Labour supporters are angry at a lack of affordable housing - and blame immigration, and Labour, for the changes.

"They can't get a home for their children, they see black and ethnic minority communities moving in and they are angry," said Mrs Hodge, the employment minister. "When I knock on doors I say to people, 'are you tempted to vote BNP?' and many, many, many - eight out of 10 of the white families - say 'yes'. That's something we have never seen before, in all my years. Even when people voted BNP, they used to be ashamed to vote BNP. Now they are not." Mrs Hodge said the pace of ethnic change in her area had frightened people. "What has happened in Barking and Dagenham is the most rapid transformation of a community we have ever witnessed.

"Nowhere else has changed so fast. When I arrived in 1994, it was a predominantly white, working class area. Now, go through the middle of Barking and you could be in Camden or Brixton. That is the key thing that has created the environment the BNP has sought to exploit." Mrs Hodge claimed the anger is not down to racism. "It is a fear of change. It is gobsmacking change."