Friday, June 30, 2006

Palestinian PM accuses Israel of Premeditation on Abducted Solder

Along the lines of the US academic wonders claiming 9/11 was prearranged by the US govt to enable attacks on the Arab/Islamic world, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya accused Israel of a "premeditated plan" to destroy the Hamas-led Palestinian government.

Yep, that's right. This perceptive world-renowned statesman asserts that the clever Israelis tricked the Hamas terrorists into building a tunnel into Israel, attacking the border post, and abducting Cpl. Shalit---all to enable them to undermine the Hamas regime.

Of course this is absurd and ridiculous, but so was the Hamas suicide mission three months ago which killed nine Israelis. Genius politico Haniya called that vicious attack "an act of self-defense." And Israel did not retaliate immediately, as had been its policy before the Olmert government took over, in order to exercise restraint and wait to see if this might have been an isolated incident.

But Haniya and his crew evidently took Israeli self-restraint for weakness, and continued allowing Qassam rockets to attack Israel. And this collection of incompetents in Hamas-led territories continued to take orders from a murderous terror-lord in Damascus named Mishaal.

Now, if suicide attacks are "self-defense," then it naturally follows that Hamas's abduction of an Israeli soldier was part of a "pre-meditated plan" by Israel to destroy Hamas. How clever can those Israelis get? Let's just quote this giant mind in full:

"We read what is happening in terms of aggression on our people, and that it is going beyond the abducted soldier," Haniya said. "This comprehensive aggression shows there is a premeditated plan against the people and the legitimate government and the elected" Palestinian Legislative Council."

Oh Yes, Israeli aggression goes beyond the abducted soldier.... Featherwit Haniya has the victim schtick down to a memorized recital, and of course victims are completely unaccountable. You can see where this whining loser is going. Israel caused the abduction of its soldier to trick the Palestinians into causing it to over-react.

Any one out there wonder why the Egyptians, Jordanians, and most of the neighboring Arab countries have written off the Palestinians as hopeless beyond redemption?

In the past, the words of the late Abba Eban that "the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

Now, with the Hamas leadership asserting itself, the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to make fools of themselves.

University of Wisconsin Instructor Teaches US Arranged 9/11

Well, the Ward Churchill-wannabes of the American academicide ultra-left have another fellow who is pushing conspiracy theories about the WTC attack, this time from an "instructor" who tells his students at UW-Madison that the US ingeniously arranged to kill 3000 of its inhabitants and destroy two world landmark buildings in
order to justify an attack on the Arab/Islamic world.

Hmmm.... I wonder if this guy Kevin Barrett has extra neuron ruts channeling a super-secret NSC/CIA/GOP plot to subordinate the planet to its/their will?

Probably not, but read the link above to understand just how PTSD affects minds not ready for tenure at UW and other institutions of advanced "learning."

New UN Rights Council Targets Israel

The recently-abolished 53-member Human Rights Commission has re-incarnated as another avatar of mindless feckless inconsequential gibberish, now with fewer members, but much like its predecessor, a completely powerless propaganda vehicle for third-world countries with second-rate human rights records.

Besides Arab and other Muslim countries, "yes" votes were cast by African nations, Brazil, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia and Sri Lanka. Only EU countries and Canada voted against a mandatory one-week review of alleged Israeli rights abuses.

The vote was 29 votes to 12. The effect will be to discredit the new smaller UN commission just as the old one had been completely ignored by informed world opinion. [As opposed to deformed world opinion in such bastions of humanity and freedom like China, Cuba, Russia, and the notoriously anti-human rights Muslim and African "political cultures."]

The United Nations simply appears impervious to serious reform. There is an irreducible core of morally, ethically, and politically retarded nations unable to rise out of the fever swamps their political elites require, like obnoxious insects, to procreate and subsist on parasitized populations.

Reforming the UN would require draining these swamps, destroying the political parasites, and inserting actual human rights into their constitutional cultures.

This is impossible, given the configuration of the UN, and so informed political observers will continue to treat the UN with the disdain and outright scorn this failed NGO deserves.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

NYT Raps Puffington Host For Purging Rost

I had overlooked this attempt at truthiness by the NYT until a deliriously delusional Robert Ailes called for Bill Keller's defenestration.

Crime? Abandoning lockstep liberalism to promote freedom of speech! Walter Duranty is spinning in his fiery cubicle in hell's lowest neighborhood, while Yusuf Vissarionovitch roasts nearby.

Desperately-seeking-attention hyper-socialite ex-rightist Puffington did her best Baba Wawa imitation while avoiding Jeff Jarvis's full opprobrium, because even if the Greek arm-wavers' motives were despicable and her ethics way below the LA Times [who exited a reporter pseudo-anonymously posting on sites], she at least was transparent, unlike the plagiaristic fake-blog from George Clooney she fraudulently pasted together last month.

Arianna may be a Bi-yotch, but she is an Exempt-Liberal Bi-yotch.

AP Gloomy about 5.6% Economic Growth

I was about to attempt a deconstruction of the AP release on the economy growing at 5.6%, since the nitwittery therein exceeds even the average empty-headed crackbrainery of MSM economic naysayers. But then I linked to Texasrainmaker who had already pointed out the hilarious absurdities these leftie agitproppies had inserted into a straight news article.

I'm sure this Paul Krugman wannabe named Jeannine Aversa has adverse opinions on the U.S. economy that are as wrongheaded as the former Enron Advisor Princeton perfesser himself. What does it take to be an "AP economics writer" besides built-in defenses against reality?

Pathetic Nannification Proceeds Apace

The long-term project of professional busybodies and over-solicitous minders downwardly spirals into absurdities undreamt of awhile back. Vicious contact sports like tag and soccer are now banned from some schoolyards:
...several experts, including Donna Thompson of the National Program for Playground Safety, verify the trend. Dodge ball has been out at some schools for years, but banning games such as tag and soccer is a newer development.

"It's happening more," Thompson says. Educators worry about "kids running into one another" and getting hurt, she says.

In January, Freedom Elementary School in Cheyenne prohibited tag at recess because it "progresses easily into slapping and hitting and pushing instead of just touching," Principal Cindy Farwell says.

Contact sports were banned from recess at Charles Pinckney Elementary early this year, says Charleston County schools spokeswoman Mary Girault, because children suffered broken arms and dislocated fingers playing touch football and soccer.

Notice that the protaganists of this agenda to pussify kids are all female?

Does anyone look at longer-term effects of such feminization of children? Remember the Iron Duke's observation that "the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton?"

Next time a Napoleon comes around, maybe Americans should just assume the position and learn to speak French. Or more realistically, Chinese.

Physical prowess and moral character, two more candidates for the dustbin of history.

France: Forgotten, but Not Gone, in Middle East Comeback

Like one of those over-the-hill B-List actresses who pretend they are still a young "vedette," the French Foreign Minister pretends he still counts for something in the Levant, where French sway prevailed in Syria and Lebanon for more than a century. His call for "diplomacy" in the face of a continuation of Hamas terrorist policies is the normal French hypocrisy in the face of provocations which France has never allowed to pass unanswered when committed against its own interests.

But the serious players know that this is the ancien regime of Chirac again trying to belly up to the negotiating table when its credibility is nil. Hamas has its HQ in Damascus and Hezbollah also receives Syrian assistance and protection, so Syria must be regarded as suspect of employing Hamas as its cats-paw in advancing its own inscrutable agenda.

Or, more likely, Bashir Al-Assad simply does not control the five intelligence networks his father Hafez Al-Assad established to continue the miniscule 'Alawite [-- a Shia sect --] minority's control over the vast Sunni majority [a Syrian funhouse mirror image of Saddam's Iraq, with its Shi'ite majority under control of a 20% Sunni Arab minority for decades].

More serious players than the French insist Hamas return the captured soldier [the G-8 meeting in St. Petersburg, e.g.].

Hamastan poses problems both too large and too small for Israel to solve. The small problems, such as terrorists excavating the terror tunnel used to surprise Gilad Shalit's unit, can never be entirely prevented. The military strike into Gaza this week won't re-establish Israeli occupation, and it will from time to time be repeated. Bigger problems, such as the Hamas government and the support it gets from Israel's neighbors, won't, say some top Israelis, be solved by topping Hamas because there's no moderate Palestinians to take their place. That is another counsel of despair. Israel is stuck in a military cycle it thinks can't be broken. But it can, and it must, for our benefit as much as Israel's.

Israel can never settle the Palestinian problem by dealing only with the Palestinians just as we cannot ever settle Iraq's problems by dealing only with Iraqis. Because Israel's neighbors, and Iraq's, are the sources of their problems, so they must be the focus of the solutions. They are regional problems. If they are not solved throughout the region, they will not be solved at all.

Says former Undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbitt in RCP.
Babbitt advocates strong medicine for the exempt terrorist-infested enclave in Damascus:
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal - operating from his headquarters in Damascus -- ordered the raid in which Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. Meshaal, and pretty much every other terrorist leader other than Usama bin Laden, operate from Syria with impunity because Bashar Assad's Syria - the Syria he inherited from his father, and which has been on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1979 - is entirely stable. He has no fear that through American or Israeli action his support for terrorism will be interrupted. From Syria money, weapons and terrorists flowed into Iraq for months before and ever since the American invasion of 2003.

Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said that Meshaal - even in Syria - was a target for Israeli action. We should encourage Israel to strike into Syria, and not just to capture or kill Meshaal. Destabilizing Syria, and thus destabilizing its support for terrorism in Israel and Iraq is the goal. If anyone chooses to equate "destabilization" with "regime change", we should do nothing to encourage or dissuade them. It's time to put the terrorist genie back in the bottle. If the genie won't comply, we may soon have to smash the bottle all to pieces.

The problem with this approach lies in what happens next? A Syria divided into its constituent parts [where the WMD were exported, according to Iraqi generals] would be another Iraq and eventually might fall under Hamas or Hezbollah control. One probable non-outcome would be the "democratic government" we fought for in Iraq.

It is important to realize that, until the Arab world experiences a western-style renaissance exalting human values, it will revert to its default position of low-grade anarchy punctuated by strongman-dictatorship. Syria's present problem is that Bashir Al-Assad is ineffective as a strongman, and the alternative would probably be some sort of Sunni autocracy---hardly likely given the domination of the military and spy services by 'Alawite clansmen.

Does this mean that French-style "diplomacy" is the least bad of all the bad alternatives? Now that Israel has a sizeable number of the elected Hamas leadership in custody, it would seem that the ball is back in the Hamas court. I do believe Israeli resolve in the face of Arab provocations will carry the day.

But given the murderous incompetence of that group [who inserted a suicide bomber into Israel a while back who killed nine bystanders and then called this atrocity "self-defense"---with no immediate Israeli reprisal] and the general fecklessness of the Palestinians in particular and the Arabs in general, more mayhem appears to be just around the corner.

Noonan's White Gloves Knockdown of the NYT!

Yesterday was a travel day and I finally have got to a blogging oasis. I have to admit that Ronald Reagan's amanuensis and best speechwriter Peggy Noonan has several brilliant observations on her Opinion Journal Op-Ed in today's WSJ. Peggy Noonan is always classy, and her takes on Flag-Burning are perceptive for a journalist based in NYC. Besides some pertinent apercus on Hillary and some high-class deconstruction of BWalters, her take on the New York Times is dead-on and devastating:
Once it was such a force that it controlled the intellectual climate. Now it's just part of it. Seventy years ago its depiction of Stalin's benignity left a generation confused, or confounded. Fifty years ago, when the Times became enamored of a romantic young revolutionary named Fidel, the American decision-making establishment believed what it read and observed in comfort as an angry communist dictatorship was established 90 miles off our shore. The Times' wrongheadedness had huge implications for American statecraft.

The Times is still in many respects an extraordinary daily achievement. The sheer size and scope of its efforts is impressive--the Sunday paper is big as a book every week, and costs a lot less.

But it is not what it was and will never be again. It was hurt by its own limits--a paper of and from an island off the continent, awkward in its relationship with and understanding of the continent. It was and is hurt by its longtime and predictable liberalism. Predictable isn't fun. It doesn't make you want to get up in the morning, tear the paper off the mat and open it with a hungry snap. It was hurt by technology--it lost its share of what was, essentially, a monopoly. And it's been hurt by its own scandals and misjudgments. The Times rarely seems driven by an agenda to get the news first, fast and clear; to get the story and let the chips fall. It often seems driven by a search for information that might support its suppositions. Which, again, gets boring. The Times never knows what's becoming a huge national issue. It's always surprised by what Americans are thinking.

In a way the modern Times is playing to a base, the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and the redoubts of the Upper West Side throughout America: affluent urban neighborhoods and suburbs. The paper plays not to a region but a class.

But one senses the people who run the Times now are not so much living as re-enacting. They're lost on the big new playing field of American media, and they're reenacting their great moments--the Pentagon papers, the Watergate days. They're locked in a pose: We speak truth to (bad Republican) power. Frank Rich is running around with his antiwar screeds as if it's 1968 and he's an idealist with a beard, as opposed to what he is, a guy who if he pierced his ears gravy would come out.

This is the imagery that comes to you when you ponder the Times. It's the imagery that comes unbidden when you ponder the national security stories they've been doing. They're all re-enacting. They're acting out their own private drama in which they bravely stand up to a secretive and all-powerful American government.

I think it's personal drama in part because there's no common sense in it. Common sense tells you that when the actual physical safety of Americans is threatened by extremists who've declared a holy war, and when those extremists have, or can get, terrible weapons that can kill thousands or tens of thousands or more, and when the American government is trying to keep them from doing what they'd like to do, which, again, is kill--then you'd think twice, thrice, 10 times before you tell the world exactly how the government is trying, in its own bumbling way, which is how governments do things, to keep innocent people safe and bad guys on the run.

It is kind of crazy that the Times would do two stories that expose, and presumably hinder, the government's efforts. But then it strikes me as crazy that every paper that has reported the latest story--that would include The Wall Street Journal--would do so. Based on the evidence that has become public so far, the Journal, like the Times, and the Los Angeles Times, seems to me to have made the wrong call. But to me it is the New York Times, of all papers involved, that has most forgotten the mission. The mission is to get the story, break through the forest to get to a clear space called news, and also be a citizen. It's not to be a certain kind of citizen, and insist everyone else be that kind of citizen, and also now and then break a story.

Forgetting the mission is a problem endemic in newsrooms now. It's why a lot of them do less journalism than politics. When you've forgotten the mission you spend your days talking about, say, diversity in the newsroom. You become distracted by tertiary issues. (Too bad. The news doesn't care the color or sex of the person who finds it and reports it.) You become not journalistic and now and then political, but political and now and then journalistic.

It's sad. Though I guess if you're the Times you take comfort in the fact that even though you're not as important as you used to be, you're just as destructive as ever.

Peggy has good manners and does not get personal, but she could have taken a verbal swipe at the Publisher-on-a-Harley Pinch Sulzberger for his continuing withdrawal from in-house economics and external political citizenship---though Bill Keller deserves honorable mention for his own lack of civic virtue.

Although the Times no longer has the Duranty Pulitzer as its goal, clowns like Krugman, Herbert, and Rich still infest the Op-Ed page, and Dowd may soon join their ranks as a ticket puncher for lazy-left posturing.

But the offenders in the USG who leaked to the NYT should be pursued and prosecuted, if there is any meaning to the term "national security" left in our legal code.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

AP Article Gushes Praise for Gore: Gets Refuted by Scientists.

The clownishly incompetent ultra-left agitprop crew infesting the Associated Press generates Bolshie-skewed propaganda like termites generate cellulose wood-pulp, but without the positive effects termites have on their environment!

After a particularly vapid puff piece praising Gore's superficial and inaccurate new flick, the AP has been reprimanded for running fast and loose with facts, something a news agency should not make a habit of doing. Indeed, a
U.S. Senate Majority Committee release proves much more newsworthy and accurate than the silly kudos Gore's hangers-on in the scientific outliers have given the spectacularly unendowed VEEP's cartoonish movie portrayal. Actually, the whole scientific phenomenon of a complex set of contingencies an airhead like the Gorebot doesn't begin to explore with any depth or perceptiveness remains a subject of debate by grown-ups and people with triple-digit IQs.

The release begins:
In the interest of full disclosure, the AP should release the names of the "more than 100 top climate researchers" they attempted to contact to review "An Inconvenient Truth." AP should also name all 19 scientists who gave Gore "five stars for accuracy." AP claims 19 scientists viewed Gore’s movie, but it only quotes five of them in its article. AP should also release the names of the so-called scientific "skeptics" they claim to have contacted.

The AP article quotes Robert Correll, the chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment group. It appears from the article that Correll has a personal relationship with Gore, having viewed the film at a private screening at the invitation of the former Vice President. In addition, Correll’s reported links as an “affiliate” of a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm that provides “expert testimony” in trials and his reported sponsorship by the left-leaning Packard Foundation, were not disclosed by AP. See

The AP also chose to ignore Gore’s reliance on the now-discredited “hockey stick” by Dr. Michael Mann, which claims that temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere remained relatively stable over 900 years, then spiked upward in the 20th century, and that the 1990’s were the warmest decade in at least 1000 years. Last week’s National Academy of Sciences report dispelled Mann’s often cited claims by reaffirming the existence of both the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. See Senator Inhofe’s statement on the broken "Hockey Stick."

Gore’s claim that global warming is causing the snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro to disappear has also been debunked by scientific reports. For example, a 2004 study in the journal Nature makes clear that Kilimanjaro is experiencing less snowfall because there’s less moisture in the air due to deforestation around Kilimanjaro.

Okay, so Gore exaggerates, takes credit for the internet, and dresses in earth tones while he bores us all to tears---until he gets a well-crafted PR for the greenies thrust upon him and looks intelligent while on-screen. What is the real set of facts that this silly shill ignores while he touts his leftie gibberish? Here is a sampling of the views of some of the scientific critics of Gore:

Professor Bob Carter, of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Australia, on Gore’s film:

"Gore's circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention."

"The man is an embarrassment to US science and its many fine practitioners, a lot of whom know (but feel unable to state publicly) that his propaganda crusade is mostly based on junk science." – Bob Carter as quoted in the Canadian Free Press, June 12, 2006

Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, wrote:

“A general characteristic of Mr. Gore's approach is to assiduously ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse.” - Lindzen wrote in an op-ed in the June 26, 2006 Wall Street Journal

Gore’s film also cites a review of scientific literature by the journal Science which claimed 100% consensus on global warming, but Lindzen pointed out the study was flat out incorrect.

“…A study in the journal Science by the social scientist Nancy Oreskes claimed that a search of the ISI Web of Knowledge Database for the years 1993 to 2003 under the key words "global climate change" produced 928 articles, all of whose abstracts supported what she referred to as the consensus view. A British social scientist, Benny Peiser, checked her procedure and found that only 913 of the 928 articles had abstracts at all, and that only 13 of the remaining 913 explicitly endorsed the so-called consensus view. Several actually opposed it.”- Lindzen wrote in an op-ed in the June 26, 2006 Wall Street Journal.

Roy Spencer, principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, wrote an open letter to Gore criticizing his presentation of climate science in the film:

"…Temperature measurements in the arctic suggest that it was just as warm there in the 1930's...before most greenhouse gas emissions. Don't you ever wonder whether sea ice concentrations back then were low, too?"- Roy Spencer wrote in a May 25, 2006 column.

Former University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr. Tim Ball reacted to Gore’s claim that there has been a sharp drop-off in the thickness of the Arctic ice cap since 1970.

"The survey that Gore cites was a single transect across one part of the Arctic basin in the month of October during the 1960s when we were in the middle of the cooling period. The 1990 runs were done in the warmer month of September, using a wholly different technology,” –Tim Ball said, according to the Canadian Free Press.

So a she-pig "social scientist" named Oreskes claims that a "study" done using keywords proves something scientific? Who are you going to believe, a bow-wow bi-yotch or someone who checked her sloppy, dishonest, lying piece of greenie propaganda? What a load of horse manure! For once, or actually, once again, a U.S. government position paper is far more accurate than an MSM scat-sheet put out by a widely disbelieved and very often discredited MSM outlet, AP, whose glorious past belies the sorry state of affairs this once credible news outlet has fallen into.

Anyone who actually expects the serially-dishonest collection of losers at the AP to put out a list of the sceptics and the other 14 "supporters" of Gore's movie should actually put on a tin hat and prevent aliens from stealing your thought waves.

Israeli Lobby Exempt From Scholarly Debate?

Foreign Policy Magazine has a multi-tier debate by various protaganists and scholars on the vexing question: is criticizing Israel's American friends who lobby strenuously on Israel's behalf anti-Semitic in whole or in part? Just a few off-the-cuff observations.

Back in the seventies and eighties, the "Lobby that dare not speak its name" was a taboo subject in the public marketplace of ideas. One faced being called a Holocaust denier if the argument was made that the Israeli Lobby [always called "Friends of Israel" in public] had inordinate and even unparalleled influence over U.S. foreign policy. Henry Kissinger responded once that the Greeks also had an effective lobby, and no one claimed that the Greek-Americans had excessive influence [actually, the Turkish Lobby did, but was lacking influence to the point of invisibility].

Now that the U.S. faces a burgeoning international crisis in the Middle East, the question has remained topical. The fact remains that Israel gets more U.S. aid per capita [over and under the table] than any other foreign country by a factor of ten. And yet America has deferred having a seat at the table of Israeli policy formulation vis-a-vis Arab countries which are also American friends in the troubled region.

Having lived in the Middle East for half a decade and learned the Arabic language, I am aware that all the troubles there do NOT stem from the Israeli presence in the region, as many Arabs covering up their own internecine strife with one another chant as a mantra on any and every occasion. And I do believe that Arafat, in 2000, passed up what would have been an iconic moment when a liberal Labor Israeli PM offered about all he could offer given Israeli domestic politics, and Arafat walked away from the table.

Really, the Middle East has had long-term endemic problems since forever historically, stemming from thousands of years of history which lie on one another like geological strata. The break-up of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century and the aftermath of the Great War spawned dozens of nationalist movements, of which some were recognized by Versailles and many others, like the Kurds, were not. Then the Second World War generated a second wave of diasporas as the European genocide drove Jews to aggressive measures to build a state, with Britain playing its usual ambivalent role. Everyone seems to overlook the Suez Crisis, but Eisenhower's abrupt ultimatim to withdraw from Egypt convinced Israel that a mobilization of its friends and ethnic relatives in the U.S. was necessary to keep the country from being a vassal of international superpowers.

For a very short time, I worked as a consultant for NAAA, the counterpart to the Israeli Lobby, which mobilized Arab-Americans---preponderantly back then Lebanese Christians---to provide a counterpoint to the overwhelming influence of AIPAC and the network of political action committees it developed and largely controlled. Interestingly enough, the NAAA had some influence on GHWBush [remember his refusal to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem in '92?], but Congress was almost completely under the influence of AIPAC.

Now that the second Bush president has invaded Iraq, with what proved to be insufficient or trumped-up intelligence information, I support our staying there until some modus vivendi is reached. The consequences of a premature American withdrawal would be cataclysmic to American interests around the world and encourage America's real enemies, who really do exist, to go on the offensive to the point that a real worldwide Jihad, much larger than the current network of conspiracies, would attack America's allies in the Arab world and beyond.

Bin Laden attacked the United States because of the American presence in Saudi Arabia, which enflamed fanatical believers to a fever pitch of religious fervor. UbL only regards Israel as a sideshow, and means to cut America off from its sources of energy supplies in the Middle East. Israel serves as an irritant, and any attempts to throw the baby from the troika to the wolves will only inflame their appetite.

The Middle East is chock-a-block with near-failed states or countries on life support. Lebanon is the only country in the region which has not treated its minorities [or in Iraq and Syria, the non-militarized majority---Sunni in Syria and Shia in Iraq] as full participants in political society. Indeed, every large country in the region even including Israel and Saudi Arabia, has been dominated by military elites not very interested in representative government [even Israel---with Olmert for the first time run by a life-long civilian---marginalizes its large Israeli-Arab minority].

So perhaps FDR was partially correct when he first observed that "Arabia is too far afield for us" or words to that effect during WWII. But after meeting Ibn Saud for several hours on the USS Quincy on his way to Yalta, FDR remarked to an aide that he had learned more in several hours with the Saudi King about the Middle East than he had in years before as President.

Sooner or later, the U.S. will have to grasp the nettle of actually pursuing a "just and lasting peace," to use Lincoln's famous words, in the Middle East.

Perhaps it is already too late, but if the Iraqi circle can be squared, GWB or perhaps a more diplomatically adept administration might sometime in the future try to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

However, if there is some sort of end-game which might generate a reasonably even-handed solution to the "Damnable Problem" confronting the region, all sides will have to compromise---in the spirit of "no victors, no vanquished"---and avoid the appearance of a diktat.

And if the U.S. is to be recognized as a bona fides participant in this final process, some sort of free-wheeling debate inside the U.S. must occur that does not have "exempt" players who can point fingers, but cry foul when they themselves are accused of bad faith or special pleading.

So Walt and Mearsheimer are justified in bringing up the question of Israeli influence, just as Chinese influence and Russian influence are constantly debated in different contexts.

Right now I'm packing and I'm off with wife and daughter for two weeks and will be mostly far from the internet, so this will be a short sayonara for the time being.

UC-Santa Cruz Chancellor Takes the Plunge

RadioEqualizer has the story of the 44-story swan-dive of diva of dykehood Denice Dee Denton, Chancellor of UC Santa Cruz. Leftist MSMs describe her as a champion of diversity, but check out an anonymous comment by a faculty member below:
"...UCSC 's 40- year legacy of overall failure simply must be addressed, as taxpayers deserve no less. Infamously derided as "Uncle Charlie's Summer Camp" and "UCk-SuCk" by area residents long fed-up with the spoiled brats the campus has a reputation for attracting, there's no longer any way to sugarcoat its shortcomings.

After all, with her $30,000 dog path and $600,000 in taxpayer- funded home improvements, it was Denton who had become the poster child for bureaucratic corruption in the university system. Add to that her ability to secure a fishy, high-paying position for girlfriend Gretchen Kalonji, in addition to an enormous amount of public money to move each from their Seattle residences to California and the situation quickly began to resemble Third World- style governmental abuses of power.

In a story that has spread around the world, news coverage today has focused on a variety of potential reasons for her fatal leap, possibly including personal relationship issues. Denton, after all, jumped from the top of Kalonji's luxury San Francisco apartment building.

We're sorry Denton moved to end her life this way, but at the same time, we wish she hadn't chosen to use divisive hate to further personal and political causes while alive. Her widely-publicized tirades against Larry Summers at Harvard University provided but one example.

In an attempt to gain insight into the events that led up to yesterday's final conclusion, the Radio Equalizer asked a faculty contact for more information, with this response (due to the campus environment, we are leaving out the member's name):

"We should soon begin to learn what the proportions of the despondency were: how much was due to professional frustration and how much to Gretchen Kalonji.

What was clear was that she had alienated almost everyone by now. One leak out of the Council of Chancellors said they were all fed up with her -- anyone who disagreed with her was met with shouting, rage and denunciation for homophobia (her universal response to being thwarted). Another insider said much the same thing -- turnover in what had been thought to be plum jobs was astonishingly high.

Dean-level meetings on campus produced similar reports. Significantly, she fired her number two person within minutes of meeting her and installed in his place perennial yes-man David Klieger--a pathetic character respected by almost nobody. (On becoming Dean of Natural Sciences some years ago, Klieger immediately instituted a "Campus Scientist of the Year" award and then gave the first such award to himself.)

The picture of Denton from all levels of the university was of an arrogant, high- handed person who had no inter-personal skills whatsoever, and who was obsessed with a single issue, to which she reduced everything else."

And while her inability to secure the campus from violent anti-military protestors received widespread national publicity, today's Santa Cruz Sentinel notes that Denton faced trouble from the extreme left regarding "racism" issues.

Since it's hard to believe that anyone could have found her politics insufficiently radical, it again exposes the long- doomed UCSC campus to more charges of merely serving as a taxpayer- funded haven for fringe characters:

The pay perk was seized upon by state legislators in a systemwide executive-pay controversy about how UC rewards top ranking officials. That controversy has not yet settled.

Campus employees criticized the expenditures as lavish while the university is raising student fees, cutting budgets and, workers and their supporters say, underpaying staff.

Criticism of the chancellor escalated to the point that Denton worried about her personal safety.

"People were coming to her house and banging on the door wanting to talk about issues," Regan said.

Denton took the job in the midst of a multi-year process to update the university's long-range growth plan, which could bring 6,000 more students to the campus. She repeatedly defended the plan when it was challenged by city leaders, residents, faculty and staff.

In April, she received dozens of threatening phone calls and e-mails from people upset that student anti-war protesters forced military recruiters off campus, a campus spokeswoman said. And earlier this month, Denton was followed across the campus by chanting protesters against "institutional racism" at the university. They blocked her from leaving until she agreed to watch them perform a skit. She left before the performers finished.

No amount of spin from the university's PR department will be able to undo the damage caused by Denton's final decision. UCSC's many shortcomings are now bound to again emerge in a public setting.

Cursed almost from the beginning, the campus now has a 40 year legacy of failure. Isn't it time for California to cut its losses at UCSC and move on?

UPDATE: New AP story (via The Guardian): Searching for answers, some see Santa Cruz's cutthroat political environment as too much to bear.

MONDAY: Seattle Times and Santa Cruz Sentinel pieces emphasize that Denton fought for "diversity", whatever that is supposed to mean. Unfortunately, the evidence points to a person who was quick to accuse opponents of "homophobia" and any other label that could effectively shut down critics of her corrupt rule.

Disclosures: Brian Maloney is a UCSC grad, former Sentinel writer and former resident of both Santa Cruz and Seattle.

Slate Exalts Wal-Mart, other "Big Box" Stores

Even the former Enron consultant and present NYT Op-Ed economic czarevitchPaul Krugman praised Wal-Mart's just-in-time inventory and other Japanese innovations back in 1993, before he became hopelessly corrupted by the bitch goddess success [not by being right, but by becoming an NYT economic fashionista]. The many-linked Slate piece goes like this:

A range of studies has found that Wal-Mart's prices are 8 percent to 39 percent below the prices of its competitors. The single most careful economic study, co-authored by the well-respected MIT economist Jerry Hausman, found that grocery sales by Wal-Mart and other big-box stores made consumers better off to the tune of 25 percent of food consumption. That doesn't mean much for those of us in the top fifth of the income distribution—we spend only about 3.5 percent of our income on food at home and, at least in my case, most of that shopping is done at high-priced supermarkets like Whole Foods. But that's a huge savings for households in the bottom quintile, which, on average, spend 26 percent of their income on food. In fact, it is equivalent to a 6.5 percent boost in household income—unless the family lives in New York City or one of the other places that have successfully kept Wal-Mart and its ilk away.

Where do these low prices come from? Paul Krugman, writing back in 1993, provides an answer: "The most significant American business success story of the late 20th century may well be Wal-Mart, which has applied extensive computerization and a home-grown version of Japan's 'just in time' inventory methods to revolutionize retailing." Many economists didn't expect the service sector to contribute much to productivity. Many non-economists still have a hard time believing it has. But Harvard economist Ken Rogoff has the numbers, and they are mind boggling:

[T]ogether with a few sister "big box" stores (Target, Best Buy, and Home Depot), Wal-Mart accounts for roughly 50% of America's much vaunted productivity growth edge over Europe during the last decade. Fifty percent! Similar advances in wholesaling supply chains account for another 25%! The notion that Americans have gotten better at everything while other rich countries have stood still is thus wildly misleading. The US productivity miracle and the emergence of Wal-Mart-style retailing are virtually synonymous.

OK, enough indulging. Maybe you're ready to grant my point that Wal-Mart's low prices are great for the 298 million Americans who don't work there. But what about the 1.3 million Americans who do work for Wal-Mart? Here the evidence is murkier, in part because Wal-Mart refuses to release the data on its wages and benefits that could clear up a number of questions. What we do know is that its wages and benefits are about average for the retail sector—which is to say, not so great. It is harder to quantify other aspects of the job, like the quality of the work, the number of breaks, the prospects for advancement. You should let me know how you think it compares.

As Jason Furman notes in finishing up his article:
I understand why progressives are so upset about low wages and inadequate benefits. I am also upset by the rise of inequality and the relatively slow economic progress that the bottom 80 percent of Americans have made over the last several decades. I just think Wal-Mart is the wrong place to put the blame or to expect the solution.

Yes, the mechanization and industrialization of merchandizing has diminished the small-town charm of local merchants. But anyone who has lived in quaint economies like France will know that the vagaries of hours and days open and the lack of conveniences just slows down essential shopping, no matter how much the charm of personal interaction may appeal. [And in France, that charm is often lacking even in small patisseries and teinturies.]

Productivity and price-economics will trump local charm over the long run. Just another way of life.

Global Warming: A Capitalist Solution?

Claremont adds an interesting codicil to the NYT article on scientists actually trying to use science to counteract the effects of a warming trend on our planet.
...our environmental scientists know too little, not too much. If they really understood what was going on, they could come up with more liberty-friendly solutions.

Yesterday's op-ed by Richard Lindzen in the Wall Street Journal, not available on-line, makes this last point emphatically. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT points out that "the question of human attribution [to climate change] cannot be resolved" by current science. What is going on, he says, is that "there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition."

Sloan points out Al Gore's concession that "scientists 'don't have any models that give them a high level of confidence' one way or the other and wen't on to claim--in his defense--that scientists 'don't know. . . . They just don't know.'" That was Gore's defense for his movie, which portrays the danger of rising sea levels as greater than scientific models indicate. Since science does not know, he argues, he's free to take a more extreme line!

Lindzden's essay makes me wonder whether environmentalism has taken the mantle of socialism as the religion of the Left. The dream of providing peace, plenty, and harmony to all having failed, and mankind needing a project to keep them busy, they have turned to saving the planet from capitalism. Gore's movie is his gospel.

Let's hope that we actually learn what's really going on, and some reasonable ideas about what to do about it, before he gains more converts.

Gore may be an anti-capitalist fraud until he reinvents himself again in '08, but the damage has been done to young minds indoctrinated in our nation's anti-capitalist union-ridden public school systems.

The totalitarian-minded international left knows that "if you repeat it enough, they will believe" and the enemy of the I.L. is the colossal economic success story the USA presents to the world. Despite all the Krugmans and Keynesians and other quacks in the political-economic profession, they cannot lay a glove on private enterprise, though they can cause hemorrhaging from soft minds in the political arena,[like Gore who could not get into Harvard despite having a Senator daddy because of his defective mental skills].

So gigantic polluters like China & India and attendant tigers get off, but the USA is supposed to succumb to crack-brained nostrums like Osaka that not even the EU has accepted?

Jonah Goldberg kinda echoes my rant above from the NRO Corner, mentioning nuclear power as one of the weird fetishes the Greenie left does not want to consider, despite the "weaning" from fossil fuels the nuke option presents. Gosh, inconsistency from the Luddites?

Is Kos Being Swiftboated?

TAPPED has a relatively mature perspective on the little Kos/Armstrong outting by the media. Unlike the usual shrill mudslinging hysterics of the Kossacks and Puffington Host, Franke Garance-Ruta gets away from the belligerent paranoia and takes a short tour of the horizon from a left-center perspective. TAPPED also links Armstrong's astrological take on GWB and the appearance of the "Trans-Neptunian" planet Varuna during the Florida recount in 2000. Ooooh....! That's going to leave a mark!

For a good conservative take, DonkeyCons debunks the supposed "Swiftboating" of the mini-me Kos by TNR and the NYT.

Democrats' Media Blitz Against Michael Steele

There is no political candidate Democrats fear more than an intelligent, articulate BLACK REPUBLICAN who demolishes the corrupt "civil rights" mafia's Potemkin village of falsehoods and half-truths.

A DNC-instigated illegal search for Steele's credit records was busted, though the MSM treated it very leniently, a one-day wonder quickly swept under the rug.

The Washington Post fires another MSM salvo across the bow of Michael Steele's candidacy for the Senate seat vacated by Paul Sarbanes.

The usual welfare/affirmative-action/victim crowd are bellowing that Steele's list of donors contains people who have offended these welfare/affirmative-action/victim touts in the past. Rather than praising their conversion to supporting a black candidate, the corrupt NAACP crowd whines that Steele is a Judas goat to his people.
...Steele said any attempt to attack him for taking these donations just highlights a double standard he believes that black Republicans face because they are "inconvenient" for Democrats, who have had the support of the vast majority of black voters for the past half-century.

"When I look across the aisle, I see a Democratic leader who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan," Steele said, referring to Sen. Robert C. Byrd (W.Va.). Byrd has said his Klan membership, when he was a young man, was "a major mistake."

"That doesn't stop Democrats from taking his money," Steele said.

Conservative black commentator Armstrong Williams agreed.

"There's absolutely nothing wrong with him accepting that money," Williams said. "These people have supported him. That's his base. Let's say someone is racist, or has been racist in the past. If they give money to a black candidate, wouldn't that show progress on their part?"

The shaky and all-too-often corrupt foundation of the Black Caucus, already marginalized by its own party, would further erode if Steele became the first black Senator. You might notice Harold Ford gets glowing puff pieces on a frequent basis in the leftie MSM, but Steele will face multiple hurdles in the print and electronic media for the fact that he puts the lie to many of the nostrums and fables peddled by the welfare/affirmative-action/victim crew so anxious about his candidacy.

Steele will need all the money he can get to overcome the might Wurlitzer of the usual MSM guttersnipes.

Monday, June 26, 2006

"Cindy Sheehan" In-Drag Murtha Gone Wild in Florida!

Congressman Murtha should be summoned by the Marine Corps Commandant and have his symbolic epaulets torn off in public. The Wall Street Journal'sJohn Fund has excerpts from a talk he gave at a university [FIU]where I was an adjunct professor early this millenium. This fellow from Pennsylvania has been an ethical nightmare from his close-brush near-miss with Abscam entrappers. Fund explains:
Pennsylvania's Rep. John Murtha, who became a hero to the antiwar left when he called in November for immediate withdrawal from Iraq , went further at a town hall meeting for Rep. Kendrick Meek. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel quoted Mr. Murtha as claiming that the "American presence in Iraq is more dangerous to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran." He also told the audience of 200 that "we want as many Americans out of [Iraq] as possible" because "we have become the enemy."

Mr. Murtha has been sticking his foot in his mouth a lot lately. He accused Marines in Iraq of murdering civilians "in cold blood," contradicted himself in the same breath by saying they had "overreacted," and asserted that higher-ups covered up the purported crime without backing his statements up. He told a startled Tim Russert of NBC that U.S. troops withdrawn from Iraq could be "redeployed" to Okinawa, Japan, whence they could return "very quickly" to Baghdad--which is 4,899 miles away. And more than once he has offered these examples of presidential leadership: "In Beirut, President Reagan changed direction. In Somalia, President Clinton changed direction."

Murtha echoes his mentor in American foreign policy:
"After a few blows . . . [the U.S.] rushed out of Somalia in shame and disgrace, dragging the bodies of its soldiers." That was Osama bin Laden, in an ABC interview in 1998, the same year al Qaeda blew up the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, murdering more than 220. Two years later he struck at the U.S.S Cole off Yemen and killed 17 sailors. The next year his suicide bombers hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and killed more than 3,000 Americans.

"Mr. Murtha sounds less like a Marine colonel these days, and more like a male Cindy Sheehan," writes Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which circulates in Mr. Murtha's district. But all the adulation from left-wing bloggers has apparently convinced the 74-year-old Mr. Murtha that he has a shot at higher office. "The more he gets out there, the more he realizes that he truly has taken on a leadership role," a Murtha aide told Time magazine. This month he told his colleagues that he plans to run for majority leader, the No. 2 job in the House, if Democrats take control this November. It is assumed he would have the tacit or open support of many close allies of the current minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, who won a leadership post in 2001 in large part because Mr. Murtha was her campaign manager and convinced some moderates she was not an antimilitary left-winger.

Obviously, the Democrats have a problem as this fellow must have delirium tremens to believe what he says about Okinawa. And his belief that the troops would be "welcome" there when the island has been protesting the American presence for a decade. And while the retreat from Beirut may have been a salutory move, Iraq is not Lebanon and after 9/11, a true "sea change" occurred. Does this potato-face in his mid-seventies realize the implications of walking away from Iraq? Does he truly believe it would be cost-free? I think Fund's on-the-money with his contention that Murtha truly presents the Democrats with a major headache on both national security issues and what Pelosi believes is the Republicans' Achilles Heel, corruption:
If Jack Murtha, a backroom operator who is blunder-prone when speaking publicly, is Democrats' idea of fresh leadership, the party is in real trouble. Far from advancing the Democratic argument that Republicans have bred a "culture of corruption" while in power, Mr. Murtha's leadership bid would open a Pandora's box of questions about his own record.
In 1980, prosecutors named Mr. Murtha an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the Abscam scandal. The FBI captured him on tape saying he wasn't interested in taking a $50,000 payment from agents posing as Arab sheiks "at this point," but he was open to further discussions. The House Ethics Committee cleared him, but E. Barrett Prettyman, the committee's special counsel for the Abscam probe, questioned the panel's competence, likening it to "a misdemeanor court faced with a multiple murder." Mr. Prettyman abruptly resigned his post the same afternoon the committee voted to clear Mr. Murtha. While Mr. Prettyman continues to refuse to discuss the case, he told Roll Call newspaper in 1990 that it would be "a logical conclusion" that he resigned over the committee's exoneration of Mr. Murtha.

In direct contrast to Sen. McCain, whose experience in the 1990 Keating Five scandal turned him into a good-government reformer, Mr. Murtha's brush with infamy stirred in him a pit-bull conviction that members of Congress deserve more protection from ethics probes. In 1997 Mr. Murtha joined with Rep. Billy Tauzin, a Louisiana Republican, in blocking outside groups from filing complaints directly with the House Ethics Committee. He also unsuccessfully pushed for a law that would require the Justice Department to reimburse the legal bills of any member of Congress it investigated if it was shown the probe was not "substantially justified"--a privilege no other American has. Small wonder that Gary Ruskin, director of the liberal Congressional Accountability Project, told Roll Call that "when it comes to institutional policing of corruption in Congress, John Murtha is a one-man wrecking crew."

Mr. Murtha has been front and center in the controversy over earmarks, the individual portions of pork members of Congress often secretly secure for their districts or favored constituents. A Harper's magazine study has concluded that "the most effective ally for the earmark-seeker is a lobbyist who is actually related, by blood or marriage, to a powerful member of an appropriations committee."

Rep. Murtha is the ranking Democratic member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and for the past three years has been the House's top recipient of defense industry cash. Therefore, few in Washington are surprised that his lobbyist brother, Robert "Kit" Murtha, is an enormously successful "earmark specialist" for the Beltway firm KSA Consulting. In recent years, Kit Murtha has brought in a mother lode of earmarks for at least 16 defense manufacturers with business before the Appropriations Committee.

Last year the Los Angeles Times reported that "most of KSA's defense contractor clients hired the firm in hopes of securing funding from Rep. Murtha's subcommittee, according to lobbying records and interviews. And most retained the firm after Kit Murtha became a senior partner in 2002." Kit Murtha told the Times that he saw Rep. Murtha only infrequently but said the congressman knew he was a KSA lobbyist. "I don't think that influences him," Kit said of his brother. "I certainly would hope not."

Well, if McCain has skeletons in his closet, he outted them long ago. Murtha sounds like a one-member crime wave in Congress whose aspirations to party leadership reflect his vanishing hold on reality as the hallucinations of dotage proceed apace.
...not enough attention has been given to how much Democrats are flopping in their attempts to provide a better alternative. By pushing forward Rep. Murtha as a fresh leader for their party, they are reinforcing the worst stereotype many swing voters have of a congressional Democrat: a big spender tarnished by scandal who holds wacky foreign-policy views.

Yes, as Ben Franklin said, "there's no fool like an old fool." If the Democrats embrace this questionable brand of leadership, it will be an old fool leading a pack of fools.

NPR Guest on Cultural "Engrams"

NPR today on Talk of the Nation or Day to Day had a very interesting French psychiatrist who has written a book on Cultural Differences, whose name I forget. His French name was mangled by a pretentious female interviewer trying to get him into supporting feminist tropes. However, this Doc pointed out that the French, among many other differences, have a female gender for the moon, male for the sun. He pointed to the exact opposite for the Germans, who have Der Mund for the moon and Die Sonne for the sun. He then extrapolated the implications: The French see men as "shining" and "productive," the Germans see women as radiant and the basis for society, men as up and down. He quoted Churchill on the Germans as: "either at your throat or on their knees."

Strangely, two other languages with the female gender for the sun are Arabic and Japanese [I am told or read somewhere]. Qamar is the male noun for moon in Arabic, and the female Shams [also the name of Damascus] is said by Arabs to be male because the sun robs people of strength. Note that the crescent [female] moon is on almost every Arab flag and that the Israelis say Arabs can be either the most loyal of friends [the Bedu in the desert] or the most bloodthirsty enemy [the Haadar in the city].

The Japanese culture [The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, by Ruth Benedict] also demonstrates this strange dichotomy/bipolar intensity.

The French prof ended his interview by chiding the French for their 35-hour week and their "museum-culture" complacency. To the point of laughing at Parisians for their beautiful city, "since not one of those living there today did anything to construct the wonderful buildings therein."

If I can find the books name on Slate, which has an NPR site, I will [oops, the site appears opaque, like all govt websites, and I will find later and update on name of book and author].

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Kaus Roasts NYT, National Journal Links Kosola Galore

For the link literate, the National Journal has a long blogline of the burgeoning Kosola scandal.

Also, Mickey Kaus continues to lambast the clueless NYT for "the refrigerator light is on, but the door is still closed" insanity of breaking a national story on the Armstrong/Kos RICO scam but keeping it behind the TimesSelect wall in another facet of Pinch Sulzberger's overall strategy to drive the family heirloom into bankruptcy.

Apropos of the above, today David Brooks defenestrates the Kosputin in a record dwarf-toss, but the Sunday Op-Ed is behind the TimesSelect wall, leaving only dead-tree subscribers to Pravda on the Hudson to enjoy watching an ultra-leftie take the plunge.

Talk Radio Marries Blogosphere: Hugh Hewitt Ascendant

Hmmmm.... In the same mag issue that sort of damns Kosputin with faint praise as a paranoid belligerent cover-up czarovitch wannabe, Newsweek has a purely positive piece on Conservative Multi-tasking Genius Hugh Hewitt. What does the Slate/WaPo/Newsweek/MSNBC cabal have against the diminuitive Kos besides the Kosola scam? Or is the media combine just hedging its bets? is certainly in need of refurbishment, and Hewitt is great on TV [I haven't heard him on radio] as well as a splendid writer/blogger. He has a cold brilliance that outstrips the hot-headed rants of the leftosphere spew-sheets online.

Early July the rollout occurs:
On July 4, Salem Communications, one of the country's largest radio-station owners, will relaunch an old Web war horse called as a hub for its stable of stars (including Bill Bennett, Michael Medved and Hewitt himself). The hope? That "Web 2.0" wherewithal can transform what was once an op-ed clearinghouse into a single nerve center serving the separate conservative communities of talk radio and the Internet. To Hewitt, a valuable White House ally, the math is simple: add 6 million Salem fans to Townhall's 1.4 million unique monthly visitors and you've got an audience six or seven times the size of liberal site Daily Kos, the Web's biggest political blog. "We will overwhelm them," he says.

Given that Kos is a one-trick pony, good online, but less good on-air, HH should rock and roll all over the national political arena. And Newsweek's articles fail to mention Kos's plummeting number of hits per day. Maybe Kos is moving on to the Pet Sematery?

Kosola in Newsweek: Moulitsas goes "berserk"

There is an excellent little piece in Newsweek on DailyKos gatecrasher Moulitsas, and
the essay starts out as a cosmetic sort of flattery until it turns a bit savage.

Ann Althouse lets the air out of his tires and predicts his fizzle factor is extremely high, as he tends towards "belligerence and paranoia" when confronted.

Recently, I was reading about Lenin and his gang of Bolsheviks who grabbed power in 1917 and promptly began killing anyone who disagreed with them in the slightest. Crashing the so-called gate for leftists----oh, well, Althouse does the entire scenario from start to finish:
Kos's writing style -- which has obviously served him well as a blogger up to this point -- sounds angry and crazed to the outsider. It's easy to get him to react with "belligerence and paranoia," and the more successful he is, the more Democrats are motivated to marginalize and disqualify him. Those he's accused of "digging around in my past" have denied that they're doing it, but, really, why wouldn't they be doing it? And why wouldn't part of their strategy be to make him think that they are so they can lure him into displaying more of that "belligerence and paranoia"?

So I assume there is a conspiracy and a strategy to investigate Kos. And it's so easy to do because it can succeed even if it fails to turn anything up, because it will provoke him, and when he reacts, they'll all say he's paranoid, belligerent. Escort that man back outside the gate.

But why is Althouse saying all this? Is she trying to stoke his paranoia and lead him into the very pitfall she's identified? Is she nonpartisan and just calling them as she sees them? Or is she just saying that because she knows that's the kind of assertion that Kos folk are least likely to believe? And is that one more reason to suspect there's a big plot? Look at that line she boldfaced up there. There's a Republican plot and a Democratic plot all converging on poor Mr. Moulitsas.

And if he exhibits these suspicions, he's going to look crazy. And you know what they do to you once they have the material to make you look cra-ray-zee.

Ka-Ray-Zee is the way Armstrong already looks on his astrology observations, but then, I digress. [By the way, I tried to link to the Astrology page where Armstrong opines on Trans-Neptunian influences on the 2000 election, but the Kossacks have evidently closed the offending site and "no page was found," it was up last night when I linked it to yesterday's blog]. The paranoids do work fast!

Remember the old Russian saying during the days of airbrushed pictures in the Soviet Encyclopedia: "The past is hard to predict?" Guess the Kosola affair has the Kossacks repeating the old tricks they learned from their leftie great-grandpa Bolshies!

Kosola in Newsweek: Moulitsas goes "berserk"

There is an excellent little piece in Newsweek on DailyKos gatecrasher Moulitsas, and
the essay starts out as a cosmetic sort of flattery until it turns a bit savage.

Ann Althouse lets the air out of his tires and predicts his fizzle factor is extremely high, as he tends towards "belligerence and paranoia" when confronted.

Recently, I was reading about Lenin and his gang of Bolsheviks who grabbed power in 1917 and promptly began killing anyone who disagreed with them in the slightest. Crashing the so-called gate for leftists----oh, well, Althouse does the entire scenario from start to finish:
Kos's writing style -- which has obviously served him well as a blogger up to this point -- sounds angry and crazed to the outsider. It's easy to get him to react with "belligerence and paranoia," and the more successful he is, the more Democrats are motivated to marginalize and disqualify him. Those he's accused of "digging around in my past" have denied that they're doing it, but, really, why wouldn't they be doing it? And why wouldn't part of their strategy be to make him think that they are so they can lure him into displaying more of that "belligerence and paranoia"?

So I assume there is a conspiracy and a strategy to investigate Kos. And it's so easy to do because it can succeed even if it fails to turn anything up, because it will provoke him, and when he reacts, they'll all say he's paranoid, belligerent. Escort that man back outside the gate.

But why is Althouse saying all this? Is she trying to stoke his paranoia and lead him into the very pitfall she's identified? Is she nonpartisan and just calling them as she sees them? Or is she just saying that because she knows that's the kind of assertion that Kos folk are least likely to believe? And is that one more reason to suspect there's a big plot? Look at that line she boldfaced up there. There's a Republican plot and a Democratic plot all converging on poor Mr. Moulitsas.

And if he exhibits these suspicions, he's going to look crazy. And you know what they do to you once they have the material to make you look cra-ray-zee.

Ka-Ray-Zee is the way Armstrong already looks on his astrology observations, but then, I digress. [By the way, I tried to link to the Astrology page where Armstrong opines on Trans-Neptunian influences on the 2000 election, but the Kossacks have evidently closed the offending site and "no page was found," it was up last night when I linked it to yesterday's blog]. The paranoids do work fast!

Remember the old Russian saying during the days of airbrushed pictures in the Soviet Encyclopedia: "The past is hard to predict?" Guess the Kosola affair has the Kossacks repeating the old tricks they learned from their leftie great-grandpa Bolshies!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

"Blogofascism?" And Armstrong's "violin d'Ingres"

The fallout from the diktat [which the barely literate zuniga misspells as "dictat," probably its Spanish spelling] of the celebrated leftie czarovitch to bury the story of Jerome "jayson blair" Armstrong's previous quasi-criminal career as a stock tout has got The National Review up and at 'em against the increasingly totalitarian tendencies of the ultra-left bloggers.

Of course, it was predictable that an in-house site for leftie Kos insiders would leak when the diminuitive fuehrerlein issued a ukase against talking about the Armstrong fiasco.

Mickey Kaus has continually hammered this blatant case of "pay to play" DailyKos corruption [Warner hires Armstrong as his on-line czar, Armstrong partner-in-crime Zuniga at DailyKos keeps a stream of pro-Warner blogs sluiced into the media Wurlitzer he has constructed] and the MSM may soon be obliged to ACTUALLY PICK UP THIS MAJOR STORY. In this case, unlike the Mapes/Rather fiasco, a prez candidate appears to be jeopardized by an ongoing revelation---not a thirty-year old controversy buttressed by phony docs. Warner should fire Armstrong and denounce the little RICO scheme that sprouted in his campaign HQ. Wouldn't you think the MSM would want to demonstrate a little BALANCE in their reporting?

Not really. Read Tom Maguire to realize why the conservative bloggers will probably have to continue in the samizdat mode for the time being. Crazed ranters on the ultra-left have tried to niggle and nitpick TNR, in classic leftist fashion, as the "old mole revolution" keeps gnawing at the dirt underneath the sunshine turf of light and reason.

The Puffington crowd and the Kossacks appear to have become discredited before their time, which they have in the past would be right about now. Like an Austrian philosopher said somewhat unkindly about the United States: [The blogosphere] has gone from barbarism to decadence without an intervening ascendancy [or words to that effect].

Kosola has the potential to sink the DailyKos RICO scheme before it leaves port.

UPDATE: I did not check out Tom Maguire's Post for all of the great links on the Zuniga/Armstrong slow-mo meltdown. Occidentality has a great summary of all the good toxins that are being leached out in this mini-epic, including a wonder citation of Riehl World View's little discovery of Armstrong's "violin d'Ingres" [hobbyhorse or second skill], ASTROLOGY! Check the link and find out how Jupiter is aligning with Mars, etc., and how Warner may have hired Armstrong for more than just POLITICAL consultation skills. The most singular quote:
Varuna is 900 km (550 miles) in diameter and has an orbital period of 285 years. It was discovered 28 November 2000, coinciding with the contested election results in the USA (astrologer Jerome Armstrong has noted that the GOP has its natal Varuna at 19 Sagittarius, conjunct George W. Bush's South Node, which Pluto is currently transiting).

So I guess the hanging chadfest in Florida was simply meant to be!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Miami Plot No Joke

Predictably, the MSM is beginning to downplay the "terrorist ring" busted in Miami and the beginnings of a pooh-poohing exculpation are starting to emerge. The chief Judas-goat in this ho-hum spinning would obviously be the New York Times which tut-tutted:
"The only overt acts described in the indictment were swearing oaths of allegiance to Al Qaeda and taking video footage of the F.B.I. office."

and the barest hint of a suggestion that these poor kids might have been entrapped into treason and mayhem by a big bad informant:
It was unclear from the indictment who suggested the broader plot. But[emphasis mine] Mr. Pistole said at a news conference in Washington today that the group's ringleader, Narseal Batiste, "made the first indication of an intent to make an attack" against an F.B.I. office in North Miami.

Get it? The NYT apparently sees a possible flaw in the indictment. The hallucinatory perceptions of the leftist MSM are only rivalled by their delusional denial faculties. They imagine US govt plots against its citizenry and can't discern conspiracies against the US. Look for more bobbing and weaving as the ACLU & the mighty Wurlitzer of the lefty blogosphere cranks up to defend these poor hapless retardos. And don't mention London or Madrid. That would be insensitive.

Ex DIA Officer Busted for Spying for China

Bill Clinton actually made it easy for China when he authorized changing sales restrictions to Chinese military on missile tech in the late '90s, but the Washington Times reports the Billy Jeff was not alone in selling out his country to the "East is Red" sleeping giant.

China had its own little ring of spies who were so pro-China when they worked inside the govt that they were:
...among a number of U.S. intelligence officials who came under suspicion of being informants following the defection of a Chinese intelligence official in the late 1980s. The defector revealed that Beijing had successfully developed five to 10 clandestine sources of information here.

Montaperto also was part of an influential group of pro-China academics and officials in the U.S. policy and intelligence community who share similar benign views of China. The group, dubbed the Red Team by critics, harshly criticizes anyone who raises questions about the threat posed by Beijing's communist regime.

The question remains whether a free society based on Democracy and freedom of speech can withstand totalitarian and statist tyrannies like China, Russia, and some of the Stans which are now forming the "Shanghai Cooperation Group," a sort of counterpart to NATO in the Far East.

You won't read about the SCG in the MSM, of course, because it downplays any and all threats to US security and strategic pre-eminence---to the point of not covering them at all. Pravda-on-the-Hudson and the lax LAT, as only two of many fatuous soft-headed liberal outlets, are simply Pollyannish, and blabber on about human perfectability and civil liberties while undermining both in their editorial and news management policies.

My point is that this extraterrestrial idealism gives weak-minded academics the mindset to betray their country, aided by incentives or extortions we can only guess about.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bolton gets Thumbs Up, Gore Thumbs Down from Economist

The prevailing party line in the MSM following the Pravda run by Pinch Sulzberger is that Gore can do no wrong, and will save the planet with his far-sighted campaign against global warming. That, according to a sizeable number of climate scientists not worried about getting tenure in the Academic Gulag, is based on absurd science, shaky at best and inconclusive on many of the Chicken Little fantasies Gore pushes in his movie.

Bolton to the rescue! The much-maligned leftist bete noire John Bolton seeks to bring sanity to the delirious PC echo chamber on the East River:
TWO years ago, a Danish environmentalist called Bjorn Lomborg had an idea. We all want to make the world a better place but, given finite resources, we should look for the most cost-effective ways of doing so. He persuaded a bunch of economists, including three Nobel laureates, to draw up a list of priorities. They found that efforts to fight malnutrition and disease would save many lives at modest expense, whereas fighting global warming would cost a colossal amount and yield distant and uncertain rewards.

That conclusion upset a lot of environmentalists. This week, another man who upsets a lot of people embraced it. John Bolton, America's ambassador to the United Nations, said that Mr Lomborg's "Copenhagen Consensus" (see articles) provided a useful way for the world body to get its priorities straight. Too often at the UN, said Mr Bolton, “everything is a priority”. The secretary-general is charged with carrying out 9,000 mandates, he said, and when you have 9,000 priorities you have none.

So, over the weekend, Mr Bolton sat down with UN diplomats from seven other countries, including China and India but no Europeans, to rank 40 ways of tackling ten global crises. The problems addressed were climate change, communicable diseases, war, education, financial instability, governance, malnutrition, migration, clean water and trade barriers.

Given a notional $50 billion, how would the ambassadors spend it to make the world a better place? Their conclusions were strikingly similar to the Copenhagen Consensus. After hearing presentations from experts on each problem, they drew up a list of priorities. The top four were basic health care, better water and sanitation, more schools and better nutrition for children. Averting climate change came last.

The ambassadors thought it wiser to spend money on things they knew would work. Promoting breast-feeding, for example, costs very little and is proven to save lives. It also helps infants grow up stronger and more intelligent, which means they will earn more as adults. Vitamin A supplements cost as little as $1, save lives and stop people from going blind. And so on.

For climate change, the trouble is that though few dispute that it is occurring, no one knows how severe it will be or what damage it will cause. And the proposed solutions are staggeringly expensive. Mr Lomborg reckons that the benefits of implementing the Kyoto protocol would probably outweigh the costs, but not until 2100. This calculation will not please Al Gore. Nipped at the post by George Bush in 2000, Mr Gore calls global warming an "onrushing catastrophe" and argues vigorously that curbing it is the most urgent moral challenge facing mankind.

Of course, Gore's anti-Bush rantings and cockamamie climate catastrophisme are just the lure for the rabid pack of strays and sports of nature baying at the moon in the General Assembly. As the Economist sums up:
Mr Lomborg demurs. "We need to realise that there are many inconvenient truths," he says. But whether he and Mr Bolton can persuade the UN of this remains to be seen. Mark Malloch Brown, the UN's deputy secretary-general, said on June 6th that: "there is currently a perception among many otherwise quite moderate countries that anything the US supports must have a secret agenda...and therefore, put crudely, should be opposed without any real discussion of whether [it makes] sense or not."

Just evict the asylum inmates from the friendly confines of the NYC asylum, and dynamite the joke on the East River. Let them go to Beijing or Moscow to rant and rave in more appropriate environs.

Sub-Saharan Africa without Zimbabwe

The Economist has a long piece on the southern two-thirds of the Darkest Continent.

They managed to stress a silver lining without mentioning a lot of the huge hurricane of corruption and disease buffeting the hapless kleptocracies south of the Equator [or north of it in Sudan and some other god-forsaken hellholes].

Zimbabwe gets no mention at all. Mugabe has looted the country back to an average life-span of 34 for females---and is selling the rest of whatever is worth anything to the Chinese, who are busy building him more Saddam-style palaces.

And, of course, most Africans would say it's all the US's fault!

Murtha "Slow-Played" Abscam Stingers?

Potato-faced over-the-hill PA Congressman Murtha may be in his cups, but he's still swinging for the fences, as his recent announcement he will run for House Whip to defeat moderate Steny Hoyer for the job. Pelosi, who has little control over her restive minority, evidently was not consulted by her cantankerous fellow cut-and-run ally before he butted in where he was not invited.

Robert Novak has some interesting back pages on this fellow Murtha, recalling that in the Abscam sting of 1980, Murtha ratted out his fellow Congressperson after when Murtha sorta held back, but kinka winked and nodded at the proferred sting money, his oversized backside came into jeopardy.

Read the link to get the details, but this uninvited candidate for House Minority Whip will help the Repubs fend off the culture of corruption charges, as Murtha just missed getting nailed himself---was he holding out for a bigger payout, slow playing the FBI types? He certainly bragged about his power and influence, and maybe was cadging for a larger slice of that "Duke" Cunningham pie?

What a poster-boy for new-broom-sweeps-clean patriotism!

Addle-Pated EuroSclerotics' Heads In Usual Place

The continuation of what Oswald Spengler called "The Decline of the West" is nowhere more obvious than in the soccer-powerhouse, realpolitik-challenged continent of Europe, whose century was the nineteenth, not the twentieth and certainly not the twenty-first.

The Economist has a long and very pointed piece on how completely unable to deal with Muslim immigration on a mass scale has reduced Europe to a virtual zero birthrate [except for 4% Muslims] train wreck just around the bend.

Notice how the old-left socialists who don't believe in God are such avid cheerleaders and allies of the radical America-hating Muslim extremists. No wonder the Guardian and the Independent are such Muslim lovers. Robert Fisk heads the phalanx of the International-Left press corps baying at the moon over the triumph of capitalism. One out of many key observations in this excellent piece entitled "Islam, America, and Europe":
Europe has become a "field of jihad", and it may be the part of the world where America faces the greatest threat from Islamic extremism. So says Daniel Benjamin, a former White House adviser who is now a terrorism-watcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a think-tank. Mr Benjamin makes a demographic projection of a kind more often heard on American lips than European ones. The Muslim population of the European Union's existing 25 members may on present trends double from about 15m now to 30m by 2025. And that leaves out EU-applicant Turkey, with an almost entirely Muslim population of around 70m.

To be sure, it is by no means clear just how many Muslims there are in Europe. In France, whose secular authorities never ask a religious question on a census form, the number of people of Muslim heritage is generally given as 5m, or 8% of the population. But that is only an educated guess. Some studies, extrapolating from the difference in birth rates, say the figure might rise to 20% of the population by 2020.

But as the insanity in the progress-challenged Muslim world gets more religiously extreme, the huge number of unemployable women, shut-ins by religious and cultural Muslim custom, remains a key problem for assimilation.
The main reason is that, compared with British Hindus and Sikhs, or even French Muslim women, very few of Britain's Muslim women—mostly from Pakistan or Bangladesh—go out to work. Yet some Muslim sub-groups, such as the Ismailis who came from southern Asia via East Africa, have soared ahead. Islam itself is no barrier to economic advancement.

Amid all the confusion, there is one clear trend among European Muslims. Islam is increasingly important as a symbol of identity. About a third of French schoolchildren of Muslim origin see their faith rather than a passport or skin colour as the main thing that defines them. Young British Muslims are inclined to see Islam (rather than the United Kingdom, or the city where they live) as their true home.

It does not help that all Europeans, whatever their origin, nowadays find themselves “identity-shopping” as the European Union competes with the older nation-states for their loyalty. No wonder many young European Muslims find that the umma—worldwide Islam—tugs hardest at their heart-strings.

Identity politics has realigned politics in the United States over the last quarter century. It looks like Europe will experience the same, only predictably worse.

And, BTW, how is feminism, a leftist trope, going to be a bedfellow with leftist Muslim male chauvinist pigs?

Memeorandum Following Kossack Diktat?

A quick check of demonstrates that the Kosola scandal has mysteriously evaporated as far as this popular reference matrix is concerned. The only ref to Zengerle's zapping of Kos for trying to subvert the truth is in a letter by the tiny agitpropper calling TNR all sorts of names! No mention of Kaus's masterful debunking of the little Stalinist wannabe from south of the border.

Kossacks' Koverup has succeeded in scaring

Kaus and Zengerle Nail "Kosola" Koverup

Ever diligent to avoid being hijacked by ultra-leftist flimflammery, The Plank defends moderate Dems from the ever-lurking Trotskyite bombthrowers as characterized by "socialism with a human face" Kos and his agitprop kommandos on the puffington host slice of the political spectrum---the left-field bleachers of American politics.

Gadfly and ueberhero of moderation Mickey Kaus has concisely covered the entire burgeoning mini-scandal over scammer Jayson Blair Armstrong who resembles a Jack Abramoff wannabe [Meet the old boss....]. Here is the text of Mickey's staccato indictment of the new mini-Kremlin Kos koverup: [Sorry, the links are in the Kausfile above]
"Kos Wants Silence! TNR's Jason Zengerle has discovered one reason why normally fierce Kos defenders have been strangely silent on the Kosola controversy: In a message to "'Townhouse,' a private email list comprising elite liberal bloggers"--the authenticity of which seems to be undisputed--DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas has issued a:"

request to you guys [that] that you ignore this for now. It would make my life easier if we can confine the story. Then, once Jerome [Armstrong] can speak and defend himself, then I'll go on the offensive ... and anyone can pile on. If any of us blog on this right now, we fuel the story. Let's starve it of oxygen.

Kos continues:"A shrewd strategy, designed to prevent the Kosola scandalette from "making the jump to the traditional media." I've pursued the identical strategy myself, in analogous circumstances, though with a far less powerful and centralized institutional apparatus. So far, the "sheep-like" Kositburo members have largely complied. ...

"The email also contains a cursory defense of Kosbuddy Jerome Armstrong signing a suggestive consent decree with the SEC ("he was a poor grad student at the time so he settled because he had no money"), plus some thuggy blustering about "lawsuits" and "exploring legal options." Kos offers no defense, in Zengerle's account, on the central moral (not legal) corruption at the heart of the Kosola scandal: whether one thing you get when you buy Jerome Armstrong's services is highly effective "access" to his co-author Kos--access that in practice affects Kos' loyalties and the direction he sends his followers. If that's the case, it seems just as corrupt (and just as non-illegal) as when a former Tom Delay aide sells himself to corporate clients in part on the basis of his "access" to the bigshot he used to work for. That's business as usual--but I thought the Kos reformers were supposed to be different.

"Is the newly-discovered Kositburo itself a sinister institution? In recent years the right has behaved as if it had some sort of shadowy de facto steering committee. You figured the Left must have something like that--how else to explain why an antiwar site like Huffington Post would suddenly decide to seize the cheap partisan opportunity to posture as patriotic by making a show of opposing the Iraqi governments attempts to end violence through an amnesty program (and mocking the GOP's failure to similarly posture)? Maybe Arianna got a "Townhouse" email! ...

P.S.: The Kosola controversy offers more proof, if you needed it, of the folly of TimesSelect. Do you doubt that Chris Suellentrop's initial scoop about Jerome Armstrong's alleged stock touting would be march harder for the Kositburo to bottle up if it hadn't been stuck behind the TimesSelect subscription wall? I'd say TimesSelect cut it's impact by at least 50%. .... You'd think the guy who guided the disastrous Times Select experiment would get kicked to the side and given an assignment in far-off Asia, where he could do little further damage, instead of ... oh wait. ...

P.P.S.: The official NYT memo announcing Len Apcar's new assignment does not contain, in the section boasting of his many accomplishments, the sentence "He initiated TimesSelect." Kf's subtle Pravda-like reading of the memo therefore extracts this meaning: TimesSelect is dead. They'll pull the plug within a year. ...

See also: Excellent posts at Red State, where "Trevino" notes a) that Kos & Co. are behaving like "the Armstrong revelations have them scared," and b) there have long been suspicions about Kosola-esque dealings, and theyv'e been "more on the left ... than the right." ...10:11 P.M.
Kosolafest, 2006: Jim Geraghty has posted a "comprehensive Kos-Armstrong" timeline, which he claims shows an "interesting pattern." (The pattern: Buy one, get one free!) ... I debate the issue with Bob Wright here. Wright pooh-poohs the scandal. I say you don't have to have illegality to have corruption, and this situation reeks of corruption. ... Joyner tends to the Wright view, claiming there's only "one strike" against Kos. ... What about Ohio? 12:40 P.M. link

Yes, the left unites lock-step against revelation of wrongdoing by one of their agitprop KosKommandos-in-Chief.

Remember back in the days of glasnost and perestroika? Guess the new nomenklatura of the Puff-Kos left have forgotten.

The only Dem pol who is dumb enuf to continue this dalliance with korrupt Kossacks is tone-deaf drone John Kerry [unless Mark Warner has a "stupid gene" common to many on the left].

Finally, Zengerle zings Kos in catching the diminuitive Mex-Greek in an OUT AND OUT lie, concerning his status as a "poor grad student" when he settled with the SEC over his stock-shilling scams. Turns out he had already been a consultant for the imploder-in-chief Howard Dean at $3K/month for half a year when Liar Moulitsas claimed he was still in grad-school-penniless mode. Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.

Broder on Blogs

Back when I was living in DC until 1991, David Broder was already the dean of the WaPo news office, or at least its most respected elder statesman. Broder still keeps diligently turning out his trademark, moderate Democratic commentary at the Washington Post and today has an article that shows that, despite being long in the tooth, David still keeps abreast of new attempts at bolstering Democratic moderation.

First, of course, he makes the amazing discovery:
the blogs I have scanned are heavier on vituperation of President Bush and other targets than on creative thought. The candidates who have been adopted as heroes by Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the convention's leader, and his fellow bloggers have mainly imploded in the heat of battle -- as was the case with Howard Dean in 2004 -- or come up short, as happened to the Democratic challengers in special House elections in Ohio and California.

Or in about a dozen and a half other special races across the country, including some against Democrats insufficiently radical according to the Kossack POV. Sounds like Robert Shrum has a new rival waiting in the wings for the title of biggest jinx of the Democrats' electoral hopes. Broder notes the "nutroots" are not the hope of the future, but neither is Pelosi/Reid, the two girlie-men in charge of Dems congressional hopes.
Fortunately, there are others than these "net roots" activists working on the challenge of defining the Democratic message. I do not include the Democratic congressional leadership in the hopeful camp. The new legislative "agenda" that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and Co. trotted out last week was as meager as it was unimaginative.

However, one called the Democratic Strategist is damned by faint praise:
Promising as they are, the two publications also show just how hard it is to break free from conventional wisdom without leaving the universe of realistic policy.

The Democratic Strategist, the new online publication, comes with highly reputable sponsorship. Its editors are William Galston, a former Clinton White House policy adviser now at the Brookings Institution; Stanley Greenberg, the pollster for both Bill Clinton and Al Gore; and Ruy Teixeira, an author now affiliated with two think tanks, the Center for American Progress and the Century Foundation.

They declare that "The Democratic Strategist will be firmly and insistently based on facts and data. It will seek strategies rooted in empirical research from the fields of public opinion research, political demography and other social sciences and will avoid empty rhetoric and abstract theorizing."

Would that it were so. That kind of intellectual discipline is sorely needed in Democratic debates. But the first issue is filled with pieces in which familiar Democratic names take up familiar positions, with few of them bothering to adduce any evidence to support their views.

Thus, we have blogger Jerome Armstrong, a Kos partner, arguing for mounting campaigns everywhere, no matter the odds; Robert Borosage of the leftist Campaign for America's Future inciting Democrats to take on Big Oil and all of corporate America; civil rights activist Donna Brazile plumping for cleaning up elections; and the Kennedy School of Government's Elaine Kamarck arguing that Dukakis-style "competence" should be the Democrats' battle cry.

To be fair, some contributors, such as columnist Harold Meyerson and union president John Wilhelm, do root their arguments in solid economic or demographic trends. But as Galston conceded in an interview, the editors and the readers will have to be more insistent that future authors live up to the promise of the reality-based publication.

The Democrats were the party of ideas back in the day when I was involved in their campaigns. But the Repubs have followed the conservative mantra to success under Reagan until the neo-cons snatched the vanguard from classical conservatives [where I more often than not hang my hat]. So if the Strategist is just more socialist clap-trap with a few new bells and whistles, what about the second one?:
The other new entry, called Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, is edited by 33-year-old Kenneth Baer and 30-year-old Andrei Cherny, both former speechwriters for Gore. Their first issue is really impressive.

The lead article, by Jedediah Purdy of Duke Law School, explores the demographic trends around the world. It discusses the implications of population decline in Europe and Japan and how the abortion-influenced gender imbalances in China, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan result in a "surplus" of millions of single men in those fragile democracies or authoritarian states.

Purdy ends by suggesting a long-term bargain between Europe and Asia, or maybe between the United States and India, in which the advanced nations pump development money in now, in return for future help in financing their retirees' pensions.

As Baer and Cherny told me, "this is the kind of idea no politician could put forward now," but it points to a real problem -- and challenges people to think creatively.

Despite the Gore background, these kids are addressing issues ten years or more down the pike, as the present boomer bulge hits the golden years and beyond. Also, the mag has Michael Lind, whose writings I like. Check out the two at the sites below:
Democracy: A Journal of Ideas (at ) and The Democratic Strategist (at ) are welcome additions.

WMD Weapons Found in Iraq?

Yes, the weapons found in Iraq were probably way past their shelf date and yes, Saddam did pull a fast one by destroying or exporting his caches of WMD before the war.

However, as a Washington Post article conveniently neglects to mention:

First, credible Iraqi senior military officials have offered evidence that WMD was exported to Syria and Lebanon, evidence which has not been tracked down as the US is in a delicate balancing act with Syria.

Second, that Iraqi generals were all under the impression that the WMD was present and deployable once the US invasion began. If the senior Iraqi military did not know, how would the CIA and DIA be much better at sniffing out this fact.

Third, that ALL the world's military and intelligence apparatuses, not just the CIA/DIA/NSA were convinced that Saddam had WMD, since he never denied having the weapons.

Finally, the widespread conventional wisdom that Bush knew about the absence of WMD, when his own CIA Director Tenet told him finding it would be a "slam dunk," the so-called "Bush lied, soldiers died" is simply ultra-leftist agitprop that opportunistic and dishonest politicians like John Kerry have seized upon.

So when the rabid rancid left trot out their slogans, remember that like almost everything else in their blatherings, it's just more shoddy bloggerel.