Saturday, March 31, 2007

Building #7 and the Real Story

The blubbery blabber-mouth whose daily rants are providing fodder for airhead bliss is systematically debunked on a daily basis by many people, but here is a genuine 9/11
expert who points out why Rosie O'Donnell is a simple-minded fool on the issue of the implosion of Building #7, so central to the loose-marbled "Loose Change" leftardos like Charlie Sheen, whose sexual antics disgusted even Heidi Fleiss, appears to be influenced. Besides a medley of drugs which the pole-axed Anna Nicole Airhead might be felled. Charlie is a Major League druggie and cross-addicted to everything except honesty and intelligence.

And as they say, the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. Papa Martin is surely proud of his demented delusional drug-addled offspring.

Frauds at Fox, MSNBC, ABC & CNN have Double Standard

Remember the platitudinous pontifications of the passive pusillanimous pussies in the MSM concerning those awful cartoons of Mohammed? Those perfidious Danes allowed their ethnocentric free press to publish the murderous presentations which got people killed in lots of countries far far away. Now we have a Chocolate Jesus and the US media is rushing to get the anatomically correct pictures out during Holy Week.

Hot Air has a couple of piquant observations on the cowardice of sanctimonious frauds, one example being a creepy leftardo at the Washington Post who earnestly explained last year about those pesky cartoons:
"They wouldn't meet our standards for what we publish in the paper," said Leonard Downie, Jr., executive editor of The Washington Post, which ran a front-page story on the issue Friday, but has not published the cartoons. "We have standards about language, religious sensitivity, racial sensitivity and general good taste." ...

At USA Today, deputy foreign editor Jim Michaels offered a similar explanation. "At this point, I'm not sure there would be a point to it," he said about publishing the cartoons. "We have described them, but I am not sure running it would advance the story." Although he acknowledged that the cartoons have news value, he said the offensive nature overshadows that.

The Boston Globe, while acknowledging the right of newspapers to print material that may offend, argues that "newspapers ought to refrain from publishing offensive caricatures of Mohammed in the name of the ultimate Enlightenment value: tolerance."

Translation for the hopelessly unaware: "We don't want bombs exploding in our lobbies or lawsuits from enraged bearded maniacs..... But especially the bombs and [assassination, the invention of the hashish-maddened retardos of that troubled region] possible destruction of our property.

See, Christianity is a religion of [relative] tolerance while the foam-flecked kidnappers and self-exploders of the "Religion of Peace" may just blow up the cowardly craven kowtowing bastions of "Free Press" communications.

Cowards like Downie are aware that their reporters might be killed by the rabid dogs of the so-called "Religion of Peace" should the Post publish a cartoon or two of the Prophet of Peace, whose warlike nations still haven't developed an economy that doesn't run on fossil fuels---fitting for a fossil religion.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Pew Polls Refute Other Polls

The left-leaning Pew Center comes out with a poll trumpeted by the MSM as and indication of a big
Democrat victory in the offing. Seems the American people are turning to the left. But ooops, slight problem.

A massive poll conducted by the AP/Ipsos group and put out by the centrist and renowned
Gallup Poll sank like a stone when it was released about three weeks ago. Problem? Unlike the lefty Pew[kers] the Gallup found that conservative outnumber liberals two to one, which is consistent with polling over the last few years. But the MSM ignored this much larger and more reputable poll. Wonder why?

A recent study of how Americans regard the mainstream media in the USA conducted by a
Zogby Poll across the country found that most Americans regard the media itself as biased left.

And a massive four-year poll conducted among the top MSM outlets in the country found that the American people are correct in their view that the US MSM is irremediably biased to the extent that the entire group of major outlets has a 70 on the ADA rating, enough to get them elected to office in, say, Hollyweird or Manhattan or any university campus.

But again, the UCLA/Missouri poll, though much more reputable than the Pew biased treacle, never got any airtime, not even on Fox News, which the libs claim is a right-wing outlet. Or rather, Breck-boy says that and his liberal acolytes and MSM cheerleaders and glrlie-men say that about Fox, which actually has an ADA rating of about 50, making it "fair and balanced."

Noose Tightening on Pasqua and Chirac?

The belly-aching in the US media about Halliburton is non-stop, it seems, but at least the US media works to uncover seamy relationships between Government and business. In countries with no real First Amendment rights like France, the process of unraveling the sordid political bonds twixt political protectors and big oil is much harder to uncover. Take Oil-for-Food and Iraq, for instance.

When I was living there, the French government was discovered to have put a "table d'ecoutes," or bug, in the conference room of Le Canard Enchaine, a satirical journal much like the Onion or the Tatler, only much more widely distributed and respected as telling the truths which must not be uttered in the marketplace of public discourse. When the scandal erupted, the government simply threatened to raise the price of raw paper for newsprint, and in the press and electronic media, utter silence ensued.

But French courts are more independent than the supine French press, and now the rocks are beginning to be turned over and the exploits of former Senator and Interior Minister Charles Pasqua, whom all observers know as Chirac's fixer and bagman, ["tuyau" in the local argot], are being increasingly exposed. Over a year ago, Le Monde courageously buried Pasqua's indictment for Oil-for-Food below the fold deep in its daily. There was no follow-up anywhere by the tame and complicit French press, nor none overseas, as the MSM in the US views Chirac as an ally in its campaign to destroy GWB.

The Wall Street Journal has an opinion piece with a graph demonstrating how Total, a company notoriously in bed with the French political elites, no matter who wins the national election, is just one of many big foreign oil operations trying to pay off the mullahs to get into Iran's oilfields at the expense of US majors.

Read the piece, and the next time you drive into a Shell station, remember that you are helping the mullahs and their little madman Ahmedinejad in their campaign to destroy Israel and eventually, the Western Civilization most Americans treasure.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Evan Sayet is Bill Maher's Brain: Only Smarter

Former Bill Maher writer Evan Sayet nails some of the problems liberals have with many Americans. Like Dennis Miller, Evan saw the scales drop from his eyes 9/11/01.
YouTube has his forty-seven minute speech to the Heritage Foundation. Listen to his linked presentation as he is enjoyably quick, funny, and very well spoken. Here is a quick take of my unedited notes which I'll spiff up later for a grammatical version:
Moral inversion of the left. Failure to liberals is proof of victimization and a result of prejudice; Success to liberals is triumph of injustice so Wal-Mart and the USA must be Evil. Making the US fail therefore becomes a major goal and proves that libs are right. Cult of Indiscriminateness. Mindless living for today makes libs vote themselves more and more entitlements. Never call a terrorist organization a bunch of terrorists. Freedom Fighter is what an indiscriminate person who has suspended his/her critical faculties calls anyone fighting for anything, even if it is for slavery. Republicans think and make critical rational moral judgments. The Human Shields went to Baghdad because they didn't regard SH as a monster. Once one subscribes to indiscriminateness, any decision to act is an act of discrimination. So action is evil; passion is good. The new paradigm. Modern liberalism is nihilism which doesn't replace Wal-Mart or Government with anything, and has an essentially destructive nature. Allan Bloom The Closing of the American Mind and Hayek The Road to Serfdom. There is no higher power to liberals, so they are unable to make decisions based on principle. Principles don't exist. Liberalism is not progressive, but static and even self-destructive. The mentality of a five-year old persists into adulthood and critical functions are suppressed whenever choices are to be made. Passivity and not discriminating . AGW is not a position that these Gores have reached through science, but is accepted because it puts the USA as being evil and destroys US productivity and progress. Tech progress has given the conservatives alternative methods. Internet etc give opportunities for real thinkers. Progressive is just recasting liberalism with a new name. Libs claim the opposite of what they have actually achieved. Black schools have resulted in massive illiteracy and crime and for a liberal to call himself a progressive is just an advertising slogan.

[My own take is twofold: Orwell's 1984 is a good example of what happens when choice is removed from the marketplace of public discourse. Everything becomes its opposite. What the libs claim as truth is simply unproven hypotheses. Also, I recall from reading Nietzsche his thesis of the Revolution of the Artists, who would overthrow all values and morals in order to achieve a complete destruction [and hence, in N's mind, creation] of all that is part and parcel of civilization. The new order would spring from the ashes of the old order. It seems Nietzsche predicted what is happening to the liberal mind, an emptying out of itself of everything except opposition to what are traditional standards and moral values.]

Europe's 50th Anniversary Clown Show

Foreign Policy Magazine, which has veered much to the farthest left since Richard Holbrooke founded it in the early '70s as a sort of left-version of Foreign Affairs, nevertheless occasionally desists from bashing Bush long enough to have articles on other subjects. Here is a lucid and limpid summary of
the 50th Anniversary of the European Union aptly titled "Europe's 50th Anniversary Clown Show."

The author is an historian who wrote a book on the decline of the Hapsburg Empire.
Today’s EU resembles a sort of undemocratic Habsburg Empire. Its legislation is proposed by a Commission of unelected bureaucrats who have now apparently lost control of their own staffs and who themselves are usually political outcasts from their national political systems. Decisions on whether to adopt their often bizarre initiatives are then taken in total secrecy by the Council of Ministers or the European Council, before being rubber-stamped by the federalist parliament and imposed on the citizens of member states, whose national legislatures can do absolutely nothing to alter their directives or regulations. Indeed, 84 percent of all legislation before national parliaments, according to the German Ministry of Justice, now simply involves implementing Brussels diktats. All this makes European politics undemocratic at all levels, and opinion polls reflect the public’s growing disillusionment. So, given the present lack of democracy, together with corruption scandals and splits over foreign policy—not to mention the prospect of having a constitution rammed down the throats of voters who originally rejected it or never had the chance to vote on the matter in the first place—it can be no surprise that ordinary Europeans saw the celebrations as a sick joke.

The entire article is worth a look.

And we complain in the US that Congress and Big Government don't represent the people. They don't, but compared to Europe, the USA is a pure democracy.

New Preamble to the Constitution: Suggestions Welcome

My brother Dick forwarded this to me and I invite any comments or suggestions. Always room for improvement.

NEW PREAMBLE TO THE CONSTITUTION

"We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other liberal bed-wetters. We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON-Rights."

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone -- not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful; do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes. (This one is my pet peeve...get an education and go to work....don't expect everyone else to take care of you!)

ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care.

ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.

ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.

ARTICLE VIII: You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful. (AMEN!)

ARTICLE IX: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness, which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

ARTICLE X: This is an English speaking country. We don't care where you are from, English is our language. Learn it or go back to wherever you came from! (Lastly....)

ARTICLE XI: You do not have the right to change our country's history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history, and if you are uncomfortable with it, TOUGH!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sink the Iranian Navy?

Sadly, back in 1979 in the first hostage crisis, the impotent wimp Jimmy Carter demonstrated to the Iranians that there was no punishment or taking hostages.The Wall Street Journal examines the consequences of Carter's feckless hand-wringing incompetence, a precedent which the Ayatollahs and Revolutionary Guards now regard as western suppliant behavior when western hostages are seized by the Iranian government. [Incidentally, records from KGB archives indicate that the USSR decided that Carter would not object to a Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the light of his limp-wristed response to the Iranian hostage coup.]

The recent kidnappings of 15 British RN personnel should be viewed in the multiple contexts of:
1] a UNSC vote over the weekend to impose further sanctions on Iran
2] a Russian demand that payments be brought up to date on its Busheir Nuke Plant
3] a silly contretemps on Prez Ahmedinejad's visit to the UN, ginned up by the Iranians to make the silliness appear the fault of the USA.
4] the fact that the kidnappings were done by the Revolutionary Guards, the sole arm of the Iranian govt that remains under the control of Ahmedinejad.

As additional background, it should be borne in mind that the Majlis recently passed legislation to move the next presidential election forward to 2008 to coincide with the parliamentary elections, a move which is an affront to Ahmedinejad, as his election was previously slated for 2009. There is much dissatisfaction with the economic situation, and the strict religious rules are not being enforced in many areas of Tehran and cities like Tabriz. Ahmedinejad's chief opponent, Hashemi Rafsanjani, is now the head of the Expediency Council and sure to be the diminuitive madman's opponent in the presidential elections next year.

With regard to the Revolutionary Guard "Navy" which engineered the kidnapping, Ahmedinejad rose up the political ladder through the Revolutionary Guards, an organization technically outside the Iranian state apparatus, and many of his aggressive radical policies derive from their messianic Shi'ite world view. The external Hezbollah terrorist organization derives its support from the Guards. If unauthorized by the Ayatollah, this amounts to a mini-coup by the President to protect his fast diminishing political clout.

Ahmedinejad wants to get back the Iranian general Asgari who defected with nuke secrets and lots of intelligence on Ahmedinejad, whom Asgari detests. If he can't do that, he wants to throw a wedge between the US, which captured five Iranian secret agents operating under consular cover in Mosul, and the British. Iran will predictably ask for the US captives in return for the British naval personnel. Ahmedinejad also wants some sort of overt retaliation by the west, knowing that that will boost his very low esteem among the vast majority of Iranians, who will unite in the face of foreign retaliation.

So this is a desperate gamble by a "politician" unafraid to play high-stakes brinksmanship with opponents hamstrung by democratic politics. The Democrats in the US and the ultra-left in the UK are appeasement addicts. The Carter gene is alive and well in the US Democrat Party.

Ahmedinejad may be crazy, but he also may have judged his opponents well, and is crazy like a fox.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Does the US need a bit of Putin Power?

Wobbly I-want-people-to-like-me George W. Bush should perhaps gird his loins a bit, though not to the extent that the midget Rasputin/Vlad-the-Empoisoner
Putin is flashing his mini-junk in public.

St. Petersburg-native Putin hails from a city that has been called the San Francisco of the Arctic, but he should consider putting a few flowers in his hair rather than beating the daylights out of protesters for allegedly violating the rules of a protest demonstration.

San Francisco Values or USSR values. Lil' Vlad has made his choice, it seems.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Libs Just Fine with AGW Hysteria, But not with GWOT

I used to like Zbig Brzezinski. Back in the day, I did a short stint at Georgetown CSIS. I just had an office nook, but down the hall dwelt super ex-Govt politicos Zbig Brzez and Henry the Kiss [HK soon peeled off to found his eponymous Kiss Associates.] Although I had been HK's control officer on a couple of his trips to Saudi Arabia, he never deigned to recognize my existence. Au contraire, Zbig was friendly, though our paths had never crossed while I was in government. However, sad to say, like many Dems, he has caught swamp fever from the denizens of miasmal ultra-leftism.

I don't like making some of the observations below, but recently I heard ZB on TV saying Saddam did not have and never did have weapons of mass destruction. Nonsense. Either he has a special definition for these weapons, which include bio and chem warfare, or he owes an explanation for tens of thousands of Iranians gassed and otherwise killed by WMD. And of course, how those poor Kurds died in Halabja. Zbig has quaffed mightily from the pewter pot of Kool-Aid and Jim Jones would be proud of this new specimen of left-wing paranoia.

My first question is how and why does
Zbigniew Brzezinski rant about the War on Terror as being hysteria? The World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93 were on US soil. London and Madrid were attacked by terrorists, and two German trains were to be blown up, but the explosives did not function---these were traced to Lebanon. Paris staved off an attack in the '90s by not pre-emptively blinking as ZB and the Dems appear to be doing. How much evidence does this blinkered one need before he admits we should be concerned?

He of all senior Democrats must know that the US does face Al Qaeda and its franchise offshoots both at home and abroad. Typical of a liberal to be calling something real like terrorism no problem, while presumably ranting about man-made Global Warming, which is truly a South Sea Bubble of the liberal imagination. [Yes, humans have something to do with GW, and the world is getting warmer, but no one has proved anything conclusive about the million other variables in the equation.] There are thousands of scientists on both sides of the issue, though the lying liberal media lie in calling a multitude of reputable skeptics "a few holdouts."

Anthropogenic Global Warming appears to be simply a sideshow concocted by the ultra-left to divert attention from the grave crisis Islamic terrorists present to the US and its western allies. No one is allowed to bring up evidence of Martian icecaps melting on AGW-certified channels such as CNN and MSNBC. Seldom are any of the many skeptical scientists like Tim Ball of Canada interviewed on American TV.

The ultra-left wing of the Democrat Party has a long history of mau-mauing the flak-catchers of a centrist establishment. Hillary is being subjected to the same treatment that sane and sober Dems of the past have undergone. Zbig is deciding that he will do a little Kenyan action on the ultra-fringe after so many years of relatively rational analysis. Had he the flimsy credentials of the jumped-up weathermen clamoring about Global Warming, presumably he would be part of boring droning lyin' Al's entourage in the daisy-chain rain dance of AGW.

ZB should tell his lies about Saddam's WMD to the Kurds in Halabja. And elsewhere where they were used against his own people in Operation Anfal.

And insufferable Al should ask himself about those curious melting icecaps on Mars. And how to lose fifty pounds, while he's at it, if he wants a political future.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

France Bids Chirac a Sour Adieu

The French specialize in amertume, a word that conveys so much more than the English "bitterness" denotes. The French cling to amertume the way German food sticks to your ribs, and then some. The Economist notes
Jacques Chirac may be about to join the dunce-cap counter-pantheon of French ex-leaders held in low repute. The Economist summarizes the damage:
During Mr Chirac's two terms in office, French unemployment has averaged 10%, GDP per person has been overtaken by that of both Britain and Ireland, and public debt, at 66% of GDP, has grown faster than in any other European Union country. Over the past two years, the febrile French have rebuffed the president with assiduous regularity. They rebelled over Europe, by saying non in a referendum on its proposed constitution in May 2005. The multi-ethnic banlieues rebelled over social exclusion in three weeks of rioting in the autumn of 2005. The young rebelled over economic reform by taking to the streets against a less-secure job contract for the under-26s a year ago.

But anyone visiting France knows that things aren't that horrific, and anyone who has lived there for a couple of years like myself knows that grogner is the premier national habit, even while French food and drink are the envy of the planet. So what gives? At least in part, the dissatisfaction with Chirac mirrors the French overall malaise.

But Chirac has his own strangely despicable political double-crosses to blame in part. Notwithstanding his reneging on an oral promise to support Bush in the UN in 2003, the French Prez has a long record of backstabbing his own Gaullist allies, such as Valery Giscard D'Estaing. Here is the Economist take on his latest bobbing and weaving in an election he delusionally believed he could participate in for a third term until subterranean polls nudged his ambitions aside:
The first oddity of this election is that Mr Chirac has no natural successor from his own political family. On paper, it appears to be Mr Sarkozy. But Mr Chirac has not yet endorsed his candidacy. One by one, he has tried, and failed, to nurture alternative successors on the Gaullist right. Mr Juppé, his chosen heir, was disqualified by his conviction. Dominique de Villepin, the prime minister, who publicly backed Mr Sarkozy's candidacy this week, ruled himself out by mismanaging the mass strikes and student protests last year.

But JC's final failure was probably unavoidable. His implication in the Oil-for-Food UN scandal and suspicions that Saddam's half-brother Ambassador to the UN in Geneva was keeping Chirac from abandoning long-time protege Saddam [Chirac as a junior nuclear minister was Saddam H's escort during his visit to France in the seventies and helped push through and implement the French Osirak nuclear reactor project destroyed by the Israelis in 1981] by the traditional bags of French Napoleons D'Or Saddam may have had pouched from Geneva to Paris. His place in French history will be ambiguous and fraught with controversy for decades hence.

I would like to see Nicolas Sarkozy win the first vote on April 22nd, but read this excellent Economist article for a rundown on France, Chirac, the upcoming elections, and how the US is not the only country undergoing a malaise at the moment.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Al Gore Delays Submission of His Testimony

Any doubts that Gore has abandoned his dishonest ways, the accumulation of fibs and hyperbole that deprived him of the presidency in 2000, are disappearing as this serial exaggerator and chronic panderer has not submitted his testimony 48 hours ahead as required before the EPW Committee he is to testify in front of today.
Gore's chronic underachieving has impeded his career, although this Golden Boy was born with fanfare in 1948 with a story above the fold in the state capitol newspaper, The Nashville Tennessean. But Al consistently overspoke, wore a yarmulke everywhere in his '88 NY Presidential Primary race, and generally pandered to the far left or whomever he thought was useful at the moment. Some like New Yorker Editor David Remnick lap up this pabulum uncritically. Recently, SNL had a hilarious skit with how perfect the world would be if the Gore campaign had gained the presidency in 2000. As Newsbusters puts it:
"the SNL skit was making FUN of people like YOU who think that an Al Gore win would have led to a perfect world. Instead, Remnick uses that skit as a segue into a What Might Have Been if only America had been worthy enough to have elected the all-wise Gore:

The cruelty here was not to Gore, who probably requires no prompting to brood now and then about what might have been, but to the audience. It is worse than painful to reflect on how much better off the United States and the world would be today if the outcome of the 2000 election had been permitted to correspond with the wishes of the electorate. The attacks of September 11, 2001, would likely not have been avoided, though there is ample evidence, in the 9/11 Commission report and elsewhere, that Gore and his circle were far more alert to the threat of Islamist terrorism than Bush and his. But can anyone seriously doubt that a Gore Administration would have meant, well, an alternate universe, in which, say, American troops were sent on a necessary mission in Afghanistan but not on a mistaken and misbegotten one in Iraq; the fate of the earth, not the fate of oil-company executives, was the priority of the Environmental Protection Agency; civil liberties and diplomacy were subjects of attention rather than of derision; torture found no place or rationale?


For Remnick the Alternate Al Gore Universe is something to pine for. Of course, with a President Al Gore we might still be debating whether to place economic sanctions on the Taliban in Afghanistan. If you think Remnick can't get any more sickenly sweet in the worship of his blessed Goracle, you would be wrong:

On the issue of climate change, of course, he has exercised visionary leadership. With humor and intelligence, and negligible self-pity, he dispensed with the temptations of political martyrdom and became a global Jeremiah. Beginning in the nineteen-eighties, he waged what was at first a fairly lonely campaign to draw attention to the problem; now, as a popularizing propagandist, he has succeeded in registering it as a crisis with nearly everyone, from field-tripping schoolchildren to reality-dubious members of the Administration. With his documentary film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” Gore made the undeniability of the crisis a matter of consensus; thanks largely to him, an environmental issue will be an electoral issue. His secular evangelism has earned him an honored night at the Academy Awards and—almost as glittering—a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Obviously Remnick wrote the above paean to the Goracle before the Mars icecap-melt photos in the National Geographic, which prompted even a cheerleader-for-the-left href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/13/science/13gore.html?ex=1174536000&en=0f3cdc5c0018a795&ei=5070">like the New York Times into showing a bit of skepticism concerning Gore's many outlandish claims [20-foot sea rise covering Florida, e.g.]. David R may be a bit behind the news curve in his institutionally-entombed and fact-check challenged New Yorker.

Well, we'll all have fun listening to Gore sigh and make more claims and perhaps metaphorically don the pointed headgear he really deserves to wear---a dunce cap---in his testimony today. His delay in submitted his testimony materials points to a lot of tall tales this carny shill will attempt to run by the gullible left and a pliant MSM. He knows he has an adoring claque on the looney-tune left.

Let's see if Sen Inhofe and reputable climate scientists can give Al the public spanking he deserves.

Monday, March 19, 2007

San Francisco "Values"

I write this short note because I met and knew Chris Hedges when he was the NYT correspondent in Cairo, and I was the Area Manager for Amoco, which has very large assets in Egypt. Back then, in the nineties, we called him "Chicken Little" Hedges because Egypt was alway, and Saudi Arabia too, on the precipice of imminent civic disorder because of religion which would lead to the overthrow of the respective regimes and plunge the region into chaos. His stories were laughingly predictable and he was pulled from that vantage point in the region and a new NYT reporter installed. Egypt and Saudi Arabia remain un-overthrown, but Chris hasn't pulled back from apocalyptic predictions and flamboyant overstatement. Here's his latest psychosis with the obligatory hype and delirium:
SFGate
points to some exotic marketing on a classical music station for Hedges latest book:
A 30-second radio ad for a book was taken off the air Wednesday by KDFC-FM, the San Francisco classical station, when it drew complaints from listeners after airing a few times.

The advertisement for "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America," by Chris Hedges, published in January by Free Press, was tailored to play only in the Bay Area, to promote local appearances by the author.

Check the link for the clueless book marketer who somehow divined that the listeners to classical music would be rabid leftie mouth-frothers of the Chris Hedges ilk! Here in south Florida, the only radio station playing classical music is run by the CATHOLIC Barry University, and I listen to its soothing sounds to escape the mayhem and madness on S. Florida roadways. Keeps me from losing my cool.

Another recent article demonstrated that the old USSR practice of providing clinical attention to those disagreeing with the Workers' Paradise motif propagated by Pravda and Isvestia and other "organs" of the Soviet State is alive and well in S.F.A SF professional man
lost friends who didn't like his published newspaper letters, felt ostracized in diversity exercises at work that single out conservatives, and is frustrated by a Bay Area double standard that makes it socially acceptable for people to blurt out anti-Bush comments but not pro-Bush ones.

Ah yes, diversity. Better drink the Kool-Aid invented by SF's most famous preacher, Jim Jones, or else you spend extra time in Room 101 for being TOO DIVERSE!!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

BBC Rots in its Mental Coffin and Lefty Bloggers Proliferate

As one who was accustomed in Beirut to listen on a short-wave radio to the BBC Overseas when I was stationed in a diplomatic post in the Middle East [broadcast from Cyprus], I remember news and commentaries giving a lucid, well-spoken and balanced viewpoint on both ME and world news. But that was in the '70s, and now I occasionally watch the BBC news in Florida [no hearing-impaired help available as in US broadband or cable broadcasts] and the generational decline of BBC news values has been precipitous. Compared to the skewed half-truth rubbish that is standard fare on this state-supported news network, FoxNEWS is utterly fair and balanced. Gerald Baker, himself a BBC vet, remembers at the link above the glory days of the BBC before it was captured by agitprop cadres of crypto-Marxists.

Nowadays, ultra-left trashcan bloggers like David Brock heavily subsidized by
George Soros are attempting to turn the much larger and more diverse American media into a clone of the lockstep leftist band-music goose-stepping of the BBC. [I use goose-stepping in the North Korean/GDR context.]

TPM is morphing its Talking Points Memo into a big operation, as is a ultra-left creature named Greenwald with a stable of boy-friend catamites in Brazil. These experts have perfected Google-bombing and, as in a septic tank, they are the biggest chunks rising to the top.

The Bolshie Left [and rarely, Brownshirt Right] has always relied on highly stimulated disciplined fanatics with verbal skills and time on their hands to propagate disinformation out of all relation to their actual numbers.

So even though Americans consider themselves as having aconservative bent at a ratio of roughly 2/1 over liberals and American media as biased toward the left, influential liberal bloggers on the radar outnumber conservatives about five to one, judging by memeorandum.org.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Zogby Poll Sees Massive Media Bias to Left---Duh!

The Zogby Poll coincides with a different survey in size and scope of 20 news outlets over three years by UCLA/U. of Missouri journalism schools last year determined that,employing the ADA scale where above 50 is liberal, the twenty outlets averaged 70 on the ADA. Fox News was at the 50 level, all other media outlets were much higher, including even the Wall Street Journal and DrudgeReport.

Now a Zogby poll of over 1700 Americans indicates that the vast majority regard American media as biased toward the left. I have found the Zogby poll itself a bit biased leftward, so this study is interesting in that regard for me personally.

Also recall that a recent AP/Ipsos Poll sponsored by Gallup recorded the conservative bent of the American people as to their basic beliefs and predilections. I first came across these numbers in an article in the New Yorker by Jeff Goldberg which cited a study that said Americans defined themselves as 34$ Conservative and 21% Liberral---in a New Yorker piece showing how afraid the Dems are of getting the "masses" agitated in the Middle West, an quintessentially Conservative Heartland. The recent Gallup effort has 41% of Americans considering themselves conservative or tending conservative, and only 21 % as liberal or tending liberal. [Of course, this does not necessarily mean that over 40% consider themselves Republicans.]

Here are excerpts from the Zogby effort released March 14th:
Zogby Poll: Voters Believe Media Bias is Very Real

The Institute for Politics, Democracy, and the Internet/Zogby Poll shows American voters are skeptical that political motivation may be behind blogs run by mainstream news organizations

The vast majority of American voters believe media bias is alive and well – 83% of likely voters said the media is biased in one direction or another, while just 11% believe the media doesn’t take political sides, a recent IPDI/Zogby Interactive poll shows.

The Institute for Politics, Democracy, and the Internet is based at George Washington University in Washington D.C.

Nearly two-thirds of those online respondents who detected bias in the media (64%) said the media leans left, while slightly more than a quarter of respondents (28%) said they see a conservative bias on their TV sets and in their column inches. The survey, which focuses on perceptions of the "old" and "new" media, will be released today at the PoliticsOnline Conference 2007 at GWU. It is also featured in the March issue of Zogby’s Real America newsletter, now available on www.zogby.com.

Fritz Wenzel, Zogby’s Director of Communications, will also discuss with conference–goers the results of the first interactive survey to include video clips from presidential candidates. The video poll is the latest step in Zogby’s cutting–edge leadership in online polling, and revealed important respondent sentiment toward the candidates after viewing clips online of recent speeches and interviews. Zogby International’s Jonathan Zogby, Director of Domestic Business Development, has also published an article in the conference magazine about the emergence of Internet polling as an important survey research tool, particularly in light of the increasing difficulty of telephone polling.

The IPDI PoliticsOnline conference is one of the most important annual national conferences focusing on how the Internet has affected American politics.

While 97% of Republicans surveyed said the media are liberal, two-thirds of political independents feel the same, but fewer than one in four independents (23%) said they saw a conservative bias. Democrats, while much more likely to perceive a conservative bias than other groups, were not nearly as sure the media was against them as were the Republicans. While Republicans were unified in their perception of a left-wing media, just two-thirds of Democrats were certain the media skewed right – and 17% said the bias favored the left.

The Zogby Interactive survey of 1,757 likely voters nationwide was conducted Feb. 20-26, 2007, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points.

As the influence of blogs has risen, mainstream news organizations have attempted to get in on the action by creating their own blogs to counter those run by private citizens and those not in the news business. But American voters remain skeptical of major news outlets diving in to the blog pool – 26% speculated that the reason news organizations are placing blogs on their Web sites is that “blogs give news organizations a chance to promote a political agenda they could not promote in their regular broadcasts, cablecasts, or publications.”

It's great to see the common sense and political equilibrium of the country has not tilted as a result of the UCLA/Mizzou study's conclusion that the MSM is 70 ADA. [CBS and the NYT are far above 70, almost reaching Teddy Kennedy levels of glowing in the dark.]

Now if righty bloggers could only drum up grassroots networking like the [Kos]triches and the mad Marxists of MoveOn.org!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Silk Pony Breck-Boy Plummets in Home State Poll

Watch the video of the pomaded Breck-boy as he complains about the unfairness of Fox NEWS, on which he has appeared over thirty times. This hilarious impostor goes on
here to then compare Global Warming to being far worse than a world war.
Johnny Boy the Silk Pony appears not to be impressing voters in the state of South Carolina, who prefer that drawlin' local girl Hillary Clinton over local lad Barack:
Among Democrats, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton led Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, 36-25 percent. Seneca native and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards had 20 percent, an 11-point drop from December’s poll.

Oops, forgot the silky trial lawyer with the biggest home in North Carolina who is fighting fo' po' folks actually was born and raised in the Palmetto State!

At the rate JE is plummeting, I wonder if this hairdo on legs will still be around in August for that Nevada debate!!! Dropping 11 percent in three months by insulting Catholics, conservatives, and whoever doesn't agree with his pitchfork Ben Tillman ethos, that sure seems to be working----NOT!!!

Yeah, the ultra-farout-left blogs, that's the ticket!

Why is Bill Richardson Changing His Tune[s]?

When I first met him [he had dated my wife while they were both at Tufts] in the early eighties, I immediately became a fan of then-Congressman Bill Richardson.

I found Bill to be a quintessential regular guy with no pretensions, proud of his Hispanic heritage [his mother lived in Mexico City at the time] and frank about his aspirations to higher office [he told me at my house in a private conversation that he wanted to be elected Senator from New Mexico]. Later, when I worked for the Oil Daily, Bill was generous with his time as a source [he was on the House Energy Cte] and even inserted one of my articles in The Congressional Record.

But Domenici and Bingaman were solidly ensconced and Bill went on to become Sec'y of Energy and US Ambassador to the UN. After the Clintons left the WH, Bill got himself elected governor to New Mex and has been a breath of fresh air---until he decided to put his hat in the ring and run for President this year.

Bill had told me in the eighties that he considered the threat to the American way of life from massive invasion by illegal aliens, almost entirely from Mexico, as the chief national security threat to the USA in the coming decades. This surprised me, since at the time the US was still in a balance of mutually assured destruction with the USSR. But Bill was adamant in his estimation of the downside of illegal immigration.

As governor of NM, he demonstrated this by calling up the National Guard to protect the state's border with Mexico. I realized that what he had said two decades ago was still important to him, and that the problem of illegals was one of his main priorities.

But then, he announced his candidacy for POTUS, and the flipping and flopping began.

Suddenly, Bill was against strict border enforcement and strong penalties for illegals and those hiring them. [Can you imagine what the MSM would do to a Republican who switched from McCainism to strict enforcement?]

And Richardson, heretofore a paragon of fair play and diplomatic niceties suddenly has no problem with the Nevada Democrats dropping FoxNEWS as moderator when serial chronic panderer John Edwards had responded to the ultra-left fringe by refusing to participate.

Funny what running for President does to a Democrat.

Does Richardson believe that he must deconstruct himself to win in the primaries?

Camille Paglia Skewers Dem Wussies, Ann Coulter

Sexual persona politico Camille Paglia is an acquired taste, but her iconoclastic rages trash china-shop figurines sacred to both left and right. So when she got her latest diatribe
about gutless Dems, whacko Ann, and Fox News as an 800-pound gorilla, I figured it was worth a read, even if it is in the left-plumb-line Salon. Here is her take on the pomaded Breck-boy pulling out of the Nevada debate [she expresses admiration for JE elsewhere!]:
What is this morbid obsession that liberals have with Fox? It's as if Democrats, pampered and spoiled by so many decades of the mainstream media trumpeting the liberal agenda, are so shaky in their convictions that they cannot risk an encounter with opposing views. Democrats have ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, the New York Times, Newsweek, Time and 98 percent of American humanities professors to do their bidding. But no, that's not enough -- every spark of dissent has to be extinguished with buckets of bile.

But Fox is certainly disingenuous with its absurd "fair and balanced" motto. Oh, come on, give it up! Why can't Fox honestly admit its conservative agenda, as do major radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and simply argue that it represents a culturally necessary antidote to the omnipresent liberal line? Yet for Democratic presidential candidates, who will be assessed by voters for their ability to stand up to China, North Korea or al-Qaida, to run squealing from a Fox moderator as if he or she were a boogeyman with blood-dripping fangs makes the whole pack of them look like simpering wusses. Dennis Kucinich was quite right to express his scorn and offer to debate anyone anywhere and under any sponsorship. Nice job of skewering the sacred cow!

When lil' Dennie is the bravest candidate in the Dem stable, looks bad for the hermaphroditic Donkey-cons! Paglia takes on Coulter without the usual fecal-fixations of the ultra-left slingers of nasty:
Coulter is a smart woman with formidable energy, and whether liberals like it or not, she is a high-profile feminist role model in her appetite for aggressive debate. But Coulter seems to be regressing rather than growing intellectually and sharpening her analytic skills. She evidently leaves no room in her life for study and reflection. I take books seriously (which is why I left the scene for five years to write "Break, Blow, Burn") and thus hold against Coulter the part she has played in the debasement of that medium. Her books may rake in millions but won't last because they are shoddily constructed. Coulter should be using her syndicated column for her topical opinions but her books for more considered contributions. "Godless," for example, which intriguingly postulates the quasi-religiosity of contemporary liberalism, should have stimulated wide discussion but was so thrown together and full of holes that it was easy to dismiss and went unread outside her core audience.

Didn't read Godless, so I can't comment, but an earlier book of AC's was pretty well put together, although its able defense of Joe McCarthy was bound to rankle everyone to the left of Duncan Hunter. And finally, her takes on Cheney and Bush are predictably negative, but somewhat thoughtful compared with the robotic hyperventilation of most leftist commentators:
It's always baffled me why the mainstream media can't seem to get a handle on Cheney and treats him as a stone-faced enigma. Time, for example, oddly avoids psychoanalysis when it quotes Cheney's daughters as saying that when his mind leaves the room, he becomes the unreachable "Bull Walrus."

I detest Cheney for having led the country into this disastrous, wasteful war, whose repercussions will be felt for generations here and in the Mideast. I know absolutely nothing about Cheney's family background, but I would bet on some ambivalent dynamic in his past with masculine authority figures, whom he internalized and carries around as a visibly heavy burden but whose oppression produced his sarcastic sneer, his one facial mannerism. Cheney seems as static, convoluted and self-entombed as Orson Welles' haunted, aging Citizen Kane.

The relationship between Cheney and George W. Bush is also perplexing. Despite the nearness in their ages, Cheney acts like Bush's father (no coincidence since Cheney served in George H.W. Bush's administration). There's something creepy about how Cheney, after heading the candidate search, insinuated himself into the vice presidency. He locked onto Bush like a limpet, using the more extroverted and physically dynamic president as his proxy. Bush's independent judgment was paralyzed, as if by snakebite. It's an unsavory, toxic relationship, a vampiric pseudo-marriage like that of the shadowy, Machiavellian Roger Chillingworth and the impressionable, waffling Arthur Dimmesdale in Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter."

Hence I've always felt that liberals' hatred of Bush is misplaced. I feel pity for him -- he is a genuinely tragic figure who made the wrong choices and destroyed the promise of his presidency. His sense of divine election and destiny, a defense mechanism that allows him to survive that crushing job, is of course positively dangerous for the country. At this point, it seems Bush's persona will never mature in office. As he blustered with dangling arms and stiff cowboy legs to the podium during last week's South American junket, I felt embarrassed at his lack of diplomatic courtesy and simple savoir faire. Confident manhood does not need to constantly strike poses.

Paglia may not be exactly "fair and balanced," but she is serious, a rare commodity among Salon writers.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Miss Israel Contest Dropout

The Saturday morning edition of the The Wall Street Journal has a good summary of Ms. Hirsi Ali and her call for Muslims to stop treating women like chattel and "boy-making machines."

Another sad commentary is an article on a young woman in a traditional Druze Community
dropping out as a contestant in the Miss Israel contest because two of her uncles were trying to arrange an "honor-killing" of her for unseemly public behavior.

The article notes the number of "honor-killings," surely the most horrific oxymoron in the entire political/religious vocabulary. Here is the paragraph in TimesOnLine:
Last year, seventeen Palestinian women were reported killed in honour crimes, twelve in the Gaza Strip and five in the occupied West Bank. In Israel, seven women were similarly killed for "crimes" ranging from having sex before marriage to being the victim of rape.

Yes, being victim of a rape is a crime, as a young woman in Saudi Arabia can testify because she has been sentenced to ninety lashes with a whip for allowing herself to be allured into the company of a young man, who then raped her along with six of his friends in what is called a "gang-bang." The young men are being sentenced to jail, but at least the young woman has her life. She is begging King Abdullah for clemency.

Can anyone imagine how the multicultural media so pliant toward Muslim grievances here in the USA would handle such a moral atrocity in the USA. And remember, the extremists in Detroit and Newark are calling for a dispensation from US law so they can have sharia law among themselves.

But you don't read about any of these things in the exempt multiculti kumbayeh MSM.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Iran Ready to Sit at the Adult Table?

The old saw during the Iran/Iraq War was that an Iranian moderate was someone who has run out of ammunition. Iran continues to be the oddest and least predictable major player in the entire region since Libyan Dictator Mu'ammar Qaddhafi allowed himself to join the ranks of civilized nations, a triumph of Bush's diplomacy not recognized nor appreciated.

However, there are signs that the "diminutive hothead" President Ahmedinejad may have found himself overextended, even among his countrymen and Iranian leadership, as
Arnaud de Borchgrave reports in an interesting UPI piece which will be overlooked by the MSM. The gist of the dispatch, which AdB attributes almost certainly to Bandar bS:
Word from Saudi insiders who were privy to recent talks in Riyadh between King Abdullah and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is encouraging, but it will almost surely disappoint those who favor bombing Iran's nuclear installations. Speaking off the record, one Saudi topsider confided the Iranian president had flown back across the Gulf "a much chastened and worried man."

The seven hours Ahmadinejad spent with Abdullah on his first visit to the kingdom were cut in half by time needed for translation, as they don't speak each other's languages (Farsi and Arabic). But the talks had been well-prepared by national security advisers from both countries. Iran's Ali Larijani and Prince Bandar bin Sultan shuttled back and forth between Tehran and Riyadh.

This rosy scenario will be refuted at the AIPAC Conference beginning this weekend in DC, which will have as its theme the nefarious [all too true] influence of Iran on the region.

But there are signs that lil' Ahmed has had his leash pulled back from barking at so many heels. Notably, the presidential election in Iran was just moved forward a year to 2008 to coincide with parliamentary elections. Ahmedinejad's main political enemy, Hashemi Rafsanjani, pulled the strings to make that happen and will certainly run against lil' Ahmed next year. Rafsanjani was president for two terms and is sane, even moderate on occasion. But one swallow does not make a Spring. However, there are signs that Dick Cheney's recent visit to Saudi has made King Abdullah feisty:
King Abdullah apparently convinced Ahmadinejad that a U.S. bombing campaign on Iran would not be limited to the nuclear sites that are dug deep underground. The Iranian was made to understand if Bush opts for an air campaign, Iran would become the target for hundreds of bombing sorties against key installations across the length and breadth of Iran. Not only would Iran be set back several years, but the entire region would most probably explode against all the countries that have sided with the United States.

Apocalypse Now? Not so fast. Read the whole link, but the end is interesting and instructive:
The Saudi monarch made clear the kingdom would not stand idly by if Iran continued to harass and thus impede a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Unknown amounts of secret Saudi financial assistance have already gone to Sunni insurgents. Covert U.S. and Israeli aid has also found its way to anti-regime militants in Iran.

Diplomacy moved center stage in Baghdad March 10 for a regional security conference with a plethora of players, ranging from Iraq's seven neighbors to the Arab League, the U.N., Russia, the U.S. and European Union. China, with a large stake in steady, uninterrupted oil supplies, also wants a seat in any forum concerned with Middle Eastern security. The prospect of a gigantic upheaval in the Middle East, triggered by a combination of Iran pushing its luck in Iraq and Lebanon, and the U.S. retaliating militarily, put Saudi diplomacy to the test. So far, it's a Saudi success story.

Iran's leaders won't soon forget Saudi financial clout. During the Iran-Iraq war, Saudi Arabia mobilized tens of billions of dollars from all the Arab Gulf countries -- to assist Saddam Hussein. This time, King Abdullah has decided his kingdom will not tolerate an Iranian nuclear weapons capability, a few miles away across the Gulf. Neither will the Bush administration. Nor will Israel.

De Borchgrave has more and better contacts with Middle East senior sources than pretenders like Jim Hoagland at the Washington Post, who today inveighed against Cheney's sanity in a pathetic attempt to unseat the Post's best reporter, David Ignatius, from chief Middle East reporter. But I digress....

There are reports that even young stick-insect Assad is angry with the "diminutive hothead" and Kuwait's Al-Siyassa has them screaming at each other over the phone [hard to imagine, since Assad speaks no Farsi and lil' Ahmed is in coherent even in his native tongue]. Just noting what kind of MSM the Middle East is provided with.

Let's have a thought-experiment and imagine that the Eurotrack, described by AdB, meets with success. Even then, the path ahead looks like an alley in the Bronx:
The compromise now being bruited among European diplomats who work the Iranian file would allow Iran to move to the tipping point of a nuclear weapons manufacturing capability -- but then refrain, under U.N. verification, from actually producing them.

In return, sanctions would be lifted, and the U.S. would agree to restore diplomatic relations with Iran, lift all sanctions and pledge non-aggression. This would be a page from the Libyan playbook when Col. Moammar Gadhafi agreed to turn over all the nuclear bomb-making equipment purchased from Pakistan's Dr. A. Q. Khan in return for normalization with the United States and Britain. But from here to there is still a long, arduous diplomatic journey strewn with booby traps and war drums calling for "bombs away" over Iran.

Condi may now be in the ascendant, but I don't envy the task before her if she gets a bit of encouragement from the Baghdad meeting.

Mind-numbingly Stupid? Make Him Border Patrol Spokesman!

Obviously, the Border Patrol does much of its recruiting following turnip trucks and hiring those who fall off. Ditto the Coast Guard, whose Vice Admiral Kunkel is proud of his agencies intercept capabilities in imaginary contexts. Only in America could a massive
Interception Exercise of 325 agents from 80 different agencies in Miami be in progress attempting to intercept "imaginary" emigrants from Cuba while in "reality," 40 Cubans managed to land on Miami Beach and gain asylum.

I feel a lot of pity for those fleeing Castro's socialist hell [Oops, I mean "workers' paradise], but I only wish that some smidgeon of competence were displayed from time to time by Border Patrol and other Federal Agencies stopping the torrent of illegal immigrants flooding across our borders every day. But let the Border Patrol spokesman speak for his agency:
"It's our belief that they [the two boats which escaped and their forty passengers, who landed safely] were the result of organized smuggling," Border Patrol spokesman Steve McDonald said.

Sherlock move over. You've been outsleuthed by a master investigator. And his contrition at the results of the mastermind "imaginary" exercise is edifying:
"We're not embarrassed at all," McDonald said. "It's not uncommon for them (Cubans) to have landings."

Yeah, especially right in the middle of an exercise aiming to stop such landings. Just another day at the beach for McDonald's intrepid colleagues. McDonald did not comment on his turnip-picking experience before his Border Patrol career began.

Meanwhile, the Democrats' drive to grow the government ever bigger with more programs continues apace. This eventually will have an interesting consequence for our border problems. It's obvious that the best cure for immigration is to destroy the US economy through Big Government and then people will want to emigrate FROM the US, just as they already do in droves from Castro's HUGE-Government prototype. Castro is the Democrats' best advertisement on just how to manage our porous borders.

Destroy the American economy and they will leave.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Ann Coulter Hits a Four-Bagger

You love her and you hate her and you can't help watching and reading her because
Ann Coulter is smarter and sharper than any fever-swamp denizen on the lefty roster of the bloggerati. Read her SHOOTING ELEPHANTS IN A BARREL and get your blood pumping at the simple silliness of Sandy Bergler stealing/destroying documents which the 9/11 Commission needed to make its judgments and walking away with the drastic punishment of picking up litter in Virginia parks. Then note that a witch-hunt by a political assassin named Fitzgerald catches Libby stumbling in nonsensical memory games---after FitzFong knew the leak had been to Novak by Armitage before he started his show trial. And that Plame was not a covert agent, as Ms. Toensing points out in her lucid professional fashion. Just another Vishinsky-type purge by rabid apparatchiki of the left peddling their agitprop.

GWB is either too compliant or, in the case of last year's elections, preaching ceaselessly about Iraq when he should have been non-stop touting the best economy ever. He either gets wobbly like his Poppy or stubbornly butts his head against walls. Why doesn't he realize that the MSM will never forgive him for defeating Gore in 2000? The game is fixed, and Coulter does well to remind the ridiculous flaps about chasing DeLay while a crook like Cong. Jefferson gets appointed by Pelosi to Homeland Security, with its fungible secrets that Jefferson will trade for more cold cash to the highest bidder. Pelosi is a machine politician more crooked than DeLay ever was.

The outcome is rigged, and if Billy-Jeff can pardon a mega-criminal like Marc Rich in return for massive contributions to his library and some fleshy face-time with Marc's wife Deborah, then Libby can get pardoned for faulty memory in a kangaroo court plumped up in the media by mendacious reporters like Tim Russert. And Chris Matthews.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Martinair Pilots Tattle on Garuda

Another Indonesian plane crash, the third since January first, and I recall when
flying Garuda many years ago. I was a diplomat at the American Embassy in Saudi Arabia and got a free round trip [$100]from Jeddah to Jakarta in late 1977 on an empty Martinair Hajj plane flying back to Indonesia. The plane was crawling with houseflies, but the pilots were most friendly, as I was the only passenger on a 300-passenger plane, a McDonnell DC-10, if I'm not mistaken. During the flight to Jakarta, the pilots asked me what I was going to do and I told them fly to Bali for three weeks in the sun at the beach. They told me back then that Garuda, which I was going to fly from Jakarta to Bali, was the worst airline in the world, crashing so often that some countries discreetly advised their citizens to avoid Garuda.

After three wonderful weeks on Bali [Italian director Federico Fellini was staying at my hotel with two husky good-looking bodyguards], I came back to Jakarta and was invited by the same pilots as before to fly all the way back to Jidda [5000 miles non-stop] in the cockpit. However, takeoff was delayed because the first two Garuda fuel trucks which came to the DC10 were inexplicably empty! The pilots winked at me and told me that this happens almost every time they refuel in Jakarta! Gee, wonder where that fuel had disappeared to, the pilots asked me as they ruefully smiled!?

Parenthetically, they mentioned that Garuda still did its own maintenance in-country, a job that Martinair consigned to Dutch hangars. The pilots told me something that I have heard is also a politically-incorrect fact about Africa, that the rate of pilferage of aircraft parts and the sloppy workmanship made maintenance in Indonesia a crap shoot. Indeed, I am told that most African national airlines now have their aircraft maintenance done in Europe or in civilized countries without a total corruption culture. Otherwise, expensive replacement parts disappear and planes crash very often. This is one reason State Dept. officials are advised always to fly on a European or American airline if possible.

I have a brother living in Banda Aceh and between the earthquakes and plane crashes, I hope he survives his four-year contract with USAID!

And don't forget about tsunamis!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hitchens on Hirsi Ali as an "Enlightenment Absolutist"

Remember back in college when your agnostic professors used to intone against the backwardness of medieval religious civilization and then exalt the glories of the Enlightenment, a narrative which brushed aside centuries of Church-dominated "superstition and obscurantism?" That was the prevailing doctrine at the University of Michigan in the late sixties.

But in a classic case of Giambattista Vico's ricorso, Christoper Hitchens has discovered the beginning of an ultimate betrayal of the Enlightenment we were all taught in graduate school to revere. [Actually, as a reconverted Catholic, I now believe the Enlightenment more than a bit oversold, to say the very least.]

Hitchens cites one of my favorite poems, September 1, 1939, W.H. Auden's gloomy meditation on how all the s**t in the world is hitting the fan one more time, only now even worse than ever, as the planet slides into World War II. [Pardon my indulgence]
"Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analyzed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again."
I'm now reading Victor Davis Hanson' book A War Like No Other based on Thucydides wonderful history concerning The Pelopponesian War [431-411 B.C.] Back in the day, I studied Attic Greek and read several authors in their original flowing language [unfortunately, not Thucydides before my Attic faded]. Hanson brilliantly shows the insanity of the jealous and hopelessly reactionary Spartans attack on the rich, globalizing [the contemporaneous term was attikizo]arrogant Athenians, busy enticing the entire Mediterranean with its seductive democracy, a democratic ethos that was seducing the poor in many Greek city-states into calling for Athenian home-grown models. More importantly to the Spartan ephors, the economic and artistic growth concomitant with democracy was undermining the tough oligarchic semi-serf dictatorship of the militarist Spartans. So the Spartans rashly decided in 432 BC to strike at Athenian democracy and prosperity in order to undermine the growing seductions of globalization just as Al Qaeda struck at the WTC and the Pentagon, a pre-emptive blow to an overwhelmingly powerful hegemon.

Of course, the Auden poem is correct that Thucydides saw all the ironies of a rich democratic power attacked by a benighted reactionary militarist ethos. Substitute religious for militarist, and the parallelism with Al Qaeda is uncanny.

And today, Hitchens points out the incomprehensible irony of the two great reactionary forces in constraining human freedom, atheistic socialists and violent religious reactionaries, seeking common cause in tearing down Enlightenment values and replacing them with, on the one hand, a semi-totalitarian elitist nannified dirigiste guardian state and on the other, a hateful and violent religious imperialism employing terrorism and immigrant communities as their beachhead into democracies based on Enlightenment values.

As Hitchens notes in his article, these two opposing ideologies, like Stalin and Hitler before September 1, 1939, have become allies of convenience to attack globalization and democratic values from two fronts. Internally, the ultra-left socialists employ progressive moles to advance their attacks on economic free markets and religious/volunteer organizations and private education. Externally, the Islamists ally with these leftist dupes to wreak slaughter and havoc in London, Madrid, and a couple of failed attempts in Germany and the US, knowing that the leftist media will downplay their nefarious agenda and cover up their crimes with MSM counterattacks on the GWOT.

Hitchens has recovered his sanity after decades of railing against capitalism and zionism. We can only hope that the media elites in academia, newsprint and TV, Hollyweird, and the moles in the US public educational establishment eventually awaken and avoid the catastrophes that ensue when jealous militant reactionaries meet rich democratic globalizers.

That already happened, as Hitchens, W.H. Auden, and Victor Davis Hanson all know. I am going to see the movie 300 this weekend to get a good fix on the event at Thermopylae [which I have visited in Greece] in 490 B.C. that began the incredible century of Greek cultural glory. Like the French holding back the German Army in 1914, Thermopylae began a century of conflicts and cultural efflorescence and worldwide prosperity and again, a final conflict. As the Greek example indicates, all the remarkable gains of the twentieth century could implode as Thucydides delineates in his magnificent history, which is more exactly a work of moral philosophy.

Unfortunately, Thucydides recounted a century that ended in the Greeks tearing themselves apart in an insane civil war.

Omne Exemplum Clauditur, [every metaphor limps], but Ayaan Hirsi Ali's cry for freedom from religious oppression is a canary in a coal mine for all of our values.

Hitchens does well to put the contending forces into context.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Lefties wishes murderous while Ann mouths a venial sin

While righty bloggers engage in an elaborate act of contrition and finger-point at
bigmouth Ann Coulter, Patterico notices in the link above the many times the exempt MSM has sponsored and propagated death wishes against prominent conservatives and elected politicians.

I guess it's okay for Nina Totenberg to wish AIDS on Sen. Helms. She plagiarized and got away with it, just as Molly Ivins obits never mentioned her serial plagiarizing. It's okay to lie, cheat, steal, lie under oath [if it's about sex] and wish death to public officials if you on the exempt left. Maher can wish death to Cheney and Franken can use Harvard stationery and students to research his book with no consequences. A conservative makes an admittedly silly infraction and the NYT and its pilot fish go into a feeding frenzy!

Check out Patterico's extensive list of infractions on the left, including a Dem Congressman calling a Republican a "fruitcake," which is another "f" word that Republicans are forbidden to use against the catamite-infested left.

Joe Galloway on Walter Reed

While in Riyadh and up on the Kuwait border as a reporter during the Gulf War, I and Joe Galloway hung out a lot. We had both spent years [myself one and a half] in Vietnam and I was friends with the American Ambassador, Chaz Freeman, and was able to get hooch and other amenities from the diplomats. Also, Adel Al-Jubair who was recently named Saudi Ambassador to the USA had been the official who expedited my visa [no oil reporters were wanted by the Saudi Ministry of Information to cover this oil war] was in Riyadh and also got me [and by extension Joe G.] some perks that helped us do our jobs more thoroughly. Joe and I swapped lies and created "another dead soldier" during the long evenings waiting for the air raid shelter sirens meaning that Saddam was sending more missiles toward Riyadh. Joe knew Stormin'
Norman Schwartzkopf in Vietnam when NS was a captain/major and told stories of NS personally running through minefields to retrieve his own wounded soldiers.

I concur with Joe that the Walter Reed fiasco is unforgiveable, but as a former US Govt employee, I am too familiar with the SNAFU culture of the FUBAR green machine and other armed forces under USG care and maintenance. Even the State Dept messes up predictably, but the Armed Forces tops the pyramid of ingrown bureaucratic incompetence and unaccountable arrogance.

I watched Bob Woodruff's interview with VA Chief James Nicholson with awe at JN's refusal to admit the shortcomings of the VA system, which routinely screws up paperwork and treatment follow-up for brain-injured veterans. The VA hospital system is another legacy of Rumsfeld, who famously rejected a US veterans pension benefit increase, a promise made during the 2000 election campaign by his boss, GWB. So the continual and never-ending neglect of wounded veterans persists, and the culture of the Pentagon is just fine with shortfalls and serial incompetence up and down the bureaucratic ladder concerning the care of those who gave the most in sacrificing themselves for our country.

The entire government of the US should be ashamed of itself, and James Nicholson should either be empowered to straighten out his VA system or sent packing.

Perhaps Schwartzkopf should be put in charge, or someone with political heft and authority.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Hardy Perennial: Saudis Running Out of Oil---Not!!!

One of the most predictable news stories recurring every six months or so has surfaced again. It usually takes one of three forms: the Saudi Royal Family is on the verge of collapsing and will be taken over by the military, by religious fanatics, or by religious fanatics in the military. Take two: the Saudis are on the verge of running out of oil. Take three: the Saudis are going to force the price of oil down to help the USA elect a Republican president, or alternatively the Saudis are going to let the price of oil rise to punish the USA for its Middle East policies.

The Oil Drum is a variant of number two. The logic of the link above, despite impressive-looking graphs, doesn't hold much water.

First, Oil Minister Ali Naimi did say in November that the Saudis would go along with OPEC production cuts, a factoid the author neglects to mention. The reason for this might be OPEC solidarity, including Persian/Arabian Gulf regional politics. This Gulfie perspective includes the first visit in living memory of an Iranian highest-level official [President Ahmedinejad] to Saudi Arabia. Not even in the days of the Shah did an Iranian head-of-state or senior official visit Saudi Arabia. Indeed, I don't believe that this has happened for centuries. Of course, The Oil Drum neglects to mention this tidbit while sententiously intoning
The entire "production cut" may be a public relations exercise to disguise other processes.

So it may be a political move to keep a nasty war in Iraq from expanding, and increasing Saudi influence in the region by enticing the President of Iran to the Kingdom, using the production cuts as an agreed precondition, rather than an elaborate ruse cunningly contrived to cover over oilfield deterioration. A Saudi/Iran relationship automatically increases the influence of the Saudis in any overrall Middle East scenario.

Just a quibble, but one must remember that an entire cottage industry has developed over the decades of those who write like one commenter:
Saudi [sic] went deep into the heart of the Rub al-Khali to find this little patch of oil. The “Rub al-Kaali [sic] represents one of the most extreme areas in the world with summer temperatures shifting from below 0ºC at night to over 60ºC at noon. Dunes can reach heights of more than 300 metres.” Needless to say this is one of the most inhospitable places in the world to drill wells and to lay pipelines. Yet this represents the extremes Saudi will go to in order to produce just a little more oil. But they are said to have 264.2 billion barrels of proven reserves.

Proven reserves means they know exactly where this oil is. To produce it, they would just have to go to a spot they already have plotted on the map, sink a well and produce more oil. Yet they do not do this, they instead go deep into the Rub al-Khali, search for years, (they were exploring the Rub al-Khali when I was there over twenty years ago), until they find a tiny patch of oil, then crow about it to all the world. Something here just does not make any sense.


First of all, the "term of art" is "proven recoverable reserves." Recoverable means at a rate that is within the boundaries of current technology. Second, the tendentious paragraphs above neglect to mention that Saudi Aramco has found dozens of oilfields in the Rub' Al-Khali. The Saudis have another quarter-billion "probable" reserves, according to Al Jumu'ah. And another indeterminate amount of "possible" reserves, so draw your own conclusions. The only thing that doesn't make any sense is making a big to-do about something the Saudis have been doing for decades. [Note the semantics of "crow about it to all the world." The announcements of new finds in the Rub' al Khali have been taking place since the mid-seventies. As well as finds elsewhere in the Kingdom. The only reason the Saudis don't go into production is because of something these cottage-industry Saudi-bashers always overlook: economics.
The Oil Drum neglects to mention that Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where the marginal barrel is the least expensive barrel. It costs around $3/barrel to extract a barrel of crude from Ghawar, which is a lake of oil over 120 miles in width. Why extract from the Empty Quarter at $30/barrel when Ghawar produces it for $3?

This cottage industry regularly churns out alarmist predictions about the Saudis, and by extension, the entire world's oil production industry, on a metronomic basis. Sort of like global warming or global cooling. Back when I was first in Saudi Arabia, global cooling was all the rage. Last time I was there, global warming was the favorite sky-is-falling trope/meme. The metronome again.

Finally, the writer neglected to mention two salient facts about the current industry. The Iranians are losing much of their production capacity due to inefficiency and incompetence and they need higher oil prices to finance their ambitious weaponizing of their developing nuclear capacity. Second, the Iranians have to import refined products, again due to poor planning and incompetent maintenance of their own refineries.

My bet is that the President of Iran might be visiting the Saudis to ask for an allocation of refined product from the Shell Export Refinery at Jubail, which I have visited on a couple of occasions. This would alleviate expensive imports from alternative sources, which are gouging the Iranians in expensive crude/refined product swaps at the moment.

The Saudis may be lowering their production, but they will retain a large cushion of excess capacity and the ability to increase production for decades to come. In any event, the Saudi production cuts are not the result of diminished production capacity, though some eventually will occur.

As for the world running out of oil, the head of the Iraqi Geological Survey at SOMO in Baghdad told me in 1988 that Iraq had 200 million barrels of proven reserves, but not recoverable at present prices [back then in the teens of dollars] and he also told me that the Mesopotamian Foredeep had not been extensively explored because his geological teams did not like going out into the desert! So Iraq could possibly have as much oil as Saudi Arabia, but no one really knows!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Al Gore and Melting Icecaps

Talk about inconvenient facts emerging just when Al Gore's Inconvenient Truthiness has virtually conquered the MSM collective wisdom as being incontrovertible scientific FACT!!! Yes, the timing of the evidence of the Mars ice-melt just couldn't have been less fortuitous for the self-proclaimed "Inventor of the Information Superhighway." Now Al is going to have to explain his "balance as bias" diktat on GW in the light of the sun's blazing glare---the irradiance increase which could possibly even be warming Earth just like it seems to be warming Mars!

Oh yeah, the Mars icecap-melt's only in National Geographic Magazine, which has no cred compared to great scientific publications like Time, Newsweak, and the Lost Angeles Times! Ironically, until the Mars evidence surface and NG braved the "consensus" pitchfork-waving "climatologists," the magazine was militantly supporting AGW.

Of course, a slight search into Al's past reveals that while he was wearing a yarmulke in the New York primary in 1988, inconvenient facts began to emerge about his [and his father's, Sen. Gore] long and profitable association with Armand Hammer, head of Occidental Petroleum, which just happened to have acquired
Tenneco.

At the time, I was international editor of The Oil Daily, which Mr. Hammer told me in an interview was his favorite daily newspaper, even ahead of the Los Angeles Times! I didn't ask Mr. Hammer if the rumors concerning Al Gore getting paid by Tenneco for the mineral rights on his family estate near Nashville as had been alleged in the local Tennessee press a few weeks before.

Now I wish I had, but I'm sure Mr. Hammer might have fended that question off and continued covering up for Al Gore, whose entire political career has been characterized by nepotism, opportunism, and fakery from wearing religious headpieces to peddling cargo-cult science about anthropogenic global warming.

At least he got an Oscar for his bad-actor lifestyle performances!