Sunday, April 29, 2007

I Knew George Tenet Way Back When...........

The extremely agile little fellow named Scheuer
accurately says in the Washington Post:
"It's impossible to dislike Tenet, who is smart, polite, hard-working, convivial and detail-oriented. But he's also a man who never went from cheerleader to leader."
Then Scheuer, who has wrote a book supporting Bush on Iraq in 2002 and since issued a second edition of his book with a rewritten screed AGAINST the war, accuses Tenet of moral cowardice! Talk about being called ugly by a frog!

But Tenet did have a lotta 'splainin' to do, especially because a book is coming out this week.

Did George explain that the CIA's hands were tied when the two hijackers were detected in San Diego because Jamie Gorelick and Ogress Reno at the DOJ said terrorism was a crime to be FBI turf, not a national security concern on CIA turf? [This was the over-lawyered view from the tag-team of lawyers inhabiting the White House named Clinton and Clinton.] No

Did George note that the internecine rivalry between his Agency and the FBI might have something to do with the news of two known terrorists arriving in San Diego ending up in a CIA file unseen by the FBI, who by the DOJ eff-up, was in charge of domestic terrorism? Nope, that dog-fight continues and GT doesn't mention it.

Does he even note the fib when CBS far-left stooge Pelley says the White House outted Plame even though it was Armitage in the State Dept? Nope, George goes with the flow....

Pelley is an objectionable little fart who could smell up a waste management facility, but George only responds when it comes to loyalty issues---not to issues having to do with competence or attribution of blame.

I learned about loyalty from George back in the early '80s when he attended my wedding. George had worked for my wife at the Hellenic Affairs Council and been fired by a maniac named Gene Rossides, landing in a girl's dorm at Mt. Vernon where his lovely wife Stephanie was a house-mother. They had a very young baby boy. George got a job with Senator Heinz, then worked for Sen. Leahy after Heinz's death. Then worked for the Senate Intelligence Cte, where Sen. Boron of Oklahoma picked him out of the back row to be chief of staff. George and Stephanie would come to our house occasionally and he was an avid sports fan, attending all Georgetown basketball games and backing the NY Giants fanatically. When I suggested that I supported the Redskins after long allegiance to the Packers, George went apoplectic---accusing me of high treason. He used to bounce Middle East stuff off me and I turned him on to Fouad Ajami, whom I used to hang out with when a bachelor and whose work is great.

After I moved to Chicago with a good job in foreign affairs with Amoco, I used to have lunch with him up at the Mykonos Restaurant on Capitol Hill. He would buy me lunch and give me a cigar for afterwards. After about three years of episodic lunches, George who by then was in the Clinton NSC, gave me his resume, telling me that he hated DC and the inside-the-Beltway b***shit and would move to Chicago if that was what it took to get a job with Amoco and get out of the DC septic tank. [Chicago has the largest population of ethnic Greeks in the US.]

After GT took over at the CIA, I interviewed with John McLaughlin for the job of Chief Press Officer, but an insider at the Agency got the job. To be expected. Then George fell out of touch except for Xmas cards.

George is right about the dishonorable conduct of Cheney/Perle. And he demonstrates why the working stiffs at Langley liked him so much, and why loathesome maggots like Larry Johnson don't.

Tenet's biggest lapse if true is what Scheuer accuses him of when GT was informed that Scheuer's Bin Laden unit had ObL cornered and Tenet said back that the NSC nixed the activation of the para-military units involved. Did Tenet back his own people or did he downplay the possibility? Here is Scheuer:
Since 2001, however, several key Clinton counterterrorism insiders (including NSC staffers Richard A. Clarke, Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon) have reported that Tenet consistently denigrated the targeting data on bin Laden, causing the president and his team to lose confidence in the hard-won intelligence....The hard fact remains that each time we acquired actionable intelligence about bin Laden's whereabouts, I argued for preemptive action. By May 1998, after all, al-Qaeda had hit or helped to hit five U.S. targets, and bin Laden had twice declared war on America. I did not -- and do not -- care about collateral casualties in such situations, as most of the nearby civilians would be the families that bin Laden's men had brought to a war zone. But Tenet did care. "You can't kill everyone," he would say. That's an admirable humanitarian concern in the abstract, but it does nothing to protect the United States. Indeed, thousands of American families would not be mourning today had there been more ferocity and less sentimentality among the Clinton team.

When Tenet blames Rice for not activating a giant pre-emptive attack on Afghanistan in July 2001 during a period that he saw President Bush every morning and could have quietly lobbied to have emergency preventive measures taken, is simply beyond credibility. Why attack Afghanistan? Why not take immediate emergency steps here in the USA?

Which is sad, because Tenet also says that an attack on the NYC subway system was called off at the last minute in 2004 by Zawahiri. Any connection with the Presidential elections that year?

And there WAS evidence that Al Qaeda and Saddam's Iraq were in contact in numerous ways, but the artful language of Tenet and others denies documentary evidence recently come to light from translations of documents found in 2003.

And the evidence that Saddam shipped the thousands of barrels of WMD to Syria just before the war just as Saddam had flown his air force to Iran in 1991? Bashar Al-Assad presumably wasn't asked by Grandma Pelosi about that during her trip to Damascus.

The media will froth about this coming to its pre-determined conclusions as this country thrashes out its demons---demons from both sides of the ideological firewall.

Why NBA Watching can be a Chore

A good article on how the NBA has gone Hollywood is in Slatemagazine. But it's not enough to keep the viewer transfixed, and I discovered the Slate article during an interminable time-out in the Miami Heat/Chicago Bulls game this afternoon.

Personally, following the NBA for me has been over fifty years of observing athleticism trump values and discipline disappear before flashy spin moves and no-look passes and slam dunks that fabulous TV coverage can now catch for highlight replays.

I first watched the NBA back in the fifties when the Milwaukee Hawks drafted Bob Pettit who became one of the leading scorer/rebounders in the NBA almost instantaneously [he averaged over 20 a year in both categories during his splendid career]. [Trivia: the name "Hawks" is derived from "Black Hawks," whose eponymous Sauk ancestor was from the area near the Quad Cities in Illinois/Iowa where the team got its start. Thus Blackhawk is the only human whose name is appended to a pro sports franchise, and it's two franchises, the Chicago NHL and the Atlanta NBA teams.]

Then I followed the Hawks to St. Louis where I used to watch future NBA Hall of FamerLenny Wilkinsat the St. Louis U. gym practice with the his Hawks team after my own intramural games were over.

In DC, I became a fan of the old Washington Bullets, formerly the Baltimore Bullets, who changed their name because of the obvious association with Dodge City on the Potomac the nickname elicited. I used to play and put together an intermural team with some buddies at the State Dept, including a fellow who played with Bill Bradley on the Princeton Tigers team. One of our practice sessions, who walked in to shoot a few practice shots but Moses Malone! A very big large dude.

Moving to Chicago, I arrived about the time of the Bulls' reign as a legendary franchise built around MJ, the best player I've ever seen play. The only playoff game with the Bulls I watched was with tickets given to me by Ilham Aliyev, whom I was escorting around Chicago for Amoco Corp and who is now President of Azerbaijan.

Now I'm a Miami Heat fan in my dotage and I began this blog while the Heat were missing free throws at a pace worse than a high school B-team. I watched one-armed Dwyane Wade, a Marquette U. product and possible MJ successor, falter with seven turnovers. DW hit his free throws, but it looks like a sad denouement for NBA All-Stars like Shaq, Zo, Gary Payton, Jason Williams and Antoine Walker. Also Posey might be trade bait, as his play was erratic and his arrest during the playoffs a distraction. Shaq may remain, but will he and Dwyane and Jason and Kapono and Haslem, who also played poorly, be enough to build a team around? And is Haslem up to the task? Is Jason, who also committed multiple turnovers, still a prime time player?

Finally, will Pat Riley, who was out for part of the season along with almost every Heat player, up for years of rebuilding?

Also, the NBA game style is becoming very boring. NBA players do not practice free throws, nor do they consider the backboard part of scoring opportunities. Offensive rebounds, including hanging around to see if the second free throw makes it, are becoming too onerous for the average NBA player. No blocking out or other offense/defense basics appear to be important. Bounce passes have disappeared, palming the ball and often carrying the ball are okay, the officiating sucks and sometimes looks like point-shaving to the cynical. A dozen times, Ben Wallace, notorious for not taking flops, fell backward any time Shaq got near him and Shaq got the foul call from the refs, who might have been told to keep the larger media market of Chicago in the mix.

Also, the NBA markets itself as a glamorous celebrity magnet, with frequent cutaways to Jack Nicholson on the sidelines for Lakers games [No Knicks games are broadcast nationally, so Spike Jones is not seen so often]. The fact that Kobe Bryant was accused of rape and mysteriously the case went away, with only a loss of a couple of endorsements, but then came back stronger than ever, with fellow-non-championship ringholder Charles Barkley cheerleading him as "the best basketball player in the world," which autistic remark being repeated by the ESPN chorus as frequently as possible.

Question: if Kobe is the best B-ball player, why don't the Lakers have any rings since he signed on?

Now that the Heat are out, the Suns are my next bet. Nash is a TEAM PLAYER and an MVP player and Barbosa and Co. are exciting to watch. I'll take either one over "the best basketball player in the world" every day of the week.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

In Memoriam: David Halberstam

Although I never met Halberstam himself, I had a strange coincidence concerning him when I stayed with a UN diplomat friend's apartment on Turtle Bay on the East Side back in 1979 while reading David H's book The Powers That Be, a bestseller at the time concerning how much the mass media had become influential in politics. It turns out that my UN diplomat buddy lived in the house owned by Blair Clark, whom I had met while I was on Gene McCarthy's national staff in his 1968 campaign and Clark himself was the national campaign manager. I talked with him during the famous Chicago Convention. Blair vaguely recalled me and we had lunch on the back veranda of his apartment, which overlooked a common backyard garden area where Katherine Hepburn, whose apartment was directly across the garden from Blair's, could be seen puttering from time to time.

As we reminisced about the '68 Campaign, I mentioned The Powers That Be to Clark, whose name appeared many times in the book because of his tenure as head of CBS News. I asked about the quotes Halberstam attributed to Blair in the book. Clark chuckled and said that when Halberstam conducted the interviews, Clark noticed that he was not taking notes and that he did not have a tape recorder either. Clark asked Halberstam how he remembered everything and DH responded that he had a perfect memory for conversations and never took notes nor made recordings.

Then I asked Clark again about the half-dozen quotes and their accuracy and he replied: "Every one of them was completely wrong, inaccurate, or off-base." or words to that effect. We switched to another topic of conversation and that was that.....

[Clark was a friend to the great and near-great, starting as JFK's roommate at Choate, I believe, and before that Robert Lowell's friend at St. Mark's School. I asked him where the family fortune came from, and I recall he said "buttons." Clark lived across the street from Kurt Vonnegut Jr., whom my wife once spotted going through the rubbish bin in front of his doorstep looking for writing materials, perhaps. Much later in Sag Harbor one summer, I buttonholed KV and we had a hilarious conversation fueled by gin on the rocks about his research techniques and other matters, including his novels. Quite a neighborhood BC lived in.]

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Moyers: The Ass That Keeps on Braying

Bill Moyers is the biggest hypocrite in PBS's stable of leftardo spavined nags. [link H/T: Del Dolmonte@Newsbusters] This throwback to the sixties, like a herpes infection, re-emerges just often enough to remind you of how screwed up you and he were back then. Only he hasn't changed!

"Bill Moyers, who regularly complains about the coziness between industry and politicians and the corporate influence on the media, attended a party for one of his interviewees which a liberal Senator also attended.

Newspaper stories on Tuesday, about the appearance in a Vermont courtroom on Monday by Bill Moyers after his arrest for drunk driving, revealed that when arrested he had just left a birthday party for television producer and liberal activist Norman Lear which was also attended by Vermont’s liberal Democratic Senator, Patrick Leahy. (Moyers pled guilty to the lesser charge of "negligent driving.")

On July 5, 2002, Lear appeared on PBS’s Now with Bill Moyers and Moyers proposed to Lear: "Did your heart leap with joy last week when the federal court in California said that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional because that phrase 'one nation, Under God' violates the separation of church and state?"

Moyers and PBS have an unalloyed allegiance to Team Blue, and the evidence just piles higher and higher. Why do my taxes go to support programming for policies and viewpoints I despise and detest?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

New Yorker on French Elections

The New Yorker under David Remnick is as far left and as afflicted with Bush Derangement Syndrome as a mainstream publication pretending to be "objective" can possibly be. And it comes as little surprise that European TNY mavenette Jane Kramer pushes some of the usual leftish tropes that make her coverage of the elections tomorrow in France an exercise in nose-in-the-air ninnyhood.

But Jane is too clever to avoid being reality-based and thus gets in numerous digs on the dysfunctionality of France, which even the New Yorker can hardly overlook:
France is in trouble. Everyone agrees on that. There is so much contempt for the country’s old political class that the three main candidates, for all their differences, speak to the same malaise......And they are all, in their own way, running on promises to fix the system in place before it crashes. Their most obvious challenge is economic. The country has stalled. Its growth is minimal. Its protectionist policies are disastrously out of touch with the global reality, let alone with the realities of the European Union, which it helped to found and enlarge (and then to undermine, in 2005, when it voted against an E.U. constitution). Its business, beyond the realm of luxury labels and designer clothes that the rich will always pay for, is not competitive. Its fear of the market is endemic, although, to be fair, that fear involves a reluctance to import the kind of social attrition it sees in America now. Attrition, of course, takes many forms, and the French form can be just as punishing: an unemployment rate of more than eight per cent, and as much as forty per cent in the big housing projects and immigrant neighborhoods where most of the country’s five or six million Muslims, the majority of them second- and third-generation French citizens, live.

My theory is that only the Renseignements Generaux really have a good fix on the number, which in Lyon in the seventies was 500,000 just for that prefecture.

Surprisingly, Kramer appears in the article to damn Segolene Royal with faint praise [Kramer describes how Royal refused an interview and this may be a bit of the Pelosi/Harman dynamic in play]. Le Pen is not even set up as a straw man to be knocked down. He simply is ignored, a symptom of leftist dysfunction The New Yorker shares with France. But Kramer is strangely very positive in her tone and language concerning Centrist Bayrou, who she says:
...thinks that the country has been lost in a fantastical dream of French power and French status and would feel much better about itself, and possibly even feel more “French,” if it started looking for a reasonable path to prosperity instead.

Bayrou has a plan to assemble a grand rassemblement of Left and Right in a broad coalition, but in his heart appear, Kramer hints, that everything in France is too politically brokered and subject to cabals by unelected elites to achieve a French New Deal. Kramer then says that Bayrou is not capable of doing any real reform. In a throw-away line, she says:
Sarkozy has been the only candidate willing to admit that the country will have to accept layoffs in the private sector, and reduce a massive public sector that eats up nearly forty-five per cent of the national budget.

And gets to her partly-hidden agenda, which is that Sarkozy may be the only way out of the impasse dead-end that France appears to be stuck in.

Will it be "Waiting for Godot" or "Huit Clos?"[No Exit]

If Godot ever arrives, he may look like Sarkozy.

Treason Now and Then

The Party of Rum, Romanism and Rebellion had a whole incarnation as a nest of poisonous snakes called Copperheads [h/t: James Taranto] Here is a bit of history now and then starring respectively Senate Majority Reid and the Party Platform of the Dhimmicrat Party circa 1864 during our nation's bitterest conflict.

* "I believe . . . that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week."--Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, April 19, 2007

* "Resolved, that this convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretence of military necessity, or war power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view to an ultimate convention of the States or other peaceable means, to the end that at the earliest practicable moment peace may be restored on the basis of the federal Union of the States."--1864 Democratic platform

This corresponds to the ancient philosophical adage:

"Winners never quit, quitters never win."

The Dhimmicrats are obviously not the party of winners. Else there would be no USA today, would there?

Friday, April 20, 2007


Although she fails to spotlight hypertrophic abominations of the disease of Feminishness such as Nancy Grace and Wendy Murphy on the Duke "Ghost Rape" Scandal, Dr. Sanity has an excellent commentary on observations Mark Steyn and John Derbyshire make on "feminism" has become "feminishness."

Steyn's comments on the Montreal mass-murder of female students a few years ago by an Arab male while Canadian "males" and their "professor" meekly watched is a classic on The Great White North, though it must be noted that the weaklings may have been French-Canadians and thus suffered a double-bind on cowardice. Here is Dr. Sanity:
tend to agree with John Derbyshire about the origins of this passivity, which is a direct result of the overhyped, feminist agenda pervasive in today's culture. This agenda is the foundation of the insidious and disastrous "political correctness" that now threatens all of society and our most valued freedoms. Feminism has become a tool of those who wish to further the Marxist/Socialist agenda. Where once it promoted equal rights for women, it now exists solely to maintain and nourish women's victimhood status.

Let me be perfectly clear. I am not saying that there were not injustices that needed to be addressed with regard to equal opportunity for women in this country. There were, and to a minor extent there still are some issues that need to be addressed and corrected. But the war was won some years ago; and what remains today is a constant whine emanating from the intellectual quagmire of ongoing feminist victim-mongering. This new culture of female victimhood has been created for the sole purpose promoting and maintaining the illusion that women are simultaneously victims diabolical white male oppression, and yet somehow vastly superior to it.

Needless to say, this hateful insanity has taken its toll on the male of the species as well as the female.

In fact, the feminishness of it all is slowly but surely bringing America-- and all Western democracies-- to their knees under the burden of its utopian tyranny; and it is preparing them further for submission to the fanatical bullies of the world.

Additionally, it has deeply poisoned male/female relationships at almost every level; since the PC mentality thrives on identifying eveyone as either "the oppressors" or "the oppressed", based entirely on identity (i.e., gender or race); and not on actual behavior. Hurting someone's feelings has become the greatest sin anyone in society can commit; and the pursuit of moral superiority through victimhood the greatest virtue.

Meanwhile, our new feminist bullies/overlords make common cause with all the other "oppressed" bullies of the world to insure peace, sisterhood and submission.

Indeed, today's feminists have much to answer for in terms of the evil they have been enabling and appeasing; but they are generally too busy swooning and whining to be able to engage in any serious discussion of the irrationality of promoting eternal victimhood.

As Derbyshire suggests, we are a culture out of balance. Far too much yin and definitely not enough yang.

Alec Baldwin: What a Mensch!

I don't usually blog on Hollyweirdo eccentricities except politically; last night I brain-lapsed common-sense and judgment while watching 30 Rock and told my wife Alec Baldwin was so hilariously self-demeaning in his corporate character that he can't be such a bad guy in real life.

How wrong could I be? Read the comment/excerpt from about this prince of a fellow:
Heres a little alec baldwin story for you all - my parents used to live in the same luxury bldg in NYC as he did when he was w Kim. One day Im in the lobby w my 2 young daughters trying desperatley to get a cab. Finally the doorman sees one and signals to us to come out. All of a sudden rite past me strides Mr. Baldwin and he gets rite into the cab, knowing full well this dad w a 4 and 6 yr old are waiting. Another taxi happened to pull up rite afterwards or I would have gone off on him. PS - the doorman looked at me and shrugged like "hey what can you do, thats who he is."

Hook onto the link for a few thousand comments on this jerk and his parental skills.

Where are all the Grown-Ups?

Evil exists and all the mealy-mouthed gibberish in the world about the failures of "safety-nets" can't eradicate the problem of evil. Not even the MSM.

Now a Mirror article in the UK tells something the risk-averse ethics-hobbled US media will avoid---young Cho was diagnosed as autistic soon after he arrived as an eight-year old in the US.
THE grandfather of Cho Seung-Hui said yesterday: "Son of a bitch. It serves him right he died with his victims." Kim Hyang-Sik, 82, said he had a doom-laden dream of Cho's parents the night of his murderous rampage - and woke to hear the news of the massacre and his grandson's death. He watched Cho's sick video of himself holding a gun to his head.

His sister Kim Yang-Sun, 85, who also saw it, told the Mirror that afterwards her brother was so distraught he had "gone away for a few days to calm himself down and avoid more questions". She too repeatedly referred to the killer as "son of a bitch" or "a***hole" and said his mother Kim Hyang-Yim had problems with him from infancy.

Yang-Sun revealed the eight-year-old was diagnosed as autistic soon after his family emigrated to the US. She said: "He was very quiet and only followed his mother and father around and when others called his name he just answered yes or no but never showed any feelings or motions. "We started to worry that he was autistic - that was the big concern of his mother. He was even a loner as a child. "Soon after they got to America his mother was so worried about his inability to talk she took him to hospital and he was diagnosed as autistic."

It's probably clear that the degenerate MSM don't want to indict "autistic children" by tarring them with this example. Read the whole article for an exercise in Korean common sense, scraping enough money to send their children to the US, only to have the grandkid fall into the cracks. The kid was a genius-IQ autism victim, who should have been treated, but who functioned as normal except for social autism. His sister went to Princeton---demonstrating the level of intelligence he might have shared.

Peggy Noonan runs down the list of ridiculous responses from "the helping professions" and NBC News, which called Cho's tape a "multi-media manifesto," a phrase for which nasal Brian W. should be dragged out and water-boarded for. Here is Peggy's article, which should be given a Pulitzer for telling the truth.

I felt people were stricken because they weren't stricken. When Columbine happened, it was weird and terrible, and now there have been some incidents since, and now it's not weird anymore. And that is what's so terrible. It's the difference between "That doesn't happen!" and "That happens."

Actually I thought of Thoreau. He said he didn't have to read newspapers because if you're familiar with a principle you don't have to be familiar with its numerous applications. If you know lightning hits trees, you don't have to know every time a tree is struck by lightning.

In terms of school shootings, we are now familiar with the principle.

Dennis Miller the other night said something compassionate and sensible on TV. Invited to criticize some famous person's stupid response to a past tragedy, he said he sort of applied a 48 hour grace period after a tragedy and didn't hold anyone to the things they'd said. People get rattled and say things that are extreme.

But more than 48 hours have passed. So: some impressions.

There seems to me a sort of broad national diminution of common sense in our country that we don't notice in the day-to-day but that become obvious after a story like this. Common sense says a person like Cho Seung-hui, who was obviously dangerous and unstable, should have been separated from the college population. Common sense says someone should have stepped in like an adult, like a person in authority, and taken him away. It is only common sense that if a person like Cho leaves a self-aggrandizing, self-celebrating, self-pitying video diary of himself to be played by the mass media, the mass media should not play it and not publicize it, not make it famous. Common sense says that won't help.

And all those big cops, scores of them, hundreds, with the latest, heaviest, most sophisticated gear, all the weapons and helmets and safety vests and belts. It looked like the brute force of the state coming up against uncontrollable human will.

But it also looked muscle bound. And the schools themselves more and more look muscle bound, weighed down with laws and legal assumptions and strange prohibitions.

The school officials I saw, especially the head of the campus psychological services, seemed to me endearing losers. But endearing is too strong. I mean "not obviously and vividly offensive." The school officials who gave all the highly competent, almost smooth and practiced news conferences seemed to me like white, bearded people who were educated in softness. Cho was "troubled"; he clearly had "issues"; it would have been good if someone had "reached out"; it's too bad America doesn't have better "support services." They don't use direct, clear words, because if they're blunt, they're implicated.

The literally white-bearded academic who was head of the campus counseling center was on Paula Zahn Wednesday night suggesting the utter incompetence of officials to stop a man who had stalked two women, set a fire in his room, written morbid and violent plays and poems, been expelled from one class, and been declared by a judge to be "mentally ill" was due to the lack of a government "safety net." In a news conference, he decried inadequate "funding for mental health services in the United States." Way to take responsibility. Way to show the kids how to dodge.

The anxiety of our politicians that there may be an issue that goes unexploited was almost--almost--comic. They mean to seem sensitive, and yet wind up only stroking their supporters. I believe Rep. Jim Moran was first out of the gate with the charge that what Cho did was President Bush's fault. I believe Sen. Barack Obama was second, equating the literal killing of humans with verbal coarseness. Wednesday there was Sen. Barbara Boxer equating the violence of the shootings with the "global warming challenge" and "today's Supreme Court decision" upholding a ban on partial-birth abortion.

One watches all of this and wonders: Where are the grown-ups?

I wondered about the emptiness of the phrases used by the media and by political figures, and how pro forma and lifeless and cold they are. The formalized language of loss hasn't kept up with the number of tragedies. "A nation mourns." "Our prayers are with you." The latter is both self-complimenting and of dubious believability. Did you really pray? Or is it just a phrase?

And this as opposed to the honest things normal people say: "Oh no." "I am so sorry." "I'm sad." "It's horrible."

With all the therapy in our great therapized nation, with all our devotion to emotions and feelings, one senses we are becoming a colder culture, and a colder country. We purport to be compassionate--we must respect Mr. Cho's privacy rights and personal autonomy--but of course it is cold not to have protected others from him. It is cold not to have protected him from himself.

The last testament Cho sent to NBC seemed more clear evidence of mental illness--posing with his pistols, big tough gangsta gonna take you out. What is it evidence of when NBC News, a great pillar of the mainstream media, runs the videos and pictures on the nightly news? Brian Williams introduced the Cho collection as "what can only be described as a multi-media manifesto." But it can be described in other ways. "The self-serving meanderings of a crazy, self-indulgent narcissist" is one. But if you called it that, you couldn't lead with it. You couldn't rationalize the decision.

Such pictures are inspiring to the unstable. The minute you saw them, you probably thought what I did: We'll be seeing more of that.

The most common-sensical thing I heard said came Thursday morning, in a hospital interview with a student who'd been shot and was recovering. Garrett Evans said of the man who'd shot him, "An evil spirit was going through that boy, I could feel it." It was one of the few things I heard the past few days that sounded completely true. Whatever else Cho was, he was also a walking infestation of evil. Too bad nobody stopped him. Too bad nobody moved.

Peggy is a national cultural gem. She harks back to the values of "The Greatest Generation" that have disappeared from our national discourse. Too bad the specimens of generational decline in the MSM like Brian Williams and Steve Capus at NBC are spineless degenerates [ditto Moran, Obama, Boxer] closer to the level of the VT shooter than to Noonan.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Osama Bin Laden: Descended from Frankish Crusaders?

I'm finally getting into Lawrence Wright's magnificent The Looming Tower and have an interesting theory to
put forward based on a strange travel experience. I was driving my BMW Bavaria from London to Beirut back in 1974 when at the Syrian border, two officials asked if I could give them a ride to Latakia, a hundred miles down the coastal road. Although the border station whispered to me in French that the gentlemen were secret police, I concurred and we drove along the most spectacular coastal scenery outside the Amalfi Coast or Big Sur that I have personally driven through. As we entered Latakia, I noticed that most of the male inhabitants on the street were tall, blonde, and blue-eyed. The secret police escort in my car explained they were Alawites descended from the original Crusaders.

Lawrence Wright mentions that Osama's mother, Alia Ghanem, was an Alawite from Latakia, and her cousin whom he married was extremely tall. Could it be that the mysterious Alawites contain a large component of Crusader genetic material, including perhaps Masahiyiin who didn't want to return to Europe after living for decades in the Levantine paradise north of Latakia and refusing to convert to the Sunni Muslims, may have become Alawi or Nusayri as the secret police told me way back in the mid-seventies? Given the climate and beauty of the Syrian coast, perhaps Crusaders converted, or over the centuries, intermingled with the Alawite majority on that coast.

The only reference a quick googling came up with was "In 1097, Crusaders initially attacked [the Alawites], but later allied with them against the Ismailis." Since the Alawites are secretive and do not openly intermarry with outsiders, this would be counter-intuitive to mainstream Orientalist analysis, but the practice of taqiyya or dissimulation might cover the fact that the very western-looking inhabitants of Latakia have genetic sources from Frankish warriors.

The northern European genes from his mother may explain why ObL is of above-normal height, since his father was rather diminuitive. As the Alawites are thought to believe in reincarnation, perhaps deep inside somewhere ObL believes he has some connection to the original assault on the Levant by armed Christian warriors.

Anyway, Lawrence Wright's book is well worth the price of admission and is even better than Ghost Wars and The Assassin's Gate, two books I am in the middle of reading at the moment.

French Elections this Sunday

The Economist calls the election in the race for France's presidency the most significant in the last fifty years. After decades of drift and a stagnant economy, the French are faced with stark choices. Read the link above for an overall view and note that the most recent follow-up has more or less personal attacks on Sarkozy by Segolene Royal, who stresses maternal values, and the obnoxious Le Pen, who notes Sarkozy's "immigrant" [for Le Pen, read part-Jewish] background. So Nanny-State Royal and "Man of the Land" Le Pen bash Sarkozy, who stresses work and traditional values. The scariest bit comes from France's toned-down version of Stasi:
According to a leaked report from the Renseignements Généraux, the domestic intelligence service, the existence of which it later denied, Mr Le Pen could again make it into the second round, against Mr Sarkozy.

And what if Royal and Le Pen reach the final duo? Another Chirac, although this time actually wearing skirts instead of hiding behind them?

Monday, April 16, 2007

PBS Revisionist Disinformation Continues Tonight

Last night the first episode had its debut on PBS with a special based on a book I'm currently reading called "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright. It went back to the famous book Arabic text "Milestones" written by Sayyid Qutb whom Nasser hanged in 1966.

At the time Osama bin Laden was an undergrad at King Abdul-Aziz University in Jeddah under Sayyid Qutb's charismatic brother Mohammed Qutb, I was going there while studying Arabic as a Second Language back in 1975. Suffice it to say that the atmosphere I personally felt on the campus was virulently anti-Western. ObL picked up his radical bent during his studies under the KAAU professor Qutb, according to the tendentiously pro-terrorist PBS special last night "America at the Crossroads."

Some of the "journalism" displayed last night on the PBS agit-prop resembles the Pro-Hezbollah cant that mouth-breathing Brit journalists exhaled in unison during the Lebanon border war last summer. Robert Fisk is chief among the terror apologists, but another such type surfaced on PBS last night.

The knuckle-walker in question is Gwynne Roberts, a mouthpiece for ObL who was on PBS last night singing AQ's praises, in case anyone stained their eyeballs watching Roger MacNeil, a pint-sized Lord Haw Haw whose camera angles make him look tall [I met him when I worked for PBS on a Middle East project and he's five-four max], and a failed bureaucrat named Scheuer who was chief of the Osama bin Laden task force in the CIA for eight years with results we all know.

In manner, atmosphere, and intonation both MacNeil and Scheuer echo shill Gwynnie-boy in vying to be ObL's tea-boys. The first episode of this controversial [more on that in another post] series hums if not sings the praises of Islamic terrorism and impugns the US every possible chance.

Hobbit-like Scheuer actually supported the Iraq invasion and the AQ/Saddam connection before the war, then issued a new self-negating fatwa a few months later giving a differentversion of where he stood when the tide in Iraq began to turn in the other direction. Here is an excerpt from the Weekly Standard:
Michael Scheuer, the one-time head of the CIA's bin Laden unit, also used to be certain that Iraq and al Qaeda were working together. Scheuer's first book on al Qaeda, Through Our Enemies' Eyes, which was published in 2002, went into elaborate detail about the support the Iraqi regime was providing to al Qaeda. Among the areas of concern was Iraq's ongoing support for al Qaeda's chemical weapons development projects in the Sudan.

Remember Churchill's line about not taking courage to rat? More on the tricky lil Hobbit:
n 2004, after fashioning a career as a critic of the Bush administration, Scheuer did an about face. He suddenly claimed that there was no evidence of a relationship. He even decided to re-write history--literally. He revised "Through Our Enemies' Eyes" to be consistent with his newly formed opinion by claiming he was simply mistaken. The bottom line is that members of the CIA, including the Agency's director, certainly believed in 2002 that there was a relationship between the Iraqi regime and al Qaeda.

Canadian leftists like MacNeil recruit US allies like the Hobbit to furnish a veneer of credibility, and tonight's episode on Iraq is sure to give the American people more revisionist disinformation on PBS, compliments of you and me and everyone who pays taxes for CPB.

Brit NUJ Condemns Israel---Palestinians Kill BBC Journalist

Stranger than fiction describes a session by third-rate ink-stained hacks who are in a journalist's union have voted to "boycott" Israeli goods and services. The same journalists killed a measure to condemn Israel for its "pre-planned attack on Lebanon last summer."

Hmmm..... I have a vague memory of several Israeli soldiers being killed and two kidnapped in a hostage-grabbing maneuver, like the one recently in which the Royal Navy displayed that Britannia no longer rules the waves.

The state of British whores and pimps with accreditation is beneath contempt. These must be the slaves that the song refers to in the next line of Rule Britannia, Britannia rule the waves.

And if the reports are true, journalism lost another hack over the weekend, according to an Al-Qaeda affiliate. One of the BBC sycophants for terrorism was murdered in Gaza, and I will love to see the coverage of that in the Brit terror-loving media. But one sane voice does speak out against idiocy among the slave corps of Janissery journalists in perfidious Albion.

It will be all the Jews' fault, and Israel will be the main culprit. The sweet victim Palestinians kill a Beebie cry-baby, then notch one more encomium from the Beeb whose hackocracy grabs its ankles for the AQ terror-bombers.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Trial for a President of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry f

Here is another trial that will not be reported in the national media. Can you imagine if this person were a parish priest instead of President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry? The Lost Angels Times would fall all over itself.

Dr. William Ayres is an esteemed child psychiatrist who was president for two years of the AACAP. His trial for "14 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14—---adolescent boys to be more specific. According to prosecutor Melissa McKowan, 21 men accused Ayres of molesting them when they were children under his care, but because of the state’s ten-year statute of limitations, only three cases could be prosecuted" has been under the radar of the national media. Wonder why.

One of those California judges ruling from the bench near the seat of the Ninth Circus
Court is scratching her head:
Margaret Kemp, a San Mateo County judge who referred troubled youth to Ayres between 1978 until 2004, said, "I never had reason to question him... When we had kids who were charged with sex offenses, we would send them to him for evaluation." Kemp referenced the irony of her words about Ayres, noting, "Every time we saw someone charged with child molestation, family and friends would stand up in court—even after the person had pleaded guilty—and say there had to be a mistake, he wouldn’t do such a thing."

Kemp added, "I hear echoes of that in what I’m saying to you. Oftentimes, child molesters, particularly middle-class, educated people, are completely unsuspected by people who live with them or work with them.

I watched To Catch a Predator last night and saw a Jewish rabbi irate in being caught by Chris Hansen. The Rabbi was sentenced especially harshly to eight years in jail because the judge caught him lying under oath during his trial. Wonder why that rabbi wasn't in the Washington Post above the fold? If it were a priest, that's where the hateful MSM would have put the case.

The so-called "helping professions" all have bad apples and these rotten specimens should be sentenced. But when the vast majority of Americans fall into a victim category where for some reason or another they are exempt from full media scrutiny [Jews, Muslims, Blacks, Asians and other minorities, women and gender-confused individuals], then the only non-victims left are white Christian evangelicals and Catholics, for all practical purposes. This is an unannounced media agenda that the under-the-radar trial of Dr. Ayres, a member of the "helping professions," who betrayed the trust of the community. Dr. Ayres was in some sort of pedophile heaven, getting confused kids sent to him for treatment. One might speculate that Dr. Ayres betrayed his trust even more than bad priests---since the troubled kids sent to him were subjected to his tender ministrations far more than the authorities suspected.

The link above has other monstrosities taking place across the country, including the fairy tail weddings at DisneyWorld/Orlando later this month for same-sex partners. Or the "soulfarce" buses full of gays and trannies going to Christian colleges ala freedom riders to preach how religion persecutes young people.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

BBC, PBS and demassification

TCS has a good piece by Ed Driscoll, Jr. giving the details of how the machinery of Marxist malevolence operates in the UK media. "Demassification" means de-centralization, in Alvin Toffler Future Shock-Speak. Or devolution.

It appears that Bernie Goldberg isn't the only former liberal TV journalist who has seen through the ultra-left Marxian multiculti gibberish of the exempt-Pravda-on-the-Hudson wannabes. A British journalist with gumption and spine, two elements lacking among the "sports of nature" pontificating at the Brit state-subsidized Ministry of Truth called the BBC, named Robin Aitken is now subject to the same sort of campaign of derision, disdain, and personal hatred as Bernie Goldberg underwent stateside once his book Bias which depants and spanks heartily the MSM, became a New York Times best-seller. Aitken is now in hedgehog mode, but alleges that he saw a poster in a key BBC newsroom comparing Bush to Hitler and Driscoll gives this disturbing reason why:
Aitken believes that Bush's strong religious faith is one reason. "His overt Christianity is something that BBC by and large, finds intolerable in politicians. Certainly no British politicians would open themselves up to the accusation that they were religious. Tony Blair has felt the backlash from the BBC. The BBC hates any hint at all that politicians have some sort of religious hinterland. It despises that as a sort of superstition."

By that comparative index, Stalin would be better than Hitler because he was more atheistic?

Aitken has a good take on the Middle East:
"My view is that the Palestinians and the Palestinian leadership is the architect of its own misfortune in many ways. Whereas, what comes across from the BBC's presentation of events in Palestine and the Middle East generally, is that in some ways, the Palestinians are a put-upon victim minority, and it's the beastly Israelis who are doing the dirty to them.

"And you know, that is not a fair presentation of the position. Because the Israelis are militarily strong and successful, and the Palestinians aren't, I think the BBC allows that too much to play at its judgment, so that what comes across is too much sympathy, if you will, for the Palestinians, too little appreciation of the rights of Israel, and also too little recognition of the fact that Israel is a functioning democracy in a way that Palestine isn't, and nor is any Arab-dominated Middle Eastern state, and not enough credit is given for that in my view."

Similarly, another BBC bias is obvious from their tone of Iraq War coverage....."I think it took a clear editorial view, from the very first, that the Iraq War was mad, bad, and dangerous," and thus filtered that opinion to its millions of listeners, all the while, feigning objectivity.

As I noted in a recent blog the American counterparts to the BBC, CPB and PBS, share in the same biased attitude that Muslim terrorism doesn't exist, the Palestinians are persecuted, Iraq was a bad idea executed badly and the surge can't work.

This feigning objectivity jives very well with the newest instructions that the nomenklatura organs in the USA have distributed to their apparatchiki to disseminate arguments for the deconstruction of the Electoral College. Superannuated agitpreppie Hendrik Hertzberg, whose New Yorker column contains constant lapses of fact-checking, spelling, and grammar, is beginning to tout. As one of David Remnick's tea-boys, Hertzberg is among the West Side illuminati who with bad spelling ["Saudia Arabia" is a recent solipsism by Ricky-boy] and atrocious statistics [Bush at 29% approval is his constant mantra] continues to promote disinformation to advance an unconstitutional ultra-left project. Look for PBS with Jim Lehrer, a drawling low-key Goebbels for the left, to tout the electoral college trial balloon before the weekend.

Others like Dennis Kucinich are beneath five-feet tall and contempt as they insist that "Fairness" means that right-thinking radio hosts cannot have bigger audiences than sinister types---the absurdly-named "Fairness Doctrine" means "free speech for people who think like us." This means Air America might have another lease on life, despite being ignored by actual listeners. And Rush Limbaugh obviously violates no-fault-on-the-left dogma by reaching roughly 20 million listeners every day.

Suddenly the Kossacks and Smokin'BiyotchFeverSwamp are alleging a conspiracy between Limbaugh and Vice President Cheney to promote dissing Pelosi's Middle East trip. As though it were not ridiculous on the face of it! Pelosi and Holocaust-survivor Lantos are now panting to go to Teheran to pluck at the hem of the robe of the world's most rabid anti-Semite. All in the interests of "dialogue." You'd think Neville Chamberlain's experience at Munich might have taught the world the final lesson on dialogue with a madman.

If she is Munich/Tehran bound, Ms. Pelosi better get another Botox workover---although her resemblance to Skeletor in that shawl was scary enough.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Camille Paglia a Global-Warming Skeptic

As a Wisconsin native who went to youth camps in the Kettle Moraine area of the state throughout my childhood, I felt a twinge when I read of Camille Paglia recount her youth in upstate New York, and living at the base of a drumlin for years as a child. Read her languourous limpid pellucid prose on this and then watch her switch to her polemical mode, though in a low-key low-decibel fashion:
I am a skeptic about what is currently called global warming. I have been highly suspicious for years about the political agenda that has slowly accrued around this issue. As a lapsed Catholic, I detest dogma in any area. Too many of my fellow Democrats seem peculiarly credulous at the moment, as if, having ground down organized religion into nonjudgmental, feel-good therapy, they are hungry for visions of apocalypse. From my perspective, virtually all of the major claims about global warming and its causes still remain to be proved.

Camille is a grown-up and has lived in areas deeply affected by long-term climatic events and realizes that the Sun has something to do with the whole process, making her seem far more insightful than the average climatologist/scientist quoted on TV:
Climate change, keyed to solar cycles, is built into Earth's system. Cooling and warming will go on forever. Slowly rising sea levels will at some point doubtless flood lower Manhattan and seaside houses everywhere from Cape Cod to Florida -- as happened to Native American encampments on those very shores. Human habitation is always fragile and provisional. People will migrate for the hills, as they have always done.

Camille has a good focus on the big picture that the blow-dried hairdos and blowhard gasbag pols avoid:
Who is impious enough to believe that Earth's contours are permanent? Our eyes are simply too slow to see the shift of tectonic plates that has raised the Himalayas and is dangling Los Angeles over an unstable fault. I began "Sexual Personae" (parodying the New Testament): "In the beginning was nature." And nature will survive us all. Man is too weak to permanently affect nature, which includes infinitely more than this tiny globe.[my emphasis]

We all want clean air, but anthropocentric thinking will not prove anthropogenic global warming, though it will reveal the self-referential, self-centered, solipsistic intellectual narcissism of many proponents of AGW. Just a projection onto the planet of "It's all about me!" [and my funding/electoral/showbiz prospects] Camille has few kind words for the colossal ninny seeking to parlay something he claims [and we all remember AG's propensity to claim credit] he has been studying for thirty years---even though thirty years ago, global cooling was all the rage. Either Al is gilding the lily, or he is an even greater trend-setter than I suspected.
I voted for Ralph Nader for president in the 2000 election because I feel that the United States needs a strong Green Party. However, when I tried to watch Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" on cable TV recently, I wasn't able to get past the first 10 minutes. I was snorting with disgust at its manipulations and distortions and laughing at Gore's lugubrious sentimentality, which was painfully revelatory of his indecisive, self-thwarting character. When Gore told a congressional hearing last month that there is a universal consensus among scientists about global warming -- which is blatantly untrue -- he forfeited his own credibility.

Wish I'd said that, and she couldn't have said it better. "Self-thwarting" sums up this busted flush who couldn't carry his home state of Tennessee. Camille ends:
Environmentalism is a noble cause. It is damaged by . Every industrialized society needs heightened consciousness about its past, present and future effects on the biosphere. Though I am a libertarian, I am a strong supporter of vigilant scrutiny and regulation of industry by local, state and federal agencies. But there must be a balance with the equally vital need for economic development, especially in the Third World.

Hollyweird and B-List Pols like Gore want to perform surgery with a dirty scalpel, pushing "propaganda and half-truths" on gullible people like the SCOTUS and the Democrat Party. Giving twinkies to kiddies can be bad for their health.

Edwards' Neighbor Interview: She Owes Me an Apology

Bernie Goldberg has a new book coming out about "wimps on the right." The Charlie Crist sorts who react to the constant flimflammery from the left by allowing felons to vote, as everyone knows that felons, if they're ever going to vote, vote for the soft-on-crime Democrats.

Bernie Goldberg has a point, and one way the "wimps" on the right could absolve themselves would be if some major media outlet like Limbaugh or B O'Reilly had Monty Johnson, the down-home neighbor of the Edwards family who unknowingly earned the scorn of silk-curtain jumped-up trailer-trash with an attitude Elizabeth E, late of victim fame.

The interview linked to Monty should at least be looked at by Larry the Cable Guy as possible inspirational material. The cooler full of iced catfish did it for me!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Islam versus The Islamists on TV. Round One to Islamists

Read this if you want to get your dander up about tax-subsidized PBS scotching a film on moderate Islamists after allegations that WETA, a far-left outlet of PBS based in DC [I was Associate Producer for a WETA project and can vouch for their far-left tilt] tampered with the project. Martyn Burke, the producer alleges:
• A WETA manager pressed to eliminate a key perspective of the film: The claim that Muslim radicals are pushing to establish "parallel societies" in America and Europe governed by Shariah law rather than sectarian courts.

• After grants were issued, Crossroads managers commissioned a new film that overlapped with Islam vs. Islamists and competed for the same interview subjects.

• WETA appointed an advisory board that includes Aminah Beverly McCloud, director of World Islamic Studies at DePaul University. In an "unparalleled breach of ethics," Burke says, McCloud took rough-cut segments of the film and showed them to Nation of Islam officials, who are a subject of the documentary. They threatened to sue.

"This utterly undermines any journalistic independence," Burke wrote in an e-mail to WETA officials." Burke also alleges that PBS demand that two conservative backers of the project resign from participation.

DePaul Prof McCloud has been caught in an untruth:
In an interview, McCloud said she showed a single video frame to a Muslim journalist who was not a Nation of Islam representative.

However, in a January e-mail, McCloud told Crossroads producers that she had spoken with Nation of Islam representatives and "invited them over to view this section." She also wrote that they were outraged "and will promptly pursue litigation."

Stewart, the WETA executive, said McCloud was admonished for "inappropriate" conduct.

The project I worked on way back in the day was also threatened with litigation and, in my case, a five-minute rejoinder was tacked on to the end of the piece, which dealt with the Middle East.

Anyone familiar with DePaul knows that its association with Islamic affairs tends to be radical, due to a law school professor named Cherif Bassiouni.

PBS was able to escape accountability for its ultra-left bias a couple of years ago when a Bush appointee tried to clean house, but was nailed for a minor infraction by a whistle-blower. Like any government-connected bureaucracy, the lifers in CPB and PBS are almost to-a-man/woman Democrats or lefter than that.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Olbermann Puff-Piece in Lib Mag

To those who switch during ads to Keith Olbermann during The Factor, often enough the stick-insect on MSNBC is ranting about Bill O'Reilly, who conversely has never mentioned this silly juvenile on his own show. One reason why may be that B O'R regularly has about four times the viewership of KO, despite the touting and boasting by NBC that KO has increased his viewership 50% [from almost nothing] in the last year. Although KO is episodically funny and often too clever by half, watching his show is pretty much an exercise of a predictable waste of time.

Keith Olbermann is a refugee sportscaster from ESPN [turns out he is the only major former ESPN sportscaster not invited to the vastly successful franchise's 25th Anniversary this Spring and if you want to know why, just read
New York Magazine for its hagiographic puff-piece on KO.] Hint: it turns out every single ESPN employee except Dan Patrick thinks KO is a nasty egocentric solipsistic cad/dork whose sharp elbows and snide remarks finally revolted every single one of his colleagues at ESPN, to one degree or another. If he returned to ESPN, KO would predictably get beaten up, which he admits happened all the time when he was a kid---because he admits that people just don't like him.

After you read the positive-spin puff-piece in New York mag linked above, you may be able to deduct just why KO is such a roundly disliked fellow by his fellow employees.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Dr. William Gray Versus "Scientists" and "Climatologists"


Not to put too fine a point on it, but there IS manifest evidence for Global Warming. However, what part mankind plays in this fluctuation in world temps is a valid
point for scientific discussion, as the esteemed Dr. William Gray submits.

When two photographs of the same section of a Martian icecap taken ten years apart show that the icecap is melting, I would guess that even your average scientist would deduce that not all of the earth's heating up is due to carbon dioxide or other gases emitted by human enterprise.

But it appears that a lot of "scientists" have an agenda. What possible agenda could a disinterested "scientist" or "climatologist" have? My guess is that the emoluments of huge grants by NGOs and by countries whose citizens will be taxed for their carbon-based economies to find alternative sources of energy, or just bolster their messianic egos, could be a possible answer.

And which part of the political spectrum would favor such a tax-the-air-we-breathe carbon-offset program? Take one guess. And which countries would support this program, the wealth-creating capitalist nations or the nanny-state parasite drones?

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, you can bet that any study sponsored by 120 countries and some 2500 "scientists" and "climatologists" resembles a chimera or a griffin or a wildebeest with ADD.

Those 2500 "scientists" should read the foremost philosopher-physicist of the 20th century, Richard Feynman, who warned about the temptations of "Big Science" way back in 1974 at CalTech in his famous commencement speech about "cargo cult science" which muses about "theories that don't work, and science that isn't science." His main point was that with NASA and other big government programs, there would be a strong temptation to cook the evidence so that scientific projects would get big money to study big problems. In the slang of science, "No problem, no money."

Now everyone knows that the planet has heated up over the last hundred and fifty years, which coincides with the industrialization of many countries and greenhouse gas emissions galore. But there is much evidence that the sun has recently kicked into one of its frequent warming cycles, which lasted for centuries in the "Middle Age Warming Period."

Interesting that the IPCC Study which included the MAWP in its '98 calculations has recently omitted such a significant period because it would make the IPCC conclusions appear less alarmist. The so-called "hockey stick."

Because that's the idea. Get a bunch of media types with double-digit IQs and quadruple-size egos to propound "cargo cult science" from Hollyweird and the weathermen of CNN and ABC. Get the SCOTUS to enable the EPA and get Sens. Snowe and pick-a-Dem to threaten oil companies for financing studies that may alter the one-sidedness of the debate. Get the villagers with the torches and the pitchforks on the move. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, even though in this case, the squeaks are largely sound effects.

Al Gore proclaims that he has been studying and proclaiming Global Warming for the last thirty years. As usual, this chronic specimen of pomposity is dishonest. Maybe twenty, Al. But thirty years ago, Global Cooling was all the rage, if you can remember that far back. The current hysteria is a symptom of displacement, a psychological mechanism that allows one to ignore real threats like Islamic terrorism, in order to focus on imaginary phantasms like Anthropogenic Global Warming. Part of the left's denial of reality, a symptom of a larger mass psychosis infecting much of the American electorate.

Every day I wake up happy to live in Florida, the state which kept that egregious buffoon, who couldn't even carry his native state of Tennessee, from becoming the second-worst president---after Jimmy Carter---since before the Civil War.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Ahmedinejad Chronic Hostage Abductor?

Now that the British hostages are released, a short analysis of the crime might be in order. It's pretty obvious that the Brit seamen were taken by Revolutionary Guard paramilitaries, you know, the type of Serbs constantly vilified as war criminals on American and Brit TV, but exempt if they're Iranian paras trying to thwart US & Brit policy. The Revolutionary Guard is an extra-governmental organization only loosely controlled by the mullahs, but very aligned with Ahmedinejad, who rose through their ranks and has the RG as his main base of support. They are only a few hundred thousand, but like the Serb paramilitaries, are ready to commit atrocities and other breaches of international law.

After the RG nabbed the Brit seamen, the reaction of the Iranian government was put in the hands of the Foreign Ministry, and the noisy diminuitive president shunted out of the limelight. My contention is that the Ayatollahs have had enough of this pint-size Hitler-wannabe and his hostage-taking ways, in this case to bolster support for his waning popularity by instigating an international incident.

It all stems from Ahmedinejad's former start in haute politique when he was one of the small band of miscreants who, after planning to kidnap Russian diplomats, suddenly switched and captured the US Embassy in 1979, leading to the demise of Carter's presidency. There is much evidence that Ahmedinejad's participation in this crime in 1979 was active and widespread. Among other evidence is testimony by half-a-dozen former US hostages.

Wish I had the link, but last night I saw Kathryn Koob, a hostage for 444 days during the Carter Administration. I studied French for three months in a small class with her once upon a time at the Foreign Service Institute. She is one of the most honest people I have ever met in the Foreign Service, which is full of careerists and snake-oil purveyors as a government bureaucracy. KK was a nice girl from Iowa who told me that books were her best friends and she was totally straightforward as I recall with no guile nor agenda.

Tonight she positively identified President Ahmedinejad as one of her captors and jailguards, recounting how this creepy short guy attacked her verbally and threatened physical harm, waving a weapon, because she and a couple of other female captives dared to bare her forearms while outside on a rare excursion to take a walk. She swears you never forget the face of a man threatening you and waving a gun.

Half a dozen other hostages have also maintained that the current president of Iran was one of the original hostage-takers, including a CIA operative trained in these sorts of things.

But Koob's testimony cinches it for me, as this religious and sincere woman would never tell a lie, and is surely not mistaken that this criminal and the president are one and the same person.

Being a former FSO, I know that State will do nothing about this, as their protection of FSOs ranges from slim to none. I also wonder why Mark Bowden didn't bring up Ahmedinejad's possible participation, if only to refute it, in his book "Guests of the Ayatollah."

Thursday, April 05, 2007

"Live Free or Die" Replaced by "What About Me?"

I was listening to the re-run of the obvious spinster-to-be named Jenny Ballantine who was kvetching and whining in New Hampshire in front of the Edwards "Couple" on Rush Limbaugh's radio show and I thought of that flag with the snake that said "Don't Tread on Me." Whatever happened to the rock-ribbed New Englanders that Norman Rockwell immortalized back in the day when Life Magazine and Saturday Evening Post covers portrayed a different reality, one of a nation that worked out its difficulties through grit and gumption? Here are Jenny's immortal cries for posterity:
I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up. I don't know what I want to be when I'm an adult. But I'm 22 right now, so people are like, "Honey, you are an adult." You know what? It's about me. It's about me voting for you or supporting somebody who's going to be the next president. So it's all about me right now. Just give me something.

"JUST GIVE ME SOMETHING!" could be the last bleat/motto of the baby boomers as they begin to subside into the defirmities of age and decrepitude. They want guarantees.

Remember the independence, the self-sufficiency, the idea that hard work and keeping your shoulder to the wheel might bring success? We all got along with a little or a lot of help from friends, but now folks like Jenny look to government, big government, to fill in what family, the consolations of religion and friends can't provide. Not that big government works very well, as one might notice if one notes the discrepancies between constant and incessant bureaucratic foul-ups and the media hue and cry that more bureaucracy is the answer. But one doesn't notice those things if one asks what one's country can do for one and not vice-versa.

Even the Edwards family knows tragedy, but read the transcript and bathe in the bromides of John's reply as his hirsutely-perfect head nods in recognition of Jenny's plight.

There's another version that fits for most of the people on the planet outside the USA, Europe, Japan and some oil-rich enclaves in the Middle East: "Life's a bitch and then you die."

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Saudi King Attempting Difficult Synthesis

I was the Assistant Producer for a PBS TV program on Saudi Arabia back in 1980 when Karen Elliott House and I had lunch to discuss the latest goings-on in The Magic Kingdom, as it was known back then because no bad news ever percolated out of a land where all was well and all would be well, at least as far as the Western media was aware.

Now the Western press is allowed to be stationed in Saudi and Warren Hoge of the NYT and Karen House of WSJ have been writing some interesting pieces illuminating the dark recesses of the House of Saud. Karen's latest piece illustrates some of the problems:
Sectarian chaos in Iraq, messianic militancy in Iran and the diminishing clout in the Middle East of its longtime U.S. ally all pose threats from without. Religious extremism, youth unemployment and princely corruption threaten from within.

It is a sign of how intense--and potentially fatal to the ruling regime--those pressures are that King Abdullah opened the Arab Summit meeting here last Friday by lashing out at U.S. troops in Iraq as an "illegitimate foreign occupation." But the pressure also explains why Saudi Arabia has a ruler who actually is trying to grapple with challenges to the kingdom his father founded 75 years ago. On the one hand, the elderly king is opening up an unprecedented internal public dialogue on sensitive issues ranging from religious extremism to the role of women to ease pressure from middle-class Saudis. On the other hand, in a kingdom that historically limited its international role to pulling strings in the shadows, he has engaged in active and open regional and international diplomacy.

Some of his greatest opposition is from internal reactionary forces, like Prince Na'if, Minister of the Interior and arch-foe of any liberalization of the sharia law.
The fact that his initiatives have led to very little substantive change so far is widely blamed on what are seen as reactionary relations, especially his brother, Prince Naif, who heads the Ministry of Interior, and on the religious establishment. "I am hopeful with King Abdullah more change is on the way," says Tawfiq al-Saif, a member of the minority Shia sect and one of several Shia leaders with whom King Abdullah has opened a dialogue. "The people around him are more open. But we need to institutionalize change, not have it be a personal thing that comes and goes."

I accompanied Ambassador John West years ago on his official visit to Prince Na'if's palatial offices in Riyadh and can assure you that Na'if practically smoldered in his disdain for the USA and all that America represents. His hostility was blatant to the point of almost being impolite. If Abdullah dies tomorrow, Prince Sultan becomes king and his full brother Na'if may become de-facto Crown Prince, despite a new succession process put in place by Abdullah. And the Saudis' view of the US is changed:
Most Saudis one encounters here seem to see the U.S. as a fading presence in the region--worn down by its painful experience in Iraq, divided at home, and lacking the national unity necessary to sustain its historic great power role. The ruling regime is historically and inextricably linked to its U.S. ally but is beginning to hedge its bets by improving ties with Russia, China, India and other powers.

The Saudis will not turn on the Americans, but seek a middle way among the many geo-political vectors pushing and tugging on its borders. The Ta'if Arrangement a few years ago offered Israel full recognition among its neighbors in return for a Palestinian mini-state. Israel should consider this offer carefully, as it might be the step needed to normalize Israel's status in the region. House ends ominously:
Still, whether one views Saudi Arabia as a largely loyal U.S. ally, as an increasingly reluctant dependent or as a country haltingly seeking an independent position in this dangerous region, the U.S. continues to have a profound interest in Saudi stability. In a part of the world where America has few friends and many enemies, King Abdullah is a last best hope for the U.S. as well as the Saudis. What will follow him, regardless of whether there is an orderly succession, almost certainly will be less to America's liking.

We used to say in the Embassy at Jidda that the Second Law of Thermodynamics works overtime in the Middle East and that entropy is the motto of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Let's hope that might end someday.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mickey Kaus Gives Full-Figured Tim Rutten a Ritual Depantsed Spanking

Tim Rutten is one of those utterly sanctimonious autistic solipsistic victims of narcissism who populate some of our nation's most pompous and pretentious publications.
Mickey Kaus gives this specimen of liberal purity [sic!] a thorough rounding in one of his rare Kausfiles Specials. You've got to link it to get the full flavor of this slow-paced public execution in print.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Pressel Win Stirs Memories

A the tender age of eighteen and change, young
Morgan Pressel has become the youngest woman to win a major LPGA championship, and vaulting to number four in womens' golf rankings.

A couple of short personal notes. Morgan Pressel's personal locker at St. Andrew's School in Boca was right next to my daughter's a couple of years ago, though MP was a senior and Niki a soph, so a minimum of words were ever exchanged.

Also, my wife worked at the same Coldwell Banker office as MP's father, who was a sort of practical joker of the burp and fart variety, if you know what I mean. I met him once.

Finally, MP won a full scholarship to Duke just on her academic credentials, which had high test scores and GPA, but she elected to go for the brass ring. Go get 'em!

Jimmy Carter and the Showdown at the UK Corral

Ann Arbor psychiatrist and psychologist Pat Santy AKA Dr. Sanity has some trenchant observations on the standoff between the mullahocracy and the West:
The O.K. Corral in Western mythology has come to symbolize the struggle between the law (civilization & order) and the roving bands of outlaws and bandits who roamed the Old West robbing and rustling (barbarism and chaos). I grew up with mostly cowboy heroes--the ones who brough law and order, just to be clear--and one of them was Wyatt Earp. Of course, since then he's been historically "deconstructed" by the postmodernists along with his brothers and Doc Holliday; and the Clantons and their ilk have been romantically idealized and given victim status (so what else is new?).

I mention this because we are today in our own version of the O.K. Corral--and the consequences of the postmodern deconstruction are painfully evident. We are living in a global Tombstone where outlaw nations like Iran can steal and kill at will. The international community--the civilized community--seems to be paralyzed and in denial. They have denigrated the "cowboy" Bush; they have deconstructed all their heroes; and now, there is nothing that stands between them and the Iranian gunslingers who want to take over the town and kill as many of them as necessary. In true pathetic victimhood fashion, they wail and weep, hoping that the town will be taken over so that their lives can be spared.

Jeff Jacoby calls the smell in the air right now "irresolution"; I call it "fear" and its stench is almost overpowering. Never in my wildest dreams when The Sanity Squad recorded its last podcast about the Iranian showdown at the UK corral, did I imagine that there would be not only a tepid response, but a downright cowardly one. As the British cower and the US Congress prepares to surrender, the aggression against the West only increases in intensity and brutality.
....this is how totalitarian aggressors react to faintheartedness.
"In Middle Eastern warfare," writes retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters in the New York Post, "a classic tactic has been to retreat in the face of strength, but to attack when your enemy withdraws or shows signs of weakness." British troop pullouts and congressional cut-and-run votes prompt not fewer outrages and less mayhem, but more. The smell of irresolution doesn't satiate the totalitarians' appetite; it makes it keener.

The Men of West are too fearful to take a stand (what if it was unpopular with some people?) and instead they prefer to run away which allows them also to maintain their denial and delusion. The forces of civilization are willing to get out of Tombstone and let the outlaws and barbarians take over.

Consider, if the leaders of the free world cannot respond appropriately and decisively to the latest Iranian hostage crisis (and you think they would remember the consequences of the last one--particularly on the so-called "legacy" of Jimmy Carter), then the crisis will only escalate. What Carter did (and didn't do) 25 years ago paved the way for 9/11 and the many crises we are dealing with today; what future horrors will the selfish and malignant pacifism of today's left pave the way for in the next decade?

Carter's cowering cowardice and girly-man symbolism certainly had a lasting effect on Middle East terrorists. They do believe they can bluff and blink. The only reason they released the hostages for Reagan is that they believed he was "crazy" enough to treat them as they deserved. They think that about Bush too, but Blair was getting wobbly toward the end of his tenure and the bleatings of the Brit left were giving the Mullahs hunger pangs for lamb-kebob. So they struck. Dr. Sanity quotes Rich Lowry on the hilarious media con-job a while back called the Iraq Study Group:
If talking with the Iranians doesn't work, it is because we aren't talking to them enough, or the wrong people (i.e., not the U.S.) are talking to them, or when we're talking to them, we aren't saying the right things, or we haven't talked to them long enough, or maybe they don't realize just how very sincere we are in our talking. But, surely, sometime soon, if we just keep talking and offering to talk, all these "misunderstandings" will fade away.

In deterrence theory, this is called "mirroring," judging someone else's intentions by looking at your own. James Baker -- the head of the late, great Iraq Study Group -- concluded that Iran wants stability in Iraq and is amenable to negotiations, no doubt partially because he himself wants stability in Iraq and is amenable to negotiations. Indeed, there is no dispute that can't be worked out by haggling with James Baker, but he has never taken any hostages, denied the Holocaust or claimed to have had a halo -- all exploits of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The old saw about a liberal being someone who won't take his own side in a fight applies here. When the Bush administration presented evidence that the Iranians have provided material used to kill American troops in Iraq with roadside bombs, Democrats exploded in outrage -- at the Bush administration, for not being convincing enough, for having delayed the release of the intelligence, for being overly belligerent toward Iran, which just wants to talk to us.

The Dems are quivering in their collective boots that GWB will grow a pair and end the suspense on the Iranian nuke-building plan. The Dems are willing to throw Israeli security over the side and US credibility into the wastebasket in order to keep the Repubs from letting them grab hold of the US budget in 2008. GWB has tried the good cop for long enough; Reid and Pelosi have to be shown that the Executive Branch runs foreign policy and the Legislative advises and consents, and GWB has the war authorization in his pocket---and can extend it to Iran if they interfere with US Iraqi operations.

Kissinger's Back Pages Not Pretty

Vanity Fair has a long article on Henry Kissinger during the Nixon Years written by Robert Dallek who is an excellent historian with a slight tilt to the left, but thoroughly grounded in archives, including telephone transcripts of Kissinger's phone calls to the White House.

I am going to do a sidetrack here and give up a few bits of my little trove of Kissinger anecdotes. [The rest, while illuminative, are more boring than these, but basically follow the theme of authoritarian egomania] After joining the State Dept, I served in Vietnam and then Lyon, France, where I was Vice Consul in a two-man post with Peter Tarnoff, who told me a raft of Kissinger stories. Peter was Ambassadorial Assistant to Henry Cabot Lodge in Saigon in the sixties. Lodge had run for Vice President under Nixon in 1960 and told Tarnoff that he had been asked by Nixon who would be a good person to go to Vietnam and look things over for Nixon, in case he ran for Prez in '68. Tarnoff told Lodge he'd just read a massive tome On Thermonuclear War by a Harvard Prof named Henry K and, Tarnoff recommended him although Kissinger was a Rockefeller protege. Lodge arranged for HK to do on-site Saigon sleuthing to become a "Vietnam expert." Tarnoff became close with Kissinger as did Frank Wisner and Richard Holbrooke, two of Tarnoff's FSO pals in the Embassy. While in Saigon, Kissinger acquired the nickname "Henri le baiser" because of his addiction to Vietnamese bar-girls, whom I can attest are totally seductive.

Nixon was duly elected after the catastrophic Chicago Convention separated Humphrey from the anti-war McCarthy/RFK Dems. [I participated in those festivities as well.] Kissinger became his NSC advisor and Tarnoff by this time had come to the Paris Peace Talks as US advisor. When HK first arrived, he and Peter were in an elevator together and PT asked HK how it was. Peter told me that Kissinger grabbed him by the arm and started effusively gushing "Peter, the president listens to everything I say!" Peter said HK's eyes literally bulged as he said this.

Later, when the Daniel Ellsberg Pentagon Papers fiasco hit, Peter told me that Ellsberg had sent him Polaroid photos of himself in Thailand with small boys. Peter mentioned that other friends of Ellsberg told him they had received the same kind of Bangkok billets doux.

My own experience with Kissinger came while I was Political Officer in Jidda and he arrived during the "Shuttle Diplomacy" days after the Ramadan/Yom Kippur War [the dates coincided]. I was HK's "Control Officer" and when I extended my hand to shake his hand, he looked at me with disdain. A mere FSO. His assistant Peter Rodman treated me with less disdain, as my Arabic allowed me to bargain for him in the gold suk and the weapons suq where I bought him an Arab bunduqiyya, or muzzle-loading musket. Later Rodman would live next door to me in DC, but pretended not to remember me nor my services.

At the Jidda Embassy, Isa Sabbagh was the USIS chief and Kissinger would employ Isa as his personal translator during HK's Arab visits. Isa said that Kissinger would never fail to derogate the Israelis constantly in his conversations with the Arabs, however he always left the impression that the Israelis might have the bomb and could go crazy, so in that sense Isa believed HK was playing good cop to Israel's bad cop.

Another Embassy denizen was Ed "Skip" Gnehm who had served in Damascus and had additional gossip from that embassy on HK's meetings with Assad. Isa Sabbagh said that Hafez Al-Assad and HK got along like gangbusters, with HK telling jokes on how nasty and greedy the Jews were and Assad countering with jokes on how stupid and untrustworthy the Arabs were. The one bright light for Isa was HK's admiration for Golda Meir, whom he left the impression that he highly admired. As for Assad, HK constantly told people that Assad was the smartest leader in the Middle East, period.

Later, I was introduced to SecState Vance's Executive Secretary by Peter Tarnoff, the Executive Assistant to Cy Vance [who remembered Peter when Vance was in charge of the Paris Peace Talks]. She and I became very good friends and I began to get pillow talk from the Secretary's Office. But her most interesting revelations about Kissinger, who would talk to Vance on a frequent basis, concerned her interfacing with her predecessor, Mary Musallem, who had been Secretary to the Secretary of State for everyone since Christian Herter under Ike. Mary was an attractive statuesque blonde who told my friend that HK would make passes at her. When he was spurned, as always happened, he would push everything off his desk and tell Mary to put it all back on the desk precisely as it was before.

My friend Vance's Secretary also became friends with the Russian translator for the State Dept, who sat in on conversations as was legally required with Dobrynin. The translator told her that Kissinger would often take the final transcript of the conversation and alter it so that the historical record would show something different from the actual discussions. Always to Kissinger's benefit, the translator added.

Later, after leaving the State Dept., I did a stint at Georgetown CSIS and had Kissinger [and Brzezinski] as fellow Fellows, although vastly separated by rank and accouterments [I had a cubbyhole]. Zbig B actually was courteous and civil, whereas Kissinger was unapproachable.

Even later, as Foreign Editor of the Oil Daily, I accompanied Anne Louise Hittle, who worked for Kissinger at Kissinger Associates. We were stranded in Vienna together for an OPEC meeting and she recounted her experiences as Kissinger's amanuensis/exec. secretary [she also worked for L. Paul Bremer at K Assoc. as I recall]. Anne was extremely circumspect and only described him as having the biggest ego of any person she had met in her career. And she got a bit poetic, saying it was an ego beyond her comprehension, looking down upon mere mortals as chattels in a game.

Some of these memories may have been slightly off, but back in the day, a lot of things happened that won't see the light of historical day for a while. Good those telephone transcripts couldn't be altered.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Liberal Pathology Examined

In "The Pathology of Liberalism" columnist Joan Swirsky [h/t: American Daughter] compares liberals to children for their lack of rational thinking.
Liberals, like children, live in a world of utopian dreaminess, clinging to a narrow, circumscribed reality and believing that if everyone would just be nice to each other – let’s talk, let’s chat – all the noisy death threats and pesky suicide bombings would go away, and all those grumpy grownups in the current administration would see the light….

In 2000, when George W. Bush ascended to the presidency, the initial despair of liberals quickly morphed into childlike, irrational anger, which has obsessed them for the past six years.

Not only have they called names, spewed insults and stamped their feet, but they’ve also lined up like-minded friends in the liberal media and left-wing think tanks to do the same. Much worse, they’ve aligned themselves with America’s mortal enemies.

According to Vasko Kohlmayer in World Defense Review:
…the affection in which [liberals] are held by our foes is neither unjustified nor surprising. They have more than earned it by systematically subverting this country’s war effort while simultaneously proffering assistance to those who have pledged to destroy us.

Kohlmayer lists some highlights of liberal treachery:

* They have tried to prevent us from listening in on terrorists’ phone calls
* They have sought to stop us from properly interrogating captured terrorists
* They have tried to halt our monitoring terrorists’ financial transactions
* They have revealed the existence of secret national security programs
* They have opposed vital components of the Patriot Act
* They have sought to confer unmerited legal rights on terrorists
* They have opposed profiling to identify the terrorists in our midst
* They have impugned and demeaned our military
* They have insinuated that the president is a war criminal
* They have forced the resignation of a committed defense secretary
* They have repeatedly tried to de-legitimize our war effort
* They want to quit the battlefield in the midst of war.

If nothing else proves the rigidity -– indeed the pathology -– of the liberal brain, it is what Kohlmayer says of liberals today:
Almost all of the current democratic leadership was actively involved in [the Vietnam anti-war] effort. Bill and Hilary Clinton, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin and Nancy Pelosi were all in one way or another personally engaged in the anti-war movement. And when at last it bore its disastrous fruit, they gloated and danced in the streets. Exhilarated and jubilant, they deemed America’s disgrace their finest hour. In their skewed world, America’s defeat came to represent their personal triumph.

Swirsky again:
To understand the left’s treasonous rage, it is important to understand that the most cherished value in the life of children (read liberals) is to be "liked" by their peers, a theory that Judith Rich Harris has exhaustively documented in her best-selling and revolutionary book, The Nurture Assumption.

To be liked – according to the evangelical religion of liberalism – is not to engage in conflict, not to fight, not to judge, After all, if you fight with anyone, including Islamic terrorists, they won’t like you. And if you judge them as savages, murderers, enemies of democracy, they will fight you. So don’t judge them and they won’t fight you and everything will be hunky dory. Such are the fantastical fantasies of children (read liberals).

They are fantasies that flourish, says writer Evan Sayet, because liberals are “wedded to the childish philosophy of ‘multiculturalism’ … the fantasy that all cultures are equally good and equally right. It is why liberals “believe we should ‘celebrate diversity,’ as if all differences – say freedom of religion and massacring all infidels – are equally worthy of celebration.”

It is also why liberals, like children, are driven so compulsively by emotion that they simply don’t have the ability to apply rational thought when it comes to George W. Bush….

Liberals entertain the conceit that they are quite evolved and superior, both morally and intellectually. In their childlike minds, they are "good" and the people who set limits, demand accountability, expect empirical results, fight their enemies and also make judgments about what is good and bad and right and wrong are "bad."

But Rabbi Aryeh Spero says that liberals are "morally inferior, given their lack of heartache over what grieves normal people – the actual torture of our soldiers, the real beheadings, the tearing of Israelis limb by limb, and the burning and dragging of American, British, and Israeli half-dead. Their silence shows their amorality; their selectivity proves their concern is not with human dignity but tarnishing their country’s image." He calls this thinking “a psychological aberration.”….

But liberals are educated, you may say, credentialed, accomplished, smart in all areas of life – business, the arts, medicine, law, even politics. Which only goes to prove what most people know instinctively: Emotion always trumps rationality!

Rick Moran at Right Wing Nuthouse continues to be flabbergasted at the puerile childish derangement of physically adult "gros enfants," the French term for the retention of childish traits into adulthood here apropos.

It must be a public education system which is methodically churning out dumber-than-dirt "graduates" like the one-third of DC residents who are illiterate. And the ones who can actually read and write are incapable of rational coherent thought. Or subject to holding their breath when aggravated or frustrated, like little kids who throw tantrums when they don't get what they want when they want it.

Whatever the clinically pathological deficiencies of the liberal mindset, the sure instincts of the American people will be to think twice before putting our foreign policy in the hands of such emo-driven ideologues.

Driving Overseas is a Contact Sport

The State Department is evidently allowing a little more local color into itsPost Reports which describe the hidden wonders and dangers of specific countries in often amusing detail.

When I was in the Department, I lived and drove in East Asia [Japan and Vietnam], Europe [France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Morocco], and the Middle East [London to Beirut, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Israel and Syria]. For the record, I also drove from the East Coast to West and back twice, and to Montreal/Quebec in Canada, as well as other partial trips. [I wisely took cabs and other public transportation in about forty countries overall, including Africa and Latin America, that I've visited.]

I've had accidents driving in Vietnam, France, Italy [twice], Saudi Arabia [which totalled my BMW]. The old saying is that the Italians drive like they're trying to kill themselves, the French drive like they're trying to kill you. It's true, but the only accident I had in France was with an Italian car in Paris! The Italians are completely irrational, while the French have a logic, albeit vicious, of their own which allows you to survive unscathed if you join in the near mayhem.

Driving my BMW Bavaria from London to Beirut in 1974 was a total trip. The gas station loos got messier and messier, until in Yugoslavia they were unbearable. The clocks stopped working more or less in Italy, but east of Italy, no public facility was likely to function. At all. Except the police when it was in their interest. Not only was I robbed in Bari, Italy, and had my camera and diplomatic passport stolen [I got it back in three hours by offering the local cops a bribe!!! They'd found it "in a mailbox"!!! At four in the afternoon!!! Every car driver on the boat from Bari to Dubrovnik that night told me they had been broken into and robbed. The license plates clued the cops.], but I was stopped on the Greek/Turkish border on the night that the Turkish invasion of Cyprus took place in August 1974. The Turks may have wondered if I were a Greek spy masquerading as an American diplomat, but I waited for several hours while my documents were inspected.

Made it to Istabul as the sun rose. The trip across Turkey almost ended my life as I narrowly escaped being sandwiched between two massive 18-wheelers on an S-curve in the Taurus Mountains north of Adana. Another close call was in North Yemen with Ambassador Pickering when his tire shot off his wheel as I was driving just behind him late at night. Two hitchhikers in N. Yemen stopped my Embassy truck by lowering their AK-47s at me. They hopped in the back and jumped off a few miles down the road. That was how one hitchhikes in Royalist territory in Yemen! I discovered some men with tangled locks on the side of the road. It turned out they were Sephardic Jews and they told me there were 4000 of their people living in a valley deep in mountain country. I reported it to the State Department, which previously had all the Jews driven out of Yemen around the time of the founding of Israel. My discovery is noted in Wikipedia with the sentence "A small community remained unknown until 1976, but it appears that all infrastructure is lost now." Actually, the community is incommunicado deep in Royalist territory which is still basically cut off from the rest of the world, so whatever they are talking about vis-a-vis "infra-structure" appears to be flim-flam. The link formerly had mentioned "State Department reported a small community in 1976, which was my handiwork." So it goes.

In Saudi Arabia, I would drive into the hills with the USGS folks whose geological surveys revealed the possibility of oil in this Kingdom way back when. I also drove to Mada'in Saleh, where Nabatean rock temples such as those in Petra, Jordan are located. Also, the location of King Solomon's Mines, though we found no gold in the vicinity. We had to jump-start one of the Chevy suburbans which died by pulling it with a winch from the other Suburban. The Marine Gunney was a genius and I had to be in the dead Suburban and get the car started before we hit the tracks of the fabled Medina Railway that Lawrence and his boys kept blowing up. I got it started just before the tracks and we had to keep the engine running for about 200 miles until we got back to civilization, pouring water in the radiator to keep it cool. What a trip! Lost a gold Cross pen, a gift from Ambassador West, at the tracks. Still have the matching engraved pencil. Finally, my wonderful BMW Saloon was totalled when a crazed Ramadhan driver blindsided me---the Embassy had told me the car was insured, but the incompetent Admin Officer had botched up and I was bereft a beautiful driving machine. Of course, the local judge said it was my fault, but I had diplo immunity.

I'd go on recounting weird stories of my driving a truck canvassing in cities like Chicago, New York, and LA during the McCarthy campaign in '68, but aside from running out of gas twice in three days in front of the Chicago Hilton, not much to say. Michigan and Balbo, where a few days later the crowds would chant "The whole world is watching."

Actually, the whole world is so much bigger than a bunch of political activists can imagine, they ought to drive around it just to take a look. The world is huge, and not at all what one might think.