Saturday, December 20, 2003

Today's Hoot

Rod Dreher at The Corner:
A fellow Louisiana expat points out that our alma mater LSU has just produced its first graduates in Women's and Gender Studies. The story says LSU is the last major Southern university to reach this allegedly important milestone. Humph. My friend gets it right when he says, "You know what the next thing we're gonna here from these gals is? 'You want fries with that, you male chauvinist pig?'"
Someone 'splain this to me

Latino Lawmakers Press Fed To Drop Fannie, Freddie Study
WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, at Fannie Mae's urging, are pressuring Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan not to release a controversial study that is expected to denounce the company's benefits to consumers.

"It's an important issue to their constituency," said Fannie Mae spokeswoman Janice Daue, who confirmed a meeting between the company's lobbyists and members of the caucus late last month as well as Fannie's input on their letter to Greenspan. "We talk to Congress all the time. It is our job; we're congressionally chartered to talk to Congress."
The Fed paper, which is expected to be released as early as Monday, is said to conclude that the housing GSEs don't lower mortgage costs much for consumers, and that their federal subsidies, valued at more than $15 billion a year, are largely unnecessary.

Similar reports by the Congressional Budget Office and others say the $15 billion in estimated annual federal perks given to Fannie, Freddie and the Federal Home Loan Bank System only lower mortgage rates for consumers by one quarter of a percentage point, at the most - not enough to price anyone out of a home if the subsidies were removed. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has made similar comments publicly, telling lawmakers in February that the companies' effect on mortgage rates is negligible.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been heavy contributors to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the nonprofit affiliate founded by its members, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Inc.

Fannie this fall donated $1 million to the Institute, to help launch a two- year CHCI research program targeting 63 congressional districts where Latinos comprise 25% of the population, the institute confirmed. The nonprofit Institute, unlike the CHC, isn't subject to restrictions on so-called soft money donations from corporations.

The Bush administration is pushing legislation that would strengthen the federal regulators of all three housing GSEs, possibly consolidating them under one agency within Treasury.

Fannie, Freddie and the 12 FHLBanks are exempt from most securities disclosure laws and don't pay state or local income taxes. Fannie and Freddie additionally have a $2.25 billion line of credit with the U.S. Treasury. Their debt also enjoys an implied federal backing and government "agency" status in the markets, giving all three a lower cost of capital.
Let's see if I have this straight. We've got a bunch of quasi-governmental "businesses" that don't pay taxes, compete with real businesses, and haul down $15 billion a year in taxpayer subsidies not to mention a $2.25 billion credit line. And they spend a bunch of money on lobbying and contributions to politicians who want to quash a study which indicates that their efficacy is negligible.

It's good to know the taxpayers are so flush with cash. Follow the link if you want to read more self-serving puffery from these bozos.
More than you wanted to know about the ease of identity theft

Dumpster-Diving for Your Identity. There's too much to summarize, but here's a brief snip.
Massey began hanging out with a much younger crowd of meth addicts, called ''tweakers,'' and forging checks to feed his drug use. It was during this time that he began to wonder if he could hijack people's identities for profit. He stumbled onto the answer soon after, when the meth-heads invited him to go ''Dumpster diving'' for junk. Massey and the teenagers piled into his Ford Explorer and drove to the outskirts of Eugene.

''It was the first time I had ever been to the dump,'' Massey recalled, wrinkling his nose. ''I said, 'I'm not going to get dirty,' so I wandered over to a shed where the recycling was stored. I notice there's a big barrel for recycled paper that's full of discarded tax forms from an accounting firm.'' Each form had the person's name, date of birth, Social Security number -- all the information necessary for taking out a line of credit.

''The wheels started turning in my head,'' Massey said, smiling. ''The guys profiled here were pulling in $800,000 a year. So I told the tweakers to get all this stuff in the truck. Now! I said, 'This is worth five million right here.'''
Some identity thieves do go straight to the Internet, hacking into databases or using ''phisher sites'' -- phony Web pages that mimic real banking and e-commerce sites in order to entice victims to hand over sensitive information. But those cases remain the exception, not the rule. For the most part, obtaining dates of birth and Social Security numbers still begins off line, and often in the trash.
You all be careful out there. And it's nice to know that the two crooks featured in the article got minimal jail time when they were caught.
Ernst Blofeld is going to be ticked!

Democrats' new campaign funding groups may face regulation
WASHINGTON -- Democrats who have been forming groups to avoid spending restrictions in the campaign finance law may face bad news: The government's new chief election regulator is warning that their activities could be reined in.

Bradley Smith, the Republican chosen yesterday as chairman of the Federal Election Commission, said he believes a recent Supreme Court ruling may require his agency to limit the groups' activities.

"If so, it's a huge issue. And it means there are a lot of groups already out there that would have accepted contributions beyond their limits," Smith said.
Democrats, however, say the new law provides for an exemption for special tax-exempt political groups, known as 527s, and they formed several of them. The goal is to use the groups to help Democrats better compete with Republicans, who enjoy a significant edge in raising small contributions allowed under the law.
And that's where Ernst Blofeld and SPECTRE with their deep pockets come in.
Smith's word of caution brought an expression of surprise from Laurence E. Gold, a lawyer representing three of the new Democratic groups. "I think it would be a dramatic change in the law that can only come from Congress to do that, and that has not occurred," Gold said.

Smith said that while he has not formally made up his mind, he believes the court's ruling may require the FEC to treat the new groups like regulated political committees. That would mean the groups would be limited to accepting no more than $5,000 in donations from each individual, and would be banned from taking corporate or union money.

It also would require them to disclose their finances and spending to the FEC.

Smith said the court ruling seems to eliminate the "express advocacy" standard, which meant the FEC could regulate groups that spent money calling for a candidate's election or defeat.

If the FEC decides that the Supreme Court ruling expands its ability to regulate and limit election activities, the new groups could be forced to return the big checks they have collected.
Blofeld doesn't want his money back - he wants control!

What part of "illegal alien" don't they understand?

Mexico Prods State on Driver's Licenses: Fox asks California to restore a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to hold the permits.
MEXICO CITY — President Vicente Fox called Thursday for the restoration of a California law that would allow illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses, saying it would benefit more than 1 million Mexicans who are "working people … decent people."
But unfortunately took a wrong turn and ended up across the border?

And here's more good news:
The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks stalled Fox's effort to negotiate a deal with the Bush administration to expand guest worker programs for Mexicans and legalize some of the millions of undocumented Mexicans living in the United States.

Since then, however, Mexico's 45 consulates in the United States have worked quietly to issue more than 1.5 million matriculas consulares — fingerprinted photo ID cards — to illegal Mexican immigrants.
And those are the ones who actually signed up.
Mexican officials hope to influence the drafting of a new bill by convincing Schwarzenegger that the matriculas consulares are virtually forgery-proof and should be accepted as a valid ID statewide.
There are few things I find more conceptually exciting than an illegal alien ID card.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Whew, that's a relief!

The BBC has cleared up a nasty matter of etiquette reports The Telegraph - Saddam not a dictator at BBC
Spy recently reported confusion at the BBC over what to call Harrods boss Mohamed (al) Fayed. Now, I hear that descriptions of Saddam Hussein are the latest target of a corporation diktat.

"An email has been circulated telling us not to refer to Saddam as a dictator," I'm told. "Instead, we are supposed to describe him as the former leader of Iraq.

"Apparently, because his presidency was endorsed in a referendum, he was technically elected. Hence the word dictator is banned. It's all rather ridiculous."
Hmm, wasn't that the referendum where he got 100% of the vote?
The Beeb insists that the email merely restates existing guidelines. "We wanted to remind journalists whose work is seen and heard internationally of the need to use neutral language," says a spokesman.
Surely they jest?

It's our Axis pals again

(Via InstaPundit) Freeh Links Iran To Khobar Bombing: Tehran Directed Attack, He Says
Former FBI director Louis Freeh testified yesterday that he believed there was "overwhelming evidence" that senior Iranian government officials financed and directed the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia.

Freeh testified as a key witness on behalf of the families of 12 Americans killed in the bombing, who are suing the government of Iran.
This comes out in a civil trial in late 2003?
He said he spent nearly two years trying to persuade Saudi diplomats to let FBI agents interview six Saudi citizens whom the Saudi government considered the bombing's perpetrators, and he ultimately succeeded.

"They admitted they were members of Saudi Hezbollah," Freeh said. "They admitted complicity in the act. And they implicated senior Iranian officials in the funding and planning of the attack."

Robinson repeatedly questioned what led Freeh to his conclusion that Iran was responsible, other than the confessions of six Saudis.

Freeh responded that other witnesses and evidence corroborated their stories. He said they also named leaders in the Iranian military and information agency who helped select the target site and pay for the group's training and explosives.
Two years plus 1996 means they had the information in 1998. So what did Bubba do about it?
Another aging commie asshat

Ex-Nicaragua Leader Voices Saddam Support
MANAGUA, Nicaragua - Saddam Hussein still has at least one friend abroad: Former Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega expressed support for the ousted Iraqi leader, saying Friday it would be a "barbarity" to force him to stand trial under U.S. occupation.

Ortega, the leader of the Soviet-backed Sandinista government that governed Nicaragua in the 1980s, said a trial for Saddam would only be appropriate if Iraqis overthrew him.

"We maintain our solidarity with the Iraqi people and with Saddam Hussein, who continues to be the president of Iraq," Ortega said. "A barbarity is being committed because he is being judged by a government of occupation headed by a Yankee."
I'm looking forward to Danny's trial.
Now this one really has possibilities!

Online gamer in China sues over virtual theft

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese court has ordered an online video game company to return hard-won virtual property, including a make-believe stockpile of bio-chemical weapons, to a player whose game account was looted by a hacker.

Li Hongchen, 24, had spent two years, and 10,000 yuan (750 pounds) on pay-as-you-go cards to play, amassing weapons and victories in the popular online computer game Hongyue, or Red Moon, before his "weapons" were stolen in February, the Xinhua news agency said on Friday.

Li asked the company, Beijing Arctic Ice Technology Development to identify the player who stole his virtual property, but it declined, saying it could not give out a player's private details, it said.

Police also gave Li no satisfaction, so he took his case to court, demanding 10,000 yuan in compensation, Xinhua said.

"I exchanged the equipment with my labour, time, wisdom and money, and of course they are my belongings," it quoted him as saying of the virtual property he collected online.

The company argued that the value of the virtual property only existed in the game and was "just piles of data to our operating companies".

In the end, Beijing's Chaoyang District People's Court ruled on Thursday that the firm should restore the player's lost items, finding the company liable because of loopholes in the server programmes that made it easy for hackers to break in.
Don't tell American lawyers!

And if you think the above is wacky, how about Hey Tony, outta the way, mob moves on `Sims Online'
Abuse Alert!

Lebanese Says U.S. Troops 'Tortured' Him with Rap
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese Mohammed Jaber said he went to Iraq on a pilgrimage to Muslim holy sites, he ended up being "tortured" with loud rap music by U.S. troops suspicious he might be a foreign fighter against their occupation.

Jaber said an Iraqi taxi driver handed him and three friends over to U.S. troops for $100 each in April apiece as fighters for ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

"They asked us why we were there and if we came to fight them. But we said we came only to visit the holy sites in Kerbala," he told Reuters.

"They didn't torture us physically but they did psychologically by raising the volume of rap music all day until it became unbearable and by withholding food," he said.

But Jaber said he kept one secret from his captors, fearing the treatment could get worse.

"I mean I like rap, just imagine them playing jazz."
Apparently Mo isn't too cool.

Big Noise from Fargo Alert!

They're trotting out the latest "Great Leftist Hope" - Ed Schultz Begins Airing Nationally on Democracy Radio, January 5
November 25, 2003

Democracy Radio, in partnership with the nation’s largest independent syndicator - Jones Radio Networks, is pleased to announce that progressive talk show host Ed Schultz will begin airing his new nationally syndicated show on Monday, January 5th 2004. Ed is aggressive, well researched and opinionated. And until recently, Ed Schultz was best known as the familiar, progressive voice of talk radio at KFGO in Fargo, N.D. But since announcing his affiliation with Democracy Radio, Inc., Schultz has begun to emerge as the new, progressive voice in national talk radio.
Must have missed it. Zzzzz.
Schultz is an award-winning talent, programmer and radio manager with more than 20 years of radio and TV experience. He is considered one of the most accomplished media personalities in the history of the Dakotas and the Midwest.
They've cleaned up his page at KFGO - it used to feature the Swap Shop listings.
For over 10 years, Schultz has been delivering compelling talk-radio in Fargo, N.D., through his popular morning talk show, “News and Views” – where he is the No. 1 broadcaster on the No. 1 talk radio station in America as defined by audience share.
Bwahaha. Who knew? Actually, CB Radio probably has the the #1 position in Fargo, but they don't count it in the ratings.
The show reaches into seven states and provides news on a national level along with caller interaction and commentary. With a reputation for challenging the issues, Schultz is regarded as “the high profile broadcaster of the upper Midwest.”
Ed is famous around North Dakota (and beyond) for shooting his own dog while filming his TV "outdoors" show. No, they didn't run that on the air, but a boat full of empty beer bottles in a fishing segment also provided a class touch.
For his work on KFGO-Fargo, Schultz has won numerous prestigious awards in the radio industry including the Peabody and the Marconi. In addition to “News and Views,” Ed offers regular sports news, commentary and is the football play-by-play announcer for the University of North Dakota.
Actually, the station won the Peabody and Marconi awards, not Big Ed. And while he is the football announcer for the for UND Fighting Sioux, I don't think the PC crowd's going to be too wild about that.

Howdy Ed, welcome! How's your dog?
Good news for the bureaucratic class

(Via Samizdata) Euro-MPs get 30pc rise with no loss of perks.
Pay for British MEPs is to jump from £55,000 to £72,000 overnight, severing the link with their Westminster colleagues for the first time.
But here's the part I like:
Each MEP receives a tax-free £108,000 a year for staff expenses - used by almost half the British delegation to pay spouses, children and immediate kin, often doubling the family income.

A further £32,000 is wired into their accounts annually for "general expenses". Earmarked for paperclips, stamps, and such, it is in reality an extra bonus since the European Parliament's twin sites in Brussels and Strasbourg already provide free offices and computers.

MEPs also receive an attendance fee of £185 a day for showing up. Many amass £925 a week extra in cash.
An attendance fee? How swank! I wonder what the base salary is for then? Their inner beauty?

I can't wait until the United Nations gets around to proposing a "World Parliament."

UPDATE: The odd symbols are for UK pounds. Blogger seems to be having problems with them today.
It's "Take a Wingnut to School Day"

The editors of the Manchester Union Leader weigh in with Hijacking schools: McAuliffe, other Dems exploit students
Students at Portsmouth High School thought they were going to learn about civics when Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe visited the school to guest teach a social studies class recently. Instead they learned that it is not beneath McAuliffe to hijack a classroom and replace a civics lesson with partisan indoctrination.

School officials and some Portsmouth city councilors are angry at McAuliffe for turning a teaching assignment into a political rally. McAuliffe told students that President Bush may reinstitute the draft and that he is responsible for most college graduates being unable to find jobs, Foster’s Daily Democrat reported.

Principal Forrest Ransdell may not have known that McAuliffe is the kind of person who would do just what Superintendent Lyonel Tracy said he hoped guest speakers would never do: “Exploit these kids for their own partisan agendas.”

Unfortunately, McAuliffe is not alone in doing this. When Howard Dean spoke at Central High School for Memorial Day, his staffers passed out campaign stickers to students as they entered the assembly, and at least one student complained to the student newspaper that Dean turned the event into a political speech.
I guess the old days when politicians turned up at local schools to talk to the kids about good citizenship have gone the way of the dodo. At least Terry could have given the tykes some job tips, like "How a professional political fund raiser became a multimillionaire."

But if you think that's bad, how about the "Wheels of Justice Tour" where the usual crew of Palestinian and Saddam apologists visit local schools to attack the Israelis and the US.
On Dec. 4th, 2003 the “Wheels of Justice Tour” appeared during school hours on the grounds of Ukiah High School in Northern California. What was this tour? It was the PLO, the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and other leftist groups such as International Answer packaged to teach your 15 year-old child that the Israel must be dismantled and the US must get out of Iraq to aid the comeback of Saddam Hussein. Passing themselves off as objective “peace” advocates, the tour group spoke at Ukiah High to three class sessions during school hours and had their bus, as a sort of rolling museum, on school grounds all day for the students to look at.
Here's more on the "Wheels of Justice Tour". They were hosted in Ukiah by the faculty leader of the student "Progressives Club" who tried at first to plead ignorance of what kind of vermin he had invited. Kind of like a roach scuttling for cover when the lights are turned on.

But there was some good news - there was no mention of Roadkill Rachel Corrie in the article.
Sell Short!

Outrage as Mbeki hints at S African land grab
President Thabo Mbeki sent shockwaves through South Africa yesterday when he hinted that it might adopt the brutal land-grab policies of President Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe.

South African opposition politicians were incensed by Mr Mbeki's comments at the start of a one-day visit to Harare, where he underlined his status as chief apologist for the Mugabe regime.

While other world leaders, including some in Africa, have distanced themselves from the brutal Mugabe dictatorship, Mr Mbeki said he could learn from Mr Mugabe's methods and philosophy.
Well let's see. South Africa and Zimbabwe used to be the two most prosperous countries in Southern Africa. "Mr. Mugabe's methods and philosophy" have reduced Zimbabwe to starvation. Mbeki would like to emulate them. What does that say about the future of South Africa?

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Everyone should have one

The 9th Circus Court of Appeals ruled that the enemy terrorists, bagged in Afghanistan and currently guests of the taxpayers at Guantanamo Bay, should be provided with a taxpayer funded lawyer and access to US Courts.

You ever notice how to folks of the leftish persuasion, everything's a legal case? I wonder if Osama Rum Baba would have obeyed a restraining order? Anyhow, it would have saved time all around if the 9th Circus had just decreed that anyone, anywhere in the world, is entitled to free legal services courtesy of the US taxpayers.

See ya at The Supremes.
Who could be so stupid?

Hinckley freed for day trips. Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Seen any good movies lately? These kitchen knives are rather dull - I think I'll just sharpen them.

But to answer the question, what genius decided Johnny needed some R&R despite his continued "deceptive behavior"? It was a Clinton appointed judge, of course. Lowell Ponte has some more details on ole Judge Friedman. Like:
Clintonoid Judge Paul L. Friedman eagerly accepted the case of Democratic fundraiser Charlie Yah Lin Trie and threw out many charges against him. Trie later pled guilty after a federal appeals court overturned Friedman’s ruling.

Friedman’s involvement in this case, wrote Associated Press reporter Pete Yost of what expert observers thought, raised “an appearance problem at least” of “whether there has been impartial administration of justice.”

But Judge Friedman’s ideological reign of impropriety was only beginning. He gave only a feather-light slap on the wrist to Pauline Kanchanalak despite her illegal funneling of nearly $700,000 in illegal foreign contributions into Democratic coffers. He meted out even less punishment to Maria Hsia for her criminal role in Al Gore’s brown bag corrupt fundraising in 1996 at a Los Angeles Buddhist Temple. By arbitrarily dismissing virtually all charges against Hsia, Friedman made it almost impossible for prosecutors to plea bargain for her testimony against Clinton or Gore.
I guess ole Paulie's just a forgiving kind of guy!
But while Judge Friedman found nothing wrong with Democrats raking in millions of foreign dollars in “soft money,” he in 1995 came down like a ton of bricks against Republican fundraising by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s political action committee GOPAC.

“Can a judge be swayed by promises of future advancement, even to the Supreme Court if they rule correctly?” asked one commentator sardonically after observing Friedman’s rulings helpful to President Clinton and Vice President Gore.

Since then Judge Friedman has upheld the Internal Revenue Service selective removal of tax exempt status from a church that criticized then-President Bill Clinton. He has ordered Vice President Dick Cheney to turn over thousands of pages of documents from his confidential Energy Task Force for Democrat exploitation. He has continued to be one of America’s most relentlessly Democrat-friendly judges.
Hmm, I guess not.

Ruh Oh!

Tim Graham notes that the front page of the dead tree version of the Washington Post has noticed that Howie Dean's mouth runs faster than his brain - Dean's Remarks Give Rivals Talking Points: His Readiness to Lead Is Questioned.
Is this wingnut still around?

I thought he was cooped up with Madonna in "heavy policy discusssions," but Weasley Clark apparently broke out of the meeting to give us a precious bodily fluids update - Clark: Bush lacks will to find bin Laden.

Wait, there's more!

Over at The Corner, they spotted another BDS outbreak amongst old Carter and Clinton administration hacks - Mondale jabs Bush's 'radical' foreign policy:
Former Vice President Walter Mondale accused President Bush on Friday of forcing democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan "at bayonet point"
"You vill vote or else!"
The administration's policies are at odds with six decades of foreign policy through Democratic and Republican administrations aimed at forming international coalitions to address national security problems, Mondale said.
No word from Wally on what to do when the Eurocrats and the UN wankers don't care about our national security.

And then there's ole Zbig:
Mondale was joined in his pointed criticism of Bush's foreign policy by two other officials from former Democratic administrations — Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser in the Carter administration, and William Perry, defense secretary in the Clinton administration — before an audience of 300 at Macalester College.

Brzezinski said the Bush administration's foreign policy can be summarized in a quote from Bush: "If you're not with us, you're against us." Brzezinski, a naturalized American born in Poland, said it's a stance "straight from (Soviet leader Vladimir) Lenin."
Nice touch, Zbig, but as Cornerite Michael Novak observes, Jesus said it first.
It's a Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) Roundup!

Albright's joke joins growing list of Bush theories.
Conspiracy theories continued to sprout among Democrats yesterday in the wake of the capture of Saddam Hussein. Some Democrats expressed alarm that the party was drifting out of the "mainstream."
One Democratic consultant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said his e-mail box is "filled daily with conspiracy theories" about supposed Bush administration plots.

"There's no way to get away from it. To say the CIA knew where the world's No. 1 terrorist is right now and won't bring him forward, that's immoral."
Of course it all started with Howie and "Mr. Happy Hour":
Mr. Dean, in a Dec. 1 interview on National Public Radio, was asked about claims that Mr. Bush is suppressing information that he was warned about September 11.

"The most interesting theory that I have heard so far," Mr. Dean said, "is that he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis."

Asked if he had reconsidered the remark six days later on "Fox News Sunday," Mr. Dean said that "we don't know" whether the theory is true or not.

Other Democrats have questioned the Bush administration's motives in going to war in Iraq. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts said in September that the war was "made up in Texas."

The Bush administration "announced it in January to the Republican leadership that the war was going to take place and was going to be good politically," Mr. Kennedy said. "The whole thing was a fraud."
And in addition to the unfortunate victims of the disease I mentioned previously, there's:
Rep. Robert T. Matsui, California Democrat and member of the House Armed Services Committee, said the war was waged "to an extent to take attention from the economy."

Scott Reed, a Republican consultant, predicted that such comments will not be forgotten as the 2004 presidential election grows near — especially if Mr. Dean is the Democratic nominee.

"Dean, McDermott and Albright sound like the Democratic foreign-policy dream team," Mr. Reed said. "I also heard a rumor that aliens were coming down to Earth to occupy the bodies of three prominent Democrats, and it looks like it came true."
Maybe they forgot their tin foil beanies?

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Had to happen!

And Derrick Z. Jackson scoops the prize for the Boston Globe - U.S. 'Dictatorship' Had No 'Search Warrant' for Saddam, Boston Globe Moans
But we'll give Jackson the benefit of the doubt: Surely his latest rant is a parody of a satire of a spoof of the addled brain of a blame-America-first leftist pseudointellectual.
Yeah, right.

Someone has way too much time on his hands

(Via Geek Press) Qveere Eye for thye Medieval Man.
Interesting if true

Jamming Equipment on Pakistan President's Limo Delayed Bomb, Saved His Life, Officials Say
Equipment installed on the Pakistani leader's limousine to jam devices that trigger bombs probably saved him from an assassination attempt over the weekend, intelligence officials said Wednesday.
The sophisticated bomb - initially estimated to contain 550 pounds of explosive - was believed to include both a remote control and a timing device to trigger it, two intelligence officials said.

The equipment in Musharraf's car jammed the timer for about a minute, and also jammed the remote control, the officials said.

The jammers usually work by emitting a magnetic impulse to block frequencies used to trigger explosive devices - including the electronic signals from precision timers.
I've heard of using high powered radio waves to set off bombs early (e.g. "Danger Blasting Zone - Turn Off All Radios"), but this is the first I have heard of this.
Well, that ought to prevent obesity lawsuits

Low-carb beer is the biggest thing to hit breweries since light beer
The industry generally recognizes light beers as having low calorie counts; low-carb counts are touted as having few carbohydrates. Beer experts say half the estimated $60 billion to $70 billion domestic beer market is from light beer sales as Americans continue to seek out beers that won't add to their waistline.

Although it's still too early to tell how much the low-carb beer sector claims, analysts say there are already more than a dozen so-called "low-carb beers" competing for shelf space, and more breweries are looking to cash in on the trend.
No word on whether it tastes like beer.

I guess those late nights with Madonna have paid off for Weasley Clark - Material Girl covers Clark with praise. I was going to make fun of the hapless bozo, but Tom Paine at Silent Running has taken care of that already. Well, there goes the self-promoting slut vote!

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

MoveOn and their foreign pals

I mentioned last month that was benefitting from foreigners who wanted to contribute to the defeat of President Bush. Now Drudge is all over the story of foreign contributors:
Frustrated with the lack of domestic support, left-leaning website has apparently been reaching beyond American borders to generate cash revenue over the internet!
It is not clear how much money has been raised -- to date-- from foreign sources, but political websites from London to Portugal to Montreal are directing their citizens to stop the American president George Bush by donating to!
My, my - the ankle biters run in packs.
Wesley Clark's official campaign website has been offering a link to "Canada For Clark", which in turn advises Canadians: "Non-Americans can't by law, give money to any particular candidate's campaign. But we can support pro-democracy, progressive American organizations like, which do their best to spread the ugly truth about Bush and publicize the Democratic message. Click here to donate to"

The top traffic referrer to is Clark's Official Campaign Website.

MORE is a noncommercial and volunteer website offered by Corinne Sinclair, a non-US citizen, based in London. Domain registration information indicates the website name servers are owned by, a website hosting service based in Portugal. encourages non-Americans across the global to help Dean win the 2004 election.

A notice on the website explains how to provide funds to, since non-Americans cannot donate directly to the Dean campaign.
Naughty Weasley and Howie!

One of the head droids at MoveOn says they have stopped taking foreign cash, but on the other hand, they have named an "International Campaigns Director." They don't need to worry though, they still have Ernst Blofeld and his toadies.

Ernst says,
Someone call the Center for Disease Control!

Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) is spreading like wildfire! First there was Rep. Baghdad Jim McDermott (D-WA):
On Seattle radio yesterday, Rep. Jim McDermott questioned the timing of Saddam Hussein's capture, saying, "I'm sure they could have found him a long time ago if they wanted to."
and now a Fox News viewer spots a bigger fish, former Clinton State Department Cleaning Lady Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright:

Morton Kondracke just said that Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State, said to him in a holding room before an interview

"I wonder when George Bush will drag Osama bin Laden out of hiding? Just before the election?"

Kondracke said he was stunned. He said, "You can't be serious!"

He said that Albright was not laughing when she said what she said.
Of course, the leftoids can always count on their garden variety delusionals like Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, (D-TX) who just got back from a junket to Syria:
Jackson Lee said she was so impressed with Syrian President Bashar Assad during her visit that she invited him to speak in Texas, even though his country is designated by the United States as a rogue state and a sponsor of terrorism.

"I'm sure someone will write a headline, `Congresswoman invites a terrorist'," Jackson Lee said. "But that's not what I'm trying to do."
"He's a 39-year-old president who even gave us a picture of him and his children," Jackson Lee said.
Woohoo! But it would have been cooler if it were a picture of Elvis.

Newsmax obliged Sheila - Congresswoman Invites a Terrorist. Sheila was previously famous for asking NASA whether the Mars Rover could drive over to the flag left by Neil Armstrong and complaining that the names of hurricanes weren't "black" enough.
Help Wanted!

Ralph Nader wants to know whether to run or not! Sure, Ralphie! What this election really needs is you!
Hey, Why Not?

Over at The Corner, Tim Graham spots a beauty - Pinot Noir with your Propaganda?
In the latest weird example of ("noncommercial"?) NPR merchandising, now there's NPR when the liberal bias gets to you, the network can also help ease the pain.
They also ought to offer cheese to go with the whine. And plenty of Kool-Aid too.
Howie practices his fancy foot work

Dean: Still a Dove
IT would be inaccurate to say that Howard Dean, the candidate of the anti-war Left, is now moving toward the center. It would be more precise to say that the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president is galloping like hell toward the center.

The former governor of Vermont is evidently so confident of his ability to hold onto the Bush-haters and pacifist lunatics who have catapulted him into the lead that he is now working to make himself palatable to the non-loons in the Democratic primary electorate by trying to sound reasonable on foreign policy.

Yesterday, in what was billed as the first major foreign-policy speech of his candidacy, Dean actually sounded rather belligerent - a big fan of American military action in every case he could name except where Iraq is concerned.
Ruh Oh! What about the Kool Aid drinkers who are Deano's big supporters?
Dean's speech yesterday might prove very painful for some of his more naive supporters - who may have discerned in Dean's hysterical opposition to the war in Iraq their own opposition to all military action taken by the United States.

Dean is doubtless correct to believe that he can offend such supporters a bit now. With the seductive scent of primary victory teasing their nostrils, are they really going to start snorting fire again and quit him for Dennis Quixote - I mean, Dennis Kucinich?
If they had any integrity they would, but don't hold your breath.

Besides, Howie can keep 'em happy with bread and circuses like Howard's Hatefest:
YOU won't be seeing any video of Howard Dean's x-rated, epithet-ridden New York fund-raiser because Team Dean made sure to bar the TV cameras. Which suggests they expected trouble.

Maybe it was the same foresight that inspired Dean to seal his records as Vermont governor for 10 years because of worries, as he put it in a moment of candor to Vermont public radio, about "future political considerations. We didn't want anything embarrassing appearing in the papers at a critical time in any future endeavor."

So there were no TV cameras last Monday night when pro-Dean comics took the stage on West 18th St. in Chelsea at a $250-a-head Dean fund-raiser (reduced from $500) and competed to see how often they could use the F-word in the same sentence.
Now that's entertainment!

Here's some of the lowlights:
Comic Judy Gold dissed President Bush as "this piece of living, breathing s---" and Janeane Garofalo ridiculed the Medicare prescription-drug bill that Bush had just signed as the "you can go f--- yourself, Grandma" bill.

Just a few days before, rival John Kerry had used the F-word to attack Bush in Rolling Stone magazine in an apparent bid to sound hip, but Dean's event was "enough to make John Kerry blush," as rival Dick Gephardt's spokesman Erik Smith tartly put it.

And the Dean event got a lot worse. Comedian David Cross used the N-word for blacks in a disjointed "joke" apparently based on the premise that it's fine for a pro-Dean comic to use racial epithets as long as the goal is to claim Republicans are racists.

Comic Kate Clinton evoked Michael Jackson (hit with new child-sex-abuse charges) and said: "Frankly, I'm far more frightened of Condoleezza Rice" - the Bush national security adviser who has nothing in common with Jackson except being black.

Rice seems to drive liberal woman comics especially nuts. Sandra Bernhard insulted her in racial terms with a "Yes Massa" accent at another Dean fundraiser the same night. Perhaps the pro-Dean comics find it unbearable that the most powerful black woman in U.S. history, close friend to the president and his wife - and a brilliant classical pianist to boot - dares to be a Republican.

Actually, there was something to offend everyone. Dean rival Joe Lieberman got ridiculed for being unable to campaign on Jewish holidays because he's Orthodox. Vice President Dick Cheney was accused of talking "like Mary Jo Buttafuoco."

Cheney's wife Lynne was called "Lon Chaney" - the long-ago movie star who specialized in playing ghouls in horror films. And Cheney's daughter Mary, who is gay, was called "a big lezzie."
These folks don't seem too PC! But that's OK, they're leftoids so it doesn't count.

Nice friends you have, Howie.
Line of the day

Scroll down to the bottom in U.S. Troops Kill 11 Insurgents in Firefight (ignore the mispelling of "terrorist scum" in the title):
In Tikrit, about 700 people rallied in the center of town Monday chanting ``Saddam is in our hearts, Saddam is in our blood.'' U.S. soldiers and Iraqi policemen yelled back: ``Saddam is in our jail.''
Regards from the USA.

Not these asshats again!

Protester damages historic plane
Monday's opening of the National Air and Space Museum's new Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center was marred by a protester who damaged one of the museum's historic aircraft.

The B-29 Enola Gay's fragile aluminum-alloy skin was damaged when a glass bottle filled with red paint was thrown at the aircraft from a walkway above it. The bottle hit the plane's left side, denting an area just below the third row of windows and then shattered on the floor.

``There was a pop, then a splat, then I turned around and saw that there was some damage to the airframe,'' said an employee at the museum, located at Dulles International Airport.

Museum security detained Thomas K. Siemer, 73, of Columbus, Ohio, around 11:15 a.m. until police from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority arrested him and charged him with felony damage to property and loitering.
Museum officials identified disruptive protesters as belonging to a group called the Gray Panthers.
The leftoid geezers are back! I haven't heard them mentioned since the 70's! Turn up your hearing aid, Gramps, so you can hear "Ingest excrement and expire."
``It's just plain ridiculous,'' said Cupe Adams, 25, a tourist visiting from Texas. ``This plane saved a lot of American lives. Two of my grandfathers would have been in the invasion of Japan had Truman not made the decision to use the bomb.''
An old geek is still a geek.
Who Knew?

The United Nation's Global Warming Wankfest of two weeks ago lead me via serendipitous means to Michael Crichton's Caltech Michelin Lecture of January, 2003 - Aliens Cause Global Warming. It's a long read, but very interesting if you are interested in science and what it has become.
My topic today sounds humorous but unfortunately I am serious. I am going to argue that extraterrestrials lie behind global warming. Or to speak more precisely, I will argue that a belief in extraterrestrials has paved the way, in a progression of steps, to a belief in global warming. Charting this progression of belief will be my task today.

Let me say at once that I have no desire to discourage anyone from believing in either extraterrestrials or global warming. That would be quite impossible to do. Rather, I want to discuss the history of several widely-publicized beliefs and to point to what I consider an emerging crisis in the whole enterprise of science-namely the increasingly uneasy relationship between hard science and public policy.
Here's a snippet concerning "nuclear winter," which is, in many ways, the ancestor of "global warming":
But Sagan and his coworkers were prepared, for nuclear winter was from the outset the subject of a well-orchestrated media campaign. The first announcement of nuclear winter appeared in an article by Sagan in the Sunday supplement, Parade. The very next day, a highly-publicized, high-profile conference on the long-term consequences of nuclear war was held in Washington, chaired by Carl Sagan and Paul Ehrlich, the most famous and media-savvy scientists of their generation. Sagan appeared on the Johnny Carson show 40 times. Ehrlich was on 25 times. Following the conference, there were press conferences, meetings with congressmen, and so on. The formal papers in Science came months later.

This is not the way science is done, it is the way products are sold.

The real nature of the conference is indicated by these (ed. note: not in the web article) artists' renderings of the the effect of nuclear winter.

I cannot help but quote the caption for figure 5: "Shown here is a tranquil scene in the north woods. A beaver has just completed its dam, two black bears forage for food, a swallow-tailed butterfly flutters in the foreground, a loon swims quietly by, and a kingfisher searches for a tasty fish." Hard science if ever there was.
All that's missing is Bambi.
Further evidence of the political nature of the whole project can be found in the response to criticism. Although Richard Feynman was characteristically blunt, saying, "I really don't think these guys know what they're talking about," other prominent scientists were noticeably reticent. Freeman Dyson was quoted as saying "It's an absolutely atrocious piece of science but…who wants to be accused of being in favor of nuclear war?" And Victor Weisskopf said, "The science is terrible but---perhaps the psychology is good." The nuclear winter team followed up the publication of such comments with letters to the editors denying that these statements were ever made, though the scientists since then have subsequently confirmed their views.
And "global warming" is "nuclear winter" writ large as Crichton proceeds to demonstrate.

I bet you thought scientists were boring. Time to throw some virgins into the volcano!
Must see TV

From MEMRI - Al-Shatat: The Syrian-Produced Ramadan 2003 TV Special:
According to 'Al-Shatat,' the Jews have sought to control the world for many centuries, via a secret global Jewish government. Since the 19th century, this secret government has been led by the Rothschild family.

Under this government's leadership, the Jews were directly responsible for the following: starting the Russo-Japanese war; assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo; starting WWI; starting WWII; the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; helping Hitler annihilate the Jews of Europe; helping the Nazis annihilate 800,000 Hungarian Jews in exchange for the release of 2,000 wealthy German Jews; toppling the Ottoman sultan; deposing Czar Nicholas II; starting the Kishinev pogroms; ritually murdering a Christian child in Rumania and using his blood for matzos; torturing and murdering a Jew who married a Christian; murdering Czar Alexander III in Russia; causing the English stock market to collapse following the Battle of Waterloo and again during WWI, in order to make millions of pounds (for the Rothschilds); spying for Germany against France (Dreyfus); inventing chemical weapons (Chaim Weizmann) and selling them to both the Germans and the English; refusing to accept elderly Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis into Palestine; murdering 100 people in Egypt during military training prior to WWI; deposing British prime ministerLord Asquith; sinking a boatload of Jewish refugees en route to the U.S.; murdering emigrating Jews who tried to turn back to Europe; murdering many other characters in the series in a variety of ways; and numerous other catastrophes and criminal deeds.
Hey, no fair! Doing all this stuff doesn't leave much for the Free Masons!

Taking Baghdad

Winds of Change links a long LA Times magazine article by David Zucchino - The Thunder Run - on the capture of Baghdad and what a near run thing it actually was.
Prisoners of war had told U.S. interrogators that the Iraqi military was expecting American tanks to surround the city while infantry from the 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne cleared the capital. And that was the U.S. plan—at least until the thunder run that morning altered the equation.

Blount told Perkins to go back into the city in two days, on Monday the 7th. Blount wanted him to test the city's defenses, destroy as many Iraqi forces as possible and then come out to prepare for the siege of the capital.

Perkins was eager to go back in, but not for another thunder run. He wanted to stay. He had just heard Mohammed Said Sahaf, the bombastic information minister, deliver a taunting news conference, claiming that no American forces had entered Baghdad and that Iraqi troops had slaughtered hundreds of American "scoundrels" at the airport.

When Perkins got back to the brigade operations center south of the city, he told his executive officer, Lt. Col. Eric Wesley: "This just changed from a tactical war to an information war. We need to go in and stay."
Folow the link for much more. Even with the "embeds" the news reporting at the time made it look rather easier than it was.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Angst Alert!

Tim Blair has the goods on the usual suspects in Sadness Abounds. My favorite and Tim's too:
And my favourite, which may or may not be satire:
"Damn it, CNN is again showing Iraqi citizens celebrating Saddam's capture. This is not good! Dean shouldn't say anything for now. He should immediately contact Paul Krugman of the NY Times for advice on how to put a negative spin on this."
With Krugman, how could you tell if it was satire?
Best Line of the Day Award (so far)

Joe Lieberman on Meet the Press:
"If Howard Dean had his way, Saddam Hussein would be in power today, not in prison," Lieberman said.
Dean's supposed to make a statement shortly. Wanna bet on the contents?

UPDATE: Howie dodged.

UPDATE 2: Here's a puzzler! The news reports of Dean's statement are much like what I linked in the first update. But Howie's blog has some rather different verbiage:
"This development provides an enormous opportunity to set a new course and take the American label off the war. We must do everything possible to bring the UN, NATO, and other members of the international community back into this effort.
That's more like it Howie!

Kathyrn Jean Lopez at The Corner - Better Than The Movie
People in my inbox love the details:
My brother and I sat watching the news of Saddam's capture, and we couldn't help but grin at the title of the operation: "Operation Red Dawn." We were further elated when the announcement was made that the objectives were called "Wolverine One" and "Wolverine Two." I would bet that an officer in his late twenties or early thirties named the operation after the 1984 Patrick Swayze/Charlie Sheen movie about the communist invasion of the U.S. "Wolverines!"
Butcher of Baghdad Bagged!

Saddam Hussein Captured, Officials Say

Buh bye!

Congratulations to the men and women of Operation Red Dawn.

I've already seen a few whines that "ordinary Iraqis don't care," but based on the reports from the scene, I don't think that will be as profitable for the usual suspects as the predictable calls for him to be tried by an "International Court". Amir Taheri was prescient in his Friday column for the NY Post - Iraqis Must Judge Saddam:
After months of soul-searching, it now seems certain that the Iraq Governing Council is prepared to put the fallen Ba'athist regime on trial. The decision is important because it ends the debate over who should hold the trials and where.

The council seems confident enough that the Iraqis can handle the task themselves: No need for a court outside Iraq, with foreign judges. The tribunal will sit in Baghdad, with only Iraqi judges to try Saddam and his associates on charges ranging from corruption to crimes against humanity.

Although long overdue, the decision has drawn criticism from the European Union and the United Nations. Their beef: The tribunal would exclude the U.N. and ignore internationally accepted judicial norms and practices.
Hmm, it will be interesting to see what part of "Bite me" they don't understand.
The U.N. and E.U., after all, still refuse to recognize the Governing Council as a legitimate authority. Both are reluctant to acknowledge that the toppling of Saddam's regime was an act of liberation for the Iraqi people. Thus neither can claim moral authority in telling the Iraqis what to do.

There is no reason why the Iraqis should trust the U.N. or the E.U. - they did nothing to curb Saddam's criminal activities. In fact, several EU members helped Saddam build his death machine while the UN played cat-and-mouse with him for 13 years.
That takes care of the corrupt bureaucrats and Euroweenies, what about the professional freakazoid whiners?
Nor should Iraqis take notice of those who claim to represent public opinion in the West.

The suggestion that Western opinion may regard an Iraqi tribunal as "questionable" is neither here nor there. If by "Western opinion" one means the newly created coalition of Islamists and Stalinists, plus the usual fellow-travelers, it is enough to remember that it never organized a single protest march when Saddam was killing thousands of women and children with his chemical weapons, and filling all those mass graves.

But "Western opinion" has held marches to lament the demise of Saddam and denounce the liberation of Iraq, in the words of the British playwright Harold Pinter, as "a blood-drinking tea-party" by President George W Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair. This "Western opinion" would rather put Bush and Blair, and the entire Iraqi people, on trial than utter a harsh word against Saddam.
They can pound sand too.