Sunday, July 31, 2005

The most dangerous drug in America

Newsweek and US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales say that it is methamphetamine - meth - crystal - crank. Gonzales told district attorneys in a July 18 speech, that
"in terms of damage to children and to our society, meth is now the most dangerous drug in America."
This Newsweek exposé explains how it has happened and what steps are being taken to try to get it under control. Some really serious reading, here. If you seriously want to know more about this scourge, the Newsweek article also provides links to other articles on the web.

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Americans were right? - an awful possibility

The Sunday Telegraph says that there's an awful possibility that the Americans were right all along about global warming and the Kyoto accord.
The Kyoto accord looks like yesterday's approach to yesterday's conception of tomorrow's problem.
Here's the deal on the Kyoto Accord. Back when Clinton was president, the US Senate advised him by a vote of 99-0 not to sign the Kyoto accord. The accord is basically an agreement by some developed nations that they will make draconian cuts in their emissions of so-called "greenhouse" gases, like carbon dioxide. If the promised new limits are not met, the signers would have to pay humongeous penalties. The world's underdeveloped nations, like China, are not subject to these limits.

What these limits would have done, had the world's developed nations actually made an attempt to reach them, would have been to slow the economic engines of the world's developed nations way down so that the underdeveloped ones could catch up. In other words, people like those of the United States would have to suffer so that the Chinese and the Mexicans and the Brazilians and a big long list of others could recover from decades or centuries or millennia of mis-management, corruption and all around economic stupidity.

Bill Clinton, who only seemed to suffer from stupidity when a strange skirt was involved and George Bush, who only seems to suffer from stupidity when on his mountain bike and facing a hill that Lance Armstrong would choose to ride around, weren't going to present a treaty to the US Senate and suffer a 99-0 defeat. Nor were they going to present a treaty to the US Senate that guaranteed the demise of the US economy and the impoverishment of its people.

And what about all of the environmentally friendly and forward thinking and progressive developed nations that did sign the treaty? They ignored it. What the treaty demanded of them was too high a price for their people to pay. It couldn't be done. Now those nations are facing the "eye watering" financial penalties for failing to make their target emission reductions. What are they going to do? Refuse to pay, that's what they are going to do. The Kyoto Accord is dead, dead, dead.

The only two signers of the accord with any chance at all of coming even close to their respective targets are Great Britain and Germany. Britain because she has been able to convert many coal fired generating plants over to gas. Germany because she had an ace up her sleeve. As soon as Germany signed the agreement, it started shutting down the old East German high polluting industries, unemployment be damned. So Germany, which will not make its final target either - although it will come closer than most - suffers from 10-15% unemployment against 5% here in the good old USA.

When George Bush met with world leaders at the recent G8 summit in Scotland, did the G8 nations, with the exception of the US all signers of the accord, blast the USA and Bush for our position? Nope, they went along with the American's contention that the Kyoto Accord was a "blind alley" and that only technology, applied to the problem by every nation both developed and underdeveloped, will save the planet.

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Can't the MSM report anything accurately?

Chicago Sun-Times:
Teens arrested for burning 20 small U.S. flags
Then the first paragraph of this thoroughly misleading report:
Two teenage boys were charged Thursday with burning 20 small American flags set up in honor of a soldier who died from injuries suffered in the Iraq war.
Now, after the headline and the first paragraph have you believing that two teenage boys were charged with flag burning (which is not a crime), the second paragraph finally gets around to mentioning, as an aside, what the boys were actually charged with. The report doesn't state this outright. The reporter leaves it up to the readers to figure it out.
Police said the boys apparently did not know the significance of the flags they took from the yard and set afire under a car belonging to the soldier's sister-in-law. The vehicle was destroyed.
What the report never states is that the arson charge was for burning the car, not the flags.

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Reporter: I'll never talk to a reporter again!

Drudge has a followup to the Helen Thomas story. I saw Friday night where she was quoted as saying that if Dick Chaney were to run for president, she would kill herself. I didn't post about it because, well, Helen Thomas, y'know. I am uncertain as to her mental state. Perhaps I should say that I am certain of the uncertainty of her mental state. Anyway, she is enraged that a reporter quoted her comments. So angry, in fact, that Drudge quotes her as saying, ""I'll never talk to a reporter again!"

The press doesn't like it when the shoe is on the other foot.

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Brokaw blames government for Miller's jailing

Editor and Publisher prints this incredible report about Tom Brokaw and his Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) visiting Judith Miller in jail, then blaming the US government (read Bush) and calling for her immediate release. Miller, as you no doubt needn't be reminded, was jailed by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas F. Hogan after she refused to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the leaking of the CIA's Judith Plame.

It is a violation of federal law to refuse to testify before a federal grand jury, period. The US government (read Bush) has absolutely no influence whatsoever over a federal judge, especially in the fact that this judge is following the law. If a federal judge breaks the law, it is conceivable that the US Senate could take action against that judge in an impeachment and trial scenario. Again, the executive branch (read Bush) may play no part in this whatsoever.

What do Brokaw and the CPJ want Bush to do? Send US Marshalls to break her out of jail? And to put a cherry on top of this non-issue, the CPJ is quoted as saying,
"...the U.S. government is not only undermining the ability of a free press to function in this country but also sending a signal to other governments that such a course is acceptable when dealing with journalists of whose actions they do not approve."

"Only a minority of countries worldwide imprison journalists for their work," Cooper said. "The United States, long seen as setting a global standard for freedom of the press, is damaging its international reputation by jailing journalists."
Outrageous behavior on the part of this no doubt self described non-aligned committee. What the committee should have done is called upon the Congress of the US to pass legislation to institute a shield law to protect journalists who find themselves in this kind of a pickle.

I might add that while a minority of governments jail journalists "for their work", there is no small number of countries where journalists a shot dead or "disappeared" for their work, like Mexico, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, North Korea, Russia, China, and I could go on for some time. Stooping so low as to compare the US government (read Bush) with those journalistic hellholes is beyond the pale.

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Saturday, July 30, 2005

London- still seeking technician and quartermaster

The Times of London reports that police are still seeking the technician(s) who designed and built the 7/7 bombs and the 7/21 bombettes as well as the quartermaster(s) who procured the materials for the explosives. The report includes a rough chronology of events as they unfolded throughout the day yesterday. There was also a fifth bomber who got cold feet at the last moment and ran off, leaving his bomb in a rucksack on a park bench. He has also been arrested. British police and security officials are trying to determine how the fourth bomber, arrested in Italy, managed to get out of the country when his photo was widely distributed in railway terminals, docks and airports.

I have rights! I have rights!

In The Washington Post's report of the roundup and arrest of the 3 7/21 bomberette suspects still in Britain yesterday, it quotes one of the suspects shouting, "I have rights! I have rights!" as he surrendered. The part of the report that bothered me was that during the siege of the apartment where two of the suspects were holed up, police "pleaded with television networks to stop live broadcasts from the scene out of concern the suspects would watch and see the officers' locations." I think that in the US, police officials have the right and the duty to remove TV crews that are interfering with their security. In the end, reporters don't usually care too much who gets hurt or who is endangered by their quest for a good story.

Why can't we do this, too?

The Telegraph is reporting this morning that France will toss 12 "preachers of hate" out of the country. Also, France has some dozen mosques under constant surveillance for preaching hate and jihad. The article notes that British government officials have several times in the past approved the deportation of jihadist preachers but are always stopped by British courts. In addition, France's interior minister,
Nicolas Sarkozy, announced the proposal of an even tougher anti-terrorism package. I don't know what the procedure is in France for approval of such a measure but it is obvious that judges and the courts are not allowed to interfere with the security of the French people. Britain and the US could take a lesson, although things really are not so bad here. But in Britain it is almost impossible to get yourself deported.

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Anti-terrorism fatwa bogus?

According to Pakistan's Daily Times, folks are beginning to read behind the lines and the fine print of the anti-terrorism fatwa issued a couple of days ago by the Fiqh Council of North America and CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations). More details at World Net Daily. Both the Daily Times and World Net are quoting The Counterterrorism Blog. The Daily Times does not credit the blog. World Net links the blog but to the wrong page. Steven Emerson,executive director of the Washington-based Investigative Project on Terrorism, claims the fatwa is "bogus" because it does not renounce nor even acknowledge the existence of an Islamic jihadist culture that has permeated mosques and young Muslims around the world. It does not renounce Jihad let alone admit that it has been used to justify Islamic terrorist acts. It does not condemn by name any Islamic group or leader.
"In short, it is a fake fatwa designed merely to deceive the American public into believing that these groups are moderate.

Judea Pearl, father of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl, as maintaining that the fatwa is a "vacuous because it does not name the perpetrators of Islamic terrorist theologies and leaders of Islamic movements."

The Chairman of the Fiqh Council, Taha Jaber Al-Alwani, is an unindicted co-conspirator in the case against Sami al-Arian, the alleged North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, whose trial began in June 2005 in Tampa, Florida. Alwani has been named in court documents as an official of several entities in northern Virginia suspected of being connected to terrorist financing. Documents released in the Al Arian trial show that Alwani funded the Islamic Jihad front groups in Tampa.
Cair's problems have been well documented as both present and past CAIR officials have many ties to terrorist organizations. Visit The Counterterrorism Blog - there is a lot of there, there.

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You sold my WHAT?

The UPI reports this morning that a Washington D.C. woman faces manslaughter charges after killing her boyfriend. Dominique Jackson, 32 discovered that her addict boyfriend had sold her computer to obtain money to buy drugs. She objected.

She beat him unconscious with her fists. When he came to, she poured black pepper and hot sauce onto him, along with bleach and shaving cream. She then sprayed insecticide into his face and placed a hot iron on his lower stomach. Then, she beat him on his head with a skillet. After he again became unconscious she cleaned the apartment and left for 10 hours. When she returned she called 911. He died the next day in the hospital.

Justice, I'd say. I wonder what she did for the two hours she was gone.

Saddam attacked - or not

Reuters has two confusing reports up this morning, one which says that Saddam Hussein was attacked in court yesterday by an unidentified bystander and another report which says no such incident took place.

Saddam's legal team claimed that he was attacked and he and the attacker exchanged blows. According to the defense team, no one did anything to stop it. A spokeswoman for detainee operations in Iraq, the U.S. military unit charged with overseeing the custody of prisoners including Saddam, said no such incident took place. "Nothing like that happened with Saddam whatsoever," Lieutenant Kristy Miller said.

An official in Baghdad who is familiar with the workings of the tribunal also denied that any scuffle took place between Saddam and another individual. He suggested it may be a defense team tactic. "If I was a defense lawyer for Saddam, I'd try every trick I could," he said.

Ramsey Clark, a former U.S. attorney general and one of the lawyers signed up to represent Saddam, said in a statement that Saddam's rights were being violated. "Continued interrogations or trial under these circumstances is a serious violation of standards of security of person and fair trial that are shared by almost every country in the world," he said. Really? Like in Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, North Korea, Viet Nam, Cambodia etc., etc., etc.?

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Woods vs Singh - 1 vs 2

Tiger Woods shot a spectacular 11 under 61, including back-to-back eagles to climb back into contention in the Buick Open. He's 1 shot back of world #2 Vijay Singh and they will play head-to-head today and maybe Sunday also.

This is what athletics are all about and it doesn't really happen that often, especially in golf, that the top two performers meet head-to-head. Woods has been working for almost three years to redesign his swing, probably to take pressure off of a bum knee. He's a smart guy and I think he realized that if he didn't do something drastic, his career was bound to be short-lived. The new swing imparts far less torque in his bad knee than did the old swing, with which he was the best player in golf, by far.

Woods is the type of competitor who believes he should win every tournament he enters. Singh has always given me the impression, perhaps unfairly, that he was just a tad miffed at Woods' fame, glory, money and records. Now he gets a rare chance to beat Woods, up close and personal. After the round that Woods had today, odds are that Singh will fail again. But in golf, one never knows.

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Friday, July 29, 2005

Nuevo Laredo consulate closed

Bloomberg reports tonight that US Ambassador Tony Garza has closed the US Consulate in Nuevo Laredo to "assess the security situation for our employees, American travelers to the region, and visitors to the consulate." This move follows yet another gun battle in the streets of this border city between rival drug gangs. This time, the gangs attacked two houses in Nuevo Laredo using sophisticated weaponry, including assault rifles, grenades and a rocket launcher.

To update you a bit on the situation in Nuevo Laredo, it sits just across the border from Laredo, Texas which is the busiest truck crossing of any US port of entry. There have been over 70 murders so far this year in the town of 375,000. Mexican president Vicente Fox had to send federal troops to try to take back control of the streets. They were fired upon by the city police. The position of city police chief was vacant for several months because no one wanted the job. When the position was finally accepted by an officer last month, he was gunned down in a hail of bullets before the day was out.

The US Department of State has issued several advisories, still in effect, warning US citizens to avoid the border area. The Mexican government has objected strongly to these advisories, insisting that the border region was safe. One wonders what they consider unsafe.

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Mona Charen ruins my day

In, Mona Charen ruins an otherwise glorious day. The sun is shining, well, a little, the IRA (one of them, anyway) is disarming, the British have all four 7/21 bomberettes in custody, and ... Ms. Charen has to go and remind us of North Korea and Iran. You know, starving children, nuclear weapons development, broken promises and treaties, etc. Thanks, Mona.

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Cindy Adams not too fonda Jane

The New York Post's Cindy Adams, gossip columnist extraordiaire, goes nutz on Jane Fonda.
Aren't we lucky? Isn't it great? We have patriotic ingrate Jane Fonda, the multiple divorceé who was born with a silver hoof in her mouth, acting as spokespig for our country again. Although she's born here, isn't there a way we can throw her out since her basic career is to bad-mouth the United States of America? If being a smoker is against the law, how about being a traitor? If spitting on the sidewalk is not allowed, how come spitting on the U.S.A. is OK? If double-parking gets a fine, shouldn't there be some small punishment for treason?

Hanoi Jane taking the money she made in this God-blessed country and spending it on a nationwide oink against us? Hanoi Jane who in 1972 betrayed United States prisoners of war during the blood-filled Vietnam days? Harming our nation and then apologizing just long enough to sell a book, a video or a monster of a movie? Three husbands left her. The whole rest of us should, too.

While signing her book someplace, this woman announced a hideous anti-Iraq bus tour she intends to take. She now announces she'll take her 32-year-old son, Troy, with her. Isn't anyone going to stop this? Isn't there some law against this? And her kid's comment about why mummy dearest is doing it? "I guess she thinks it's time for people to do something."

I know what they can do. They can drive her the hell out of here. Look, we don't all favor this war, but we do favor our country. Right or wrong, it's our country. We love it. We support it. We do not help the enemy.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

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Politicians aren't cowards - they're stupid

Charle Krauthhammer , writing in The Washington Post, begs to differ with me here. He says it's not the Boy Scouts, it's grandma. He shows the way to reduce the threat of terrorist attack by a factor of 10,000 as well as saving a tremendous amount of time and money. And politicians aren't so much cowards but with some common sense they would be,
And infinitely less stupid.
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Pakistan throws out foreign students?

The BBC is reporting that Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, has ordered all foreign students in Pakistan's extremist madrassas to leave the country. The BBC reports 1400 students will have to leave.
"Any (foreigners) in the madrassas - even dual nationality holders - will leave Pakistan," Gen Musharraf said.
Well, that's a start, I guess. I don't know if I believe the 1400 number. I would think it would be more like 14,000 or 140,000, but that's just my opinion. Of course, if they turn them over 4 times per year, that's an annual output of some 5600 wild-eyed, where's-my-72-virgins? jihadist and martyr wannabees.

The BBC does relate these disturbing numbers: there are 1.3 million students in 20,000 madrassas in Pakistan. Hmmm. If only one drooling killer matriculates from each madrassa once per year, that's 20,000 homicidal maniacs searching for paradise annually. I think that number is closer to the truth than 5600. Gen. Musharraf walks a tightrope every minute of every day to avoid assassination and at the same time remain out of Washington's crosshairs. Not an enviable position, I'm sure.

Some others watching this very carefully: Jeff Goldstein, Jan Haugland, PoliBlog, NewsHog, Ace of Spades HQ

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Michael Graham is suspended

The Jewish World Review and The Washington Post report that Michael Graham, whose column I detailed previously, has been suspended without pay by WMAL radio in Washington, DC. The report from JWR blames CAIR, the Muslim lobbying organization, for forcing ABC / Disney to order the suspension.

Applauding free speech and ABC/Disney's bravery:
Michelle Malkin,
The Conservative Man, HCS's and Gen's Place, Sister Toldjah, Jason Coleman, Decision '08, Two Babes and a Brain, Lump on a Blog, Basil's Blog - choking on this Lunch Special, RightWinged - with a doodle,
Dean Esmay

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They got them all!

Sky News, the BBC and MSNBC are reporting that 2 of the 3 London bombers still on the loose have been caught in London and Sky reports that the fourth is in custody in Italy. Great news. The police will sweat them and they'll begin talking. These are young idiots and won't hold up well under police interrogation.

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Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. - button man

This Wall Street Journal chronology, written by Laurie P. Cohen, Joe Hagan and Anne Marie Squeo, details the fork-in-the-road that Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper faced with their shared attorney, Floyd Abrams. That divergence of interest was due to bad blood between Miller and prosecutor Fitzgerald from an earlier case where Miller wrote a story that caused the wheels to come off of a Fitzgerald investigation. Also, Miller and her boss, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the chairman and publisher of the Times, had quite publicly declared their opposition to the waivers to disclose information offered by government sources. The Times position was that these waivers were obtained under coercion and were therefore useless. Matt Cooper was relying on just such a waiver.

In addition to that, Time and The Times were using Abrams to defend the corporations' interests. But those interests diverged also. Time Magazine had possession of all of Cooper's notes in an electronic file and was therefore subject to Fitzgerald's subpoena. The New York Times had never seen Miller's notes and therefore was not subject to the subpoena. So, Time magazine replaced Mr. Abrams, delivered Cooper's notes, and Judy Miller went to jail.

The WSJ then relates something that I had not heard before,
The Time reporter (Cooper) wrote in his recent first-person account that he couldn't recall whether he first learned her name by reading Mr. Novak's column or from doing research on the Google Web site.
Huh? I thought that Cooper has said that Karl Rove gave him Valerie Plame's name. That's why all the squealing from the lefties for Rove's head. What is detailed here is that Cooper's notes say that Rove told Cooper,
"it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip."
So Rove, according to the notes, told Cooper that Wilson's wife apparently worked at the CIA on WMD issues. Then Cooper found her name either through a Google search or by reading Robert Novak's column.

And the button man?
With Ms. Miller and Mr. Cooper potentially facing civil-contempt findings and jail in the Plame investigation, Mr. Pearlstine spoke with Mr. Sulzberger, the chairman and publisher of the Times. Mr. Pearlstine says that Mr. Sulzberger suggested they offer buttons to employees of their organizations declaring, "Free Judy, Free Matt, Free Speech." Mr. Pearlstine demurred.
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Miami Herald - hypocrites?

The New York Times says that a reporter for The Miami Herald, Jim DeFede, was fired for recording, without permission, what may have been the suicide statement of Miami Commisioner Arthur Teele, Jr.. Teele called DeFede at his upstairs office from the downstairs lobby of The Miami Herald. During a rambling and anguish filled conversation, DeFede became concerned for the mental state of Teele and pushed the "record" button on his phone. Teele hung up but called him right back and said that he was downstairs and had left a manilla envelope for DeFede in the lobby. What Teele left was his body. He committed suicide a few minutes after this last conversation. Teele had been indicted for a long list of alleged offenses, including 26 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. The week before, another newspaper, The Miami New Times, had published this sordid review of police surveillance reports of Teele's activities under the headline, "Male prostitutes and multiple mistresses, drug money in Gucci shopping bags, bribery and extortion conspiracies. And you thought you'd heard it all about Art Teele."

Teele's main concern voiced during the conversation with DeLede was the effect on his son of the male prostitute story. When DeLede, at his own volition, told Jesús Díaz Jr., The Herald's publisher, and Robert Beatty, its general counsel, what he had done. "I realized Art was headed in a direction that scared me," said DeFede. "And my first reaction, looking down at the tape, is this is basically Teele's suicide note. These are his final words about the torture that his life has been through all this up and down. This is his last words; what do I do with it?"

DeFede says that, at first, Díaz and Beatty were supportive. Then, a few hours later they fired him.

Now comes the rich part. The Miami Herald then published excerpts from the recorded phone conversation in their newspaper.
"Less than two hours before his death, Teele told DeFede he was upset about the records linking him to the transvestite," and "Teele also complained that his financial problems - a burden throughout his 15-year political career - had become overwhelming."
That's from the tape. And now the police want the tape and the Herald's Dí­az says the newspaper has refused because,
The Herald doesn't turn over unpublished notes and Teele had requested that the conversation be off the record, he said."We're going to honor that," Dí­az said. "We expect we will get subpoenaed and we will say we will not meet the subpoena and we'll end up in court."
So the Herald fired the reporter for making the tape (a misdemeanor in Florida, like running a stopsign) after the reporter immediately told his bosses he had done so "with shaking hands", thinking he might be listening to the last words of Arthur Teele, Jr., which he was, then publishes quotes from the tape, then refuses to give up the tape. This is ethics?

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Conservatism Is Common Sense

Ina very brief and detail challenged interview in Human Events, Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum does make the statement that conservatism is common sense while liberalism is an ideology. Other than an additional statement to the effect that he says what he believes and damn the political consequences and a brief ode to Sen. Arlen Specter, there is not a lot of there, there. I would like to have read a lot more detailed questions and answers but apparently time was lacking. Read it and see what you think.

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Defeat the -isms, one by one

Victor Davis Hanson, writing in NRO Online, says Islamists are cowardly, fickle, and attuned to the current political pulse. First, it was anti-Semitic secular fascism, because Hitler and Mussolini seemed successful, then Soviet-style atheistic Baathism and tribal Pan-Arabism, and now it is Islamism. Each time one -ism was defeated, another -ism reared its ugly head. Hanson says, "So we press on."

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Irish judge says no pink underwear

This report in The Arizona Republic gives you an indication of why Europe is fast sinking under the weight of corruption, immigrant gangs and crime.

An Irish judge has refused to extradite Patrick Oliver Colleary, a Catholic Priest accused of having sex with a 13 year-old boy, to Arizona to face trial. These are some of the reasons given.
The charges were filed 25 years after the alleged crimes took place.
Arizona's practice of denying bond to certain accused sex offenders violated rights under the Irish Constitution.
Prior newspaper coverage would endanger Colleary's chances of getting a fair trial.
He feared that Colleary would be sent to a Maricopa County jail and kept under inhumane conditions that included wearing pink underwear.
Judge Phillip O'Sullivan of the Irish High Court also included a permanent injunction against future extradition attempts. So, I guess that in Ireland an accused sex offender is free to roam the streets, molesting at will until convicted, if the victim doesn't tell for a long time, then the pedophilia is A-Ok, and pink underwear is a serious violation of a pedophile's rights. What a schmuck.

Just a thought. This kind of a defense is very expensive. I wonder who or what institution is paying for it?

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Burger King - not thinking

What was Burger King thinking? Burger King launched a new advertising campaign for chicken fries. They assembled a hard rock band called "COQ ROQ". Then, on Burger King's website, they posted photos of young women with captions like, "Groupies love the Coq".

Now, Burger King is getting yelled at and frantically deleting photo captions. On what planet do these people live?

These things aren't done on the spur of the moment. A "professional" advertising agency comes up with a slew of ideas. Burger King executives meet with the advertising company's executives as the various ideas are presented. There are discussions about the pros and cons of each idea. Burger King chose the Coq.

Then the idea is fleshed out (no pun intended) and a plan with a budget is presented to the Burger King executives. After watching the presentation, Burger King executives okayed the Coq.

Now large sums of money are spent to assemble the band, tryouts, costumes, equipment, rehearsals, etc. Also the hiring of models and photographers, costumes, photoshoots, website design, promotion planning, etc. so that Burger King could properly present the Coq.

After all this expenditure of time, effort, planning and money, Burger King has to eat the... whole cost.

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From the Battle of the Bogside until today

The Battle of the Bogside, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 12-13-14 August 1969, roughly marks the beginnings of the "IRA" as we think of it here in the U.S.. This was a 3 day riot, Catholic against Protestant, which finally was put down by British Troops. The Troubles, as the Northern Ireland problems are called in Britain, were more or less born of this fight.

The BBC, Reuters, NYT and many others are reporting the standown of the IRA, as announced by Senn Fein. The statement was read out on a DVD by Seanna Walsh, a member and Sinn Fein employee, who spent 21 years in prison for his I.R.A. activities. Walsh was jailed at various times for bank robbery, weapons possession and bomb making.

I hope these guys are serious but the situation is very complicated, more than the press and the politicians are admitting. First, what is the "IRA"?

The "IRA's"

IRA - Irish Republican Army - Proclaimed in the Easter Rising in 1916 and recognized by the First Dail (Irish Parliament) as the legitimate army of the Irish Republic in January 1919. Split into pro-Treaty forces (the National Army, also known as the Government forces or the regulars) and anti-Treaty forces (the Republicans, irregulars or Executive forces) after the Treaty. This IRA was founded in Ireland and no longer exists.

All of the following "IRA's" are based in Northern Ireland.

OIRA - The Official IRA, the remainder of the main body of the IRA after the 1969 split with the Provisionals, now apparently inactive in the military sense.

PIRA - The Provisional IRA, broke from the OIRA in 1969 over the latter's failing to protect nationalist communities in Northern Ireland, left wing orientation and increasing political activity; the term 'IRA' is almost always now used to denote this particular group.

CIRA - The Continuity IRA, broke from the PIRA in 1986 because the latter ended its policy on abstention (thus recognizing the two states on the Island of Ireland).

RIRA - The "Real" IRA, a 1997 breakaway from the PIRA consisting of members opposed to the peace process.

To draw some analogies, the "IRA" of today in Northern Ireland would be about like a criminal gang in, say, Charleston, SC, calling itself the Confederate Army or a gang of bank robbers and murderers in Pierre, SD, calling themselves The 7th Cavalry. The IRA didn't start out that way, but that is what it has become.

So the question is, which of the "IRA's" will disarm? Secondly, did Seanna Walsh speak for all the following individuals?

PIRA army council at start 2005:
Thomas "Slab" Murphy, chief of staff
Brian Keenan, assistant chief of staff
Gerry Adams president of Sinn Fein since 1983, MP for West Belfast
Martin Ferris, Sinn Fein T.D. for Kerry North, convicted IRA gun-runner
Brian Gillen
Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein MP for Mid Ulster, MLA, former head of the Derry IRA and IRA Northern Command
Sean Hughes from South Armagh.
(possibly) Martin Lynch, Brian Arthurs, Sean "Spike" Murray, and someone identified as "a Dublin man"

PIRA General headquarters staff, among whom are:
Martin Lynch, adj-general.
Bernard Fox, engineering.
Patrick Thompson, director of finance.
Bobby Storey, director of intelligence, jailed on arms charges.

Adams, McGuinness and Ferris have always insisted that they played no part in PIRA activities. For one thing, the PIRA is a secret organization that tortures and murders anyone suspected of informing. For another, admitted membership in the PIRA is illegal, carrying a 10 year jail sentence.

The IRA, mainly the PIRA, killed between 1,800 and 3600 people, 1,200 of whom were British soldiers, RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary - NI police) officers or unionist (Protestant) paramilitaries. 600 to 2400 civilians also died at the hands of the IRA, mostly Catholics. Many of the civilians were deliberately killed for having aided the British army or the RUC. No organization has killed more IRA members than the IRA itself,

The trick now is to see how long it takes and how many people will die while the PIRA tries to wean itself from connections to organized crime and terrorist organizations such as ETA, FARC and Al Qaeda with which it has become entangled over the years. As for the OIRA, CIRA, and RIRA, who knows?

And this may simply be the massed retirement of the PIRA staff. Last December 20 they robbed the Northern Bank of Belfast of over 50 million dollars. Sounds like it's Tahiti time.

Others commenting:
Right Wing News, Jan Haugland, Secular Blasphemy, Winds of Change, Professor Bainbridge, The Moderate Voice, Unfogged, Back Seat Drivers, QandO, NewsHog, PoliBlog

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Newsweek: the bi-monthly news magazine?

Media Buyer Planner reports that Newsweek (Newsweak?) will drop an issue by combining August 29 with September 5 into just one issue. Newsweak, trying to put a positive spin on this, calls it a "double issue." The reason cited was falling ad revenues which are reflected by falling ad pages. For Newsweak, ad pages have fallen 15.6% this year. For the newsweekly industry as a whole, ad pages have fallen 10.5% this year. The actual drop in ad revenue, which would necessarily follow a drop in ad pages, is not specified.

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North Korea - No nuclear weapons?

I followed this story from Lucianne through Reuters to Interfax. Here is the dispatch from Interfax in its entirety:
06:53 GMT, Jul 28, 2005 Latest Headlines...

N. Korea has nuclear bomb components, but no weapons - source

BEIJING. July 28 (Interfax-China) - North Korea has no arsenal of
nuclear weapons ready for use, a diplomatic source close to the six-
nation talks on the Korean nuclear problem told Interfax on Thursday.

"Following the announcement that North Korea has become a nuclear
power, Pyongyang made it clear to China that North Korea has developed a detonator for blowing up nuclear charges, which is the most
sophisticated component of nuclear munitions," the source said.

"North Korea developed methods of making nuclear weapons back in
the early 1960s, but it did not succeed in creating a detonator for a
long time," the diplomat said.

"After work on this problem succeeded, North Korea announced that
it became the fourth country possessing nuclear weapons, since methods
for making all of its components were now available and the production
of nuclear weapons ceased to be a problem," he said.

The source said that North Korea is still hoping for real results
at the six-nation talks and is refraining from serious spending on the
mass production and stockpiling of nuclear weapons.

"But if the U.S. and its allies delay providing real security guarantees to North Korea, or advance demands Pyongyang cannot accept, North Korea will have to step up the creation of a self-defense nuclear arsenal," the diplomat said.
The Reuters report quotes the U.S. military commander in South Korea, General Leon LaPorte, as saying, "North Korea has self-proclaimed itself as a nuclear power and on several occasions said they had nuclear weapons. North Korea is the only one that could precisely answer the question whether they have nuclear weapons."

In other words, we don't really know. And in a deal like this, you have to be 100% sure.

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Racial Profiling - Politicians are cowards

In a New York Times op/ed, Paul Sperry wonders how stopping Girl Scouts and grannies, in a procedure that has more to do with demonstrating tolerance than with protecting citizens from terrorism, will save any lives. The obvious answer is, it won't.

There is an excellent profile of terrorist bombers here that I have not seen before and merits reprinting in its entirety. Everyone should be aware of this profile.

Department of Homeland Security
Terrorist Profile

Young Muslim men of Arab or South Asian origin. Elderly Muslim women don't fit the terrorist profile. Neither do young Muslim girls or children.

Seen praying fervently, giving the appearance of whispering to someone.

A shaved head or short haircut. A short haircut or recently shaved beard or moustache may be evident by differences in skin complexion on the head or face.

May smell of herbal or flower water (most likely flower water), as they may have sprayed perfume on themselves, their clothing, and weapons to prepare for Paradise.

Identity cards in their shoes because they want to be praised and recognized as martyrs. (This is difficult to spot, but is mentioned.)

May raise their hands in the air just before the explosion to prevent the destruction of their fingerprints. (Best advice if you see this is to say a quick prayer to your God because you will shortly be on your way to meet him.)
Sperry also gives us a list of useless precautions and profiles that protect nobody, inconvenience everybody and waste law enforcement resources.
Useless precautions and profiles that protect nobody:

Grannies and Girl Scouts having their backpacks and bags searched.

People wearing heavy coats who do not fit other terrorist profiles.

People fiddling with their bags who do not fit other terrorist profiles.

People sweating who do not fit other terrorist profiles.

Elderly Muslim Women

Young Muslim girls and Muslim children.
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If Boy Scouts were Terrorists

Michael Graham is a talk show host and author of "Redneck Nation: How the South Really Won the War," writing in Jewish World Review

If the Boy Scouts of America had 1,000 scout troops, and 10 of them practiced suicide bombings, then the BSA would be considered a terrorist organization. If the BSA refused to kick out those 10 troops, that would make the case even stronger. If people defending terror repeatedly turned to the Boy Scout handbook and found language that justified and defended murder - and the scoutmasters in charge simply said "Could be" - the Boy Scouts would have (been) driven out of America long ago.
Then why are Muslims, Islam and their caretaker organizations, like CAIR, still permitted to remain here in the United States?

Graham makes some persuasive arguments.

I might note here that the ACLU would like to see the Boy Scouts driven out of the United States, but for more, er, liberal reasons.

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Iraqi boy in U.S. - wants to stay

Jeffrey Gettleman, writing in The New York Times, tells us a story that will bring a tear. Ayad al-Sirowiy, the 13-year-old Iraqi boy who came to the United States to get the tattoo of war removed from his disfigured face, is going home. Since pictures speak a thousand words, I'll let the photo do the talking.

Iraqi boy salutes Bush

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NYT - leaker not Rove or Libby

Douglas Jehl, writing in the New York Times, says the "Case of C.I.A. Officer's Leaked Identity Takes New Turn." Jehl says that Walter Pincus, of The Washington Post, testified before the federal grand jury on Sept. 15, 2004. The Washington Post reported that Mr. Pincus had testified, but only after his confidential source had first "revealed his or her identity" to Mr. Fitzgerald, the special counsel conducting the C.I.A. leak inquiry.
But a review of Mr. Pincus's own accounts and those of other people with detailed knowledge of the case strongly suggest that his source was neither Karl Rove, Mr. Bush's top political adviser, nor I. Lewis Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, and was in fact a third administration official whose identity has not yet been publicly disclosed.

Mr. Pincus wrote in the Nieman Reports article that he had agreed to answer questions from Mr. Fitzgerald last fall about his July 12, 2003, conversation only after "it turned out that my source, whom I still cannot identify publicly, had in fact disclosed to the prosecutor that he was my source, and he talked to the prosecutor about our conversation."
Well, if Karl Rove was not the leaker (weep bitterly, lefties), and Lewis Libby was not the leaker, and Rove and Libby turned everyone loose to testify, and the true leaker identified himself to the prosecutor and detailed his conversation to Pincus, then we are back to the as yet unidentified "no partisan gunslinger" informant of Robert Novak. Or perjury by one or more of the parties involved or obstruction of justice by one or more of the parties involved.

Then we've got The New York Times with Judith Miller in jail, The Washington Post with Walter Pincus and Glen Kessler, Time Magazine with Matthew Cooper and NBC with Tim Russert all talking and writing and publishing in the finest CYA tradition.

And we've got Rove who ain't sayin' nuthin', Libby who ain't sayin' nuthin', the president who ain't sayin' nuthin', Novak who ain't sayin' nuthin' and at least two unknown mystery leakers who ain't sayin' nuthin'.

What a circus.

Joining the circus;
Tom Maguire - posted this info 3 weeks ago - or hollered about it
Kevin Drum - with another rumor from Arianna - Kevin says "speculative"
Michael Stickings at The Moderate Voice repeats the mantra from the left

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Terrorism is an appeal to Muslim tradition

Writing in the International Herald Tribune, Phillip Blond and Adrian Pabst give us some grim advice. They say that jihad as holy war against the infidel and apostate is called for by the Koran and, at the same time, is a modern theology.

They point out, and correctly if one but reads history, that Islam was spread by war and conquest.
Regarding classical Islam, the oft-quoted remark that Islam is a religion of peace is false.

The Prophet died a successful military leader who created a single Islamic polity that expanded - through warfare - all over the known world. The caliphate combined the double logic of a religious community and an imperial state.

"He who dies without having taken part in a campaign dies in a kind of unbelief."

Al Qaeda sympathizers avidly read European fascist literature and pursue religious ends via atheist methods. Recruits to the cause are not the excluded uneducated poor, they are intellectuals with a radical critique of Western society and its impact on Islam.

But it could begin to develop a critique of its history by recovering some of its aborted traditions. Islam must place true religious conversion (like that of Sufism) over territorial conquest.

Islam needs to restore the legislative authority of communal consensus to allow Muslims to develop along with, rather than against, the future.
I fear we are in for a longer war than anyone can imagine. A war that we must win.

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Another political defeat for AFL-CIO: CAFTA reports that, in a vote taken just after midnight, CAFTA was approved by the House. The vote was by the narrowest of margins, 217-215. 27 Republicans voted against CAFTA, while 15 Democrats supported it.

The Democrats major beef with the free trade agreement, as always, was worker exploitation in the poor Central and South American countries involved.

Look guys, I live way down here in Mexico. Before you worry about worker exploitation, you need workers. To have workers, there must be jobs. First come the jobs, then the workers and then we can start worrying about working conditions.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Steel Cage Fights

Michael Wilson finds something to write about in the New York Times besides Karl Rove and Valerie Plame. This report is about no-holds-barred fights in steel cages which is, horrifyingly, becoming very popular in the Great Plains states. Also known variously as extreme fighting, no-holds-barred fighting, cage fighting - fighters can use boxing, kickboxing, martial arts or wrestling moves, or any combination thereof.

Opponents call it "human cockfighting."

The fights take place in places like Sioux Falls, SD, Fargo, ND, Rochester, MN, Marshfield, WI, Sioux City and Des Moines, IA - cage fighting draws hundreds, even thousands of spectators to fairgrounds, small arenas and, most disturbingly to city officials, the parking lots of bars.

You'll have to help me decide who is more deranged, the promoter, trainer, contestants, spectator or municipal official.
The contestants:
Nate Hawn, 20, "My goal that night was to beat up the biggest tourist I could find."
Jarod Stevens, 25, "It's proving something to yourself, that you're man enough to be a part of it and do well...hopefully."
Dog, 40, (alarmed by a question on the forms) "This being wanted by any law enforcement agencies, what does that mean?"
Mr. Stevens, "I'm not one of those guys who's going to back down from a fight. I've had six ribs broken. I've been knocked out cold at a concert."
David Adamyan, 22, (after regaining consciousness) "I don't know what happened. "It was just boom, I was gone."

The Promotor:
Damien Alexander, 30, "You know what we got? We got a bunch of bars and a state park. This is good."

The trainer:
Aaron Hullinger, 33, "The purpose of learning jiu-jitsu is not to get into the cage, but if that's something you want to do, you better know jiu-jitsu."

The spectator:
Anna Anderson, 21, (wearing black clothes and matching black nail polish) "There's really not much in Sioux Falls to do. No one seems to get seriously hurt, but if they do, shucks for them."

The responsible city official:
Vernon Brown, 37, Sioux Falls City Council, "I always say, 'Where's the rule book?' They keep giving me a sheet printed off the Internet that says no eye-gouging, no fishhooks, no fingers in bodily orifices."

Visit the lefty-sphere sometime, Howard

Howard Kurtz makes a big deal of the right side of the blogosphere's reaction to Jane Fonda. He has obviously never visited the left side. I would just about wager that for every nasty (foul language), illogical post or comment on the right, there are 100 from the left. All one really has to do is compare the top conservative blogs with the top blogs on the left. Howard Kurtz went trolling and any dummy can do that and find whatever he is looking for.

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Durbin says Demos will ask questions!

The Hill has a statement reportedly made by Sen. Dick Durbin to the House Democratic caucus yesterday on Senate Democrats’ strategy for considering the nomination of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court.

Are you ready? According to The Hill,
Durbin said Democrats would adopt a posture of asking questions about Roberts rather than rejecting him out of hand, two sources who were there said.
Wow! Our illustrious Democratic Senators are actually going to ask Roberts some questions? That is a revolutionary idea.

Then they can reject him out of hand.

I don't know how much dumber it can get, folks, but I fear we haven't seen the end of it yet.

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Oh how I love thee, Repliee!

You are not going to believe this. Remember Westworld? Well, the Japanese are staffing up for Eastworld.

They have developed a female android, named Repliee Q1, with flexible latex skin and a number of sensors and motors to allow her to turn and react in a human-like manner. Miss Qyu Wun can flutter her eyelids and move her hands like a human. She even appears to breathe. She has 31 actuators in her upper body, powered by a nearby air compressor, programmed to allow her to move like a human. Here is her photo. She looks, well, feminine. Man, will the wags go nuts over this story and photo.

When last seen, Larry Flynt was opening his checkbook with quivering hands.

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Bad, Very Bad, Terrible

Patrick Hynes at Tech Central Station reminds us of a poll in late June in which this was how 63% of Americans rated our economy. He asks the question; How can this be?

14 consecutive quarters of economic growth.
Unemployment at 5%, lower than at this point in the Clinton administration.
Increased tax receipts carved 1/5th off of the budget deficit.
The booming economy has blessed cash-strapped state governments.

So why are Americans so worried about the economy? Patrick says its because President Bush isn't talking to them about the economy. All they are hearing is bad news: Layoffs at General Motors, threatened pension defaults at United Airlines, recommended base closures has left tens of thousands worrying about their jobs, a stagnant stock market is making almost no headline news and constant hand-wringing about gas prices, outsourcing, and the Chinese bid to buy Unocal.

Patrick says that Bush senior made a bad mistake by not talking to the people about the economy until it was too late. Bush junior is making the same mistake. The party out of power, along with the hostile press, will latch on to every bit of less-than-rosy news and try to blow it up into a major economic disaster.

The money quote:
So today it's income inequality and the trade deficit with China that spells certain doom. In an economy so big and so diverse, some grim-sounding statistic will always pop, some indicator will always lag. And a minority party, desperate for power, will only too gladly exaggerate their meaning.
He has some sound advice on Social Security, too. Like, Do Something!

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7/7 London Bombers Had 16 More Bombs

I've been writing personal thank-you notes and let this get by. The 4 London 7/7 bombers had 16 more nail bombs which police discovered in a car. What were they, spares? Did maybe these guys misunderstand their instructions and blow themselves, and 52 innocents, away with the first bomb instead of the last one? Four bombers and 20 bombs. When you visit the Times of London link, above, you'll see an X-ray of one of the nail bombs, designed to shred flesh.

Michele Catalano - Anyone protesting the checking of bags can kiss my ass.

UPDATE: Bigger, scarier photo at the BBC. And then this from The Guardian: "They bought roundtrip train tickets and paid for long-term parking." Maybe these poor bastards didn't know they were suicide bombers at all.

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Al-Jazeera writes to NewsMax

This letter was sent to NewsMax by Al-Jazeera. The emphases are mine.

To the Editor,

I am writing to express my disgust regarding your Monday, July 18, article
"Al-Jazeera Coming to America" in which you label the yet-to-be-launched Al-Jazeera International as "pro-terrorist."

That charge is ill-informed, slanderous and wrong.

Al Jazeera International will be the first English-language international television network broadcasting from the Middle East. We have no domestic agenda and no political bias.

Our coverage will be fearless, provocative, and the most informed on what's happening on the ground in the world's hot spots. We are a fresh alternative built for viewers who want their news fast, accurate, and unvarnished.

Based in Qatar, Al Jazeera International is staffed by an international team of top news professionals drawn from every corner of the globe, who will be supported by over 40 news bureaux and four major broadcast centres in Washington DC, London, Kuala Lumpur and Doha.

This capacity gives Al Jazeera International a 360 degree view of news stories, allowing us to avoid the bias and slant that unfortunately so many news organisations fall prey to.


Nigel Parsons, Managing Director, Al Jazeera International

Hell, that's what the New York Times says, too.

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Hello Memeorandum

Mark in Mexico appeared for the first time today in Memeorandum. That is a big leap forward for this little blog. Memeorandum is where the elite meet to eyeball each other's pontifications on, well, just about everything. It is the first web page that I open each day to see what I missed whilst wasting time sleeping.

There are a whole host of people that I would like to thank, a list too long to post here and probably there are some that I don't even realize played a part. Obviously, the visitors, commenters and bloggers who trackback here. Please keep on a'comin'. However, there are a few people whom I would like to take an extra moment to thank.

Roger L. Simon, who gave me the very first "hat tip" that I ever received from another blogger.

Charles Johnson, who gave me the second one which convinced me that Roger wasn't just drunk.

Glenn Reynolds who sent enough traffic my way over the past few weeks to keep me whacking away at my keyboard.

Jim Treacher who just last week forwarded to me an email he had sent to The Guardian. I printed that email as a post and received 15,000 hits on it. I hope he finds Puce someday because I know he and Captain Americrunch miss him.

Lucianne, whose site is No. 2 on my hit list every morning and to whom I almost always neglect to give credit. Lucianne, you should automatically generate an email to me each week, like early Monday mornings, saying, "Link us, you bastard!"

Jeff Goldstein, whose posts I almost never understand, for sending me traffic on a nearly once a week basis, in spite of his loyalty to the loser Orioles and mine to the All-Time Greatest World Champion New York Yankees.

And finally, to a guy who doesn't blog anymore. His was one of the most popular blogs on the net at one time and his absence has left us all the poorer for it. He is the reason that I started this blog. He used to have a little note at the top of his sidebar that read, "Please read before issuing Fatwa." Before I had a blog of my own and was just a visitor and inane commenter, I probably saw that little note a thousand times or more. One night, I clicked on it just to see what it said. As I remember, it went something like this, "This is my blog and if you don't like it, cram here and start your own." And I did. I hope this finds you, somewhere. Thanks, Allah.

UPDATE: Goodness, how could I leave this guy out? Hugh Hewitt, who liked a post, mentioned the blog and quoted the post on Right Talk Radio with the Ace of Spades and Karol.

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Sometimes Republicans Embarrass Me

Like right now.

Also hiding their heads:
Gerry Daly at Daly Thoughts, The Captain, SluBlog, Silflay Hraka,

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We've got more where those came from

Japanese police arrested a rightist for damaging the memorial to victims of Hiroshima. He reportedly objected to the phrase in the monument's inscription praying for the A-bomb victims to rest in peace and pledging not to repeat the mistake.

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Sen. Ted Kennedy miffed at bloggers

He is accusing the White House of releasing inside info on Judge John Roberts to conservative bloggers that he and fellow senators can't get.
"They've got material out there that
we don't know about." he complained.
Well Senator, start reading our blogs. See blogroll at right.

I need to go now to check my email for the latest missive from the White House.

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Let's have a spelling contest

"I know, Ike, let's have a spelling contest."
Doc Holliday to Ike Clanton after Clanton
had just lost 12 consecutive poker hands.
Miami black community leaders outraged at a Miami City summer camp invitation to a "Ghetto Style Talent Show" and "Watermelon Eating Contest."

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Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali, again

Australia's Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali and Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Ameer Ali have published a letter to all Australian Muslims;
"There is a growing and justifiable criticism that we are not doing enough to deal with extremist individuals and groups within the Muslim community."

"Muslims cannot put their heads in the sand and pretend that this is all a conspiracy theory."

"The reality is that those acts of violence and terrorism did take place and Muslims have been implicated in those acts."
Here is a photo of the good Sheikh, probably being carried around by hundreds, if not thousands, of jihadis with orders to shoot-on-sight.

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720,000 bottles of beer on the wall

Well, actually scattered on the highway.

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They've got one of them!

British police have arrested Yasin Hassan Omar, one of the four 7/21 bombers being sought.

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Al Franken steals money from kids and old folks

Re: Post title; Hey, the lefties do this all the time so why can't I? This report, updated here, from NYC details how the city abruptly cut off funds to the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club and its affiliate Pathways for Youth when an investigation determined that city money, running into the millions of dollars and destined for kids and old folks, had been redirected to Air America Radio.

Few details of the investigation are given, but the founder and executive director of Gloria Wise, one Charles Rosen, has resigned. In a tribute to the city, Rep. Joseph Crowley said that the city quickly brought in outside agencies on one-year contracts to run the programs, including the Jewish Association for Seniors for Aged and the Police Athletic League, with in-place workers kept on the job pending individual evaluations. He added praise for the city for what he called "an apparently seamless transfer of contracts" that have kept all the programs up and running without interruption for an estimated 20,000 or so youngsters, handicapped individuals and seniors.

Evan Cohen, Air America's former chairman, had served as Gloria Wise's director of development.

Some others following the money:
The Captain - pay the money back!
Macsmind - Stealing from poor kids?
Danny Carlton - Air America has taken to embezzlement.
Venomous Kate - it's not just the programming that stinks.
Michelle Malkin with LOTS more detail
Isn't it rich? - Outrage, anyone?
BizzyBlog - Wonders if the liberal network will even be around six months from now.
Interested-Participant - Air America possibly in the cross hairs of an embarrassing scandal.
Basil's Blog - Breakfast Special
The Pirate's Cove - How low can you go?
Two Babes and a Brain - Sorry kids, guess you'll have to make due with deflated soccer balls.
Decision '08 - Sure looks like Air America benefitted from diverted funds intended for inner-city youth.
Mrs. Greyhawk - Why isn't the NYT covering this scandal?
Cannuckistan Chronicles - ...if you're "Air America", you hijack funding that was supposed to go toward inner city kids.
JunkYardBlog - Stealing from the poor to make themselves rich?
Red State Rant - out of the mouths of babes.
The Llama Butchers - Al Franken is a big fat thief.
Ace of Spades HQ - Are you kidding me?
Commonwealth Conservative - Air America stealing from poor kids?
Jeff the Babtist - Answer to Air America's funding problems - fraud.
Say Anything - Air America could be in big trouble.
Almost Daily - There's a stink in the Air America
Independent Sources - Air America’s Failings No Longer Funny
Literal Barrage - Al Franken Is A Big, Fat Liar Who Steals From Poor Kids And Old People
Jeff Gannon - Liberal radio more important than inner-city kids' programs?
Michelle Malkin, Double Toothpicks,

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Democrats betting on a losing hand?

The American Spectator wonders if the Democrats are strangling themselves with the Rove / Plame affair. They allowed Larry Johnson, former CIA employee and the guy who said in July, 2001 that Osama bin Laden was not a credible threat, to give their Saturday radio address. Johnson is one of a chorus of people insisting that the Rove / Plame affair has put the Republic in its most mortal danger since the shelling of Fort Sumter, or Pearl Harbor, or President Ford's tumble down the steps, or something. Not all Democrats believe this effort is time wisely spent.
"I haven't seen a single, serious poll beyond the media's that attacking Rove helps us one bit with the voters," says a Democratic House member. "No one can show me numbers. This is all the fringe people like MoveOn and even Howard Dean. It's all about not getting past 2000 and 2004. And I really fear we're going to pay for it down the road."

"My party is making a huge bet on something we really know nothing about," says the Democrat. "We don't know where this Plame thing is going to go, yet we're giving these people a huge platform. I'd rather be fighting for the issues that we know Americans care about: the environment, more of their tax dollars on national security and homeland defense. That stuff resonates at home."
In other words, Show me the numbers! And there ain't any.

Others watching this no-limit poker game:
Kevin Drum
Tom Maguire

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Bombay gets 37 inches of rain in one day

Drudge is reporting major problems in India with monsoon rains. The monsoon may be the heaviest in history with an area near Bombay, called Santa Cruz, receiving 37 inches of rain in one 24 hour period. That is hard to imagine. Many deaths from the flooding, landslides and collapsing buildings.

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An Insane Policy

The illegal border crossings from Mexico to the U. S. by "OTM" - Other Than Mexican - so far this year has exceeded the total for 2004 in just 8 months. Some of these illegals are from terrorist designated countries. What do we do with the ones we catch? Let them go. The detention centers are all packed, so the illegals are given a court summons which 85% ignore and then disappear.

The Border Patrol has arrested 119,000 so far this year. The OTM's know they will be released, so, in many cases, they seek out Border Patrol agents and give themselves up. They get free food for a few days and a hot shower or two and then appear in court, get a summons to return for an immigration hearing, and then say, "Goodby" or whatever it is in their language.


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What, you're not interested in pork carcasses? Move along then.

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Palestinian newspaper announces world not safe.

In a Eureka! moment, the Palestinian newspaper al-Ayyam said, that if it weren't for state terrorism, occupation, exploitation, domination, massacres and wars, "there would be no group terrorism spreading at this frightening speed, and which is turning the world into a lawless jungle where the strong eats the weak."

Then the usual Islamic propaganda:
The paper, which describes itself as independent, insisted that state terrorism was more fearsome because it is being seen as legitimate and was used as a way to spread democracy, freedom and human rights.
Yep, spread democracy, freedom and human rights. What could be worse?

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FOX News flexing more muscle

FOX News is obliterating its competition in prime time news talk and analysis. Here are the numbers from Monday night:
FOXNEWS O'REILLY: 2,594,000 (viewers)
FOXNEWS GRETA: 2,534,000

Total for FOX = 7,403,000

CNN LARRY KING: 1,533,000
CNN ZAHN: 513,000

Total for CNN = 3,407,000


Total for MSNBC = 1,043,000
Jeez, FOX more than doubles the viewership of CNN and has 7 times more than MSNBC. And FOX puts 3 shows up against 4 by both CNN and MSNBC.


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Mrs. Gump: Stupid is as stupid does.

Actually, this poor guy has mental problems. I guess he was hoping that Forrest could help. Or loan him a pair of pants.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Pew poll hard to believe

In "Poll: fewer people link Islam, violence" the AP reports on a Pew poll that I find stunning and therefore very difficult to believe.
36 percent, now say the Islamic religion is more likely to inspire violence, while 44 percent said that in July 2003

The poll found that recent terrorist bombings in London have had no noticeable impact on the public's view of Muslim-Americans or of Islam.

Just over half in the poll, 55 percent, said they have a positive view of Muslim-Americans. That's roughly the same number who felt that way in July 2003 and higher than the number who said they have a positive view of Muslim-Americans in March 2001, before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Four in 10 now say they have a favorable view of Islam, while 36 percent have an unfavorable view - numbers that are virtually unchanged since March 2002.
I have to believe that this poll was taken in American Samoa, or Guam, or maybe Puerto Rico. That or CAIR propaganda is more effective than I thought. See this post or this one or this one to see what thinking Muslims - those not too afraid to speak out - have to say about their own religion.

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