Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Iran to give $250 million to Hamas

Iran has announced that it will help to support the Palestinian Authority (read: Hamas) with a $250 million donation. That sets me to wondering what Hamas might do with its $250 million.

After noodling around for awhile, I find that in some of the world's hot spots, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, East LA etc., one can purchase a dirt cheap Chinese-made AK47 (stamped metal working parts as opposed to machined parts as in Czech-made weapons) for as little a $50 US funds - cash - no questions asked. Now, if Hamas entered the AK47 market with bundles of Mullah moolah, the prices would increase. This in spite of the fact that there are an estimated 30-50 million AK47's of one version or another floating around out there. Let's say, for arguments sake, the prices would double. So, Hamas could easily buy, oh, 1,000,000 AK47's for about $100,000,000, US funds. That would leave Hamas with enough weapons to arm every male, female and as-yet-unresolved resident of Gaza over the age of, uh, 4 years who doesn't already have one with an AK47 and leave Hamas with $150,000,000 US funds in change.

Now, the cheapest price I can find on the net for 7.62x39 ammo is $75/1000 rounds. Hamas can buy about 2,000,000,000 (2 billion) 7.62x39 cartridges with their remaining $150 million. The Jews don't have to worry too much about the Palestinians hurling a sleet storm of 2 billion rounds at them across the fence, however. The Palestinians like to fire their rifles into the air to celebrate their weddings as well as the funerals of their martyrs who just took an Israeli rocket up the kazoo, all the while vowing revenge on Israeli pizza parlors. Let's say the celebrants fire an average of 10 rounds into the air for every celebration. I would think that 4 celebrations per week of these types would not be an overly estimated estimation, would you?

So, 4 celebrations per week per rifle at 10 rounds per celebration is, um, 4 x 10 x 1,000,000, or 40,000,000 rounds per week per 50 weeks (no shooting during Ramadan or the Haj, of course) means that the Palestinians would expend their entire ammo purchase in just lobbing lead into the air.

They'll need more money - and helmets.

7.62 x 39 Ammo - $75/1000

Helmet fashioned from scrap metal left over after passing of Israeli bulldozer -$0.00 ea.

Mujahadeenette with Chinese made AK47 via Mogadishu via Chechnya via Afghanistan via wherever - $100 ea.

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H J Heinz profit falls 23%


An Iraqi Kurd speaks

I found this at Free Republic. I thought you would like to read it also.
Ahmadenijad WHY!?!

Jesse Kaveh - iraqikurd

Now we have seen Iran in the news recently. With all of the tensions surrounding the middle east since 9/11, from the perspective of someone from the middle east you would think they would get their act together. That is the leadership at least.

Let's be honest as Arabs, Persians, Kurds, Turks, Assyrians and Bedouins. Look the world thinks that we are all a bunch of Jew bashing terrorists who just want to blow up the entire world. They think that we all ride camels and drive cabs. Who knows what else is floating around about us. The fact of the matter is that we have a serious image problem, whether we did it to ourself or not.

The real question though is... are people like Ahmadenijad really helping that image problem of Muslim people and middle eastern people? I think not. His recent stunt of coming out and claiming the cartoon Tom and Jerry is a zionist conspiracy created by Walt Disney kind of sums up exactly what I am talking about. When I was watching Al Arabia and heard this one I just covered my face with my hands and held my head in shame. I refuse to believe that the last election in Iran was legit by any stroke of the imagination. The Iranian people are far too smart to elect someone who thinks Tom and Jerry is a zionist conspiracy by Walt Disney.

Before I tell you why I know the Iranian people are too smart for that let me tell you why that entire statement is so screwed up to begin with. First off Tom and Jerry was created for MGM by Hannah. NOT Walt Disney. Two his assertion that the mouse was suppose to represent a Jew has absolutely no basis, it is a frigging childrens cartoon. Lastly, I really can't figure out who is worse, David Duke with his white supremacist nuts on their farm of Ahmadenijad and his fear of Jewish cartoon conspiracies and zionists crawling up his nose. You honestly can't buy this stuff on Pay-Per-View.

Now going back to that little image problem. Is the entire Muslim world and middle eastern community the world over just as shocked as I am which is why they aren't saying anything, or have they just sort of given up and are beyond the point of being amazed by the various regimes in the region? Maybe it's a mix of both but whatever it may be I know they haven't fallen pray to this absolute asinine stupidity!

I hear stories all the time from Persian ex-patriates about how Iran used to be the crown jewel of the middle east before the Islamic revolution. The best pop stars in the world came out of Tehran as well as some of the greatest minds in the world. What happened! I will tell you what happened, we didn't get an Islamist revolution we got a Sand revolution. We got that because the men in power now have about the IQ of the sand that they seem to be inhaling too much of these days.

Now I am not fan of zionism or what Israel has done, don't get me wrong my friends. But to say that the Israelis and zionists control the worlds banks, killed Kennedy, started WWII for their own gain, did 9/11, invaded Iraq, are protesting in Tehran, were behind the tsunami and earthquake make about as much sense as Adolf Hitler saying the Jews were polluting the Aryan race. Let's get real my friends and get rid of people like Ahmadenijad so I can finally get on a plane without being strip searched for God's sake!!!
Tired of being strip searched, eh? Well, I imagine that I'd get a little tired of that, myself; after, oh, once.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Influence Peddling: 12 congressmen to be indicted?

Cindy Adams of the New York Post says that a dozen members of congress, and maybe more, are about to be indicted for influence peddling. She gives no details and I don't have any idea if she knows what she's talking about.

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Kolchak and Barney Fife die

Darren McGavin and Don Knotts both die the same day. Two great old timers. These guys both WORKED for a living. Take a look at their acting credits, here for McGavin and here for Knotts. Very few idle days between the two since, oh, 1950 or so.

We'll miss them both.

They appeared together in Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978)


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Your weekend history lesson II - Zimmerman Telegram

I'll bet you were sitting around just now pondering the reason(s) that the United States entered WWI, right? Well, OK, I'll help you out. Pay attention - there will be a test.

Woodrow Wilson was elected president in 1912 on a pledge to keep us out of war. That didn't work too well. Wilson was opposed to the military enforcement of the Monroe Doctrine. That is, he opposed the use of American military might in the Western Hemisphere to drive out or keep out foreign (European or Asian) influence. In this he was wholly unsuccessful. During his terms in office, the U. S. had to send troops to Haiti, The Dominican Republic and at least twice to Mexico, as well as to Europe when we entered WWI. And Mexico played a big role in our entry into WWI. So, what was the Zimmereman Telegram?

First, a little background. At about the same time that Wilson was winning the 1912 election and being inaugerated in 1913, the victors of the Mexican Revolution were seeing their great dreams of a democratic, free and just government go right into the toilet - or graveyard, as it were. Newly elected president Francisco Madero and his VP Pino Suarez were arrested and murdered by General Victoriano Huerta, with help from the American ambassador to Mexico, one Henry Lane Wilson (no relation to Woodrow). The ambassador, proving that actions by State Department bureaucrats against the interests of their boss, the president, as well as against the interests of the American people is not a new thing, had joined forces with American and European business magnates who were opposed to Madero's pledges of land and business reform in Mexico.

They were most especially frightened by Emiliano Zapata's campesino army and the reluctance of Madero to force Zapata to disarm after the revolution. So, they had Madero killed. Huerta was merely a none-too-bright and easily manipulated alcoholic who could be used to further the interests of American as well as European business entities. In other words, easily bribed with both money and the ever elusive title of "Emperor".

President Wilson had no truck with Huerta, who is still known today in Mexico as El Chacal (the jackal). Wilson recalled Henry Lane Wilson and fired him. The president also demanded that Huerta play no part in the upcoming Mexican presidential election. Huerta responded by dissolving the Mexican congress and arresting over 100 of its members. In addition, Huerta was opposed by the armies of Zapata, Pancho Villa and Venustiano Carranza, all allies of the fallen Madero.

Zapata was fighting for the rights of the Indians and campesinos, Villa had presidential aspirations himself as well as a thirst for revenge for the murder of his friend and benefactor Madero. Carranza? Well, it's hard to say. Let's be generous and say that Carranza was fighting to reconstitute the Mexican dream of a democratic and just nation-state. Keep in mind that we are dicussing dead men walking, here. Zapata, Villa and Carranza all ended up assassinated during the Decada de Dolores (decade of pain) that followed the assassinations of Madero and Pino Suarez. That "decade" of pain ended in, well . . . it has actually never ended. Mexico is the same basket case today that it was back then. But those are other stories for other days.

Wilson's refusal to deal with Huerta did not mean that he would choose to support any other aspirant to Mexico's Chapultepec Palace. He ordered an arms embargo against all the players. However, after Huerta dissolved the congress and arrested much of its membership, Wilson lifted the embargo against Carranza. This infuriated both Villa, who considered himself the Americans' best amigo, as well as Huerta. Villa's response was to cross the border from time to time to rob American banks and buy arms (including aircraft - Pancho Villa had one of the first of the world's air forces). Huerta's response was to go to the Japanese and the Germans for help.

Now, Huerta was not without some influence in the halls of power in Europe. His influence was in the form of - guess what? - that's right, oil. Great Britain, for one, received almost all of the oil required to power its great navy from Mexico. And all of the world's great navies were in the process of converting their ships from steam power to oil. 16 European powers, as well as Japan, formally recognized the Huerta government. President Wilson stood alone in refusing that recognition. However, the idiot Huerta played right into his hands, so to speak. In a secret deal with German Ambassador Admiral von Hintze, Huerta agreed, in return for armaments, to cut off oil supplies to Great Britain in the event of war with Germany. Germany loaded three ships with arms, ammunition and barbed wire (barbed wire?) and the Ypiranga, Bavaria and Kronprinzen Cecilesent were sent on their way to the eagerly awaiting Huerta.

The Tampico Incident
On April 16, 1914, the US gunboat USS Dolphin had stopped in the Mexican port of Tampico for supplies. The paymaster and several sailors went into town to purchase those supplies. Unknown to the Americans was that Huerta had placed Tampico under martial law. The local military commander promptly arrested the Americans. Admiral Mayo demanded their release and contacted Washington. Wilson, through diplomatic channels, demanded thier release as well as an apology. Huerta ordered the release of the American sailors but refused to apologise saying that Wilson should not expect an apology from a government whose existence the American president did not recognise. Admiral Mayo took this several steps further by demanding that the military commander of Tampico offer a 21 gun salute to the American gunboat. Everyone was really angry by this point and the testosterone was pumping. Wilson threatened to blockade the port of Vera Cruz if Huerta did not apologise. The American press had by this time picked up the story and was portraying it as a great insult to the American people.

The Vera Cruz Occupation
Meantime, the German ship Ypiranga was approaching Vera Cruz with 200 machine guns and 15,000,000 rounds of ammunition. Wilson was notified early in the morning on April 21, 1914, that the Yparinga would arrive in Vera Cruz that very day. Wilson wanted the ship stopped but did not want to cause a major incident with Germany by stopping the ship in international waters. The Tampico affair gave him an excuse, flimsy though it may have been, to enter the harbor of Vera Cruz, take the port city, and thereby deny the German ship access to the port. This Wilson did.

6000 sailors and Marines under the command of Admiral Fletcher attacked Vera Cruz and took the city before nightfall. The military commander of Vera Cruz fled the city with 1000 troops, leaving its defense to cadets from the local naval academy and to the townspeople. 19 Americans died in the fighting which took place mostly in downtown city streets. 126 Mexicans were reported killed. The Vera Cruz occupation lasted some seven months until US forces withdrew the following September. The dispute between Mexico and the US was being mediated by that time by the ABC coalition - Argentina, Brazil and Chile. The entire incident was an abject failure on the part of Wilson because the Yparinga as well as the Bavaria moved on to other ports to be unloaded. I cannot determine what became of the Kronprinzen Cecilesent.

It was during this incident that the term "Gringo" came to be used. The Marines would march around Vera Cruz singing a song called "Green Grow the Lilacs, Ho!". The Mexicans began referring to the Marines as "Green Grows" which became "Gringo". I subscribe to that version of the origen of Gringo, anyway.

Huerta Falls
While Huerta was dealing with a recalcitrant Wilson on his east coast, Carranza and Villa were attacking him from the west and north as well as Zapata from the center. Finally, Huerta called it quits and escaped Mexico aboard the German ship Dresden, just 3 days before the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Saravejo which would plunge Europe into war. Now that El Chacal was gone, Carranza and Villa began fighting it out. The Germans still had a soft spot for their puppet Huerta and began plotting with him and one General Orosco to retake Mexico. Germany wanted America occupied with Mexico so that we would stay out of the European war. Meanwhile, Villa was negotiating with the Japanese who sent a half dozen warships to Baja California. The Monroe Doctrine was blowing up in Wilson's face.

The United States, regardless of our position vis a vis Great Britain and her allies contra Germany and her allies, was faced with Japanese warships within hours of our west coast, German warships and U-boats prowling around the Gulf of Mexico and a shooting war involving not infrequent incursions into US territory taking place all along the Mexican border. Now, Huerta arrives in New York City with almost a million dollars in German supplied cash. Huerta made his way south where he met up with his ally Orosco, but they were caught in New Mexico, arrested and imprisoned. Orosco managed to escape jail and got back to Mexico but Huerta was taken to Fort Bliss and placed in military custody. He was released to his family when he became ill with yellow fever but not allowed to leave the fort. He died on the grounds of Fort Bliss on January 14, 1916, from the effects of the yellow fever and acute alcoholism.

The Zimmerman Telegram
Meanwhile, Wilson had thrown his support to Carranza in the fight against Villa and supplied Carranza not only with weapons but also allowed Carranza's forces to pass through US territory aboard US trains to Agua Prieta, Mexico. There Carranza's forces met a badly outnumbered and out gunned Pancho Villa and defeated the Villistas. That was about the end of Villa's presidential aspirations as well as Japanese thoughts about entering the European war on the side of Germany by attacking the United States. It was not, however, the end of German hopes to bribe the Mexican government into a partnership to deny oil to Great Britain as well as occupy American forces.

US forces had already been in Mexico chasing Villa in response to his atack on Columbus, New Mexico. In fact, when General Pershing arrived in France, the only experience that his troops and officers had was the Villa punitive expedition. Pershing's young officers such as Patton, Bradley and MacArthur had actually seen very little in the way of fighting before they arrived in France. Germany was desperate to keep the Americans out of the war for as long as possible. It was Germany's hope that Great Britain could be forced to sue for peace before the Americans arrived.

The United States had an agreement with Germany allowing the Kaiser's diplomats to use our transatlantic cable for diplomatic communications. The section of the cable stretching under the English Channel from Europe to London was owned by the Scandanavian countries. The section linking London to the East Coast belonged to us. We had an agreement with Great Britain that US diplomatic transmissions were not to be tampered with. We allowed the Germans to use our diplomatic channels. British intelligence was tapping that cable, including our "protected" diplomatic channel.

On January 19th 1917, German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann sent a telegram, now called "The Zimmerman Telegram" - or "The Zimmerman Note" - using American diplomatic channels, to the German ambassador in Mexico City. It may have been one of the dumbest diplomatic communications ever sent. In fact, it was considered so stupid that, for some time, many believed it was a fake perpetrated by British intelligence to try to draw us into the war. That is until Zimmerman, not once but twice, on March 3 and again on March 29, admitted during speeches he gave in Europe to sending the telegram.

Zimmerman actually sent the telegram to the German ambassador in Washington from where it was forwarded to Mexico City. He did this to take advantage of the "protected" American diplomatic cable. The Brits had it before the German ambassador in Washington had it. It would be better to say that the British had part of it. The Germans used a new code which had only been partially decrypted by British intelligence. The British were able to decipher enough of it to understand its meaning but were in a quandry as to how to notify the Wilson gonvernment. The British did not want us to know they were illegaly intercepting American diplomatic communications.

Again, the Germans played right into their hands. The German embassy in Washington forwarded the telegram by Western Union land line to Mexico City. The British just had to go down to the Western Union office and bribe the telegraph operators to give them a copy of it. In addition, the German embassy in Washington had to re-encrypt the telegram with an older diplomatic code because their embassy in Mexico City did not yet have the new one. The old code had been broken for some time by British intelligence. Now the British could not only read the telegram word for word but also could pass it along to Wilson's government without fear of American recriminations for intercepting our mail.

The telegrams:

This is the original coded document.
National Archives and Records AdministrationIdentifier 302025

This is the British translation.
National Archives and Records Administration Identifier 302022

What the telegram means is that, with the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare (USW), the Americans would probably eventually have to enter the war against Germany. With Mexican and Japanese help, however, that intervention by US forces might not happen until Great Britain had already been forced to capitulate. In return, Mexico would receive the lost territories of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. But when the telegram was handed to President Wilson on February 24, 1917, possibly even before President Carranza had seen it, the jig was up for Germany. Wilson and his cabinet chewed on this for awhile, then released it to the American public on March 1, 1917.

Sorry, Fritz
The contents of the telegram along with US Merchant Marine losses from Germany's USW campaign were enough to sway American public opinion towards war - and war it became. As to why the telegram was considered such a bonehead move by Germany, it should be noted that the government of Carranza had no formal contacts with the Japanese government, never mind being able to exert any influence whatsoever with the land of the rising sun. Witness this reaction from the Japanese government:
Japanese Prime Minister Count Terauchi on the Zimmermann Telegram

The revelation of Germany's latest plot, looking to a combination between Japan and Mexico against the United States, is interesting in many ways.

We are surprised not so much by the persistent efforts of the Germans to cause an estrangement between Japan and the United States as by their complete failure of appreciating the aims and ideals of other nations.

Nothing is more repugnant to our sense of honour and to the lasting welfare of this country than to betray our allies and friends in time of trial and to become a party to a combination directed against the United States, to whom we are bound not only by the sentiments of true friendship, but also by the material interests of vast and far-reaching importance.

The proposal which is now reported to have been planned by the German Foreign Office has not been communicated to the Japanese Government up to this moment, either directly or indirectly, officially or unofficially, but should it ever cone to hand I can conceive no other form of reply than that of indignant and categorical refusal.
Some say that the contents of the telegram went so far beyond the pale that, indeed, the purpose of the telegram was to measure America's intent to enter the war. That seems just a bit beyond sound reasoning to me. Said David Kahn, author of The Codebreakers,
"No other single cryptanalysis has had such enormous consequences," and "never before or since has so much turned upon the solution of a secret message."
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Friday, February 24, 2006

Frontier Justice

Don't mess with grandma. And most especially don't mess with grandma's sidekicks. Listen to this. It is a recording of a telephone call from a guy who has just witnessed an automobile accident. If what follows doesn't make you laugh - and laugh a lot - you are in need of emergency psychological first aid followed by long term therapy.

Note: I had a little trouble getting this to play. I think it has to buffer for a few seconds but there is no indication that is what the tape is doing. Be a little patient.


WA Dem governor says "No photo, Dean-o."

According to this eyewitness, the Democrat governor of Washington State, Christine Gregoire, elected by a margin of 0.9 votes after 99 lawsuits and 999 recounts (1 statewide recount and 998 recounts in a single downtown Seattle, predominantly minority precinct immediately adjacent to a Washington State prison), refused to be photographed with the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Christine Gregoire, governor of the Banana Republic of Washington State

Howard Dean addressing lefty bloggers convention in al-Bummfucht, Egypt

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A motley mob of simple-minded fools

Jim Geraghty, writing in the New Hampshire Union Leader, calls the lefty blogs for what they are and, more often, what they aren't.
The blogs of the left not only have atrocious political instincts; they really don’t have any sense or perspective on what’s important. They’re not that well informed and they don’t think hard about complicated and difficult issues. They not only have no solutions, but they have nothing substantial to say on one of the biggest issues of our lifetimes: how the West and Islam can coexist, or even whether they can. They’re not serious, thoughtful, mature or inspired. There is no “there” there.
Now, with precious few exceptions, Mr. Geraghty does not name names. I would assume that is due to lack of space and/or time. Mark in Mexico operates under no such constraints. Here is a complete list of the blogs to which Mr. Geraghty refers.

1. All Of Them
2. All The Rest

The apophthegm of the lefty bloggers:

Solutions? We don't gots to show you no stinkin' solutions!

apophthegm: (n) a wise saying (I looked it up; took me a while to find it; thought it was spelled apoffthegumm)


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Man arrested for smelly feet

A man arrived at a homeless shelter in the eastern Dutch city of Nijmegen. He took off his shoes and propped his feet up. The stench was so overwhelming that the officials at the homeless shelter asked him to replace his shoes. He refused. He also refused to leave the shelter. Finally, police had to be called, and, in light of his continued refusal to leave, had to arrest him. No details on the stench at the local jailhouse.

The downfall of civilization

Via Jonah Goldberg at The Corner
The downfall of civilization can be traced directly to the practice of putting televisions in taverns. Men stopped talking to one another. Then they went home and started talking to their wives to whom they hadn’t talked in centuries. This led immediately to wholesale divorce, which in turn led to women in the workplace and juvenile delinquency. Other ills too numerous and horrible to mention followed until men stopped wearing ties so they wouldn’t hang themselves.
Why can't I write pithy stuff like that?


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Irrefutable evidence: Cheney drunk!

Capitol Hill Blue blows the lid off the Cheney shooting coverup. Investigative reporter and Capitol Hill Blue founder and publisher Doug Thompson puts his reputation on the line as he quotes a plethora of impeccable sources. Those sources all confirm that the vice president was "clearly inebriated" when he shot his life-long friend in the face at point blank range with a Holland & Holland 4 gauge Nitro Express. The named sources that Mr. Thompson quotes are identified as:
  • "Secret Service agents"
  • "Agents"
  • "the report"
  • "those who have talked with the agents"
  • "others present at the outing"
  • "a number of administration officials"
  • "others"
  • "one White House aide"
  • "One agent at the scene"
  • "another"
  • "A memo reportedly written"
  • "one agent"
  • "Doctors"
  • "a former employee"
  • "Secret Service officials"
  • "the doctors"
  • "one"
  • "a private doctor"

Mr. Thompson also quotes some anonymous sources but I won't list them here because of their refusals to be named. And besides, in light of this overwhelming and damning evidence, unnamed sources would be redundant.

So, there you have it. I do not think it will be possible to continue defending the vice president knowing all that I have learned from Capitol Hill Blue and Mr. Thompson. I don't see how Mr. Cheney can defend himself either, especially against the unimpeachable (no pun intended) sources "one" and "another".

Mr. Thompson is the author of other well regarded hard-hitting below-the-belt investigative hatchet jobs, such as The S.O.B. has to go, Partisan political pukes, Traitorous bitches and bastards, Only Love Can Stop Terrorism , An American Hitler and his Gestapo, Bush's drinking and drug use must be investigated, A gutless, draft-dodging coward named Dick Cheney and this howler, Partisans can't be journalists.

I think I'll get drunk now.

Rob at Say Anything is juuuust a bit skeptical. Hey, Rob. Read Traitorous bitches and bastards. That did it for me.

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New Orleans police change shirt color due to looted uniforms

New Orleans Police Department officers appeared in new navy blue uniform shirts this week. The police officers had historically worn light blue uniform shirts but so many dry cleaners were looted during the Katrina aftermath that the NOPD decided to change shirt colors. Police Superintendent Warren Riley:
"The reason for this change is in the aftermath of Katrina, a number of cleaners were looted. Hundreds of uniforms were stolen. We are very concerned about citizens and in the future people impersonating the police."

In the future, if you see persons looting empty shoe boxes from Wal-Mart wearing New Orleans Police Department uniforms that look like this, they are imposters!

In the future, if you see New Orleans Police Department crime scene photographers in uniforms that look like this, they are imposters!

In the future, if you are a retired New Orleans school teacher who steps out for a pack of cigarettes and finds himself getting the crap beaten out of him by persons wearing uniforms that look like this, you can rest assured that you are getting your ass needlessly kicked by genuine New Orleans Police Department representatives!

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Advocating a practical methodology

Bill Ardolino is doing some thinking and sharing that thinking with us. An excellent read regarding his suggestion that we use all of the tools available to us in the GWoT. In fact, and I must agree here, Bill maintains that it is imperative that we use those tools in order to win this thing before the bad guys gain the technological expertise to hurt us really badly. Here is the major challenge facing us and interfering with the practical methodology as espoused by Bill.

Jordanian journalist Jihad Momani wrote:
"What brings more prejudice against Islam, these caricatures or pictures of a hostage-taker slashing the throat of his victim in front of the cameras, or a suicide bomber who blows himself up during a wedding ceremony?"
And Yemeni journalist Muhammad al-Assadi
"Muslims had an opportunity to educate the world about the merits of the Prophet Muhammad and the peacefulness of the religion he had come with. Muslims know how to lose, better than how to use, opportunities."
And where are Momani and al-Assadi, today? In jail. And the sum of all fears of "moderate Muslims":
"I keep hearing, 'Why are liberals silent?' " said Said al-Ashmawy, an Egyptian judge and author of books on political Islam. "How can we write? Who is going to protect me? Who is going to publish for me in the first place? With the Islamization of the society, the list of taboos has been increasing daily. You should not write about religion. You should not write about politics or women. Then what is left?"
Bill, if you can come up with a good answer to that one, you'll not only deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, they'll rename it after you (and, for my fellow nitwits out there, "baseball" is not a good enough answer).

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Dubai/UAE ports deal: follow the money

The New York Sun sheds some new light on this UAE port "takeover" scrum by implementing an old rule: follow the money. The Sun looks at the most vociferous opponents to the deal and traces their opposition back to its source - the International Longshoremen's Association and its president, John Bowers. The ILA has cushy contracts with the British company Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. (P&O), the current operator of ports in New York, Baltimore, New Jersey, New Orleans, Miami, and Philadelphia. Now the ILA will have to negotiate with DP World, owned by the Dubai government (part of the UAE). One must recall that, in Britain, unions more or less help rule the country, kind of like they do in California. In Dubai, that is not the case.

Here is a list of the major anti-Dubai drum beaters and the amounts they have received in campaign contributions from John Bowers and the ILA:
Menendez - $39,500
Clinton - $4500
Lautenberg - $9000
Schumer - $4500
Dodd - $2500
Boxer - $6000

Peter King - $5500
Jerrold Nadler - $22,500

And Mr. Bowers, the president of the ILA?
He was charged with racketeering and named as an associate of the Gambino organized crime family in a July 2005 civil complaint filed by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.
by the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Roslynn Mauskopf. The FBI's assistant director in charge in New York at the time, Mark Mershon, said,
"The hard-working rank-and-file members of the ILA were denied the right to fair and honest representation when members of the Gambino and Genovese crime families conspired to fix the selection of certain union officers. Pension and health plans intended to benefit the union membership were pillaged for the unjust enrichment of those corrupt, self-dealing union officials and their mob associates."
The "hard-working rank-and-file members of the ILA", numbering some 59,000, pay their Genovese - Gambino associate Bowers an annual salary of $413,556 from the international union and $154,467 from the Atlantic coast district, for a total annual compensation of $568,023. Why are these noted Democratic politicians accepting money from an indicted organized crime figure?

Look, this port management fiasco is a tempest in a teapot:

First, the Dubai company DP World will not own nor will it control the ports. The ports are owned by the various cities and states in which they are located.

Second, the operations of the ports and port security are seperate entities. Port security is handled by The United States Coast Guard, the United States Customs Service and the Department of Homeland Security. Any complaints? Call the federal government.

Third, the operations of the ports are granted by the port owners (the cities and states) in lucrative contracts to port operations specialists, like the British company P&O. These contracts do not have to be granted to any one particular company and are granted after competitive and open bidding.

Fourth, the British company P&O which currently holds the contracts to operate ports in New York, Baltimore, New Jersey, New Orleans, Miami, and Philadelphia has decided to sell its port operating business to the Dubai company. The various port authorities in the various cities and states do not have to sign over operating authority to the Dubai company if they do not wish to do so.

Fifth, if you do a little research into Dubai ad its long-term relationship with the United States, you will find that Dubai has been a very quiet and behind-the-scenes player on our side for a long time.

Sixth, fully 30% of all terminals operated in US ports are operated under leases signed with foreign companies. At the port of Los Angeles, 80% of the terminals are foreign operated and 50% of the terminals are operated by Chinese companies.

The Sun also rises to ask these questions about the sudden emergence of the anti-Dubai clic in Washington:
None of these politicians, so far as we recall, made a peep when the government of the United Arab Emirates donated $200,000 to fund a professorship in Middle East studies at Columbia University that was filled by a virulently anti-Israel and anti-Bush professor named Rashid Khalidi (selected and hired by Columbia, NOT by the UAE nor by Dubai).

Nor, so far as we can tell, did they protest when, after the death of the president and founder of the UAE, Shaykh Zayid bin Sultan Al Nahayan, Mr. Bush issued a statement on November 4, 2004, mourning the passing of "a great friend of our country," "a close ally," who built the Emirates "into a prosperous, tolerant, and well-governed state."

Nor do we recall any protest from Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Schumer or Ms. Boxer when President Clinton and Vice President Gore announced in May 1998 that America was selling 80 F-16 fighters to the UAE.

Nor did these politicians protest back in December 1996, when the Clinton administration's assistant state secretary, Robert Pelletreau, went on UAE television to announce: "On the international stage, the UAE is universally respected for its generosity and commitment to regional security and fair-dealing. These qualities reflect the exceptional character of Shaykh Zayid, who is truly the father of his country, and a respected statesman."
It is imperative for everyone to remember that the employees and managers who will be on site managing the various ports' operations are not going to be bejeweled, sword-brandishing ragheads in robes who will race to work everyday aboard camels. They'll be the same United States citizens that currently fill those positions.

Perhaps if everyone would do a bit a research into the facts surrounding this brouhaha and be little less hysterical, we could get on with some of the more pressing issues of the day, like why the drunken Vice President Cheney shot his best friend in the face from point blank range with a 4-gauge Holland & Holland Nitro Express without first checking with CBS's David Gregory.

Quick facts on DP International from the Washington Post.
Tampa Port Authority agrees to 40-year contract with P&O in spite of impending sale to DP.
DP has sent its chief operating officer Edward Bilkey (NOT Fadweed al-Bilkee) to Washington to calm things down.
Dick Meyer at CBS says the claims made by opponents are "horselips".
Never have I seen a bogus story explode so fast and so far. I thought I was a connoisseur of demagoguery and cheap shots, but the Dubai Ports World saga proves me a piker. With a stunning kinship of cravenness, politicians of all flavors risk trampling each other as they rush to the cameras and microphones to condemn the handover of massive U.S. strategic assets to an Islamic, Arab terrorist-loving enemy.
Kevin Drum can't find anything substantive - only political.
Vis Instapundit: Squiggler says there's less to the port deal than meets the eye; Jonah Goldberg sees the hysteria; Robert Ferrigno says,
Bush is going to take some ugly political flak for a better cause. The USA needs to strengthen ties with Arab nations. Period. The UAE is not Switzerland, but it's not Afghanistan either, and yes they recognized the Taliban government. They're politicians too. If we can do business with Pakistan, and we must, the UAE is as good an Islamic business partner as we're going to get.

To take away the deal from the UAE now, for no other reason than their religion, would rightly insult all Muslims, and do irreparable damage to our long term interests. This would not even be an issue if the ports were secure. That should be the focus of conservative attention, not who gets the deal to run the port.
John McCain is backing Bush as is Will Collier at VodkaPundit and A.J.Strata and Glenn Reynolds has a lot more in emails from some folks with experience with Dubai and the UAE and their efforts in support of the US government and our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There's lots, lots more. See Memeorandum.

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al-Askari dome destroyed - al-Sistani asks for calm

The dome of the Al-Askari mosque in Samarra, Iraq, was destroyed by a bomb explosion this morning. The attack was almost surely carried out by Sunni militants intent on starting up a long feared civil war in Iraq. However, the Shia's most influential holy man, the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is urging calm among the Shia, as well as a 5 day period of mourning.

The al-Askari dome before the bombing.
The al-Askari Mosque holds the remains of the 11th and 12th Imams, Imam Ali al-Hadi, died in 868 AD and his son, Hassan al-Askari, died in 874 AD. Both Imams are revered by Shia as having been direct descendants of Muhammed.

The destroyed al-Askari dome.

There have been some disturbances with crowds of angry Shia attacking and destroying some 5 Sunni mosques in Baghdad.

Iraq the Model says that he believes foreign terrorists are behind the bombing because the shrine has existed in Sunni controlled Samarra for a thousand years without major trouble (the dome of the shrine was completed in 1905). Iraq the Model also says that the Sunni in Samarra have always taken advantage of the income from the great number of Shia pilgrims who visit the shrine. Economic interests would seem to preclude local Sunni involvement in the bombing.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
The Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has issued a fatwa prohibiting violence by Shia against Sunni and Sunni holy sites The Iraqi government has agreed to a 3 day mourning preiod.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Jimmy Carter speaks from experience

Jimmah Carter explains to us, with the weary patience one uses when talking to six year-olds, how this transition from one terrorist government to another even more vicious terrorist government is supposed to work. Well, Jimmah certainly should know.

The last time that he was influential in not punishing a terroristic transition government that had recently come to power, we had 70 hostages held and tortured for the last 444 days of Carter's term in office. Carter waited patiently for Ronald Reagan to drub him out of office, for the petrified Khomeini government to frantically release the hostages as Mr. Reagan was being sworn in and then got a free plane ticket from Mr. Reagan so that he could go visit the just released and so-pleased-with-Carter's-patience hostages. The unfortunate part was that the plane ticket Mr. Reagan gave to Mr. Carter was for a round-trip.

Carter says,
The election of Hamas candidates cannot adversely affect genuine peace talks, since such talks have been nonexistent for over five years.
I don't think that is correct. There have been no "genuine peace talks" with whatever murderous Palestinian government was in control at the time for, oh, 57 years. Therefore, cutting of the freebies to Hamas is not going to affect genuine peace talks this year, either.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

REAL Muslims getting pissed off

Look at what I found.

On the Pakistani cleric who offered the $1 million bounty for the death of the Danish cartoonists:

Even in Pakistan that is illegal. That man should be arrested at once and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. His assets should be frozen immediately.

Here is a directorate of almost all Pakistani missions and embassies. Call what’s local to you and demand this mans arrest.

If you are in America write a letter to your rep. Anyone can also call the World Bank and ask them to consider this before increasing aid to $750 million.

Most importantly, Muslims ask your Imams to condemn this in his next sermon.

I’m on my way now to go pray at my mosque in Cambridge and that is exactly what I am going to do.


I just got back from my mosque. I was late and missed prayers but I talked to the Imam, told him what I wanted him to do, and that, as a journalist, I would be back next Friday to quote and publish him. He will be delivering the sermon at the MIT interfaith prayer hall.

Please try to do the same in your mosque. We can not let this happen.
From Karim Elsahy at the blog One Arab World

And this from Pakistani blogger Danial in Karachi:
More on Muhammad Cartoons

Karim Elsahy has a post which I think every Pakistani should read. I am sorry Khaled I am afraid of asking such a thing to my mosque’s Imam. There are nearly five mosques near my place and I am afraid that I can not ask them such a thing. They could get furious and even ask other Muslims to beat the Western Shit out of my head. I agree with you that such a thing is illegal in Pakistan. But these Imams ask Muslims to kill Americans, British, Jews and anyone who doesn’t share their views on a daily basis. Most times, Government of Pakistan doesn’t take any action against them. This time though they have taken the Imam into house arrest but I don’t think that he would be prosecuted for anything at all.
There are some Muslims out there trying to fight back, actively. They need all the support they can get.

Others have found this, too.
Hyscience who left a comment with Karim Elsahy
The Jawa Report says read it, link it and help pass it around.
So What! quotes Salman Rushdie
Winds of Change calls this a Mutiny against the Bounty

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

El Cid - your weekend history lesson

This is your weekend history lesson - the weather sucks (up there, down here it's great; that's why I'm writing this in the middle of the night) there's no football - so, pay attention. There will be a test.

The story of El Cid is one of those very rare legends where the facts of the man, his life and his accomplishments are far more intriguing and impressive than the legends. He was a very modern man in his thinking and, in his entire life, he never lost a fight on the battlefield or in man-to-man combat. His very real military accomplishments put even the legend of Lancelot du Lac to shame. This guy kicked butts all over Spain, butts both Spanish Christian and Muslim, or Moros (Moors), as they were called by the Spaniards. El Cid's problem was that he couldn't keep his mouth shut and had a habit of insulting and making enemies of the various powers-that-were in the Spanish court. Kind of a George S. Patton type, you might say.

Let's set the scene a little. In the Spain of those days, the Muslims, or Moors, from North Africa, what is now Mauritania, had invaded and conquered all of southern and much of central Spain and Portugal. Over the centuries they had carved up their territory into city states which then proceeded to make war on one another. They formed various pacts with one another and with Christian Spanish kings at various times for various reasons. It was not at all unusual for a Spanish king and a Moorish king to join forces against either another Christian king or another Muslim king, depending.

In Africa, another Muslim group called the Almoravids conquered and installed themselves in Marrakech, Morocco. They then overthrew the Moors in Mauritania and crossed at Gibraltar to take Al Andalus away from them also. All of this battling between the various Muslim groups gave the Christian kings an opportunity to begin winning back bits and pieces of Spain and Portugal. This the various kings proceeded to do, in spite of some failures along the way, until, in 1492, the last of the remaining Muslim caliphs or emirs or whatever were expelled from Spain.

Our Story:


El Cid, also called El Campeador (the Champion), Rodrigo (or Ruy) Díaz de Vivar -- b. c. 1043, Vivar, near Burgos, Castile, Spain -- d. July 10, 1099, Valencia, Spain. Castilian military leader and national hero. His popular name, El Cid (from Spanish Arabic as-sid, "lord"), dates from his lifetime. So, his name was either Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar or Ruy Díaz de Vivar. Today he is known as El Cid by everyone but in those days only his Muslim allies and subjects called him El Cid. The Spanish called him El Campeador.

Early life
Rodrigo's father was a member of the minor nobility (infanzones) of Castile. Legend has it that El Cid came from underprivileged roots - not so. His mother was a member of the aristocracy and Diego was raised in the household of King Ferdinand I himself, right alongside the king's own son, Sancho.

When Sancho succeeded to the Castilian throne (1065), he nominated the 22-year-old Rodrigo as his standard-bearer (armiger regis), or commander of the royal troops. In spite of the fact that the Cid and Sancho were childhood buddies, El Cid must have already proved his military prowess to have been named to so prestigious a position. In 1067 he led Sancho's forces on a campaign against the Moorish kingdom of Saragossa (Zaragoza) and was lead negotiator with its king, al-Muqtadir, who became a tributary of the Castilian crown.

Ferdinand I, on his death, had partitioned his kingdoms among his various children, leaving Leon to his second son, Alfonso VI. Sancho began in 1067 to make war on his brother with the aim of annexing Leon. Later legend was to make the Cid a reluctant supporter of Sancho's aggression, but it is unlikely the real Cid had any such scruples. He played a prominent part in Sancho's successful campaigns against Alfonso and so found himself in an awkward situation in 1072, when the childless Sancho was killed while besieging Zamora (ruled by his sister), leaving Alfonso, recently deposed by the Cid, as his only possible heir and the Cid's new boss. Oops!

The new King Alphonso VI appears to have done his best to win the allegiance of Sancho's most powerful supporter. Though the Cid now lost his post as armiger regis to a powerful noble, Count Garcí­a Ordoñez (whose bitter enemy he became), and his former influence at court naturally declined, he was allowed to remain there. In July 1074, he married the king's niece Jimena, daughter of the Count de Oviedo.

He thus became allied by marriage to the ancient royal dynasty of Leon. The couple had one son and two daughters. The son, Diego Rodrí­guez, was killed in battle against the Muslim Almoravid invaders from North Africa, at Consuegra (1097). Note: The movie El Cid, with Heston and Loren, shows that the Cid married the daughter of the new armiger regis, then killed him in a duel -- not true.

El Cid's position at court was, despite his marriage, precarious. He probably took advantage of the fact that many Castilians resented being ruled by the formerly deposed king of Leon. He also probably resented the influence exercised by the nobles over Alfonso VI where he had previously been able to exercise that type of influence over the now dead and buried Sancho.

Though his biographers would later present the Cid as the blameless victim of unscrupulous noble enemies and of Alfonso's willingness to listen to unfounded slanders, it seems likely that the Cid's penchant for publicly humiliating powerful men may have largely contributed to his downfall. Though he was later to show himself astute and calculating as both a soldier and a politician, his conduct in the court suggests that resentment at his loss of influence as a result of Sancho's death may temporarily have undermined his capacity for self-control. Kind of like Patton's reactions whenever some other general received another star.

In 1079, while on a mission to the Moorish king of Seville, he crossed swords with García Ordoñez, who was aiding the king of Granada in an invasion of the kingdom of Seville. The Cid defeated the markedly superior Granadine army at Cabra, near Seville, capturing Garcí­a Ordoñez, the Cid's boss' commanding general. This victory prepared the way for his downfall. Then, in 1081, he led an unauthorized military raid into the Moorish kingdom of Toledo, which was under Alfonso's protection, and the king exiled the Cid from his kingdoms. Several subsequent attempts at reconciliation produced no lasting results, and after 1081 the Cid never again was able to live for long in Alfonso VI's sight.

So, El Cid pays an unauthorized visit to Seville which was under attack from an army sent by, er, his boss, scrapes up a handful of local fighters, then goes out and defeats this giant army -- just for fun, apparently. Then, he decides to visit a neighboring kingdom under his boss's protection and do a little more unauthorized butt kicking -- again, apparently just for fun -- and gets booted out of the realm. Sounds just like George S. Patton (see Sicilian campaign).

Service to the Muslims - Have sword, will travel -- wire El Cid, Seville
The exile offered his services to the Muslim dynasty that ruled Saragossa and with which he had first made contact (by kicking their butts in battle) in 1065. The king of Saragossa, in northeastern Spain, al-Mu'tamin, welcomed the chance of having his vulnerable kingdom defended by so prestigious a Christian warrior. The Cid now loyally served al-Mu'tamin and his successor, al-Musta'in II, for nearly a decade, taking on and defeating all comers.

As a result of his experience he gained an understanding of the complexities of Hispano-Arabic politics and of Islamic law and custom that would later help him to conquer and hold Valencia. Meanwhile, he steadily added to his reputation as a general who had never been defeated in battle. In 1082, on behalf of al-Mu'tamin, he inflicted a decisive defeat on the Moorish king of Lérida and the latter's Christian allies, among them the count of Barcelona. In 1084 he defeated a large Christian army under King Sancho Ramírez of Aragon. He was richly rewarded for these victories by his grateful Muslim bosses.

In 1086 there began the great Almoravid invasion of Spain from North Africa. Alfonso VI was crushingly defeated by the invaders at Sagrajas (Oct. 23, 1086) and had to eat crow and recall El Cid from exile (see Patton, Battle of the Bulge).

We know the Cid was at Alfonso's court in July 1087. But for unknown reasons he was back in Saragossa and not a participant in the subsequent battles against the Almoravids in the strategic regions where their attacks threatened the existence of what was left of Christian Spain. The Cid had decided that he wanted Valencia and embarked on the lengthy and immensely complicated political maneuvering that was aimed at making him master of that rich Moorish kingdom. In other words, El Cid said adios to defending all of Christian Spain (what was left of it, that is) in favor of his own piece of the action. He must have known by that time that he simply could not be defeated in battle by Christian, Moor or Almoravid, so he could pretty well take whatever he wanted.

Conquest of Valencia
His first step was to eliminate the influence of the counts of Barcelona in that area. This was done when he defeated Ramón Berenguer II in a rout at Tábar, near Teruel (May 1090). During the next years the Cid gradually tightened his control over Valencia and its ruler, al-Qadir, was now his tributary.

His moment of destiny came in October 1092 when the qadi (chief magistrate), Ibn Jahhaf, with Almoravid political support, rebelled and killed al-Qadir. The Cid responded by attacking the rebel city. The siege lasted for many months. An Almoravid attempt to break it failed miserably (December 1093).

In May 1094 Ibn Jahhaf at last surrendered, and the Cid finally entered Valencia as its conqueror. To facilitate his takeover he characteristically first made a pact with Ibn Jahhaf that led the latter to believe that his acts of rebellion and regicide were forgiven; but when the pact had served its purpose, the Cid arrested the former qadi and ordered him to be burnt alive. A message to the Almoravids, no doubt. Well, El Cid was a man of his times, after all.

The Cid now ruled Valencia directly, himself acting as chief magistrate of the Muslims as well as the Christians. I know of no other Christian who has ever held such a post. This would make him the Mullah or qadi, or whatever. Nominally he held Valencia for Alfonso VI, but in fact he was its independent ruler in all but name.

The city's chief mosque was Christianized in 1096. A French bishop, Jerome, was appointed to the new see, and there was a considerable influx of Christian colonists. The Cid's princely status was emphasized when his daughter Cristina married a prince of Aragon, Ramiro, lord of Monzón, and his other daughter, Marí­a, married Ramón Berenguer III, count of Barcelona (whose father, as well as the father's predecessor, the Cid had humiliated in battle).

End Game
El Cid died a natural death (not in battle as the movie would have it -- by that time neither Christian not Muslim dared face El Cid in battle). He died in his Valencia in 1099 and with his death all that he had accomplished was soon lost.

After his death Valencia was besieged by the Almoravids, who no longer had to fear El Cid, and Alfonso VI had to intervene in person to save it. But the king decided that Valencia could not be held, evacuated the city and then ordered it to be burned. On May 5, 1102, the Almoravids occupied whatever remained of Valencia without a fight, and it remained in Muslim hands until 1238. The Cid's body was taken to Castile and reburied in the monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña, near Burgos, where it remains to this day the center of an active El Cid tomb cult.

The Cid was quickly elevated to the status of national hero of Castile and a complex heroic biography of him, in which legend played a dominant role, came into existence. The legend was further magnified by the influence of the 12th-century epic poem of Castile, El Cantar de Mío Cid (The Song of My Cid) and later by Pierre Corneille's tragedy Le Cid, first performed in 1637. And then, of course, came El Cid, with Charleton Heston and Sophia Loren and the dead-man-riding scene which made for good cinema but was far from fact.

To sum it up, El Cid was a political animal who also happened to be the most accomplished warrior and general of his day. He managed to take and hold by both force and political skill (most un Patton-like) his major goal in life. He made himself a king in practice, if not in name, and it is his name that is remembered and revered today, not those of the many kings he either served or defeated in battle. Kind of like Achilles.

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Iranian Mullah's fatwa: Nuclear war A-OK with Allah

Iran's hardline clerics (are there any other kind still alive or not imprisoned over there?) have issued a fatwa to the effect that the possession of nuclear weapons and their use in combat is just peachy with Allah, Muhammed or whomever. The Guardian is reporting that a dissident Iranian website, called Rooz, reports that it picked up the news from the state-run Iranian news agency IraNews. (I can't find anything about this on either site.)

The fatwa came from Mohsen Gharavian, a disciple of the ultra-conservative Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, who is widely regarded as the cleric closest to Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The fatwa stated that possession and the use of nuclear weapons "may not present a problem under Shariah" because "only the goal is important".

Massoud Osanlou, the leader of the bus drivers' union, who is leading a nationwide protest against the regime, the largest protest of its kind since the 1999 and 2003 student protests, was unable to comment because he
was arrested at his home by members of the Basij, the pro-regime militia, and had part of his tongue cut out as a warning to be quiet.
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Muhammed Cartoons - I will be sorry?

Email received from "arif arli" at

dont show these cartoon.you will be sorry

I will, will I? Uh, Ok.

A complete collection of the Muhammed Cartoons just for you, arif arli.

Your move.


Hilarious Lefty Photoshop-of-the-Week

Dick Chaney - Still Armed - Still Dangerous

I Brake For Birds

Fox sends Federales to Nuevo Laredo - death toll doubles

Mexican Federales sent by President Fox arrive in Nuevo Laredo June, 2005

Drug related violence has doubled in this border city since Mexico's President Vicente Fox sent in federal troops (Federales) in June of last year. 181 people died in Nuevo Laredo in 2005 and the death toll so far this year is 31 and climbing.

The only difference that people can see is that before the Federales arrived, the gangsters were parading around in convoys of 4 or 5 SUV's while openly brandishing their weapons. Today, they keep their weapons out of sight until they actually start the killing. Killing which they are doing at an accelerated rate since the Federales arrived.

It would appear from the picture above that the Federales might be outgunned just a bit. Their antiquated Winchesters and Mausers are no match for AK 47's, M 16's and AR 15's and their horses cannot keep up with Grand Cherokees. The killing has accelerated once the narcotraficantes got a good look at their opposition sent by the federal government. Fox might have been better served to have continued threatening to send in the Federales. A bluff would have served him better than the call. You gotta know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em, know when to walk away and know when to run.

The local police force needs 275 officers to replace those fired since the Federales arrived. There are 34 new recruits being trained at the police academy. These people aren't completely stupid. Last week a guy got shot and wounded. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The shooters just walked into the hospital's emergency room and finished the job right in front of the victim's horrified family.

A few months ago, Nuevo Laredo swore in a new chief of police to replace the freshly shot one. The new guy was shot dead before nightfall. A couple of weeks ago an armed gang walked into a newspaper office and shot the place full of holes. The editor vowed to spend more time reporting on the pork belly futures market and less time on drug violence.

As an aside, to give you folks up there an idea of what "rule of law" means down here, the governor of the state of Puebla, one of the largest and and most, ahem, cosmopolitan states in Mexico, has himself in some hot water. A reporter who lives in Cancun wrote some news reports and then later a book about the sexual proclivities of a Puebla fatcat named Kamel Nacif.

Now, Nacif makes bluejeans, among other things. Those "other things" were of interest to the country's anti-narcotics people who were tapping his phone lines. One call he made was to his buddy the guvnor. The guvnor, one Mario Marin, who carries around some baggage of his own, promised to help poor Sr. Nacif. Marin found a local judge to issue an arrest warrant against the reporter, Lydia Cacho, who had pretty well documented that fatcat Nacif was a member-in-good-standing of a nation-wide ring of pedophiles.

The governor then sent Puebla state policemen to Cancun, which is in Quintana Roo state, to arrest Ms. Cacho and bring her back to Puebla where she spent some 3 days in jail until her lawyers could find her and get her released. She was released because both the arrest warrant and the arrest itself were illegal as the judge, the governor and the fatcat full well knew.

The taped conversation was delivered anonymously to a local news outlet from whence it made its way onto national television and radio. The judge has already been relieved of his duties and Governor Marin is under intense fire to resign or be thrown out of office. Governor Marin appeared on TV Azteca this week to refute the charges. He told the interviewing reporter that "the voice on the tape is not mine." The reporter said that TV Azteca would send the tape to forensic experts to determine its authenticity. Marin blinked a couple of times and then said, "Well, if it does turn out to be my voice, I will have another statement to issue at that time." Hilarious.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Pakistan reports Clinton says "convict publishers" of Muhammed Cartoons

UPDATED!!!!Scroll down. This story looks like it's not true.

This can't be correct. A Pakistani newspaper, the Daily Times, is reporting that ex- president Bill Clinton
on Friday condemned the publication of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) caricatures by European newspapers and urged countries concerned to convict the publishers.

Talking to reporters after meeting Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in Islamabad, Clinton said he disagreed with the caricatures and that the publication was against religious and ethical norms.
Let's take this with a grain of salt because it is coming from a Pakistani publication. I would like to see some verification of this report. I cannot believe that Clinton would actually call for the convictions of editors and publishers who printed or reprinted these cartoons. According to the Pakistani paper, Clinton went on to say,
He said the people’s religious convictions should be respected at all costs and the media should be disallowed to play with the religious sentiments of other faiths. He said the media could criticise any issue including governments and people, but nobody had the right to play with the sentiments of other faiths.

Clinton said people in the US had also condemned the publication and were deeply concerned over it. He said they respected Islam, as it was the fastest growing religion in the US.
If this is true, then the ex-president has joined the pandering of the Democratic party's top guns, from Hillary Clinton to Dean to Sharpton to Kerry to Kennedy to Jesse Jackson to Pelosi to Gore and all the rest which knows no bounds of decency. They are willing to spout whatever poison they deem to be most pleasing to the ears of their listeners. The verdict is pretty well in on all the rest but I thought that Clinton would at least try to avoid Jimmah Cartering himself so obviously in front of whatever salivating host was present. Especially in the presence of a leader of a country that is one of the worst offenders in the day-to-day, week-to-week, month-in and month-out and year-to-year vicious denegrating of the Jewish, Christian, European and American peoples as pigs, dogs and sons of monkeys.

Again, I say if this is true. I pray that it is not. Naaah, can't be . . . can it?

UPDATE: Checking 60 some sources now on the net with this story: VOA doesn't corroborate the "convict publishers" comment.
PakTribune doesn't corroborate
M&C, via Deutsche Presse-Agentur doesn't corroborate
Kaiser doesn't cooborate
Outlook India.com not only does not corroborate the Pakistan Daily Times story, but seemingly contradicts it.
"We live in societies where people are free to say the wrong things and right things. But I would not be surprised if the person who drew those cartoons and the newspaper which decided to print them may not even know that it was considered blasphemous to have any kind of personal depiction of the Prophet," he (Clinton) said.

The BBC doesn't corroborate.

I think I see what has happened here. The ex-president is quoted in several of the news sources as saying that
religious convictions of the people should be respected at all costs and no media should be allowed to play with the religious sentiments of people of any faith.
The Pakistan Daily Times needs an English translator.

Should I take down the post or should we find a Pakistani consulate to burn, anyway?
How many times can I hurredly misspell corroborate?

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Richard Dreyfuss and other loveable losers

Richard Dreyfuss
Latest loveable loser of "cause worth fighting for" and brings own sign. Says, "No one ever gives up power, ever," and claims to be a "libo-conservo-middle-of-the-roado." Here are some other losers who eventually learned that they, too, were going to lose and how Dreyfuss' statements applied to them in their own times.

Pierre de Rigaud, marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnon
Lost Canadiens, lost Red Wings, lost Kwame Kilpatrick.
Discovered that British could "get men into ships and move them to the right battlefield" pretty damned quickly.

King George III
Lost Ford, lost Chrysler, lost General Motors, lost Microsoft, lost Enron, lost Fargo, lost Popeil Pocket Fisherman.
Repeatedly told Sons of Liberty, "don't kid yourselves."

Presidente y General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana
Lost Willie Nelson and Luckenbach, lost job, won French pastries war and job back, lost leg, lost Arizona, lost New Mexico, lost California, lost Colorado, lost Utah, lost Nevada, lost Wyoming, lost job - again.
Learned that, in the greater metropolitan Washington-On-the_Brazos area, the "need for revenge after an attack inevitably weakened" only after the succcessful counter attack.

Robert E. Lee
Won Harpers Ferry, lost slave Wesley Norris, regained slave Wesley Norris, whipped slave Wesley Norris, rubbed brine into lacerations on back of slave Wesley Norris, lost Custis's back yard at Arlington, lost Civil War.
Tried to kill "people in Kansas."

Admiral Pascual Cervera
Lost battle of Santiago Bay - 510 casualties, 1670 prisoners.
Americans: 1 dead, 6 wounded, 1670 more mouths to feed.
His "instantaneous, reflexive response" was to frantically wave white flag.

Kaiser Wilhelm
Lost Mont Blanc, lost hamburgers, lost frankfurters.
Was "truly staunch of heart and truly zealous" to "keep up that hatred" of the French.

Enver Pasha
Lost the last Caliphate, lost OPEC, lost Baghdad Bob
Prone to be "pretty thoughtless, pretty terrified and do some pretty impressive damage" (check with the Armenians).

Tsar Nicholas II
Lost Rasputin, lost Smirnov, lost Anastasia, lost family, lost life.
Probably thought, "none of this happened because of any conspiracy."

Francisco Madero
Won revolution, lost gunfight, assassinated.
Kind of resembled Richard Dreyfuss, in that he was 5'3" and Villa considered him "Mister Too-Complex-for-Your-Own-Good".

Bonus Loveable Losers Collage!
CW from top right:
Porfirio Diaz: lost revolution, exiled to Paris
Emiliano Zapata: lost 2nd revolution, assassinated
Venustiano Carranza: lost 3rd revolution, assassinated
Pancho Villa: lost 4th revolution, assassinated
All insisted "that we refuse to endorse bad behavior" but most succumbed to environmental problems - lead poisoning.

William Jennings Bryan
Lost a lot of elections, lost Monkey Trial, lost self respect, lost health.
Taught by Darrow what "maintain the integrity of that debate" really meant.

Adolph Hitler
Lost Paris, lost Volkswagen, lost Porsche, lost wife, lost life.
Very "libo-conservo-middle-of-the-roado" on whether to gas'em or shoot'em.

Benito Mussolini
Lost Ferrari, lost wife, lost life.
Died in "middle-of-the-roado".

Emperor Hirohito
Lost entire Pacific Ocean, lost Polynesia, lost Marlon Brando.
Ended up on boardo the Missouri-o signing surrendero with MacArthur-o while considering whether he should become "become poisoned and die".

Che Guevara (w/o beanie)
Lost head, lost hands, lost life.
Very "libo-conservo" in millinery fashion but was "taught the tools of debate and dissent" with a bullet and an ax.

Mikhail Gorbachev
Lost Eastern Europe, got buried.
Thought, "I'm deeply in love with the country that I was taught about in school," then discovered it was being run by that Reagan guy..

Al Gore
Lost 2000 election, lost control of mind and precious bodily fluids
Never had any power to worry about giving up.
Not too "libo-conservo" when in Arab desert getting paid in 6 figures but does "fill the air with the same terrible clips, the same blaring intro music, the same screaming fonts, and then the same clips again and the same screaming fonts again and again".

John Kerry
Lost 2004 election, lost Ohio, lost Jane Fonda, lost taste for Wendy's chili.
Insisted that he would "refuse to debate the appropriateness of the process" of crawling around in a bunny suit and looking like a complete idiot.

Other close encounters of the 3rd kind with loveable losers:
PunditGuy says the Democratic Party has been killed deader than Francisco Franco.
Junk Yard Blog mentions some losers I missed - Fidel Castro and al Qaeda.
Crazy Politico's Rantings seems unhappy to have Hollywood tell us what to do.
Blue Star Chronicles invites Dreyfuss to have a close encounter of the 2nd time with Canada.
Random Thoughts thinks Dreyfuss is looking for his crappy career - maybe he left it in Canada.

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