Monday, February 28, 2005

LEBANESE UPDATE

The leader of the pro-Syrian Lebanese government has resigned as the result of protests against his government and the occupation of Lebanon by Syrian troops.

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THE SAUDIS, WHO NEEDS ENEMIES?

Life will get very interesting in the middle east if:

If all that happens, what should we do about these guys? How about we don't buy oil from them anymore??

HE'S GOT A POINT OR TWO

Victor Davis Hanson makes a great point this morning in his post titled "In Search of Solutions: Americans are tired of bickering."

He closes with:

Instead of ex post facto haggling over Bush's reasons to depose Saddam or fretting about whether Europe is angry, happy or neither, plenty of things could be done right now -- quickly, without rancor and for the public good.

Prof. Hanson also makes the case that Europe is no longer a strong partner, so we can't rely on them for much of anything -- except rhetoric. He closes with:

We keep assuming that Europeans are like Britain and Japan when in fact long ago they devolved more into a Switzerland and Sweden--friendly neutrals but no longer real allies. In the meantime, let us Americans keep much more quiet, wait, and watch--even as we carry a far bigger stick.

And for a more sober view of the European lack of will, read this.

PILING ON

My, how interesting it is to see liberals eat their young. Or, in this case, their elderly.

FREEDOM ALERT! FREEDOM ALERT!

Stories like this are not good news for most Democrats, are they?

And even stories like this would have been non-existent a year ago.

Not to mention, this one.

Keep your fingers crossed . . .

HERE'S ANOTHER ONE . . .

Here's a story you won't hear or read elsewhere (OK, maybe on Fox).

Friday, February 25, 2005

YO, HILLARY, BITE ME

Seems the junior Senator from New York had some negative things to say about one of the candidates for the PM job in Iraq and his supposed links to Iran.

He had some things to say about her, including:

"Hillary Clinton, as far as I know, does not represent any political decision or the American administration, and I don't know why she said this. She knows nothing about the Iraqi situation," the Times quoted Dr. Jafari as saying.

INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM, AND THE LACK OF IT

Here's a disgusting story about a solid, almost straight-A student. He got an A- on a paper he wrote for one of his graduate courses in education, but as a result of what he wrote, he has been kicked out of school.

What was his mortal sin?

He dared to write in his "Classroom Management Plan" last November that multiculturalism has no place in his classroom and that he will firmly discipline his students, including using corporal punishment when appropriate, if legal, and the child's parents are involved. He wrote that, unless situations dictate differently, he would treat all students alike. He would positively reinforce good behavior, heavily involve parents, and build respect instead of self-esteem.

THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF THE BAN ON D.D.T.

This is one of those instances where everyone's motives were to do good but the end result, while beneficial for some, is disastrous for others.

The important but unanswered question is has anyone learned anything? I suspect not.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

WOW!

That was my reaction when I heard this story on Fox last night. The key quote from Walid Jumblatt, the "patriarch of the Druze Muslim community" in Lebanon:

"It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq," explains Jumblatt. "I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world." Jumblatt says this spark of democratic revolt is spreading. "The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it."

HOOTERS IN THE GORILLA CAGE

This is funny.

HILLARY'S BOYS

This story hasn't gotten a lot of ink in the mainstream media. No surprise there. But the Clintons seem to have a knack for this sort of thing and it hasn't hurt them, so far.

BELOW I'VE LISTED LINKS TO EVERY ONE OF THEM

Yep, what follows are all the comments of all the Democratic leaders about the President's trip to Europe and his foreign policy initiatives:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Oh, OK, I guess there aren't any.

BRING OUR PRISONERS OF WAR HOME!

Think I'm talking about Vietnam? Think again.

WOW!

That was my reaction when I heard this story on Fox last night. The key quote from Walid Jumblatt, the "patriarch of the Druze Muslim community" in Lebanon:

"It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq," explains Jumblatt. "I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world." Jumblatt says this spark of democratic revolt is spreading. "The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it."

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

CALIFORNICATED

Victor Davis Hanson had a few choice words for his home state on Monday.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

COOL TOOL

Have you seen 10x10? Very cool way to present the news.

HERETIC!!!

Harvard President Larry Summers has been raked across the coals and is being sued over comments he made about the differences between men and women and why women are under-represented in high-level positions in academia and the business world.

Rather than reading about what he said, read what he said. It's interesting. It seems rather thoughtful, but it obviously wasn't what they wanted to hear.

For a thoughtful review of Summers' talk, read this analysis by Arnold Kling.

MY FIRST REACTION?

When I saw the "crawl" on Fox News saying "secret tapes of President Bush", my first reaction was "shit, here we go again!"

Having read about them, my second reaction, was "shit, if they were released before the election, Bush wouldn't have needed Ohio!" To me, they cast Bush in a very favorable light.

Friday, February 18, 2005

DON'T MESS WITH TRADERS

Three of the most enjoyable years of my career were managing a group of traders. Traders are a fun group, but totally serious and completely focused. The typical business style of traders is "take no prisoners", so it's laughable to read this article about an effort by Greenpeace to shut down the International Petroleum Exchange with a protest, only to get their asses kicked by the floor traders.

What the hell was Greenpeace thinking?

DON'T MESS WITH TRADERS

Three of the most enjoyable years of my career were managing a group of traders. Traders are a fun group, but totally serious and completely focused. The typical business style of traders is "take no prisoners", so it's laughable to read this article about an effort by Greenpeace to shut down the International Petroleum Exchange with a protest, only to get their asses kicked by the floor traders.

What the hell was Greenpeace thinking?

PROFILING

You've seen the e-mail. The one that's circulated for months saying, in effect, that we only need to worry about younger Arab/Middle Eastern men as potential terror suspects. Wrong.

Read this. So far, it hasn't touched our shores. So far.

AS CLEAR AS IT GETS

"My favorite economist", Dr. Arnold Kling, writes today with clarity.

In his article, he clearly delineates two views of America -- the view of most Republicans vs. the view of most Democrats.

Democrats would be well-advised to read this and understand that the solution to their "problem" should not include their mantra of empowering government. They must understand that it isn't abortion, religion or taxes that separate them from a larger and growing group of Americans.

He closes by saying:

For those of us who value self-reliance and thrift, the economic trends suggest a need to increase saving and to invest heavily in human capital. For those who value paternalism and redistribution, those trends provide an excuse to "help" more people in more ways. This tends to exacerbate the conflict of values, because ultimately the redistribution policies require heavy taxes on those of us who save and try to educate ourselves.

DEAN STILL HAS FOOT-IN-MOUTH DISEASE

Sorry I missed this one, but it appears Howard Dean is at it again. Read this piece about Dean's comments.

Why is it that Democrats get a free pass when it comes to making statements that are blatant racial stereotyping. Can you imagine what would happen if a Republican made a similar comment?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

REMEMBER SCOTT RITTER?

You know, the UN weapons inspector that all the mainstream media loved to quote because he fed fuel to the "no WMD" meme and "Iraq is a mistake" meme?

Scott has a new job, this time more fitting to his politics. He's now reporting for al Jazeera.

Priceless.

CARTER OUT-KERRYED KERRY

Remember Kerry's lame comment that un-named "foreign leaders" preferred him to Bush?

Jimmy Carter apparently took that one step further. In a new book that includes research gained from perusal of KGB files, it appears that the peanut farmer and his supporters met with the Soviets to seek their help in defeating Reagan.

WOW. Do you think this will get major media scrutiny? I doubt it. Maybe on Fox, but I doubt you'll hear much about it elsewhere.

IS TURKEY THE GOAL?

This new blog, written anonymously by a State Department employee is pretty good. Today's post speaks to a critical question -- what does the Middle East look like "after the war is won?"

TRUE COLORS

When George Soros underwrote the massive attack ad campaign against George Bush, you could chalk some of it up to his desire to see John Kerry and the Democrats win back the White House and Congress.

But how do you explain Soros funding the defense of a person who knowingly aided and abetted terrorists?

Where I come from, that's over the line.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I DIDN'T NOTICE

I read this article today and my first reaction was I didn't really notice that there weren't any hockey games being played.

So, I thought about other businesses and wondered what would happen to customer loyalty if those businesses' employees were on strike for a protracted period and the owners decided to shut the business down. It seems to me this is the quintessential example of a lose-lose situation.

If these guys were a bunch of $25/hour factory workers, trying to get a raise to $27, you'd have some sympathy for them. In this fiasco, the only ones I feel sorry for are the concession workers, ticket takers and other hourly paid workers who are suffering while the millionaire players are on the golf course in Florida.

Assuming they're back next year, it would be nice if the fans grew some stones and staged their own walkout. They won't, but it would be nice.

HOW DID I MISS THIS?

David Brooks wrote a terrific NYTimes op-ed piece yesterday that I somehow overlooked.

A GOOD RANT

Every once in awhile, I find a good rant. This is the best I've seen since I can't remember when.

CBS STILL IN CHAOS

It's getting better. Looks like some of the folks they are trying to fire over "Rathergate" are not going down without a fight.

YEAH, YEAH, I KNOW HE SERVED ON SUBS

But I still think it's funny the Navy has named an attack sub after Jimmy Carter.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

HUH?

Read this story.

Does anyone else think this is nuts? I thought that "Indian gaming" was originally a way to allow native American tribes to construct gambling casinos on their reservations.

Now it looks like their "tribal lands" can be anywhere they want them to be.

A DAY IN THE LIFE

Ben Stein (yes, that Ben Stein) writes today about Cpl. John Quinones, a hero.

I'd like for everyone who questions our presence in Iraq to have to read this story out loud. Twice.

Monday, February 14, 2005

THE ELECTIONS IN IRAQ

Most of what I allowed myself to hear over the weekend sounded pretty positive, even from CNN. However, I assumed we'd hear this morning from those who only see the world through "I HATE BUSH" glasses.

I wasn't disappointed, and the guys at The New Criterion have a post that perfectly captures both sides of this story.

IF YOUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR HAS A HUMMER

Show him this and say, "I'm thinking about getting one of these."

NO, IT DOESN'T MAKE ME FEEL ANY BETTER

When I heard that Eason Jordan left/was fired from CNN, my only thought was they wouldn't hire out of character, meaning his replacement won't be Roger Ailes.

HOW FAR IS TOO FAR?

The boundaries of free speech extend very far in this country. There are times when it is limited or proscribed. Long ago, courts adopted "shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater" as an example of "too far" when it comes to what you can't say, or when.

Over the years, the concept of free speech has extended to acts that don't even involve the spoken word -- e.g., the burning of a flag or book; that is, unless the intent of the "speech" was to provoke a criminal act. That would be conspiracy.

This past week, two separates acts of what some will argue is "free speech" were in the news. One being the now infamous Native American wannabe, Prof. Ward Churchill, and his abhorrent speech comparing the Trade Tower victims to Eichmann. The other being Lynne Stewart, the lawyer for Sheik Abdel Rahman, who was convicted of facilitating his communicating with his cohorts in direct violation of a court order proscribing such "speech."

I could rant for a long time about how Churchill's words are perfectly allowable (though he should be fired from his teaching post for his fraudulent resume as a "Native American"). He comes off as a rather harmless buffoon. He's had his fifteen minutes and is now best fired and forgotten.

However, Ms. Stewart's acts are the worst form of treason. She knew what she was doing. She knew her efforts could result in further terrorism. In years past, she would be facing the gallows.

Wretchard has a great post on the subject, so I'll just save my fingers this morning.

Friday, February 11, 2005

WHY DEMOCRACY?

Specifically, why does anyone think democracy will work in an Islamic-Arab country?

Here are ten good reasons from Victor Davis Hanson.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE A CHOICE

That's right, our next President may be female, and you might not have a choice.

The polls are saying that Hillary is already the #1 choice amongst Dems.

And with the performance she's displayed the past couple of weeks, Condi Rice could be the nominee of the Republicans.

AN INTERESTING APPROACH

I haven't heard this story in the mainstream media (not the the CSM isn't mainstream, but you know what I mean), but it sounds interesting.

If you accept for just a moment that the desire to be a suicide bomber is driven by strong beliefs and a faith that what you're doing is best for you, then you have to agree that if those beliefs and faith can be successfully questioned, you might lose your desire to blow yourself (and as many infidels as possible) to kingdom come.

Question is, the Saudis have spent maybe a few $billion promoting Wahabbism. Could we counter it with words, in addition to bombs and bullets? And if we tried, who would object the most? The Saudis? Left-liberals, complaining we were trashing freedom of religion?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

NY TIMES: EVIL MAY EXIST!

Scorn. That's the only way you could describe the NY Times' reaction in the past whenever the President used the word "evil." Remember all the self-righteous smugness when he used the phrase "evil-doer"? The suggestion, of course, is that his "right-wing Christian" world view is "good-versus-evil" and "evil" doesn't really exist.

Hmmm.

According to this article in the NY Times, evil can and does exist. Of course, the Political editors might suggest the Health editors have gone over to the dark side, but it appears to me that the pragmatists (a/k/a scientists) are now recognizing that it's entirely possible for someone to be sane and "evil."

CONDI ENVY

As Brendan Miniter suggests, John Kerry may be envious of Condi Rice. She has apparently accomplished what he said that ONLY he could do -- bring Euros into the "solution" phase in Iraq.

V.D.H. SEES THE IRONY

I've written a couple of times about the irony of much of what has happened since the re-election of the President.

The most poignant irony to me appears to have also struck a chord with Victor Davis Hanson. Specifically, the extreme left-liberals, best exemplified by Sen. B. Boxer (moonbat-CA), are so perplexed that they are eating their young -- the best example of this being Boxer's calling Condoleezza Rice a liar. Priceless.

As many have asked since then, can you imagine a southern, conservative, white Republican grilling an African-American appointee the same way? Of course, the irony of seeing ex-KKK member Sen. Byrd question Rice was worth the price of admission.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

NO PLACE TO HIDE

Isn't hypocrisy wonderful?

Senate Minority Leader Reid has his panties in a bunch over the Republican National Committee outing him for who and what he is. You should read the litany of Reid's double-talk on their website.

An example: In 1999, Reid Declared: “[M]ost Of Us Have No Problem With Taking A Small Amount Of The Social Security Proceeds And Putting It Into The Private Sector.” (Fox’s “Fox News Sunday,” 2/14/99)

Monday, February 07, 2005

BORROWING FROM PETER TO PAY PAUL?

No, boys and girls, we're borrowing from Peter Jr. to pay Peter Sr.

That's the essence of the Social Security mess today. The Democrats talk about the "surplus", but the current surplus (excess of contributions over benefits paid out) is being borrowed and then spent by Congress today with the promise to pay it back in the future when it's needed.

So in 2018, when it's needed, Congress will have to begin to cover the shortfall. Where will they get the shortfall?

That's right, boys and girls, from you. It's called higher taxes.