Thursday, July 28, 2005

Well, it Could Very Well Be.

Via LGF comes this very powerful and introspective column by Youssef M. Ibrahim in the Middle East Times concerning the crossroads at which Muslims now find themselves. I reprint it in it's entirety without comment, but with great respect for this man's courage.

Youssef M. Ibrahim July 26, 2005

DUBAI -- The world of Islam is on fire. Indeed, the Muslim mind is on fire. Above all, the West is now ready to take both of them on.

The latest reliable report confirms that on average 33 Iraqis die every day, executed by Iraqis and foreign jihadis and suicide bombers, not by US or
British soldiers. In fact, fewer than ever US or British soldiers are dying since the invasion more than two years ago. Instead, we now watch on television hundreds of innocent Iraqis lying without limbs, bleeding in the streets dead or wounded for life. If this is jihad someone got his religious education completely upside down.

Palestine is on fire, too, with Palestinian armed groups fighting one another - Hamas against Fatah and all against the Palestinian Authority. All have rendered Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas impotent and have diminished the world's respect and sympathy for Palestinian sufferings.

A couple of weeks ago London was on fire as Pakistani and other Muslims with British citizenship blew up tube stations in the name of Islam. Al Qaeda in Europe or one of its franchises proclaimed proudly the killing of 54 and wounding 700 innocent citizens was done to "avenge Islam" and Muslims.

Madrid was on fire, too, last year, when Muslim jihadis blew up train stations killing 160 people and wounding a few thousands.

The excuse in all the above cases was the war in Iraq, but let us not forget that in September 2001, long before Iraq, Osama Bin Laden proudly announced that he ordered the killing of some 3,000 in the United States, in the name of avenging Islam. Let us not forget that the killing began a long time before the invasion of Iraq.

Indeed, jihadis have been killing for a decade in the name of Islam. They killed innocent tourists and natives in Morocco and Egypt, in Africa, in Indonesia and in Yemen, all done in the name of Islam by Muslims who say that they are better than all other Muslims. They killed in India, in Thailand and are now talking of killing in Germany and Denmark and so on. There were attacks with bombs that killed scores inside Shia and Sunni mosques, inside churches and inside synagogues in Turkey and Tunisia, with Muslim preachers saying that it is okay to kill Jews and Christians - the so called infidels.

Above all, it is the Muslim mind that is on fire.

The Muslim fundamentalist who attacked the Dutch film director Theo Van Gogh in the Netherlands, stabbed him more than 23 times then cut his throat. He recently proudly proclaimed at his trial: "I did it because my religion - Islam
- dictated it and I would do it again if were free." Which preacher told this guy this is Islam? That preacher should be in jail with him.

Do the cowardly jihadis who recruit suicide bombers really think that they will force the US Army and British troops out of Iraq by killing hundreds of innocent Iraqis? US troops now have bases and operate in Iraq but also from Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman.

The only accomplishment of jihadis is that now they have aroused the great "Western Tiger". There was a time when the United States and Europe welcomed
Arab and Muslim immigrants, visitors and students, with open arms. London even
allowed all dissidents escaping their countries to preach against those countries under the guise of political refugees.

Well, that is all over now. Time has become for the big Western vengeance.

Visas for Arab and Muslim young men will be impossible to get for the United States and Western Europe. Those working there will be expelled if they are illegal, and harassed even if their papers are in order.

Airlines will have to right to refuse boarding to passengers if their names even resemble names on a prohibited list on all flights heading to Europe and the United States.

What is more important to remember is this: When the West did unite after World War II to beat communism, the long Cold War began without pity. They took no prisoners. They all stood together, from the United States to Norway, from Britain to Spain, from Belgium to Switzerland. And they did bring down the biggest empire. Communism collapsed.

I fear those naive Muslims who think that they are beating the West have now achieved their worst crime of all. The West is now going to war against not only Muslims, but also, sadly, Islam as a religion.

In this new cold and hot war, car bombs and suicide bombers here and there will be no match for the arsenal that those Westerners are putting together - an arsenal of laws, intelligence pooling, surveillance by satellites, armies of special forces and indeed, allies inside the Arab world who are tired of having their lives disrupted by demented so-called jihadis or those bearded preachers who, under the guise of preaching, do little to teach and much to ignite the fire, those who know little about Islam and nothing about humanity.

Youssef M. Ibrahim, a former Middle East correspondent for The New York Times and energy editor of the Wall Street Journal, is managing director of the Dubai-based Strategic Energy Investment Group

IRA to Resume Disarmament

What's the difference between terrorism in Northern Ireland and terrorism in the Middle East? Well, there isn't any. A mad Arab shouting "Allah Akbar" before he blows up a bus in Tel Aviv or London and an IRA operative planting a bomb on on a bus in Ulster muttering "Free Northern Ireland" in a lovely Irish brogue are two peas in an ignoble pod.

Perhaps the IRA has peered into the mirror and found their own heinous acts to be indistiguishable from those of the Islamists. Then again, maybe it's just another empty promise. Whichever is the case, this is a major step and a most welcome one. I look forward to real action as a follow up to this dramatic announcement.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Islamic Disconnection From Reality is the Real Problem

So, who is responsible for the London bombings? No, it wasn't radical Muslims per se, they were provoked. According to Osama Saeed, spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain, it was Tony Blair. The fact that Blair did not sufficiently prostrate himself and Britain before the altar of Islam triggered those attacks. Furthermore, Mr. Saeed is quite aghast that Mr. Blair has the audacity to even suggest that the greater Muslim community in Britain should make an effort to reign in the madness in their midst.

How does one even begin to understand people whose existance is so disconnected from the real world?

In my more pessimistic moments, I become increasingly doubtful that we can avoid a literal religious war on Islam. While I am sure that there are truly reasonable and moderate Muslim voices who decry the mindless violence and the hate that sanctions it, I'm afraid that the voices of the apologists and the enablers are creating a din louder than reason itself.

In the West's quest for tolerance, we have allowed the intolerant into our midst and they have rewarded us with death, destruction and mayhem. They demand tolerance of their ways in our land, but afford us none in theirs. Theirs is a one-sided bargain, designed to subvert our culture's offer of freedom into our culture's subjugation. They simply will not abide by our rules of civilized behavior and have pledged themselves to our destruction and the imposition of their narrow codes of behavior upon us.

Is not what we call "radical Islam" a sub-sect of Islam as a whole? Do not all Muslims bear some responsibility to do everything they can to quash those who use use their common faith as a pretense for wanton violence? Is their loyalty to fellow Muslims more powerful than the faith itself? To answer in the affirmative to these questions is to admit the defeat of Islamic moderation and the radicalization of Islam as a whole.

In a stunning display of denial, Osama Saeed, in his column in the Guardian lays the blame of radical Islam in Britain at the feet of Tony Blair and, in a larger sense, the West as a whole. He writes:

Faced with the events of the past two weeks, it would be the easiest thing in the world for me to say the Muslim community must do more to combat terrorism. Many community figures have done just that.

Shahid Malik MP told the Commons: "The challenge is straightforward - that those voices that we have tolerated will no longer be tolerated." This raises the question: did we really hear people planning violence in this country but do nothing about it?

The position of Muslim organisations and mosques has been consistent for years. Killing civilians is murder, and a crime in Islam. We have consistently said that Muslims must help the police to track down those responsible.

This is why I've found it strange that many Muslim leaders have offered to look deep within our community now. It's a tacit admission of negligence that I simply do not accept. The prime minister has of course welcomed this attitude. Indeed he
has led from the front, ratcheting up the rhetoric against Muslims, laying the
responsibility solely on us. "In the end, this can only be taken on and defeated
by the community itself," he said last week.

He says that "We have consistently said the Muslims must help track down those responsible", and in the very next sentence he says "This is why I've found it strange that many Muslim leaders have offered to look deep within our community now." Why does he find this strange, in view of the fact that Muslim bombers just murdered more than 50 people in the heart of London? He seems to want credit for Muslim leaders assisting in the investigation, and at the same time he castigates the same leaders for doing so.

Would Mr. Saeed have us believe that the type of religious extremism happens in a vacuum, without any knowledge whatsoever of anyone in the Muslim community at large? I find this hard to believe. Saeed's utter rejection of the obvious, that the moderate Muslim community just might be helpful in ferreting out the radicals, reveals him to clearly be part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Mr Blair has attacked the idea of the caliphate - the equivalent of criticising the Pope. He has also remained silent in the face of a rightwing smear campaign against such eminent scholars as Sheikh al-Qaradawi - a man who has worked hard to reconcile Islam with modern democracy. Such actions and omissions fuel the suspicion that we are witnessing a war on Islam itself. If there is any thought that Muslims are fine but their religion can take a hike then Mr Blair should know that we will never be in the corner, in the spotlight, losing our religion.

The equivalent of criticising the Pope? Excuse me, but the Pope is widely and routinely criticized all of the time! Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular are not only the subject of criticism in the West, but the icons and symbols of both Catholicism and Christianity are regularly defiled in the worst way in the interest of "free expression" and "art." This has been the case for years and there has not been a single incident, not one, of an offended Christian, taking a life for what he or she considers blasphemy. Should Islam be protected from the indignities of free speech that Western religions regularly suffer? How do you think the Muslim "community" would react to an art exhibit that featured a Koran submerged in a container of urine and pig blood?

As far as the "eminent scholar" Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, a quick Google search revealed a BBC piece that indicates he is not, exactly the moderate voice of reason as portrayed by Mr. Saeed. An excerpt from a BBC piece on Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi :

It is particularly his views on suicide bombings that has courted controversy,
but mainly in the West.

He has distanced himself from suicide attacks in the West but he has consistently defended Palestinian suicide attacks against Israelis.

Recently he told Al-Jazeera that he was not alone in believing that suicide bombings in Palestinian territories were a legitimate form of self defence for people who have no aircraft or tanks.

He said hundreds of other Islamic scholars are of the same opinion. In this respect, he is very much in tune with what the vast majority of people in the Arab world believe.

Defending suicide bombings that target Israeli civilians Sheikh A-Qaradawi told the BBC programme Newsnight that "an Israeli woman is not like women in our
societies, because she is a soldier.

"I consider this type of martyrdom operation as an evidence of God's justice.

"Allah Almighty is just; through his infinite wisdom he has given the weak a weapon the strong do not have and and that is their ability to turn their bodies into bombs as Palestinians do".

Despite his popularity, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi is not without his critics in the
Arab world.

Some see his regular preaching on Al-Jazeera as an uncritical regurgitation of Islamic dogma out of touch with the modern world.

So, this is what passes for moderation in the eyes of Osama Saeed? It would appear that the eminent Sheikh's efforts to reconcile Islam with modern democracy is, shall we say, situational at best. This moderate voice who is, in the words of Osama Saeed, a victim of a "rightwing smear campaign" seems to have no problem with suicide bombers killing innocents - as long as they are Jews.

Before the recent elections in Iraq, the only democracy in the Middle East was in fact, Israel. Are Palestinians denied the right to vote in Israeli elections? Well, no. In fact, all Israeli citizens have the right to vote, regardless of their religion and some 19% of the citizenry is non-Jewish. Arabs serve in the Israeli parliament. Are Jews afforded similar liberty in Muslim countries? Saudi Arabia will not even allow a Jew entrance to their country.

Despite the crocodile tears that the Arab world seems to shed for the Palestinians, they have done little other than use them as cannon fodder in their war on the Jews. The fact is, Palestinians are considered "personna non grata" in the Arab world. When the UN proposed the creation of Israel in 1948, a partitioned state of similar size was also proposed for the Palestinians. The Jews accepted the plan and the Arabs rejected it, and ever since then the Arab world have used the "Palestinian issue" to justify their hatred of the Jews. This is a good article that details the history. The wealthy Arab states have paid the families of these suicide bombers and have done their best to fuel the Palestinian hatred of the Jews, while doing nothing constuctive for their alleged "brothers."

Saeed continues:

By putting the onus on Muslims to defeat terror, the prime minister absolves
himself of responsibility. Muslims are not in denial of our duties, but who are
we meant to be combating? The security services had no idea about all that has
gone on in London, so how are we as ordinary citizens to do better?

It is not Muslims but Mr Blair who is in denial. He was advised that the war in Iraq would put us in more danger, not less. Silvio Berlusconi has admitted Italy is in danger because of his alliance with Bush; Mr Blair should do the same.

Jack Straw has just apologised for Britain's role in the Srebrenica massacre. This is a welcome development, but these apologies need to be extended to Britain's explicit roles in creating the injustices in the Muslim world - from the mess that colonial masters left in Kashmir to the promising of one people's land to another in Palestine. We need to recognise our past mistakes and make a commitment not to repeat them. Western leaders are outraged about London but show no similar anger for other atrocities across the world. What happens abroad matters to British Muslims as much as what happens here.

The British Muslim response is to engage politically, as we did in our opposition to
the Iraq war, when we tried to keep our country, as well as innocent Iraqis, safe.
We'll continue to try to win the arguments.

Unfortunately, a handful of individuals have eschewed this to carry out the attacks in London. You can regard these acts as part of Islam, or as an irrational reaction to injustice taking place in the world. If it's the former you have to explain why this started only 12 years ago and not 1,400. To us it is evident that it is the latter, so we're batting the ball back in your court, Mr Blair.

As expected, it all comes down to Iraq. But if the London bombings of 7/7/05 were about Iraq, what were the attacks of 9/11/01 about? What about the bombings in Saudi Arabia, or more recently, the bombing in Egypt?

Where was he when hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were being unceremoniously murdered and buried in mass, unmarked graves. Did he speak out when the corpses of children and mothers still clutching their children were being exhumed? Where has he been for the decades that Saddam raped and pillaged Iraq? Does he even notice the zeal with which Iraqis have embraced their fledgling democracy?

Saeed cares little about "innocent Iraqis" or Palestinians for that matter, they are mere props he and his ilk use to explain Islamic barbarism in their unquenchable hatred for the Jews and, by extension, the United States. Perhaps the barbarism is a stuggle for the heart of Islam itself, a struggle in which moderation seems to be the first casualty. In either case, there is little we can do to placate an implacable enemy.

Mr. Saeed spends the entire column attempting to tar Tony Blair, all the while conspicuously avoiding any specific criticism of the bombers themselves. In the end, he invites us to "regard these acts as part of Islam, or as an irrational reaction to injustice taking place in the world."

Naturally, he chooses the latter and the fact that he casually dismisses bombings of innocent citizens as "an irrational reaction to injustice" speaks volumes.

To me, the evidence of the former is growing. In his questioning as to "why this started only 12 years ago and not 1,400", he not only presents a false choice (Islamic terrorism goes much farther back than 12 years) but unwiitingly reveals the problem at the heart of Islam - the abject refusal to acknowedge the history of atrocities that have been committed by Muslims combined with a refusal to forget those atrocities committed against Muslims. He demands apologies, but offers none.

The purpose of Saeed's column is to defend Islam and to explain the "reasoning" behind the wholesale murder of innocents that has become the face of Islam and he fails miserably. Oddly enough, his attempt unveils Islam as something of a decrepit belief system showing signs of internal rot brought about by its inability to accept or move beyond its barbaric past. Nursing every wound inflicted for 1,400 years, a significant percentage of Muslims have chosen to engage in, or support unspeakable savagry in an effort to turn the clock back to the "golden age of Islam."

The path to a golden age is not lined with beheaded corpses, burnt bodies, smoking holes where once stood proud skyscrapers or twisted metal hulks littered with body parts that were once were busses and trains. On the contrary, that is a path to oblivion at the hands of those upon whom you visit those horrors.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Star Trek's "Scotty" Dies at 85

Montgomery "Scotty" Scott was the one guy that you could always depend on, the one guy who was always up to the challenge. He was the guy that backed up Kirk's bluster that it could be done, disproved Spock's logic that that it could not be done and allayed McCoy's trepedation at even trying. He did it with his absolute faith in the Starship Enterprise, NCC-1701. James Doohan created the character of Montgomery Scott, whose unyeilding love of technology revealed something about humanity and man's realationship with his creations.

Yes, he was only a character on "Star Trek" but I, for one, will remember him fondly. Farewell Mr. Scott, and may ye rest in peace.

President Bush has finally had the opportunity to nominate a Justice to the Supreme Court and from all accounts he's quite a pick. Conservatives whose opinions I respect and who know far more of such things than I are elated and I will defer to their judgement.

Once again, Bush had played his hand deftly and has left the "Bush-Chimp is an idiot" crowd scratching their heads as to their next move.

I have no doubt that the moonbat left will leave no stone unturned in their effort to sully this man's reputation and portray him as a drooling, right-wing knuckle dragger, intent on the very destruction of the republic, but that's pretty much a given. They would have been similarly seething had Bush picked Solomon himself. Their efforts will be for naught and will reveal them as the petty, partisan hacks that they are.

Unless he's shown to be running a kiddie-porn crack house in his basement, he will be confirmed by a wide margin.
Unocal backs sweetened $17 bln Chevron bid

PHILADELPHIA/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - U.S. oil producer Unocal Corp. endorsed a sweetened $17 billion takeover offer from Chevron Corp. , preferring it to a higher bid from China's state-run CNOOC Ltd. <>.

Chevron , the second-largest U.S. oil company, raised its stock and cash bid to $63.01 per share from roughly $60, turning up the heat in an international battle for producing assets as strong demand and tight supply hold crude oil prices near record levels.

The improved offer for Unocal, which has assets stretching from Myanmar to the Gulf of Mexico, was forced on Chevron by an all-cash, $67-a-share bid from CNOOC worth $18.5 billion.

As I said before, the prospects of China being in control of our second largest oil company was simply unacceptable. It would appear that the Unocal board felt the same way. I don't know whether their decision to take a lower bid was based on patriotism or if the administration quietly prodded them to do the right thing, but the right thing was done.

On a related note, while we fight the good fight in the Middle East, I would hope that we keep a very wary eye on the Far East at the same time. China is looking ambitious, perhaps seizing what they see as our distraction as an opportunity and North Korea is, well, protecting its standing as the planet's preeminent Lunatic Nation-State. To say these are dangerous times would be an understatement.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Arthur Chrenkoff reveals the UN Terror Alert System:

I don't know about you, but to me it looks more like reality than parody.

Forgive me, but I simply must unburden myself of the rage I feel toward those who engage in an ever-growing assault on the English language. No, it's not the endless use of terms like "24/7" or "inside the box" or "outside the box", tedious though they may be. It's not ebonics, for in the end I would like to think that foolishness such as this will collapse under its own weight.

The scourge that surreptitiously threatens to scuttle the very framework of the language is apostrophe abuse. Yes, it's the wholesale insertion of apostophes in order to mistakenly indicate plural! This madness must stop! Note the definition of apostrophe:
The superscript sign ( ' ) used to indicate the omission of a letter or letters from a word, the possessive case, or the plurals of numbers, letters, and abbreviations.

Now, read the beginning of this ABC News story:
The Hershey Company -- one of the nation's best known candy company's -- may not have Willy Wonka's golden tickets, but it does have a secret weapon: a Cherry Cordial Creme Kiss.
Is it not self-evident that this should be companies? Is it too much to ask that people who write for a living actually know how to write? This is no isolated case, I am endlessly bombarded by ads in the newspaper hawking "Camry's" and "Corolla's" for sale and I am left to search for the possessive or contraction that would justify the employment of the apostrophe, to no avail.

Certainly, I have committed grammatical errors for I am an imperfect creature constantly striving to improve. I do, however, respect the apostrophe for its contribution to the language and feel it my duty to speak up against its abuse.

Having made that point, I can now resume grousing about more weighty matters. I thank you for your indulgence.
Hey Congressman, could you be, like more STUPID?

Tom Tancredo illustrates that Republicans can hold their own with Democrats in the area of outlandish rhetoric:
DENVER - A Colorado congressman told a radio show host that the U.S. could "take out" Islamic holy sites if Muslim fundamentalist terrorists attacked the country with nuclear weapons.

Rep. Tom Tancredo made his remarks Friday on WFLA-AM in Orlando, Fla. His spokesman stressed he was only speaking hypothetically.

Talk show host Pat Campbell asked the Littleton Republican how the country should respond if terrorists struck several U.S. cities with nuclear weapons.

"Well, what if you said something like - if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites," Tancredo answered.

"You're talking about bombing Mecca," Campbell said.

"Yeah," Tancredo responded.

The congressman later said he was "just throwing out some ideas" and that an "ultimate threat" might have to be met with an "ultimate response."

There are things that you say over a few adult beverages when you're blowing off steam with friends and then there are radio interviews. Obviously, even after 7 years in Congress, this guy still doesn't know the difference.

And guess what, according to his website he's on the International Relations Committee!

Monday, July 18, 2005

FBI Monitored Web Sites for 2004 Protests

From today's Washington Post:

FBI agents monitored Web sites calling for protests against the 2004 political conventions in New York and Boston on behalf of the bureau's counterterrorism unit, according to FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The American Civil Liberties Union pointed to the documents as evidence that the Bush administration has reacted to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States by blurring the distinction between terrorism and political protest. FBI officials defended the involvement of counterterrorism agents in providing security for the Republican and Democratic conventions as an administrative convenience.

The documents were released by the FBI in response to a lawsuit filed by a coalition of civil rights, animal rights and environmental groups that say they have been subjected to scrutiny by task forces set up to combat terrorism. The FBI has denied targeting the groups because of their political views.

"It's increasingly clear that the government is involved in political surveillance of organizations that are involved in nothing more than lawful First Amendment activities," said Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU. "It raises very serious questions about whether the FBI is back to its old tricks."

All of the ACLU hypervenilation over this seems way overblown and their knee-jerk reaction is not only predictable but it highlights their increasing irrelevance. Note that the story says that the FBI has been doing no more than "monitoring" websites. They haven't been intercepting email, hacking into computers or fondling the contents of anyone's underwear drawer. They are simply reading material that has been put on websites with the intention of people reading it. Since when is reading what is written for public consumption considered "surveillance?"

This blog has been the site of much Frog bashing in the past, much of which I feel to have been well deserved but some of it apparantly not. Saije intimated as much in one of her(?) replies to a comment that I made on that site. I must say that a reading of this Daniel Pipes piece in The Australian has illustrated to me that the French are taking the War on Terror quite seriously and are doing a lot of the hard work that is necessary in order to win it:

Thanks to the war in Iraq, much of the world sees the British Government as resolute and tough, the French one as appeasing and weak. But in another war, the one against terrorism and radical Islam, the reverse is true: France is the most stalwart nation in the West, even more so than the US, while Great Britain is the very most hapless. Consider:

Counterterrorism. UK-based terrorists have carried out operations in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel, Morocco, Russia, Spain, and the US. Many governments - Jordanian, Egyptian, Moroccan, Spanish, French and American - have protested London's refusal to shut down its Islamist terrorist infrastructure or extradite wanted operatives. In frustration, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak publicly denounced Britain for "protecting killers". One American security group has called for Britain to be listed as a terrorism-sponsoring state.

Counterterrorism specialists disdain the British. Roger Cressey calls London "easily the most important jihadist hub in Western Europe". Steven Simon dismisses the British capital as "the Star Wars bar scene" of Islamic radicals. More brutally, an intelligence official said of last week's attacks: "The terrorists have come home. It is payback time for ... an irresponsible policy."

While London hosts terrorists, Paris hosts a top-secret counterterrorism centre, code-named Alliance Base, whose existence was just revealed by The Washington Post. At the centre, six major Western governments since 2002 share intelligence and run counterterrorism operations (the latter makes it unique).

More broadly, President Jacques Chirac instructed French intelligence agencies just days after 9/11 to share terrorism data with their US counterparts "as if they were your own service". This co-operation is working: former acting CIA director John McLaughlin calls this bilateral intelligence tie "one of the best in the world". The British may have a special relationship with Washington in Iraq, but the French have one in the war on terror.

France accords terrorist suspects fewer rights than any other Western state, permitting interrogation without a lawyer, lengthy pre-trial incarcerations, and evidence acquired under dubious circumstances. Were he a terrorism suspect, says Evan Kohlmann, author of Al-Qaida's Jihad in Europe, he "would least like to be held under" the French system.

I think that the apparant vigilance that the French have exercised as to these malevolent entities brings up an interesting point about the French and may warrent a mea culpa from this writer.

The French have long eschewed "multiculturism" in favor of keeping the French culture and language distinct and unaltered by outside influences. Conversely, Great Britain has wholeheartedly embraced multiculturism to a point that many Brits find alarming. Even the Dutch, who have been the very epitome of tolerance are now considering the fact that tolerance and multiculturism may have limits.

As an American, the French model has always smacked of "racial purity" and thusly I found it unacceptable. But the American experience is vastly different in that, by our very nature, we are comprised of many cultures. But the real trick in making America work is the assimilation of those races and cultures into what we know as a uniquely American culture. The French are the French, the Brits are Brits, Germans are Germans and so on. Each has a distinct culture and history unlike the others and there is nothing inherently wrong in the preservation of those histories and cultures. Americans, on the other hand, are all of these people and cultures - and none of them. What makes America what it is is not multiculturism, but rather the assimilation of all of these cultures into something that we call American culture. Multiculturism makes us no more than a collection of unrelated pieces, whereas assimilation arranges those peices into a rich tapestry that is far more than the sum of the parts.

Perhaps the French understood this all along and were well ahead of the curve on this one.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Chirac, Koizumi and Blair at G8 Summit Posted by Picasa

I love this picture. Chirac appears to be making some point, while Blair is doing a poor job of masking his enmity. Granted, pictures can be deceiving and photos such as this lend themselves to interpretation, but given Chirac's recent need to trash the Brits in order to prop up his sagging poularity, it may not be too much of a stretch.

Oh, and Koizumi looks as though he may be catching a nap. On the subject of Koizumi, here's his official website. He's really a pretty interesting fellow and while I understand very little (actually nothing) about Japanese politics, I have formed a pretty good opinion of him. There's a section of the website under his profile called "ideals" which give you a thumbnail sketch of his philosophy and historical figures that he admires and he names Churchill among them.

Another interesting fact, the English translation for his last name, "Koizumi" is "the dude with the hair." Sorry, just kidding. I couldn't resist.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Ex-Clinton Aide Charges Republicans 'Want to Kill Us'
Excuse me, could you repeat that?

In the neverending quest to ratchet up the rhetoric to levels heretofore thought unattainable, Paul Begala appears to break some new ground:

Begala's presence on the panel created a stir when he declared that Republicans had "done a p***-poor job of defending" the U.S.

Republicans, he said, "want to kill us.

"I was driving past the Pentagon when that plane hit" on Sept. 11, 2001. "I had friends on that plane; this is deadly serious to me," Begala said.

"They want to kill me and my children if they can. But if they just kill me and not my children, they want my children to be comforted -- that while they didn't protect me because they cut my taxes, my children won't have to pay any money on the money they inherit," Begala said. "That is bulls*** national defense, and we should say that."

To be fair, it's a bit incoherent and it may be that in the throes of his vitriol "they" might refer to terrorists in one part of the sentence and Republicans in the next. Then again, with all of the Nazi talk that has been eminating from these people, nothing would surprise me.

Friday, July 15, 2005

"Karl, theyr'e taking the bait hook, line and sinker, just as you said they would. All we need to do now is real 'em in" Posted by Picasa


I'm beginning to wonder if this is an elaborate Rovian plan to make the Democrats and the MSM look outrageously foolish. The more that comes out about this story, the more of a non-story it becomes, while the Bush critics continue to raise the stakes and become more hysterical by the moment. It's beginning to look like they have invested in a stock that is poised to go through the floor and all they will be left with is the egg on their face:

Meanwhile, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, whose wife, Valerie Plame, and her identity as a cover CIA employee is the central issue, came to the Capitol to call for President Bush to fire Mr. Rove.

"I believe it is time for Karl Rove to go and time for this president to live up to his promises that anyone involved in this leak would be fired," Mr. Wilson said during a press conference with Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, steps away from the Senate floor.

But the burning question here is was there really a "leak" in the first place? Consider this tidbit from the same Washington Times piece:

A former CIA covert agent who supervised Mrs. Plame early in her career yesterday took issue with her identification as an "undercover agent," saying
that she worked for more than five years at the agency's headquarters in Langley
and that most of her neighbors and friends knew that she was a CIA employee.

"She made no bones about the fact that she was an agency employee and her husband was a diplomat," Fred Rustmann, a covert agent from 1966 to 1990, told
The Washington Times.

"Her neighbors knew this, her friends knew this, his friends knew this. A lot of blame could be put on to central cover staff and the agency because they weren't minding the store here. ... The agency never changed her cover status."

Mr. Rustmann, who spent 20 of his 24 years in the agency under "nonofficial
cover" -- also known as a NOC, the same status as the wife of Mr. Wilson -- also
said that she worked under extremely light cover. In addition, Mrs. Plame hadn't been out as an NOC since 1997, when she returned from her last assignment, married Mr. Wilson and had twins, USA Today reported yesterday.

The distinction matters because a law that forbids disclosing the name of undercover CIA operatives applies to agents that had been on overseas assignment "within the last five years."

"She was home for such a long time, she went to work every day at Langley,
she was in an analytical type job, she was married to a high-profile diplomat
with two kids," Mr. Rustmann said. "Most people who knew Valerie and her
husband, I think, would have thought that she was an overt CIA employee."

Could it be that Rove knew this all along and has very cleverly allowed his critics to walk, or should I say run into the trap? Perhaps he's just standing back and allowing his enemies to destroy themselves.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Covert CIA Agent Valerie Plame Poses With Husband Joseph Wilson Posted by Picasa

As Karl Rove is literally the bane of liberal Democrats' existence, they are understandably in utter euphoria over the Valerie Plame "outing" kerfuffle. Did Karl Rove break any laws or even do anything that could be considered unethical? At this writing, it appears that no laws were broken and ethical transgression is highly questionable.

Saije, at contentbased does a rather nice job of storyboarding the entire convoluted affair and, thus, exposing it as little more than a distraction from issues that should be occupying our attention. It tends to make one's eyes glaze over, but don't blame that on the writer, blame it on the content for it is, after all, content-based.

Meanwhile, Davis Frum asks the intriguing question: WWSBD (What Would Sydney Blumenthal Do)? He not only provides the answer, but the reaction.

Nick Schulz surmises on the motivations of Joe Wilson, and Byron York provides further insight into Karl Rove's actions as well as the actions of several others in this manufactured "scandal."

As for me, the Usual Suspects have been doing their utmost to undermine the efforts of the CIA and the entire intelligence services of this country for decades. Their efforts could best be described as castration and they have been largely effective. Now they are shocked, shocked that the identity of a covert agent (Plame) would be revealed, no matter that it has not yet been determined that she was, in fact, a covert agent in the first place. From what I have read, it was pretty much common knowledge in Washington cocktail party circles that Valerie Plame was an employee of the CIA. She seems to be the most overt covert agent in the history of intelligence.

Forgive me, but the appreciation of the Usual Suspects for the intelligence community seems to be, shall we say, selective. Perhaps the attractive blonde wife of a man who shares their ideology has, er, firmed up their commitment.

Joe Wilson, Plame's husband, strikes me as a preening, self serving, ineffectual Foreign Service shmuck who saw this situation as not only his ticket to his 15 minutes of fame, but also an opportunity to extend it to 30, 45 or possibly even an hour. I find his pseudo-erudite carriage annoying in the extreme and a textbook example of what's wrong at the State Department. Oh, and of course Joe Wilson has sanctimoniously aligned himself with Democrats who have invited him to the Capitol "to accuse the White House of a 'smear campaign.' "

To paraphrase Shakespeare: Methinks they doth protest too much.

Monday, July 11, 2005


Winston Churchill use the above words prior to World War II to describe the menace of Nazi Germany in an effort to spur Great Britain and the world to action. I think the phrase is appropriate in describing the menace of the modern world that is radical Islamism. Much as in the case of Churchill, there are far too many people who simply refuse to see the threat and contend that the solution is to withdraw to our own shores and turn a blind eye in the hopes that it will all just go away.

Even after the events of 9/11, the Madrid bombing and the recent bombing in London and even after repeated statements by these monsters as to their intentions there seems to be a lack of will on the part of many to do what is necessary to preserve our civilization. Make no mistake, no less than the literal preservation of our civilization is what is at stake.

I'm out of town at the moment and rather consumed with some annual recurrent training, but I felt compelled to blow off some steam after reading two excellent pieces; one by Christopher Hitchens and the other by David Horowitz. For readers who may not know, Hitchens is a self proclaimed liberal who experienced something of an epiphany on 9/11 and David Horowitz is a former 60s left-wing radical whose epiphany came back in the 80s which led him away from the left and to conservatism. Hitchens is a British atheist, Horowitz is the son of Russian Jewish immigrants who were active in the Communist party.

While these men come from vastly different backgrounds and have written extensively on the subject before, these two particular pieces serve as companions to each other. Hitchens concentrates on the implacable enemy that is Islamism and Horowitz discusses the dangerous apologists in the American left that aid and abet the Islamists.

The grievance of seeing unveiled women. The grievance of the existence, not of the State of Israel, but of the Jewish people. The grievance of the heresy of democracy, which impedes the imposition of sharia law. The grievance of a work
of fiction written by an Indian living in London. The grievance of the existence of black African Muslim farmers, who won't abandon lands in Darfur. The grievance of the existence of homosexuals. The grievance of music, and of most representational art. The grievance of the existence of Hinduism. The grievance
of East Timor's liberation from Indonesian rule. All of these have been proclaimed as a licence to kill infidels or apostates, or anyone who just gets in the way.

Friday night I was watching my friend Alan Colmes, who is a decent
liberal but doesn't like the war. The guest on Hannity & Colmes was
, husband of Medea Benjamin and a leader of the indecent left that unlike Alan wants us to lose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Israel to the enemy force. Danaher and his wife who are leaders of Global Exchange and Code Pink and Iraq Occupation Watch, the campaign to dissuade American youngsters from serving in our country, are at work day and night to cripple our lines of homeland defense, from the protections afforded by the Patriot Act to the military forces who are keeping our enemies at bay in the field.

The discussion on Hannity & Colmes was about the violence of the anarcho-marxists who were raining rocks on the G8 meeting in Scotland which the terrorist bombs were designed to disrupt. In other words, they were conducting violence to parallel ends. The rocks they were throwing were large enough to kill a man. Danaher, who is a leader of the global anti-capitalist left that staged the attacks would not condemn the rock throwers but was smart enough to disapprove violence in the abstract or the violence of "both sides" - which he knew meant nothing. It was his people who were attacking. To condemn those defending themselves in the same breath is to propose that they become defenseless, which is exactly his plan.

Colmes was frustrated because he understood that Danaher's position, as he was arguing it, was suspect but since Danaher was against the war Alan wanted to coach him to do better. "Look," Colmes began, "I agree with your agendas, but....."

No he doesn't agree with Danaher's true agendas. Alan Colmes doesn't have the foggiest notion of who Kevin Danaher is or what his malicious and deadly intentions really are. Liberals like Alan Colmes have up to now protected the anti-American left by pretending that it is all a game. People who denounce the President as Adolf Hitler and America as Hitler's Germany are "foolish" and don't really mean it. Well actually some are not so foolish and do.

This is the lesson of London: Take the hostile force within your country and within your political coalition seriously. It's not a game anymore.

This is something I learned in my years on the left. All too often, people mean what they say. Make no mistake, those who talk revolution and war against our country are quite capable of acting on their talk of aiding and abetting those who are already at war and want to kill us. When the day comes that they step over the line and translate their words into action, they will do it with the best of intentions: to make the world a better place. That is the reason they are so dangerous. Like Mohammed Atta who did it for Allah, they will do it for a noble cause.

We need to accept the simple fact that to see this conflict as merely a difference of opinion is to doom our side to failure and our way of life to ruin. All opinions are not equal, especially in matters as grave as this.

Are we so enamored with words like "diversity" and "understanding" that we would actually substitute understanding for self preservation? This is question that has faced us before, consider the words of Patrick Henry in 1775 which seem somewhat apt:
It is in vain, sir, to extentuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

We made the proper choice then, I can only hope that we can make the proper choice now.


Well, as to the question of whether we would actually substitute understanding for self preservation, Cliff May at The Corner reports that it would appear that the BBC has decided to do just that:

According to the Telegraph:

The BBC has re-edited some of its coverage of the London Underground and bus bombings to avoid labelling the perpetrators as "terrorists", it was disclosed yesterday..........The BBC's guidelines state that its credibility is undermined by the "careless use of words which carry emotional or value judgments". Consequently, "the word 'terrorist' itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding" and its use should be "avoided", the guidelines say.

I honestly don't know whether to laugh or cry, I really don't.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Lileks Weighs in on the London Bombings

James Lileks: If you haven't already made him part of your daily habit, do. You shaln't be sorry. Read it, learn it, love it.
Ignorance Masquerading as Intellectualism

I came across this website, which is essentially a "one stop shop" for many Bush hatred and America self-loathing websites and blogs where literally thousands of leftist dim bulbs string together in an attempt at enlightenment. Their attempt is unsuccessful and odious in the extreme.

A common theme among the frothing leftist cretins is their endless use of the word "Nazi" and "Gulag" and tedious comparisons of Bush to Hitler. If it were not so destructive, it would be comical. These people have no sense of history and in using these words incessantly, they diminish the horror of the holocaust as well as life in the actual gulags. Disgraceful does not even begin to describe it. The fact that these themes have started to find their way into statements made by persons heretofore considered "moderate" and "mainstream" underscores a disturbing gap in their knowledge of history as well as a serious deficiency in their language skills.

What is indeed curious is the fact that the left has a less than stellar record in recognizing, let alone defeating, many of the ideologies they are so fond of evoking.

The left is especially fond of calling every conservative with whom they disagree a "Nazi" as though they have a special understanding of its meaning. Exactly what did the left's patron saint, Franklin Roosevelt, do to stop the persecution of Jews in Europe which was well underway years before we entered the war? Where was the outcry for their human rights? Was FDR not aware of Hitler's plans for Europe's Jews? I don't know how he could not have been. In all fairness, at that time both the left as well as the right were isolationist mode and were in no mood for foreign adventures. It would seem though, that FDR would have at least tried to extol the horrors that were unfolding in Europe in an attempt to garner support for action. Would that not have been sound leadership? The fact is that the U.S. was very late to the game and Great Britain was hanging by a thread in their single-handed effort to resist being over-run by Germany. It was only after the attack at Pearl Harbor that the U.S. entered the European war. By the time we arrived in Europe, countless Jews and Eastern Europeans had already been exterminated.

When the Soviet Union's actual gulags were operating at full steam, was the left wing in this country? Were they out in the street, protesting the the mass murder of tens of millions of Soviet citizens? Were they out shouting about the human rights of the tens of millions of people who suffered and died as a result of the Soviet regime? Well, no. In actuality, they were singing the praises of Soviet communism and doing their best to import it to this country. Stalin recognized the value of these people so much that he even had a name for them; "useful idiots."

The left wing in this country is also very proud of our defeat in Vietnam and our withdrawal from Southeast Asia. So proud, in fact, that virtually every war they want us out of (which is pretty much all of them) is characterized as "another Vietnam." When Dick Durbin evokes the specter of Pol Pot, does he not realize that our withdrawal from Southeast Asia created the vacuum that enabled Pol Pot to exterminate two million people, roughly 1/3 of the population of Cambodia?
The sad truth of the matter is, they would now have us do the same thing in Iraq, and the results would be much the same.

As these leftist morons ruminate about the "horrors" within the fences at Guantanamo Bay, why are they so blind as to the actual gulag outside the fences in Cuba? Not only are they silent about Castro's murderous regime, they regularly dine with him and sing the praises of the "worker's paradise."

Where is the leftist outrage over Robert Mugabe and the countless other murderous thugs who seem to control much of Africa? All I hear is criticism of America for not throwing billions more dollars on top of the billions that have already been stolen by these tyrants at the expense of their suffering people.

We hear much of the figure of "100,000 Iraqis killed" in the current Iraq war (a dubious figure at best and an outright fabrication at worst), but why are they silent about the hundreds of thousands who were unceremoniously murdered by Saddam and buried in shallow, unmarked graves? Who speaks for their human rights?

The childish cooptation of these powerful words dishonors the memories of the hundreds of millions of people who died at the hands of history's most despicable monsters. Their selective outrage has succeeded in actually enabling many of these monsters.

The utter ignorance of these self-described "intellectuals" is as breathtaking as it is dangerous.

THE SUN RISES IN LONDON....... Posted by Picasa

..........and unfortunately, so does the death toll from yesterday's attack, now over 50 and expected to go still higher. The British people have thus far shown impressive resilience, exhibiting that stoicism that is so typically British. Alas, they are a people who are used to such things, from incessant bombings from the air during the Battle of Britain to the regular bombings from the ground during the decades long pestilence of the IRA.

I would hope that the "stiff upper lip" attitude that defines the British national character will not falter in the face of the Islamist threat. Shamefully, Spain simply capitulated after the Madrid bombings which probably emboldened these bastards to try their hand in London. As our cousins accross the pond would say, "not bloody likely."

I have every confidence that the British reaction will not be one of cowardly prostration before these savages as was Spain's. The contrast will be stark and will not only highlight the character of Great Britain, but Spain's lack thereof.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

LONDON BOMBED Posted by Picasa
July 7, 2005

"Do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time."

- Winston Churchill

As is always the case in these situations, details are sketchy and no one really has a handle on the actual number of casualties involved in this morning's barbaric attack in London. Once again though, innocents have been murdered at the bloody hands of Muslims and, I would suspect, the bulk of the Mulim world will either react with deafening silence or with rejoicing in the streets. Once again, these savages have shown their true face and it is a the face of evil incarnate.

Who do they think they are dealing with? After the Madrid bombing, Spain reacted by promptly placing its tail between its legs, hoping that appeasement would simply make the problem go away. To their dismay, these sons of Allah will now find out that Brits are made of much sterner stuff and appeasement is simply not part of the British lexicon, not any more. This is not the Great Britain of Chamberlain, it is the Great Britain of Churchill and it will act accordingly.

There is an immutable bond between the United States and Great Britain and I believe that todays attack will only serve to strengthen that bond. We have our differences, but they have always stood with us and we with them.

Let us say that we are all Britons today, forever joined by our common history and united in our common cause. Let us mourn our dead and in our grief may we toughen our resolve to protect the civilization that we both hold so dear.


In a predictable orgasm of worthless lip flapping, World Stands With London After Attacks . The usual suspects are shocked, shocked at these senseless attacks and they are lining up shoulder to shoulder with Great Britain in solidarity blah blah blah. Yeah, as I recall, they "stood with the United States" immediately after 9/11 and what good did it do? Once it came to actually doing something, they were nowhere to be found. In fact, they actively undermined us at every turn.

Even as the sites of the London attacks are still smoldering, the likes of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain's spineless Prime Minister offered Spain's "unconditional help to chase the criminals who perpetrated such a repugnant attack." Criminals? This was no crime, it was an act of war, just as was the Madrid bombing! How can he be so thick as to not understand this simple fact?

A similar response came from France, the object of attacks in the 1990s. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin ordered the alert level raised and promised Britain the "immediate, full and complete collaboration" of French intelligence.

Aside from the fact that France has been harboring Islamic terrorists, for decades (Arafat and Khomehni immediately come to mind) and aside from the fact that France has been openly hostile to the efforts of the United States and Great Britain in the middle east from the beginning, I find it curious why Great Britain hasn't had "full and complete collaboration" of French intellegence all along. Perhaps they have been too busy giving their "full and complete collaberation" to the enemy in exchange for "Oil for Food" money. On the other hand, I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the use of "French" and "intellegence" in the same sentence. Rather oxymoronic, at the very least.

This long-on-talk, short-on-action crowd simply doesn't get it and I'm afraid that they never will. The consorteum of ostriches comprised mainly of France, Gemany, Spain and the entire worthless farce known as the "European Union" has a long history of not knowing the nature of evil - even when bitten in the arse by it. We - the U.S. and Great Britain - clearly do not need the help of "allies" whose loyalties are questionable, at best.

Monday, July 04, 2005


Poll: U.S. patriotism continues to soar

The survey found that "eight in 10 Americans of all ages and income groups,
from all regions of the country, say patriotism is in."

The poll also found that, African Americans and Hispanics are among those most inclined to have patriotic feelings. The survey found "virtually no difference Between blacks' views and those of the nation as a whole." Eighty percent of black Americans and 78 percent of Hispanics strongly identify themselves as patriotic, as well as 81 percent of white Americans, the poll found.

Some 87 percent of baby boomers - the bloc of Americans demographers generally consider born between 1946 and 1964 - said patriotism is a central
identifying fact of their lives. Seventy-eight percent of Generation Xers, born Between 1965 and 1980, felt the same way.

Some of today's patriotism also appears to be driven by the Iraq conflict and the memory of the nation's experience in Vietnam. "This country had a huge reckoning with the days of Vietnam and attitudes toward our soldiers. Every baby boomer internally promises never to let something like that happen again," Silvers said.

He noted how respondents to the poll made a distinction between those sent to fight the war and those who sent them. "We have a tremendous dichotomy today where there will be unmatched support for our troops but a questioning of our
leaders," he said.

For Silvers, the overall findings point to a stronger, almost obstinate sense of the collective American identity. "Now you've got a new world order where America is the bad guy, and if anything fuels patriotism, that's it," he said.

"It goes to the adage that we can say something about our family, but outsiders can't," he said.

This is, indeed, good news and is totally consistant with what I have experienced in my everyday interactions with people all over this country. The attacks of 9/11 were supposed to disillusion us, to highlight our weaknesses and capitalize upon them. I am not surprised that the effect was just the opposite. That day was a galvanizing experience for all of us and the result is that it has just made us stronger as a nation and even more resolute in our purpose; to be "the last, best hope for mankind."

That is what distinguishes us from every other nation on Earth - an actual purpose. This purpose was not part of our founding, rather it was realized over time. It has been realized with the blood of Americans that still stains the soil of nations all over the world, blood that has been shed not for empire building or enslavement, but for the liberation of the people of those nations from tyranny and enslavement.

Happy Birthday America! May we celebrate this day in the knowledge that this world is a far better place for our having been here and may it continue to be so for countless generations to come.

Friday, July 01, 2005


And John Hinderaker at Powerline has some very interesting thoughts on the matter which I find insightful and with which I tend to agree:

Here's My Advice

And it's worth every penny the President paid for it. I think he should nominate Janice Rogers Brown to fill the O'Connor vacancy. If there were any doubt about a second vacancy opening up soon, I'd want to make sure that we got one of the most solid candidates confirmed--Luttig, Roberts, McConnell. But we know that Bush will get a second appointment soon. If Bush nominates Brown, the Dems will go stark raving mad--even more so, I think, than they would over the three favorites. If that's possible. But their craziness would strike many people as bizarre, especially given that the Senate just confirmed Brown to the Court of Appeals a couple of weeks ago. Further, many people would notice that the last time we had one of these bouts of hysteria was over Clarence Thomas, and some would notice a pattern. (The Democrats' attempted borking of Thomas was one of the low moments of modern political history, one that I believe nearly all thinking Democrats are ashamed of.) Brown may not be as solid and consistent a conservative as some of the other candidates, but she is very smart, and is both very conservative and very outspoken on a number of issues--including property rights, a current concern. And her character and personal history are inspiring.

My guess is that the Democrats would make fools of themselves over
Brown, to no effect. She would be confirmed, and the public reaction, from the
Democrats' standpoint, would be negative. Within a month or two, Bush will have
an opportunity, I assume, to nominate a second judge; he can take his pick of
McConnell, Roberts or Luttig. Having embarrassed themselves over the first
nomination, and having no meaningful ammunition against any of these three, the
Dems would, I suspect, go down relatively meekly.

That's a rosy scenario, I admit, and there is one potential fly in the ointment--Alberto Gonzales. There are persistent rumors that Bush is determined to get him onto the Court. Given what we know about Bush, this makes me think that either 1) the rumors are wrong, or 2) Gonzales is more conservative than we think. I simply don't believe that President Bush would nominate a squishy judge out of friendship. He knows the stakes, and if there is one thing we know for sure about Bush, it is that he is a man of principle. Miguel Estrada would be another matter altogether, but he seems to have dropped out of consideration for reasons I don't know.

The President has proven himself to be much shrewder and more adept at the game than his critics have ever given him credit for, and it is no less in this case. There can be no doubt that he is keenly aware of the stakes involved and he has, on numerous occasions, voiced his position on placing constructionist judges in the courts. As Hinderaker says, Bush is a man of principle and that's good enough for me.

The excrement is about to hit the fan and I would suspect that Bush may be in the process of aiming the fan at the Democrats. It should be interesting.

In a business increasingly populated by no talent street thugs, misogynists and acts that would be more at home in a carnival sideshow, Luther Vandross was a classy R & B giant , schooled in the gospel tradition. His voice has been stilled far too soon and he will be missed.


........he is certainly signaling a certain degree of approval, perhaps even pride, no?