31 December 2002

Best of Tim Blair - 2002

Here's Tim Blair's best of 2002: How would Jesus drive?
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Rooters news service

Meryl Yourish fisks Reuters.
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Another plot by B'Har'neh revealed

Pornography was found in a Barney children's book.
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30 December 2002

The Pepsi vs. Death Quote

Original source. The unattributed quote is
Mullah Omar said Americans love Pepsi while the mujahideen love death. Well, they're dead and I've got a Pepsi, so everyone wins.
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Centralized power vs. intermediating organizations

An essay on how aggrandizing central power needs to destroy intermediating organizations so that citizens cannot confront the central power en masse. Via The Brothers Judd.
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NJ Superior Court delcares NJ asset forfeiture unconstitutional

The Institute for Justice helped fund the case. Disclosure: I contribute to IJ.
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The paper of record rewrites history

The NY Times blames Thatcher for economic maliase that occurred before she became Prime Minister. Via The Corner.
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29 December 2002

Middle Eastern realities

A conversation in the Middle East, via Little Green Footballs
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Good news in Kenya?

Arap Moi has lost the election and been replaced by Mwai Kibaki who vows to fight corruption.
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California budget crisis

The California state budget deficit is $35 billion. I'd feel sorry for them if they hadn't re-elected Gray Davis, the one who did this to them. Obviously they must think that that's ok.
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Depressing story of the day

Several items from Little Green Footballs.
  • The NY Times reviews a book about suicide bomber in the Middle East without mentioning this central theme of the book. [source]
  • A response to the NY Times publishing an editorial from a blatant liar who has been discredited multiple times on big stories. [source, source]
  • And of course, the obligatory story of a moderate Muslim politician being killed for being moderate. [source]
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  • 28 December 2002

    You don't say: DC city government still corrupt

    Article on the pervasive culture of corruption in Washington DC. Via Instantman.
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    Christians, Israel and the PA

    Problems for Christians in Palestine, via The Brothers Judd.
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    27 December 2002

    Bush gets crazy

    Apparently there is a plan afoot in President Bush's administration to offer social security to illegal immigrants who used fake social security numbers. Via Daily Pundit.
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    Milk Assault

    An old story, but still good. PETA protestors have to be rescued by police after being attacked by school children armed with milk.
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    Senator Murray whitewash

    Best of the Web documents how Senator Murray's comments are being ignored by Big Media.
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    Origin of Kwanzaa

    Origin of Kwanzaa via The Brothers Judd.
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    24 December 2002

    UK - going out with a whimper, not a bang

    Several notes on the gradual destruction of the UK, via The Edge of England's Sword
  • Anarchy in the UK [source]
  • Eu policy destroys North Sea fishing. [source]
  • UK vs. the EU constitution. [source]
  • A continental pension crisis could drag down the UK as well. [source]
  • A small glimmer of hope.
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  • Review of the Israeli/Palestinian situation

    A good article, bizarrely enough in the Guardian. Via Kesher Talk via Imshin.
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    Arab abuse of Palestinians

    Kesher Talk reports : Lebanon bans Palestinians from owning property and specific jobs.
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    Christians riot over BBC documentatary

    From Little Green Footballs.
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    Marxism as a religious cult

    Post and comments at Samizdata.
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    23 December 2002

    VoA in Iran

    A claim that the format switch for the VoA into Iran is a good thing. Via Instantman.
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    Jane Fonda ambushed

    Jane Fonda is ambushed in Jerusalem by women who know her past. Via Little Green Footballs.
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    President Bush's message to the Iranian people

    President Bush extends a welcoming hand to a free and democratic Iran.
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    22 December 2002

    Saddam Hussein: If I can't have Iraq, no one can.

    Rumours that Saddam will destroy Iraq if the US invades, via Daimnation!.
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    Willful incompetence at the FBI

    The FBI unvestigating as detailed by Midwest Conservative Journal.

    ABC News has a devastating story on the FBI’s unbelievable unwillingness to pursue terrorist investigations too far in the mid 1990’s:

    In the mid-1990s, with growing terrorism in the Middle East, the two Chicago-based agents were assigned to track a connection to Chicago, a suspected terrorist cell that would later lead them to a link with Osama bin Laden. Wright says that when he pressed for authorization to open a criminal investigation into the money trail, his supervisor stopped him.

    “Do you know what his response was? ‘I think it’s just better to let sleeping dogs lie,’” said Wright. “Those dogs weren’t sleeping. They were training. They were getting ready.”

    The FBI seemed determined not to find anything:

    The suspected terrorist cell in Chicago was the basis of the investigation, yet Wright, who remains with the FBI, says he soon discovered that all the FBI intelligence division wanted him to do was to follow suspected terrorists and file reports — but make no arrests.

    “The supervisor who was there from headquarters was right straight across from me and started yelling at me: ‘You will not open criminal investigations. I forbid any of you. You will not open criminal investigations against any of these intelligence subjects,’” Wright said.

    Even though they were on a terrorism task force and said they had proof of criminal activity, Wright said he was told not to pursue the matter.

    In 1998 al Qaeda terrorists bombed two American embassies in Africa. The agents say some of the money for the attacks led back to the people they had been tracking in Chicago and to a powerful Saudi Arabian businessman, Yassin al-Kadi. Al-Kadi is one of 12 Saudi businessmen suspected of funneling millions of dollars to al Qaeda and who had extensive business and financial ties in Chicago.

    Yet, even after the bombings, Wright said FBI headquarters wanted no arrests.

    “Two months after the embassies are hit in Africa, they wanted to shut down the criminal investigation,” said Wright. “They wanted to kill it.”

    A move which angered the Chicago federal prosecutor at the time:

    The move outraged Chicago federal prosecutor Mark Flessner, who was assigned to the case despite efforts Wright and Vincent say were made by superiors to block the probe. Flessner said Wright and Vincent were helping him build a strong criminal case against al-Kadi and others.

    “There were powers bigger than I was in the Justice Department and within the FBI that simply were not going to let it [the building of a criminal case] happen. And it didn’t happen, ” Flessner said.

    He said he still couldn’t figure out why Washington stopped the case — whether it was Saudi influence or bureaucratic ineptitude.

    And this is too incredible to believe:

    Perhaps most astounding of the many mistakes, according to Flessner and an affidavit filed by Wright, is how an FBI agent named Gamal Abdel-Hafiz seriously damaged the investigation. Wright says Abdel-Hafiz, who is Muslim, refused to secretly record one of al-Kadi’s suspected associates, who was also Muslim. Wright says Abdel-Hafiz told him, Vincent and other agents that “a Muslim doesn’t record another Muslim.”

    “He wouldn’t have any problems interviewing or recording somebody who wasn’t a Muslim, but he could never record another Muslim,” said Vincent.

    Surely this Abdel-Hafiz was called on the carpet, right? Uh…no:

    Wright said he “was floored” by Abdel-Hafiz’s refusal and immediately called the FBI headquarters. Their reaction surprised him even more: “The supervisor from headquarters says, ‘Well, you have to understand where he’s coming from, Bob.’ I said no, no, no, no, no. I understand where I’m coming from,” said Wright. “We both took the same damn oath to defend this country against all enemies foreign and domestic, and he just said no? No way in hell.”

    Far from being reprimanded, Abdel-Hafiz was promoted to one of the FBI’s most important anti-terrorism posts [emphasis added], the American Embassy in Saudi Arabia, to handle investigations for the FBI in that Muslim country.

    Which might be why investigations there have gone so slowly. Hitting for the incompetence cycle, the FBI claims ignorance:

    The FBI said it was unaware of the allegations against the Muslim agent when he was sent to Saudi Arabia or of two similar incidents described to ABCNEWS by agents in New York and Tampa, Fla. They said Abdel-Hafiz contributed significantly to many successful terror investigations.

    And lies through its teeth:

    In a statement to ABCNEWS, the FBI also defended the agent, saying he had a right to refuse because the undercover recording was supposed to take place in a mosque.

    But former prosecutor Flessner said that was a lie and the mosque was never part of the plan.

    “What he [Abdel-Hafiz] said was, it was against his religion to record another Muslim. I was dumbfounded by that response,” said Flessner. “And I had perfectly appropriate conversations with the supervisors of his home office and nothing came of it.”

    Is there any truth to the charges made by these agents? Apparently:

    The White House confirmed their fears. One month after the attacks, the U.S. government officially identified al-Kadi — the same man the FBI had ordered Wright and Vincent to leave alone years earlier — as one of bin Laden’s important financiers.

    Just not serious.

    Posted by orbital at 5:28 PM

    20 December 2002

    Occupation and recolonization in Western Sahara

    An article on the occupation and recoloniztion of Western Sahara by Morroco, which is ignored because it's not being done by the West or Jews. Via Little Green Footballs.
    Posted by orbital at 10:45 PM

    Dixiecrats are really Democrats

    Mark Steyn comments on racial baggage in the Democratic Party. Via Junkyard Blog
    Posted by orbital at 10:26 PM

    Verbal Assassination

    If it's true that that Republican cross-over votes defeated Cynthia McKinney, then the GOP has shown that not only can it clean up its own bigots: it can also clean up the Democrats'!
    - Fred Butzen, reader of Instantman
    Posted by orbital at 10:02 PM

    Iraq and the Arab Future

    From Fouad Ajami via the Brothers Judd
    Posted by orbital at 3:24 PM

    Can't tell her HAMAS from a hole in the ground

    Senator Murray blasts off into the stupid zone.Commentary from Collin May (via Instantman). Senator Murray responds (lamely). A report that Murray intended to provoke. A good roundup with the actual text of the remarks.
    Posted by orbital at 8:55 AM