28 October 2004

NY Times doesn't let coherence or facts get in its way

Power Line slams the NY Times coverage of the flap over missing explosives. In response, the NY Times starts backpedaling.

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She cracked the code

[source, source]

Cameron Diaz sounded off during Wednesday’s “Voting Party” on the Oprah Winfrey TV show about why, exactly, women should vote.

“We have a voice now, and we’re not using it, and women have so much to lose. I mean, we could lose the right to our bodies.… If you think that rape should be legal, then don’t vote. But if you think that you have a right to your body, and you have a right to say what happens to you and fight off that danger of losing that, then you should vote.”

Yeah, I’m sure that’s on President Bush’s oppression checklist, right before “disenfranchise all blacks” and “put all Academy Awards attendees in a gulag”.

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27 October 2004

France collides with a clue by four

[source, source]

France’s attempts at creating a coalition of Iraqis opposed to the interim government of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi collapsed yesterday as Paris announced it had abandoned its opposition to an international conference to be held on the future of Iraq.


France and US were at loggerheads about who should attend the conference. Washington insisted that only governments should be invited. Paris, however, wanted what it calls “Iraqi resistance groups” to also attend.

France apparently wanted those groups because they were the only ones that might not be openly hostile to France.

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By the book

Junkyard Blog reviews The New Soldier, a book by Senator John Kerry. It’s even more relevant now than it was then.

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It's for their own good, as we define it

[source, source]

Hundreds of public schoolchildren, some as young as 11, are taking time out of regular classes to canvass neighborhoods in Milwaukee, Madison and Racine in a get-out-the-vote effort organized by Wisconsin Citizen Action Fund - a group whose umbrella organization has endorsed John Kerry for president.

The coalition says the effort is non-partisan, but because the group is targeting minority neighborhoods and those with historically low voter turnout - overwhelmingly Democratic areas - Republican operatives are crying foul amid the highly charged political atmosphere in the state.

This exemplifies the fundamental Leftist / Democratic Party point of view – anyone is just a resource to be used at will by the politically correct. Anyone who doesn’t like it is just suffering from false consciousness or is a class enemy.

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Kerry promises to surrender to terrorists


“With the same energy . . . I put into going after the Viet Cong and trying to win for our country, I pledge to you I will hunt down and capture or kill the terrorists before they harm us,” Kerry said. “And we will wage a war on terror that makes America proud and brings the world to our side.”

Given how Senator Kerry supported the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong against the USA after leaving the battlefield as quickly as possibly under dubious circumstances, how can this be read as other than a call to surrender?

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26 October 2004

Was Senator Kerry working with the North Vietnamese?

Junkyard Blog has a post on evidence recently discovered that Senator Kerry not only met with the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong while they were at war with the USA and its ally, South Vietnam, but in fact actively cooperated with them. Sadly, I find this quite plausible which is a depressing thing to say about a major candidate for the Presidency.

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They were all at real jobs

[source, source]

But for all the anecdotal evidence of heavy African-American turnout, there are hints that Kerry might not be doing as strongly as he needs to be. At a John Edwards rally in St. Petersburg on Saturday, white people held “African-Americans for Kerry-Edwards” placards.

Looks like the Kerry campaign has simply given up on plausibility. Why not? It doesn’t make any difference to his supporters.

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24 October 2004

Liz Edwards: Vote for Kerry or face angry rioters


C-span had video of John Edwards’ wife in a Harrisburg, PA gym talking to a group of people. Afterwards there was this exchange with a supporter in the crowd:

Supporter: Kerry’s going to take PA.

Liz Edwards: I know that.

Supporter: I’m just worried there’s going to be riots afterwards.

Liz Edwards: Uh.…..well…not if we win.

Has the Democratic Party now completely lost its ability to accept the results of Democracy? Are they now openly depending on threats of violence to win? What’s more frightening than this is the idea that they won’t be punished for it by the voters, either because Old Media covers it up or the voters really don’t care.

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23 October 2004

The truth about Iraq

Many people thought that President Bush and the neo-con cabal wanted to invade Iraq to steal their oil. That’s just laughable. Today the real reason for the invasion was leaked — baseball franchises.

[source, source]

Yasser Abdel Hussein tugs his cap and unwinds with the smooth sidearm delivery that’s made him the ace of the pitching staff. He looks like a prospect.

At home plate, however, Mohammed Khaled seems like he’s still on chilly terms with his bat as he crouches, resplendent in a red (yes, red) New York Yankees hat, FUBU muscle shirt and tight bicycle shorts.

“It’s a game of speed and concentration,” Khaled says after widely missing most of Abdel Hussein’s pitches. He connected just twice, and then only by abandoning all technique and swinging one-handed.

The 20 young men gathered on a patchy grass field behind Baghdad University’s College of Sports Education may not look like much now. But organizers of Iraq’s fledgling national baseball team have high hopes.

Yeah, the oil money will stay with Iraq but the national baseball franchise? I’m sure Halliburton already has that locked up.

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22 October 2004


[source, source]

“There is no doubt that the constant campaign has and the discussions have hurt the U.N,” he [UN Secretary General Kofi Annan] told reporters at U.N. Headquarters. “That is not something we would like. It has done damage, yes.”

“But not as much damage as would happen if we stopped being corrupt” he added once he was off the record. “I mean, who would be willing to work here without the kickbacks? Americans?”.

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We can't sit around waiting for the news to make itself, you know

[source, source]

In the Oct. 17 Sunday Source, the “Gatherings” story described a Republican barbecue held to watch a presidential debate. The item reported “the possibly unprecedented occurrence of a young woman in a cowboy hat pretending to make out with a poster of Dick Cheney.” The item should have explained that the woman was asked to pose with the vice president’s picture by the photographer working for The Washington Post. The woman also did not pretend to “make out” with the picture; at the photographer’s suggestion, she pretended to blow a kiss at it. The item should have explained that the party was hosted in response to a request from The Post, which discussed the decorations and recipes with the host and agreed to reimburse the cost of recipe ingredients.

Now there’s a concept that will make it easy for webloggers to break in to news reporting. Have an event, ask someone to play act whatever deviance you can get away with and then report it as news! Thanks, Washington Post!

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21 October 2004

THIS JUST IN: Michael Moore is against democracy

[source, source]

if Bush wins, Moore said, “I and others will call for mass nonviolent civil disobedience. I will not allow our White House to be taken from us again. The right to vote, and the right to have all the votes counted, is a precious right. It is the cornerstone of a democracy. We will not sit back this time, and I regret we did the last time.”

Because to Moore, there is only one acceptable outcome. I’m not sure why he thinks we should have the election at all.

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You don't win wars by dieing for your country, but by dieing for the UN

[source, source]

Kerry’s belief in working with allies runs so deep that he has maintained that the loss of American life can be better justified if it occurs in the course of a mission with international support. In 1994, discussing the possibility of U.S. troops being killed in Bosnia, he said, “If you mean dying in the course of the United Nations effort, yes, it is worth that. If you mean dying American troops unilaterally going in with some false presumption that we can affect the outcome, the answer is unequivocally no.”

Because, of course, being mere Americans we have no hope of affecting the outcome. That is for our betters in the UN.

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Beyond the Pale

David Bernstein discusses the issue of why so many American Jews have a visceral distaste for Republicans. Frankly, none of the reasons are very interesting or compelling, so in my view it remains a mystery, other than the strong Jewish preference for Leftish politics. But that just pushes the issue back one layer without resolving anything.

What’s interesting is Bernstein’s final paragraph:

Meanwhile, this article from the Duke student newspaper (Update: the author is one of Duke’s purported best and brightest, a recipient of a four-year, full tuition scholarship; update: and, get this, winner of Duke’s annual journalism award) reveals an increasingly prevalent view on the far left: we will only be tolerant of Jews so long as they toe the left-wing line, including on Middle East policy. If they abandon us for the right, we will stir up anti-Semitism, especially among blacks, by pointing out how successful Jews are in the United States (and attributing this success to their ability to claim “white privilege” while also claiming victim status via the “holocaust industry”), by arguing that their claims of victimization are phony or exaggerated (and without victim status, you are held in contempt by the far left), and via claims of dual loyalty to Israel. This sort of blackmail used to be subtle, but with even left-wing Jews generally refusing to join the anti-Iraq War movement because of its anti-Israel and often anti-Semitic subtext, the subtlety is gradually diminishing. (Update: And the fact that a few Jews had the temerity to join the Bush Administration as foreign policy advisors has already unleashed a flood of left-wing anti-Semitism related to the alleged Jewish cabal that led America to war with Iraq and wants to do the same with Iran.) The good news is that this sort of thing is likely to push Jews away from the far left (as has already happened in much of the rest of the world), and without a substantial Jewish intellectual and financial presence in the next generation, the American far left, which has long had a very substantial Jewish presence, will have lost much of its power.

Ah yes, the Spainish problem. Spain never really recovered from kicking out the Jews after the Reconquista. We can only hope the same fate befalls the Left.

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European Court of Justice – an insult to human dignity

[source, source]

On Oct. 14, the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice upheld a ban on the Bonn “Laserdrome”, where participants simulated killing each other with lasers.

The court said nothing about whether the lasers can actually inflict physical pain. Instead, it found that the game operated by the Bonn-based company, Omega Spielhallen-und-Automatenaufstellungs-GmbH, is an affront to human dignity.

“The prohibition on the commercial exploitation of games involving the simulation of acts of violence against persons, in particular the representation of acts of homicide, corresponds to the level of protection of human dignity which the national constitution seeks to guarantee” in Germany, reads the seven-page judgment.

I wonder what will be banned next — multiplayer violent video games or military exercises?

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20 October 2004

It's the thought that counts

[source, source]

it turns out that some of the Kerry commercials are being written, edited, produced and put on satellites for the purpose of generating news articles. They have not actually aired on any network or local station — except in reports about the Democrat’s campaign.


Evan Tracey, an analyst at TNSMI/Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political advertising, called the phantom ads — which have routinely been covered by The Washington Post and other news organizations — “political product placement. But they’re getting away with it, because the press is playing them. When the press covers a new Bush ad, the story always adds ‘and Kerry released an ad of his own.’ He’s getting into the news chatter.”

I’d like to think this has some negative impact on the credibility of Old Media, but the only people who care already don’t trust it.

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19 October 2004

President without clue

[source, source]

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you the question about—this is going to cause some trouble with people—but as an historian now and studying the Revolutionary War as it was fought out in the South in those last years of the War, insurgency against a powerful British force, do you see any parallels between the fighting that we did on our side and the fighting that is going on in Iraq today?

CARTER: Well, one parallel is that the Revolutionary War, more than any other war up until recently, has been the most bloody war we’ve fought. I think another parallel is that in some ways the Revolutionary War could have been avoided. It was an unnecessary war.

Had the British Parliament been a little more sensitive to the colonial’s really legitimate complaints and requests the war could have been avoided completely, and of course now we would have been a free country now as is Canada and India and Australia, having gotten our independence in a nonviolent way.

So you’re saying that if President Bush wasn’t such a moron, he would have had a plan for transitioning Iraq to democracy and self rule, through things like local elections? Why didn’t you say something earlier!

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18 October 2004

There's been a change in the mission, boys...


Professor Shulamit Reinharz, director of Brandeis’s Women’s Studies Center (and wife of university president Jehuda Reinharz) told the reporter that “Brandeis stands for excellence and social justice. [Gender equality] is a question of social justice.” Brandeis “stands for social justice”???? Maybe I’m a little old-fashioned, but aren’t universities supposed to stand for the pursuit of truth, “even unto its innermost parts” (Brandeis’s motto). What if the truth conflicts with Professor Reinharz’s notions of “social justice?” Will a faculty member who pursues such truth get hired to teach Women’s Studies? Will a student who pursues such truth get a good grade?

Oh, I think we know the answers to those questions.

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17 October 2004

Oh, Canada!

[source, source]

CANADA is facing a huge bill for the operation to save their ill-fated submarine Chicoutimi, which was stricken by a fatal fire on board days after it was purchased from the Ministry of Defence.

British ministers have revealed that they are considering charging the Canadians a six-figure sum for the concerted effort to recover the vessel following the fire, off the coast of Ireland, which claimed a sailor’s life. [emphasis added]

Less than $1M is considered a “huge” bill? We spend more than that on single rounds of ammunition. This shows two important things

  • It’s not the high tech but the ability to afford the high tech. This is basis for Lou Gots comment about the end of history.
  • The massive neglect and indifference Canada has shown its once proud military. It’s hard to imagine now, but Canada used to be a significant nation with a powerful army and navy. Now it’s rusted subs, crashing helicopters and soldiers who get driven out for aiding allies.
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[source, source]

The UN Secretary General has dismissed allegations that France and Russia might have been willing to ease sanctions on Iraq in return for oil.

Kofi Annan told the Jonathan Dimbleby programme on British TV channel ITV1 the claims were “inconceivable”.

“These are very serious and important governments. You are not dealing with banana republics,” he added.

Isn’t it a standard critique of the West that it engages in precisely this kind of political meddling in order to “steal” the wealth of the rest of the planet, the West obviously being incapable of becoming rich without stealing? Can I use this line the next time the USA is accused of going to war for oil?

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16 October 2004

I may flip-flop but I know what side I'm not on

[source, source]

Comments made by Senator John Kerry more than seven months ago may have helped trigger the recent wave of violence afflicting Haiti, according to the Brazilian commander for the UN peacekeeping troops in that Caribbean nation.


“Statements made by a candidate to the presidency of the United States created false hopes among pro-Aristide supporters,” [Lieutenant-General Augusto Heleno] Ribeiro told the agency. “His (the candidate’s) statements created the expectation that instability and a change in American policy would contribute to Aristide’s return.”

Ribeiro was referring to statements made by Kerry to the New York Times on March 7.

The Democratic presidential candidate told the Times US President George W Bush’s position on Haiti was “shortsighted” and sent “a terrible message” to the region and democracies.

Kerry said he would have sent an international force to protect Aristide as rebel forces were threatening to enter the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.

So Senator Kerry has at least one characteristic of President Clinton - a blithe disregard of the price others may pay for his off-hand political pandering.

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Odd how that happens so often

The threat of a “dirty bomb” is fear of the unknown combined with the fear of “nukular power” that the Greens have been cultivating for decades. Once again we see the Left and the enemy coming together to build on each others groundwork.

Raoul Ortega

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15 October 2004

At least they're still rich enough to extort

[source, source]

President Muammar Gadafy yesterday embarrassed his latest high-profile western visitor, the German chancellor Gerhard Schröder, by demanding compensation for thousands of landmines left in the Libyan desert during the second world war.

During talks in Tripoli, Mr Gadafy complained that dozens of Libyans were still being injured and killed by the anti-tank mines, which were buried by Erwin Rommel and his retreating army more than 60 years ago.

Maybe they should take the case to the UN Human Rights Commission.

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Good news: malaria vaccine breakthrough

We’ve come across some very good news for millions and millions of people around the world, especially in Africa. It seems that researchers have made a tremendous break-through in developing a vaccine against malaria, historically perhaps the most debilitating and destructive disease to afflict mankind. Those of us Diplomads who have served in the tropics can testify to the ravages of malaria, especially among children. The L.A. Times, not normally one of our favorite papers, covers this remarkable and encouraging development well. You can also go to the informative press release of the Malaria Vaccine Initiative for more details.

What we find particularly interesting is that given the negative spin being put on “big pharmaceuticals” in the US election campaign and wherever else political correctness thrives, e.g., the UN, we note that this vaccine has been developed by Western capitalist pigs such as the huge drug multinational SmithKlineGlaxo with support from the ultimate capitalist pig, Bill Gates and his foundation. In addition, not mentioned in the articles we have seen is the ground-breaking and expensive research done on malaria and distributed freely to researchers all over the world by the ultimate tool of greedy imperialist capitalist pigs, the US military.

So it seems that just as the B-52 has liberated more people, especially women, than any NGO or UN pronouncement, greedy Western capitalists and their tool of oppression, i.e., the US military, will now save the lives of more men, women, and children than . . . well, let’s just say that Bill Gates has improved and now saved the lives of more people in more countries than Mother Teresa and whomever that forgettable person is that just got the latest Nobel Peace Prize.

Long Live Capitalist Greed and the Oppressive Imperialist US Military!

Do you think that will catch on as a slogan in European leftist circles? We can dream, can’t we?

It just reminds of a post in the comments of which someone claims that capitalism has killed more people than the slaughter in Darfur. Think of all of those children, no longer subject to malaria, who will now die of other causes. Will this kind of horror never end?

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We left in the important information


Over on ABC’s ‘Noted Now’ website, a quote from my own Governator:

SCHWARZENEGGER SAYS BOTH BUSH AND KERRY EVASIVE IN DEBATES: “Both of them did not answer some of the questions, which I think is upsetting to me. I think it is much better to be straightforward with the people.… You know like Kerry did. Bush did the same thing in some instances, not really get into it and answer it.”

So I click along to the linked Reuters story and get this (the deleted words are in bold):

“Both of them did not answer some of the questions, which I think is upsetting to me,” Schwarzenegger told KGO radio in San Francisco. “I think it is much better to be straightforward with the people.” “I mean if you get a question about Iran and about the nuclear power and what you are going to do in the future with this nuclear power, and you don’t even answer that question, I think it’s a mistake, You know like Kerry did,” he continued. “Bush did the same thing in some instances, not really get into it and answer it.”

ABC has since issued a correction, which puts them a step ahead of AFP. Just an accident, nothing to see here…

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Oh, we just put that on the brochures


Immigrant students who pass New York’s Regents exam in English still can’t get out of segregated English as a Second Language classes, writes Samuel Freedman in the NY Times. They need 96 percent on the exit exam, which seems designed to keep students out of the mainstream forever. In theory, they get extra help in English as a Second Language classes. In practice, they get a slower, lower-level curriculum.

And the ESL teachers get jobs and the school district gets extra money. But we daren’t change public schools or it might hurt The Children™.

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Free speech for me but not for thee files


At U-Mass Amherst, a candidate for student government president was called a racist for opposing a plan to set aside seats in the Student Senate for ALANA, a group claiming to represent non-white students. Throwing around accusations of racism was OK. Parodying the charge — by drawing a caricature of a Klan Grand Wizard endorsing the minority group — may get nine students suspended or expelled. They were photographed standing in front of the caricature. FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) is on the case.


In a letter to university officials, FIRE observed that the UMass president defended the free speech rights of Rene Gonzalez, a graduate student who wrote a Daily Collegian article last spring that called Army Ranger Pat Tillman an “idiot” and “a ‘G.I. Joe’ guy who got what was coming to him” after the former pro football star was killed fighting in Afghanistan.

It’s doubly bogus because the students didn’t distrubute the picture, others did. Apparently at U-Mass, if you say something politically incorrect which another student records and plays later, you are guilty of “harrassment”. So much for open and honest dialogue involving divergent opinions at U-Mass.

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14 October 2004

Verdict first, trial afterwards

[source, source]

The Kerry/Edwards campaign and the Democratic National Committee are advising election operatives to declare voter intimidation — even if none exists, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.

A 66-page mobilization plan to be issued by the Kerry/Edwards campaign and the Democratic National Committee states: “If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a ‘pre-emptive strike.’”


One top DNC official confirmed the manual’s authenticity, but claimed the notion of crying wolf on any voter intimidation is “absurd.”

We all know the Republicans are going to try to steal the election by scaring people and confusing people,” the top DNC source explained. [emphasis added]

Do we now?

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Dialogue - an end, not a means

[source, source]

Some 220,000 Sudanese - equivalent to the population of Aberdeen - have been made refugees in the past four weeks alone, as Janjaweed Arab militiamen continue their campaign against non-Arab villages.


“What is important is that the Sudanese government has adopted an open and positive attitude,” said Mr [Ben] Bot, representing the rotating EU presidency.

“There is no question of a deadline or timetable for sanctions,” he then said. “What is important is that we continue dialogue.”

Ah yes, the EUlite response — indifferent to suffering, favorable to tyrants and completely ineffectual. No timetables or other discentives to talking must be permitted. As long as the dialogue goes on, the EUlite is doing all that it can.

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AFP declines to admit error

Agence France-Presse reported that the recent incursion in to the Gaza strip by the IDF “killed mainly children”. This is a completely false statement and Honest Reporting called them on it. The AFP news editor in Jerusalem admitted the report was in error and removed the claim but saw no need to issue a correction to those who had received the false report.

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13 October 2004

Don't speak – don't tell me ‘cause it hurts

[source, source]

Mr Kehoe said that work to uncover graves around Iraq, where about 300,000 people are thought to have been killed during Saddam Hussein’s regime, was slow as experienced European investigators were not taking part.

The Europeans, he said, were staying away as the evidence might be used eventually to put Saddam Hussein to death.

This kind of willful ignorance, the preference for Saddam Hussein over his victims – that’s why I bash the EUlite. It’s time to move on and abandon Europe. There’s no point in discussing things with nations whose ruling class deliberately discards facts when they’re inconvenient for the latest political posturing fad.

UPDATE: I didn’t realize what a trifecta of the EUlite this was - indifference to suffering, favoritism to despots, and ineffectiveness. The epitath of a continent.

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Old Media, where no news means good news

[source, source]

Local insurgents in the city of Fallujah are turning against the foreign fighters who have been their allies in the rebellion that has held the U.S. military at bay in parts of Iraq’s Sunni Muslim heartland, according to Fallujah residents, insurgent leaders and Iraqi and U.S. officials.

Relations are deteriorating as local fighters negotiate to avoid a U.S.-led military offensive against Fallujah, while foreign fighters press to attack Americans and their Iraqi supporters. The disputes have spilled over into harsh words and sporadic violence, with Fallujans killing at least five foreign Arabs in recent weeks, according to witnesses.

“If the Arabs will not leave willingly, we will make them leave by force,” said Jamal Adnan, a taxi driver.

A hopeful sign, but not a guarantee.

Although speaking of which, what happened to Najaf? That doesn’t seem to be in the news anymore. I presume that means that it isn’t generating stories of the collapse of the occupation.

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12 October 2004

That sort shouldn't be elected in the first place


On October 5th, according to news reports, witnesses, police reports and admissions of your members, the AFL-CIO, as part of a national strategy, protested at more than a dozen of our campaign and party headquarters across the country. In many locations, the protestors attempted to enter, or entered, campaign or party facilities. As one protestor said, “Actually, we’re storming into an office.” In Orlando, Florida, injuries and damage were sustained. Protestors forced their way into the facility, fracturing the arm of one staffer, and vandalized the office. In Michigan, protestors entered a headquarters and engaged in activities apparently intended to disrupt volunteers trying to make phone calls.

Marc Racicot, Bush-Cheney Campaign Chairman

We all know what would be headlining from coast to coast had any Democratic Party campaign offices been trashed.

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11 October 2004

First signs of cooperation in Sadr City

[source, source]

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Iraqis aligned with Medhi militia started trickling into police stations in Baghdad on Monday to exchange their weapons for coupons they can later use to get cash from the Iraqi government.


Observers said the surrendering of rocket-propelled grenade launchers, mortars and machine guns was a sign an agreement between radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and the Iraqi government was being implemented as announced.


“The city is very quiet and the people have been very cooperative with the Iraqi police,” he [Iraqi Police Col. Fawzi Mahmoud] said.

The last bit is more important than the turn over (which may simply be caliphascists turning over inoperative weaponry for money). What really matters is whether the Iraqi Provisional Government forces can operate freely in Sadr City.

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Soft targeting in New Zealand

[source, source]

Israelis are no angels but the extent of their mischief on the world scene is pretty small beer; in contrast, Arabs are at the heart of the public debate around the globe. One consequence is that Israelis who break the law get much more attention than their Arab counterparts.

As proof, consider two recent and parallel developments in New Zealand. In July 2004, the authorities there apprehended two Israelis, Uriel Zoshe Kelman and Eli Cara, and accused them of manufacturing a single false New Zealand passport. The brouhaha that followed included harsh statements by the prime minister, Helen Clark, and the recall of the Kiwi ambassador to Israel. The two served two months in jail of a six-month sentence, paid a fine, and were unceremoniously deported on Sept. 28. The two Israelis are accused of being connected to their government, though there is no proof of this; but if they were, it implies that they were engaged in some kind of counterterrorism activities — not exactly something most of us worry about that much. In any case, for the first time in memory, this tension led to antisemitic acts in New Zealand, specifically the two instances of the desecration of multiple Jewish graves in Wellington cemeteries.

Coincidentally, Sept. 28 was the very day the trial opened in Auckland of Fahad Jaber Ajeil and Riyad Hamied Sultan, a Kuwaiti and an Iraqi accused, in the words of the crown prosecutor, of forging passports and other travel documents on “a scale never before seen in this country.” Police found a passport-manufacturing process with false documents from seventeen countries and twelve fake passports in various states of readiness. Yet, this incident – which could well be connected to Al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups – has aroused precious little ire from the Clark government, much less from the prime minister herself, who seems to find this business as usual. (September 29, 2004)

It’s rare that one gets such a clear view in to the appeasement on the caliphascists.

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You never told me the UN didn't official support terrorism!


Jerusalem Post reports that the UNRWA suspended employees who have been detained by Israel for security reasons. Palestinians fear that UNRWA employees will now have to sign a non-terror pledge.

Yet even an unenforced pledge on a scrap of paper to not commit terrorist acts while employed by the putatively moral exemplar of the planet is something for the Palestinians to “fear”. I guess the effort of non-compliance with the Oslo accords was too much work and the Palestinians will be avoiding that kind of strain in the future.

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Playing in fire

Backspin has a graphic image that demonstrates simultaneously

  • The careful restraint by the Israeli Defense Force
  • The willful risk and sacrifice of civilians by Hamas for propaganda purposes

It shows masked gunmen firing while crowds of civilians, including children, crowd around them. In a real war they’d all be dead from an artillery barage. Only against Israel is the collateral death toll low enough that non-combatants would do this. And only against the Israel, the USA and their allies are what deaths do occur worthy of condemnation.

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10 October 2004

Too secret for the Russians

[source, source]

MOSCOW, Oct 7 (AFP) - The United Nations should make public conclusions from its probe on corruption in the UN’s oil-for-food programme in Iraq, Russia said Thursday in response to a US report alleging that Moscow officials received bribes from Saddam Hussein’s government.

“After several countries expressed concern over corruption in the oil-for-food programme, the UN Security Council decided to create a special commission to investigate the matter,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Yakovenko told AFP.

“Russia supported that decision,” he said. “Like other countries, we are expecting (the commission’s) conclusions to be based on facts.”

“Without the commission’s conclusions, it is difficult to comment” on the accusations in the US report, he said.

When you’re less eager for public accountability than Russia, you’ve got a serious stone wall going.

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08 October 2004

Framing the story

[source, source]

An internal memo written by ABCNEWS Political Director Mark Halperin admonishes ABC staff: During coverage of Democrat Kerry and Republican Bush not to “reflexively and artificially hold both sides ‘equally’ accountable.”

The controversial internal memo, obtained by DRUDGE, captures Halperin stating how “Kerry distorts, takes out of context, and mistakes all the time, but these are not central to his efforts to win.”

But Halperin claims that Bush is hoping to “win the election by destroying Senator Kerry at least partly through distortions.”

“The current Bush attacks on Kerry involve distortions and taking things out of context in a way that goes beyond what Kerry has done,” Halperin writes.

Halperin’s claim that ABCNEWS will not “reflexively and artificially hold both sides ‘equally’ accountable” set off a sparks in St. Louis where media players gathered to cover the second presidential debate.

Halperin states the responsibilities of the ABCNEWS staff have “become quite grave.”

I wish I could say I was surprised.

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They could have just forgotten!


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Oct. 7, 2004 — Elections officials asked prosecutors Thursday to investigate possible voter fraud involving 25 registration forms with apparently bogus addresses, including some that match a public park, a parking lot and a utilities building.

Two of the forms were filled out by individuals at the Duval County elections office and 23 were submitted by people who registered voters independently. Officials didn’t immediately know who turned in the independent registrations, said Erin Moody, a spokeswoman for the elections office.

The Associated Press checked each address and found only one that matched an occupied house. Most of the addresses didn’t exist. Residents at the occupied house said they moved in this week and did not know the person registered at the address.

Several Florida counties have discovered problems with voter registration forms turned in by independent groups. Thousands are missing information, meaning thousands of people could find out Nov. 2 that they are unable to vote in the contest between Bush and Democrat John Kerry.

As No Illusions points out, it’s really bizarre for one to draw this conclusion from discovering that of 25 registrations checked out, all 25 were fraudulent. But that’s the kind of insight that’s not available to non-journalists.

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CERPifying the reconstruction

[source, source]

As little as 27 cents of every dollar spent on Iraq’s reconstruction has actually filtered down to projects benefiting Iraqis, a statistic that is prompting the State Department to fundamentally rethink the Bush administration’s troubled reconstruction effort.


“When you’re doing these large-scale programs, these design-and-build contracts and mega-program projects, you eat up a lot of money in administration and management costs,” said a senior U.S. official familiar with the reconstruction effort. “What we’ve learned is that we have to use Iraqis, provide more employment, lower our costs and deliver a project that would be close enough to what they want, even if it’s not perfect by American standards. We’re moving in that direction — finally.”

It’s about time. It’s always been a failure of the reconstruction to use more local labor and companies. I’m not sure cutting back on large-scale programs is the answer, however, as it seems that there’s more money than is being spent so why not both? And if we’re serious about small scale projects, shift the money in to CERP funds.

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The Big Lie technique


Half of college-aged youth, according to a new poll, believe that if re-elected President Bush will re-instate the draft. Micheal Moore’s and Charlie Rangel’s conspiracies have finally taken root. God help us.

Win, lose or draw in November—we’re pretty much finished as a country if a major political party is happy to take power based entirely on a lie in the middle of a war like this. And they know it’s a lie because they put out the draft bill and have been using it to smear the President.

I have to agree that we’ve reached a bad spot when flat out lies like this (rather than different views or different interpretations of data) are so easily spread right before an election.

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07 October 2004

Welcome to the future

[source, source]

The Israel Air Force successfully tested an unmanned aerial vehicle platform capable of firing missiles or anti-tank munitions at ground targets.

Palestinian sources said the unidentified UAV has been used during the current “Days of Pentinence” military operation in the northern Gaza Strip targeting Hamas operatiaves and others involved in the recent rash of Kassam rocket attacks.

So far, the sources said, the UAV was responsible for the death of 40 Palestinians over the last week. They said the UAV was used to locate and target Palestinian combatants in the Jabalya refugee camp, the focus of Kassam-class short-range missile production.

The sources said the UAV was capable of targeting and destroying moving vehicles.

Assymetrical warfare doesn’t always favor the low tech side.

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What happened to our bright, shiny quagmire?

[source, source]

Iraqi insurgents from Fallujah are in intense negotiations with the country’s interim government to hand over control of the city to Iraqi troops, in hopes of averting a bloody military battle for the city of 300,000 that has become a haven for foreign guerrillas and a symbol of the limits of Baghdad’s authority, according to representatives of both sides.


The talks apparently gained momentum Wednesday after the mujaheddin shura — or council of holy warriors — that now governs Fallujah voted overwhelmingly to accept the broad terms demanded by Iraq’s government. By a vote of 10 to 2, the council agreed to eject foreign fighters, turn over all heavy weapons, dismantle checkpoints and allow the Iraqi National Guard to enter the city.

Hello, October surprise!

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Selling out for a mess of petroleum

[source, source]

SADDAM HUSSEIN believed he could avoid the Iraq war with a bribery strategy targeting Jacques Chirac, the President of France, according to devastating documents released last night.

Memos from Iraqi intelligence officials, recovered by American and British inspectors, show the dictator was told as early as May 2002 that France - having been granted oil contracts - would veto any American plans for war.


Although they [ISG, the Iraq Survey Group] found no evidence that Saddam had made any WMD since 1992, they found documents which showed the “guiding theme” of his regime was to be able to start making them again with as short a lead time as possible.”

Saddam was convinced that the UN sanctions - which stopped him acquiring weapons - were on the brink of collapse and he bankrolled several foreign activists who were campaigning for their abolition. He personally approved every one.


Tariq Aziz, the former Iraqi deputy prime minister, told the ISG that the “primary motive for French co-operation” was to secure lucrative oil deals when UN sanctions were lifted. Total, the French oil giant, had been promised exploration rights.

Such are the “allies” upon which Senator Kerry would base USA foreign policy. It’s nice to see hard evidence of what we knew all along.

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06 October 2004

We called the Psychic Network

[source, source]

The “reporters” at the “news agency” published their vice-presidential debate wrap-up over thirty minutes befor the debate concluded. Who pays for this ridiculous junk?

Not me, at least.

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04 October 2004

Hate pictures

[source, source]

UPDATE: Please see comments for the other side of the story.

[Shiba] Pillai-Diaz, 33, a volunteer with the Bush campaign and an English teacher, has had a publicity picture of the First Couple hanging in her classroom since the start of the school year, she said.

Thursday, at back-to-school night, the controversy exploded after a parent asked why the picture was up, Pillai-Diaz said.

“The way she asked was a political assault,” the teacher said.

Then the parents started their own debate about the picture, and one mother stormed out of the classroom, Pillai-Diaz said.

Friday morning, the teacher, who is in her sixth year of teaching and her first in South Brunswick, was called into the assistant principal’s office. Daniels told her to remove the picture, Pillai-Diaz said.

“He said, ‘If you care about your job, you’ll take the picture down,’ ” she said.

Pillai-Diaz told the assistant principal to take the picture down himself. Then she sought Principal Jim Warfel, who gave her an upbraiding.

“He said, ‘You’ve caused more disruption, hatred and anger than anyone I’ve ever known,’ ” she said.

Apparently just exposing children to a picture of the current President and First Lady is too horrible a trauma for them.

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Pole position

[source, source]

Poland said that it aims to withdraw all of its 2,500 troops from Iraq during the course of next year, a major disappointment for Washington which sees Warsaw as one of its staunchest allies in Iraq. Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said Monday after talks in Paris that no firm date to complete the withdrawal had been decided yet, but that Poland hoped “to finish our mission at the end of 2005.”

Poland is the fourth largest troop contributor to the US-led coalition in Iraq, but there is strong popular opposition at home to the deployment.

Not good, but not terrible. The situation should be much more manageable with indigenous forces by that time or we’ll have bigger worries than just 2500 troops.

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Why worry? Our stuff is too old to be vulnerable

[source, source]

The government’s cybersecurity chief has abruptly resigned from the Homeland Security Department […]

Amit Yoran, a former software executive from Symantec Corp., made his resignation effective Thursday as director of the National Cyber Security Division, giving a single’s day notice of his intention to leave. He kept the job one year.

Yoran has privately confided to industry colleagues his frustrations in recent months over what he considers the department’s lack of attention paid to computer security issues, according to lobbyists and others who recounted these conversations on condition they not be identified because the talks were personal.

It’s not clear what kind, exactly, of security that Department takes seriously.

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Oh, Canada!

[source, source]

During the summer the Office of the Vice-President Services received an initial request from Hillel to hold a public lecture by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in the Henry F. Hall Building on our downtown Sir George Williams Campus [of Concordia University in Canada]. After a security assessment, this request was denied.


Our Director of Security, Mr. Jean Brisebois, oversaw an evaluation of both sites on the Loyola campus, in collaboration with members of the security forces that would be involved in such an event. It was their collective, professional assessment that the security of the guest speaker, the attendees and faculty and students could not be guaranteed at either location.

Of course not. Canada has lost the ability to oppose anyone who would use force against it. The only thing stopping an annexation of Canada by the USA is that it would result in Canada being part of the USA.

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Skeleton book in the closet


John Kerry’s 1971 anti-war book The New Soldier, featuring the infamous cover photo of an upside-down American flag, is now available online in PDF form for free downloading.

The power of the Internet. Use it responsibly, people.

Posted by orbital at 6:14 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL


[source, source, source]

The United Nations agency that provides assistance and food aid to Palestinian refugees admits it has hired members of the terrorist group Hamas to help in its efforts.

Peter Hansen, commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), told the CBC he believes it likely that Hamas members receive paycheques from his organization.

“Oh I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don’t see that as a crime. Hamas as a political organization does not mean that every member is a militant and we do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another,” Mr. Hansen said.

“We demand of our staff, whatever their political persuasion is, that they behave in accordance with UN standards and norms for neutrality.”

Oh, well then OK!

Wait — how are UN standards and norms different from those of Hamas?

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Attacking the messenger

[source, source]

BERITA Minggu [a Malaysian paper] highlighted on its front page the Internal Security Ministry’s warning to the owner of a blog for allegedly allowing disparaging remarks about Islam to appear on his website.

The daily quoted Deputy Minister Datuk Noh Omar as saying that this was like playing with fire as it could ignite the Muslim community’s anger and pose a threat to the nation’s internal security.

A comment on the blog allegedly belittled Islam Hadhari.

This is the real barrier to Islamic democracy.

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Welcome to the Space Age

Looks like the X-Prize has been won. SpaceShipOne appears to have made it to sufficient altitude and I just watched it land safely. Congratulations all around!

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03 October 2004

Old Media bias around the world

Today’s stop, Australia:

In today’s Age, Phillip Hudson positively admires Latham’s dodging — although actual credit should go to the press that enables it:

After an unsteady start, he is running the campaign on his own terms. Pesky questions about an ALP candidate who agrees the Liberals are to blame for the Bali bombing are dismissed in a way that John Howard could never get away with. [emphasis added]

And why would that be, Phillip?

Just luck one supposes.

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02 October 2004

Moving slowly, but in the right direction


Are the long rumoured non-jihadia Muslims finally overcoming social inertia and Saudi funding to make their voices heard? Perhaps there’s a reason to hope so. Worth reading.

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01 October 2004


[source, source]

Information provided by a high-ranking al-Qaida operative led authorities to almost a dozen undocumented aliens who worked for the largest supplier of ready-to-eat meals for the military, officials said. [emphasis added]

But I’m sure there’s no reason to connect the two events. The Al-Qaeda guy probably just picked it up in a chat room.

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State of the message


You say we blame the victims. Who are the victims? The victims are those who are being blown up by bombs. And then there is the response on the part of the Israelis, who have tried to protect themselves from these bombs by going after individuals who they believe are responsible. And so, there are victims on all sides of this question.…What has it [the intifada] accomplished for the Palestinian people? Has it produced progress toward a Palestinian state? Has it defeated Israel on the battlefield? So it is time to end this process. It is time to end the intifada.

USA Secretary of State Colin Powell

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We see nothink!

[source, source]

The Israel Defense Forces released video footage Friday taken by an unmanned aircraft showing what appeared to be Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip loading rockets into a vehicle marked “UN.”

I’m sure they were just turning in illegal weapons to the appropriate authorities.

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Getting back to our roots

We all know what really drove the success of the Internet, and in that spirit I present two links, neither of which is likely to be beneficial to your job prospects.

Topless voting — voting for the Presidential candidates, one pair at a time.

Topless fundraising — raising money for research in to breast cancer, using pictures of the beneficaries.

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