Thursday, August 31, 2006

Meet The Future House Committee Leaders

The Opinion Journal reports on just who will be leading the House committees, should the Dems win control in November.

With a little more than two months to go before midterm elections, the polls show Democrats well positioned to win the House after 12 years out of power. So it's not too soon to consider who these Democrats are and how they would govern.

All the more so because we've seen most of these faces and their agenda before. While Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi would be a new Speaker of the House, the 19 primary committee chairmen who would dominate hearings, issue subpoenas and write legislation are agents of change only in the sense of going back to the future. They represent the same liberal priorities that bedeviled Bill Clinton's attempt to govern as a New Democrat from 1993-94, and before that Jimmy Carter in the 1970s. To pick one example, 13 of the 19 voted against the welfare reform that Mr. Clinton signed in 1996 and hailed this month as a triumph of "bipartisanship."

I have to say that I would be one of the first people to say, I am not very happy with the way the GOP has governed. They have failed to realize that they are the majority party and have failed the majority of the people that have placed their confidence and trust in them.

But frankly, this Democratic bunch is very scary, at best.

They are no more qualified, no more adept at leadership, and have yet to provide the nation with any sound plans to improve the effectiveness of government. In fact, their loud accusations have been an instrumental force in making this government so ineffective, to begin with. I cannot blame them, they are just doing what they do best, which is bitch and complain like a bitter divorcee that has not moved on from a disastrous marriage (one that they helped make such a disaster, to start with). But this is no surprise, it is what we have come to expect from them.

No, the GOP is also to blame, because they have fallen into the Dems' trap. They have allowed the opposition to influence decisions that are not sound and do not represent the best interests, of the nation as a whole. So it's easy to see why the GOP is floundering in the polls, right now.

So forgive me when I say, I cannot get overly excited about a GOP victory in November. But even more importantly, I am even more apprehensive about entrusting the leadership of this great nation to a bunch that has done nothing but whine, complain, and threaten, since they have been out of power.

My good friend, Mustang from Social Sense sums up this whole affair very well, in his latest post entitled Liars and Scoundrels. Give it a read and see why I am so skeptical. It certainly reflects what many Americans, like myself, are feeling right now. It definitely will make a person think about why this country is in such a mess, these days. We do get the government we deserve, when we elect these people to lead. We cannot blame anyone but ourselves, that is for sure.

So, if you are sitting on the fence and are not sure if you should send a message to Washington this November, remember to take into account this WSJ article and Mustang's essay. Read both of them before you decide. But if your mind is made up, you must always remember that you pulled the levers, punched the holes, or whatever.

Cross-posted at The Wide Awakes.

Silencing The Blogosphere: Down The Slippery Slope

From USA Today comes this essay by Bruce Kluger.

(Hat Tip:

If ever America needed a wake-up call about the mythology of blogging, we got it this month.

On Aug. 8, Connecticut businessman Ned Lamont defeated U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary, a triumph widely credited to the rah-rah racket produced by pro-Lamont armies stationed along the Internet.

Indeed, the bloggers had scored big. They had helped vault a local politician to national prominence and cemented the Iraq war as Issue No. 1 in the congressional elections. Not a bad day.............. August 2006 clearly demonstrates, bloggers can just as easily get it wrong. That's worth remembering.

The whole thing reminds me of child-rearing. As the parent of any toddler can tell you, the younger the child, the louder the screams for attention — and quite often, the degree of the crisis is in reverse proportion to the decibels of the bellows.

To that end, it's important to remember that the blogosphere is still in its infancy, and like any kid, it needs to be watched very carefully.

You can read the rest if you want, just follow the link. But all you need to read are these two passages and you know instantly, where this guy is headed. If we are in tune with reality, we can sense, hear, feel, and see Mr. Kluger's disdain for the blogosphere. We know that he must feel some sense of apprehension, at the very least. But I seriously suspect, this is nothing more than a case of jealousy, envy, and maybe some good old-fashioned sour grapes.

But before I launch into my diatribe, let me say he is right about one thing. He is spot on with his assessment of the Lamont victory. Nominating Lamont over Lieberman was not a good thing.

But he is dead wrong on a host of others. The chiefest of those other things being the right of free expression by ordinary citizens that would otherwise not have a voice, should not be portrayed as some crazy experiment, nor should he paint all bloggers with the same broad brush.

You see, Mr. Kluger fails to understand one important point here. The blogosphere did not get Ned Lamont elected. People did.

Bloggers that align themselves with one blog in particular,
the Daily Kos, may have made a big difference and tipped the boat greatly towards Lamont. But Political Yen/Yang didn't. And I highly suspect that the vast majority of visitors to PYY (those that have blogs) did not either.

In fact, I bet if we took a poll of every blogmeister that has a blog blogrolled on the PYY blogroll, none of them have played any part in the clothesline move put on Lieberman. I believe, the vast majority of them are just as disappointed that this primary election went the way that it did, as Mr. Kluger. Not only that, I bet the vast majority of the entire blogosphere did not take part in the derailment of a former Vice-Presidential nominee, and a man that has stood with the President on the Iraq War.

But because some bloggers got together and went grass roots amd denied him his party's nod, we must all face the stern criticism of a bitter MSM writer, as if we are all an out of control entity that is hell-bent on subverting his specific cause.

Let me say this, I am not now, nor will I likely EVER be a fan of the Kos blog. You see how often I link to him, I visit his site about the same amount of times, as that.

I do not like his politics, I do not like debating much of anything with him or the people that he attracts. And it's not that he is liberal. I have a couple of liberal sites blogrolled and would love to blogroll more, if I could only find those that are decent and civil, in their discourse. I just do not want the kind of confrontational debate that he and his followers like. I want it more reasoned and more civil.

But make no mistake whatsoever, I stand for his right to blog whatever he wants. I stand for his right to free speech. I will defend his rights with every shred of perserverance I can possibly muster, as I will all blogs. This is a freedom of speech issue that should not be blown off, because the MSM would love nothing more than to have no blogs to compete with, at all.

So, mark this down on your calendar or just store it to memory. Today, I can honestly say, that on this one issue, I am with Kos. It may never happen again. In fact, I would be most surprised if it ever does. And you know what?

I cannot speak for every blogger, but in one sense I believe that I can. I bet there are many bloggers out there in blogosphereland, both friendly and adversarial, that feel the same way as me.

How about you?

Will you stand idly by and allow cynical MSM journalists to lead a charge against your right to free speech? Will you allow them to take us the way of China, pressuring search engines to censor sites and articles that are critical to the government? How about Iran, where they throw bloggers in jail? How about Britain? Will you put your approval on banning certain types of articles that use the word "terrorist"?

I won't. Not now, not ever.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Fall Guy

From the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former FEMA Director Michael Brown, who lost his job because of Hurricane Katrina, said Tuesday his biggest regret a year later is that he wasn't candid enough about the lack of a coherent federal response plan.

In all honesty, this was an all-around botched effort, in which the adminstration was ill-prepared. That said, all three levels of government, not just the feds are to blame. None of them seemed to have much of a coherent response plan.

Since that dreadful event one year ago, it has become apparent that Michael Brown was not the right man to lead FEMA. But that was not his fault. He applied for a job, sold himself, and was hired. But if I had been interviewing someone for that position, I can tell you that there were many other people that could have done a better job of handling things, at the Federal level, and Mr. Brown would not have been given the position.

But make no mistake. Mayor Nagin and Gov. Blanco must share in the responsibility for this fiasco; and in many ways, they are not smelling too sweet right now. When I think about those buses sitting parked and the governor's failure to ask the Feds in (as is per protocol) in a more timely manner, I cannot help but think that if they had done everything they could have; they'd be smelling like a rose right now and the Dems could have a legitimate selling point, in the upcoming elections.

No folks, I cannot fault one over the other. But I can say that Michael Brown should not be held accountable, alone. It's clear to most free-thinking people that he has been made to be the fall guy, by both parties.

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time and this was a huge natural disaster, so naturally one can expect that things would not go so smooth. One can expect that mistakes are going to be made. But, to make one unqualified man responsible for such a large task, is a big mistake. To pin the whole thing on on him, is a bigger mistake.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Are There Traitors Among Us?

I want to post a link to an essay I found through Living In The Surreal World. It's entitled, Traitors Within Our Walls and it authored by Kim du Toit. I have never heard of Kim, but who writes it is not as important as what is written, as long as there is some validity to it. So with that said, I say, this is a well-written piece and begins with the following quote:

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”— Marcus Tullius Cicero

It makes a good case by drawing some interesting parallels with pre-WWII France. Keep in mind that this was written back in 2002, but its message is no less in demand today, as it was then, so soon after 9-11. I recommend reading it and giving it some serious thought.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ahmadinejad: Holocaust Made Up To Embarass Germany

From the AFP comes this article.

TEHRAN (AFP) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Holocaust may have been invented by the victorious Allied powers in World War II to embarrass Germany, the semi-official news agency Mehr has reported.

...."Is it not a reasonable possibility that some countries that had won the war made up this excuse to constantly embarrass the defeated people ... to bar their progress," Ahmadinejad said in the letter on Monday.

"The question is if these countries, especially Britain, felt responsible for the Holocaust survivors, why they did not settle them in their own countries?" it said.

...."By promoting the necessity of settlement of Holocaust survivors in the occupied Palestine, they have created a constant threat in the Middle East," he said, referring to Israel.

Sowing the seeds of doubt is many times, an effective tool to deceive those that are not able to intellectually and objectively process information. Planting a little seed appears benign at first. Its full potential is not realized at the moment of planting, it takes much time, sunlight, water, and nutrients to bring a little seed to fruition. But nevertheless, it starts with a seed.

In this letter to the German Chancellor, the Iranian President is planting seeds. Thankfully, Merkel is having none of it and digging them up, before germination.

Merkel on July 21 indicated that she would not formally respond to the letter, saying it contained "totally unacceptable" criticism of Israel and "constantly put in question" the Jewish state's right to exist.

Bravo, Ms. Merkel. To give this man an audience, would be to validate some form of relevance, in which he is clearly not entitled to. I would recommend a tour of Auschwitz and Dachau to help clear things up for him, but it would be an incredible waste of time, energy, and resources.

Hat Tip: Regime Change Iran.

Nasrallah Admits Mistake?

From ABC's The World Today (Australian Broadcasting Company):

"I want to be clear in my response, and I hope that people are listening to me now. We did not think even one per cent that the capture of the two Israelis would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude, and if someone asked me why we didn't consider this one per cent, I would say that since 1982 and our relationships with the Israelis and the experience of our resistance with Israel, the operation wouldn't lead to such a result." - Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah

It's hard to take a terrorist leader for his word. Twisted propaganda and outright lies are usually the order of the day, after such events as we just witnessed in Lebanon. Excuses and denials are often offered up, as well. This is precisely why I am not altogether sure why Nasrallah has made such a frank statement as this.

But whatever the reasonings are, here we have a statement that comes close to an admission of guilt, in being the catalyst that lit up the Lebanon skies for several weeks. By nearly all journalistic interpretations, this is as close to being touted as a mistake, as you can get without using the word.

So, why then did Nasrallah and his band of thugs become so emboldened? It could be the usual.

I am sure Iran and Syria instigated the entire situation, for starters. Seeing Iran thumb its nose at the UN and get away with it, helped. It also could be that they thought Israel would swat at them, like they were doing in Gaza, immediately after the Cpl. Shalit incident. The western world has done much of that since 1979 and it has been duly noticed by Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaida, and the others that promote Islamic jihad.

But for now, we see that disproportionate force does seem to have some effect on the reflections of a terrorist leader. His miscalculations were:

1. The overall Israeli response.

2. Thinking that Iran and Syria would back them up, militarily.

The end result is a no decision, with the brunt of the damage suffered by Hezbollah and the Lebanese people, who are guilty by association and tolerance of such a radical group inside their borders. Mistake, miscalculation, regret, or whatever you wish to label it; it says that Hezbollah was the responsible party in all of this. It also casts a deep dark shadow on the states that support this kind of terror.

How to prevent this in the future is easy, just don't do it again. Or the next time, there will be no mercy and after-the-fact reflections will not be necessary.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Weekend Housekeeping

Some of you may notice that one of my former blogroll links is missing. Pedro at the Quietist has shut down his blog and in his place is a new site that I am not interested in keeping. So, I am de-linking the "new" Quietist. There is nothing wrong with poetry, but it does not blend well with what I am trying to do, here,

But with that, comes some new links that I have found worth adding. I have watched the Beak's site, over time. I have found it to be most original, very unique, and exceptionally genuine. So, let me welcome
The Beak Speaks to the PYY blogroll.

As a general rule, I am not into shameless promotion. I rarely will promote my own work. But others from time to time have linked to me, without my mention of said event.

One such site is The Daou Report blog from Salon Magazine. They are considered a liberal site, but the blog does a good job of presenting posts from both sides of the political spectrum, and on several occasions, they have linked to PYY. I am not usually into reciprocal links, but in this case, I am adding them to my blogroll to show my appreciation.

So a big welcome goes to, Beak and the Daou Report for what I consider blog excellence. Thanks go to all of my readers, I encourage all of you to visit these sites.

Sanctions Rejected By Russia; France Warns Against Conflict

From Reuters comes this story.

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Friday rejected any talk for now of sanctions against Iran and France warned against conflict with Tehran, raising doubt whether it will face swift penalties for not halting nuclear work by an August 31 deadline.

So here we go.

Another long and contentious battle to convince someone on the Security Council to look at this thing through realistic eyes. Can anyone tell me just what useful function the UN serves, anyway?

Here we have Iran, emboldened after inciting the Hezbollah operation, thumbing their nose. Then, we have Russia not giving a rat's derriere, which has been expected. But, now we have France feeling apprehensive. How can anything get done with this kind of diplomacy? Stalling does not equal diplomacy, nor does it make much real sense when dealing with a regime, like Iran.

The US stands to get hit, Israel stands to get hit, but the rest of the real world fails to understand that they too, are at risk. We all stand a chance to lose and lose big, if Iran gets a nuke. Now is not the time to play stall tactics. Now is the time to talk to the Saudis and the other emirates, to look at stepping up production to make up for any lost oil, into the market. And then hit the Iranians with sanctions, before we allow a monster to rise.

The world can put a stop to this now, if only they would act instead of talk.

If I haven't made the case, take a look at this piece by Jason at Liberty and Culture. Jason always does a good job. But here, he does a superior job of pointing out, just how dissimilar we are, in our attitudes and reactions to the different kinds of harsh fascism, both past and present.

He says it very well here:

While the damnation of German Nazis and neo-Nazis is emphatic and swift, damnation of Islamic Nazis is tentative, hesitant, and laced with doubt.

Let there be no doubt. Let there be no wavering. Let there only be certainty, in our minds here. Because whether we see it or we don't, there still is a certainty. There still is a truth. Our refusal to see it, will not make it go away.

Friday, August 25, 2006

New York Man Charged With Broadcasting Hezbollah TV

Reuters is reporting it.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. authorities have arrested a New York man for broadcasting Hizbollah television station al Manar, which has been designated a terrorist entity by the U.S. Treasury Department, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Well, it's interesting to see that this enemy is determined to use any and every means possible to get into our psyches. They are taking psychological warfare to a new and unique level. The Soviets made a real gallant effort and had their successes, just as we had ours with them. But, we have allowed ourselves to become paralyzed in a sense. And they seem to be scoring some good shots, at times, while we are frozen into a block of ice.

We cave to political correctness and say that we do not want to give up certain rights, and we shouldn't without having a serious need. But, when we have people that are able to broadcast a terrorist broadcast, and do it boldly and brazenly, we have problems. These are problems in which Comrade Dean has no solutions for.

In fact, if anyone from Mr. Dean's camp can articulate a solution with out telling me why George Bush is to blame, if they can tell me what the Democratic plan is to prevent this kind of thing without saying GWB's name or referring to his title, then, have at it. I have yet to see a damned thing that has made an ounce of sense, from the Dems.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Score One For The Marines

From the Deseret News in Utah comes this story about a Marine that took down a man, who punched a 7-11 clerk in the face after not paying for some cigarettes. She is alright. But here's the clincher:

"Anybody would have done the same thing," he said. "Another guy in the store said he was in the Army and asked if I needed any help."

With a grin, Sjostrom replied to the man, "The Marines got here first."

I was an Army man back almost 30 years ago. I was always glad the Marines were on the same team, as me. This is but just one tiny reason why. The other reasons are endless. They are truly, the modern-day knights.

There is one inaccuracy I should report on this article. It calls the man a "former" Marine. As my good friend Mustang from Social Sense says though, "There are two kinds of Marines, dead and alive. Once a Marine always a Marine."

So to this Marine, I say, OOOORAAAAHH!!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Views From The Center: Objective Thinking

There is a certain sector of the population that cannot find enough bad things to say about the President. On the other side of the coin, there is another sector, where there are people that think he can do no wrong. Then, there is a sector that sees everything through reality-tinted glasses and sees that sometimes he is right and sometimes he is wrong.

The people that live in a reality-based world can see the mistakes he has made. But they also see that others before him have made mistakes, as well. Who among us is perfect? But those that hate him and consider him to be Satan-personified, have a very narrow focus and will stop at nothing to embarrass him, no matter what the subject matter may include, in any given discussion.

In my days, I have been called both a liberal and a neo-con. The left calls me a neo-con, because there are times when I do side with the President. The right calls me a liberal, because there times that I do not agree with everything he does or says. Neither are right in this case.

I am who I am. I take each issue separately and evaluate it based on my convictions. If the President happens to agree with it, great. If he doesn't, then that's great too. But through all of this, I cannot and will not allow myself to be painted into a corner. My thought processes are such that I can think for myself, without anyone telling me what to think. That is precisely why I do not belong to any political party and probably never will. That is precisely why I have been mad at both parties, at one time or another.

Right now, I see the left taking over the Democratic party. And what is fueling this move toward the left? George W. Bush. They have such a deep-seeded hatred for this one man, that they do not look past that hatred and see that he is not as far to the right as say, Ronald Reagan was.

Was Reagan hated as much as GWB is today? By some, yes.

I remember the beating he took in the press. Was some of it justified? Yes. He wasn't perfect, but that didn't matter to Americans. They elected and re-elected him, by large landslide margins. This was because, the Democrats nominated wishy-washy liberals that could not make a stand on anything of any importance.

Was Clinton villified unjustly? At times, yes.

I couldn't have cared any less about his tryst with Monica, although I thought he was an idiot for doing it, especially after he had so many other allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviors surface, before this.

Was it important in the overall picture? Maybe, maybe not.

But I will say that his business was just that, his business. What I did fault him for was the sale of technology to China that saved them years of research. This was technology that very well could be used against us, someday. That was rarely an issue, in the media.

Kenneth Starr was hired to find wrongdoing in Whitewater. But after being given the greenlight to expand the investigation into his sexual activities (when nothing of any consequence could be found in the original focus of that investigation), it turned into a circus that wasted millions of taxpayers dollars. And what did they establish? Consensual oral sex.

But he lied to a grand jury and lied on TV, you say? Yes he did. And he was an idiot for doing so, too. But, the thing should not have been an issue to start with. It should not have been expanded to allow for an investigation that revolved around the tryst with Monica, unless Monica made the claim that she was a) raped or b) sexually harassed into it.

It didn't warrant the attention it got, it certainly didn't warrant impeachment.

Now, let's look at today.

In my opinion, George Bush did the right thing in removing Saddam. The whole WMD thing doesn't matter as much as the left would like to make it sound. In his State of the Union address in 2003, there were a LOT of reasons Saddam had to go, the possibilities of him having large stockpiles of WMDs was one of them. There were many others that were true, but the left can only focus on the one issue that wasn't (at least as far as we know today). As for myself, I think it is better to know that he didn't have them, than to sit and wait for him to use them.

Did he do the right thing? Yes. Did he do it the right way? In my opinion, no.

There are a whole host of things I feel he could have done better. Here are just a few:

1. Better planning. I feel like he did rush us into this conflict. I think there should have been more time allowed for the study of what the unintended cosnsequences would be, for removing an oppressive dictator right next door to an equally oppressive regime, in Iran.

2. More restraint after Saddam was toppled. Getting on that aircraft carrier and saying mission accomplished was a big mistake. Those elite soldiers threw down their weapons and didn't even give us a reasonable fight. They just blended into the population and waited to create havoc, by guerilla warfare. They were successful, their mission has been accomplished.

3. Not allowing the military to be sucked into fighting a politically correct war. There is no such thing. When the terrorists were using Fallujah as a base, I would have nailed it without giving them time to vacate it with innocent civilians. Sorry about the civilians, but as they say, war is hell. I would have made the Sunni Triangle, the Sunni Canyon, long before they tried to get tough.

4. Disbanding the Iraqi Army. By doing this, a lot of angry people were created. Suddenly, the biggest entity of the entire nation was unemployed. Getting rid of the upper echelon of officers was the right thing to do, but the rank and file soldiers should have been kept, re-educated, and left in place. Instead they were all canned and it has been a nightmare, due to the fact that many of these former soldiers are now fighting with the Sunni forces against the U.S. and the Iraqi government.

5. Trying to keep Iraq unified. Iraq was only unified because of one tyrant that used force to do it. The Sunnis were in power, the Kurds and the Shiites were not a part of the equation. I would have set up three sectors and worked to see if any or all could work together, at least at first. If not, three separate nations would be needed, to keep sectarian violence from spiralling into an all-out civil war. (Contrary to what many already believe is happening, I do not think we are at that point, yet. But if things do not improve, that is what we can expect, when we pull out, someday.)

Well there you have some of my take on the situation.

Do I believe that George Bush is an evil man hellbent on destroying the world? No. Do I believe that he is responsible for everything bad that happens in it? No. Do I believe that he has screwed some things up, at times? Yes. But, that doesn't help the situation right now.

Right now we need solutions to problems. The people that cannot stop blaming any and every last little thing on Bush, do not have any. All they have is a litany of complaints. And the people that cannot stop praising Bush for every last little thing, don't have any solutions. Because they do not even see the problems.

But, I do.

So before you consider me a neo-con or a liberal, think about why you feel that I am, one or the other. Then, re-examine your own stances and belief system and see just where you fit into the grand scheme of the ideological world. Think about where you get your information and then think about how you process it. Do all of that without invoking the name of George W. Bush. There is where you can find a whole new world that is known as, self-discovery.

Apocalypse Rescheduled?

Les Bates, from Living In The Surreal World , never fails to make me laugh when he uses his unique and sarcastic wit, to convey a point. Here is a taste of it.

Big News: Tom Gets Fired?

Over the last few days, the news agencies have been preoccupied with a 10 year old murder of a child and the man that says he did it. When it first broke last week, I saw it as news. It still is, but I am not so sure it is worthy of being the lead story on most newscasts (like it has been the last several days).

Well today, I got my wish. It's not.

Today (after a brief flirtation with the Iran story yesterday), the big story on Drudge is not Jon Benet, not Iran, and not, whether or not the cease-fire will hold.
It's Tom Cruise being released by Paramount. And to that, I say, who in the hell cares?

Don't get me wrong here, entertainment news is big news to some people. That's why they have gossip shows like ET and IE. They can give these entertainment news junkies all of the news and information the want and crave, without stinking up the regular news too much. Because at the end of the day, that stuff is just not important. If all anyone has to worry about is whether or not a millionaire has a job, then more power to them.

If you see the current Drudge headlines, you see complete coverage like it's a story of world importance. In previous weeks, the lead story with complete coverage in the upper left corner was the Hezbollah-Israeli war, and justifiably so. The fallout from this event could have had serious, if not grave, consequences for the entire world.

But Tom gets fired by Paramount, for odd behavior? For costing them money, after he has made them tons of money in the past? I do not give a rat's derriere. Do you?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

That Didn't Take Long

Almost three hours ago I posted this post. Now, the AP has this breaking story.

Iran said Tuesday it was ready for "serious negotiations" on its nuclear program, but a semi-official news agency said the government was unwilling to abandon nuclear enrichment _ the key U.S. demand.

Honestly, I expected this to be the big story next week. I figured Iran could pull the wool over the world community's eyes a little longer than this.

But, alas, I have miscalculated again. Help me platoon, I am a dying cockroach.

Lieberman Feeling Backlash From Democrats

The AP is reporting about a party purge to keep it clean from those that do not adhere to the official party line, and support Comrade Dean's choice of candidates.

You know, Joe Lieberman is overwhelmingly liberal. Take away his stance on the Iraq War, his overall stance on the war against jihadists, and you have a man that almost always votes against the President. That means, anytime George Bush has tried to sell the nation a certain stance on any other given issue, Joe has worked against it. He has been one of the more powerful and effective obstructionists, in the U.S. Senate.

But there is a deep-seeded conviction that has taken root in his personal value system in which he cannot obstruct, and at the same time keep his conscience clean. He cannot turn his back on the single most important issue of this era. He is prepared to run as an independent and the Dems are not able to grasp that there is a certain integrity to going against the grain, at times. This is clearly evidenced by the fact that they are sending a clear message of, dissention against the ruling party elite is not tolerated.

From the AP article:

HARTFORD, Conn., Aug. 21 -- Critics of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's independent run to keep his job attacked on two fronts Monday, with one group asking an elections official to throw him out of the Democratic Party and a former rival calling on state officials to keep his name off the November ballot.

That's not so surprising. They did it to Ralph Nader, a champion leftist.

A group whose members described themselves as peace activists asked Sharon Ferrucci, New Haven's Democratic registrar of voters, to remove Lieberman from the party, arguing that he cannot be a Democrat while running under another party's banner.

All I can say is, if the radical anti-war left succeeds in kicking out one of its former VP candidates, Joe would certainly be a major draw that a third party could use. Unity 08 would do well to watch this turn of events, with real interest. This could be one of the big names that could provide an alternative for Dems that are not happy with the way the hard left is turning their party into, a "my way or the highway" enterprise.

Iran Ready For Talks?

From Reuters the most trusted name in news agencies (wink, wink, nudge, nudge):

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran said on Tuesday it was ready to start immediately what it called "serious" talks with six world powers about their offer to defuse Tehran's nuclear standoff with the West.

Have I ever mentioned that my uncle plays lead guitar for The Who?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Outlook: Uncertain

Victor Davis Hanson doesn't find much to be optimistic about in his latest piece.

I really can't say that I blame him for his pessimism.

The UN passes a resolution, then has to hold a telethon to get the needed forces to enforce the resolution. France wants to lead, but doesn't want to assume any real risk. The rest of Europe still doesn't seem to care much about any of it, either. I have seen or heard little from Germany, Britain, or any other EU nation, on this. Europe showed more solidarity over some damned cartoons, but when a real challenge is presented, they cannot be found.

Doesn't look good for the longterm survival of western civilization, does it?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Will France Back Down On Troop Committment?

From the Op-Ed page of the NY Post (originally from the London Times) comes this commentary on France's apparent decision to not send the 2,500-4,000 troops, they had earlier hinted they would send to Lebanon.
From the NY Post piece:

TEN days ago this newspaper praised France's efforts to find a realistic formula for ending the fighting in Lebanon. We did so in the belief that France stood ready to lead a "muscular" U.N. force of 15,000, mandated and equipped to assist the Lebanese army to dismantle Hezbollah's armed militias south of the Litani river.

We were perplexed when, with the unanimous passage of U.N. Resolution 1701, French diplomats appeared to be backing away from the idea that U.N. forces should help to disarm Hezbollah. We urged France's leaders to follow the logic of a strategy for stabilizing Lebanon that, long before Hezbollah precipitated the latest crisis, France had worked energetically to set in motion. Instead, the strategy has stalled.

I think most people were surprised, if not perplexed when we all first heard this. I know I was.

I mean,
I had high hopes that France might be able to showcase their talents as leaders on the world stage and get the job done. I was genuinely excited and at the same time, apprehensive for them. I understand the dangers they would face, had they made a firm committment. But I, like the NYT, believe that this is their best chance to validate the worthiness of France's longtime ambition of being respected, as a world superpower.

Again, from the NY Post:

France still wants command of the U.N. force, but is acting as though it wants control simply for the sake of it rather than for the purpose of ensuring a sustainable peace. France was universally expected to commit at least 3,500 troops -encouraging substantial contributions from countries such as Italy, Turkey and Germany and the politically important inclusion of Muslim contingents.

France is right to insist on clear rules of engagement; vague orders are a chronic flaw in U.N. peace operations. But it was wrong to refuse for days on end to talk numbers, rendering coherent planning almost impossible, when speed in filling the security vacuum in Lebanon was of the essence.

No one (least of all me) can realistically came blame any country for wanting to set some ground rules. But, this resolution was co-written by the French. Because of that, it stands to reason that the French government is at least partly to blame for the vagueness, it is now protesting.

And finally:

Yesterday President Chirac finally announced France's decision: a paltry 200 extra troops on top of the 200 already there. Where the other 14,600 will come from is now anyone's guess. For France to have retreated from a key role to the realm of "symbolic" gestures "symbolizes" only one thing: a French loss of nerve.

I cannot imagine that any nation that wants to lead a UN effort would only be willing to commit a paltry amount of bodies that most likely will be in harm's way. To lead, you must lead by example. You cannot lead by symbolism and you cannot command respect from others in the world arena, if you are not willing to commit to the cause. Why should anyone commit a large amount of troops to a cause, in which the leaders are clearly not committed to? Why would any nation entrust their soldiers' safety and well-being to leadership that is not willing to do so, themselves?

Will they see their error? Only time will tell. But there isn't much time remaining, before this thing blows back up.

By the Israelis' accounts, Hezbollah is using this cease-fire to re-arm, for a future assault. This is certainly consistent with past cease-fires; one cannot expect anything less from this one. But if past cease-fires are any indication, I would also be willing to bet that Israel will not stand idly by and allow Hezbollah to re-arm itself, to the levels just prior to this last conflict (or even more so).

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Quotable Quotes

Things are busy again, here are some quotes that I would like to share with my readers:

The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved. - Confucius

Victory belongs to the most persevering. - Napoleon Bonaparte

Communism doesn't work because people like to own stuff. - Frank Zappa

Love truth, and pardon error. - Voltaire

Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are. - John Wooden

And finally, one of my all-time favorites:

There are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, and the third is useless. - Machiavelli

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

McKinney And Those Evil Electronic Voting Machines

From the AP comes this story.

Rep. Cynthia McKinney, in her first public appearance since losing her re-election bid last week, said Tuesday that the black community needs to oppose electronic voting machines, which she warned can be used to steal elections.

Why is it that anytime a Democrat loses an election, it's the fault of the voting machines? I do not suppose that Cindy would for a minute consider that slugging a Capitol Policeman, saying that George Bush has advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, or being openly anti-semitic had something to do with her defeat at the polls?

The complaint about paper ballots in 2000, led to the electronic machines. Who led that charge? Democrats. Now, who complains the loudest about electronic machines? Democrats. Lose the election, then complain about the voting.

McKinney also said the state of Georgia should prohibit crossover voting among political parties in primary elections and end its system of runoff elections.

The same principle applies here. Would she even raise this question if she had won? She didn't get a majority in the first primary, so she went to a runoff and lost. I bet if she had won the runoff, this would not be an issue either.
The fiery Democratic congresswoman, who scuffled with a Capitol Hill police officer earlier this year and has accused the Bush administration of having advance knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks, said she considers herself a "black political paramedic," and the "black body politic is near comatose."

Hank Johnson is black. How can the "black body politic" be near comatose, when her rival was black too? Is this her way of saying Mr. Johnson is an Uncle Tom? Talk about sour grapes here.

She has squarely pointed the finger at everyone in this scenario, except herself. She was the incumbent. She lost. The voters rejected her. Period, end of statement. There is no legitimate excuse that she can offer that will change that.

My suggestion to her is to move on with her life, find a job in the private sector, and stay out of politics altogether. Then we will see how long she will last with her blame everyone but herself, attitude. We will see just how long she will last, after slugging a security officer in a private company.

Both Sides Claim Victory

From the San Jose Mercury-News comes this story about both Hezbollah and Israel claiming victory. (Originally published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

On the face of it, Hezbollah appears to be a big winner following the month of fighting with Israel, because the militant Lebanese group stood up to the region's premier military power and survived.

But once the dust settles, Hezbollah's loss of much of its hard-won presence in southern Lebanon and Israel's destruction of a vast amount of the guerrilla group's most- prized rocketry may begin to alter that assessment.

Who ultimately gained - and whether the cease-fire announced Monday ultimately holds - will depend in large measure on whether the Lebanese army and the combined international force to be sent to the region are capable of holding the territory that has been under Hezbollah's control.

As the fighting wound down with the advent of the cease-fire, both sides quickly claimed victory on Monday. Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said his forces had won "a strategic, historic victory" against Israel. Israeli officials said their country's military had weakened Hezbollah and pushed it back.

Hezbollah claims victory, so does Israel. Who to believe? Neither. From a military standpoint, Israel got the better of the two.

Hezbollah did not win because they failed to start the big one that pushed Israel into the sea (which is their ultimate goal). They needed the cover of civilians to do what they could. They did not defeat Israel, they withstood Israel. That is a big difference.

Israel did not win, because they did not disarm Hezbollah, they didn't destroy them either. What they did do? They inflicted more casualties on the Hezbollah side, than was absorbed by the Israelis. And they did not use innocent civilians as shields, either. Israel also gets the edge because they did succeed in pushing Hezbollah back far enough to minimize damage to Northern Israel, at least for now.

Israel's aura of military invincibility has been shattered, because it failed to destroy a relatively small guerrilla force that day-after-day pounded Israel with rockets. Public opinion in the Middle East is clearly on the side of Iran-backed Hezbollah, and a boost in recruitment is likely to result, while Israel and the United States are being roundly condemned for the death and destruction in Lebanon.

Two mistakes Israel made in all of this.

The first was not to purchase bunker busting bombs, when they were presented with the offer. They would have been most helpful.

The second was ill-preparation. The ready reserves were not so ready, this time around. Many of them hadn't had a reasonable amount of training, for years.

I would be willing to bet that there are orders being placed for more sophisticated weaponry, both defensive and offensive. And, I would also not be a bit afraid to wager that Israel gets better prepared, for the next time. Because if past experiences with UN involvement are considered any indication, this will all happen again.

At any rate, I feel I can safely say that once the dust settles a little bit, Olmert will receive a vote of no confidence, throwing Israel into new elections. Afterward, I look for Netanyahu to be PM.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My Apologies

Apologies are in order for my readers (who I believe are some of the smartest readers, in the world). I have been so very busy.

My stepson and his girlfriend were in from Atlanta this past weekend, so naturally I wanted to spend some time with them. We see them so very little.

If that is not enough for a person's plate, my son is going away to college tomorrow. Yes, the same son that graduated high school this past June, is now a college man.

The things that have to get done are tedious and plentiful, to be sure. But the hardest thing is coming to grips with the fact that your baby (the one that it seems just like yesterday, was singing the Power Rangers song incessantly, and on a daily basis) is now going to seek his fortune, via an institution of higher learning. Now his real education begins. This is where he will do his most critical learning.

Why do I say that? Well, without getting on a separate tirade here, let me say it's because I think the state of government schools in this country are deplorable, and be done with it.

Be that as it may, he played the government school game and won. Now, he has to perform.

He is ready. I am not.

Well yes. I guess I am. But you never really get ready for the launch. You may think you do. You may say you do. You may wish (at times) that you cannot wait for the kid to grow up. But when the moment gets here, it's quite different.

Anyway, without getting too mushy and sentimental, I just wanted to let you know why I have let the blog go to hell, the past few days. Rest assured, I will have some new posts that are bound to irritate someone, real soon.

A big hearty "thank you" goes to all of my readers, for your patience and understanding in this and other absences. But most of all, I thank you all for your readership.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Weekend Thought

I left this thought over at G's In The Middle Of America, but I thought it was too good to not share here. (I left it at this post.)

Cynthia McKinney lost her Democratic primary runoff against Hank Johnson, who is now the nominee and is in good position to win in the fall election. And that kind of has me a bit disappointed. I was hoping she would win.

You see I have had a saying for years that is most applicable, in this case:

Nobody is ever completely worthless. At very least, they can serve as a bad example.-Author Unknown

Friday, August 11, 2006

France To Lead UN Peacekeeping Force In Lebanon?

There have been rumors circulating for a couple of weeks now about France possibly leading the UN force that will take positions in Southern Lebanon, to provide a buffer between Israel and Lebanon. Super Frenchie posted on this earlier in the week. But now Fox News is reporting this here.

I will go on record as saying that I am all for this, for two reasons.

1. It will give France a chance to silence critics on the weakness of the French government and the French people.

Many people still do believe that the French are a nation of cowards. I have never thought this, in spite of the fact that I have felt they did not understand the reasons for removing Saddam, were sound. This will give them chance to prove once and for all, this is but a stereotype that has little validity among educated and intelligent people.

2. It will give the French people, some of which who have been outspoken critics of the U.S., a better understanding of just how difficult maintaining a force in a predominantly Muslim country is.

If this does become a reality, do not expect or assume that the UN force will be safe from attacks from Hezbollah guerrillas. They will have to deal with the fallout of such things and will not be able to pin the difficulties on the shoulders of the United States. Hezbollah is no respecter of persons and being French does not matter to them. They do not care who you are, they do not play favorites.

So, to the French I say good luck, Godspeed, and our hopes and prayers are with you, if you decide to take this opportunity. I would also add, that this is your chance to demonstrate what you have been preaching to America for the last few years. It is your chance to shine and shine brightly.

But know and understand this, it won't be a cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination. And most of all, be prepared. Be prepared to accept the fact that for the first time in a long time, French soldiers may not make it home.

How Was The Dastardly Plot Discovered?

From Time comes this story about how the plot to blow up trans-Atlantic flights was discovered.

In the two or three days before the arrests, the cell was going operational, and authorities were pressed into action. MI5 and Scotland Yard agents tracked the plotters from the ground, while a knowledgeable American official says U.S. intelligence provided London authorities with intercepts of the group's communications.

(Emphasis is mine)

Can you now see why it is of the utmost importance for Homeland Security agencies to have the ability to listen in, on suspected al-Qaida operatives?

Did they listen to your conversations to get this information? Do they care what you are having for dinner tonight or that you suspect that your spouse may be cheating on you?

No. They do not have time for that. So to keep making highly exaggerated claims that your privacy is being violated, is not only silly, it is highly counter-productive.

It's easy to sit back and live in a theoretical world, while ignoring the realities that exist. It's also easy to become critical, when you do not understand the full scope of what keeping you safe entails.

But to see the realities as I see them, means you need to have the ability to understand all of the nuances of how this death cult operates. You have to work hard to prevent, rather than wait for an event to occur and react to it. And to tie the hands that are diligently seeking to prevent, will only mean more plots like this one will slip through unnoticed, until it is way too late.

Analyzing The Connecticut Senate Race

A staunch liberal was replaced on the Democratic ticket on Tuesday, by another staunch liberal. Lieberman, who votes against the President the lion's share of the time, was beaten out by a Kos-by Kid, who will probably do much of the same. I know, I know. Many refer to Joe Lieberman as a moderate, but when you factor in his voting record unweighted, he is a liberal.

Certainly, the big difference in this race has been no big secret. The war in Iraq was once again put on the ballot as a referendum by the left wing of the Democratic party. They played the same old hand they played in the 2004 election, using the same old strategy, except for one big difference. This time they won. But just exactly did they win?

You see, the only real difference in candidates was the stance on the war. Lieberman understands the nature of the enemy and what their objectives are, and Lamont does not. Lamont got talked into this race, partly because of his deep pockets and partly because no one else had the guts to go up against Joe Lieberman in the primary. Until this year, that was an unthinkable tale.

Lieberman was an icon in the Democratic Party. Who would have the charisma, the appeal, er uh, the money to match the war chest of a sitting incumbent that once was the party's nominee for Vice President? Enter Ned Lamont. Then, enter the Kos Krowd and the frothing at the mouth Deaniacs with their fundraising (such as it is).

This bunch spent a good deal of money to unseat someone, they didn't like. But now, they will now have to spend heavily again to beat Lieberman in the fall, in order to claim the seat they desperately want. (See why I distrust Dems with money even more than Republicans?) And even that's not a sure thing, when you consider the tight nature of this race (52%-48%), of which only registered Democrats could vote in.

It's a pretty safe bet, there will be a lot of secret GOP money pumped into the Lieberman campaign, from this point forward. The GOP candidate may not have much of a chance, at all. Not only that, Lieberman will certainly get a lot of Independent and GOP votes, based on the fact that he gets the big picture on the most important issue of our day, the war against Islamic fascism.

I see signs of desperation on the part of the anti-war wing. As I said earlier, they played this strategy in 04 and lost. But now there are signs that the war has not been resonating well with a lot of Americans. This may be their last big opportunity to reassert themselves back into power and they know it. As a result, we should all get ready for another fall election cycle with the likes of Cindy Sheehan and her cult followers saying: Bush lied, people died (and other cult-like chants).

I understand the nature of politics. The ultimate goal is always power (no matter what party is involved). But when you consider the methods used, you can certainly see that desperation at work in the left-wing, of the Democratic party. They have been out of power for almost six years now and they have spent the last four running an anti-Bush, anti-war campaign that hasn't worked yet. It may well work in a primary, but it's not likely to happen in this year's fall Senate race, at least not in Connecticut.

Maybe the Democrats should consider another strategy to get back into power. Maybe they should come up with some ideas.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Terror Averted. Feel Safe?

As most people know by now, a major terrorist attack was averted in Britain, one that involved the possible bombing and destruction of trans-Atlantic flights, while in the air. Thwarting something of this magnitude is always a welcome event, but it is an event that poses some interesting questions. Much of the questions we will never know the answers to, mainly because knowing them would compromise methods necessary to break up this heinous plots, like these.

Soon after the news was announced, the media began its customary onslaught of coverage; and most of the partisans have not surprised anyone, certainly not me.

There are those that are lauding the success and then, there are those that are blaming Bush, crying conspiracy, and/or blaming America in general (for everything wrong with the world). But beyond that, I hope there are some that sit on the fence (those that are confused but have potential to come to some stark realizations) that are noticing the recent events, and are beginning to see that these people are not going to quit. Whether we quit or whether we don't, they will still be at war with the west.

Let's look at
this essay by Victor Davis Hanson, found at RCP, earlier today. Overall, it's a bit off topic. But this part is particularly important for the basis of my argument:

So, what then does matter to so many Westerners about this war?

Our fear, of course. We want to avoid messy complications like stirring up another 9/11 or Madrid bombing, spiking oil prices to over $80 a barrel, or treading on politically incorrect ground by criticizing the "other" of the former Third World.

The Western press -- usually so careful to condemn hate speech -- is utterly silent about Arab racism. But a European paper recently published a cartoon portraying Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as a Nazi, secure that no rabbi would issue threats that could cost the editors their heads.

Did you get that?

It's easier to be critical of Israel, because Israelis do not issue fatwas. Christians sometimes threaten boycotts, but they do not issue fatwas either. For that matter, when did a Hindu, Buddhist, or a Hare Krishna issue one?

Not only is the Western media slanting things, some of them have been caught using tapes and photos from staged scenes. This tells me two things. There is not a lot of true freedom for the western media to operate without getting some "freelance journalist" (movie producer) to provide footage. That may account for some of it, but why do they not challenge and scrutinize the material given them by these sources? Or more likely, it could be the fact that there is a genuine fear that if they do not look favorably on the Muslim world, they will lose the flow of oil and they will have a death sentence pronounced against them by some radical and fanatical imam.

But whatever the reasonings, playing their game is not going to stop them. Negotiations are not going to stop them. Cease-fires, suspensions of activity, nothing will stop them. They may lay low for awhile. They may feign negotiations, like they did when Clinton tried to get Arafat and Barak to broker a deal for peace. (Many blame Clinton for not having a deal. That is not fair, he had Barak willing to give Arafat everything he wanted except Jerusalem, but Arafat did not want peace and rejected it.) But they always reject the deal in the end and they always start more hostilities.

So, what does all of this have to do with the story of averted terror?

With all of the coddlings the BBC and other British news agencies give to the Muslim world, it was not enough to dissuade 24 or more Muslims from hatching this plot and stand willing to carry it out. With all of the lip service given to the Muslim world by European governments and media, you'd think that they would be willing to direct all of their energies elsewhere. But they do not appear to be very charitable, at least not towards those that have bent over backward and allowed them to assimilate them into a free western society and to practice their religion, virtually unhindered.

More Fake Photos Courtesy Of Hezbollah Productions

I have been very busy as of late, but AICS from The Logic Lifeline has been on the ball and covering what I have missed during my time of heavy activity.

Check out the latest on this here, here, here, here, and here.

Be sure to follow his links for more on each specific instance of attempted media manipulation.

So now, we have Reuters, AP, NYT, NPR, US News, and Time implicated in this display of bias and deception. If anyone still thinks that the MSM is a trusted source of information, I still have that mountain cabin in central Florida.

They may get it right from time to time. But after these recent discoveries by bloggers, we can know for a surety that everything they put out about this current Mideast conflict should be closely scrutinized. And not only in this case, but what about all of the sectarian violence pictures in Iraq? Maybe we should all look at this a little closer, too.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Damned If They Do. Damned If They Don't.

From the LA Times comes this op-ed piece.

The conventional wisdom holds that any military action is counterproductive. The doves point out that the Israeli counteroffensive has boosted Hezbollah's standing in the Arab world.

Well, sure. But Hezbollah's prestige was also boosted by Israel's 2000 withdrawal from Lebanon. If aggressive Israeli actions boost Hezbollah, and conciliatory Israeli actions boost Hezbollah, then maybe Israel's actions aren't really the prime mover here.


The Israelis cannot win, in the court of world opinion. They cannot depend on anyone else but themselves.
World opinion right now is devoid of insight and understanding. So, for Israel to try and court the world's approval is certainly not in their best interests.

Certainly, Hezbollah is not going to stop just because the Israelis call off the charge. They don't want Israel to call it off.

Why? For many reasons that I could list. But the one that doesn't get a lot of mention, is recruitment. The more there is a cause, the more they can convince people to take up that cause. The more people that take up that cause, the more expendable fighters, in reserve for worldwide jihad. The pathology of the jihadist movement may be complex. But when you look at it closely, it is quite predictable.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Evidence Of Media Bias Piling Up: Reuters Admits To Doctoring Photo

From the Jerusalem Post and Y-Net comes this story. You can read it here and here, respectively.

You probably think that I am going to tell you that I told you so. If so, you would be correct. Consider yourself, told.

But not only that, I am also going to say that the Israelis are countering the misinformation with correct information, and doing a fine job of it. If you want to play a game with Israel, they are demonstrating that they can play back. Not only does this story not suprise a lot of people (including myself), but is shows that Israel is not going to stand back and allow the enemy of their existence to control the world media. The truth will always surface, eventually.

From the moment that Reuters first announced they would cease using the word "terrorist" in their news pieces, their bias became plain to me and countless others. Now we have been informed that a world respected news agency (that is responsible for a large market share of world news), is guilty of doctoring a photo. Can you say "memogate"?

In my opinion, this not only embarasses the agency beyond compare, it severely compromises my ability to have any confidence, in anything with Reuters' name. At very least it begs the question, "what else have they doctored or lied about?". Better yet, if Reuters does this how about the AP? Or others?

We expect this kind of thing out of Hezbollah and Pallywood, but not Reuters. As biased as they can be, who would have thought that they would stoop so low, as to embellish a story using such wanton and willful disregard, for accuracy? Who would have thought that they would manufacture deceit, by manipulating the story instead of just reporting it?

I would have. In fact, I have long before this episode. Can you say the same?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Playing Into Hezbollah's Hands

Has anyone noticed that (besides the hard left and those that seek western civilization's destruction) there is little being said about what was said to be a horrendous massacre in Qana, last weekend? Last weekend, the Qana story saturated the headlines. Today, it's back off of the front page and very few news outlets are giving it much attention.

Journalists Fail To Explain Qana by David Warren, helps us understand the reasoning behind this.
My reader may be wondering what happened to all the coverage from Qana. As usual, when the "liberal" media begin to realize they've been had, the story disappears. But it is never properly corrected. We get a few days of blazing headlines, and round-the-dial TV coverage of an "Israeli massacre", laden with innuendos, and then --the fade-out. This will not do.

What happened at Qana was, almost certainly, what happened at Jenin in 2002, what happened on a beach in Gaza a few weeks ago, and what has happened on innumerable other occasions. The Israelis are instantaneously accused and convicted of a monstrous and perhaps intentional act of butchery, by people quite incurious about the facts. Their pathological hatred of "Zionism" is all the proof they need. These are people who seldom bother to shed even crocodile tears when Jews are blown to pieces by suicide bombers, or rockets are fired indiscriminately into their homes; but become tremendously excited when the news breaks that some Israeli retaliation may have gone wrong.

Hezbollah's Psych-Ops by Clifford May, helps shed even more light on the subject.
Hezbollah and its foreign sponsors deserve credit: They understand the perverse psychology of the Middle East. They knew they could launch a war against Israel and then have Israel get the blame for the devastation that inevitably would follow.

They knew also that if Israel failed to respond forcefully to their ground and missile attacks, they could say Israel was cowardly. And if Israel did respond forcefully, they could say Israel was a bully, its response “disproportionate” – even while insisting that Israel was doing them no serious damage.

They knew they could target Israeli civilians and hide combatants and weapons behind Lebanese civilians -- in homes, hospitals, schools and mosques. Even so, whenever Lebanese women and children were killed, they could accuse Israel of “war crimes.”

Give Hezbollah, Syria and Iran credit for this, too: They understand the equally perverse psychology of Europe,
the U.N. and the “international community.” Two years ago, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 demanded that Hezbollah disarm. Hezbollah refused to comply. In response, the international community shrugged its collective shoulders.

All this I understand. And I suppose that some of you that read PYY, do too. But what I do not understand is how educated journalists (some with advanced degrees) can allow themselves to be fooled by the calculated deceptions that Hezbollah, al Qaida, Iran, and other radical jihadist entities are bent on promoting, as facts.

Like any other degree program, a typical journalism degree does require some electives in social sciences. History being considered a social science, you'd think that some of them would have taken a class or two. Frankly, it amazes me that more journalists cannot put two and two together and recognize some things that are plain to so many people. Take the Soviet Union for example. They were masters at propaganda, they staged many things over the course of that empire's existence. The picture painted of Soviet life was that of law and order and the successes of communism, worldwide. We now know that it was anything but, successful or orderly.

Hezbollah has learned well from that model and is using the media to advance their lies and deception, today. Yet many in the MSM can barely recognize that they are being had. And when they do, they change the subject by changing the lead story. They re-focus the attention on something new, something more outrageous, or they just downplay it quietly, hoping that no one will notice.

So give Hezbollah and the entire jihadist movement some credit. They have done what many at one point in time, would never have believed could happen. They fused elements of Soviet ideology with Nazi ideology and have become masters of manipulation, through their staged scenes. They have developed an intense hatred of Jews, so much that they seek their annihilation from the planet; and have used old communist propaganda techniques to get their message out.

And until this past week, it was working pretty well. Until the stories about Pallywood surfaced, many people have been content to eat up whatever has been served to them. But now there's a wrench that has been thrown into all of this. But instead of dealing with the allegations, the MSM is more than content to move forward without offering any explanation.

In fact, it can be seem here at PYY, as well.

If I post an essay on why I think France is wrong in a specific instance, I have French readers pounding me for what they perceive is wrong information and flawed opinion. If I have posted the slightest error as far as the media is concerned, Mean Gene hammers me. But in this case I have noticed, the critics are silent. Opposing view comments have been sparse through all of this. I guess that means some of my critics just might agree with me on this.

(Hat Tip to RCP for both articles.)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Some Iranian History To Ponder

Time management being what it is at this point in time, I haven't been able to do what I would like.

But, one thing I have been able to do was read this piece, by Dr. R.J. Rummel a Professor Emeritus in Poli-Sci. I have been reading his blog for some time now and am impressed with some of his writings. He has a blog entitled, Democratic Peace. I would recommend giving him a look sometime, if you want to learn more about political theory and its practical applications. He does a remarkable job of tying it all into to events in history, as well as current events.

In fact, I have enjoyed some of his work so much, I am blogrolling him.

As for the essay, Dr. Rummel relates some interesting points about the installation of the Shah as ruler of Iran, in 1953. You know the one, it's the same one that the CIA helped overthrow a stable democracy.

Well, read the article and see just how stable the democracy really was. I will say this much, this is one of the times that it was in the best interests of the free world to have the Shah in power, as well as the best interests of the Iranian people.

To understand how we got to this point in time with Iran, you have to understand the history. Since the Shah was deposed, Islamic terrorism has escalated at a rapid rate and is getting faster. Today jihad is being waged, but not all people recognize it. Need I say that the "so-called" statesmen of this world (and I mean that loosely, because I can find very few statesmen, anywhere) need to get serious and quit playing into the hands of the jihadists? Somebody needs to make some moves here. Iran needs to stand down and the world needs to make them do it. Nothing less will work.

Hat Tip: To Jason at Liberty and Culture, who turned me on to this site a good while back and pointed out this particular piece.