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Sunday, 31 July 2005
Dhimmi Carter
Mood:  don't ask
Michael King at Ramblings' Journal has this item on Jimmy Carter's recent remarks:

Former President Jimmy Carter, speaking at the Baptist World Alliance conference in Birmingham, England yesterday, said that the detention of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba was an "embarrasment," and gives terrorists an "excuse" to attack the United States and US-allied nations.
Isn't there some way for Bush to revoke this man's security clearance? Carter's probably no more than a couple weeks away from reading intelligence reports from the al-Jazeera studios.

Jeff Goldstein adds this:

Carter is simply voicing his dissent, and if a former US president can’t openly criticize his government—publicly, overseas, during wartime, and on the basis of a narrative of events that an investigative panel has already concluded simply does not represent the facts on the ground—well, then the terrorists have already won. After all, aiding the enemy in their propaganda war IS the highest form of patriotism, and nothing says “I love my country” more than “I love my country provided its run by people like me; otherwise, I don’t really much like it at all—or rather, I like it, I just don’t like all the stupid rubes who keep ruining it by voting for evil assholes.”


Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:08 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (7) | Permalink
But Then Face to Face
Now Playing: I Corinthians 13
Charles Johnson has this report from The Australian:

ITALY has banned Islamic burqas under tough terrorism laws that provide two-year jail terms and E2000 ($3200) fines for anyone caught covering their face in a public place.

The counter-terrorism package, passed by Italy's parliament yesterday, doubles the existing penalty for wearing a burqa or chador -- traditional robes worn by Muslim women to cover their faces -- or full-faced helmets or balaclavas in public.

Police can extract DNA samples without a suspect's consent, detain them for 24 hours without a lawyer present, and deport foreigners suspected of terrorism under the new legislation. Soldiers involved in counter-terrorism have been given the same stop-and-search powers.

The changes, approved in a rare show of bipartisanship, came as Italian police arrested a fugitive hunted by British police over the bungled bombing attempt in London on July 21.
How dare those fascists try to stand up and defend their own country!

Get me Giuliana Sgrena!


Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:30 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Blither-yaaarrrrgggghhhhhhh!!!
Thanks to Patterico, get a load of what Howard Dean said recently about the notorious Kelo decision by the US Supreme Court (as reported by TownHall.com):

“The president and his right-wing Supreme Court think it is ‘okay’ to have the government take your house if they feel like putting a hotel where your house is,” Dean said, not mentioning that until he nominated John Roberts to the Supreme Court this week, Bush had not appointed anyone to the high court.
Yeah, well, that's not the funny part of Dean's ignorant nonsense. This is (with Patterico's emphases):

Dean’s reference to the “right-wing” court was also erroneous. The four justices who dissented in the Kelo vs. New London case included the three most conservative members of the court - Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was the fourth dissenter.

The court’s liberal coalition of Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer combined with Justice Anthony Kennedy to form the majority opinion, allowing the city of New London, Conn., to use eminent domain to seize private properties for commercial development.

“We think that eminent domain does not belong in the private sector. It is for public use only,” Dean said.
As I myself have found in talking to certain liberal co-workers, they do not know that it's their justices who issued this outrageous decision. They simply assume that it must have been those evil conservatives who've now given the green light to big shot developers to seize people's property for the corporate, er, public good.

UPDATE: Here's what Morat at The Daily Kos thinks of Dean's statement:

I'm 100% behind it. Why? Because it resonates, and I'm perfectly willing to go for a false statement that illustrates a truth.

The GOP is the party of Big Business. Big Business (business in general) is who benefitted from the Kelo case.

So, frankly, I say it's a great line of attack. Screw accuracy -- remind people that now big business can take their homes away to make a shopping mall, and that's A-okay by the GOP.
Jesus, what a dumbass! How can you even try to reason with such a thing?


Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:05 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Updated: Sunday, 31 July 2005 10:43 PM CDT
Did Plame Leak Classified Documents to Her Husband?
Taking my cue from the indispensable Tom Maguire, I'm going to have a look at the words of New York Times opinion writer Nicholas Kristof in his 6 May 2003 column. (Remember, this is two full months before the renowned liar Joe Wilson officially outed himself in his infamous column that appeared in Kristof's paper.) Although Kristof never mentions Wilson by name, his references to a "senior ambassador to Africa" pretty much limit the field of possible candidates for the Nigerien trip. And it also makes for a limited number of people who could have been feeding him the information from Wilson's debriefings. Kristof wrote:

I'm told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged.
Interestingly enough, the factoid in the first sentence is exactly what Wilson himself (wrongly) believed. In fact, Cheney didn't know anything about Wilson or the outcome of any trip the CIA had sent him on. Wilson simply wanted people to believe that the details of his little excursion were of great interest to the White House itself.

But it's a phrase in the second sentence that gets my attention: "someone present at the meetings." Now, assuming that Kristof's prose isn't too disingenuous, this means that someone besides "that envoy" was feeding him. This means either an axe-grinder inside the Company or at State was talking. Which would be par for the course.

But what's the problem with Wilson's opinion of the forged documents? They were amateurish, anyway, right? Maybe. But in February 2002, Joe Wilson was in no position to see those documents since they supposedly hadn't even turned up yet.

As the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report notes (with my emphasis):

The former ambassador also told Committee staff that he was the source of a Washington Post article ("CIA Did Not Share Doubt on Iraq Data; Bush Used Report of Uranium Bid," June 12, 2003) which said, "among the Envoy's conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because the dates were wrong and the names were wrong." Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong" when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports. The former ambassador said that he may have "misspoken" to the reporter when he said he concluded the documents were "forged." He also said he may have become confused about his own recollection after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported in March 2003 that the names and dates on the documents were not correct and may have thought he had seen the names himself.
The reporter that Wilson "misspoke" to above was Walter Pincus and this is the link to his 12 June 2003 story. Pincus wrote (my emphases added):

After returning to the United States, the envoy reported to the CIA that the uranium-purchase story was false, the sources said. Among the envoy's conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong," the former U.S. government official said.

However, the CIA did not include details of the former ambassador's report and his identity as the source, which would have added to the credibility of his findings, in its intelligence reports that were shared with other government agencies. Instead, the CIA only said that Niger government officials had denied the attempted deal had taken place, a senior administration said.

"This gent made a visit to the region and chatted up his friends," a senior intelligence official said, describing the agency's view of the mission. "He relayed back to us that they said it was not true and that he believed them."

Thirteen months later, on March 8, Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, informed the U.N. Security Council that after careful scrutiny of the Niger documents, his agency had reached the same conclusion as the CIA's envoy. ElBaradei deemed the documents "not authentic," an assessment that U.S. officials did not dispute.

Knowledgeable sources familiar with the forgery investigation have described the faked evidence as a series of letters between Iraqi agents and officials in Niger. The documents had been sought by U.N. inspectors since September 2002 and they were delivered by the United States and Britain last February.
But in February 2002, Joe Wilson is looking at these documents? Who could have supplied them? Valerie Plame? Did she have some inkling of what these documents purported before they were officially turned over to the State Department (and, thence, to the CIA)?

In a 23 July 2003 Newsweek article, Michael Isikoff and Evan Thomas write:

It wasn’t until February, several days after the State of the Union, that the CIA finally obtained the Italian documents (from the State Department, whose warnings that the intelligence on Niger was “highly dubious” seem to have gone unheeded by the White House and unread by Bush). At the same time, the State Department turned over the Italian documents to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which had been pressing the United States to back up its claims about Iraq’s nuclear program.
Nota bene: if Isikoff and Thomas are correct, the CIA doesn't actually get these documents until February 2003 ---a full year after Wilson's Nigerien vacation.

What Wilson was obviously doing in the spring and summer of 2003 was feeding shit to the biggest papers in the country ---Pincus' Washington Post and Kristof's New York Times--- and getting them to move the story that he and his wife were trying to sell.

But why did Wilson believe that he had seen those forged documents long before he actually could have? Did he tell Pincus and Kristof that the information they contained was bogus because el-Baradei's pronouncement that the documents were forgeries gave him the corroboration? Or could Wilson actually have known something more than what he should have about the "crazy report" that Iraq had sought yellowcake from Niger?

Let's ask Valerie!


Posted by Toby Petzold at 8:12 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (6) | Permalink
"Why Does Texas Hate the United States?"
Be sure to check out my old friend Pessimist's anti-Texas screed over at The Left Coaster. It's got everything on it, beginning with this anchovy:

Texas owes the United States for just about everything. Ever since American emigres helped to foment a rebellion against the Mexican government of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, other American citizens have regularly come to the aid of Texas without so much as a demand for a quid pro quo. During this 1836 rebellion, American volunteers, many from Tennessee (including former US Congressman Davy Crockett) went to Texas to aid the Texian rebels with little more than the expectation that they would get to fight a little bit. Their efforts helped to create the Republic of Texas, not that they get much of the credit compared to 'real' Texans.
I admit I'm not the student of my own beloved state's history that I should be, but I can't think of a single one of our Founding Fathers who wasn't a non-native. Can you?

This notion that we Texans somehow hold others' non-native status against them is simple horseshit. Stephen F. Austin was a Virginian (and his daddy Moses was from Connecticut). Houston was also a Virginian. Crockett was an eastern Tennessean; Travis was a South Carolinian and Burleson was a North Carolinian; Bowie was a Kentuckian; Fannin and Lamar were Georgians; de Zavala was from the Yucatan; and Deaf Smith was a New Yorker, for Christ's sake!

And just what the hell is a Californio ---as I presume Pessimist is--- doing complaining about encroaching on Mexico's territory, anyway? Didn't we Americans fight for California, too?

My great-great-great-grandfather Robert Allison Davis (1819-47) ---a boatbuilder and a fine Christian gentleman from Ohio--- lies in an unmarked grave in Mexico City. He died so that I might live in this great Lone Star State and claim my American birthright. The following is from his last letter to my great-great-great-grandmother:

"As regards my feelings, I know that I would love to be at home where I could have your company and see my little boy. But it was my desire to serve my country that influenced me to come. Therefore I have the fortitude to bear with my feelings."


Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:48 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Skulduggery
Over at the Deep Blade Journal is the picture you see here. It's in a brochure from the US Department of Defense that's being distributed in Afghanistan.



Lots of punk rock points for this.

Deep Blade goes on to say:

In the wake of the terrible London bombing incidents, there has been a raft of official squirms from Tony Blair and US officials against the notion that insistent war policies pursued by the US and UK are one root cause of backlash terrorism. Use of an effective public relations phrase -- "stop making excuses" for the animals who commit terrorism -- is helping prevent principled public discourse on the extreme violence that emanates from the US-run Terror War itself.
I have no idea what this means. Do you?

It sounds like the usual Leftist tilt against the natural human response to seeing innocent people on their way to work shredded to bits by subhuman murderers with bombs. And it's the rhetoric of righteous anger that's preventing us from solving the problem of Islamofascist terrorism? No way, friend.

You don't debate with murderers. You don't reason or negotiate with them.

You exterminate them.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:01 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (5) | Permalink
Saturday, 30 July 2005
Consequences
Via Professor Reynolds and Gateway Pundit, have a look at some of the pictures of Egyptian plainclothes cops beating the shit out of protesters in Cairo today. As the AP reports:

Police and Egyptian government supporters beat dozens of opposition activists with batons, sometimes kicking them as they lay on the ground, during a protest Saturday against President Hosni Mubarak days after he announced his bid for re-election promising greater democracy in Egypt.

Several hundred men and women were still gathering to begin their march toward Cairo's main square when men in plainclothes descended on them, swinging billy clubs and assaulting the demonstrators.

Circles of burly government supporters surrounded activists sprawled on the pavement, kicking them in the head and ribs and tearing at their clothes. Others lifted protesters in the air by the arms and legs, hauling them off to police trucks. One elderly man wandered in a daze, his head bleeding.
It would take a lot of effort for the average American to tear himself away from stories of missing party girls and whatever other salaciousness that sells and pay attention to the rumblings on the "Arab street," but it's going on, anyway.

And guess what. The movements in the Arab world may be attributed to the will of the people themselves, but behind their hopes is the greater will of a small handful of men of vision. What George W. Bush and Tony Blair do today will outlast their own lifetimes. That is the fullest measure of human success and we are witnesses to it, witting or not.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:36 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Touching
Duncan Black says:

I try to respect the distinction between private and public figures as I think that distinction is important. I find it a shame when people suddenly find themselves being "internet celebrities" for whatever reason - sometimes the internet "mob" does inappropriately take someone out of the private sphere and put them in the public one.
Touching. I guess this is why Black allows his blog to be an open forum where anonymous assholes can advocate the murder of people like myself.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:06 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Good for Frist
I don't really like Bill Frist and I know I don't want him to become my President, but I like his decision to get behind stem cell research. It's pretty bold of him.

Most Americans have common sense enough to know what a human life is ---and it's not a cluster of cells.

Onward, Science.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 2:25 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
The Submitters' New Position



Posted by Toby Petzold at 1:53 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Incite!
Mood:  on fire
I'm digging Professor Hanson's latest:

Quite simply, Islam is not in need of a reformation, but of a civil war in the Middle East, since the jihadists cannot be reasoned with, only defeated. Only with their humiliation, will come a climate of tolerance and reform, when berated and beaten-down moderates can come out of the shadows.

The challenge for the Middle East is analogous to our own prior war with Hitler who sought to redefine Western culture along some racial notion of a pure
Volk long ago unspoiled by Romanizing civilization. Proving the West was not about race or some notion of an ubermenschen ruling class did not require an “internal dialogue,” much less another religious reformation, but the complete annihilation of Nazism.
If only there were some way to undermine the degenerate democratic ideals of Jews and their lackeys in Washington and London ---and keep the soft autocracy of Islam alive and well in the Middle East!

Oh, I know! Let's pull out some B-roll from Abu Ghraib and call our President the tool of petrofascists and warmongers. After all, we can't let a man who stole two Presidential elections go unpunished!


Posted by Toby Petzold at 1:29 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
"Ich Muss Frauenfleisch Haben! Jetzt!"
Now Playing: "Novelty" by Joy Division
Oh, why not?


Posted by Toby Petzold at 12:56 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Aliasing
Mood:  surprised
I've just found out in the past couple of days that Bombay is now called Mumbai.

When the hell did that happen?


Posted by Toby Petzold at 12:48 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 29 July 2005
Screen Shot
This is the sort of thing that Duncan Black allows on his blog Eschaton. The whole place is infested with pseudonymous cowards who physically threaten people they disagree with.

It may be that Black is embarrassed to have become the host to such a pack of intellectually and morally stunted craphounds ---and doesn't want me around to expose the inadequacies of his site.

Paste that on his blog, bitches.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:42 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Got It
I finally figured out what causes Duncan Black to ban me. It's his deep fear that the only [scandal] he's got going right now with the Bush White House is going nowhere. And he doesn't want any interloper on his threads pointing out what a bunch of fucking liars Wilson and Plame are.

Oh, well. He's probably doing me a favor by preventing me from wasting so much of my online time at his coffee klatch.

See y'all again REAL soon.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:12 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Why Are Leftists Such Idiots?
Why are Leftists such idiots? Because they believe that whatever the dominant actor or system that's at work in their world is, it is, by its very dominance, evil. Of course, they would never stoop to the level of using such a loaded, theological term as evil, but that's what they mean. Which brings up the fact that a Leftist's inclination to pass judgement is hypocritical since it is only acted upon in response to that dominant power and without regard to its actual moral value. That is the only time when it is correct to judge. At all other events, passing judgement is what a dominator does ---and, being an adherent to the ideology of losers and submissives--- the Leftist cannot debase himself so.

Thus, what must be such a person's moral baseline? How can he claim to exercise free will when his only moral standard is the reflexive negation of things that succeed? That is to ask, how can the impulse to destroy and subvert everything around him be an affirmative and autonomous trait? The Leftist's failure to be constructive and rise above the mean is nothing but moral entropy. But that's how he likes his society: diffuse, "above" judgement, and glorifiably impotent.

This is what is at work in the multicultural age. This is why a person who is fortunate enough to live in the modern and materially satisfied West ---with all the rights and privileges that may be enjoyed in a democratic republic--- cannot bring himself to pass judgement on the very force that would bring all of it down. You cannot, finally, fail to condemn what Islam intends for the world if you yourself believe that women and homosexuals and people of faith should be able to exercise their human rights without the fear of oppression and death. You must act against that ideology if you wish to save the one that enables you to believe as you do.

It is might against might that will settle the question of which actors and systems are to survive. But it is false and self-negating and inhuman to suppose that might and right are mutually exclusive ---and to base the whole of your ideology, you Leftist idiots, on the notion that what is dominant is inherently oppressive to human potential. If you cannot bring yourself to pass judgement on the force that would have your heads as soon as it would have mine, it will be left to others to decide the fate of the world without regard to your sensibilities and fashionable ---but fake--- equanimity.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 1:31 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink
Thursday, 28 July 2005
Margin Calling
Courtesy of Pejmanesque, here's Dan Balz's piece in the Washington Post yesterday on how the Left are taking to Hillary Rodham Clinton's migration rightward:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's call for an ideological cease-fire in the Democratic Party drew an angry reaction yesterday from liberal bloggers and others on the left, who accused her of siding with the centrist Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) in a long-running dispute over the future of the party.

Long a revered figure by many in the party's liberal wing, Clinton (D-N.Y.) unexpectedly found herself under attack after calling Monday for a cease-fire among the party's quarreling factions and for agreeing to assume the leadership of a DLC-sponsored initiative aimed at developing a more positive policy agenda for the party.

The reaction highlighted the dilemma Democratic politicians face trying to satisfy energized activists on the left -- many of whom are hungering for party leaders to advance a more full-throated agenda and more aggressively confront President Bush -- while also cultivating the moderate Democrats and independents whose support is crucial to winning elections. The challenge has become more acute because of the power and importance grass-roots activists, symbolized by groups such as MoveOn.org and liberal bloggers, have assumed since the 2004 election.

The most pointed critique of Clinton came in one of the most influential blogs on the left, Daily Kos out of Berkeley, Calif., which called Clinton's speech "truly disappointing" and said she should not provide cover for an organization that often has instigated conflict within the party.
So I guess the days of the New Democrats are over. Even though the Left have no choice but to remember ---long and loud--- the halcyon days of yore when Bill was lying and people weren't dying and the great economy (that was built on the crown of an untenable bubble) and the general retreat from the reality of a sociopathic religion beating on our front doors.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 7:10 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Archaiophobia
Mood:  don't ask
One of my oldest phobias is the tarantula. And when I got home yesterday, there was a dying one in my kitchen. I put a small wastepaper basket over it because I can't even bring myself to pick it up yet. Jesus! Yeccchhhh!!!


Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:58 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 27 July 2005
What?!
What the fuck?! ABC News is using Richard Clarke as the go-to expert on the unexploded London subway bombs?

Yep. Jennings is still balls-deep into that newscast.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:39 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 26 July 2005
Me and Lance Armstrong
Mood:  celebratory
I don't mean to sound like the unathletic, sometimes anti-bicycling old man that I am, but I am completely indifferent to the very wonderful news that Lance Armstrong has won his seventh consecutive Tour de France.

I suppose I would have been vaguely disappointed at his frustration had he failed to capture the title again, but as it is, I am simply hoping that the hoopla simmers down sometime soon.

Having said that, I am proud of this man in the way that a total stranger whose life does not resemble or touch upon his can be. Armstrong is a marvel of human endurance and will and anybody should be in awe of his physical skills.

But I am most proud of his story as a survivor of cancer. After the loss of my own father to cancer, I did a very rare thing: I wrote to this young man ---only two years my junior--- and wished him well. And not long after, someone with his foundation wrote me back in thanks. I've always thought that was classy and, regardless of my own chairbound laziness and apathy, I will always regard Lance Armstrong as an inspiration.

Tour de France, yeah, yeah, blah, blah... What else do you expect of the heroic?


Posted by Toby Petzold at 6:30 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink

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