Rats Now Playing: "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones
Some people I know are very eager to see Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper go to jail for not ratting out their sources, but why is that? Why are liberals and Leftists salivating at such a prospect when it's the evil Bush-Ashcroft-Gonzales Justice Department who are threatening Miller and Cooper with incarceration?
Oh. Because the information they have might get one of Bu$hitler's cronies in trouble.
See? It's not partisan ---it's principled.
Actually, I don't really care who told Robert Novak that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent. Because, as it turns out, Plame and her self-aggrandizing, war-profiteering consort didn't care, either. Plame's day job was no secret to the chattering classes in Washington. And no crime was committed.
Tough luck, Lefties. Plamegate is still DOA, no matter how many times it shows up at the back door.
Wrong Now Playing: "A Woman in Love" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
I don't know who this "Dafydd" character who's guest-posting over at the Captain's Quarters is, but I know I don't like his explanation of why he won't use the term Islamofascist.
[...] creating a new word for Islamic terrorism changes how we perceive it, which affects how we fight it. This is especially true when the new word is actually a contraction of two other words, Islamic and fascism, into Islamofascism. The shortening restricts the ability to think critically about the alleged connection, short-circuiting rational thought and heading straight for the emotional centers.
Nonsense. I don't use Islamofascism unthinkingly as though it were some tossed-off slur; I use it deliberately because it conveys exactly the notion these murderous Submitters have of a new global Caliphate. They do not draw any distinction between their religion and the world-state to which they aspire; therefore, Islamofascist pretty much covers it. They wish to put Sharia ---their law of militant domination of everyone from women to the dhimmis in their midst--- at the pinnacle of all human government. It is a legal and ideological system of spiritual repression, political illiberality, and genocidal xenophobia. Sounds like certain other fascist systems I've heard of.
And make no mistake: Arab nationalism and Ba'athism and even the oil kingdoms of the Arabian Peninsula are all believers in the socialist state. The state is everything with these vast tribes ---and when that is so, fascism is a natural posture. If Osama bin Laden hates the current Saudi regime in Arabia, it's only because he would prefer to see his own regime there. Osama ---just like the Madrird train-bombers--- does, indeed, wish to see a new Caliphate. Thus, Dafydd is particularly wrong when he says (emphases in the original):
Most of the militant Islamist groups around today simply have no economic ideas, plans, or principles. Yet the distinguishing characteristic of fascism -- what differentiates it from garden-variety socialism, racism, and antisemitism -- is intensely economic: fascism is totalitarianism that operates through corporatism.
So what? There's more aspects to fascism than economics or an actual affinity with Mussolini or Hitler. There's also the hatred of pluralism and the psychotic adherence to orthodoxy and even the far-reaching control over the aesthetics of cultural being. Is there any more precise a term than Islamofascist to apply to a government like the Taliban? No. It captures what they are perfectly.
Let's not presume to question why we non-dhimmis choose to use that term. I say it because I mean it.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 3:28 AM CDT
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Updated: Saturday, 2 July 2005 3:32 AM CDT
Friday, 1 July 2005
I Saw This Myself
Over at the very hot Michelle Malkin's site is a round-up of some reactions to what Brian Williams said on the NBC Nightly News Thursday evening. I happened to catch this, too, but was struck mostly by how routine it is to hear such abject historical ignorance in Big Media and elsewhere ---and, so, went about my chores, thinking on Williams' moral equivocation for all of five seconds (emphasis added):
In his newscast tonight, "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams compared America's first presidents to the president-elect of Iran, alleged hostage-taker Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying they were "certainly revolutionaries and might have been called terrorists by the British crown."
At least six of the Americans held at the U.S. embassy in Tehran as hostages for 444 days claim Ahmadinejad was one of the leaders of the captors, having recognized him on television reports.
Williams' comment came in a question to reporter Andrea Mitchell.
At the end of Mitchell's report, Williams asked, "What would it all matter if proven true? Someone brought up today the first several U.S. presidents were certainly revolutionaries and might have been called 'terrorists' by the British crown, after all."
At best, Williams is a dilettante who was told by an intern that such a question would be clever. At worst, he is a news anchor.
At the perverted heart of Williams' question is the absence of his belief in American exceptionalism. It must be a burden for some to think that our system of government and the genius of our civilization is superior to that of oppressive theocratic regimes. In Williams' case, the burden is too great: why not casually compare a man (who's essentially no better than a wife-beater with respect to women's rights and a Nazi with respect to the safety of Jews) to Washington or John Adams? Who wants to be so unhip as to insist ---even if it must be subliminally--- that we are better than the mullahs and ayatollahs who run Iran? Certainly not the smug and ignorant anchor of a major American news organization.
Don't forget: the men who instituted our form of government gave rise to a nation that respects and observes human and civil rights to a degree that would have been unimaginable to the previous five thousand years of human civilization. Yes, our Founding Fathers waged war and enslaved human beings. But were they theocratic fascists with no dreams of a free society? Were they not freethinkers and men of enlightenment and pluralism? Are they not to be judged by what they finally wrought? Would you imagine that the vision that Ahmadinejad has for Iran includes such exalted ideals and realizations?
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 12:47 AM CDT
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Updated: Friday, 1 July 2005 12:58 AM CDT
Some Strange Pendulum Now Playing: "No Expectations" by the Rolling Stones
Some of the former hostages from the Iranian Hostage Crisis are saying that the newly-[elected] president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was one of their captors.
Says Col. Charles Scott:
"This is the guy. There's no question about it" [...] "You could make him a blond and shave his whiskers, put him in a zoot suit and I'd still spot him."
An Important Point Now Playing: "Knowing Me, Knowing You" by ABBA SaysThe Power Line's John Hinderaker:
The mainstream media continue their faux outrage over the link that President Bush drew between September 11 and the Iraq war in his speech Tuesday night; here is one of countless examples. This is, frankly, mystifying; as one of our readers pointed out yesterday, the connection between the Iraq war and September 11 was made explicit in the text of the Congressional resolution that authorized military action in Iraq.
Go ahead and read them. At least for a few hours there, the lying assholes in Congress who are [mad] at Bush right now thought that there was a link between the Saddamites and the atrocities of 11 September 2001.
One would think that administration critics like Joe Biden, John Kerry, Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer would remember what was in the resolution, since they voted for it. I can understand why it would be convenient for the Democrats to forget that the resolution that authorized the Iraq war specifically and repeatedly linked the rationale for that war to the September 11 attacks. It is not so clear why mainstream reporters and commentators are so willing to share the Democrats' amnesia.
Does anyone remember how we first took on Hitler's Third Reich? By invading North Africa. If only we had sent in more troops and sent them into Fortress Europa from the start, all our boys would have been home in a couple of months and basking in the light of victory! Those idiots Roosevelt and Marshall and Eisenhower. What incompetence!
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 11:06 PM CDT
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Updated: Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:39 PM CDT
At Least She Has a Great Rack
Courtesy of Ramesh Ponnuru at the National Review Online's The Corner, read the full exchange from Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's press conference today on the issue of the Supreme Court's recent eminent domain ruling, excerpted here (emphases added):
Q. Later this morning, many Members of the House Republican leadership, along with John Cornyn from the Senate, are holding a news conference on eminent domain, the decision of the Supreme Court the other day, and they are going to offer legislation that would restrict it, prohibiting federal funds from being used in such a manner.
Two questions: What was your reaction to the Supreme Court decision on this topic, and what do you think about legislation to, in the minds of opponents at least, remedy or changing it?
Ms. Pelosi: As a Member of Congress, and actually all of us and anyone who holds a public office in our country, we take an oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Very central to that in that Constitution is the separation of powers. I believe that whatever you think about a particular decision of the Supreme Court, and I certainly have been in disagreement with them on many occasions, it is not appropriate for the Congress to say we're going to withhold funds for the Court because we don't like a decision.
Q Not on the Court, withhold funds from the eminent domain purchases that wouldn't involve public use. I apologize if I framed the question poorly. It wouldn't be withholding federal funds from the Court, but withhold Federal funds from eminent domain type purchases that are not just involved in public good.
Ms. Pelosi. Again, without focusing on the actual decision, just to say that when you withhold funds from enforcing a decision of the Supreme Court you are, in fact, nullifying a decision of the Supreme Court. This is in violation of the respect for separation of church -- powers in our Constitution, church and state as well. Sometimes the Republicans have a problem with that as well. But forgive my digression.
The only reasonable question a person could ask at this point is what the fuck? What the fuck is this woman talking about?
Read the whole transcript at the link above. She isn't mishearing this reporter; she literally has no idea what he's referring to. Is that possible?
So what do you think of a Supreme Court that says it's okay for a local municipality to seize your home and land and sell it all to a private developer for the sake of increasing the local tax base?
Want the shock of the day? Go find out who voted how on that decision. And then tell me that it's conservatives who have a monopoly on Government meddling.
CORRECTION: I should not have written that local municipalities can "seize" one's home and land. Instead, they can now force you to sell it to them. In a homeowner's mind, this may, indeed, be a seizure, but my term was incorrect.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 10:36 PM CDT
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Updated: Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:42 PM CDT
But, Duncan, There's Not Even an Election Going On!
I'm wearing my badge of honor. Proudly.
And Whatever Happened to the Frito Bandito? Mood:
You're gonna love on this:
MEXICO CITY, June 29 - Just weeks after President Vicente Fox made an offhand remark that angered many African-Americans, the Mexican government has taken another action that shows the gulf in racial sensibilities between the countries: it put cartoon caricatures of a black boy on a series of stamps.
Mexican postal officials on Tuesday unveiled the series of five stamps, a total of 750,000 stamps, depicting a character known as Memin Pinguin, a broadly drawn comic figure with thick lips, big eyes and protruding ears.
Created in 1943, the comic-book character was inspired by a Cuban child, its creators said. He is well-intentioned but hapless, and his mannerisms and speech reinforce 1940's stereotypes of blacks as lazy, mischievous and uneducated, anthropologists and civil rights advocates say. Comic books featuring the character are still being published in Mexico.
As my little brother once said, "Way to go, Ex-Lax!"
But here's my favorite rationalization from this story (emphasis added):
The stamps are part of a series that pays tribute to Mexican comic books. Memin Pinguin, the second in the series, was apparently chosen for this year's release because it is the 50th anniversary of the company that publishes the comic.
Publisher Manelick De la Parra told the government news agency Notimex the character would be a sort of goodwill ambassador on Mexican letters and postcards. "It seems nice if Memin can travel all over the world, spreading good news," de la Parra said, calling him "so charming, so affectionate, so wonderful, generous and friendly."
"Goodbye and Good Luck" Now Playing: "Parachute Woman" by the Rolling Stones
As any old UT alumnus from my era on the Forty Acres can tell you, the voice of Bill Livingston could bring great joy ---or great disappointment:
If you attended the University of Texas at any time during the past 15 years, you've probably had an encounter with TEX - Telephone Enrollment eXchange.
But because of new technology and more students turning to online registration, the TEX system is going out of service.
The carefully enunciating male voice is familiar for hundreds of thousands of UT students and alumni. They heard the greeting every time they registered, dropped or added a class or even checked a grade. Associate Registrar Mike Allen said TEX averaged 1 million calls per year.
The end of TEX has former students calling the famous number for one last listen.
What a funny little relic to ponder.
If anyone reading this knows where I can lay my hands on some .wav files of that voice, I'd love to have them.
His most famous last words actually came about by accident. When you end a call with TEX, he always wishes you “Good-bye and good luck.”
"And just out of the blue I said into the microphone ‘good-bye and good luck.’ It became part of the lure of TEX and the lure of Bill Livingston," Livingston said.
He's a person many haven't met, but almost everyone has a story about hanging onto his words when it’s time to call for final grades.
Basically, something goes horribly wrong with my car every three or four weeks. Today, after work, I get over to the post office just in time to send a very important letter somewhere and, when I get back in my car, the damned thing's as silent as the grave when I try to start it. I mean, NOTHING.
My poor little horse is falling apart piece by piece. I may have to put it out to pasture in the next month or so if this keeps on happening.
Give 'em Enough Rope
I like what Mark Steyn has to say about the House's recent passage of a Constitutional Amendment that would prohibit the desecration of the American flag:
For my own part, I believe that, if someone wishes to burn a flag, he should be free to do so. In the same way, if Democrat senators want to make speeches comparing the U.S. military to Nazis and the Khmer Rouge, they should be free to do so. It's always useful to know what people really believe.
And that's the thing: if you hate this country so much that you would burn her most precious symbol, go ahead. Show us your ass.
Then again, I think the individual states should statutorily set the maximum penalty for assault on one of these flag-burners at the payment of a one dollar fine.
Steyn also reminds us of the Leftist martyr to the Car Swarm People, Rachel Corrie, and the notorious photograph of her burning an American flag. Corrie was accidentally crushed to death a few years ago in Gaza when she got in the way of an Israeli bulldozer.
[...]her family and friends worked assiduously to promote the image of her as a youthful idealist passionately moved by despair and injustice. ''My Name Is Rachel Corrie,'' a play about her, was a huge hit in London. Well, OK, it wasn't so much a play as a piece of sentimental agitprop so in thrall to its subject's golden innocence that the picture of Rachel on the cover of the Playbill shows her playing in the backyard, age 7 or so, wind in her hair, in a cute, pink T-shirt.
There's another photograph of Rachel Corrie: at a Palestinian protest, headscarved, her face contorted with hate and rage, torching the Stars and Stripes. Which is the real Rachel Corrie? The "schoolgirl idealist" caught up in the cycle of violence? Or the grown woman burning the flag of her own country? Well, that's your call. But because that second photograph exists, we at least have a choice.
Have you seen that Rachel Corrie flag-burning photo? If you follow Charles Johnson's invaluable Little Green Footballs Web site and a few other Internet outposts, you will have. But you'll look for it in vain in the innumerable cooing profiles of the "passionate activist" that have appeared in the world's newspapers.
We don't need to ban flag-burning. We just need to give these people enough rope.
There Goes the Neighborhood Mood:
Courtesy of Charles Johnson, here is a fascinating report on al-Jazeera's latest doings:
The Arab TV news network criticized by the new Iraqi government and others for its anti-American bias and willingness to carry the messages of terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida, is headed for the U.S.-Mexico border to document how easy it is to enter America illegally.
Al-Jazeera has contacted Minuteman Civil Defense Corps leader Chris Simcox to try to arrange interviews. Simcox, who rejected the request for cooperation with the TV network, says al-Jazeera, seen by millions throughout the Arab world and elsewhere, is producing an hour-long documentary news special on lack of security at the U.S. southern border.
That's pretty mindblowing, isn't it? Somehow, it's even worse than the Mexican government producing pamphlets and DVDs for the edification of its own citizens who wish to illegally enter our country.
But here's my favorite bit:
Simcox has contacted the offices of Arizona's two Republican U.S. senators – John McCain and Jon Kyl – to invite them to do interviews with al Jazeera, "so perhaps they can explain to the viewers of this news outlet just how secure America's borders really are."
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 12:20 PM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 26 June 2005 1:55 PM CDT
Saturday, 25 June 2005
Byron York does a great job of proving Karl Rove's recent charges against liberals in this country.
The [outrage] that people like Schumer and Pelosi have manufactured is crap. They associated themselves closely with organizations like MoveOn.org in this past election cycle ---and now, again--- they get to enjoy it.
After Rove's comments, MoveOn released a statement saying flatly, "MoveOn did not oppose the U.S. military action in Afghanistan." And in an interview with the Washington Post, reporter Dan Balz wrote that MoveOn political chief Eli Pariser "disputed Rove's characterization of the petition calling for moderation and restraint, saying that the petition was a personal project before he was affiliated with MoveOn and that it was not on the group's Web site at the time of the Afghanistan war."
Despite Pariser's contention, there is solid evidence that MoveOn did in fact oppose the war in Afghanistan, and that MoveOn founders Joan Blades and Wes Boyd hired Pariser in significant part because of his activism against the war.
Please drop by the Power Line and read this letter to the Minneapolis Star Tribune from Lt. Peter Hegseth, a recently returned veteran of our facilities at Guantanamo Bay. Here's an excerpt:
Not only are the detainees treated humanely (top-notch medical care, hearty meals, recreational facilities, full access to religious observance, etc..) but I personally witnessed instances when detainees did not want to leave. It was not uncommon for my platoon to guard an airfield for hours in preparation for sending a detainee home, only to turn around and bring him back to the detention facility – because he refused to leave! These detainees are not stupid—they know that real torture and inhumane treatment await them at home. And while I know they’re not happy to be in GTMO, they rest assured that they will be treated well because Americans play by the rules.
Guess whose story I buy: an American soldier's or that of Islamofascists who instruct these people to claim abuse as a propaganda ploy.