Back in February, Steve Soto of The Left Coaster wrote that
Sure, it would have been better for the incoming Bush Administration to continue what was underway between Seoul, Washington, and Pyongyang when they came into office. And, yes, as a result we have lost four critical years where we could have had inspectors on the ground and controls in place to stop the North from becoming a nuclear player capable now of spreading weapons to terrorists. The responsibility for those developments rests squarely on the heads of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, not Bill Clinton.
This is just incredible nonsense. No, we could not have had any such inspectors or controls ---not if you regard North Korea as a sovereign country and not if you accept the hard fact that Kim had already developed weaponized nuclear capabilities right under the noses of the worthless IAEA inspectors.
But the great do-nothing President of the Deluded Left must be defended at all costs, see.
In December 2002, North Korea kicked the IAEA inspectors out, declaring that they had "restarted" their efforts to extract plutonium.
In January 2003, North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
In February 2005, Kim announced that he did, in fact, have nuclear weapons.
Are we to believe, as Soto does, that Kim did not already have nuclear weapons prior to these withdrawals and admissions? How can Bill Clinton not be held responsible for the unchecked nuclear developments in North Korea? It was happening on his watch. But because Kim gets noisy on Bush's watch, he somehow gets all the "credit."
In 1994, Clinton sent former President Jimmy Carter to negotiate the so-called Agreed Framework deal with Kim ---basically a large bribe package to keep that nutty kimchi pot from working on more nuclear technology. But it was all a lie: Kim continued to export technology and work on his own missile delivery systems and uranium enrichment activities throughout the 1990s.
And none of it has ever really been suspended. If Kim closes one facility down, he opens another. It's a whole lot of three-card monty which allows Kim to pull the same shit that Saddam used to: blame Uncle Sam, demand more bribes, insist on the peaceful applications of nuclear technology, withdraw from this treaty, criticize that one. It's a joke. As is this other observation from Soto:
What also rests on the head of Bush and Cheney is the fact that while we have 150,000 troops tied down occupying the one member of the Axis of Evil that posed no such threat to us, this administration has allowed the other two members of that Axis to become real threats.
This is a typical criticism of the anti-Bush Left. Typical in that there's no thought invested in it other than what partisan posturing requires. What Soto and his like-minded friends are really saying is that we wouldn't be in danger from Kim if only we had more soldiers and Marines on the DMZ. Really? We don't have enough nuclear cannon fodder in South Korea as it is? What can our infantry do against a Rodong missile carrying a nuclear warhead? Nothing.
I will say it again: there is no politically acceptable military solution to the problem of a nuclearized North Korea. Kim and his cronies must either be brought down in a coup or the country will eventually become such a basket case that a revolution will destroy it. But there is no conventional response we can mount in the face of nuclear weapons.
Of course, if Kim ever succumbs to syphilis, he may very well go out in one last blaze of glory. But will Bush be to blame if we are compelled to vaporize Pyongyang?
Be sure to check out this post at Patterico's Pontifications on the dishonest manipulation of the news in the Los Angeles Times.
We now know, thanks to satellite video, that the car in which Giuliana Sgrena and her ransomer tried to run a US military checkpoint in Baghdad last month was, as our troops said, speeding.
But when the Times published its report on the disagreement between the US and Italian governments regarding their joint investigation of the incident, they took a Reuters wire service piece and cut it up to suit their own agenda ---inexplicably cutting the reference to the satellite video, which definitively proves that Sgrena's car was speeding.
As Patterico says:
Times editors removed the fact that there is proof, in the form of satellite footage, supporting the U.S. version of the event.
There is no excuse for the L.A. Times story not reporting this information.
Let's see what excuse the editors offer up, if any.
Gold Leafing a Hard-On Now Playing: "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger
The more I pay attention to this week's Big Media celebritoid, Jennifer Wilbanks, the more it pisses me off.
This very stupid and narcissistic little girl, who was to be married ---this very day--- for apparently the first time at the age of 32, ran away from home in Georgia last Tuesday night and fled across the country to New Mexico ---all because she was freaking out over her wedding. Along the way, she managed to plunge her entire family into a deep and grievous shock, subject her fiance to suspicions of murder, lie to the authorities, and involve them in a huge waste of resources and manpower.
Well, you know what, you very stupid and narcissistic little girl? You must have come fully pre-freaked to your present situation if you thought that 14 pairs of wedding attendants and 600 sent invitations is in any way appropriate to your station in life or to the very concept of common sense. What the fuck? Are you some sort of princess? I mean in the real world where the rest of us live ---and not in the depths of your bridal magazine and fairy tale-fueled psychosis. You were planning on more groomsmen than the Pope had pallbearers, you ridiculous liar.
Why didn't Jennifer Wilbanks have a friend or relative with the stones to stand up to her and tell her she was insane? The only thing that turns my ire to mirth in this is the thought that these same people probably lost a lot money on deposits and fees and deliveries for this absurd rooftop jack-off of a wedding.
This very stupid and narcissistic little girl deserves to be prosecuted nine ways to Sunday. And, at the very least, she can apologize to the law enforcement community for being a liar.
Friday Night Chillin' Now Playing: "Cannonball" by the Breeders
Have some of Victor Davis Hanson's latest regarding anti-Americanism as an indicator of our success:
Mexico, enjoying one of the richest landscapes in the world, can't feed its own people, so it exports its poorest to the United States. Its own borders with Central America are as brutal to cross as our own are porous. Illegal aliens send back almost $50 billion, which has the effect of propping up corrupt institutions that as a result will never change. Given its treatment of its own people, if the Mexican government praised the United States we should indeed be concerned.
As Yogi Berra once said of a certain club, I believe it was, "No one goes there nowadays, it's too crowded."
loud Now Playing: "That Lady" by the Isley Brothers Scrapplefacereports:
Republican members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee revealed today that they have stalled the confirmation of John Bolton as U.N. Ambassador to investigate claims by Jose Canseco that the former Major League Baseball slugger had injected Mr. Bolton with steroids on several occasions.
A State Department spokesman denied the steroid allegations and said, "Mr. Bolton's temperament is all natural -- a healthy, manly reaction to the environment within the federal government."
"If he didn't get angry with preening bureaucrats from time-to-time, then we might suspect he was on drugs," said the unnamed source.
Feeling My Age Mood:
not sure Now Playing: "Almost Cut My Hair" by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Have I mentioned lately that I am extremely nervous all the time now and that I cannot think straight? I just want this whole house-buying thing to go smoothly and come to a conclusion. Soon.
"I feel like I owe it to someone..."
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 9:55 PM CDT
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Updated: Saturday, 30 April 2005 4:05 PM CDT
No Revisionism, Comrades
I should have linked to this very useful post at the InstaPundit when it first came out, but better late than never. And, as if to underscore the point that the anti-war Left is intent on rewriting the history of our purposes in Iraq, here's a quote from an editorial in today's New York Times (with Professor Reynolds' emphasis):
The only plausible reason for keeping American troops in Iraq is to protect the democratic transformation that President Bush seized upon as a rationale for the invasion after his claims about weapons of mass destruction turned out to be fictitious. If that transformation is now allowed to run off the rails, the new rationale could prove to be as hollow as the original one.
It is completely moronic for the anti-war Left to insist that there was and always will be but one reason to have invaded Iraq. Wars are multi-causal. Does anyone reading this actually believe that the American Civil War was fought over some incident at Fort Sumter? Did we lay low the Spanish Empire for the sake of avenging the Maine? And don't you suppose that we would have eventually entered the First World War for some reason other than the threat contained in the Zimmermann Telegram?
We fight for hegemony. We fight for the sake of our friends and potential friends. We fight for human liberation and the promotion of democratic principles and the security of our energy resources and because the American Way is a light unto the world. And no one need apologize for that.
Iraq will be free. It may not come by the timetables of fantasists who childishly expect that all great and world-changing endeavors must be accomplished in a bloodless instant, but it will come. And from that will come other developments around the Muslim Middle East that will change these people and their cultures forever. That is to say, these people must be secularized and redirected away from their apocalypticism and hatred of modernity.
The greatest failing of the anti-war crowd is its inability to say just what it is that's so goddamned wonderful about political Islam in the Middle East that it should be left alone to fester and explode. Probe that to any depth and you'll find that "Democrats" are nothing of the sort: they don't believe that we have any strategic interests in the Middle East or that our principles of self-government and human rights should be extended to that part of the world. They just want to turn inward and pretend that we can continue to operate as we did in the 1990s, bribing tyrants and ignoring threats.
Once Iraq is fully functional, the whole world will reap the benefits of our country's sacrifices there. I don't know whether that will ever be acknowledged, but a democratized Iraq will move many other countries in that region to emulation. How can that be a bad thing?
Using the Constitution of the State of Texas As an Instrument of Homophobic Hatred
What the fuck is going on?
The Texas Constitution may soon define marriage as between "one man and one woman," if the Senate passes a resolution that was cleared in the House Monday.
House Joint Resolution 6, authored by multiple state representatives, would have the Texas Constitution state that "marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman." The amendment, said co-author Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, is to assure that no other relationship is held on the same level as marriage.
I find this kind of abuse of my state's Constitution absolutely inexcusable. Who the fuck are these people doing this? How dare they even attempt to codify their own ignorance and hatred in this way.
Last week, one of these hateful idiots ---Rep. Robert Talton--- attached an amendment to a bill reforming my state's Child Protective Services program that forbids homosexuals from acting as foster parents.
"We do not believe that homosexuals or bisexuals should be raising our children," Rep. Talton said.
Rep. Talton said his rationale for the amendment is based on his belief that homosexuality could be passed on from parent to child.
"Some of us believe they would be better off in orphanages than in a homosexual or bisexual households because that's a learned behavior," Talton said.
Talton, you are an ignorant goddamned dumbass. There's simply no way that can be contradicted. If your view of the world hadn't been scraped off the bottom of some bigoted preacher's shoe and forced down your throat as a child, you might have grown up to consider that homosexuality is neither a disease nor a moral failing.
Don't forget, kids: homophobes are the biggest faggots of all. And, when I say faggots, I mean hateful, confused, and conflicted sadists who would let their own personal issues jeopardize the care that thousands of orphans across this state deserve.
happy Now Playing: "Our House" by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
I'm in the process of buying my first house ---and it's scaring the shit out of me. Who knows what half of that stuff is that you put your name and commitment to? Jesus!
But I really like this house and I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it once the deal is done.
Only in America can I guy in my situation buy a nice house. And after all is said about these days we're living, I'm going to look back and be glad that such an opportunity arose.
Others can be dark and cynical about our times, but not me: I'm going to own my own home and the land it sits upon. I'm going to play my music loud and whenever I want to. I'm going to park my car in my own garage and never think twice about it getting broken into or parked too closely to or not even having a space to park it in. I'm going to have an office and a library. I'm going to have a huge backyard where I can grill hamburgers for my family and watch the smoke waft through all of those beautiful trees. Hell, I might even start a little garden.
Tado and Toby Mood:
Today would have been my PawPaw's 96th birthday.
Theodore Gustav Petzold was born in Leroy, Texas on 24 April 1909, the seventh son born to Heinrich Otto and Amilie Augusta (Rackow) Petzold. Everyone knew him as Tado (pronounced TAY-doh).
My PawPaw was a very gentle man who loved nature and loved his family. I don't think he made it past the third grade and probably couldn't do much more than write his own name. But he was the salt of the earth. Tado could grow anything in his garden and in the fields where he and his family were sharecroppers. I especially remember his okra, which he loved to fry up in one of those big iron skillets.
PawPaw could tell you the time of day by where the Sun stood in the sky ---and usually down to the minute. He was a good shot, too. My most vivid memory of my PawPaw is of him pointing out a squirrel in a pecan tree in his front yard. We were sitting on the ledge of the front porch when he asked, "You see that squirrel, Tobe-ope?" I guess I did because the next thing I knew, he was raising up his old Remington .22 and dropping that squirrel with one shot. He then proceeded to skin it and got Grandma to cook it up for us.
Tado Petzold would be a pretty hip dresser even today. It was usually denim and workboots or khakis and long-sleeve cotton shirts. He always had a good head of hair and plenty of stubble. In fact, there was a plant of some kind out on the side of the house that I would call PawPaw's "whisker tree" because it reminded me of his beard.
PawPaw died when I was only four, but I have in mind many images and impressions. He was well-loved throughout the Valley Mills community ---and his funeral was attended by hundreds.
And, so, today, I wanted to tell you a little bit about the man to whom I owe my good name.
I Was Wrong Mood:
suave Now Playing: "Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats
I just found another version of that photo and it looks to me like it's legitimate. But with the crap added to the bottom, it looked phoney.
So, I apologize to any and all for my weird, sleep-deprived insistence that the photo posted below was fake.
If I had gone to bed a couple of hours ago like I meant to, I would not have committed this blunder.
Please razz me all you want. Because it's now clear that John Bolton personally stole the 2000 Election for George W. Bush.
Some Guy Called Puppethead
You'll like this comment in the thread with the fake photo at The Daily Kos :
Everyone declares those of us who think the 2000 and 2004 elections were both stolen as crazy conspiracy nuts. But here we see photographic evidence of a coordinated attempt to direct the outcome of the election by non-democratic means.
No, what you're seeing is an unskilled attempt at PhotoShopping John Bolton's image into a photo with one of those idiot judges who had his 15 minutes of fame during the 2000 Election.
I mean, am I the one being had here? Or are other people really this gullible?
I prefer to believe the latter.
UPDATE: Yeah, I understand that Bolton was in Florida during the post-Election period. But is this a legitimate photo? No way.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 3:34 AM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 24 April 2005 4:04 AM CDT
I Will Eat My Hat If This Picture Is Real Mood:
Over at the anti-American blog The Daily Kos is a post by some moron in which the picture you see is cited as proof that John Bolton was one of the Republican lawyers who went to Florida to "steal" the 2000 Election for George W. Bush.
I am very tired right now and possibly punchy, but is this a joke? Is this picture not the most amateur PhotoShop job you've seen all day?
UPDATE: This photo was originally taken from this story in The Daily Oakland Press, which may or may not be printed in Cyrillic characters. I mean, is this what passes for journalistic integrity these days?
UPDATE: I was absolutely wrong about this photo. It is, in fact, legitimate. I apologize to anyone reading these words for asserting otherwise and for doing so in a somewhat chickenshit manner.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 2:23 AM CDT
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Updated: Sunday, 24 April 2005 4:41 AM CDT
Saturday, 23 April 2005
Canadian Corruption Now Playing: "Spy in the Cab" by Bauhaus
Professor Reynolds says you should read this ---and so you should.
[Canadian Prime Minister] Paul Martin hardly needs another scandal, but the news that Maurice Strong has stepped down from his UN post as special envoy to Korea in the wake of allegations related to the Iraqi oil-for-food debacle is potentially damaging on several fronts.
This week, Mr. Strong, a long-time mentor and associate of Mr. Martin, admitted ongoing links to Tongsun Park, a Korean lobbyist charged in connection with oil-for-food. Mr. Park previously enjoyed 15 minutes of infamy in the 1970s as the conduit for bribes to U.S. Congressional officials, an affair dubbed "Koreagate." This time, according to Paul Volcker's independent inquiry, Mr. Park transferred funds from Iraq to high-ranking UN officials.
Mr. Park has apparently admitted that he invested US$1-million in a Canadian company associated with the son of a UN official. Mr. Strong himself immediately came forward and declared that he was the official, and that the company was Cordex Petroleums. Intriguingly, other investors in the company included CSL Group Inc., the holding company controlled by Paul Martin (which was at that time being managed in trust). Cordex's directors included Bill Hopper, the ousted former head of Petro-Canada, the state oil company of which Mr. Strong was the founding chairman and CEO.
What I don't get are the remarks Martin made last November in Santiago, Chile about expanding the current G8 to the G20 ---thereby effectively supplanting the United Nations Security Council. But is that what's going on? Says this guy:
Although initial press reports in Canada interpreted this as a veiled retrenchment from Canada's historically strong support for the United Nations, it is better viewed as an enlargement of the G-8 grouping by co-opting such major economic players as Australia, China, India, Indonesia, South Africa, South Korea, Mexico and Brazil. For Australia, this is potentially more useful and important than trying to gatecrash the East Asian groupings.
That's honest enough, although what Ramesh Thakur says next is perhaps too honest:
The central challenge of global governance is a double disconnect. First, between the distribution of hard and soft power in the real world, on the one hand, and the distribution of decision-making authority in the existing intergovernmental institutions on the other. Second, between the numbers and types of actors playing ever-expanding roles in civil, political and economic affairs within and among nations, and the concentration of decision-making authority in intergovernmental institutions.
See, the real impediment to the UN becoming a true global government is the hardheadedness of those who still haven't gotten over the infantile disease of nationalism. Id est, Americans.
But never mind that; what's really cooking is that a lot of the very same leaders who objected to the War for Iraq are being exposed as morally questionable crooks whose objections were not rooted in principle, but interest. Namely, self-interest.
We don't need the fucking UN. We don't need friends who want to institute one world government at our expense. If you think we're such a force for evil in the world, go find out how bad it is. Go.
Something that intellectuals forget is that what they find to be obvious or essential is not to the vast majority of the human race. That is a fault of idealism: the perfect arrangement is nothing of the sort, except in your own head.
Behind Now Playing: "Minimum Wage" by They Might Be Giants
An old friend of mine in New York just doesn't know what to make of this newfangled blogosphere thingamajig:
"Alternative" media is real. I'm just not sure disseminating false information qualifies you as part of it.
See, I'm a liar because I disagree with him. And because I link to reports and analyses that don't taste like the horseshit he's being spoonfed by, presumably, the Times and Air America.
You and You People are so happy to be part of something you'll forgive its every wrongheaded and deceptive impulse.
Huh? What can one make of this? Is our correspondent referring to Dan Rather's lies or John Kerry's? Both have been exhaustively detailed in thousands of different blogs, "alternative" though they are.
What this is, of course, is a liberal Yankee's desperate shaft against the encroaching decay of the liberal elite's hold over the media. I don't have to wait around for CBS News or CNN or the New York Times to tell me what I may believe anymore ---and it rankles. It especially rankles those who pass themselves off as true adherents to a free press and the promotion of democracy. When the genuine article is staring them in the face, they choose to look away and mumble something about deception and Halliburton.
The Fakery Unfolds Now Playing: "Use Me Up" by Bill Withers
One of the more famous of the so-called portraits of the so-called William Shakespeare has been declared to be phogna bologna by some so-called experts. In this case, I choose to believe them ---because I've never had any reason to believe the Flower Portrait was the real deal, anyway.
Historians have disagreed about the origins of The Flower Portrait, which bears the inscription 1609.
Not everyone has been convinced that the portrait, owned by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), was painted during the playwright's lifetime.
Now National Portrait Gallery experts in London confirm it is a fake which dates back to the early 19th century.
Chrome yellow paint, dating from around 1814, had been found embedded in the portrait.
The Droeshout Engraving was for the first edition of collected works
"We now think the portrait dates back to around 1818 to 1840, exactly the time when there was a resurgence of interest in Shakespeare's plays," she added.
The image bears a strong resemblance to the Droeshout Engraving, which accompanied the first folio of Shakespeare's works.
And, as we well know, the Droeshout Portrait itself is the single most successful cartoon ever created. Nonsense from start to finish, but what an image!
Remember: virtually everything you think you know about William Shakespeare is a lie. They don't teach you that in school, but that's only because it would get in the way of the poetry.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 12:30 PM CDT
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Updated: Friday, 22 April 2005 12:40 PM CDT
Thursday, 21 April 2005
Send a Missive to the Pontiff Mood:
chatty Now Playing: "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" by James Brown
Naturally, you'll want to e-mail Pope Benedict XVI your congratulations on his new job.