Monday, January 31, 2005

Democratic Underground - Lunacy of the Left

Originally saw this at Skiritae. Mainly because I never go to that website unless I'm thinking I may be leaning to far right.

The DU really can make me angry. But I always make myself feel better by reminding myself that they will never have political representation that follows their philosophy. That leads me to realize that that fact must Piss them off to no end. Then I have a good laugh at them.

No reason to get mad at the moonbats. Just reminds me to invest in Alcoa. The aluminum foil in their little hats must keep that company in business.

Carnivore Replace with COTS Software

From StrategyPage.
And what a pathetic statement this is. Imagine the money that went into the creation of the Carnivore software only to have it junked for a commercial-off-the-shelf software. Shouldn't someone be fired for misuse of funds like this?

GITMO Tribunals - Now I'm Confused

Don't these judges talk to each other?
How can you have one judge throw out the suits and then this one say the suits have merit?

I can see where this is all going. Wonder how long it will take the Supremes to hear it?

Brady Bunch BS

Saw this originally posted at Ravenwood's Universe .

They're bitching about the FNH Five-SeveN. It's a hand gun that is for military/police use as a compliment to a submachine gun that fires the same round. (SS190 which is rated as armor piercing.) Like the usual responsible Brady bunch article, they don't bother telling you what type of kevlar vest they tested against or what ammunition was used, but Hey, why be scientific when you can be irrationally emotional.

The ATF has an official response that specifically states that the only legal ammunition in the USA for this gun is the SS196.
The FN 5.7 (Fabrique Nationale) pistol is a semiautomatic pistol in 5.7 X 28 mm caliber approved for importation as a sporting firearm.

The classification of all ammunition is governed strictly by the definitions presented in the GCA. Specifically, as defined in 18 U.S.C. Section 921(a)(17)(B), the term "armor piercing ammunition" means-

1. a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or

2. a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

FTB has also examined a 5.7 X 28 mm projectile that FN Herstal has designated the "SS196." The SS196 is loaded with a Hornady 40 grain, jacketed lead bullet. FTB classified SS196 ammunition as not armor piercing ammunition under Federal firearms statutes.

According to FNH USA, FN Herstal tested the SS192 ammunition. SS192 ammunition did not penetrate the Level IIIA vests that were tested. FNH USA states that SS196, Hornady V-Max 40 gr. bullets fired from a 4-3/4 inch barrel did not penetrate the Level II vests that were used in testing.

FNH USA has informed FTB that SS192 is no longer imported for commercial sale to the United States and that commercial sales of 5.7 X 28mm ammunition are restricted to the SS196 (not armor piercing). (emphasis mine)

FN Herstal 5.7 X 28mm Ammunition

SS190 - Armor piercing (AP)
SS191 - AP Tracer
SS192 - Hollow Point (not AP)
SB193 - AP Subsonic
SS195 - "Green" - lead free hollow point projectile with copper jacket (not AP)
SS196 - Sporting round (Hornady 40 gr. V-max, hollow point lead), (not AP)
10700004 Blank (not classified as ammunition under Federal law)
10700005 Dummy
Note also that the firearm is no longer imported for commercial sale.

Also note that the Brady Buffoons want to make the hand gun illegal, and don't mention that it's the ammunition that is the problem not the hand gun. The AP rounds are already illegal in the USA by federal law.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Green Peace and WWF are Anti-People

This article talks about Green Peace and the WWF and their positions on Thailand and Hong Kongs use of coal for providing electricity. Of course, they're against it.

They could use hydroelectric, but GP and WWF are against that.
They could use Nuclear, but GP and WWF are against that.
The costs of solar or wind are prohibitive to these economies, so it's not an option.

So the solution? Don't use any more electricity. Great message to developing contries. Seems that the only solution that the greens can provide is to stay in your hut or cave.

NO Advancement for you!

It would be nice if just one of these green groups would provide solutions and not just tell everyone that they are dooming the world.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Law of the Sea Treaty [L.O.S.T.]

Here's one that I hadn't heard of. A UN treaty that seems to be getting a footing with the Bush administration that was originally dumped by Reagan. After reading this article I can see why Reagan thought it a bad idea.

First it will add taxes to those that exploit ocean resources.

In a move without precedent and with ominous implications, the International Seabed Authority would have the power to impose what amounts to taxes on American citizens. The UN has long sought means to generate revenues without having to rely on donations from member states. If the United States were to become a party to LOST, the Treasury would be charged by the ISA for permits and other fees associated with American commercial exploitation of the seabeds.

Then there is the Tribunal, that like the international court in the Hague has no oversite and no appeal process.

The Jamaica-based international organization that we would be supporting in this fashion would have not only the equivalent of an executive and legislature, but also a judiciary, known as the Law of the Sea Tribunal. While there are, theoretically, some limits on the authority of the other two branches of this supranational institution, discretion about the extent of the tribunal's jurisdiction is exclusively in its hands.

The rulings of this sort of international court have already begun to erode U.S. sovereignty. As Judge Robert Bork, Phyllis Schlafly and Jeremy Rabkin, among others, have noted in recent months: American jurisprudence is increasingly reflecting decisions handed down by foreign judges who are neither accountable to nor obliged to comply with this country's rule of law--with negative repercussions for our rights and system of justice.

Particularly worrisome is the fact that the Law of the Sea Tribunal has already indicated its intention to define its jurisdiction broadly. It is predictable that, were the United States to become subject to its edicts, the tribunal would become a preferred venue for non-governmental organizations and unfriendly regimes seeking to use the court's authority to compel changes in U.S. military and civilian policies.

Very bad idea indeed. Let other countries decide what we can and can't do and would again come down to international politics.

This article from the The New American quotes Condoleezza Rice during her confirmation hearing:

Rice declared: "Joining the convention will advance the interests of the United States military. The United States, as the country with the largest coastline and the largest exclusive economic zone, will gain economic and resource benefits from the convention. The convention will not inhibit the United States nor its partners from successfully pursuing the Proliferation Security Initiative. And the United Nations has no decision-making role under the convention in regulating uses of the oceans by any state party to the convention."

They seem to be missing that this treaty, if the US becomes a signatory, would give the UN a huge amount of power over US policy. This in the wake of the food for oil scandal and other obvious corruption scandals the UN is ignoring strikes me as an invitation to be ruled, in part, by an organization that can't be trusted.

The threat to national sovereignty is huge.

The treaty does create new jurisdictions and governing structures with real powers that threaten our national sovereignty. Among other things, LOST establishes an International Seabed Authority (referred to as ISA, or "the Authority"), a new UN agency to control the minerals and other wealth of the sea floor. This also means granting the ISA control over two thirds of the Earth’s surface — no trifling matter. LOST designates this vast, watery commons as "the Area."

Do we really want the corrupt institution of the UN to have control over the oceans?

The Liberty Committee has multiple articles linked discussing opposition to the treaty.

Here is the text of the treaty. Careful it's PDF.

Thanking the Hollywood Liberals

This is just funny.

A conservative group called Citizens United is putting together some bill boards near the Kodak theater where the Academy Awards will be held. Take a look at the websites showing what will be on the boards here and here.

Fired for Being a Smoker

Well this is complete rubbish. Looks like the topic company Weyco is headed into the social control of workers that would have made Henry Ford pleased.

Four employees at a healthcare company based in Michigan were fired this week after they refused the firm's ultimatum to quit smoking. If the company, Weyco, survives any legal challenges, it will encourage a growing trend.

Hopefully the lawsuits will jam this up the companies back side.

Many companies require workers to take breathalyser tests that detect traces of carbon monoxide in the lungs or else submit to urine tests to detect nicotine.

Last autumn the Union Pacific Corp, a transportation company based in Nebraska, stopped hiring smokers in seven states. The company said it had been forced to make the move because of rising healthcare costs.

The bill had increased by 10 per cent for each of the past three years, it said.

Weyco began random drug tests for nicotine at the beginning of this year and said it would fire workers who failed the test or refused to quit smoking.

In Florida, meanwhile, a sheriff's office is demanding that all job applicants who have a recent history of smoking pass a polygraph test proving they no longer smoke outside work.

Polygraph test? Random testing for nicotine? What if you had a cigar the day before? Seem to recall that tobacco is a LEGAL product still.

And the argument on insurance costs doesn't make it. There are many people that do activities that have higher risks than hiding in the basement. Insurance pays for diseases related to obesity, for accidents while skiing. What level of intrusion into peoples private lives are going to be allowed because someone thinks it will cause insurance costs to go up? Looks like social engineering to me, and excused by the claim of insurance costs.

If this is allowed, what will be next? Firing people for being overweight? Or maybe because they ride a motorcycle or own firearms?

In a country where the citizens have so firmly told the government to mind their own business, why should there be any allowance for companies forcing control of our lives?

Friday, January 28, 2005

UN Criticizing US Troop Involvement in Promoting Iraqi Elections

I saw this linked originally at Paterico's Pontifications. Go and read his statements at this link. I completely agree with his analysis.

Essentially the UN is griping about troops handing out election information printed by the Iraqi government. I don't see any evidence provided, which would indicate that the troops or any official military personnel are supporting any specific candidates. If this is accurate, then the UN comments are absolute belly aching over nothing.

Well, what should I expect? The UN trivializes the important, like the human rights commission with Cuba as a new member, then over blows the truly trivial, like this.

A New Reason to Move to Linux

I know Micro$oft is very popular. They produce the worlds best selling OS lemon.
Now they are going to force users to provide proof of legal ownership to get security updates. I'm sure that none of the information the glean from these will ever be used for anything but ensuring legal ownership. Right.

Has Teddy Gone off His Medication?

Well Teddy is sounding more of a wingnut every day. Especially bad lately.

Now he's calling for withdrawal from Iraq before the elections even are made. He keeps whining that Iraq is Bush's Viet-Nam, and now he's trying to move it that way with this rhetoric. This belly aching sends a clear message to the insurgents and terrorists that our politicians are now upping the desire for withdrawal above the need for success. Sounds familiar, doesn't it.

He wasn't the lone voice of lunacy. Twenty three other democrats called for phased withdrawal. Now if that isn't irresponsible, I must need a dictionary. The country hasn't even placed the new government, which isn't a final body in any case, and the Dems want us to bale. Don't ensure that the government survives the early crisis that could potentially end with civil war with the Sunni. No that doesn't make any sense. (sarcasm off)

Well, not all Dems are with this crowd. Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.) and Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr.(D-Del.) are quoted as speaking out against him. So at least the party isn't a total wash.

I'm very happy that Kennedy isn't president. The nightmares that I'd be having right now would be horrible.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Jail for the STUPID

I'm thinking about lobbying for a jail for the stupid. The obviously moronic. The endlessly brain dead.

I thought that this lawsuit had been intelligently put aside as frivolous. Well McD's is on the bench again because these fat, stupid, children don't know and never could figure out that McD's food is fattening. If you are that Friggin' stupid, you should be imprisoned just for your their protection. This would also benefit the rest of the responsible and intelligent citizens. Removing these imbeciles would lower our insurance costs, the costs of products due to lower insurance prices and less huge layouts to the chronically idiotic.

Better yet. As soon as you file one of these law suits, you go on trial for stupidity. If you win your suit, you go to jail and the judgment goes to protecting you from your stupid self.

UN Strikes Again

This one is from the Diplomad. Look at the UN documents and the commentary. Nothing like the UN taking credit for other people money and work.

End of Clintonian Democrats?

I had to laugh at the start of this article where democrats in 1996 were calling for the repair of Social Security. Especially Bob Kerrey calling for privitization. If the system isn't in imminent danger now, why was there so much demand for repair then? Sweet Brighid how I hate politicians.

The discussion goes on to point out how the democrats have essentially abandoned the Clintonian style of politics [the Third Way]. I think there may be some truth to this. I'm not sure why they pitched a winning style.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Senators Paid for Unexcused Absence

This one is pretty entertaining. List of senators that were absent from session and didn't forfeit the related pay. Man I wish I could do that. Though I doubt I could get voted into my position.

Top of the list, John Kerry. Wasn't there a big stink about Dole running for president, to which he resigned his position for the run. Funny that Kerry refused to do that.

New Global Warming Reports

Here's a column on the report. There is a piece with similar speech at the Diplomad.

I'll go to the report later. It's long and I'm certain boring.

Who Voted Against Rice

I've been hearing a lot of people saying this was a bigoted vote, but I don't see it. Just the normal far left liberal norm. Here are the names who voted against her.

Mr. Jeffords
Mr. Dayton
Barbara Boxer

Edward M. Kennedy
John Kerry (another Shock)
Carl Levin
Robert C. Byrd
(Well maybe KKK Bob was a racist vote.)
Jack Reed
Richard Durbin

Daniel Akaka

Evan Bayh

Frank Lautenberg

Tom Harkin

No Schumer, Clinton, or Feinstein. That is a surprise.

Of course, the vote for Gonzales ran exactly to political lines. Odd that. Gonzales had less to do with policy than Rice, but he's more disliked. It just doesn't follow that Gonzales was setting policy. He was running the legal checks and giving legal advice to the president, but I see no evidence that he set policy. I watched his senate grilling and I thought he did better than Rice. Much less conflicts with anyone that was coherent. Meaning Teddy was a total jerk, but he was fairly incoherent.

He Should Have Used a Gun

Ten dead when you park you car on the tracks trying to commit suicide. And he failed.
One gun, one bullet, one death.

Ten people were killed and about 200 injured on Wednesday when two Los Angeles commuter trains collided after one of them hit a vehicle left on the tracks by a man contemplating suicide, authorities said.

Police and city officials said the 26-year-old man, whom they described as "deranged," watched the two trains smash into each other at high speed after leaving his Jeep Cherokee on the tracks.

The man was found wandering the scene after the accident, muttering: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." Police said the man, who was not injured, was in custody and would be charged with murder.

I bet his day is a lot worse now.
Deranged, that would be my bet. But, damn. If you can't follow through, at least get your friggin' car off the tracks. Don't get out and watch your stupidity kill others. Some one in their right mind wouldn't have done this.

Mickey Moore Totally Out of Oscar Contention

Well the Flatulent Fool From Flint Failed to get into the Oscar contention for best picture.
Though this news article is a bit suspect.
Michael Moore's Bush-bashing Fahrenheit 9/11 lost its bid to become the first documentary nominated for best picture. And Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ was nominated for cinematography, score and makeup.

"Fahrenheit 9/11 won the top prize at Cannes, the People's Choice Award, opened No. 1 at the box office and grossed ($220.7 million) worldwide," Moore said. "That's more good fortune than any film deserves for one year."

Fahrenheit would have been a contender for best documentary, a category Moore's Bowling for Columbine won in 2003. But his decision to air the movie on TV before the presidential election disqualified it in the documentary category. And Bush's re-election cooled passion for the film. "With who's in the White House, it was too political," says Kamal Larsuel of the movie site
I want someone to tell me how Farehfarce qualifies as a documentary. Beyond the deceptive editing and the outright errors, how is that a documentary?

So maybe the academy isn't a complete farce this year?

Gibson's "Passion of Christ" didn't get in either, but he didn't even try.

Not the Greatest Generation

This article really does show that we at present are not a great generation.

Before WWI and WWII there were nay sayers to join either war, which in the end probably made the world a lesser place. Delays in getting involved allowed things to escalate and only through full intervention of the US did things get pulled back to decency. Once involved, the American public stuck with the war and worked to ensure its success.

Today in Iraq it is something completely different. The pessimism that flows from our media and politicians keeps the public pessimistic. Never showing success and only dwelling on the deaths of service men and women, not to mention the costs, indicates a generation that is defeatist in the extreme. Imagine the results of WWII if this generation had been around.

Too soft, too complacent, too pessimistic.

US Philanthropy Analysis

Here's an article on American giving. Seems to show that the USA isn't quite the stingy bastards that the UN keeps making us out to be.

[HT Professor Bainbridge]

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Give the Razzies the Raspberry

Well, usually the Razzies are interesting on their perspective of bad movies, but now that they have decided to whine about the last election by throwing eggs at President Bush, I think they have marked themselves as LOSERS.
President Bush and some advisers received worst-acting nominations for their appearances in news and archival footage in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," which assails Bush for his actions after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Bush was nominated for worst actor, while Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice got a nomination for worst supporting actress and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for worst supporting actor.
When are these people going to grow up. Your candidate lost, stop throwing a temper tantrum and get on with your life. I swear, this brand of Liberal has no dignity at all.

If you care, you can go to their Web-Site and see the whining in person.

Monday, January 24, 2005

More Supremes: Dogs

Interesting outcome. Not that I'm surprised by the results. But, I'll never buy a used car again. You never know what the jerk before you did in the car and it doesn't take but a little leaf to get you a positive reaction from one of these dogs. Or worse, they commonly react positively even when they are sniffing legal hemp cloth. Then you're in bracelets while they tear your car apart. [Oh, and they have limited liability to fix anything they break. Neat trick that.]

I do agree with Souter and Ginsburg that this could lead to just random searching of cars by sniffing dogs. Especially of vehicles that are just standing somewhere. That gets you on a watch list if not impounding your car on the spot.

Another take on this is the maintenance of draconian laws related to marijuana possession. I know it's another topic entirely, but it will be the majority of cases where the allowance of this search style will cause the most arrests.

Supremes Refuse "License Plate" Lawsuit

Speaking of the truly trivial, this is the case related to Planned Parenthood taking on some states that have the 'Choose Life' license plates.

I understand Planned Parenthood's point. These states are taking, in an indirect manner, a stand on what reproductive rights are in the state. If that isn't their intent, then maybe the lot of them are just negligent in saving taxpayer money.

Think about it. If the people who approved these plates had had their head outside of a certain orifice, they would have ensured that if a plate exists on ANY political topic, then there would be available, or at least a plan allowing for, a plate with an opposing view. Not doing so has led to these lawsuits, which I'm certain are very cost effective. Sarcasm off.

Snow Day

What a bunch of wimps. Though now I wish I had seen this before coming into work.

I thought it was mighty quiet when I arrived here this morning. Usually there is at least two people in before me. Oh well, hopefully it will be a peaceful day, and an unsupervised one.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Bush Bashing Expatriates: Anti-inaugural

Nice that they covered only the rejects who would whine about Bush. Personally, I think maybe they shouldn't bother coming back.

I must be missing something with all the bitching about Bush putting the USA out in harms way by what he said in the speech. Some even point out that Kennedy said similar things, but didn't really mean it.

Take Bush's promise to "stand with . . . all who live in tyranny and hopelessness." The sentiment is reminiscent of Kennedy's saying the U.S. would "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

But history reveals that Kennedy did not actually expect to pay any price to defend liberty. Less than three months after he had uttered those words, he worried about the fate of the CIA-trained Cuban émigrés who had launched an invasion at the Bay of Pigs to overthrow Fidel Castro. Refusing to "pay any price," Kennedy altered crucial aspects of the invasion plan for fear that American fingerprints on the operation would arouse the ire of Castro's patrons in Moscow.

I find it beyond silly to see these "pundits" say that an inaugural speech will set the actual foreign policy for all actions that the USA will be involved in during Bush's term. Instead of comparing it favorably with how Kennedy's speech went and how he, in reality, picked his fights as best he could to fulfill the ideals that he spoke of. Instead they, again, make Bush sound like an out of control cowboy.

I should expect this type of stupidity to be out there. I just don't see any need to see it as intelligent commentary.

I Hate Snow

I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow I Hate Snow.

Just finished shoveling and the snow is drifting still.

Did I mention I Hate Snow?

Iranian Mistake

Iranians are blustering again about Bush. Like anyone that has come into the sites of American force they always start screeching about how much of a mistake attacking them would be. I seem to recall the same thing being said before the first Gulf war.

The mistake would be not putting an eye on Iran. The EU negotiations have been going very slowly and in my opinion look like they'll not end up being effective in any case. But, with a little strong arm threat may push them to get real results.

Could the USA push take on and crush Iran. I have no doubts. The aftermath would be the thing that wouldn't be winnable. After that action it would be difficult to get any Islamic regime not to consider the American action to be against Islam. Not to mention that at that point the resources needed for reconstruction and regoverning Iran would be beyond the abilities of the USA.

Of course, this guy stating that the USA is just bluffing isn't exactly correct. With the present threat of the Iranian regime getting nuclear weapons, the USA could very well take surgical strikes to cripple sections if not all of the nuclear program. The results would likely be messy though so I'm thinking that this will be an absolute last chance type action.

The UN and the IAEA are basically useless in this whole scenario. They've done absolutely nothing that has any effect other than showing that it is very likely that Iran is working on nuclear weapons. Nothing that they have done has even slowed the Iranian work. The EU is at least trying, but without any threat of force, I don't see Iran coming honestly to the table.

Friday, January 21, 2005


I don't know if I've mentioned just how cool it is that we can see the surface of a moon that is around a gas giant that took seven years to get too.

I did note that the orange picture in this article looks sorta like the G's homestead. Well, except for no trees and fewer rocks. Oh and no screaming spawn.

I wonder if the probe was intended to only last 70 minutes. Seems awful short to me, but they estimated that it would only transmit for about 30 minutes. From the little bits and pieces I've seen it looks like that was the design. Short because of the limited amount of time that Cassini would be above the horizon to receive. It also broadcast on the whole descent. See this article on the probes construction.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Inaugural Protest Reports

Yeah, Look at these reports.

Police Attack on Anarchist March
Crash the Bash: Counter-Inauguration Coverage
Blow By Blow from DC Indymedia

What a bunch of buffoons.

I imagine that there are some valid protestors here, but you'll never get any accurate information on what happened. I'm also betting that the police actions were not without cause. Especially with the extreme sensitivity requirements that have been forced on them by lawsuits.

Nuclear Oxide

Nuclear Oxide? Or Nuclear Oxide Fuel?

The news of the FBI search quickly ballooned into a frenzy of media reports that the suspects planned a radiological "dirty bomb" attack in Boston. But authorities stressed the sketchiness of the information they received.

A federal law enforcement official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, said the uncorroborated tip was received by the California Highway Patrol. The tipster claimed the men were awaiting a shipment of "nuclear oxide" that would follow them from Mexico to Boston, the source said.
That's like saying they're expecting a shipment of radioactivity. I've never heard of those words standing alone. They usually are descriptors of something like fuel or waste.

I'm guessing, much ado about nothing.

Of course, you could look at this as pay back for the People's Republic of Mass. voting for Kerry. Oh, wait, that doesn't make any sense.

Well, if they have to set a "dirty bomb" (I hate that term, it's a Radiological Dispersal Device or something like that. All bombs are dirty by definition. I've never seen a bomb that made any place clean.) now, it's better than later. Snow on the ground will make the clean up much easier and thus faster.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Presidential Inauguration Security Information Turned Over to Anti-American, Terrorist-linked Group

HT to Citizen Smash - The Indepundit.

Now this is just OUTRAGEOUS! Where the hell does this judge keep her head?

As the nation's capital prepares itself for the presidential inauguration by going into lockdown mode and placing portable Stinger missile launchers throughout the city, Americans may be stunned to learn that the District of Columbia has been forced by a federal judge to hand over intelligence data on police tactics, training, and strategies from the last inauguration to an organization with documented ties to terrorist groups and Saddam Hussein.

They've handed the information over to the International Action Center.

Despite its vocal support of and connections to terrorist groups, the IAC has succeeded in obtaining, by court order, large amounts of security data related to D.C. police operations and the presidential inauguration.

According to court documents, D.C. has already provided "thousands of pages of documents," 38 videotapes and numerous photographs and audiotapes related to D.C. police tactics, training and planning and the 2001 presidential inauguration

The information provided by the D.C. Metro Police Department by court order to the IAC so far includes:

• Lesson plans and handbooks on use of aerosol sprays, force and tactical batons;
• Management of Mass Demonstrations, Civil Disturbance Units training documents;

• Metro Police Department (MPD) instruction on use of firearms and other service weapons;

• Portions of Operations Plan, Parade Manual and Civil Disturbance Unit Response Plan for the 54th Inauguration of the President of the United States;

• All rooftop and street-level surveillance videotapes of the presidential inauguration;

• Redacted logs from the Synchronized Operations Command Center and the Running Resume for the Inauguration Day intelligence teams; and

• The identification of all plainclothes MPD officers who were detailed to intelligence teams for the Inauguration.

The plainclothes intelligence officers identified by name were stationed at various locations along and near the presidential parade route in order to monitor the crowds and to report any information heard or observed concerning plans, attempts or actions that might disrupt Inaugural events and/or violate the law and to take law enforcement action, if needed.

I'm really suspicious of the naming of the MPD officers. I thought that was specifically protected by federal law. The names of such would be totally irrelevant and would require their protection by not allowing them to release those names to a non-governmental agency.

I find it very suspect that this information was handed over, irrelevant of the merits of their case regarding the government. This judge is endangering other peoples civil rights in order to forward some suspicious groups itinerary.

Read the article, its upsetting.

British Prisoner Abuses in Iraq

Sounds familiar.

I just don't understand these actions. Why would you choose to treat someone like this? I guess I don't understand why you'd find yourself abusing someone for no reason at all. I understand that there are nut cases out there, but are there really this many out there?

The longer I here the abuse records, the more I think that some part of it, even if very small part, had to have been part of intelligence procurement. I just get a little tingle that characterizing all of this is only a problem with some rogue low level troops. Wasn't anyone supervising these guys at all?

The only reference to an officer up for prosecution is this article on a Navy Seal Lieutenant that was photographed in Abu Ghraib with prisoners. Even that hasn't even come to a point of court martial.

I'm sorry, but you can't have supervisory officers walking with nothing or at most a letter in their jacket, when the troops they were responsible for are getting 10 years in prison. It just doesn't sound quite fair.

Hollis Home Defense

This one is a bit close to home for me.

“They (Narkis family) were awakened in the middle of the night,” Darling said. “He (Camplin) was in the backyard, screaming and yelling and making a general disturbance.”

Narkis had reached the living room when he heard someone breaking into the kitchen, he told police. Narkis fired his .45-caliber Smith & Wesson twice by accident, while trying to cock it and chamber a round. The first shot hit a lamp in the living room, and the second hit a grandfather clock near the front door, police reported.

Meanwhile, Camplin kept on yelling and swearing, picked up an end table in the sitting room, and smashed it on the floor, police reported. Narkis confronted Camplin at gunpoint, holding the .45-caliber, and ordered him to lie down on the floor, he told police.

Camplin complied, and Narkis called police. At some point, Narkis’ daughter, Karen Narkis, 39, came downstairs and also stood by, armed with a .357 Ruger revolver.
Not sure how he fired the gun twice by accident. Especially while racking a .45. Maybe he had his finger on the trigger?

The intruder whined that the home owner tried to kill him. Heh, you're lucky dude. I know a couple of house holds you may not have walked away from.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Outposts of Tyranny

Call me old fashioned, but isn't it a bit stupid for the nominee for the Secretary of State to be pointing and calling names? Even if they are true, you may have to speak to, and maybe even work with, these thugs at some time.

Of course, there isn't any context in which this was stated, but on it's face this looks odd.

Propaganda Blogs

Hugh Hewitt at the Daily Standard.

Article basically opinionizing (opinionating? damn english) on how blogs could be used by the government or terrorists to push their agenda.

I think there is something wrong with this idea though. Well, at least from how I use the blogs. Blogs provide an opinion based link to information. If it's an entry on someone else's opinion, I don't have too much interest. I like the opinion that then sends you to a news source or an authoritative source, where I then can glean the information myself. I think most of the blogs I have listed in the side bar are that way in general.

I do like when people hold pundits to there facts. Mainly that's because so many of the MSM pundits get things terribly wrong. Use of "facts" that were distorted or out of context when they became facts for the MSM are really necessary to understand.

So, can a blog be used for propaganda? Sure. Will I be reading them? Probably not. When a topic really interests me I pull out the search engine and look up a bunch of the links related to the topic and see where it leads me. Many times I find information that flies in the face of the accepted "facts" which then leads me to be not quite as certain about the topic as I may have started out.

This would also make one question why anyone takes any blogger as an authority. I certainly don't. Only the really good ones, which provide you with copious links and data make me give them a title of analyst. Never Authority. Question Authority. [At all levels and in all ways.]

Monday, January 17, 2005

Next Target in the War on Terror

I've seen a couple of references to this article in the news. So I'll just put this article up.

Basically, they are saying that the USA already has covert operations in Iran and they are prepping for the next invasion. Interesting idea. I've heard this rumor come and go for a while now but still no hard facts, just articles like this one.

I guess I don't see this as a plausible scenario for quite a few months if not more. Iraq needs to succeed. If the administration decided to move onto another front, many troops would need to be redeployed and may jeopardize the results in Iraq. I don't see that this would be a wise idea, in that it would stretch our present manning beyond a reasonable level.

Even if the plans are to trigger a collapse of the present Iranian government, I don't think that this gamble would be reasonable. Using just covert attacks, or remote attacks wouldn't be enough to collapse a government that may not be the most popular, but is typically rallied around in crisis situations. Especially if the attacker is seen to be the USA.

Just doesn't make sense to me that they would be setting up for another battle front. Covert actions aren't unreasonable, but the reactions to such would be undesirable to the present footing that the USA has in the area.

On the paranoid/conspiracy side, could this just be a bit of disinformation used to prod the Iranians to come to some conclusion with the EU and IAEA on the nuclear issues that they've been squabbling over for the past few months?

The EU is showing itself to be useless on the Iranian nuclear problem. They have been braying about being the counter to the power of the USA, but they can't even get Iranian negotiates to an end unless the USA plays. How do they propose to be a counter to the USA if they can't even get this done on their own? Maybe they only want to counter the USA in certain areas?

And I don't know about you, but I'm really getting tired of hearing everyone that is a civilian attached to the government that is in agreement with the administration being called a "Neocon." It appears that that brush just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

When All Else Fails, Sue

Global Warming lawsuit against the US government.

Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and several US cities are suing.

One plaintiff, the city of Arcata, California, said warming could harm salmon migration, and rising seas would cause flooding that would damage the city's wastewater treatment system.

Well, I see a city where you can just cut all provision of electricity too.

Of course, the suit will be heard in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. You're assured that this will be a reasonable trial if it's held in Frisco.

This is one that should be worth watching, just to see what actually is provided for evidence and what research is used to counter the claims.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Blog Myths and Facts from IMAO

This guy is a hoot. I especially got a kick out of his comments on the Democratic Underground.

WMD Quotes and Dates: Historical

Nice series of quotes and dates together. Seems like a lot of the stone throwers now were in agreement at one point about the WMD issue.

I don't think they tried especially hard to come up with many quotes from the left. Three of twenty-one quotes are from the Democrats. I know that there were more. Especially interesting that there is no quote for J.F. Kerry.

This article from Right Wing News shows just where this article lacks.

So, does this again show a little bias in the media?

Hybrid Vehicles

Article that discusses the hybrid cars of Honda and Toyota with some mention of American manufacturers.

They discuss the Honda version of the hybrid and how it works, but don't discuss the Toyota method. This bothers me a bit, since the Toyota hybrid system is, to my understanding, a more efficient and economical system.

There is this article from the Economist, which shows the differences in the methodology of each system. It does a better job at showing the various systems and giving data on the mileage.

Still very little on trucks/SUVs in the mix, though Ford and Toyota are saying that they are near.

Liberal Choice: Dracula or Frankenstein's Monster

A fairly witty article as to how the left can maintain it's population. If this is all of their choices, then there isn't much for the conservatives to worry about for a while.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Moral Authority

This really begs many questions.

If America is such a 'moral authority,' then why has the country been continuously badgered about every decision it has made? Well, that would be because America is a moral authority in only the lower case sense. An example, the Islamic world definitely doesn't look to America for moral authority in any way. They look to their religion for the Upper Case moral authority and then their tribal or societal authorities for the lower case. Moral authority, Bah.

Then there is:
Human Rights Watch executive director Ken Roth said the massacres in Darfur and murderous attacks against civilians in other countries were clearly more heinous than the U.S. abuse of prisoners.

However, he said the United States has set itself up as the defender of human rights around the world, adding that when it fails to adhere to long-established standards, it lends seeming legitimacy to repressive practices pursued by other governments in the name of security.
Let's see. 'Set itself up as' is an interesting term. Apparently, the USA has the overall desire to see human rights flourish, and are essentially the only world power that has any feeling of responsibility for that. So, more than setting itself up, should more appropriately be stated as, "has taken the burden of defender of human rights around the world." Because obviously that defense takes money and lives to get the job done, and I don't see anyone else stepping up.

The arguments on the use of aggressive coercion, because it really can't be called torture, at Abu Gharib, carries only light shame. If our enemy had the powers we do, do you think that the government would have announced the investigation into the abuses. [yes, they are factually challenged with their supposition that the abuses were "uncovered" last year, not revealed by the government.]

Then they still demand that this obviously is causal behavior from the top since Gonzales had a memo from the DoJ requesting clarification on legality surrounding specific acts. I'm betting that the people that were performing the abuse never would have known that there had ever been a memo if it hadn't been illegally released to the press.

I suppose that the Human Rights Watch organization is there to assure that everyone plays nice, but they really haven't a clue about what fights they should be taking on. With all the time, effort, and screeching about stacks of naked prisoners, they should have used that effort to stop the corporeal punishment and extreme torture that goes on every day in the middle east. Instead we get to listen to BS.

Death of Environmentalism?

Found this one via E Tenebras, Lux Dormiens.

I've just started working through this series of links in this article. They start off interesting, though obviously bent. Well, they get on topic after a short bit of editorializing. Of course, that's because it's written by someone in the enviromentalist camp. So don't be surprised when you only here the "Global Warming is here now" side.

They do finally get to the point:
Our thesis is this: the environmental community's narrow definition of its self-interest leads to a kind of policy literalism that undermines its power. When you look at the long string of global warming defeats under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, it is hard not to conclude that the environmental movement's approach to problems and policies hasn't worked particularly well. And yet there is nothing about the behavior of environmental groups, and nothing in our interviews with environmental leaders, that indicates that we as a community are ready to think differently about our work.
Looks like a long read. Though these self-assessments of special interest groups can be interesting.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Interesting News Bites

From Whizbang. Some interesting stuff. I especially like items 5 and 6 together.
Watch out though, some of the news stories don't tell all of the story, like the guys arrested for telling lawyer jokes. They did more than that. See the comments on that page.

Sicko Jacko

This guy is just not right.
These are allegedly the transcripts to the grand jury hearing.
I thought these things were supposed to be secret.

I'm betting there is a Bush Conspiracy somewhere in this. I just haven't figured out where it comes in yet. I'll keep looking for it though. If you see it send it to me.

Art - I Think

Nude dancing while having 17 liters of olive oil poured over her.
(Yes, Pictures! Don't open if you're at work. Not really dangerous, but just enough to get you in trouble.)

Then there is the Snail Gluing. I won't mention the Coprolite statue.

As for music there is Sex on stage during Rock Concert.

Man, is a strange site. Kinda fun though.

Go Ahead, Make My Day

I'll let Clint speak for himself.

'Dirty Harry' star Clint Eastwood told an awards ceremony in New York that he would "kill" 'Fahrenheit 9/11' filmmaker Michael Moore if he ever showed up at his front door with a camera, according to a report on

With Moore sitting in the audience, the Eastwood said, "Michael Moore and I actually have a lot in common - we both appreciate living in a country where there's free expression.

"But, Michael, if you ever show up at my front door with a camera — I'll kill you. I mean it."

Allegedly, Moore laughed off the comment. (Fat Bastard)

It all was said at the National Board of Review awards held in New York.

Tech Central Station has an article on Moore calling him The New Ralph Nader. I think that is a bit unfair, since Nader did a lot of good things before his tin foil cap slipped off, but Moore never has done anything constructive. [I know that's My Opinion, but when it comes down to it, does anyone else's really matter?]
The article does describe Moore's new movie and some perspective to his film making style and the mid-term elections coming in 2006.

Ballistic Fingerprinting Fails

Will full props to Instapundit...

Maryland has admitted that their system doesn't work. The evidence is, and I'm sure this will be shocking if you haven't a brain, that having all the lawfully transfered guns register their "balistic fingerprint" (a joke all by itself) doesn't help solve crime because, get ready for it, the guns used in crime aren't legally transferred in the first place. What? You're sure? But I thought that all gun owners were evil monsters and that all guns were used in crimes. Yep that's right, Maryland has spent over $4 million dollars and it hasn't "saved just one life." It hasn't even solved a single crime. Oh, and NY has been spending $3 million a year (not sure for how long) and they haven't solved a single crime or "saved just one life" either. The only thing that this whole ballistic fingerprinting can be labeled is boondoggle and a bloody expensive boondoggle at that.

BTW, for those that might read this blog (as far as I know we've got three people posting and reading) that don't know it, ballistic fingerprinting is a joke. Want to know why? I purchase a Makarov. It fires a 9mm bullet. I also purchase a .380 magazine and barrel for the Makarov. Now the gun itself is "registered" as a 9mm and the ballistic fingerprint is from the original barrel. I swap them out and suddenly I've got a whole new gun. OK. Maybe that doesn't happen very often. Let's look it another way. The "ballistic fingerprint" is the marks that the extractor puts into the shell and the marks the rifling in the barrel cut into the bullet, right? Extractors break. Replace it and you've got a "new" gun. Extractors wear down over time, (don't believe me? I'll show you a 1918 SMLE that has an extractor that looks like it was sharpened for use as a knife due to the wear) which changes their characteristics. Barrels wear down too (I've got a Turkish Mauser that's almost a shotgun) which seriously changes the rifling. Cleaning the gun can put new scratches into rifling. Any change in the rifling, alters the "ballistic fingerprint" of the gun.

In short, even if legally transferred firearms were the ones used in most crimes, this whole scheme would only work sometimes due to the mechanics of the issue. But of course, this has been argued by people better informed than myself to no avail. Gun control adherents aren't working off of logic and facts. It's an issue of emotion and "if it saves just one life" then whatever they're calling for is reasonable. The question now becomes, what if it doesn't "save just one life" or solve any crimes? Is it still reasonable?

Military Manning Discussion

The Belmont Club has been having this discussion on "More Men on the Ground." Pretty good perspective. Lots of info to chew through though. But I think the end result is saying that throwing more men at Iraq isn't going to make it better, and may actually make things worse.

I'm not going into the discussion, because Wretchard does a really good job here.

Teddy the Tick 2

Still can't get a transcript, but there are a bunch of reports out there like this one.

I especially like this:

Kennedy also called for Medicare to be expanded to cover all Americans, regardless of age, and he said Republican attacks on the idea as "socialized medicine" were "a generation out of date."

"It's no secret that America is still dearly in love with Medicare," he said. "Administrative costs are low. Patient satisfaction is high. Unlike with many private insurers, they can still choose their doctor and their hospital."
Yeah, that should be interesting to fund. I've seen the drug benefit program alone costing more than $500 Billion, just imagine what this kind of socialized medicine will cost. Not to mention the amount of lawsuits that will be going on to stop it. And, do we really want Canadian style health-care here?

I think we need some form of base level healthcare for everyone, but you can be certain that if it's put under Medicare, it will be an abomination.

Ahhh. Finally found a transcript. Look here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Teddy the Tick at the National Press Club

Couldn't find a transcript, but I'll look again tomorrow.

I saw a bit of his rant on Foxnews. I don't have anything nice to say. More of the same DemoSprat whining and bitching. Still insisting that the president is bringing us into a quagmire in Iraq and plainly stated that Iraq is Bush's Viet-Nam. Well, I wasn't expecting anything reasonable out of this buffoon, but then, I would have expected something original. Couldn't even do that.

Public Potty Privacy

Well, Who'd of thought that you only get privacy in a public loo as long as you're using it as a loo? Of course, I can't think of any reason to go into a public loo than for the intended purpose.

So the moral of this story is, If you want to use drugs and prostitutes, don't do it in a public loo.

Spies Sue to Supremes

Here's a rather odd bit. Former spies suing the Government for a living. Makes you wonder how they can prove to have worked for the CIA. I thought that cloak and dagger stuff was all done with cash and Swiss accounts. Boy they didn't get much money though.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Supremes Refuse to Hear Gun Manufacture Lawsuit Appeal

First saw this linked at QandO. I wonder why they refused. That "no comment" thing bothers me.

This is one of those cases where the police sell back their guns to the manufacturer who then sells them to a reseller. Then a private citizen buys and resells the gun to someone not allowed ownership. After all that, I still wonder how it is that the original manufacturer or distributor can be held liable.

What will this do to the insanity of lawsuits that already exist? Imagine if you could sue Ford or Chevy if someone crashes into you with their car.

May Be Some Hope

Apparently everyone on the left isn't blind to the fact that the terrorists aren't exactly going to set up a glorious social utopia if they succeed. I personally still feel the tug of my lefty past, back when I thought there was more respect for the individual coming out the left. Gay Rights? Yep, support. Freedom of Choice for women? Check. Right on top of that. First amendment rights even when it offends people (in most of the lefty cases it meant burning the flag and critiquing EVERYTHING about America, but I've always included letting right wing Nazi wing nuts have their idiot time to spew as well)? Yes indeedy. Fourth Amendment protections & Miranda absolutism? Yep & Yep. But not support for mass murderers and assassins (damn near literally hashishim these days). No frigging way. It goes against all that the left supposedly stands for. The self-loathing of Western thought and Western idealism by Westerners has gone WAY beyond the bounds of common sense. I find myself adrift, neither able to sign on to the current, insane, down right stupid agenda of the left, nor able to agree to the overly Christian right side of the fence on some important issues.

Intelligent Discourse

The Village Voice weighs in with a pithy comment on the presidential election results. It's clear to me that magazines such as the Village Voice are painting a clear picture of the state of the Union. They're giving us the vision and leadership to move forward into a new, better future. Best of all they're doing this with the understanding and open mindedness that progressive politics stands for. Just look at the even handed representation of their political opponents in this jocular comment about the types of people voting for Bush. The appreciation evident in the piece for the sacrifice of children from the heartland is one the things that really stands out for me. After all, who better to serve in the military than the people from fly-over country. We wouldn't want any of our intelligent, progressive, leaders from the Village Voice to get a hang nail manipulating the bolt on an M-4 now would we?

OK. Enough. I'm making myself sick. Clearly the liberal and progressive elements in America don't want to win elections any more. I used to be so offended by the "America, Love it or Leave it" bumber stickers, but now I at last understand where those sentiments came from. I still don't agree with them, but I understand them.

Political Blogs Slow Down

Pretty interesting piece on the slow down of the amount of blog traffic after the elections. Shouldn't be surprised with that, considering how most people wound themselves up and then crashed out after the election.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Nuclear Sub Grounded

This is a 688 (Los Angeles Class) Fast Attack Nuclear Sub. The news keeps calling it the USS San Francisco, but it's actually the SSN San Francisco.

Someones ass is in a serious bit of trouble.

Shame, the grounding caused a death.

Friday, January 07, 2005


Yeah, yeah, I know. Same people making the same shoddy history, but some of it will be good. Tales of the Gun was really good. They'll get another hit like that. So, I'm excited. Just so long as it doesn't turn into ALL WWII ALL THE TIME.

American/Israeli/Indian Atomic Test Caused Earthquake

I was really hoping that this wasn't going to really happen. But Hey, why should I be surprised.

"The three most recent tests appeared to be genuine American and Israeli preparations to act together with India to test a way to liquidate humanity,"

Look at the whole page. I'd say laugh at the conspiracy theories, but these people really believe this rubbish.

Media Matters Claims Conservatives are Ignoring Facts to Defend Gonzales

I'd call this an interesting, though illogical piece. I can't find there actually tying Gonzales to the abuse/torture in Abu Ghraib or GITMO.

Conservative pundits have offered false and misleading claims to defend White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales, President Bush's nominee for attorney general, asserting that the actions sanctioned in a series of administration memos -- in particular, an August 2002 Justice Department memo requested by Gonzales -- didn't rise to the level of torture.

Gonzales is a lawyer compiling information and the stance of the DoJ related to present national and international law related to torture. This documentation isn't institutionalizing of any action nor sanctioning any body to perform the described acts. Policy isn't set by these memos, the limits to the legality of said actions is merely documented.

And then this is interesting as well trying through sheer conjecture to place a causal link between memos of the executive branch and action by the guards.

But a May 24, 2004, Newsweek article laid out a detailed case for a causal link between the administration's development of a legal framework for detention and interrogation -- partly in the series of memos by Gonzales and others -- and the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib. The article noted: "The road to Abu Ghraib began after 9/11, when Washington wrote new rules to fight a new kind of war."

I think this is a stretch. Plausible on the edge of the logic, but insufficient to use as proof of wrong doing in regards to anyone in the executive branch.

They really need some real proof here. You can't just pull out what a left bent news organization says as proof that a right bent news organization is wrong or even misleading in its editorializing.

Look at the whole thing. I think its faulty, but you should decide yourself.

The Government WILL Protect You. (or not)

This is just pathetic:

A man charged with murdering a Louisville toddler and dumping her body in Jefferson Memorial Forest last week should have been in prison, according to relatives of the 18-month-old.

Shawn Michael Shaw, 29, was to be sentenced Sept. 21 in Jefferson Circuit Court after being pleading guilty to drug charges. But Shaw, whose girlfriend is the child's mother, didn't show up for sentencing despite having agreed to a 12-year term.

Louisville Metro Police admitted yesterday that they failed to serve three warrants issued by the court for Shaw's arrest, explaining that the drug warrants were not high enough on a priority list to get immediate attention.

Well that pretty much says it all. How many months does it take to put a convicted felon behind bars? Of course there won't be any liability accepted for this one.

Another Gun Club Gets Zoned Out

This type of thing always fascinates me. Gun club in the area for 60 years, and then people move into the area around it and try and force it out. In this case apparently they will succeed.

Of course they pull out these tired arguments.

Beyond the noise, there are concerns that lead from the bullets might be tainting the drinking water – and then there’s the overall worry of bullets going astray. Gun club officials say there’s never been a single incident of any kind in the six decades it’s been in the area.

Well, they're on leased property, so they probably have no say in the whole thing either.

I wonder if there is a way that when the club actually owns the property that they can force a rider, or something similar, onto the deeds of the neighboring property specifying that the gun club is in place and has certain related factors that they will have to live with when moving into the area. Just some way to force the information on the buyer and ensure that when they build near such an establishment that they are fully aware of its existence and the related "issues."

I've heard of gravel mining facilities doing this when people move onto adjacent lots and then start crying about the noise of the trucks and the dust from the operation.

Teddy the Tick on Torture

I'll just list this as humor. From Balloon Juice Blog. [Ricochet from Instapundit.]

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Ted the Tick Needs to Learn How to Speak Into a Microphone

No link, Just irritation. Ted Kennedy is a @#@%^&ing moron.
I've been listening to him bitch at Gonzales and he keeps blowing on the mike. None of the other senators have had a problem, but he just keeps up the irritating puffing.

I want to find his question on gun show loop holes and Gonzales' response. He didn't ask the question, but said he'd provide it after. I really think that answer would be interesting to read.

Stone States Movie Failure Due to "Raging Fundamentalism in Morality"

Oliver Stone has let his little tin foil cap slide again.

At the UK premiere of his epic film of Alexander, Oliver Stone last night blamed "raging fundamentalism in morality" for the film's US box office failure.

"Sexuality is a large issue in America right now, but it isn't so much in other countries," the Oscar-winning director explained yesterday. "There's a raging fundamentalism in morality in the United States. From day one audiences didn't show up. They didn't even read the reviews in the [American] south because the media was using the words: 'Alex is Gay'."

Hmmm. I didn't go to the movie. Though I did read the reviews and one thing made me decide not to go. The overwhelming review that the movie was CRAP. And just to make clear, I'm not a fundamentalist christian. [Hell, I'm not even a christian.]

Just look at the VDH review of the movie. That was enough to convince me.

Liberal Collegiate Intimidation of foreign Students

Get a load of this one. I saw this first at LGF.

Kuwaiti student writes essay supporting the American Constitution. Then is threatened with deportation and required to get psychotherapy by the professor.

Professor then brings harassment charges against the student when the topic reaches the media.

Well, Imagine that. You pull a stupid stunt like that and someone tells the press and makes you stand in the public court of opinion and you feel harassed.


Powerline Answers CJR

While the CJR article by Corey Pein is a fairly painful read, Powerline's Hindrocket pretty much clearly dissects the article.

Challenging the Electoral College Vote

Well, they're at it again. If you can't win the election by the votes, do what you can to discredit the methods. If they want to investigate voting in the country, maybe they should pick a method that isn't pretty much guaranteed to be squashed by the Republican majority.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Columbia Journalism Review on Rather-Gate

Article by Corey Pein.

Still putting out this type of tripe.

Consider the memos in question. They were supposed to have been written by Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Killian, now dead, who supervised Bush in the Guard. We know Killian’s name was on them. We don’t know whether the memos were forged, authentic, or some combination thereof. Indeed, they could be fake but accurate, as Killian’s secretary, Marian Carr Knox, told CBS on September 15. We don’t know through what process they wound up in the possession of a former Guardsman, Bill Burkett, who gave them to the star CBS producer Mary Mapes.

I still must be missing something on that logic. Maybe you can pass it off if you separate the idea behind the memo from the memo itself. Personally, I think that is a big stretch.

And there's arguments like this.

But CBS’s critics are guilty of many of the very same sins. First, much of the bloggers’ vaunted fact-checking was seriously warped. Their driving assumptions were often drawn from flawed information or based on faulty logic. Personal attacks passed for analysis. Second, and worse, the reviled MSM often followed the bloggers’ lead. As mainstream media critics of CBS piled on, rumors shaped the news and conventions of sourcing and skepticism fell by the wayside. Dan Rather is not alone on this one; respected journalists made mistakes all around.

There may have been faulty and flawed logic in the blogs. But they were never claiming that they were without bias or that they were providing "TRUTH" in this case. He seems to be missing the whole point of what the blogs did and what they are. They questioned the integrity of a major player in the MSM and provided sufficient anecdotal or circumstantial evidence to cause others in the MSM to look at what the facts really were. Some of those that brought forth evidence in the blogsphere were experts.

Go look for yourself. It's kind of long and in parts irritatingly illogical, but I guess you can't always expect logic from journalists.

Coercion (I didn't want to call it torture pt 2)

Article by Greg Scoblete on the torture. Here's an interesting perspective.

The U.S. could enunciate a policy on interrogations that both adheres to our fundamental moral principles yet acknowledges the reality that unconventional combatants in our care must be placed in some discomfort if they are to be effectively debriefed. Yet, if we spell out too clearly what will and what won't be tolerated in interrogations, our enemies will know just what they have to endure and will likely be able to resist divulging anything useful.

On the other hand, secrecy and poorly delineated rules breeds unaccountable behavior and emboldens the government to overstep into what it only later learns is publicly unacceptable terrain. Rougher tactics will inevitably be exposed, and this exposure will do serious harm to America's moral standing in the world, impairing our ability to chastise regimes from Kazakhstan to Cairo.

I dislike the thought of secrecy, but this is logical. Maybe it should also be part of some intelligence sub-committee's overview tasks. If there is a known group doing overview, it should arrest some of the fears.

There are also links to polls about whether torture should be allowed or not. The ABC poll linked in the article is a bit suspect since it states:

Given pro and con arguments, 63 percent in an ABC News/Washington Post poll say torture is never acceptable, even when other methods fail and authorities believe the suspect has information that could prevent terrorist attacks. Thirty-five percent say torture is acceptable in some such cases.

Of course the arguments are not available. Read the linked article, some of the statements don't seem to make sense to me.

The Fox Poll is directly quoted in the article with the specific questioned asked.

Do you favor or oppose allowing the government to use any means necessary, including physical torture, to obtain information from prisoners that might protect the United States from terrorist attacks?*

No question as to what was asked there. See the Title link for the poll results.

Effectiveness of Calling 911

Dave Kopel has a piece related to the National Academy of Science report on gun violence. He looks at the crime scenario from the effectiveness of the 911 system.

The conclusion I've come to is that I'd rather reach for a gun than for the phone. You're more likely to survive. Better that than have someone clean up after the criminal.


Been looking over a couple of blogs that are discussing torture/coercion of the Al Qaeda/Taliban detainees. You can find them at Belmont Club and Volokh Conspiracy though his link leads you to the Instapundit.

I'm not comfortable with the rather long term and systematic use of "coercion" to get information from these detainees. I do understand that due to those methods allowed by the present legalistic understandings of international law, that obtaining information is much more difficult, if not impossible. I have come to agree with Wretchard, that there is situations where you are justified in the methods used. At some level, you need to balance what is the least bad, allowing death/harm to our people or "torture" of the enemy.

I'd like to think that the USA could take the high ground on this moral issue. Though how can you justify the death of citizens when you could have forced the information from an obvious combatant that only wishes death on you? Where do you draw the line as to justify doing nothing to protect yourself especially when there is an obvious source of information?

Where does it lead when you allow it? As in the case of war, you're going to have effects on the innocent. Though the war comparison fails in that the people being detained were captured in the act of trying to kill our soldiers in the first place. It's a very complicated and uncomfortable issue.

Culture Clash?

No. It's a bloody war. It's a war of cultures. There is no getting around it. It's not between Islam and the West. It's between fundamentalist Islam and liberality. If Europe actually wakes up to the problem, maybe even the loonies (left and right) in our country will start to be aware. The simple fact is, if fundamentalist Islam is allowed to thrive unchecked, then the fears of Bush being a little too harsh on the environment or passing a gay marriage ban will look like Nirvana. Fundamentalist Islam isn't concerned with gay rights. They kill gay people. It isn't concerned with reproductive rights. They kill women that have sex outside marriage or who have abortions. Free speech? Look at the number of bloggers imprisoned, and some killed, in Iran. The environment? Who knows. Maybe they'll be great stewards of the environment. I don't hold much hope for that, but maybe that's the silver lining in the cloud of death and oppression that Fundamentalist Islam represents. Legalize marijuana? Yeah, maybe. They don't have too much of a problem with hash & tobacco, but alcohol has to go.

Say good-bye to democratic forms of government. Say good-bye to individual freedoms (well, unless you're a man, then you get some). Say good-bye to beer (now there's a reason to fight). Say good-bye to many of the freedoms that have built the glory that we're privileged to live in daily. Or, fight for those things. Fight for them with guns. Fight for them with words. Just fight the right people. It ain't Bush and the Neo-Cons that are the BIG ENEMY. It's Fundamentalist Islam and it's refusal to live and let live.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Gallup Poll on Gun Ownership

Unfortunately you have to pay to see the actual poll, but the reports I've been seeing are like this one. I'm expecting this one will be as flawed as most, probably worse.

The typical problem that you find with this type of poll was well outlined in Kleck and Kates book Point Blank. The main problem comes with people who aren't legally allowed to posses weapons will not trust the pollster and will not report their possession. Then there are the people who lie about ownership either in affirmation or denial. The complexity of this polls results are difficult to analyze without access to the methodology.

Of course, they have to throw in the old Opinion question.

But do guns make you safer? “Americans are divided on the topic,” Gallup reports, with 46% saying that having a gun in the home makes it a more dangerous place to be, and 42% saying guns make households safer.

But who did they ask? What was the size of the polled group, and how representative was it of the American public?

I'm just going to pitch this one into the dumper.

Monday, January 03, 2005

National Academy of Science on Gun Control

Well, this says a lot.

While it is an article of faith among gun-control proponents that government restrictions on firearms reduces violence and crime, two new U.S. studies could find no evidence to support such a conclusion.

The National Academy of Sciences issued a 328-page report based on 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications, a survey of 80 different gun-control laws and some of its own independent study. In short, the panel could find no link between restrictions on gun ownership and lower rates of crime, firearms violence or even accidents with guns.

Of course the article goes on to show the report doing a lot of "but but but" type statements. And then calling for more studies.

Funniest thing about this is that it started from a seriously bent study started during the Clinton Administration.

The panel was established during the Clinton administration and all but one of its members were known to favor gun control.

So, what were the real results? Obviously the study didn't support their desired results.
[This is just my conjecture, but please.]

Read the Press Release first. You'll find it interesting. I especially liked these parts:

Research linking firearms to criminal violence and suicide is seriously limited by a lack of credible information on who owns firearms and on individuals' encounters with violence, the report says.


One of the largest barriers to better understanding gun violence is the lack of high-quality and extensive data on gun ownership and use. Some people have expressed concerns about expanding the government's data on gun ownership. Others have noted that some individuals -- especially those who use guns illegally -- will always be reluctant to disclose ownership information. Yet scientists in other fields, such as health care, have found effective ways to collect individual data on sensitive topics while protecting privacy. Research is needed -- and can indeed be done -- to determine whether ownership data can be accurately collected with minimal risk to legitimate privacy concerns, the report says.

Hmmm. Let's see. I translate this as saying, "All guns should be registered so that we can analyze the data on owners and violations of the law. You see the medical industry has privacy protections and they can do their research." -- They seem to be missing that indeed your privacy for medical matters has laws controlling access, but no one will ever try and confiscate your health.

Firearms are bought and sold in both formal markets, such as gun shops, and informal ones, such as the underground economy.

What? I'm missing that other section where legal gun owners are allowed to sell to other legal gun owners. Is this part of the "underground economy."

And like all good government supported studies, they call for more.

More studies also should be conducted on potential links between firearms policies and suicide rates.

You can review the report at the NAS website. Not the nicest format, but they'd rather you pay for it. Make certain that you go to Appendix A and read the dissent by James Q. Wilson or Right to Carry studies and the reports findings.

Wondering When this Would Become Political?

Of all things, they're vilifying the RNC website for no coverage of the Tsunami and relief issues and trumpeting the DNC website. Not surprising. Just more political sniping.

Obnoxious Quotes of 2004

From Right Wing News via INDC Journal.
Some really funny, though obnoxious quotes.

And some are just outrageous.

"The word 'hero' has been bandied about a lot to refer to anyone killed in Afghanistan or Iraq. But anyone who voluntarily goes to Afghanistan or Iraq [as a soldier] is fighting for an evil cause under an evil commander in chief." -- Ted Rall

Well, let's get this guy a blanket party and invite the Armed Forces.

On the subway, Peter asked, 'Shouldn't we consider having triplets?' And I had this adverse reaction: 'This is why they say it's the woman's choice, because you think I could just carry triplets. That's easy for you to say, but I'd have to give up my life.' Not only would I have to be on bed rest at 20 weeks, I wouldn't be able to fly after 15. I was already at eight weeks. When I found out about the triplets, I felt like: It's not the back of a pickup at 16, but now I'm going to have to move to Staten Island. I'll never leave my house because I'll have to care for these children. I'll have to start shopping only at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise. Even in my moments of thinking about having three, I don't think that deep down I was ever considering it." -- Amy Richards, an abortion rights advocate

Yes, her husband is just a Neolithic monster. Or, maybe she is.
This has nothing to do with freedom of choice, which I support, or with their use of IVF or other aids with having children and then the potential need to abort excess fetus to protect the others. It only has to do with how it would "inconvenience" her life. Sweet Brighid, it speaks for itself.

Then there is the Flatulent Film Forger From Flint:

"The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not 'insurgents' or 'terrorists' or 'The Enemy.' They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win." -- Michael Moore

Year of the Blog?

Story about Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Pew polled Internet users and found that blog readership increased 58% between February and November 2004. And by November, 27% of 120 million adult Internet users claimed to visit blogs, up from 17% nine months earlier.

Not only that, but Pew also found that 7% of online users, or 8 million Americans, had created their own blogs, up from 3% in 2002. And more and more Americans are posting comments on blogs.

Interesting. Look at some of the reports on the site.


Yes, it's a NYT article. Yes, they're a pay site. Yes, you can copy the link, paste it into a Google search, then click on the results to bypass that little issue. Yes, you can go to and get a user name & password. So, no whining.

Written by the man who wrote the book Our Oldest Enemy. It is a bit over the top, but still, very interesting reading.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Michael Moore - Enemy of the Year Award Recipient

The American Spectator has named the Malfeasant Moron from Michigan this year's Enemy of the Year.

How appropriate.

Hindsight Whining

This is a fairly common theme.

No doubt building such a system will be a priority in the next year or so, but it's tragic that governments were unable or unwilling to spend the money and put plans in place before disaster struck.

I'm continuously amazed that people who put out these opinions are so clueless. This area economically isn't what you'd call wealthy. The land mass that could be effected is very large. The coastal areas of south east Asia and Africa that could be effected are huge, never mind the islands which are very numerous. There also is the fact that these events are very infrequent.

So with little or no money to install and maintain a large and complex area to put in a system that the people will not likely listen to in anycase. I look at the nuclear warning systems in NH, Vermont, Mass, and CT and I see a population that essentially doesn't know what the warnings are about in the first place. This population is educated and should be aware. What would happen in south east Asia where the people are substantially less literate and more spread out. Keeping people knowledgeable on the warnings and understanding that they must react when the alarms go off, I believe is unlikely.

With the vast amount of money that would cost to put this in place, it isn't surprising that the countries decided not to put this in place. The cost/benefit equation didn't fit. That being said, with the large amount of aid being offered to these devastated areas, maybe some sort of system will be viable. But, will it be maintained properly when the money is gone? Will people use them correctly?

The Scotsman has an article where the discuss the work of the ITSU, which was trying to get a warning system in place. Someone was trying, but it just was too late. Maybe, with their existing plans, they can make it easier to get going.

Europe, America, Anglosphere

Did you ever read something that was profound, thorough, enlightening and made you realize what a dolt you were? Well, this lengthy (for the web anyway) discussion about the world's past, present & future during a review of a couple of books is one of those. I loved the read. I also feel appallingly stupid after reading it. The Anglosphere, Euro-Centrists, UN-Centrists, all here and very interestingly compared & contrasted.

Speaking of immigration and integration, specifically in Europe, of Islamic peoples:

To the extent that Rifkin holds up Europe as a model for Americans to emulate, he is in effect urging the purchase of a ticket on the Titanic.

Europe as leading the way:

Rifkin's book is a strange duck. It initially seems to offer a conventional example of the second Europeanist position. And in fact, it does include the standard Euro-critiques of the American socio-economic approach: prisons, McJobs, consumerism and so on. As usual, these arguments are used to fill in the argumentative gaps created by the shortcomings of actual, existing Europe, as opposed to the theoretically ever-more-efficient Europe beloved of the Wall Street Journal and the Economist.

Layered underneath these fairly standard approaches, however, is a deeper and more philosophical level of argument than Europeanists usually present. Rifkin argues that the European approach (The European Dream of his title) is precisely the abnegation of traditional progressivism in its most fundamental sense: the belief in the desirability of material and scientific progress, and the individual identity and freedom that accompany it. Thus, Rifkin's is a two-level critique of America contrasted with virtuous Europe. First, he asserts that Europe is surpassing America on the conventional criteria of prosperity. But he then adds that where economic success is absent in Europe, that's okay too, because progress is bad for you anyway.

Go read the whole thing.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Laser Attack on Commercial Jets: pt 2

Got this link via Instapundit. It's from the Daily brief.

The scenario described is disturbingly convincing.

Yes, Someone Did Put the Lyrics Here

Umm. Not sure why, but someone has put the lyrics of a song that really didn't need them documented.

Hard to Top This - The Knarliest Wave

This guy surfs a Tsunami and survives.
Talk about a story to tell everyone.

Since Stingy is Still in the News

This lays out all the reasons why we have been, one could argue, the least stingy people on the planet. Look at the occupation of Germany. Yet, can you even argue that they're part of an American Empire? So, we were there to protect them. All that blood & treasure and little to nothing asked for in return. What do we get after all that? No respect, that's for certain.

Big Media Discussion Links

From Ed Some pretty interesting linked articles on the Media in 2004.

I would recommend starting with the Media Research Center link of the Best of Notable Quotables. It's got some quotes that just made my jaw drop.


Niall Ferguson is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. His work is extremely well thought out, well documented and well written. I first read "The Pity of War" and the read "Empire." He's got a well recieved book called "Collosus: The Price of America's Empire" which is on my wish list (if anyone just NEEDS to be buy me a book). I like and respect his knowledge and understanding. So, when someone like this suggests that:

"He [Putin] is fast becoming as big a threat to Western security as he is to Russian democracy"
Well, it's time to sit up and take notice. I've long felt that we needed to engage Russia much more closely than we have.

UN and Incompetence - Plan? We Don't Need No Stinking Plan

This one is from the Belmont Club. I'm a little surprised that the UN doesn't even have a real plan and yet the bitch about the US, India, Australia, and Japan organizing relief.

Rehnquist Concerned About Criticism of Judiciary

Rehnquist seems to be criticizing congress for discussing and/or enacting laws that are intended to control activist judges.

He noted that in his annual report last year, he had criticized Congress for not seeking input from the judiciary before it approved a law aimed at forcing judges to follow tougher sentencing guidelines.

Now, why would the congress check with the judiciary if the intent is to force the judiciary to follow the laws?

U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist expressed concern on Saturday that criticism of federal judges had increased in recent years, particularly for "judicial activism."

"Criticism of judges has dramatically increased in recent years, exacerbating in some respects the strained relationship between the Congress and the federal judiciary," he said in his 2004 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary.

"Although arguments over the federal judiciary have always been with us, criticism of judges, including charges of activism, have in the eyes of some taken a new turn in recent years," said Rehnquist

Isn't criticism something allowed to the citizens and the congress? Especially, when in context of some of the extremes that several courts have been taking in rewriting federal laws? If you need an example, look at the findings of the 9th circuit court. The most over turned circuit court in the US by the supreme court.

"At the same time, there have been suggestions to impeach federal judges who issue decisions regarded by some as out of the mainstream," he said.

I can understand his concern over the impeachment. I think that that may be going beyond the appropriate level of control that should be exercised by the congress. That is why there is a hierarchical judiciary for over view.

"No doubt the federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court, will continue to encounter challenges to its independence and authority because of dissatisfaction with particular decisions or the general direction of its jurisprudence," he said.

Well, that shouldn't be a surprise. When the courts decide that they don't want to follow the word of the enacted laws, then they should consider that the dissatisfaction is maybe justified. The judiciary is supposed to enforce the laws, not change those laws to fit their own personal political or moral standards.