Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Chief Wiggles has a new contributer, Orpheus. All in all a very nice development. Chief Wiggles helps us to rummage through the mainstream press much more efficiently since he (and his cohorts) give us a view that we don't get to see in the mainstream media.
Right on guys,
Monday, July 28, 2003
"I think this idea of cultural purity and of an absolute dedication to preserving the old ways and preventing cross-cultural pollution is something that western leftists are projecting, rather than something the majority of people elsewhere actually think."
I disagree, I don't think they're projecting, since that would imply they had those feelings themselves. Consider that the group talked about has little regard for tradition. It's a group that has consistently attacked America's traditions (both the good ones and the bad ones).
I think what they are projecting is their own hate of America and its culture, and simply rationalizing it as the hatred of Western culture by others.
Sunday, July 27, 2003
Fox News reports that Israel is set to release hundreds of prisoners and
states that this is NOT part of the “Road Map to Peace” but the White House
says it is necessary to keep the process moving.
I’m not going to analyze the whole situation, that is done on many other blogs
in much better fashion than I could do. I will, however, draw attention to the
fact that Fox News just said something that the major media has been ignoring
for some time now and that certain bloggers have been cognizant of for some
time; the prisoner release is NOT part of the “Road Map.” Never was, no
matter how much Hamas, Abbas, Arafat, and their supporters insist otherwise.
I don't remember when it happened, but at some point, many, many years ago, the media (as a group) lost my trust. They threw it away because it really didn't matter to them. Perhaps it was no more than not noticing a single blip falling off their trust-meter (and why should they notice), but today it's not just my one blip. It has become millions of blips. According to one poll it may be hundreds of blips. As a group they've played with the facts rather loosely, been misleading and have published outright falsehoods that could've been checked out with a phone call (or a web search today). They continue to say they are not biased, but if that is true why do they continue to only push news that furthers the agenda of a certain point of view? Why ignore the good news coming out of Iraq? Why ignore the EPA's deceptions and the Kyoto treaty-pusher's deception?
They concentrate on how poorly the war on terrorism is going without showing the counter-point. Of course there is no way for them to show the counterpoint to their doom and gloom without exposing their dire predictions and deceptions on the war. There are execptions. Blogs have been pointing to the good news for some time now, they've published e-mail from soldiers in Iraq, and some of the soldiers actually in Iraq have been blogging.
One of these is Chief Wiggles -- Straight from Iraq. He's become one of my regulary daily stops since I first saw a link to his page from another (I don't even remember which one that was). His news is not always rosy, and it does put you in the position of seeing just how bad major media has ignored positive news about America.
Saturday, July 26, 2003
Newsflash: WMDs Found in Iraq?
On the scene reporter Jonathan Swift (reporting for Kalroy Network News) embedded with the American WMD detection unit reports that US forces have found a stockpile chlorine. 250 million gallons was found buried beneath the famous Iraqi theme park, Saddamland, along with equipment for gasifying the chlorine. Captain Jonas Grumby states, “This much chlorine in gaseous form is similar to that used by the Germans during World War One or for making satellite dishes out of coconuts and sea-shells.”
Update: BBC reports: Americans claim to have ‘found’ a site at which ‘WMDs’ have been located, but no other sources have been able to substantiate this ‘claim’ since it was made almost twenty minutes ago. “There is no excuse for the US not verifying their ‘claim’ in front of an international investigative team,” BBC correspondent Andrew Gilligan said.
Update: Former Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, now working for a well known Arab news agency, responds that the chlorine was used exclusively for chlorinating the swimming pools of Saddam Hussein’s presidential palaces.
Update: CAIR spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, comments on the gas generation system “This is a typical distortion of the Zionist controlled American media. It is tradition in Arab culture to chlorinate our swimming pools by bubbling chlorine gas through the water. If Americans understood our culture better they would realize that.” When asked how Americans could understand Arab and Muslim culture better Mr.Hooper stated, “We at CAIR are more than willing to spoon-feed, er, educate, I mean, Americans in Arab propa… I mean culture.
Update: A recent poll conducted in Germany shows that over one third of young Germans believe that the “chlorine” found was used for swimming pools, or that it was planted by the United States to further their imperial desires.
Update: According to Prince Bandar ibn Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, “These are not ‘weapons’ of ‘mass’ ‘destruction’, rather what is being seen is Uday’s professionalism in providing clean water for the members of Iraq’s Olympic swim team. We Arabs understand how important a swim team is to our culture and our religion, and know that even a bad person can care about their country’s Olympic athletes.
Update: Reuters correspondent, Deanna Wrenn, reports that she was allowed to view the so-called ‘weapons’ ‘of’ ‘mass’ ‘destruction’ and says that not a single one was labeled as such. “I couldn’t even find the letters ‘WMD’ stenciled on any of the ovoid and finned storage containers.
Update: Transcript of a Fox News interview with Deanna Wrenn.
Fox News: How were you chosen, among all the journalists in the area to report on the chlorine find at Saddamland?
Wrenn: What? What are you talking about? I’ve been reporting on surf conditions at Hawai’i’s North Shore.
Fox News: Are you saying you didn’t write a report for Reuters…
Wrenn: What? Those sons of [censored]
Thursday, July 24, 2003
Well, I've become an American Propagandist yesterday. I printed up various letters and e-mail from Gulf troops that were linked from such notables as Andrew Sullivan, Instapundit, and Daily Pundit, and had my father in law read them. He's stuck in a news quagmire, forced to rely on such sterling examples of journalistic integrity as CNN, and the Big Three. Not that Fox News is perfect, but at least they haven't begun running around hiding horror stories and spreading propaganda for hostile and enemy nations. This all stemmed from an article in the LA Times about open mike night in Sacramento for the Members of the Democratic Study Group that seems to have failed to make it into the news feed my father in law gets (I do recall it being mentioned on Fox News though).
Continuing my new found calling, today I bothered to send e-mail to the few personal e-mail addys I have in my address books a link to Merde in France. I'm not sure what my next action will be but it will probably due to my own reaction of outrage to something along similar lines.
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Donald Sensing points out an article in The Scotsman that talks about East Berlin airport sitting on thousands of bombs and on aircraft and such hidden in bunkers. "Not only did the commissars intern munitions beneath the runways, but also entire Nazi fighter planes, all fuelled and fully bombed-up, according to the Stasi."
Jim Miller (via Donald Sensing) says it shows how easy it is to hide weapons. This is something I've commented on before. You take a VX ton container, hose it down with Clorox, tack a hood on it, paint it gray and stencil the word propane on the side and it looks just like every propane tank sitting next to a house out in the boonies. You could hide several thousands of gallons here where I live. Sit it upright, wash it down with Clorox, paint it white, glue some fake hoses to it and stick it in the water heater space in most houses and no one is going to find it (unless a bomb hits the house). Now what about the anthrax? Real easy.
What gets me is that all the people complaining about us not finding them don't seem to understand what it is we're looking for. Hell, you could dump it into a sand pit, hose the pit with caustic and cover it over and I doubt you'd ever detect it. Here's something anecdotal. At an American chem demil facility they decontaminated a room. No detectable agent vapor. They opened up a sealed electrical box and the HD (mustard gas) monitors go ape. Our most advanced detectors won't always show the presence of agent unless it's floating around and actually sucked into the machines.
As an aside, tomorrow I'm going to try to find my stats on how much agent the US has destroyed. We only have a few more years to finish ALL of it, and we're off to a late start because of all the environmental lawsuits and protests.
There are people who claim that they are not anti-American, they simply disagree with the Administration and disagree with conservatives. My problem with them is that no matter how much they protest this characterization of them, as long as they continue to allow Leftist creep to enter into their house and refuse to see it, they tacitly approve of blatant anti-Americanism. Failure to condemn signs at rallies that read "kill your officers" and such is tacit approval of such views; or at the very the appearance to most of such approval. As with Arabs and Muslims failure to condemn people and organizations for extremist views and actions gives support to those people. Certainly moderates continue to say they don't support extremists, but so long as environmentalists fail to condemn ELF, so long as Muslims fail to condemn Hamas, and so long as Democrats fail to condemn ANSWER, they will continue to tacitly support the causes those espouse.
It is with heartened smile, therefore, that I read Roger L. Simon's piece today where he condemns one of the "fuzzy partisan thinking" bloggers who make liberals, such as Mr. Simon, look bad. This is not the first time Mr. Simon has defended the liberal viewpoint from Leftist creep, and I doubt it will be the last. Huzzah Mr. Simon
Monday, July 21, 2003
The title is a quote by Sir William Stephenson from the book A Man Called Intrepid. I read the book in secondary school, but had long since forgotten anything about it beyond my recollection of it being a good book. My wife, today, bought a copy of this old book for me and I began re-reading it outside while smoking a cigarette. That quote struck a bit of a chord in me and I decided to blog the next two paragraphs as well.
...Will the democracies consent to their own survival?
We failed to face that critical question prior to 1939. Not one of the democracies honestly confronted the obvious threats to its survival. They would not unite, rearm, or consider sacrifices for individual or collective security. There were those who argues that the sacrifices were not necessary. Today, parallel arguments are heard, similar responses given.
We are rightly repelled by secrecy; it is a potential threat to democratic principle and free government. Yet we would delude ourselves if we should forget that secrecy was for a time virtually our only defense. It served not only to achieve victory, but also to save lives in that perilous pursuit.
I can't help but see and feel a parallel to today in Sir William Stephenson's words. Facing the menace of radical Islam the world's democracies did not give their consent to survival. Those few who called for the survival of the western world were branded as bigots, paranoiacs, hate-mongers and alarmists. Even today much of the western world refuses to survive, they are not being raped for they have given their consent to the destruction of their very way of life. So much so that they have refused to aid or have actively hampered those nations who refuse to submit to the attacks of their people, their culture and their countries.
It is unfortunate that it has required the deaths of literally thousands upon thousands of westerners (no matter the actual geographic location of their countries) for many of us to finally decide that maybe we want our country, its citizens and our way of life to survive. It is truly tragic that some of us (our own countrymen, and those who have benefited for years by our laws and way of life) don't care or simply want us to be destroyed.
So I'm watching Kobe Television today... No, not Japanese TV on Satellite, rather Fox/CNN/CNNHN, and on Fox there was actually something not about Kobe. It seems that James Brolin is slated to play former President Ronald Reagan in a new TV miniseries. This is the James Brolin who I always enjoyed watching, the same James Brolin who married outspoken and well-known leftist Barbara Streisand. It's rather a trip, but I also have to wonder how it will end up. I don't know the man on a personal level, it's likely that he is as avowed a leftist as Mrs. Streisand, however Carville/Shriver both married well-known conservatives, and the truth is not everyone is so bigoted that they wouldn't look at someone of differing political, social, and cultural outlook without pre-judgment. I can't tell you what his work-ethic is like. He could be a consummate professional and play Ronald Reagan honestly, accurately and without leftist demonization. Frankly I intend to give him the benefit of the doubt until I happen to learn more about A) his political leanings, B) his work-ethic reputation.
Either way Mrs. Streisand is either pissed off or happy that the show will get a leftist spin.
Note: While looking around to find out about Mr. Brolin's politics/comments I found that Boycott Hollywood already had the story posted.
Friday, July 18, 2003
The French just banned the term "e-mail" from all government agencies. From now on they'll have to use the word "courriel" a shortening of the French phrase for ... e-mail. Idiots. They are so afraid at how inferior, inflexible, and outdated their language is that they constantly legislate its mandatory use. It just goes to show what incredible, hateful, bigots and racists they are, after all that's how Democrats characterize anything like that in the US.
Silflay Hraka (one of my daily reads) points to an article in which, among other things, states, "In February, Ridge announced a plan to turn the state's website into a controversial mega-portal called PA PowerPort, which Microsoft has agreed to build at no cost." A site which, "...includes business-to-business e-commerce, secure online bill paying, news feeds, free email accounts (using Microsoft's Hotmail), and online yellow pages,..."
I'm going to assume that the journalist writing this article speaks English and means "no cost" is the same as free. That's pretty impressive. Now Silflay asserts that, "Any Linux based system is more secure, not to mention cheaper, especially in this time of record deficits." I believe the first part of that is definitely true, however, I believe that part of that security is simply because it's not as big a target (sorta like how safe Lichtenstein is from terrorism). As to being cheaper, in general, Hell yeah. In this case I gotta say it's pretty hard to beat free. Certainly no Linux distributor could put together such a system "at no cost." Consider that the largest in the US would still have to hire people (straight or contract), or move them from the profitable side of the shop, to do a project whose production costs come from already thin profit margins. Without enough money to pay for it, they won't have enough money to make it, and the political returns could never be enough to offset the monetary loss. Certainly as a world wide open source project it could be done for free, but how many of the Linux gurus out there (worldwide) want to donate free time to the US government, and do we really want to trust part of our governments system to a group of people that could contain some pretty unsavory sources that hate the US government and America?
Certainly this, at first glance, fits the model Linux distributors seem to be using. Inexpensive or free software, and a charge for support. I'd bet Microsoft is considering something similar in this case.
Sure you get what you pay for, but then the best sex I ever had didn't cost me anything (not even the cost of dinner and a movie) and the best meal I ever had didn't cost me anything.
I'm sure if Suze or Red Hat could've matched Microsoft's bid and promise a system with features equal to the one Microsoft proposed they would have had a good chance of getting it. Frankly I don't think they'd want to.
Thursday, July 17, 2003
I'm glad someone brought this up. Jeff Jarvis, of Buzzmachine fame, is bothered by some of the complaints coming out of Iraq by our troops who are tire of being there. First off, I'd like to point out that the journalist (via Buzzmachine) that quoted the bitching never bothered to be unbiased with any positive quotes. It's an entirely biased, one-sided slam on the Bush Administration AND on our men and women over there. I'd bet that there must be at least on GI there who knew why there were there and knew that they had a job to do that they haven't finished doing yet. Finding one of those was probably too much effort for Mr. Kofman.
The first-termers quoted in the article are understandable. Some people volunteer without really knowing what they're getting into. So much so, in fact, that in 1991 you had articles and newscasts about Marines trying to quit any way they could, claim to be gay, get pregnant, and claim conscientious objector status. The last being the ones I remember the most.
If they're bitching about being there for ten months, several of those low-intensity, then it's a good thing we aren't fighting a major war against a country who never attacked us; ya know like Germany in the 1940's. It's a sucky place to be for them, I know that, but it's what they're paid for, it's what they volunteered for (whether they bothered to find out beforehand or not).
Remote tours suck, and having recently worked for months sucking rubber in an M40 I know that wearing the equipment is not fun. Seven years ago there were soldiers who got to go on a remote tour at a remote at an isolated Pacific island where some of them got to stand in the sun near the equator while wearing their chem. gear and unloading America's chemical weapons for destruction; not fun. I'm know they all bitched about. I bitched about the place and I was there as a civilian with my own room. Bitching is what GIs do. It's one of the most cherished traditions of the military, but bitching to a press that has been demonstrably hostile to GIs four almost half a century was stupid. Now the GIs who were stupid enough to trust a reporter get to parade their idiocy for all the world to see. Even in 1995, when I got out of the Air Force, everyone I served with knew that you can't trust reporters, and we knew that they'd do what they could to make us and the military look bad. There are exceptions, but not enough to tilt the odds. I can only guess these youngsters were lulled into a sense of security by the few exceptions they met, and by recent surge of 'patriotism' among journalists.
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Anyone ever read Spinsanity?
I've read a couple of there things and they seem to try to present things in an unbiased way, but I would caveat that by saying that some of their logic isn't very logical and the following is either spin, or a failure to think things through; a problem I have often.
In their article "More myths, misconceptions and unanswered questions about the war in Iraq" they attempt to answer the question of "Have weapons of mass destruction been found in Iraq?" They address the existence of mobile biological weapons laboratories with this: "The administration has claimed that two trailers it has found in Iraq were mobile laboratories used to produce biological weapons, but, as the New York Times reported, experts reached this conclusion by ruling out other possible uses of the trucks rather than finding direct evidence of biological weapons or the production of them."
They seem to imply that a jackhammer may not be a jackhammer simply after all other possible uses have been ruled out. If a biological weapon mobile laboratory has no other possible use then doesn't that show it to be a biological weapons mobile laboratory? As to the failure to find biological agent on the surfaces of parts of the lab does not mean it wasn't used, or meant to be used, to create biological agent. In fact when news reports say that labs had been cleaned and sterilized it makes sense that it once held agent, otherwise there would be no reason to decontaminate the laboratory with caustic. According to Spinsanity's logic the thousands of VX shells sitting in a yard at one of America's chemical agent demil sites weren't once filled with VX since no trace of VX can be found on or in them. All it takes is chlorine caustic, though in the US we also thermally decontaminate items after surface decon with caustic.
The Iraqis claim that the labs were mobile hydrogen makers for weather balloons. This sounds idiotic to me since hydrogen cylinders would be much more portable, far less dangerous and far more cheaper than trying to wheel around a hydrogen production facility. I mean how many balloons can you fill with a single 2100psi hydrogen cylinder? Ten cylinders strapped to a pallet on the back of a large pickup would fill more hydrogen balloons than anyone could possibly need.
So, with what I see as faulty logic that anyone who does "little hat, big shirt" work can see (such as myself) Spinsanity concludes that, "Nonetheless, the White House has seized on these findings to support its claims about Iraq's WMD programs before the war." Okay, I've made it clear that I am not a deep thinker, and I don't have a college degree, but it is clear to me that their summarizing sentence (on this particular part of the article) is written with bias/spin/attack.
I thought their addressing an Iraq/Al Qaeda connection was okay, but not great. "Nor has it been demonstrated, as we pointed out in a previous column, that Ansar Al-Islam, a extremist group based in Kurdish-controlled Iraq with alleged links to Al Qaeda, had any connection to Saddam Hussein." was a valid statement but they imply that they know for a fact that Ansar Al-Islam was only in Kurdish areas or that they existed at the suffrage of the Kurds. Worldnet Daily reports that "Ansar al-Islam (Helpers of Islam) emerged shortly after Sept. 11 in northern Iraq and almost immediately declared war on the secular Kurdish parties opposing Saddam's regime." Mullah Krekar says they hate Saddam, but, as has been noted by Bj?rn St?rk he's perfectly willing to say anything to the western media to further his agenda, even when it conflicts with what he tells his Muslim followers (there's a lot of that going around in the world of Islam). So if they hated Saddam so much why wage war on forces opposing Saddam's regime? Seems to me their actions speak far louder then their words did. Sarah Latham of the Telegraph reports in April (the month before Spinsanity's article) members of Saddam's Republican guard were seen in two Ansar Al-Islam controlled towns and that war material from Jalawla was seen to be unloaded and she seems to think heavier weaponry such as SAMs have been transferred to the area.
So it seems they are correct when they say, "So far, there are tentative indications of contacts between Saddam's regime and representatives of Osama Bin Laden, but no conclusive documentation of direct, high-level Iraqi support of Al Qaeda has been produced." And they're assertation that their is no connection between Ansar Al-Islam and Saddam Hussein ignores that there are some indication of a connection between Ansar Al-Islam and Saddam Hussein's regime. So their statement is technically correct, but neglects the connection to Saddam's regime and government.
Monday, July 14, 2003
Ever start posting a comment on someone else's blog and find it getting longer than intended? Long enough to serve as your own blog entry? I have several times now. So, while reading some comments over at Roger L. Simon's web-log. His topic was an article on immigration, but the phrase "moderate Muslims" suddenly got my hackles up. I've been watching CAIR spokespeople, AMC spokespeople, Saudi Arabia's spokesmen and all manner of "moderate Muslims" on television. One of the best things I've always liked about Fox News is when the hound/pound into an interviewee to actually answer a question. Two reasons for this, the first being I want to hear an answer to the question not a soapbox soliloquy, and the second being that the interviewee's opinions begin to come through quite clearly at that point. Sometimes, after such harrasment, the interviewee will actually make the condemnation, but the fact that it takes so much for him to finally do it speaks volumes about what that person believes.
Back to topic, so I posted a comment on Roger Simon's page and figured I'd put it up on the page. No sense limiting a rant.
'Moderate' Muslims. Gotta say I think all this desire for moderate Muslims is off target. As more and more hate from supposedly moderate Muslims comes to light I think it's the extremists we must look to. No, not the bin Ladens and Arafats of the world. Those are people who are never vocally condemned by 'moderate' Muslims. It makes me feel that the only Muslims who actually condemn terrorists are the real Muslim extremists and that terrorism and cheering the deaths of Americans and Israelis is a 'moderate' trait. After all, if moderate is a middle of the road position then Muslim moderates are obviously in favor of terrorism and have not simply failed to condemn terrorism and Islamic terrorists, they often speak in active support of it. I do recall hearing active condemnations of violence, or rather specific violent acts. But those same press reports and interviews from 'moderates' rarely condemn the terrorists themselves. Anyone remember when the self-proclaimed moderate CAIR loudly condemned Yassir Arafat? Remember how long it took them and the American Muslim Council to condemn Osama bin Laden? They did condemn the attack on the World Trade Centers, but it took them quite some time to condemn al Qaeda. They say the condemn various attacks on civilian non-combatants in Israel, but they don't condemn Yassir Arafat, Hamas, or Hezbollah.
From what I've seen of Islam overt and tacit support of terrorism is the 'moderate' position, whereas Muslims who genuinely want peace and condemn terrorism, terrorists and terrorist groups are the extremists.
Saturday, July 12, 2003
When is the Truth a Lie?
When it's politically convenient.
The President during his State of the Union Address said,
"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought
significant quantities of uranium from Africa." So now the Democrats
are claiming that The President lied. The British stand by their
determination, which means the above statement was not only true when spoken,
but is still true today.
The Democrats claim that the Niger claim comes from forged
documents and as such The President lied, as opposed to made a mistake.
However, Tony Blair said, "The evidence that we had, that the Iraqi
government had gone back to try to purchase further amounts of uranium from
Niger did not come from so-called 'forged' documents, they came from separate
Monica Crowley, filling in for Sean Hannity on Hannity
and Colmes, reports: "Now I have a very good intelligence source, not
from the CIA, and he told me this, "That British intelligence had
wiretap information that confirmed, that those three countries were Niger, Gabon
and Mali. They were all approached by Iraqi intelligence for possible
sources of uranium." Now here's where the difficulty comes in, "The
Italians decided to get in on the act, they were the ones that bought the forged
documents and tried to pass them off to the United States and to the
British." The point is the British already had those intercepts
so the forged documents were just an add-on that didn't matter anyway."
How reliable is her source?
Only she and her source knows. I'm always dubious when a journalist
cites anonymous sources, unless that particular journalist has managed to build
up my trust in them. Monica Crowley has not done that, but neither has she
pissed away the bit that I give people automatically, and her account does agree
with the official stated position of Tony Blair. As such I'm willing to
give her the benefit of the doubt and trust her until she demonstrates, or let's
slip tells that cause me to stop.
Thursday, July 10, 2003
Fox News showed the clip of Michael Savage going off on his idiotic rant the
other night. Something I've been thinking about is that it seemed like he
was responding to something the caller said. The way I've read it so far
is that he was just spouting idiocy, but looking at the clip makes it seem like
more of a reaction to something said to him. I'm wondering what the caller
said that got Mr. Savage so worked up. I've never heard or seen his show
and despite the number of registered Democrats who tell me I need to listen to
him (Democrats who sweat for a living) I'll probably never listen to him, but
I'm still wondering about the entire situation.
Thursday, July 03, 2003
I was reading a thingy at spinsanity about the justifications given for the war on Iraq. The aluminum tubes thing came up and they went with the IAEA’s take on it. Now I doubt el Baradei would know a machine tool if it bit him on the ass, but reading some of the stuff at spinsanity I would’ve expected better of them.
"Specifically, the tubes are the wrong size for uranium enrichment and the IAEA has secured extensive documentation proving that Iraq has been trying for years to purchase such tubes for use in artillery rockets."
Here’s the problem with that, any journeyman machinist with a decent conventional lathe could cut one down to dimensions with a tolerance of +/- 1/10,000th of an inch. An extremely good CNC machine could get tolerances in the millionth of an inch; we’re basically talking about getting it to a ‘finish’ state. This was pointed out by Colin Powell when he addressed the UN, but I hardly ever see that pointed out. Heck, I could get better than +/- .0001 with a 1950’s Cincinati. But then I learned my trade in aerospace and showing off in that way was pretty normal for us. Things like getting parts to less than a ‘tenth’ and welding aluminum cans or stainless foil were usually good for a beer, peer recognition and simple blue-collar fun.